By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Virginia running back Cedric Peerman might be out for the season with a right ankle injury, Coach Al Groh said. Peerman already has missed three games after injuring himself in the first quarter against Middle Tennessee, an absence that thrust Mikell Simpson up the depth chart and into the spotlight.
When asked yesterday if Peerman may miss the rest of the year, Groh replied, "I'd say there's a chance." Peerman has not had surgery, though that could be an option, Groh said. At the time of Peerman's injury, he was leading the ACC in rushing and was 16th in the country.
Simpson's emergence has made Peerman's absence sting less. In only two games of considerable playing time, Simpson is already Virginia's third-leading receiver and third-leading rusher, having rushed 39 times for 191 yards and caught 21 passes for 218 yards.
Against North Carolina State on Saturday, Simpson gained 116 total yards and scored two touchdowns, one on a shovel pass and the other on a running play. He had proved his stunning game at Maryland was not a fluke, a notion he never considered.
"I really didn't worry about that too much," Simpson said. "If I were to worry about that, than I would have taken myself out of the game. I just go out there and play."Sewell Blames Medicine
Jameel Sewell thinks he found the culprit for the cramps that kept him on the sideline for the final seven minutes of Virginia's 29-24 loss Saturday at N.C. State. Sewell had been taking medicine for allergies, and, because he has rarely cramped before in his career, he believes that may have been the issue. He has stopped taking the medicine, in part because he no longer has a cold.
The only other time in his career he had cramped up, Sewell said, was this season against Duke. He was lifted from the game shortly before halftime, administered an IV and then put back into the game after halftime without further incident. Against N.C. State, Sewell drank water and Gatorade all game to avoid cramps, he said.
"It was extremely surprising," Sewell said. "I had no clue that it would do that. It was extremely frustrating, like I was running away from a challenge and letting my teammates down. It hurt me inside so bad."
Before Sewell exited he had played a game fitting his enigmatic season. He threw for a career-high 260 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw two interceptions, one on the first possession of the game and the other inside the 20-yard line.
"I'm still on a roller coaster right now," Sewell said. "Not as much as I was last year, but I'm making a couple bad throws, and then coming back with some great throws. My main goal from last season was to try to be more consistent. In some ways, I am being more consistent."Wideouts In on Action
With tight end Tom Santi, Virginia's leading receiver, out with a foot injury on Saturday, Virginia's wide receivers played their most productive game this year. The Cavaliers' five wideouts combined to catch 11 passes for 141 yards, both season highs. The only other time the wide receivers surpassed 100 yards came three weeks ago against Connecticut, when Cavaliers wideouts caught six balls for 110 yards.
Cary Koch caught his first touchdown, only the second thrown to a wide receiver this year. Staton Jobe caught the first against Georgia Tech.
"I'm getting more comfortable, but it's more them finally settling down and getting comfortable," Sewell said. "They're seeing coverage better and making plays. That's helping all of us."Injury Update
Cornerbacks Chris Cook and Mike Parker, Santi and fullback Rashawn Jackson all practiced Monday, but injuries could still limit them Saturday against Wake Forest, Groh said.