Grothe's ACL tear throws Bulls' season into jeopardy

September, 20, 2009
9/20/09
1:24
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett


Absolutely devastating news for South Florida, as senior quarterback Matt Grothe's season is over with a left ACL tear.

Grothe might be the most valuable player in the entire Big East, given what he means to the Bulls' offense as both a passer and a runner, not to mention emotional leader. One of Grothe's strengths had been his amazing durability; he started 41 straight games after taking over the reins early in his freshman year.

It really stinks for Grothe, who's given his all to his program and now won't get a chance to guide the Bulls in his senior year. How cruel and unfortunate for him that the injury comes just one week before South Florida will play its first-ever game against Florida State in Tallahassee. That's a game that Grothe told me this summer he'd really been looking forward to ever since the schedule came out. He also won't get to play against Miami at home this year.

Where do the Bulls go from here? Well, redshirt freshman B.J. Daniels is extremely talented with a stronger arm than Grothe's. Fellow redshirt freshman Evan Landi also brings a lot of skill to the position, including running ability. But obviously, neither one of them has anywhere near the experience that Grothe had, and Daniels might have to make his first career start at Florida State, which will be a tough spot.

Grothe redshirted as a true freshman and is unlikely to be able to get a sixth year from the NCAA. So that means his career is probably over, just one week after he broke the Big East career yardage mark. You can easily make the case that he's the greatest Bulls player ever.

There will be plenty of time this week to talk about how South Florida adjusts. Right now, though, you can't help but feel bad for a guy who had such an outstanding college career.

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