Dustin Garrison sprains ACL, MCL

Updated: December 31, 2011, 11:57 AM ET
By Andrea Adelson | ESPN.com

West Virginia starting running back Dustin Garrison hurt his knee during practice Friday in South Florida and will miss Wednesday's Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson, the school announced late Friday night.

Garrison sprained the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He also has a slight medial collateral ligament sprain in the same knee. He will undergo surgery, and is expected to be out six months.

Earlier Friday, Garrison's parents told West Virginia Illustrated he had torn his ACL and MCL.

"It's an unfortunate situation for Dustin, but it is one that we will have to deal with as a team," Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said. "It is not something that we are unfamiliar with, as we have had to deal with adversity all season long. This marks our third key player out for the bowl game with a knee injury (receiver Brad Starks, safety Terence Garvin), but I expect our team to maintain its focus as we prepare for Clemson."

Garrison, a true freshman, was hurt during the team's first practice in Miami. The first 15 minutes of practice was open to the media, but the injury happened while practice was closed. West Virginia was not practicing in full pads.

Garrison led the team with 742 yards rushing and had six touchdowns.

All of a sudden, West Virginia is in a bit of a predicament at this position. Backup Andrew Buie has been injured and missed the final two games of the regular season. Another reserve, Vernard Roberts, was dismissed from the team this week for academic reasons.

Shawne Alston, a much bigger back than Garrison, could end up shouldering the running load if Buie is not 100 percent.

Andrea Adelson covers Big East football for ESPN.com.