Tape It Up: No QB, No Problem?

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No QB, No Problem?

On Championship Saturday, two teams had to play without their starting quarterbacks, but that did not seem to matter much to either one. LSU starting QB Matt Flynn sat out the entire SEC Championship game with a sore shoulder, but sophomore Ryan Perrilloux stepped up when he stepped into the starting role. Over in Morgantown, West Virginia QB Pat White left the Backyard Brawl in the scoreless second quarter with a disloacted thumb on his non-throwing hand . Reports were that the stud signal-caller could not so much as move the thumb, and until that status changed, on the sideline he would stay.

White was hurt with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter when he fell awkwardly on his right hand after a keeper run. His hand was wrapped in ice by trainers on the sideline and backup Jarrett Brown came in to replace him. Brown did just fine in his first test, finishing the drive out with a 6-yard TD run to put the Mountaineers up 7-0.

West Virginia is facing a considerably weaker opponent in Pittsburgh than LSU did in Tennessee. No matter how much of a boost the spoiler role gives to the Panthers, they simply do not match up against this Mountaineers squad. But the last time West Virginia played without Pat White, they lost the game - and that was the last (and only) time they lost all season. Today's Pittsburgh is no Sept. 28's USF, but the Mountaineers must be a bit antsy that at halftime, they are only leading 7-3.

Still, West Virginia should have no trouble finishing this one out, even with White on the sideline.

LSU, on the other hand, is a bit of a conundrum. Ryan Perrilloux had not thrown a pass in a game in three weeks, and even with plenty of injuries of his own - he spent significant time on the sideline having his profusely-bleeding finger wrapped and re-wrapped - played a great game. He completed 20 of 30 passes for 243 yards, ran, blocked and did everything LSU asked him to do to get the win.

Shortly after Perrilloux sustained an injury to his hand, it was reported that the finger that was wrapped in gauze would need stitches, but that Perrilloux would finish out the game before getting proper medical attention. Perrilloux proved to be the unlikely difference for an LSU team that seemed to lose a different player to injury on every play. It looked like every member of the hot-shot receiving corps took at least one play off while working out an ache or pain, and the defense was hammered on every play, as defenseman after defenseman spent some quality time on the turf dealing with one ailment or another.

But ultimately, interceptions beat out injuries as Tennessee QB Erik Ainge seemed to hand the game to the Tigers with his two picks, one turned touchdown, and the Tigers came out with the win, the SEC Championship, and their quarterback of the future, provided Perrilloux can keep his extra-curricular activities to a minimum.

Now that LSU has won, Flynn and Perrilloux will both have plenty of time to rest their hut hands, and may both see some time in LSU's chosen bowl game. Should West Virginia pull this one out without Pat White, he too will have plenty of time to heal before taking the field again in January.

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