Football saw its offensive backfield decimated through injuries at Michigan Saturday.
Junior quarterback Cody Kater broke his collarbone and senior running back Zurlon Tipton broke his ankle in the first quarter. They are ruled out indefinitely.
Head coach Dan Enos said he did not want to prognosticate on Monday on when the players would be back on the field, saying only, he hoped they would at some point in the season, but “it’s going to be awhile for them.”
“Both of those guys were, even at halftime, very, very emotional in tears. They felt like they let the team down,” Enos said. “Our message to them was you didn’t let anybody down. This is part of life. You got to deal with things like this. You got to become stronger from it. You got to move forward.
“Both of those guys now got to do a very diligent job of staying focused, rehabbing, and trying to get back.”
Speaking with the two injured players was a difficult task, Enos said, after all the preparation that led up to the season.
“They’ve worked so hard. They’re both pretty young men and obviously it’s very disappointing for them,” Enos said. “We feel for them, and we’re going to support them and do everything we can to keep their spirits up.”
Neither was having success in the short time they were on the field. Kater completed two of six passes for 13 yards, while Tipton carried the ball four times for 10 yards.
The new starting quarterback completed his first pass of the game for 17 yards to junior receiver Courtney Williams. He used a rollout two plays later, but his pass to an open receiver was off target.
The junior quarterback has endured quite a journey up until he took the ball under center in the Big House Saturday.
He followed head coach Butch Jones to Cincinnati before leaving when he discovered it was not what he signed up for.
The former Montague High School player moved on to Grand Rapids Community College with his sights on returning to Division I football and after guiding the team to an 11-0 record, he joined the CMU football team.
“I haven’t played in the Division I level really as a starter. So, a lot of hard work has gone into it,” he told CM Life before the season. “I have definitely gone different paths, but to end up at an opportunity to lead the team and be able to move the ball up and down the field and get these guys around me the ball, it means a lot.”
Contrary to Kater, Tipton has stayed on a single path, entering his fifth year on the CMU football team. However, he has had his own adversity with injuries cutting his first season to one game and in 2011 he was held to seven.
After rushing for 1,492 yards last season, the senior was placed on the Maxwell Award and the Doak Walker Award watch lists in the preseason.
Tipton appeared to have a shot at a touchdown in the first quarter after a CMU interception when he cut to the right side of the field but he was swallowed by a number of defenders at the one-yard-line for a three-yard gain.