Each of these players is a pillar for success on their individual units. Only problem for Texas is, all of them are dealing with injuries at the moment.
Fera has yet to attempt a field goal this season because of the groin injury he has battled with since early August. Last week head coach Mack Brown updated Fera’s status to questionable, but there is still no real timetable on his return.
Hicks and Bergeron each suffered injuries in Saturday’s 66-31 victory over Ole Miss. Bergeron exited the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and Hicks suffered an apparent hip injury in the same frame, on the same play in which he was called for a horse collar tackle.
Brown said Bergeron’s injury was not serious after the game, and on Monday he updated the status of each player.
“What will happen is Joe Bergeron and Jordan Hicks came out of the game Saturday night. It was obvious they didn’t play in the second half very much, if they played any. The trainers will watch them throughout this week and then we will make a statement next Monday. They will probably be limited in practice this week.”
Neither of their injuries appears to be particularly serious, but if Hicks, Bergeron or Fera is out when Texas enters Big 12 play next week, it will be a huge blow.
Hicks leads the team with 23 tackles, three of which went for a loss. However, that doesn’t begin to describe Hicks’ impact. He’s the unquestioned leader of Texas’ linebacker core: he helps call audibles for the defense and he serves as a safety net in the middle of the field if any running back manages to pierce the front four. Even worse for the Longhorns, if Hicks can’t go, they will have to send his backup, Kendall Thompson, who has yet to register a start in his college career.
Bergeron has an equal impact on the opposite side of the ball. He’s the second leading rusher for the Longhorns this season — he would be number one, but Malcolm Brown passed him for the team lead by 31 yards after Bergeron didn’t play in the second half — with 207 yards and three touchdowns. Bergeron is also the Longhorns’ bruiser; he pounds defenses late in games and helps set a physical tone for the team.
Fera has yet to record an attempt in Longhorn orange and white, but his loss has already been felt. His replacement, freshman Nick Jordan, has struggled this season and is only 3-for-7 in field goal attempts, including an 0-for-3 mark on kicks over 40 yards. In context, Fera was 3-for-5 from that distance last season with Penn Sate, and Justin Tucker, Texas’ kicker from last year, was 4-for-4 from 40 plus.
Hicks, Bergeron and Fera are each unbelievably important to their units, and if the Longhorns are forced to go without them against the Cowboys, their replacements will be hard-pressed to fill the void.
Printed on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 as: Loss of Hicks, Bergeron, Fera would be devastating for Horns