October 13, 2009
There were several scary minutes on Saturday, as Mikell Simpson was carted off the field with a neck injury and taken to Virginia Medical Center. As the week progresses, we are learning that Simpson's injury will most likely not prevent him from playing this weekend and he'll get the chance to play at a place he has performed exceptionally well at in the past.
If Simpson takes the field on Saturday at Maryland, he'll be revisiting the site of the best game of his collegiate career. On October 20, 2007, Simpson and the Cavaliers battled Maryland at Byrd Stadium. Simpson posted 271 all-purpose yards, rushing for 119 and gaining 152 receiving yards. He also rushed for two touchdowns, including the game winner with 16 seconds remaining in an 18-17 Cavalier victory. To this day, his 271 all-purpose yards are the sixth most by a Virginia player in one game.
The tailback played a huge part in the game-winning drive in that contest. Simpson touched the ball on 14 of the 15 plays, including a swing pass on a fourth down, which the Cavs converted following a measurement, and the one yard score to put Virginia on top for good.
This season, Simpson is getting back to the things that made him such a productive running back in 2007. Al Groh says that he's making more definitive cuts, which he got away from last season, and that is causing him to return to his old form. Simpson has rushed for 183 yards and five touchdowns in the last two games for Virginia, including a four touchdown performance against Indiana this past Saturday.
Simpson and the Cavaliers kickoff with Maryland on Saturday at 4:00pm. Click on the above video link to hear Groh's thoughts on his senior tailback. We will bring you an update on Simpson's official status for Saturday's game as we find out more information.
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