July 31, 2007

Carter out; team refocused

If there was one player Orange players and fans did not want to see injured this season, it would have easily been sophomore running back Delone Carter. Carter was one of the Orange's most promising young players last season and figured to be a big part of Greg Robinson's west coast offense this fall, which relies heavily on the running game.

But in college football, as in life, you must always expect the unexpected and be ready to rise above adversity. Of course that didn't soften the blow when it was learned that a dislocated hip in spring practice would prevent Carter from playing at all during the 2007 season. But that attitude is helping the Orange push forward with confidence and optimism as they head into the final month of preparation before the season begins, without Carter.

In 2006 Carter went from an unknown Orange prospect to perhaps their most explosive offensive weapon almost instantly. When the season began Curtis Brinkley was the Orange's feature back and figured to get the majority of the carries while Carter learned the ropes. In the season opener Brinkley rushed for 49 yards to Carter's 9, which he managed on only five carries. Against Iowa the next week Carter gained only a yard more, finishing with 10 yards on five carries.

But against Illinois, in the Orange's first win of the season, Carter started to show what he could do, rushing for 63 yards on 19 carries. He and Brinkley combined for 132 yards and Orange fans began to see the development of a "lightening and thunder" backfield that utilized the talents of both backs.

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