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bsn BSN: Who will step up for the injured McCartney?

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    BOULDER – The Colorado Buffaloes lost something much bigger than the game in Ann Arbor on Saturday. In addition to crucial starters Sefo Liufau and Diego Gonzalez coming away with injuries, starting linebacker Derek McCartney tore the ACL in his left knee.

    “It’s really disappointing,” said Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre, “The next guy has to step up and go. Derek is our biggest, strongest outside linebacker and a good player for us, a great leader.”

    McCartney, a junior, suffered the injury in the second quarter of the 45-28 loss against Michigan. The injury occurred just minutes after he recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

    McCartney, the grandson of legendary CU coach Bill McCartney and son of former Buffs defensive end Shannon Clavelle, has been a big contributor. Last year he registered a total of 70 tackles and 5.0 sacks. And he was one of Colorado’s biggest run stoppers, his absence was felt right away.

    Here are the guys that need to step up with McCartney out:

    N.J. Falo is coming off of a three-game suspension for violating team rules. Last year he played in eight games and was awarded by the coaching staff for being the most improved linebacker during spring practice earlier this year. Falo recorded 17 tackles in 112 plays from scrimmage last year, and his awarded improvement has yet to be seen. Falo has got to be itching to get onto the field after miss CU’s first three games.

    “I don’t feel too much pressure because I’ve been playing under Derek’s wing since I got here,” said Falo. “It’s some big shoes to fill, for sure, but I know that I have the ability to do it. I can trust my abilities and know that by studying and learning with him that I can do everything he does, or even better. I feel like I can go out there and just dominate at his position and do it for the both of us.”

    Another guy that could jump in and fill in for McCartney is junior Christian Shaver. Shaver started in place of McCartney against Idaho State when McCartney sat out because of an ankle injury. Shaver made a lot of noise his freshman year as he was the first true freshman to ever start the season opener at defensive end. He ended his freshman year with just 18 tackles. He had a disappointing sophomore season as he was in on defense for only 20 snaps and recorded five tackles. This season he has not looked terrific. Once McCartney went down at the Big House the Wolverines successfully targeted Shaver on runs.

    The other guy competing for snaps that could make a big impact at the outside linebacker position is redshirt sophomore, Terran Hasselbach. Hasselbach played in all 13 games last year, mostly on special teams, on defense he played in 73 snaps from scrimmage and recorded seven tackles.

    The Buffs will be without their clear-cut first-string outside linebacker for the rest of the season. That’s done the question then becomes which one of these three players can step up and fill the vital role? Most likely it’ll be Falo to fill the role. He seems primed for a big year, he appears more than ready to take on the role voided by McCartney and keep the Buffs’ defense strong.

    Chase Howell
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