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Eric Kordenbrock has already missed one game because of a concussion and has yet to be cleared.
Chuck Steenburgh | VMI
Senior quarterback Eric Kordenbrock has thrown for 6,142 career yards at VMI, a school record.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
VMI’s struggling football team will likely will be without injured starting quarterback Eric Kordenbrock for a second straight game Saturday when it faces Liberty in a Big South contest in Lynchburg.
Kordenbrock has yet to be cleared to practice since he sustained a concussion in the Keydets’ 49-35 loss at Presbyterian on Oct. 19. The senior was hurt when he took a blow to the head from Presbyterian defensive end Mitchell Anderson, who was called for a “targeting” infraction and ejected.
“Right now, I’m not very optimistic about Eric getting back for this week,” VMI coach Sparky Woods said Tuesday on the Big South weekly coaches teleconference. “We’re not counting on Eric playing, so the brunt of the load in our preparation will go with A.J. Augustine.
“Hopefully, Eric will get back and get to feeling better, but right now I think it would be foolish to count on that.”
Since relieving Kordenbrock in the final minute of the first half at Presbyterian, Augustine has played admirably considering his lack of experience, completing 34 of 51 passes for 496 yards and five touchdowns in six quarters. The redshirt senior from St. Petersburg, Fla., had seen minimal action in his career before Kordenbrock went down.
Woods said redshirt freshman Hayden Alford, who spelled Augustine in the final 1:40 of last Saturday’s 66-27 loss at No. 3 Coastal Carolina, has moved up the depth chart. Al Cobb, a talented freshman whom Woods ideally wants to redshirt, also is expected to get some practice reps in case of further injuries behind center.
Kordenbrock, whose 6,142 passing yards are a school record, had started 29 consecutive games before getting hurt.
“I hate it bad for Eric,” said Woods, who coaches the quarterbacks. “He was having a good senior year. He’s a wonderful kid, he’s been a great representative of our school, trying to develop this program. He’s been probably the center point as far as our team trying to direct the move and trying to improve our football program.
“He’s just a loyal guy and he’s all about trying to be a great team player so it’s a sad loss. He was having a good year and he’s worked hard to get it to that. It’s a shame and I hope he gets better and can finish out his senior year with an opportunity to play again.”
Augustine has directed the offense to 55 points in his six quarters of time the past two Saturdays — 28 in the second half at Presbyterian and 27 at Coastal, including 24 in the first half.
“One guy’s misfortune is usually another guy’s opportunity, and I’m happy for A.J. Augustine,” Woods said. “He worked hard to be prepared when his opportunity came. He played well in the second half against Presbyterian and he did some really good things against a really talented Coastal Carolina team, so I have a lot of confidence in A.J.
“He’s not a rookie, he’s an older guy who has been around. He’s a competitive guy. Now he’s got the position he’s taken advantage of that and taken on the responsibilities that go with it trying to lead this football team, and he’s doing a good job of it.”
Saturday’s contest figures to be the last meeting in football in the foreseeable future for the two schools, located 60 miles apart. VMI is leaving the Big South to join the Southern Conference next year.
“We do not anticipate at this time to schedule VMI in the near future,” said Flames coach Turner Gill, whose program has aspirations of moving up from the FCS to the FBS ranks.
VMI probably has had enough of Liberty, anyway. The Keydets have beaten the Flames only once in 10 meetings — in 2003 in Lynchburg — since joining the Big South. VMI is 3-9 all-time against Liberty.
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