Driscoll journeys back to the field

After the South Carolina State loss, FAMU Head Coach Rubin Carter told reporters he was optimistic that quarterback Josh Driscoll, a 23 year-old senior from Ft. Smith, Ark., would be healthy and back in uniform for the homecoming game.

He was.

After being out for over a month, Driscoll, a physical education student, got the go-ahead nod from Carter. Driscoll started, a decision made only a day before the game, and with him came the continuity and leadership Carter had hoped for. This was Driscoll’s best game of the season thus far. He completed 12-of-22 passes for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns.

But for Driscoll and the coaching staff, the win was whitewashed with yet another loss. Driscoll re-aggravated the groin injury he suffered during the 33-20 win over Howard, which had kept him out of game play since Sept. 17. He did not finish the game.

Albert Chester Jr., a 20-year-old sophomore from Jacksonville, stepped in for Driscoll after he reinjured his groin. Chester, listed third in the depth chart after Driscoll and Chris Owens, completed 5-of-7 passes for 1 touchdown and an interception.

Owens, a 19-year-old red-shirt freshman in general studies, out of Thousand Oaks, Calif., did not practice last week and sat out of Saturday’s homecoming game. He suffered a concussion during the second quarter of the 49-3 beating of the Rattlers by the South Carolina State Bulldogs.

Concussions are a form of brain injury caused by a blow to the head. Owens’ concussion against South Carolina State was classified as a grade-one concussion. According to the Athletic Advisor web site, “concussions can be divided into five grades, zero thru four.” An athlete who suffers a grade-one concussion will appear stunned or dazed, but will not lose consciousness.

Prior to homecoming, Owens had been a regular at the quarterback position for the Rattlers. Throughout his first five appearances, Owens completed 46-of-89 pass attempts. He threw for 571 yards, 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Driscoll had only played in two games. In the loss to South Florida he completed five of twelve for 23 yards. Against Howard he completed 11-of-15 for 87 yards, one touchdown and an interception before he left the game with the torn groin.

The groin injury did not impede Driscoll’s mobility entirely, “but it caused great pain when he turned from the hip,” said Akima Abrakata-Dina, head athletic trainer for FAMU.

“The muscle tears as a result of abducting the leg, an outward motion like doing a split.” Josh Palley of webmd.com said. Palley said the treatment for a torn groin muscle is simple: “rest and restricted activity.”

Driscoll went through a variety of hip and lower leg exercises as part of therapy. “The exercises target the hip flexors, hip abductors and rotating muscles,” said Abrakata-Dina.

By Wednesday, Oct. 19, Driscoll was out in the practice field. He shared snaps with Chester and Camel during Wednesday’s practice. His mobility did not appear to be hindered during five-step drops and rollouts. For the most part, his passes were accurate, often hitting his receivers in stride.

Fortunately, Driscoll was not the only player to show veteran leadership. Runningback Rashard Pompey, had a career day with 38 rushes for 181 yards and a touchdown. FAMU won a deceivingly close game 31-17 to top off a week of celebration for the Rattlers.

Contact Bryan Falla at famuansports@hotmail.com