LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Misfortune has found Kentucky football yet again, as a fluke injury has cost true freshman wide receiver Alex Montgomery the rest of his freshman season.
Head coach Mark Stoops confirmed Monday Montgomery tore his ACL, after celebrating a touchdown Saturday night against Alabama State. Montgomery jumped to chest bump a teammate and landed awkwardly, blowing out the ligament in his knee.
It's like Bill Gramatica leaping after a field goal, or Kendrys Morales landing on home plate with a broken leg after a walk-off grand slam type of injury. It leaves you scratching your head and asking, "How the heck did that happen?"
Stoops is trying to make it so it doesn't happen again for UK football.
"You know, I do think about it. When they are doing that stuff, even in practice sometimes we're having fun. You don't want to take away the energy. You want them excited," Stoops said Monday. "We've got to be smart about that. We've got a couple of those guys that can do back flips and sometimes they'll do that before practice and get guys sparked up. I'm a little leery of that as well."
"We might have to get our feet on the ground for our celebrations right now. We can't afford to lose anybody else," Stoops continued. "We lose enough guys during games and practice. We can't lose them in pregame and doing celebrations, that's for sure."
The media assembled for Stoops news conference laughed a little bit at that last comment. How can you not? It's such an odd thing to need to tell players, but once somebody tears an ACL, all joking goes aside.
"We're not going to overdo it, but I'm going to definitely talk to them about relaxing a little bit with the jumping and chest pumping and all that stuff."
It looks like it might be just hugs and hand pounds for awhile after touchdowns in Lexington.
- WR Javess Blue had the other freak injury pre-game against Alabama State, when he took a football to the eye. It swelled up, he wasn't able to see out of it, and had to sit out. Stoops said Monday Blue's eye is now fine.
- Former Trinity HS star and freshman DE Jason Hatcher is somebody Stoops wants to see more often down the stretch, despite the cast on his hand. "I want to see him in the game sooner. I think we've got to get him involved, because he's a guy that has a bright future." Stoops used the word explosive to describe how he is advanced for a freshman DE.
- Despite the win, Stoops wasn't overly excited: "...it's just about moving forward as a program. That's the same today. So to me it didn't feel any different yesterday as it did after the other losses, to be honest with you."