Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wake's Swank only 50-50 to play tonight

Wake Forest senior kicker Sam Swank injured his right quadriceps in a practice this week and there's only a 50-50 chance he'll play for the Demon Deacons' home game against Clemson on Thursday.

Wake coach Jim Grobe said on the ACC's teleconference Wednesday that redshirt freshman Shane Popham might have to replace Swank in the lineup for kicking and punting duties.

Swank, the nation's leader in field goals, injured himself kicking near the end of practice on Monday.

On Wednesday, the Deacons held a walk-through practice in the rain and school officials said Swank did not participate. Wake officials said trainers are tending to his injury with a 50-50 chance that he may be ready for Thursday night's 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

"He did it on Monday night," Grobe said. "So by [Thursday] night, who knows? He could be ready to go."

The Deacs certainly hope so.

Swank (above, against Florida State) leads the nation with 10 field goals this season and is tops among active ACC players with 70 career field goals made. His career total ties him for second place in ACC history with Nelson Welch of Clemson.

He has made 70 of 89 career field goal attempts and converted a perfect 116-for-116 PATs.

Grobe said Swank's possible absence is a "big concern," though he expressed faith in Popham, a native of Crestview Hills, Ky., who was placed on scholarship in January.

Grobe said his backup, who joined the team as a walk-on in 2007, has a strong leg but no experience. Swank has done all the kicking for the Deacs this season.

"I'm sure he'll be a little bit nervous," Grobe said of Popham. "The ability is there, it's just a matter of keeping him calm."

-- Edward G. Robinson III


panfan1 said...