William Bratton's injury-plagued career could be over.
The University of Toledo's leading rusher and scorer, who was granted a medical hardship waiver to return for a sixth season, suffered a hairline fracture in his left ankle on the last play of the second quarter last night in the Rockets' 27-13 loss to Miami.
Bratton, who finished with 11 carries for 67 yards, watched the second half from the sideline.
After an off-week next Saturday, the Rockets have just four games remaining.
The results of X-rays taken on his ankle last night were not available.
“I doubt this is the end of my season, but if it is, it would be real frustrating,” Bratton said.
“I was told he should be able to come back and play,” UT coach Tom Amstutz said. “It is not a broken ankle. Right now, we don't think it will end his season.”
Bratton, who suffers from the rare blood disorder, sickle thalassemia, has had an up-and-down career at Toledo. He was ruled a partial academic qualifier by the NCAA and sat out as a freshman in 1997, then sat out again the next year. He played in 10 games in 1999, starting one, and rushed for 486 yards and four touchdowns.
Bratton played in 10 games again in 2000, netting 169 yards and three touchdowns
Bratton gained six yards on two carries last season in UT's opener against Minnesota before being hurt. His injury initially was treated as a muscle pull. It wasn't until later he was diagnosed with a season-ending stress fracture in his back.
Through eight games this season, the 5-11, 229-pound tailback has 639 yards on 114 carries, a 5.6 average, while scoring a team-high 10 touchdowns.
NAME RECOGNITION: Miami kicker Jared Parseghian, who attended St. John's Jesuit High School, is the great nephew of RedHawks' alumnus and Notre Dame coaching legend Ara Parseghian.
“There's a lot of recognition, but I'm trying to make a name for myself,” Jared said.
Parseghian, a 5-10, 193-pound sophomore, survived a three-way battle to win the RedHawks' kicking job last year and finished with 46 points.
So far, he is enjoying a solid sophomore season, connecting on all 10 field goal attempts and 33 of 35 extra points for 63 points.
Parseghian said the turning point for him came in the 10th game last season against Marshall. He has made 13 straight field goals since then.
“I missed a field goal [against Marshall], but coach [Terry] Hoeppner kept me in there,” he said. “That was the last time I missed a field goal. Every time I missed one before, I'd get bumped from first string to third string. [That game] was a major boost to my confidence.”
QUICK HITS: Sophomore tight end Joseph Yanok and junior punter Brandon Hannum have been suspended from the team, according to athletic director Mike O'Brien. Both were involved in an incident where a pumpkin was thrown through the rear window of an auto. ... Dont Greene moved into second place on UT's all-time receiving list with 155 career catches, passing Don Fair. Greene had seven catches for a season-high 110 yards last night and has caught at least one pass in 27 straight games. However, he has gone 103 straight receptions without a touchdown. ... Southview's Jason Robbins missed his seventh extra point of the season. ... Manny Johnson had a career-high five receptions for 51 yards. ... Brian Jones' 49-yard run in the third quarter was the longest of his career. He also threw for a career-high 341 yards. ... Miami's 17 second-quarter points were the most it has scored in a quarter in two seasons. ... Miami quarterback Ben Roethlisberger punted three times for a 43-yard average. Eight of his nine pooch punts this season have been downed inside the 20-yard line.