Piland cleared, expected to play
Despite listing redshirt sophomore quarterback David Piland as day-to-day on Thursday, head coach Tony Levine announced Piland has been cleared to play against UTEP on Saturday.
“It’s nice to have him practice two days in a row; his health is our primary concern,” head coach Tony Levine said. “He got cleared an hour before he started practice.”
Piland, who said he does not remember the helmet-to-helmet hit that caused the concussion during the loss to SMU, completed two full practices Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I kind of joked he got the better end of the deal because he doesn’t remember the game,” said offensive coordinator Travis Bush of the 72-42 loss.
“(He) has done everything he’s supposed to and has looked good in practice all week and he’s ready to go.”
Piland said he had suffered a couple concussions before and that he agreed with the precautions taken by Levine and the medical staff in sitting him during the second half.
“I could pass all the tests and everything, that wasn’t a problem,” Piland said. “I was just going off what they were saying. It’s one of those things where you can’t really function mentally and for the position I play you have to be able to do that, especially seeing things, and you can’t make bad decisions.”
Redshirt senior Crawford Jones replaced Piland after the hit and completed 17 of 33 passes for three touchdowns and two interceptions. Overall, Piland was impressed with his teammates play.
“It really makes me happy for him,” Piland said. “He’s such a great guy. Having him come in and step up and play that well was awesome to see — even if it was on film.”
The Cougars will return home this week to face the UTEP Miners at Robertson Stadium — a game that Piland expects to present its share of challenges.
“They fly around to the ball. They’re going to give us a bunch of different looks; they do a good job disguising their blitzes,” Piland said. “They’re going to present a good challenge for us.”
The Cougars’ offense will also seek to eliminate turnovers, the key ingredient in dismantling any comeback hopes against the Mustangs.