Just a day after the Big East Offensive Player of the Week was named, coach Jim Leavitt might be shielding his starting quarterback.
Redshirt freshman Matt Grothe grabbed his first collegiate award because he threw three touchdown passes and went 21-for-31 with 302 passing yards in Saturday’s 24-17 win against UCF. Leavitt said Grothe “deserved” the award, though he wants to make sure his quarterback’s head doesn’t grow too large.
“It was a challenging game, and he did some good things, and I’m not going to sit here and say he didn’t deserve it,” Leavitt said. “I don’t make a big of thing out of (the honor) as I should. Usually it’s because I want him to stay grounded, because there will be enough attention – he’s been getting enough attention. I didn’t even announce it, and I didn’t even know about it until (Monday) night.
“I’m cautious of this young guy, but I think he’ll be fine because he’s so grounded.”
Surprise: It was not shocking to many that Grothe was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week, especially since he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to receiver Ean Randolph with just 3 minutes, 20 seconds remaining.
Well, maybe one person was a little shocked.
“It was a little bit of a surprise,” Grothe said. “I figured (running back Steve) Slaton of West Virginia would have gotten it.”Slaton, a sophomore, was in the running for the award by rushing for 195 yards and scoring two touchdowns. He leads the Big East in rushing with 503 yards.
This and that: Tuesday’s practice was cut 30 minutes short due to thunderstorms. Leavitt said he was a bit disappointed with practice because it “wasn’t as sharp as it could have been.” Leavitt also said sophomore left guard Jake Griffin, who will be out “a while” with a broken left foot, could return later this season.