Sept. 14, 2000
LOGAN, Utah - When it rains, it pours. Utah State's Jeff Crosbie found out on Monday that he would not be listed as the starter at quarterback for the Aggies' next game against Arizona State on Sept. 23 and on Tuesday, he suffered an injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Crosbie tore a ligament in the thumb of his throwing hand and is not expected to play again this year. The injury occurred during a non-contact drill when he followed through on a pass and jammed his thumb back on a defender's hand. Crosbie underwent successful surgery in Logan on Wednesday morning.
"We feel very badly for Jeff right now," said USU head coach Mick Dennehy. "In spite of the fact that Jeff was not going to be the starter against Arizona State, he came to practice on Tuesday ready to play and showed that he was ready to compete to get the starting job back. I believe that as difficult as this is for him, with his character and faith, he will come out of this fine."
Crosbie, a junior from Hyrum, Utah's Mountain Crest High School, has started 17 consecutive games at quarterback since taking over the position in the eighth game of his freshman year in 1998. The 6-5, 198-pounder has a redshirt year available and could apply for a medical hardship as well.
In his career, Crosbie has appeared in 18 games and has thrown for 3,298 yards to rank ninth on the USU career yardage list. He is also on the USU career lists in completions (eighth with 273), attempts (sixth with 594), and touchdown passes (ninth with 20).
The last player other than Crosbie to start at quarterback for USU was Logan Galli, who started against Idaho in 1998. Galli is now the quarterback at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.
With the injury, Utah State is left with Jose Fuentes and Brian Benza as quarterbacks, who have seen action in Aggie uniforms. Neither has started a game here. Other quarterbacks on the roster that USU has been planning on redshirting this year include true freshmen Travis Cox from Hyrum, Utah and Robert Fockaert (pronounced Fo-Cart) from Lancaster, Calif.
Fuentes, a sophomore from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. has played in five games in his USU career, while Benza, a senior from Carpinteria, Calif. has played in seven contests in three years. Benza was nine-of-18 passing for 166 yards as a freshman in 1997, sat out 1998 with a shoulder injury, was one-of-three passing for seven yards against Georgia in his only action in 1999 and was 0-of-one against Texas Tech this year before suffering a bruised sternum.
Fuentes was four-of-11 for 91 yards in four appearances in 1999 and came off the bench to rally USU against Southern Utah in the second half on Sept. 9 this year. He was 10-of-13 passing for 198 yards and four touchdowns in leading USU to a 30-14 victory against the Thunderbirds.
Utah State's next game is at Arizona State on Sept. 23.
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