The news Cincinnati feared was confirmed Sunday afternoon: starting quarterback Zach Collaros is out for the final three games of the regular season with a broken right ankle.
Collaros got hurt in the second quarter of a 24-21 loss to West Virginia, when his leg bent back awkwardly on a sack. Backup Munchie Legaux came into the game and nearly rallied the Bearcats to the win, before Tony Miliano's game-tying 31-yard field goal was blocked with no time left.
This is obviously a big blow for an offense that has come to depend on Collaros not only for his running and passing, but for his incredible leadership. Collaros is a player who wills his team to win, whom his teammates have come to respect, trust and rally around.
If Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1) is to make it to its third BCS game in four seasons, it now will have to do it behind Legaux, who will make his first collegiate start Saturday at Rutgers.