Fears of a concussion sidelined the quarterback, who insists he's fine
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 4, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 2:10 a.m. HST, Sep 4, 2010
Quarterback Bryant Moniz said he is healthy and expects to play in next week's road game against Army.
In the third quarter of Thursday's season opener against Southern California, Moniz appeared to be hit on the helmet while scrambling toward the end zone. He crumpled in a dazed heap, and was examined for several minutes before hobbling to the sidelines and then to the Aloha Stadium training room.
It was initially feared he had suffered a concussion. Yesterday, a UH spokesman said Moniz would be monitored for possible signs of a head injury.
But Moniz yesterday insisted: "I don't have a concussion."
He said he has not experienced headaches, blurry vision or dizziness.
"I'm OK," said Moniz, who was able to drive yesterday.
In Photos:USC vs. UH 1st half action
USC linebacker Michael Morgan floored Moniz, who had scrambled into the open field.
"I didn't see him," Moniz said. "He snuck up on me. I saw the end zone. I didn't see him."
After the game, Morgan said: "It was definitely a clean hit. I didn't do anything illegal. I'm playing football. That's part of the game. ... He was trying to make a move, and I hit him."
Moniz said he has no opinion on the legality of the hit.
"Dirty hit, clean hit, hits are hits," Moniz said. "The guy hit me pretty good. That's about it. It's football."
Moniz said he left the game as a "precaution."
Meanwhile, left wideout Rodney Bradley also declared himself physically fit.
Bradley appeared to have been injured when he tried to make an over-the-helmet catch in the end zone. He lost control of the pass when he fell onto the FieldTurf.
Later, Bradley reportedly coughed up blood, leading to speculation he had suffered a broken rib. But tests showed that he did not have a rib injury.
"I'm fine," Bradley said. "I fell down on the ball. It's all right."
Bradley said he believes he had possession long enough for the play to be ruled a touchdown.
"That's what I was thinking," he said. "I thought I caught it, and came down with it. But the refs thought otherwise."
Right tackle Laupepa Letuli left the game with what is being described as a "strained" calf. The injury is not considered to be serious, and Letuli is expected to start against Army.
Defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, who has a strained shoulder, also should be able to play.
Entering the game, Brent Rausch was Moniz's immediate backup. Rausch completed three of four passes for 49 yards. He was sacked on a crucial third-down play.
Shane Austin, the third-string quarterback, replaced Rausch, completing two scoring passes to slotback Kealoha Pilares.
"Shane played very well," offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said. "Brent played very good."
Asked if Austin had elevated to No. 2 quarterback, Rolovich said: "We're going to watch the films and evaluate."