Central Florida announced Wednesday that quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. would miss preseason practices after breaking his ankle.
“Quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. suffered a broken ankle from a non-football related activity this week and there is no specific timetable for his return. He will not be available for training camp,” coach Josh Heupel said in a statement.
“We hope Darriel has a speedy recovery but we are excited about the talent we have in the quarterback room to start the season.”
Mack took over as the team’s starting quarterback at the end of the 2018 season after McKenzie Milton suffered a gruesome knee injury against South Florida. Mack started the Knights’ AAC title game win over Memphis and the team’s Fiesta Bowl loss to LSU. That loss to the Tigers was UCF’s first loss since the 2016 season.
Brandon Wimbush the clear favorite to start
Mack’s injury opens the door for Notre Dame graduate transfer Brandon Wimbush to be the team’s starter when the 2019 season begins. Wimbush was supplanted by Ian Book as Notre Dame’s starter during 2018 and transferred to UCF in the offseason as Milton is expected to miss the season because of the knee injury.
Wimbush was 52-of-102 passing for 719 yards and four touchdowns and six interceptions in 2018. He also rushed for 256 yards. After starting the first three games of the season for the Irish he was overtaken by Book for the top quarterback spot. Wimbush did play against Florida State on Nov. 10 when Book missed the game due to injury.
Mack was 51-of-100 passing for 619 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 337 yards and six scores in 2019. His best game came in the AAC title game when he was 19-of-27 for 348 passing yards and threw two touchdowns. He struggled against LSU, going 11-of-30 for just 97 yards with a touchdown and interception while also getting sacked five times.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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