MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- West Virginia's starting running back will miss the Orange Bowl.
The team announced Friday freshman Dustin Garrison sprained the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during practice. He'll have surgery after the Jan. 4 game against Clemson and miss spring practice. The rehabilitation takes at least six months.
Garrison, who came to WVU from Pearland, Texas, after being forced from his home in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, becomes the second starter to be forced out of the game by injury. Spur safety Terence Garvin needed surgery after damaging knee cartilage against South Florida Dec. 1. He, too, will miss spring practice during a six-month rehabilitation.
Garrison led the team in rushing with 742 yards and added six touchdowns on 136 carries. He had 291 yards and three scores in his first start against Bowling Green and has controlled the position ever since.
The Mountaineers are now especially thin at running back. Freshman Vernard Roberts, who started twice times earlier this season, and sophomore Trey Johnson, who barely played this season, are no longer with the team. The Mountaineers could start either junior Shawne Alston, who has just 77 carries, or Andrew Buie. The freshman Buie started twice and managed 38 carries because he missed two full games and parts of others with injuries, but also has had fumbling problems.
WVU has no other options. Alston and Buie are the only available running backs on scholarship on the roster.