Cincinnati starting quarterback Hayden Moore left Thursday night’s game against Houston shortly after getting sacked in the second quarter. Though the details of the injury are not currently known, it appeared to be related to his ankle.
Perhaps more notable than the injury itself was the fact that redshirt freshman Ross Trail and not fifth year senior–and former-phenom–Gunner Kiel took over in Moore’s stead. Prior to the season, coach Tommy Tuberville announced that Kiel would be the team’s third-string quarterback and that assertion was backed up by Trail’s insertion into the game.
Kiel was considered one of the best quarterback prospects in the 2012 signing class and, despite limited playing time at Notre Dame and his third-string status at Cincinnati, he ranks near the top of many lists of 2017 draft-eligible quarterbacks. He was sidelined at times in 2015 by injuries, and Tuberville has suggested that Kiel may be able to move up the depth chart with improved health.
Whatever shock there was, was short-lived. Trail’s insertion into the game only lasted one drive as Moore re-entered the game on the following drive. In his brief appearance, Trail only attempted one pass, which he completed for a two-yard gain on third down to running back Mike Boone that ended up short of the first down marker.
Moore has completed 10 of 20 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, a 61-yard pass to junior wide receiver Devin Gray.
Houston and Cincinnati, who both look to remain undefeated, are tied at 10 at the half. Houston entered the game ranked sixth in the country.