Notre Dame loses C Cave for season

BY foxsports • November 8, 2011

The Notre Dame offensive line, which hasn't surrendered a sack in more than six weeks, has lost starting center Braxston Cave for the remainder of the season.

Coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday that Cave will have surgery this week to repair a foot ligament. Cave left Saturday's game against Wake Forest in the second quarter with what was described as a mid-foot sprain.

''It's a tough loss for us and Braxston's been a consistent performer for us over the past couple years,'' Kelly said.

Cave, a senior, started the last 22 games at center for the Irish dating to the season opener in 2010. Cave has a year of eligibility remaining and Kelly said he would be back next season.

Senior Mike Golic Jr., who replaced Cave against Wake Forest, played in 12 games last season but will be making his first collegiate start Saturday at Maryland (2-7, 1-5 ACC).

''We've got a great deal of confidence in Mike Golic,'' Kelly said ''Mike came in and played very well for us.''

Cave's loss is just the latest for the Irish (6-3).

Wide receiver Theo Riddick will also sit out Saturday's game with a hamstring injury, Kelly said. Defensive lineman Ethan Johnson is expected to return after missing four games with an ankle injury. Linebacker Manti Te'o and defensive end Aaron Lynch are battling ankle injuries of their own, but Kelly said he expects them to play against the Terrapins.

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