Notebook: QB Andrew Ford released from hospital after neck injury

  • UMass quarterback Andrew Ford looks to make a play against Appalachian State at McGuirk Stadium, Saturday. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROLINE O’CONNOR

  • UMass quarterback Andrew Ford attempts a pass against Appalachian State at McGuirk Stadium, Saturday. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROLINE O’CONNOR

Published: 10/28/2017 11:10:26 PM

AMHERST — Junior quarterback Andrew Ford left UMass’ 30-27 win over Appalachian State in an ambulance after suffering a neck injury in the first half, Saturday.

After the game both coach Mark Whipple and athletic director Ryan Bamford said Ford did not lose consciousness and had feeling in all of his extremities as was taken to Cooley Dickenson Hospital in Northampton for further tests.

According to a statement from UMass, Ford was released Saturday night.

“Andrew Ford was released from the hospital on Saturday evening in good spirits. He will be monitored by the UMass medical staff throughout the week and his availability to play will be determined accordingly. Updates to Ford's status will be provided by head coach Mark Whipple at Whipple's discretion.”

While the specifics of his injury weren’t available, both Whipple and Bamford said the treatment on field was cautionary. The fact that Ford was taken to Northampton and not Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, which has a trauma center, further supports their statements.

“He knew who I was. He wasn’t knocked out or anything,” Whipple said. 

Via Twitter, Ford thanked people for their support Sunday evening: “Big team win yesterday! Appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers. I am feeling better and will be back soon. Thanks for all the support!”

Ford, a junior from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, had thrown an interception on the play and was retreating to help defend the return with 5:20 left in the half.

The replay showed that he didn’t appear to expect the hit from defensive lineman Myquon Stout, which sent him sprawling. He landed awkwardly on his neck.

The officials called a personal foul penalty and a video review determined there was no targeting, an infraction that comes with an ejection, on the play.

The game was stopped for over 10 minutes. Both teams knelt as medical personnel attended to Ford. As is standard protocol with any injury where a neck injury is feared, Ford was prevented from moving while he laid face down. He was eventually rolled onto a stretcher and taken away from the stadium by ambulance.

The crowd gave Ford an ovation and he gave a thumbs-up as he was wheeled off the field.

The Minutemen wanted to win for Ford after that.

“There was no doubt in my mind, after Andrew got knocked out, that we were going to win that game. It was very emotional to every single person on the UMass sideline, player or non-player,” Bryton Barr said. “Everyone was all in. There was no doubt. We had a fire deep in us. There was no shot they were going win.”

Whipple was concerned how his players would react as it happened.

“I don’t know. That’s just a really, really hard thing. It’s hard when you’re as old as I am. But when you’re young — they’ve never gone through that probably. To see one of your teammates down and you don’t know. There’s a fear factor that’s really, really a hard thing in sports,” Whipple said. “I mean to me, it’s the worst thing about coaching. I mean losing is bad, but seeing guys get hurt is the worst thing. You know, never since I’ve been here. I’ve seen it in the NFL a couple of times when I was on the sideline, but not really in college.”

COMIS TO COMIS — Quarterback Ross Comis had a rare reception on a pass he threw. With 13:36 left in the third quarter, Anthony Flory batted Comis’ pass down at the line, but it went right back to the junior quarterback, who ran it 8 yards.

PENALTIES — The teams combined for 22 penalties for 186 yards. UMass was flagged 11 times for 82 yards, while App State was 11 for 104.

MISCELLANEOUS — Barr led UMass with 15 tackles, while Ali Ali-Musa had 10. ... Marquis Young’s 95-yard touchdown was a career long and the second longest in school history.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at

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