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Horrific leg injury to Cincinnati QB Munchie Legaux casts a pall on game

Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux is tended as he is taken from field cart after being injured during second half an

Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux is tended to as he is taken from the field on a cart after being injured during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

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Updated: October 10, 2013 6:24AM

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois’ blowout of Cincinnati on Saturday will be remembered as two things: the first big victory for Tim Beckman here and the game in which Bearcats quarterback Munchie Legaux suffered one of the more gruesome-looking football injuries anyone could ­witness.

No doubt, Legaux’s fourth-quarter leg injury cast a dark cloud over an otherwise brilliant performance by the Illini.

Beckman compared it to the infamous play in which Joe Theismann’s leg was broken by Lawrence Taylor. Beckman, Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and defensive coordinator Tim Banks — who was a coach at Cincinnati before last season — were among those who expressed deep concern for Legaux after the game.

But no one on Illinois’ side of the field took it harder than Houston Bates. One of the defensive stars of the victory, Bates was in, along with Tim Kynard, on the hit that ended Legaux’s senior season and possibly his career. Bates was the player frantically waving for Cincinnati’s trainers after Legaux went down.

Bates said he tried to console Legaux, but the quarterback was “frantic and screaming.”

Bates knows Legaux. They played at rival high schools in Louisiana. Bates, who stood on the sideline and cried as Legaux was being attended to on the field, calls ­Legaux a friend.

“It was a very hard thing to see,” Bates said.

Steve Greenberg

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