Liberty Bowl 2011: Zach Collaros Could Return For Cincinnati

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 05: Zach Collaros #12 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs off the field following their win against the Pittsburgh Panthers on November 5, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Cincinnati starter Zach Collaros appears to have found his footing in practice.

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Zach Collaros returned to the practice field earlier in the week as Cincy readies to play the Vanderbilt Commodores in the Liberty Bowl. He'd been replaced by all-name captain Munchie Legaux since an ankle injury against the West Virginia Mountaineers forced him to have midseason surgery.

But signs point to him making a return against Vandy. From the Associated Press:

Zach Collaros took a snap in shotgun formation, faked a handoff to running back Isaiah Pead and drifted back in the pocket. As the defense closed in, he stepped forward nimbly and threw an on-target spiral down the middle of the field ...

"He made it through the entire practice and we really pushed him," coach Butch Jones said. "Now we'll see how his body responds. Tomorrow will tell a lot. But it was very, very encouraging."

The Bearcats were in line for the Big East title and an Orange Bowl bid late in the season, but dropped two of their last four to slump into Memphis. Cincy lost just one of the eight games in which Collaros was able to stick around for four quarters.

For more on the Liberty Bowl, visit Cincinnati blog Down the Drive and Vanderbilt blog Anchor of Gold.

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