College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Stanford LB Campbell gives up football after neck injury
September 18, 2007

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Stanford linebacker Fred Campbell will stop playing football after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae in his neck.

Campbell, the Cardinal's starting middle linebacker, was injured in the Stanford's game Saturday against San Jose State. He underwent the operation Monday at Stanford Hospital.

``I know how much of a disappointment this is for Fred,'' coach Jim Harbaugh said. ``But we're very proud of him and what he has accomplished and what he has meant to our team. We're relieved that his neurological health will be normal and that he will have a full and complete recovery.''

``Fred is a warrior,'' Harbaugh said, ``and he will always be a part of our team.''

Campbell redshirted in 2005 before playing nine games last season.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

College Football: Week 3 Review
foxsports.com

Another great weekend of College Football is in the books, and the haves and have nots are definitely separating themselves.  BLEEP and moan about the BCS all you want, but more than likely we will have the 2 best teams identified when the middle of December rolls around. 

ACC:

Boston College established themselves as a top 10 team this weekend.  3 weeks and 3 impressive wins including this weekends 14 point road victory over Georgia Tech.  It is time to give Boston College their due as serious National Title Contenders.  Also, we need to start talking about Matt Ryan as a Heisman candidate.  I'd like to see any other QB in the country throw for 435 yards without any interceptions against Georgia Tech's defense.

Outside of Boston College and Georgia Tech, this conference doesn't have a whole lot to talk about.  Miami, Florida State, and Virginia Tech have all been disappointing thus far.

Big East:

West Virginia keeps chugging along, as Slaton, White, and Reynaud have a new partner in crime.  On Thursday night we saw the emergence of the next College Football star:  Noel Devine.  It will be a treat watching this guy play for the next 3 years.  However, does anybody know how this guy is even eligible to play?  Either way, his emergence will have a dramatic effect on Slaton and Whites Heisman hopes.  But, it makes this team all the more dangerous as they now have 4 guys who can take it to the house from any position on the field. 

Rutgers got another win over Who Cares State, and Pittsburgh and Syracuse suffered disappointing losses.  The outlook for Wannstedt and Greg Robinson does not look good.  Get your resumes together fellas, cause I think this is the end of the road for both of you.

Louisville had an expected thriller against Kentucky, and should not be harassed by the media or public for a loss on the road against what is a likely SEC contender.  The Cardinals are still a top 20 team.

The emergence of Cincinnati and South Florida rounds out a very solid Big East this year.  Expect the Bearcats and Bulls to pull off an upset over one of the BIg 3 this year in conference play.

SEC:

Florida is for real again, and Tim Tebow may be the most talented QB in the country.  Their defense isn't nearly as good as last year, but with Tebow running Meyer's spread offense, it likely won't matter.  Road games to LSU, Kentucky,and South Carolina will test this teams mettle.  If they can pull off those victories on the road, they deserve the top slot in the rankings.

LSU, what more can be said about these guys?  The best defense in the country, and it really isn't even close.  We'll see if these guys are ready to make a National Title run with games against South Carolina, Florida, @ Kentucky, and @ Alabama.  What looked like the easiest schedule in the SEC is much tougher than most people expected.

Alabama, welcome back, the College Football world has missed you.  That was an impressive come from behind victory over a good Arkansas squad.  You get LSU at home, and you have a team that could upset them.  However, it will be tough to get to that one still undefeated. 

Kentucky, welcome to big time College Football.  Your victory over Louisville is very impressive, and you have stamped yourselves as a top 15 ball club.  However, this is no time to relax as 4 of your next 5 games will seriously prove how good you really are.  You travel to Arkansas, and South Carolina, and get Florida and LSU at home in the next 5 weeks.  You run that schedule undefeated, and you are National Title contenders.

Auburn and Tennessee, ouch.  Fulmer and Tuberville are starting to get some serious heat.  I'll be surprised if Tommy is around after this year, and Phil better get his act together or his stay in Knoxville doesn't look to have a very long shelf life either.  39 point losses to your bitterest of rivals will get the natives as restless as anything.  I'm sure every Auburn fan assumed a 3-0 start to the season with games against Kansas State, South Florida, and Mississippi State.  They are 1-2 (should be 0 - 3).  How the hell does Auburn lose at home to Mississippi State?  Anymore questions about how poor of a coach Mr. Tuberviille is?  With remaining games against Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, this team is destined for a 7 or 8 loss season.  If Tommy still has his job after their October 20th trip to LSU, I'll be more surprised than a lottery winner.

Arkansas is still a good ball club, and a loss at Tuscaloosa shouldn't be looked upon as a bad loss anyway.  They still have the horses to beat just about any SEC team on any given Saturday.  Kentucky is on notice next week, as the Razorbacks will likely bring the sky high Wildcats back down to earth.

Big 10:

Finally, a much needed good week for the Big 10.  Minnesota and Iowa's losses were embarrassing, but the rest of the conference is pretty solid.

Ohio State, that was a very good win out in Seattle over a pretty good Husky team.  You likely have the 2nd best defense in the country, and if Boeckman can continue to improve without making costly mistakes, then you are likely the class of the Big 10 again. 

Wisconsin, you have yet to impress me.  21 -21 at half, at home, with The Citadel is a joke.  You are not a top 25 team this year, and you will get beat more than once.  Your first loss might even be next week against a struggling Iowa team.

Penn State is undefeated but has yet to play anybody.  Your road trip to Michigan next week will be much tougher than anybody expected two weeks ago.  I still think this is a top 10 team, but Anthony Morelli needs to get better, or you are a very vulnerable team.

Purdue, Michigan State, and Indiana could all prove to be spoilers in the Big 10 this year.  They all have enough talent, and experience to give anybody in the Big 10 fits on any given week.  Purdue will likely be undefeated when they get Ohio State at home on Oct. 6th, and that will be a very good test for the Buckeyes.  Michigan State gets Wisconsin in Camp Randall on Sept. 29th, and we will see just how good these guys really are.  Was John L. Smith THAT bad of a coach?  It looks very much that way.  Indiana plays Illinois this week, and then travels to Iowa.  If they win those two games, then we have to start taking this team seriously.

Big 12:

Another painful week in the midwest.  Texas was lucky to get by UCF, and their defense looks to be as bad a unit as Mack Brown has ever put together.  The loss of defensive coordinators Greg Robinson and Gene Chizik over the past couple of years is taking its toll.  However, they have the deepest corps of Wide Receivers in the country.  When Jordan Shipley is your 6th option, you have some talent.

Oklahoma is the only team in the entire Big 12 that is impressing anybody.  Sam Bradford is the best QB that Stoops has had, and Allen Patrick and DeMarco Murray are as good a 1-2 punch in the backfield as there is in the entire country.  Throw in Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias, and this team is as talented as anybody in the country.  In case you didn't know, this is a serious BCS National Title contender.  Oklahoma's victory margin in their 1st  3 games this year is 52.67 ppg. 

Nebraska, what can I say?  That was downright pathetic how you played against USC.  I knew the difference was going to come down to the trenches, and you showed that you are still a long ways away from competing with College Football's elite in that category.  It was never more evident than USC's 1st possession.  1st and 10 on their 2 yard line, USC runs a straight fullback dive.  50 yards later and the tone of this game was set.  My biggest fear was that our front 7 would get attacked by Pete Carroll.  I should have known.  Pete is too good of a coach not to know the Huskers biggest weakness this year.  It is another "wait till next year" kind of season in Lincoln.

Missouri, you play the worst defense in the league.  Good thing you have Chase Daniel as your QB.  You will be exposed when you play Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.

Kansas, you might be the best team in the Big 12 North.  The fat man has assembled some 'under the radar' talent in Lawrence.  We will see just what you got when you travel to your instate rival Kansas State on Oct. 6th.

The rest of the conference is hardly worth mentioning.  Texas A&M struggled to beat Fresno State last week, Colorado got manhandled at home by an average Florida State team, and Oklahoma State embarrassed the entire conference by getting pasted @ Troy.  Yes the same Troy team that got dominated by Florida and Arkansas.  This is hard to say, but the Big 12 looks to be the weakest sister of the 6 BCS conferences right now. 

On a lighter note, Iowa State's 'throwback' uniforms make Rosie O'Donnell look attractive.  Yellow, maroon, and gold have never looked this bad.  Oregon has officially been demoted to the 2nd ugliest uniforms in Div IA College Football.

Pac 10:

USC is for real.  Pete Carroll just lined up and played vanilla football against the Huskers.  49 points and 313 rushing yards later, they proved they have the most talent of anybody in the country.  Must be nice to coach this team.  These guys could probably play with a couple of NFL teams and be competitive.

The biggest news in the conference this week was the whipping that UCLA took from a struggling Utah squad.  44 - 6?  Wow.  You are the biggest pretender in the entire country, right behind Nebraska.

Oregon and California continue to roll, and will be the sternest tests for the Trojans this year.  The September 29th tilt between these two squads in Eugene may likely be a contest for a BCS bowl bid.  Jonathan Stewart is a beast for Oregon, and California has the best talent in the conference outside of Los Angeles.

Stanford? Yes Stanford, won 37 - 0 this weekend.  News you ask?  Yes, any Stanford win is newsworthy, and particularly notable that they shut someone out.  Congratulations coach Jim Harbaugh, on your 1st victory.  Unfortunately it is likely your last this season.  Hopefully the Pac 10 institutes the mercy rule in your contests with Oregon, USC, and California.

Keep an eye on Arizona State.  Dennis Erickson has some talent around him in his 1st year in Tempe.  Keegan Herring filled in nicely for an injured Ryan Torain this weekend, and if they continue to play good defense, and limit Rudy Carpenter mistakes, they can beat anybody in this conference on any given weekend.  They will likely upset one of the big 3 (Oregon, USC, or California) this year.

That is week 3 in College Football.  Buckle your seatbelts because the thrill ride is just starting.  USC, LSU, Florida, and Oklahoma look to be the cream of the crop this year, and they all have difficult tests down the road ahead of them.  I'll be surprised if 2 of these teams finish the season undefeated.  West Virginia looks like they are just a notch below these 4, but all in all they are easily the best 5 teams in the country.  After that, there are about 15 teams that aren't that much different from one another.  I wouldn't get all geeked up about the ratings just yet.  There is a ton of football left to be played, and like I always say, it usually plays itself out anyway.  Don't listen to the media, and their portrayal that USC and LSU are headed for a collision course.  They will keep hyping that BLEEP , and making a big deal out of who is #1.  It doesn't mean BLEEP until mid-December anyway.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Blair Kerkhoff’s college football weekend roundup
kansascity.com

ACC
Rising: Duke is off the mat. The 22-game losing streak is history with Saturday’s 20-14 triumph at Northwestern. The Blue Devils hadn’t beaten a Division I-A team since 2004 or won on the road since 2003. “It’s just one football game, just like when we lost it was one football game,” Duke coach Ted Roof said. “But I hope this puts a little bounce in our step.”

Falling: Making the day even better for Duke, North Carolina fell at home to Virginia 22-20 and an assist to the Cavaliers’ victory goes to two managers. Virginia kicker Chris Gould’s 48-yard field goal in the third quarter was ruled no good, but an official who should have been under the goal post was out of position. Team managers who retrieved the ball told Virginia coaches that the play needed to be reviewed. It was, and the call was reversed.

This week: Thursday, Miami, which got crushed at Oklahoma last week, gets a chance to take it out on Texas A&M.

Others
Rising: Air Force is becoming one of the nation’s top stories. The Falcons improved to 3-0 with Thursday’s overtime triumph over Texas Christian. First-year coach Troy Calhoun has installed a no-huddle offense that’s kept defenses off balance. Players say they’re in better condition than in past years and the numbers support the claim. Against TCU, the Falcons gained 164 yards in the fourth quarter. In the victory over Utah, they collected 166 fourth-quarter yards.

Falling: Last year Rice went to a bowl game for the first time since 1961. But with an 0-3 record, which started with a loss to Division I-AA Nichols State, and with a game at Texas this weekend, the Owls likely will be staying home for the holidays this season.

This week: Beating Minnesota gave Florida Atlantic a signature victory, and gave the Owls momentum heading into their Sun Belt opener at North Texas.

BIG EAST
Rising: Cincinnati isn’t beating opponents. The Bearcats are crushing them. The latest victim, Miami (Ohio), fell 47-10, and it doesn’t matter who plays quarterback. Saturday’s starter, Dustin Grutza, was a replacement for injured Ben Mauk.

Falling: Rutgers’ behavior, first by fans and now by coach Greg Schiano. Last week, the student section was taken to task for its foul-mouthed disrespect toward Navy, prompting an apology from the school president. Saturday, late in the first half with the Scarlet Knights leading Norfolk State 45-0, Schiano used three timeouts with his defense on the field. “Ahead (45-)zip in the first half and calling timeouts, if that turns you on, fine,” Norfolk coach Pete Adrian said. “The good news is we didn’t get anyone hurt.”

This week: Conference play opens and Connecticut — visiting Pittsburgh — looks to stay hot.

PAC-10
Rising: Southern California reestablished its grip on college football by blasting Nebraska and now we know why: more star power. Cheering for the Trojans in Memorial Stadium were Will Ferrell, Keanu Reeves, Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen. The Cornhuskers countered with Daniel “Larry the Cable Guy” Whitney, Grant Wistrom and Jason Peter.

Falling: L.A.’s other team. So much for that showdown of undefeated squads in Tinseltown. UCLA was supposed to be a national contender. But the Bruins blew up before conference play started with an embarrassing 44-6 loss at Utah. And don’t try to hide, Arizona. Terrible as UCLA’s debacle was, the Wildcats’ 29-27 home loss to New Mexico was just as embarrassing. It was the Lobos’ second-ever victory over a Pac-10 team.

This week: Five conference games, with the Washington at UCLA game spoiled by losses. Oregon State at Arizona State offers the most intrigue.

BIG TEN
Rising: << Kellen Lewis (left) is today’s Antwaan Randle-El. Lewis — a dual threat quarterback similar to former Hoosiers QB Randle-El — rushed for 199 yards in the victory over Arkon. The Hoosiers are 3-0 and gave the Zips more fits on offense than Ohio State the previous week.

Falling: Dropping two spots in The Associated Press poll to No. 9, Wisconsin needed a strong second half to keep from getting “Appalachianed” by The Citadel. Still, the Badgers hold the nation’s longest winning streak at 12.

This week: Full slate of league action headlined by Penn State at Michigan. The Wolverines finally got a win Saturday with a resounding victory over Notre Dame.

SEC
Rising: To the Heisman Trophy candidate list, add Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, who gave his school a forever moment with a game-winning touchdown pass against Louisville. “He is a great quarterback,” Kentucky coach Rick Brooks said. “He proved it tonight. He’s as good as anybody in the country.”

Falling: Auburn. How bad were the Tigers in a 19-14 loss to Mississippi State? The Bulldogs lost their starting quarterback, Michael Henig, on the first series, had no passing game and still beat the favored Tigers.

This week: LSU entertains a South Carolina team that has already won at Georgia. It would be foolish to think the Gamecocks can’t keep this close.

BIG 12
Rising: Iowa State kicker Bret Culbertson. “Shaggy” missed kicks against Missouri in 2004 and Kansas in 2005 that would have given the Cyclones late leads and could have led to division championships. But the senior came through against Iowa, banging home his fifth kick, a 28-yarder with 1 second remaining to give coach Gene Chizik his first victory at Iowa State.

Falling: Oklahoma State. Time to downgrade the stock. The Cowboys were seen as a potential breakthrough team in the South. Now, coming off a loss at Troy by a greater margin than its loss at Georgia, the Cowboys may be farther from the top of the division than they’ve ever been.

This week: Texas Tech or Oklahoma State will be the South leader for at least one week (we’re betting on the Red Raiders). Most of the conference doesn’t open until the next week.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Injuries aren't serious for Cal defensive linemen, but Jackson's thumb still aches
September 18, 2007

Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- California defensive linemen Matt Malele and Rulon Davis learned Tuesday that their foot injuries from the No. 6 Golden Bears' latest victory aren't as serious as they feared.

Coach Jeff Tedford said Malele has a strained muscle in his foot, while Davis has a sprained foot. Both players were feared to be lost for the season after Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech last Saturday, but Tedford said they could return to practice soon.

"I don't know what that means for this week," Tedford said. "But hopefully they'll be very diligent with the rehabilitation and be back as soon as possible."

Tedford also said receiver DeSean Jackson probably won't catch a pass in practice this week to preserve his sprained thumb, which has limited his effectiveness.

The news was particularly good for Malele, who thought he had torn tendons on the base of his foot. The senior defensive tackle is the only returning starter on Cal's young defensive line, and the Golden Bears (3-0) rely on his steady presence.

"He's our field general," defensive tackle Mika Kane said. "He settles us down, and he knows the plays for every guy on the field. Hopefully, if he's not in, I can step up and be that guy."

Cal's pass rush has been much more effective than expected, generating 10 sacks in three games. Both Malele and Davis, a junior defensive end who was thought to have a stress fracture, have started all three games this season for the Bears, who open Pac-10 play Saturday at home against Arizona.

If Malele and Davis can't play, several Cal youngsters are ready to assume prominent roles -- including freshmen Derrick Hill and Cameron Jordan, two of the program's top recruits. Kane also is ready to resume full-time duties after sitting out most of the last two games with a concussion.

"There's a lot of depth on the defensive line," said Tad Smith, a sophomore end who could start in Davis' place. "There was a lot of competition coming into the season, and the result of that is a lot of guys who are ready to come in."

Jackson returned a punt for a touchdown for the sixth time in his career in the season opener against Tennessee, and he had a 73-yard run for a score against Colorado State. But the junior has just 14 catches for 112 yards this season, trailing Lavelle Hawkins in both categories.

"We need to let this settle down a little bit," Tedford said. "I think it's been real frustrating because it's something he relies on, his thumb. It's not a break, just a nagging thing for him."

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Wake's Skinner might return for next game
September 18, 2007

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Wake Forest looks like it will get back one of the heroes of last year's surprise Atlantic Coast Conference title run just in time for a key stretch of league games.

Quarterback Riley Skinner, last year's league rookie of the year, is back at practice after missing two games with a separated right shoulder. Coach Jim Grobe said the sophomore could be ready to play in time for this weekend's game against Maryland, though it could be a gametime decision.

"My best guess is he'll be ready to play," Grobe said Tuesday. "How much, whether he starts and all those kinds of things will be determined by what we see in practice this week."

Skinner injured his throwing shoulder in a 38-28 loss at Boston College to open the season for the Demon Deacons (1-2, 0-1 ACC), then missed the loss to Nebraska the following week and last weekend's win against Army. Brett Hodges, a redshirt sophomore, has filled in ever since.

Skinner is listed as probable on the team's injury report while the two-deep depth chart lists Hodges "or" Skinner as the starter. His apparent recovery comes as the Demon Deacons prepare for a stretch that includes Maryland, Duke and Florida State -- games that could ultimately determine whether Wake Forest has any chance of defending its 2006 ACC championship.

"Riley would definitely be a confidence-booster for this team," fullback De'Angelo Bryant said. "But Brett Hodges has stepped in and done a tremendous job. Whichever guy is put into the action, we're going to roll with it. Both of those guys are great quarterbacks. Both of those guys are leaders, which is what we need."

Still, Skinner's return would be a huge boost for the Demon Deacons, who have had their ups and downs all season after a relatively mistake-free run to last year's league crown.

Hodges has thrown for 319 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions in his two-plus games of action, including his 9-for-12, 49-yard passing day in the 21-10 win against Army. Skinner had thrown three interceptions against the Eagles before his injury, but he had also passed for 236 yards with one TD and offers the Demon Deacons their best chance to get the offense moving efficiently.

Skinner's experience also could help the Demon Deacons cut down on their nine turnovers -- second-most in the league -- through three games. Last year, Wake Forest had 18 turnovers in 14 games.

"I think the spark would come from results, whether it's Brett or Riley," Grobe said. "If Riley were the quarterback and we were able to move the ball well, it would be a great spark for us. But no more than if Riley wasn't able to go or didn't have a good week of practice and Brett was the guy. If Brett has success, the guys will be fired up about that."

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Inside the Boxscores - Part 2
By Matt Fargo

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as one of the best summations in college football. He takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. Fargo takes you inside the action.
Part I - Part II

Ball State 34 NAVY 31

Navy racked up an impressive 521 yards rushing on 65 carries (8. ypc) and still could not win. The Midshipmen had drives stalled on a turnover on downs at the Ball St. 33-yard line, missed a field goal and fumbled twice inside the Cardinals 25-yard line including in overtime. Navy had two leads of seven points, which was right on the number but it never got over the cover. Ball St. finished with 262 yards rushing and 277 yards passing.

Southern Miss 28 EAST CAROLINA 21

Southern Miss jumped ahead 14-0 but had to rally for two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull out the win and the cover. Both touchdown drives at the end covered 80 yards each with the final one coming with just 32 seconds remaining. The Golden Eagles held East Carolina to 300 total yards and only 97 yards rushing on 37 carries (2.6 ypc). The Pirates missed an early field goad and also tossed an interception in Southern Miss territory.

(6) CALIFORNIA 42 Louisiana Tech 12

California returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and never looked back as the Bears outgained Louisiana Tech 447-274. The Bulldogs pulled to within 16 points after their first drive of the second half but California responded with the final two touchdowns of the game. The score could have been worse but the Bears missed a short field goal and tossed an interception at the 17-yard line and thus did not get the cover.

(16) ALABAMA 41 Arkansas 38

A wild game in Tuscaloosa saw Alabama jump out to a 21-0 lead before the Razorbacks made a ferocious rally. The Tide withstood the first surge by scoring the first 10 points of the second half to reclaim a 21-point lead but the Razorbacks scored four consecutive touchdowns. Alabama kicked a field goal and scored the game-winning touchdown with eight seconds left to get the win and the push. Both teams finished with 450 total yards.

KANSAS 45 Toledo 13

Toledo dropped to 0-3 as it was outgained by the Jayhawks 557-251 and finished with only nine first downs. Both of the Rockets touchdowns were set up by Kansas fumbles as the scoring drives were only 21 and 13 yards. Toledo committed four turnovers and had nine penalties, neither of which helped its cause. The Rockets did drive deep into Kansas territory late in the 4th quarter but fumbled enabling the Jayhawks to cover the 27 points.

VANDERBILT 31 Ole Miss 17

This game was closer than the final score indicates as Mississippi had numerous opportunities but could not get it done. The Rebels pulled to within four points late in the third quarter but their next drive produced an interception deep in their own territory which set up a Vanderbilt touchdown and they then turned it over on downs at their own 14-yard line setting up the final score with 1:47 remaining and the cover for Vanderbilt.

(20) TEXAS A&M 54 UL-Monroe 14

Texas A&M piled up 547 yards of offense and 30 first downs as it cruised to victory. The Warhawks actually tied the game at seven late in the first quarter but the Aggies scored the next 34 points to pull away. Texas A&M had 10 possessions and it scored on nine of them including seven touchdowns. The Aggies padded their lead with two late touchdowns but had the cover locked up prior to that.

(13) OREGON 52 Fresno State 21

Oregon was forced to punt in its first possession but then scored a touchdown in its next four drives on offense and also threw in the mix a fumble recovery for a score. 321 of the Ducks 461 total yards came in the first half and they finished the game with 307 yards rushing on 47 carries (6.5 ypc). Oregon had the game covered after its first touchdown in the second quarter as the 16.5 points were never an issue.

Houston 34 TULANE 10

Houston scored the first 31 points of the game and it outgained the Green Wave 505-313. The defense held Tulane scoreless for the first 52 minutes of the game and didn’t allow it in the endzone until the final minute. The score should have been much worse but Houston was intercepted twice inside the Tulane 30-yard line, fumbled into the endzone and missed a field goal. Still, covering the two-touchdown spread was not a problem.

ARKANSAS STATE 45 S-M-U 28


The Indians jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and while SMU pulled to within a touchdown on two different occasions, Arkansas St. eventually pulled away at the end. The Mustangs committed three turnovers which all let to touchdowns and they also turned the ball over on downs at the Indians 15-yard line in their first drive of the second half. It was basically a wire-to-wire cover for Arkansas St.

(21) KENTUCKY 40 (18) Louisville 34

Kentucky won the game by scoring a touchdown with 28 seconds left following a 74-yard drive. The Wildcats were outgained by six yards and almost gave it back as Louisville drove to the 11-yard line but time expired. The Wildcats built a 13-0 lead after the Cardinals fumbled the opening kickoff and then was intercepted on its first play from scrimmage. Louisville regained the lead three times but never covered the number.

(1) U-S-C 49 (24) NEBRASKA 31

Nebraska had an early 10-7 lead in the second quarter but the Trojans put it into full gear and scored the next 35 points to pull away. The Cornhuskers scored three touchdowns in the final quarter after the game was well out of reach along with covering the spread. USC only outgained Nebraska by 37 total yards but the gap was tightened due to the garbage numbers in the final period. The Trojans won the rushing battle 313-31.

(2) L-S-U 44 Middle Tennessee 0

The Tigers completely dominated as they racked up 505 yards offense while holding Middle Tennessee to just 90 total yards. 68 of those yards came in the final two drives for the Blue Raiders and their best chance to score was on their final possession but they were stopped on 4th down at the 39-yard line which also stopped the possible backdoor cover. The Blue Raiders finished with nine yards rushing, losing 76 yards on six sacks.

BOISE STATE 24 Wyoming 14


Boise St. rebounded from their first loss in 13 games in a game that was not as close as the final score indicates. The Cowboys didn’t cross midfield until their final drive of the first half while 146 of their 262 total yards came on their final two possessions. They scored their final touchdown with just 53 seconds remaining to make the score more respectable and it also gave them the backdoor cover by two points.

(14) Boston College 24 GEORGIA TECH 10

Boston College finished with 527 yards of offense while the defense held the Yellow Jackets to just 267 total yards. Georgia Tech did not get onto the scoreboard until early in the fourth quarter as it was forced to punt on each of its first 10 possessions. 114 of those yards came on its next two drives as it pulled to within 11 points but Boston College then used 4:32 of the clock and kicked a field goal to ice the game and secure the cover.

Duke 20 NORTHWESTERN 14

Duke snapped a 22-game losing streak with an improbable victory on the road. The Blue Devils were outgained by Northwestern 506-309 but the Wildcats could not produce in the clutch as they went one-for-five on fourth down including stops at the Duke 11-yard line twice and the final time at the seven-yard line as time ran out. It was a start to finish cover for Duke who finished with only 89 total yards in the second half.

NEW MEXICO ST 29 Texas-El Paso 24

This game was back and forth the whole way despite the Aggies outgaining UTEP 547-345. New Mexico St. could have put the game away early but missed two chip shot field goals while also throwing an interception in the Miners endzone that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown. The Aggies got the cover by a half of a point with its last touchdown and the defense held the rest of the way.

TULSA 55 B-Y-U 47

BYU tallied 694 total yards while the Golden Hurricane put up 595 yards and was able to pull it out with two defensive stops at the end. The first came on downs while the second was a forced fumble near midfield with 27 seconds left. The passing yards were incredible with a combined 1,027 yards being put up through the air and it was an interception return for a score to start the 2nd half that gave Tulsa the lead back for good.

(19) Hawaii 49 U-N-L-V 14

UNLV struck first in this game with a first quarter touchdown but Hawaii responded with 42 unanswered points to pull out the easy win. The Warriors put up 492 yards of offense including 396 yards through the air and its only negative on the night was committing 12 penalties. It was an easy cover for Hawaii as it was faced with only nine third downs for the game and went a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone.

New Mexico 29 ARIZONA 27

New Mexico trailed by six points late in the first half but scored on a long touchdown pass with just three seconds remaining to take a lead it would never give back and lock up the cover. That was the start of 19 straight points to build a comfortable lead but Arizona did come back late in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and then forced a punt but the Wildcats threw an interception with 1:38 left to virtually end the game.

ARIZONA STATE 34 San Diego St 13

San Diego St. hung around for a while as it trailed by just a touchdown late in the first half before the Sun Devils tacked on one last score in the final seconds and it never got closer. The Aztecs easily covered the 28.5 points they were getting despite having only one drive longer than 43 yards while allowing five drives of at least that amount on defense. Arizona St. finished with 268 yards rushing on 40 carries (6.7 ypc).

STANFORD 37 San Jose St 0

Stanford got off to a slow start with just three first half field goals but scored touchdowns in four of its first five second half possessions. The Cardinal racked up 506 yards of offense while the defense held the Spartans to only 163 total yards including -3 yards in the second half. The score could have been even more but Stanford threw an interception in the endzone while turning it over on downs at the Spartans 16-yard line.

WASHINGTON ST 45 Idaho 28

Idaho took its opening possession 57 yards to take an early lead and later tied the game at 21 apiece before the Cougars scored 17 straight points to put the game away. The Vandals did get it back to 10 points late in the third quarter but the offense fell apart in the final period with three turnovers, a turnover on downs and a punt. Idaho trailed by no more than 17 points and the 24.5-point spread never came into play.

Florida State 16 COLORADO 6

Colorado actually outgained Florida St. 279-221 but it was held to -37 yards rushing on 25 carries (-1.1 ypc). The Seminoles were blessed with good field position all night but could not get any rhythm going as their final three scores came on field goals. The Buffaloes did prevent getting shutout by scoring their touchdown with just over three minutes remaining on a fourth down play.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Doucet out for South Carolina

According to Tuesday's edition of the New Orleans Times Picayune, LSU senior wide receiver Early Doucet will miss Saturday's SEC showdown against unbeaten South Carolina. The All-American candidate was injured in a non-contact drill during Friday's preparation for a 44-0 win over Middle Tennessee.

Doucet did not play against the Blue Raiders and could miss additional games. He is one of the nation's premier receivers, hauling in 59 catches for 772 yards and eight touchdowns in 2006. In LSU's first two games, Doucet had 15 receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

Doucet wasn't the only LSU player to sit out against MTSU. Senior OG Will Arnold and senior QB Matt Flynn (ankle) were also out.

According to Tiger Rag, Arnold and Doucet were noticeably absent from Tuesday's practice. On the other hand, Flynn was at practice and is expected to start against the Gamecocks.

Most sports books are listing the Tigers as 16-point favorites.

South Carolina is also dealing with injuries, as two defensive starters won't play against LSU. Junior DT Nathan Pepper, who had a 19-yard touchdown on an interception in a 38-3 win over South Carolina State, is "out" for the season. Senior safety Brandon Isaac will miss at least one week.

The Gamecocks own an outstanding 9-1 spread record in 10 road games under Steve Spurrier. They are 4-1 against the spread in five games as double-digit underdogs.

Spurrier told GamecockCentral.com, "They’ve got a big-time football program at LSU, and they’ve got it rolling right now."

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EARLY COLLEGE "LOOKING FOR AN ANGLE"
goldsheet.com

Oregon State at ARIZONA STATE...This Pac-10 clash has added significance for ASU’s peripatetic 1st-year HC Dennis Erickson, who served as OSU head man for 4 seasons (‘99-02). Highly-anticipated payback game for Sun Devils, who trailed 31-7 before intermission in 44-10 pounding in Corvallis LY. ASU QB Carpenter out to prove LY’s effort was a fluke, as he (hampered by sore thumb) completed an ugly 9 of 27 for 124 yds. & 2 ints.

Temple at BOWLING GREEN...BG in bad (make that nasty) mood for new MAC rep Temple following stunning 28-14 loss in Philly LY. Falcons (14-pt. chalk) had destroyed Owls 70-16 & 70-7 in previous 2 yrs. In ‘06, BG outgained Temple 407-256, but Owls had 3 long scoring plays that catapulted them to victory—45 & 43 yd. TD passes & 96-yd. KO return.

Illinois at INDIANA...Indiana is 5-0 as home chalk since ‘04. Illinois held 25-7 2nd--Q lead, but Illini HC Zook’s unwise decision to go for two 2-pt. conversions (both failed) was the difference in Hoosiers’ comeback 34-32 victory in Champaign-Urbana LY. IU kicked winning 33-yd. FG on final play of game.

Syracuse at LOUISVILLE...L’ville is 13-3 as DD chalk at Papa John’s since 2004. Doubt Cards take sliding Syracuse lightly following 28-13 victory at Carrier Dome LY. L’Ville led just 21-13 until Card RB K. Smith rambled 31 yds. for clinching TD with just 1:43 to go.

Duke at NAVY...Navy has won & covered 3 straight in series, including 38-13 romp at Duke year ago. Middies precise option sliced up Blue Devil “D” LY, amassing 435 yds. in 70 carries, and Duke scored late “garbage’ TD following a recovered fumble in its red zone.

Clemson at NORTH CAROLINA STATE...Clemson has covered 3 straight at NCS, and Wolfpack just 1-8 vs. spread last 9 (0-2 under new HC O’Brien). Tiger RB Spiller sprinted for 154 yds. in just 18 carries, including a 52-yd. TD jaunt in 1st Q of 20-14 win (but no cover) over NCS in '06. And Clemson “D” fortunately doesn’t have to cope with State’s premier RB A. Brown (out for year), who amassed 174 yds. LY.

Washington at UCLA...Big revenge game for UCLA, which had its 5-game series win streak snapped in come-from-ahead 29-19 setback at Washington LY (Bruins led 16-0 in 2nd Q!). UCLA offense played its worst H of football, gaining a paltry 82 yds. following intermission. QB Olson especially jazzed after throwing for just 138 yds. & 2 ints., including a killer “pick” returned for Husky TD with 6:02 on clock.

Georgia Tech at VIRGINIA...GT snapped 3-game series losing streak with convincing 24-7 victory in Atlanta LY. Engineer defense dominated, holding UVA to only 166 yds. & 9 FDs. Cavs have been dynamite home dog, recording an 8-1 mark in role since 2002.

Iowa at WISCONSIN...Wiscy feeding off frenzied fan support at Camp Randall, going 12-5-1 vs. number last 3+Ys. Badgers then-backup QB Donovan filled in admirably for injured Stocco, completing 17 of 24 for 228 yds. & 2 TDs in 24-21 victory at hostile Kinnick Stadum LY.

Washington State at SOUTHERN CAL...No. 1 ranked Southern Cal should be well-focused following competitive 28-22 victory in the Paloose LY (Cougs had 6 more FD!). Wazzu QB Brink had 287 YP (most Trojans allowed in 2006 reg. season) only loss of season that night and was throwing into end zone as game ended. d's upcoming action.

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EARLY COLLEGE FB TROUBLE SPOTS
goldsheet.com

It doesn’t take long each season to identify college football teams (and programs) in trouble. And by mid-September, those red flags can be all too apparent.

A note of caution, however. As the campaign continues, situations change, as teams inevitably play their way on (or off) the “trouble” list. Each team’s situation is different, so be wary of a young squad that starts slow, but begins to show signs of turning things around. In many cases, the team on the field in November will bear no resemblance to its previous incarnation in September.

Which is why we at THE GOLD SHEET EXTRA!!! go to great lengths to stay abreast of those ongoing developments with some weekly features that appear in our Systems Spotlight panel. In the past, we have identified many teams in the earliest stage of a turnaround (both good and bad) with our “Streakbusters” feature. Simply, “Streakbusters” identifies teams that have either covered a game on the heels of either losing and failing to cover two or more contests in a row, or dropping a pointspread decision after winning and covering two or more games consecutively. These “early detectors” are by no means foolproof indicators of future performance, but they have identified many teams at the beginning of protracted winning, and losing, streaks against the number in past years. This week’s first installment of 2007 Streakbusters appears in the System Spotlight feature.

In addition, a straight forward weekly recording of winning or losing pointspread streaks, of two results or more, is also featured in the Spotlight. In the past, we’ve had some old-time handicappers wonder why we bother to list the teams with as few as two pointspread wins or losses in a row, and our answer is always the same: why wait until the cow is out of the barn? After a team has ripped off 4 or 5 covers in a row, the damage has mostly been done. By identifying squads in the early stages of winning or losing spread streaks, you’ll at least have a chance to notice teams in the early stages of a run. The real challenge, of course, is choosing which teams are going to run off that long streak. But it’s a fact that every 5, 6, or 7-game cover streak was once at just 2 games, and for that reason alone, the listings are worthwhile.

This week, we’re focusing on the early “trouble spots” in college football. Now, there’s no guarantee all of these teams are going to continue struggling. Then again, they might.

Notre Dame...The most noteworthy struggler in the nation, winless both straight-up and vs. the line in three outings. Before chalking this up to inexperience (which is a valid excuse) on Charlie Weis’ squad, consider that the Irish have now lost five games in a row by 20 or more points since late last season. They’re also 4-15-1 their last 20 games on the board for Weis, qualifying Nore Dame as one of the nation’s biggest pointspread underachievers for almost two season’s worth of games. And with a schedule that will likely see the Irish as underdogs (often substantial) for at least their next five games, and no signs that a misfiring offense is about to “see the light” anytime soon, could it really get worse before it gets better in South Bend?

Syracuse...Sure, rebuilding a program can take a few years. But progress can be seen in such programs even if a team continues to lose for a while, as the new coaching regime implements its style and philosophy. Unfortunately, none of the above has been true in regard to Syracuse since Greg Robinson replaced Paul Pasqualoni as coach after the 2004 season. After all, the Orange were hardly in shambles when Pasqualoni walked the plank (they played in a bowl in ’04). But Syracuse immediately went in the tank upon Robinson’s arrival in ’05, and things are getting worse at the Carrier Dome, with three humbling defeats vs. modest opposition christening the ’07 campaign (including numbing home losses to Washington & last week vs. Illinois, at right). A rebuilding job is no excuse for shoddy performance, which has been Syracuse’s trademark under the increasingly-troubled Robinson.

Toledo...They’re not playing much defense at Toledo, where the Rockets have allowed 50 ppg while failing to win or cover (or come close) their first three embarrassing outings. Moreover, trouble is brewing on the fringes of the program, with disturbing gambling accusations tainting the Rockets. Along with poor on-field performance, and last year’s first sub-.500 season since 1998, indicators are looking bad for HC Tom Amstutz (left), who's now forced to play loads of youngsters.

Auburn...No, we’re not putting Auburn in quite the same quicksand as the others mentioned on the list, although we suspect HC Tommy Tuberville is hearing it from disgruntled fans as much as any of the coaches on other teams noted above after back-to-back defeats. But Auburn has failed to cover its first 3 games, and now is suffering from something of an identity crisis on offense, with QB Brandon Cox (completing fewer than 50% of his throws, with 6 picks and only 2 TDP) simply too slow to deal with the fleet-footed defenses he’s seen the first three weeks, with the promise of more problems to come vs. the meat of the nasty SEC schedule. Perhaps out of desperation, Tuberville even gave true frosh Kodi Burns an extended look last week in the 19-14 home loss to Missisippi State. The scary thing for Auburn fans is that the best defenses on the Tiger scheudle are still to come (yikes!).

Other “trouble spots” to watch...Northern Illinois, Rice, San Jose State, SMU, Tulane, Western Michigan.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Troy reinstates suspended DE Kenny Mainor
September 19, 2007

TROY, Ala. (AP) -Troy defensive end Kenny Mainor has been reinstated from a two-game suspension and will play in Saturday's Sun Belt Conference opener against Louisiana-Monroe, coach Larry Blakeney said Wednesday.

The junior was suspended after his arrest for marijuana possession. He was cleared to return to school and the team on a probationary status by the University Disciplinary Committee.

Mainor became a starter as a redshirt freshman when he replaced NFL first-round draft pick DeMarcus Ware. He had two tackles in the Trojans' 46-26 season-opening loss at No. 18 Arkansas.

Mainor led the Trojans (1-2) with 6.5 sacks as a sophomore.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Hawaii QB Brennan sits out another practice
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONOLULU -- Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was sidelined by an injured right ankle Wednesday for the second straight day of practice, but he's hopeful of playing Saturday against Charleston Southern.

Wearing a light brace and using crutches, Brennan watched from the sideline as backup Tyler Graunke worked out with the first-team offense.

Brennan said he's ''dying to play,'' but the ankle still needs to heal. An MRI on Monday revealed no serious damage, he said.

''Every day, the ankle gets better and the swelling goes down, a little less pain,'' he said. ''I'm just trying to rest up as much as possible.''

Brennan was injured last Friday but still played Saturday, leading Hawaii to a 49-14 victory over UNLV. Even with his ankle swollen and discolored, the quarterback ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more in three quarters.

Hawaii coach June Jones was more confident of Brennan's recovery than his quarterback. Jones said Brennan will start Saturday for the 19th-ranked Warriors.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Two Missouri players arrested
September 19, 2007

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Police have arrested two reserve defenders on the Missouri football team in separate incidents.

John Stull, a redshirt freshman and defensive lineman, was arrested by Columbia police early Monday on a municipal assault charge, police said.

A 26-year-old man told police that Stull punched him in the mouth in the parking lot of a local restaurant. The pair had argued over money owed from damages to an apartment, the victim said. The fight took place about 4 a.m. on Sept. 6.

Stull, Missouri's No. 2 defensive end behind starter Stryker Sulak, is on two years of unsupervised probation for a misdemeanor peace disturbance conviction from February 2006. The former Rock Bridge High School star has made one tackle in three games this year.

Athletic department spokesman Chad Moller said Wednesday that Stull's status with the team was being reviewed by coach Gary Pinkel.

Columbia police also arrested backup linebacker Steve Redmond and former Missouri softball player Kendra Power at 3 a.m. Sunday morning on suspicion of throwing a nuisance party at their home. Both were issued summons and released.

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Ole Miss' Adams expected to play Saturday
September 20, 2007

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Both Mississippi quarterback Seth Adams and coach Ed Orgeron believe the senior will be in the starting lineup Saturday when the Rebels host No. 3 Florida in Oxford.

Adams was knocked out of last weekend's loss at Vanderbilt with a sprained right shoulder, but returned to practice Wednesday. The truth is almost nothing could keep him out of the game.

"It's a once in a lifetime chance," Adams said.

The decision is still up to the coaches and the medical staff, but Orgeron agreed that Adams likely would be ready.

"Barring any unforeseen injury I expect him to play," Orgeron said. "If he's ready he's going to start."

If Adams can't play, Orgeron said earlier this week that he expects former starter Brent Schaeffer to step in. Schaeffer threw a 54-yard touchdown on his first pass against Vanderbilt, but finished 1 of 5.

Adams has been a positive addition to the Ole Miss offense so far. He has completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 660 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

The senior, a dropback passer, won the job away from the more athletic Schaeffer in an open competition held during spring and summer practices. Orgeron has praised the former walk-on's consistency and leadership.

"He's a very tough, dedicated young man," Orgeron said. "I think he's going to be OK."

Adams will face his toughest challenge if he plays. While Florida lost nine starters from its national championship squad, the Gators are 19th in the nation in total defense (279 yards) and 25th in scoring defense (18 points).

Florida holds opponents to 46 rushing yards a game, making Adams' performance should he start even more important.

"They've got a lot of speed and they run well to the football," Adams said. "I think we're just going to have to execute on offense and not stop ourselves."

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Gamecocks LB Matthews breaks hand
September 19th, 2007

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - South Carolina freshman linebacker Cliff Matthews, who is penciled in as a starter, broke a small bone in his right hand during practice Tuesday.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said Matthews participated in practice on a non-contact basis Wednesday, but that he'll try to wear a rubber cast on his hand for Saturday's game between No. 2 LSU and No. 12 South Carolina at Baton Rouge.

Defensive back Brandon Isaac is questionable for Saturday's game due to a sprained right shoulder.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

UCLA QB Olson could miss Saturday’s game
By COVERS.com STAFF

The UCLA Bruins could be without starting quarterback Ben Olson for Saturday’s Pac-10 clash at Washington. Olson hasn't trained this week because of persistent headaches and may have suffered a concussion in last week’s 44-6 loss to Utah – a game in which he was sacked five times and took some heavy hits.

Patrick Cowan, who recently returned from a torn hamstring, will likely get the start. The Bruin’s No. 3 quarterback is walk-on McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

"Pat is probably going to be the starter," head coach Karl Dorrell told reporters on Wednesday. "I would say he's the starter. If we can get Ben to be a backup or something, ready for that portion of the game, that might be it. He may not be up for the game."

There is still a slight chance that Olson could play. UCLA requires its athletes to be free of concussion-like symptoms for 24 hours before returning to competition, and the L.A. Times is reporting that Olson is being monitored by doctors for signs of improvement.

But it’s Cowan who's been working with the first-team offense all week.

The junior took the reins for eight games last year when Olson suffered a season-ending knee injury. Cowan threw for 1,782 yards with 11 TDs and nine interceptions, completing 52.7 percent of his passes.

"I've been preparing to come back when my team needed me," Cowan told the Times. "If this is when my team needs me, then I will be ready to play."

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Pitt's QB will be game-day decision
TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt declined Thursday to name a starting quarterback for the Big East opener against Connecticut, saying he will wait until Saturday to decide between Kevan Smith and Pat Bostick.

"Both of them are prepared to play," Wannstedt said, "and that's the way we're approaching it, day by day."

Smith has started the past two games, but the 6-foot-3, 225-pound redshirt freshman struggled in completing 9 of 18 passes for 85 yards with two interceptions (one for a touchdown) in a 17-13 loss at Michigan State.

"He's got an arm on him that the guys next door are looking for," Wannstedt said, referring to the Steelers. "He's got a big-time arm. He's athletic. There's nobody who wants to get it done or works harder than Kevan. He just lacks playing time and experience. The tough thing is, we can't afford to give quarterbacks playing time when you're trying to win games.

"That's the problem we have."

Smith split repetitions this week with Bostick, a true freshman who is running the second-team offense. Bostick returned home to Lancaster on the eve of training camp to deal with "personal issues," but is now "coming along."

"Pat's getting better," Wannstedt said. "He's working hard and he's getting closer."

Does Wannstedt plan to use both quarterbacks?

"Not if I don't have to," Wannstedt said, "but we will if we have to."

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

West Virginia reinstates Lankster, Thomas
September 20, 2007

Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia reinstated cornerback Ellis Lankster and linebacker J.T. Thomas, who were arrested last month for receiving stolen property, after the two agreed to enter a pretrial diversion program.

A pretrial diversion program often involves a trade off of no jail time and a dismissal of all charges if a defendant stays out of trouble for a certain period. Details of the agreement weren't released Thursday.

Coach Rich Rodriguez said both players will be in uniform for Saturday's home game with East Carolina but won't start.

Rodriguez suspended them indefinitely after Thomas, a redshirt freshman, and Lankster, a junior, were charged Aug. 19 with transferring and receiving stolen property, which police said was a laptop computer.

The pair were arrested nearly after an 11 p.m. curfew set by Rodriguez. Both players apologized Thursday in a statement released by the university.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 4

Robinson is Cowboys new starting QB
September 20, 2007

Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora is in his third season of coaching Zac Robinson, and he still has difficulty sometimes getting an accurate read on the quarterback's mood.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, Fedora said while explaining how the 6-foot-3, 205-pound sophomore has the right temperament to be the Cowboys' new starting quarterback.

"He's very low-key. Nothing excites him. Nothing gets him too worried," Fedora said of Robinson, who will make his second career start on Saturday when Oklahoma State (1-2) hosts Big 12 Conference rival Texas Tech (3-0).

"It's a great demeanor for a quarterback. He's just pretty levelheaded about everything."

Robinson's confident-but-not-cocky attitude seems to have helped ease what easily could have been -- and still might be -- a messy quarterback switch. Robinson became Oklahoma State's starter last week in a 41-23 loss at Troy after junior Bobby Reid, who had started since his freshman season, struggled in the Cowboys' first two games.

Reid suffered undisclosed minor injuries in the first quarter of the second game, against Florida Atlantic. Robinson entered and ignited what had been a sluggish offense, leading three straight touchdown drives in the second and third quarters. Those scored helped turn a 14-6 game into a 42-6 rout, and Robinson finished 14-of-20 passing for 250 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

It was Robinson's second ace relief performance. Last Oct. 21 against No. 23 Texas A&M, in his first extended action, Robinson replaced an injured Reid and went 7-of-16 passing for 94 yards and three touchdowns on a cold night in a 34-33 overtime loss that ended on a blocked extra point.

Robinson's performance in that game earned him more playing time, and Oklahoma State coaches developed plans during the offseason to use him more, up to 25 or 30 snaps a game either at quarterback or wide receiver.

"I was just glad to help out the team whichever way I could," said Robinson, who also alternated between quarterback and receiver while at Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colo. "... I was just excited to get the opportunity."

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy played coy last week as the Cowboys prepared to travel to play Troy, but Robinson said he learned early that week that he'd be the starting quarterback against the Trojans.

"I'd always hoped that I would (be the starter), and after the Florida Atlantic game, I kind of had maybe a feeling that it would happen," Robinson said. "When he told me ... it didn't really hit me until maybe a couple of days later when I was studying film. I was saying, 'Hey, I'm going to be taking the first snap of the game.' It was definitely a lot of excitement."

But even in that excitement, he felt for Reid, his roommate when the Cowboys are on the road and with whom he often compares notes.

"We're both out here competing every day," Robinson said. "No matter who's in there, we're both going to have each other's back. When I'm out there, I'm going to tell him what I see and he's going to tell me what he sees."

Robinson completed 18-of-37 passes for 191 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against Troy. Fedora and Gundy have said Robinson will remain the Cowboys' quarterback for the foreseeable future.

Robinson's coaches and teammates say the quarterback switch has not been a divisive issue within the team and that they have confidence in his ability.

"Even last year, Zac used to come in there and we looked at him the same way we looked at Bobby," sophomore offensive tackle Russell Okung said. "He has confidence in his eyes."

Okung cited Robinson's performance against Texas A&M last season.

"That was one of my first games, too, and I still had that look in my eye (of a) young pup," Okung said. "Zac came out there, and we didn't take a step back. We didn't expect to take a step back, because our coaches prepare for things like that."

Robinson might not have shown it, but he admits now he "didn't really know what to expect" when he entered that game against Texas A&M. "But we ended up moving the ball well and scoring some points and we were in position to win the football game, but unfortunately we didn't," he said.

After that experience, Robinson said he developed more confidence in his ability to lead the Cowboys.

"I can get fired up," he said. "I try to play with a lot of enthusiasm. That's something that has always come natural to me. ... I don't let a whole lot of things bother me.

"I'm just going to go out week to week and do what I can to help this team win and help the offense get back on the right track."

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Ole Miss' Adams expected to play Saturday
September 20, 2007

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Both Mississippi quarterback Seth Adams and coach Ed Orgeron believe the senior will be in the starting lineup Saturday when the Rebels host No. 3 Florida in Oxford.

Adams was knocked out of last weekend's loss at Vanderbilt with a sprained right shoulder, but returned to practice Wednesday. The truth is almost nothing could keep him out of the game.

"It's a once in a lifetime chance," Adams said.

The decision is still up to the coaches and the medical staff, but Orgeron agreed that Adams likely would be ready.

"Barring any unforeseen injury I expect him to play," Orgeron said. "If he's ready he's going to start."

If Adams can't play, Orgeron said earlier this week that he expects former starter Brent Schaeffer to step in. Schaeffer threw a 54-yard touchdown on his first pass against Vanderbilt, but finished 1 of 5.

Adams has been a positive addition to the Ole Miss offense so far. He has completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 660 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

The senior, a dropback passer, won the job away from the more athletic Schaeffer in an open competition held during spring and summer practices. Orgeron has praised the former walk-on's consistency and leadership.

"He's a very tough, dedicated young man," Orgeron said. "I think he's going to be OK."

Adams will face his toughest challenge if he plays. While Florida lost nine starters from its national championship squad, the Gators are 19th in the nation in total defense (279 yards) and 25th in scoring defense (18 points).

Florida holds opponents to 46 rushing yards a game, making Adams' performance should he start even more important.

"They've got a lot of speed and they run well to the football," Adams said. "I think we're just going to have to execute on offense and not stop ourselves."

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Two FSU players suspended after arrest
Associated Press

Two Florida State football players were suspended Friday after they were arrested for an incident at a bar.

Junior linebacker Geno Hayes and senior fullback Joe Surratt were arrested early Friday, school officials said. Tallahassee police have not released details but said the department would have information later Friday.

"The student-athletes have been suspended per our athletics department student-athlete code of conduct policy, until all of the facts of the incident are reviewed," Florida State athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement.

Hayes is the team's second-leading tackler with 19, and Surratt led Florida State with six rushing touchdowns last year but is sidelined with a broken leg.

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