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College Football News and Notes Week 6

College Football News and Notes Week 6

College Football - Week 5


- Andre Woodson, Kentucky, completed 26-of-33 for 301 yards and a career-high five touchdowns and the Wildcats defeated Florida Atlantic 45-17.

- Thomas Brown, Georgia, rushed for a 180 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 45-17 win over Mississippi.

- Brian Yost, Morehead State, threw for a 371 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Eagles past Dayton 42-35.

- Kevin Rombach, Duquesne, threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth, in a 37-10 win over Frostburg State.

- DeSean Jackson, California, had 11 receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the Golden Bears 31-24 victory over Oregon.

- Eugene Jarvis, Kent State, rushed for 230 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns to lead the Golden Flashes past Ohio 33-25.

- Adam Tafralis, San Jose State, passed for four touchdowns and 330 yards, in 34-14 win over UC Davis.

- Nick Graziano, Nevada, completed 20-of-38 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, and the Wolf Pack hung on to beat UNLV 27-20.

- Demetrius Crawford, Montana State, had 23 carries for 173 yards and a touchdown, and the Bobcats beat Idaho State 40-20.

- Jeremy Trimble, Army, scored two touchdowns and had 253 all-purpose yards in the Black Knights 37-21 over Temple.

- Kevin Smith, Central Florida, rushed for a career-high career-high 223 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns in the Knights 37-19 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

- Marcus Thomas, UTEP, rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns, to lead the Miners to a 48-45 overtime victory over Southern Methodist.

- Darren McFadden, Arkansas, rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half, to lead the Razorbacks past North Texas 66-7.

- Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, threw for 338 yards and five touchdowns and the Red Raiders beat Northwestern State 75-7.

- Josh Johnson, San Diego, threw six touchdown passes, including five in the opening half, completing 25 of 30 for 406 yards in a 56-9 victory over Butler.

- Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee, passed for 240 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Blue Raiders to a 47-6 victory over Florida International.

- Paul Smith, Tulsa, threw for 333 yards and three scores and ran for another in a 38-30 victory over Alabama-Birmingham.

- Eli Byrd, Charleston Southern, threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns in a come from behind 46-33 victory over North Greenville.


Kevin Eberhart kicked a career-long 45-yard field goal as time expired to send Colorado past the No. 3 ranked Oklahoma 27-24 Saturday. It was the Buffaloes' first win over a top-5 team since Dec. 1, 2001, when they best Texas in the Big 12 title game. ... Freshman Wes Byrum kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired to lift Auburn to a 20-17 victory over fourth-ranked Florida on Saturday night. ... Kansas State used two kick returns for touchdowns and an interception return for another score in a 41-21 win Saturday over No. 7 Texas, handing the Longhorns its worst home defeat in 10 years under coach Mack Brown. ... Maryland defeated Rutgers 34-24 on Saturday. It marked the second straight year that Rutgers was upset after getting into the Top 10. The victory over a Top 10 team was the first for Maryland since upsetting Florida State in 2004. ... Tashard Choice had 145 yards and a touchdown and Georgia Tech beat No. 13 Clemson on Saturday 13-3. ... Freshman Regus Benn returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and caught a pass for another and the Illinois defense intercepted three passes for a 27-20 upset over No. 21 Penn State on Saturday. ... Xavier Lee came off the bench to throw a pair of touchdown passes in Florida State's 21-14 upset victory over No. 22 Alabama.


Stafon Johnson ran for 122 yards and a touchdown and Chauncey Washington added 106 yards and a score as USC overcame itself and Washington in a 27-24 victory Saturday night. USC committed three turnovers and 16 penalties - their most in more than two seasons - for 161 yards and had a missed a field goal and blocked punt in the victory. ... LSU needed 24 unanswered points in the second half to beat Tulane 34-9 on Saturday. ... P.J. Hill ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns and No. 9 Wisconsin held off Michigan State 37-34 on Saturday. ... Kyle Wright returned from an injury to throw a game-sealing touchdown pass to DajLeon Farr with 2:15 left, and Miami escaped an upset bid by Duke for the second straight year by beating the Blue Devils 24-14 on Saturday.


Andre Callender ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 12 Boston College past rival Massachusetts 24-14 on Saturday. The Eagles (5-0) has not opened a season with five straight wins since 1954. ... Andre Dixon ran for 116 yards and Tyvon Branch ran a kickoff back 97 yards for a touchdown to spark undefeated Connecticut to a 44-10 win over Akron on Saturday. The 5-0 start is the best for a UConn team since 1995 when the Huskies went 6-0 as a Division I-AA school. ... Kory Sheets rushed for 141 yards, and Purdue beat Notre Dame 33-19 on Saturday to keep the Irish winless. The Boilermakers (5-0), are off to their best start since 2004. ... Hawaii beat Idaho 48-20, to improve to 5-0 - 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference - for the first time since 1981, when the Warriors started 7-0.


Southern Illinois used four first half turnovers in a 72-10 blowout of Indiana State on Saturday. The Salukis scored seven rushing touchdowns and returned an interception for another score as they set a Gateway Conference record for most points scored in a league game. Southern Illinois opened the game with three rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and led 55-10 at halftime. ... Omar Cuff scored three of Delaware's six first-half touchdowns, and the Blue Hens cruised past winless Monmouth, N.J., 42-7 on Saturday night. It was the sixth time in school history that the Blue Hens have scored 42 points or more in a half. ... Graham Harrell threw for 338 yards and five touchdowns and Texas Tech beat Northwestern State 75-7 on Saturday night. It was the first time in 56 years that an opponent has scored 60 or more points against the Demons. Southern Mississippi beat Northwestern State 76-0 in 1951.


Colt Brennan threw a career-high five interceptions in Hawaii's 48-20 rout of Idaho on Saturday. Brennan finished 30 of 49 for 369 yards with three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. Brennan's five interceptions tied a school record, and his 19 incompletions were the most since missing on 20 throws against Wisconsin in 2005 and third highest of his career.


Michael Dougherty completed 27-of-47 passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns and receiver Paul Raymond caught six passes for 221 yards, including an 80-yard TD catch, but Brown lost to Rhode Island 49-42 in double overtime. ... Dayton quarterback Kevin Hoyng, completed 25 of 50 passes for 322 yards and five touchdowns but the Flyers lost to Morehead State 42-35. ... Iowa's Jake Christensen passed for 308 yards and three TDs but the Hawkeyes lost to Indiana 38-20. ... Michael Mayers set a Southern Conference record with 225 kick return yards and 387 all-purpose yards. He also caught 14 passes for 162 yards in Elon's 49-32 loss to Appalachian State. ... Stadford Brown threw for 372 yards and three scores in N.C. Central's 34-27 loss to Presbyterian. ... Eddie Cohen caught eight passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns in Western Carolina's 50-21 loss to Georgia Southern. ... Duvaughn Flagler caught 11 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown but Austin Peay lost to Gardner-Webb 20-13 on Saturday. ... Eric Moeller went 21-of-43 for 355 yards, four touchdowns in North Greenville's 46-33 loss to Charleston Southern.


Auburn beat Florida 20-17 on Saturday. The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the defending national champions and gave the Gators their first home loss under coach Urban Meyer. They had won 18 in a row, 17 straight since Meyer took over in 2005. ... Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson's NCAA record streak of passes thrown without an interception was snapped Saturday in the Wildcats 45-17 victory over Florida Atlantic. Woodson's record streak ended at 325. ... California beat Oregon 31-24 on Saturday. The Golden Bears snapped a seven-game losing streak at Autzen Stadium. They had not won a game there since 1987. ... Miami (Ohio) snapped a seven-game home losing streak with a 17-14 win over Syracuse on Saturday. ... Syracuse had its 14-game winning streak against Mid-American Conference teams snapped in a 17-14 loss to Miami (Ohio). ... Wofford defeated Furman 45-20 to snap Furman's 14-game home winning streak. ... Chris Fletcher, had his streak of 10-straight games with 100 yards or more rushing snapped in Austin Peay's 20-13 loss to Gardner-Webb.


Michael Crabtree tied a freshman record for touchdown receptions in a season as Texas Tech beat Northwestern State 75-7 on Saturday night. Crabtree finished with eight receptions for 145 yards, and three touchdowns to equal the mark set by Jabar Gaffney of Florida in 2000, Mike Williams of Southern California in 2002 and Davone Bess of Hawaii in 2005.


''My helmet got jacked and (wide receiver) Stephone Robinson took one in the eye. I've been to some crazy concerts, but that was worse than all of them. ... I think people smelled a lot better at the concert. Those people had been sweating for a long time.''- Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins on the fans storming the field after the Buffaloes 27-24 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday. It was Colorado's first win over a top-five team since Dec. 1, 2001., and their most significant victory in Boulder since a 62-36 win over second-ranked Nebraska.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

National title race gets a makeover as four top-10 teams fall

The national title race received a major makeover in an upsetting couple of days for a bunch top-ranked teams.

Half of the top 10 teams in the country lost in the fifth weekend of the season, including defending national champion and fourth-ranked Florida falling 20-17 at home to Auburn on a last-second field goal.

No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 7 Texas, No. 10 Rutgers and No. 13 Clemson were also all handed their first losses Saturday ... all by unranked opponents.

Add to that No. 5 West Virginia's 21-13 loss to No. 18 South Florida on Friday night, plus No. 6 California knocking off No. 11 Oregon 31-24, No. 21 Penn State falling to Illinois 27-20, and No. 22 Alabama getting knocked off by Florida State 21-14, and it's pretty obvious the polls will have a very different look Sunday.

Except at the very top, though even that looked shaky for a while Saturday night.

No. 1 Southern California overcame its own sloppy play - the Trojans had 16 penalties, three turnovers and a blocked punt - and escaped Washington with a 27-24 victory but failed to cover the 19 1/2-point spread.

It was the first time since the weekend ending Oct. 12, 2003, that five top-10 teams lost in the same week. No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Florida State, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Arkansas and No. 10 Nebraska were the losers in 2003.

This latest wild Saturday was capped by Auburn, which snapped the Gators' 11-game winning streak.

''It's very disappointing,'' Florida coach Urban Meyer said. ''We didn't play smart.''

The Tigers had a 17-3 lead in the second half, but Tim Tebow led Florida back to tie it in the fourth quarter.

In the end, though, it was Auburn's Brandon Cox, benched earlier this season as the Tigers' offense struggled, who came up big in the clutch.

Cox passed for 227 yards and directed a 4-minute drive that put Wes Byrum in position for a 43-yard field goal. The freshman kicker made it, twice. The first time he sent the ball through seconds after Florida called a timeout to ice him. His next try was even straighter than the first.

''It doesn't get any better than that,'' said Byrum.

The loss could jeopardize Florida's chances of repeating. Then again, with all the other upsets Saturday, the Gators surely won't slip too far out of the picture, especially if they can beat No. 2 LSU next week.

Oklahoma was first to go down Saturday, falling to three-touchdown underdog Colorado on Kevin Eberhart's 45-yard field goal on the last play of the game.

''They outplayed us and outcoached us,'' Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. ''They fought their way to a heck of a win.''

The Sooners had looked all but unbeatable through four games, scoring at least 50 points in each and never being tested.

In the second year of rebuilding under coach Dan Hawkins, the Buffaloes took the Sooners' best shot and didn't back down in Boulder. Oklahoma led 24-7 in early in the second half and didn't score again.

Oklahoma redshirt freshman Sam Bradford, who had been close to perfect in the first four starts of his career, was 8-for-19 for 112 yards and two interceptions against a tough Colorado defense that Stoops had praised all week.

Cody Hawkins, the coach's kid, led the Colorado rally, throwing for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

''You guys all think I'm joking, but there wasn't anybody inside that locker room that thought we were going to lose that game,'' Hawkins said.

As if Oklahoma losing wasn't enough to take the juice out of next week's Red River Rivalry game against Texas, the Longhorns followed the Sooners' loss with one of their own to another team from the Big 12 North, the conference's weaker division for the past several years.

Kansas State beat the Longhorns for the second straight season, this time in Austin.

The Wildcats had three touchdown returns - Ian Campbell's 41-yard interception, James Johnson's 85-yard kickoff return and Jordy Nelson's 89-yard punt - and they knocked around Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy in a 41-21 victory.

Call it an upset, but Texas had looked primed for a beating during its 4-0 start, with shaky victories against Arkansas State and Central Florida.

The Wildcats and second-year coach Ron Prince handed Texas its most lopsided loss in 10 years under coach Mack Brown.

''We're not used to losing like that around here, especially like that,'' Brown said. ''We've got to regroup.''

Rutgers moved into the top-10 for the second time in school history this week and just like the first time, when the Scarlet Knights lost to Cincinnati last season, they couldn't live up to their lofty status.

Maryland had dropped two straight and was coming off a disheartening 31-24 overtime loss to Wake Forest in which the Terps blew a 21-point lead.

Like Oklahoma, however, Rutgers had not been challenged and couldn't respond when it was.

The Terps jumped out to a 14-3 lead, withstood a Rutgers comeback, and wrapped it up as backup quarterback Chris Turner led three second-half scoring drives. Rutgers star Ray Rice managed 97 yards on 21 carries and touchdown.

''This feels nothing like the Cincinnati loss,'' said Rice of last year's blowout. ''We fought today. They were just the better team at the end. They just executed when they needed to execute and we didn't execute.''

The Big East started the season with three teams - Rutgers, West Virginia and Louisville - all considered national title contenders.

Before the end of September, all three have lost and South Florida might just be the Big East's best shot to reach the national title game.

Clemson wasn't talking national title before the season, but a 4-0 start had the Tigers edging to the front of a muddled Atlantic Coast Conference.

Well, it's back to the pack for Clemson after Georgia Tech snapped a two-game losing streak 13-3.

Clemson's dynamic tailback duo of James Davis and C.J. Spiller, who combined for over 300 yard rushing in a lopsided victory over Georgia Tech last season, were held to 62 yards combined by the Yellow Jackets.

''I let my team down,'' Spiller said.

He surely wasn't the only player from a top-ranked team feeling that way Saturday night.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

LSU edges USC for AP No. 1
September 30, 2007

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- LSU reached No. 1 the hard way.

The Tigers edged past Southern California in the AP Top 25 on Sunday, even though the Trojans remained undefeated.

On a wild day in college football, when half the top 10 lost, USC avoided the upset bug that struck Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and Rutgers. But a sloppy 27-24 victory at Washington on Saturday night cost the Trojans the No. 1 ranking they've held all season.

USC is the first team to lose the No. 1 ranking after a victory since Nov. 3, 2002, when top-ranked Miami dropped after beating Rutgers 42-17 and No. 2 Oklahoma moved up after a 27-11 victory over No. 13 Colorado.

LSU, which recovered from its own first-half malaise to beat Tulane 34-9 on Saturday, received 33 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,593 points. USC got 32 first-place votes, 11 fewer than last week, and 1,591 points.

The voting was the closest since the second poll of the 2002 season, when Miami and Oklahoma tied for No. 1 and each received 27 first-place votes.

LSU is No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time since Nov. 2, 1959.

The rest of the rankings released Sunday bore little resemblance to any of the previous polls, thanks to a crazy weekend in which three of the top five and seven of the top 13 teams lost.

Overall, nine ranked teams went down, seven to unranked opponents.

California moved up three spots to No. 3, Ohio State jumped four places to No. 4 and Wisconsin moved up five spots to No. 5.

The rest of the top 10 featured some unfamiliar names.

South Florida, which knocked off No. 5 West Virginia 21-13 on Thursday night, made it into the poll for the first time two weeks ago. Now the Bulls are No. 6 in the country and West Virginia dropped eight spots to 13th.

No. 7 Boston College is in the top 10 for the first time since 1992. No. 8 Kentucky has a top-10 ranking for the first time since 1977.

No. 9 Florida, which lost 20-17 on a last-second field goal to Auburn, fell five spots. Oklahoma, which lost to Colorado on a field goal as time expired, dropped seven spots to No. 10.

In the USA Today coaches' poll, USC held on to No. 1, with LSU, Cal, Ohio State and Wisconsin in the top five.

The other two top-10 teams to lose this weekend took the largest tumbles in the new rankings.

Texas dropped 12 spots to No. 19 after it was handed its worst home loss of the Mack Brown era, 41-21 at home to Kansas State. The Wildcats entered the rankings for the first time since 2004 at No. 24.

Rutgers fell 11 spots to No. 21 after losing 34-24 at home to Maryland.

The second 10 starts with South Carolina at No. 11 and Georgia at No. 12.

After West Virginia is Oregon at No. 14. The Ducks fell three spots after a tough 31-24 loss to Cal. Virginia Tech is No. 15, followed by Hawaii, Missouri and Arizona State at No. 18.

Cincinnati moved up four spots to No. 20, a week after receiving its first national ranking in 31 years.

Clemson, another upset victim, fell nine spots to No. 22 after losing 13-3 to Georgia Tech.

No. 23 Purdue was the second newcomer to the rankings, along with Kansas State, and No. 25 Nebraska was the only team in the Top 25 to hold the same spot as it did last week.

Falling out of the rankings were Penn State and Alabama.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

Miss. St. QB out for season with torn ACL
September 30, 2007

Associated Press

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi State quarterback Josh Riddell tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during Saturday's loss to South Carolina and is out for the rest of the season.

Bulldogs athletic department spokesman Mike Nemeth said Sunday that Riddell will have surgery, probably next week. Riddell was 9-of-21 for 101 yards and an interception before leaving the game. South Carolina won 38-21.

The injury puts the Bulldogs (3-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) down two quarterbacks. Starter Michael Henig broke his hand during Mississippi State's 24-16 win over Auburn on Sept. 15.

Riddell had been splitting playing time with Wesley Carroll, a freshman, who is expected to take over behind center at least until Henig returns in several weeks. His backup will likely be another freshman, Chris Relf.

Unfortunately for coach Sylvester Croom, this is familiar territory.

Last year about this time, Henig was out with a broken collarbone, backup Omarr Conner was out with a severe right groin strain and Tray Rutland was out with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee.

The Bulldogs play UAB at home Saturday.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

WVU's White day-to-day with thigh bruise
September 30, 2007

Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia quarterback Pat White's status for Saturday's game at Syracuse is uncertain as he recuperates from a bruise on his right thigh.

Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez said Sunday he wants to let White rest before making any decisions about the upcoming game.

"We'll see how he gets better during the week," Rodriguez said in a conference call with reporters. "It's a thigh bruise, so it's kind of day-to-day with him."

White was hit by a helmet in the second quarter of a 21-13 loss at South Florida when he was tackled after an 18-yard run. He limped off the field and remained on the sideline, but did not play again.

White wasn't scheduled to practice with the rest of the team Sunday, Rodriguez said.

"Those things you can't predict," Rodriguez said. "He may wake up tomorrow, tomorrow's a day off, and get better. We'll see."

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

Week 5 betting recap

Upsets were the theme of Week 5 and Allah truly blessed the man wise enough to take Auburn, Colorado, South Florida, Kansas State or Maryland on the moneyline.

Still and all, I can think of some bigger upsets over the past century, including a clash between the U.S. of A. and the Russkies where the unknowns beat an established powerhouse. Remember when Jennifer Garner was relegated to No. 11 in Maxim's "Hot 100" in 2003 after winning the title the year before? You know who ranked directly ahead of her? Russian pop disasters t.A.T.u., that's who. I mean, c'mon! Those girls weren't even that hot! They feed us this faux-lesbian stuff and we turn to mush? Nice call, Maxim ... you unpatriotic jerks.

And then there's Like Jethro Tull's win over Metallica for the 1989 Grammy in the Heavy Metal category. Jethro Tull's lead man often wore tights and played a flute, while Metallica had put out "... And Justice for All." Maybe it's my hick background coming out, but I suddenly feel like pounding some Jack Daniels and headbanging in protest 18 years after the fact.

Before I do that and neglect all writing responsibilities, though, here's what I thought of some Week 5 performances and how they affect football bettors.

Auburn Tigers

Look on the bright side, Florida fans – at least the Gators covered the second-half spread!

The Auburn defense looked every bit as potent as it did during its weeks in the top 10 last year and freshman kicker Wes Byrum obviously has big brass ones after he nailed both cracks at the game-winning 43-yarder. The amazing thing about Saturday night was Auburn's effective offense after it had looked like crap in each of their first three games. Tommy Tuberville and Al Borges consistently made the right calls from the sideline and Brandon Cox's execution was fantastic.

The big concern for Auburn backers now is the obvious letdown potential. How can next weekend's home game against Vanderbilt match the emotion in Gainesville?

California Golden Bears's Julian Dickinson suggested that Saturday's feature game might come down to coaching and if it did, then Cal's Jeff Tedford was the likely winner. That's exactly how it panned out, as Oregon looked far more dangerous in the first half but Cal's halftime adjustments won the game.

It also didn't hurt that the Bears played turnover-free ball and had the best athlete on the field in a game littered with potential track stars. The Ducks smothered DeSean Jackson early in the game, leaving Nate Longshore little option but to seek his lesser-known targets. Jackson made room when he had single coverage, though, and when you only ask him to beat one defender, the job's as good as done.

Clemson Tigers

I worried about Clemson's untested defense coming into this one, but it did a passable job at Georgia Tech. Once the Yellow Jackets had the lead, they ran out the clock masterfully. But a pair of massive plays changed the entire course of the game.

The first was a blocked punt that put Tech deep in the red zone for the game's opening touchdown. The second was a C.J. Spiller touchdown just before the half that was called back due to a Clemson personal foul that had nothing to do with Spiller's run. The Tigers missed the subsequent field goal and trailed 7-3 at the half instead of leading 10-7. If Clemson leads and Tech has to play catch-up, it's a totally different story because the Jackets' passing game remains a mess.

Clemson kicker Mark Buchholz is likely going to take a lot of blame for the loss with his four missed field goals, but that's unfair. Three of those kicks were from 47 yards and further and pointing the finger at the kicker obscures the miserable performance from the Tigers' offense on Saturday.

Florida State Seminoles

I liked what I saw from the Seminoles' offense on Saturday, despite their shoddy stats in the box score. Florida State was creative (four different players took snaps, including Preston Parker in a Wildcat formation) and its receivers showed off, if only in glimpses, their capabilities.

It's hard to love any offense in a game tied 0-0 at the half, but Florida State should have been winning at that point and the Sems at -1 looked like a solid second-half play. The 20-point total for the second half looked dicey, but the 35 points the teams posted just shows what I know.

Florida State's defense and special teams were fantastic on Saturday. Alabama was consistently pinned deep and wasn't a threat to score throughout the first half. Everette Brown was the player of the game, once sacking John Parker Wilson to remove Bama from field goal territory and sacking him again to give FSU the ball inside the 10-yard line. Those two plays resulted in a 10-point swing in Florida State's favor.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Saturday provided Illinois with a big "statement" win, but I still have my doubts about the Illini.

The Penn State defense shut down the Illini running game for extended periods later in the game and when forced to pass, Juice Williams forced too many throws into two- and three-man coverage. And am I crazy, or does Williams keep the ball himself when running the option way more than most quarterbacks? His willingness to take a hit is fine, but he's running the risk of becoming predictable.

LSU Tigers

From Colt David hitting the upright on his first field goal attempt to the Tigers' penalty for having 12 men in the huddle, it was a disastrous first half for LSU. The -21 halftime spread was a reasonably attractive bet, however, if only because the game at the Superdome was a mirror image of LSU's opener at Mississippi State.

The Tigers can struggle against lesser teams like the Bulldogs and Tulane, but LSU's array of talent, speed, size and depth simply wears such opponents down. That won't be the case when the Gators visit Baton Rouge next week, but then again, LSU won't be asked to cover a 39-point spread either.

Ohio State Buckeyes

This game killed me. I was on Ohio State -24 and was actually done in by the fact that the Golden Gophers' defense was too poor against the run. Ohio State built a big lead without too much effort and found they could keep running the ball at will. If Minnesota's defense shows a little more gumption against the run in the second half, Todd Boeckman has to go to the air a couple more times and odds are the score ends up even more lopsided in the Buckeyes' favor. As is stands, they went on autopilot and won by only 23 points in a repeat of their win over Northwestern the week before.

OSU bettors have to be wary of the Buckeyes being lulled to sleep. The Buckeyes travel to Purdue next weekend, the first real aerial threat they'll have faced this season.

Oregon Ducks

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit is adamant that the Ducks should remain high in the rankings despite Saturday's loss to Cal and his opinion is understandable. I don't know if any team in the country can drive like Oregon with Dennis Dixon taking the snaps. The Ducks threatened to win through the entire fourth quarter and while there were a couple of mistakes, Dixon's second interception and the game-deciding touchback were unfortunate.

Oregon won the battle of the trenches in the first half as it built a 10-3 lead. It made the Ducks look like a solid bet at -1 in the second half, but as noted above, Jeff Tedford's halftime adjustments made a huge difference. The Cal defenders took better angles and stopped Oregon runners from gaining the corners as easily as they had in the second quarter.

Penn State Nittany Lions

It's becoming a weekly thing of mine to pick on Anthony Morelli. I don't know the guy, but that makes it even worse! An absolute stranger is threatening to cost me money every week.

Maybe Penn State offensive coordinator Galen Hall is to blame. In any case, the Nittany Lions' red zone play-calling is even more vanilla than their uniforms. The Illini led 21-17 at the half but had no business keeping the lead. The Nits made multiple defensive stands and Penn State started three consecutive drives in Illinois' side of the field, only to walk away with three total points.

Morelli's turnovers on Saturday were killers and while I love upsets as much as the next guy, Penn State should have covered as a 3-point road favorite. The Nits also should've covered at Michigan as a 2-point road favorite and beaten Notre Dame by 35 points at home instead of 21, meaning I've finally learned my lesson – stay away from PSU.

Purdue Boilermakers

The Boilermakers built the expected 23-0 halftime lead and simply looked like a big play waiting to happen with every snap. Purdue -9 1/2 at the break looked good, really good. A funny thing happened at the break, though, and the Boilermakers stalled repeatedly in the second half. Their pass defense also made the Fighting Irish quarterbacks look far too good for the shoddy pass protection they received from their O-line.

Curtis Painter threw multiple bad passes when Purdue should have put the game out of reach. He tossed a horrible lob when pressured that was easily picked off, and fired an end zone bullet at Dorien Bryant that would have been a touchdown if it had a little less zip and a little more touch.

The lack of points over the game's final minutes killed my play on the over, but more importantly, Purdue's sputtering down the stretch was a valuable caution as the Boilermakers prepare for some Big Ten powers in weeks ahead.

USC Trojans

Saturday's wasn't your typical USC performance, littered with turnovers and penalties. Sometimes when a giant program has a poor first half, you can just sense a monster second-half coming and you don't mind laying a ton of points (see LSU above). The Trojans, however, simply looked off, so their -12 line for the second half was a no-go.

John David Booty tossed a couple of interceptions and lost the ball on an exchange with his center, while the Trojans as a team racked up personal foul penalties at a rate that made Pete Carroll nearly lose his ever-present cool on the officials. The Trojans' ground game was enough for the win, but bettors have to ask if the near-miss in Seattle represented the entire midseason slump USC is prone to or if there's more to follow.

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia blew Pitt away before the Panthers even knew what hit them. The Cavs had incredible field position throughout the first quarter and took advantage of it by blazing to a 27-0 lead. The fact that Pitt's strength is its running game made the final result a foregone conclusion. I thought that would translate into a more attractive halftmie line, but Pitt +1 1/2 wasn't enough to lure me in.

Jameel Sewell proved that he's definitely the right quarterback for the Cavs when they have a lead to protect, as his mobility is such a boon. But the way Sewell handled himself on Saturday also suggests he's the right man to help Virginia build leads as well.

Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers have to be the shakiest top-10 team in the country, which is reflected in their 1-3 record against the spread. Their defense has looked breachable in two of their games with a line and their offense has looked iffy in the other two. Saturday was the defense's turn to play poorly.

Every time the Badgers' offense reclaimed the momentum their defense would immediately hand it right back to the Spartans. The most egregious examped was Devin Thomas' 80-yard run on a simple screen pass that showcased Wisconsin tackling at its worst. The Badgers had scored a long touchdown of their own immediately beforehand, but the defensive lapse took the Madison crowd out of the game right away. 

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

Memphis defensive lineman shot to death, killer at large

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A University of Memphis football player was shot on campus and classes were canceled Monday, a university police dispatcher said.

Junior defensive lineman Taylor Bradford was pronounced dead at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, according to a report on The Daily Helmsman website.

Classes will resume Tuesday, said the dispatcher, who did not give his name and provided no further details.

It is not known if Tuesday's game between Marshall and Memphis will proceed as planned.

The student had apparently walked out of his dormitory late Sunday and was in his car when he was shot in the chest, WMC-TV reported. The car ran into a tree a short distance from the campus, the station reported.

Football players gathered Sunday night as Bradford's damaged car was towed away from the accident scene, The Daily Helmsman reported.

''There was an incident on our campus last night that may have involved a current or former football player,'' said Bob Winn, associate athletic director at University of Memphis.

The university provided no further details Monday.

The university had 20,562 students enrolled for last fall, according to its Web site.

The school was founded in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School and was eventually renamed the University of Memphis in 1994.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

Early NCAAF line moves – Week 6

The strongest initial line movements over the past two weeks have only cost against-the-spread wins for teams getting heavy early action in four of 13 instances. Either the sharp money is getting a dull or the books are intent to short worthy favorites. Regardless, here are this week’s heaviest early line movements.

(All games scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6.)

Wisconsin at Illinois
Open: Wisconsin -1
Current: Illinois -3

No love for Bucky. The Badgers have been one of the least-impressive 5-0 teams in the nation, posting a 1-3 record against the number while slogging out wins against supposedly inferior competition. Wisconsin couldn’t cover in either of its first two Big Ten games even though both were played at home, and now the No. 5 Badgers are dogged on the road against an unranked foe. That’s a huge red flag. And the fact that the Illini possess the Kryptonite for burly Big Ten clubs – speed – tells me that this potential “upset” is just loaded with value.

Central Michigan at Ball State
Open: Ball State -7 ½
Current: Ball State -12

The Chippewas have been gashed by injuries this season and apparently the books believe their 35-10 thrashing of equally thin Northern Illinois was an aberration. Ball State has lost three straight in this series but has the talent on the home field on its side. CMU’s secondary should be no match for Nate Davis and Co. and the Chippewas are just 21-43-2 on the road in conference play. Be wary if this line moves much more (I expect it to hit -14) because the last time the Cardinals were a double-digit favorite they were hammered 38-14 at Eastern Michigan in 2003.

Georgia Tech at Maryland

Open: Maryland -1
Current: Georgia Tech -2

The 3-point shift in the line isn’t what got my attention in this ACC matchup. But the fact that Georgia Tech is involved with a crossover spread like this in back-to-back weeks did. Last week the Jackets opened as a small favorite but the line instantly steamed to Clemson laying a field goal in Atlanta. The Jackets sprung the upset easily. This week Tech is on the opposite end, laying points on the road to a conference foe.

Texas Christian at Wyoming
Open: TCU -2
Current: Wyoming -2

War Memorial Stadium should be rocking when the defending Mountain West champs roll into town. TCU’s margin of victory over its past two games (13) belies the fact that this clearly isn’t as talented a Horned Frogs club as the ones that posted back-to-back conference titles. Wyoming had an extra week to prepare, is 13-6 ATS as a home dog since 2001, and is 8-2 ATS with revenge off a win against an opponent off back-to-back victories.

Oklahoma at Texas
Open: Oklahoma -6 ½
Current: Oklahoma -10

The Red River Shootout brings us the most significant early line movement, as this number skyrocketed through several key numbers on the way to its present position. It’s pretty clear which team the books feel is best equipped to bounce back from an upset last Saturday (OU to Colorado; Texas to K-State) and the fact that each of the last nine meetings has been decided by double digits certainly bore consideration. Longhorn backers do have some hope: teams off a straight-up loss as a favorite of 20 or more points that were installed as a favorite the following week are just 3-15 ATS since 1997.

South Florida at Florida Atlantic
Open: South Florida -21 ½
Current: South Florida -16

Is that a letdown I smell? South Florida is coming off what most observers feel is a program-defining victory over West Virginia last Friday night. The Bulls were playing at home in prime time and now they’re expected to go on the road against an inferior in-state school and maintain their intensity level? Doubtful. South Florida is 7-3 as a road favorite over the past six years, but they not only do they have to fight against a possible letdown but they also may get caught looking ahead to a underrated rivalry game against dark horse Central Florida next weekend. I’m not predicting a loss here, but FAU could make things interesting.

Cincinnati at Rutgers
Open: Rutgers -6
Current: Rutgers -3

The Bearcats have been a wrecking crew this season and are one of my favorite teams in the country. But it may be time to sell on a team that’s gone 4-0 ATS so far this season and is coming off a 29-point road victory. Last year Cincinnati stunned Rutgers as a home dog just a week after the Scarlet Knights dropped Louisville (are you listening South Florida?) so there is a revenge factor at work. The bottom line is that this Cincy team may be even better while last week Rutgers may have been exposed. But are we getting enough points for optimum value?

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Jeff Haney notes trends developing for college teams

Of the 120 college football teams whose games regularly appear on the betting board, only six remain undefeated against the point spread this season.

Cincinnati, from the Big East, and Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference lead the way with against-the-spread (ATS) records of 4-0.

Kansas and Missouri of the Big 12 are each 3-0 ATS, along with South Florida of the Big East and Louisiana Tech of the Western Athletic Conference.

Another three NCAA teams have yet to cover this season, with North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, both from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the most notable failures vis-a-vis the point spread at 0-4 ATS. Rice, of Conference USA, is 0-for-3 against the number.

When NFL teams get off to a good start against the spread, most savvy gamblers look for reasons to bet against them, expecting a regression to the mean. Handicapper Al McMordie, for instance, picked against high-flying Green Bay, New England and Pittsburgh this week in the Leroy's "Money Talks" contest. He figured those teams were overvalued in the betting marketplace and due to come back to earth.

Handicapping college football, however, where there's less parity and a greater degree of randomness, calls for a different strategy.

All we know so far is that the teams that are unbeaten ATS have generally exceeded the expectations of oddsmakers and the betting market while those yet to cover have fallen short of expectations. Whether the trends will continue is another matter.

With its nationally televised victory against West Virginia on Friday night as a 7-point underdog, South Florida vaulted into the top 10 but also probably ensured it won't have much point-spread value the rest of the season.

Cincinnati, meanwhile, has relied on a top-notch defense in winning eight in a row straight-up dating to last year and comfortably exceeding the expectations of oddsmakers and bettors. Saturday, three weeks after beating Oregon State 34-3 as a 3-point underdog, the Bearcats easily handled San Diego State, winning 52-23 on the road as a 14-point favorite.

At 5-1 odds, Kentucky was the fifth choice among six teams to win the SEC East on the preseason Las Vegas line, behind favored Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. The Wildcats are also unbeaten straight-up, at 5-0, and have reached No. 8 in the rankings.

Kansas, a 25-1 preseason long shot to win the Big 12 championship game, has fattened up on nonconference competition as a betting favorite but will be tested in conference play. Like the Jayhawks, Missouri is also undefeated straight-up. The Tigers face division favorite Nebraska on Saturday.

Louisiana Tech looks intriguing from a gambling perspective, an unexceptional team that has started 1-3 straight-up and 0-2 in the WAC yet manages to cover as an underdog each time out.

Of the three underachievers against the spread, Virginia Tech has the best chance of meeting its nongambling preseason expectations. The Hokies, who were co-favorites with Miami to win the ACC Coastal Division, are 4-1 straight-up. They got thumped by LSU and won their three other lined games as a favorite, but failed to cover.

Watch the other two money-burners, as N.C. State and Rice are at risk of falling into the "dead" zone as the season progresses - hopeless cases against the point spread.

Rice, 0-4 straight-up, is coming off two games in which it went off as an underdog of 27 points and 38 points yet still failed to cover.

North Carolina State, which has not scored more than 24 points in 26 consecutive games against Division I-A teams, showed no offensive punch Saturday even against Louisville's questionable defense, losing 29-10 as an 8 1/2-point underdog. The Wolfpack's lone victory came against Wofford, a team not on the betting board.

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Week 5 Rewind

With 32 of the 50 board games showing double-digit spreads in Week 5, I dubbed it Mismatch Saturday. Little did I know that it would become Upset Saturday, with seven of the top 13 teams in the AP rankings losing. That’s right, seven!

The craziness started on Friday when South Florida beat West Virginia for the second time in as many years, capturing a 21-13 victory as a 6 ½-point underdog. USF vaulted to No. 6 in the AP poll, noticeably ahead of in-state rivals Florida, Florida State and Miami.

When Jim Leavitt’s name was mentioned as a potential candidate for the Alabama job last year, he came out and said he wasn’t interested and even claimed his job was “the best in America.”

I remember chuckling at that remark, but now look whose laughing? That would be Leavitt, who built USF’s football program from scratch and has a legitimate national-title contender in his 11th season with the Bulls.

Seriously, look at the rest of South Florida’s schedule. The Bulls get Cincinnati and Louisville at home, so they will most likely be favored in both of those spots. The toughest road game will be at Rutgers.

Sure, as we learned over the weekend, all of those games are lose-able, but the point is that USF has got a shot.

Saturday’s first shocker went down in Boulder, where Colorado went 2-10 in Pat Hawkins’ first season in 2006. Nobody saw this one coming, as the Buffaloes rallied from a 24-7 deficit to collect a 27-24 win over previously-unbeaten Oklahoma.

Kevin Eberhart buried a 45-yard field goal as time expired to give the Buffs the outright win as 24-point underdogs. Cody Hawkins threw for 219 yards and a pair of TDs for CU.

Another shocker took place at The Swamp, where Auburn handed the Gators their first home loss under Urban Meyer. Wes Byrum was true from 43 yards out on the game’s final play to lift the Tigers to a 20-17 win as 17 ½-point underdogs.

Senior quarterback Brandon Cox, who had taken criticism galore in this space and was yanked from the lineup two weeks ago, played his best game of the year. Cox connected on 17-of-26 pass attempts for 227 yards.

Auburn has been a double-digit underdog three times since 2001. Tommy Tuberville’s team has won outright in all three of those spots, beating UF twice and Alabama in 2002.

As for the Gators, they are an atrocious 4-14-1 ATS as favorites in SEC games during Meyer’s three-year tenure.

Texas was another victim of the upset bug, but the Longhorns had been playing with fire all month. After dodging upset bids from Arkansas St., TCU and Central Florida, Mack Brown’s team finally went down, and it wasn’t even close.

Kudos to Kansas State, which went into Austin and dealt out woodshed treatment in the form of a 41-21 clubbing as a 14 ½-point underdog. Jordy Nelson sparked the Wildcats into the winner’s circle by returning a kick 89 yards for a touchdown and hauling in 12 receptions for 116 yards and another TD.

California announced its candidacy as a national-title contender by going into Eugene and emerging with a 31-24 win over Oregon as a seven-point underdog. DeSean Jackson led the Bears with 11 catches for 161 yards and two TDs.

Jeff Tedford’s squad has an open date this week that leads into a four-game stretch (vs. Oregon St., at UCLA, at Arizona St. and vs. Washington St.) prior to the USC game at home on Nov. 10.

Speaking of the Trojans, they got all they wanted and more at Washington. Pete Carroll’s team had three turnovers and committed 16 penalties, yet pulled out a 27-24 victory.

The Huskies easily took the cash as 20-point underdogs.

Georgia Tech was in desperation mode when it hosted undefeated Clemson at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Yellow Jackets were off back-to-back losses vs. Boston College and at Virginia.

But with RB Tashard Choice back to 100 percent and with a defense that completely stymied Clemson’s vaunted ground attack, Chan Gailey’s team took out the Tigers by a 13-3 count as a three-point underdog.

Maryland went into Clemson last season and won outright as a double-digit underdog. The Terrapins did the same at Rugers over the weekend, thumping the Scarlet Knights 34-24 as 18-point ‘dogs.

Another ACC squad that was impressive in non-conference play was Virginia, which waxed Pitt 44-14 as a six-point ‘chalk.’ This space has been all over Al Groh recently but just like Rich Brooks last year, Groh appears to be taking himself off the hot seat. The Wahoos are 4-1 with winnable games against Middle Tennessee and UConn on deck.

Speaking of Brooks’ upstart Kentucky program, the Wildcats were at it again Saturday. Senior QB Andre Woodson saw his NCAA-record interception-less streak end at 325 pass attempts, but the Wildcats still won a 45-17 decision over FAU as 24 ½-point favorites.

UK is 5-0 straight up and 4-0 ATS. The ‘Cats are 3 ½-point underdogs Thursday at South Carolina.

Speaking of the Gamecocks, they beat Mississippi St. 38-21 as 14-point favorites to improve to 4-1. Instead of sitting on the ball with a minute left and a 10-point lead, Steve Spurrier produced for SC backers by allowing Mike Davis to score on a 12-yard run for the spread cover.

Watch out for Ron Zook’s Illinois team. The Illini knocked off Penn St. 27-20 as a three-point home ‘dog to improve to 4-1. Zook’s third team has equaled the amount of wins for his first two teams combined.

Other impressive teams to produce ATS winners in Week 5 included Troy, Boise St., FSU, Cincy, Ohio St. and Hawaii.

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Tar Heels lose cornerback Williams for season with knee injury
October 1, 2007

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -North Carolina cornerback Kendric Williams is out for the season after injuring his left knee during Saturday's loss at Virginia Tech.

Williams, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship before the season, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the first half. He had started five games and had 16 tackles.

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Gators lose Phil Trautwein, Chris Rainey for season, expect to get Andre Caldwell back
October 1, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -No. 9 Florida will be without offensive tackle Phil Trautwein and freshman running back Chris Rainey for the rest of the season.

Trautwein, a senior captain who started every game for the national champions last season, missed the first five games this year because of a stress fracture in his right foot. The Gators (4-1) had hoped he would be able to return.

``I don't believe he'll play this year,'' coach Urban Meyer said Monday.

Trautwein is expected to receive a medical redshirt and return next season.

Rainey, one of numerous freshmen playing for the Gators, injured his shoulder and was expected to have surgery soon. He played in two games, rushing once for 10 yards, returning one kickoff for 39 yards and one punt for 22 yards.

The Gators do expect to have receiver Andre ``Bubba'' Caldwell back at full speed for Saturday's game at top-ranked LSU. Caldwell played sparingly in a 20-17 loss to Auburn after missing two games because of a sprained ligament in his right knee.

``He's become a leader,'' Meyer said. ``He's an inspiration to the team. He was wild on that sideline during the (Auburn) game. He has to keep control of his emotions because he's such an emotional guy. And we need Bubba back.''

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Lee gets start for FSU against N.C. St.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Roughly a month after nearly giving up on his dream of playing quarterback for Florida State, Xavier Lee got a second chance Monday.

The redshirt junior will make his fourth career start Saturday when Florida State hosts North Carolina State, coach Bobby Bowden said.

Lee saw his first action of the season Saturday when he came off the bench to pass for 224 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 victory over Alabama after starter Drew Weatherford failed to get the team into the end zone despite favorable field position.

"Nothing was happening," Bowden said about changing quarterbacks early in the second quarter of a scoreless game.

"Lee made things happen with his running ability, plus the strength of his arm, plus he was getting the ball to the right people," Bowden said. "He won the job. Drew is the backup now. He'll have to play the role Xavier's been playing the past couple of years."

In less than three quarters against the Crimson Tide, Lee also added a game-high 59 rushing yards against Alabama to become the Seminoles' third leading rusher for the season.

Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said Monday that the second-half offensive breakout shows what the team is capable of doing.

But if not for Fisher's heart-to-heart talk with Lee just before the season opener at Clemson, the one-time Florida prep player of the year might have transferred.

"He was too good of a player and good of a talent to let get away," Fisher said Monday.

Lee's first chance came last year at Maryland when Weatherford came up lame with tendinitis in his right foot. Lee played well in a losing effort against the Terps and the next week directed a 33-0 victory over Virginia. But then he was replaced by Weatherford after being intercepted twice in a 30-0 loss at home to Wake Forest as the Seminoles hit rock bottom in Bowden's most disappointing year in Tallahassee.

When he was first told Saturday to grab his helmet and start warming up, Lee initially thought it was a joke.

"(Now) I've got my shot and hope to make the most of it," said Lee, who has passed for 1,575 yards and a dozen touchdowns during his career at Florida State.

Florida State (3-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) will be trying to end an eight-game losing streak against Atlantic Division teams. N.C. State, meanwhile, is trying to end an 11-game losing streak against Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) teams dating back to last season's win over the Seminoles.

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Louisville WR Spillman suspended indefinitely

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville wide receiver/kick returner JaJuan Spillman has been suspended from the team indefinitely, coach Steve Kragthorpe said Monday.

Kragthorpe did not give a reason for the suspension. Spillman has played in all five games for the Cardinals (3-2) this season. He is fifth on the team in receptions with nine for 64 yards. He has also split time returning punts and kickoffs with Trent Guy. Spillman is averaging 22.2 yards per kick return and 8.8 yards per punt return.

Spillman, a sophomore, was arrested earlier this year following a car accident in the city. According to a police report, an officer responded to an accident near campus. The report said Spillman and an unnamed passenger admitted to the officer that they had smoked marijuana in the car. An officer found 9.3 grams of marijuana, police said.

The case is headed to trial on Nov. 27.

Kragthorpe said in August that the matter was being handled internally, and Spillman was not immediately disciplined.

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Pitt's Pinkston to miss rest of season
October 1, 2007

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pitt sophomore offensive tackle Jason Pinkston will have left shoulder surgery later this week and will miss the rest of the season.

Pinkston was hurt Sept. 15 at Michigan State and did not play in the Panthers' blowout losses to Connecticut (34-14) and Virginia (44-14) the last two weeks. Pitt's next game is at home Oct. 10 against Navy.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Pinkston, a first-team all-state lineman at Baldwin High School, will accept a medical redshirt and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

Florida captain charged with felony burglary
Associated Press 

Florida safety Tony Joiner was arrested early Tuesday and charged with felony burglary, police said.
Joiner, a senior captain who ranks fifth on the ninth-ranked Gators with 20 tackles, was arrested around 5 a.m. outside the fenced impound lot of a towing company, Gainesville police said.

Joiner was accused of pushing an electric gate open to enter the lot in an attempt to retrieve his girlfriend's car, which was being held in lieu of a $76 towing bill, a police report said.

According to the report, witnesses said Joiner opened the gate to the towing company, got into a car, drove out of the lot and was trying to close the gate when he was confronted by one of the witnesses. The witness said Joiner drove back into the lot and waited for police to arrive.

The arresting officer, Robert Concannon, wrote that Joiner was talking on a phone when he walked up. Concannon said he heard Joiner say, "I am probably about to go to jail 'cuz I did push the gate open."

Florida coach Urban Meyer was aware of Joiner's arrest and planned to address it after practice Tuesday.

Joiner's arrest came two days after three players were questioned about a shooting outside a downtown nightclub. The players were not considered suspects, but their names were given to police as people who may have witnessed the shooting that happened several hours after the Gators lost 20-17 to Auburn.

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Stanford QB Ostrander suffers seizure; will miss USC game
October 2, 2007

Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford quarterback T.C. Ostrander will miss this week's game against No. 2 Southern California after having a seizure at a restaurant over the weekend.

Ostrander was watching former teammate Trent Edwards play on television for the Buffalo Bills when he had the seizure Sunday.

Teammate Evan Moore was at the restaurant when he heard Ostrander's father yell out his son's name. Moore turned and saw Ostrander fall to the ground and slam his head on a pole.

"I ran over and he was in a full body seizure," Moore said Tuesday. "I had never seen that before so it was a little bit troubling to say the least. Not only that but he was bleeding out of his mouth because of how hard he hit his head. That was tough to watch. I didn't sleep too well Sunday night. I couldn't get that out of my head."

Ostrander was taken to Stanford hospital and had a series of tests. He was released from the hospital later Sunday after all tests came back normal. He rejoined his teammates that night on campus and Moore said he felt much better after talking to Ostrander.

"You're watching it thinking is he even going to make it through this," Moore said. "It's a scary looking thing. To see him come home and hear him converse normally was obviously very relieving to say the least."

Ostrander was back at classes this week and will travel to the game on Saturday in Los Angeles. He won't play as a precaution but could be back for the game Oct. 13 against TCU.

"He'll be reevaluated next week and then be ramped back up to play football," coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Sophomore Tavita Pritchard will make his first career start Saturday for the Cardinal (1-3, 0-3 Pac-10). Pritchard is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Jack Thompson, better known by his nickname, "The Throwin' Samoan."

Thompson, who starred in college at Washington State, was picked third overall by Cincinnati in 1979. He played six years in the NFL for the Bengals and Tampa Bay.

Pritchard has thrown only three passes in his career, completing one for 10 yards. He now must face the team that has the top-ranked defense in the Pac-10, allowing only 277.5 yards per game.

"You hate to have an opportunity come like this," Pritchard said. "T.C. is a good friend of mine. Having him go down like he did is nothing you want to see. But I've been preparing my whole life for this, to be able to start at the Division-I level in the Pac-10."

Ostrander has completed 90 of 166 passes for 1,065 yards and six touchdowns through four games. He began his senior year as the starter after backing up Edwards the previous three seasons.

The loss of Ostrander is just the latest to hit the Cardinal this season.

Linebacker Fred Campbell suffered a career-ending neck injury against San Jose State, offensive lineman Allen Smith could be out for the year with a knee injury, running back Toby Gerhart will miss his fourth game this week because of a knee injury, and defensive lineman Ekom Udofia is expected to miss his second straight game with a sprained ankle. In training camp, fullback Emeka Nnoli went down for the season with a hip injury.

The injuries have had a big impact on Stanford's depth and are a reason for the team's struggles in conference play. The Cardinal have been outscored 141-51 in the three Pac-10 losses.

"We put so much into this season, preparing for it, getting ready for it," Moore said. "We cannot let one, two or three or four injuries completely make us throw in the towel. As important as some of these players are, we still have our team, we still have our season left."

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CFB - Never look ahead
October 2nd, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Don't Look Back was a documentary about Bob Dylan and his tour through England back in 1964. It is also a phrase people use to keep their minds focused on the task ahead rather than getting caught up in the past.

Which brings us to today's topic of "looking ahead." Keeping your eye on the future is usually much more important than being focused on previous events, but in college football it's a fate worse than death.

What happened last Saturday was a perfect example: four teams in the top seven were flat as a pancake the week before the "big game." Oklahoma and Texas both lost prior to this Saturday's Red River Shootout, while Florida was upset at home by Auburn and LSU struggled against Tulane prior to their showdown in Baton Rouge.

The Sooners, 23-point favorites at Colorado, led the Buffaloes 24-10 heading to the fourth quarter, but lost the game in the final seconds when Kevin Eberhart nailed a 45-yard field goal on the last play of the game.

After averaging 564 yards in their first four games, the Sooners were only able to muster 230 against Colorado. The Buffaloes pass defense was superb, holding Sam Bradford to eight completions in 19 attempts for 112 yards and two interceptions. Colorado had previously displayed a penchant for stopping the passing game as Arizona State, Florida State and Miami-Ohio had combined for only 38 for 87 - a 44% completion rate.

One trend that could have been used in this contest was the "conference home underdog" angle. The Buffaloes were getting a ton of points at home vs. a league foe, a proposition that proved to be successful on multiple occasions this past Saturday. Washington covered at home vs. USC, Minnesota did the same against Ohio State and the Northwestern Wildcats, who led Michigan at home going into the final 15 minutes, lost 28-16, but covered the 17-point number. And don't forget South Florida's home win over West Virginia on Friday night.

Texas, just like its Big 12 rival, fell victim to looking ahead as Kansas State came into Austin and wiped the floor with the Longhorns. Colt McCoy had a pitiful afternoon competing less than 50% of his tosses with four interceptions. Texas has now failed to cover four of its last five years in the game prior to Oklahoma.

There is another big game this weekend besides the Longhorns vs. the Sooners and it comes from the SEC. Unfortunately, both teams were not that prepared to play the previous Saturday, so this Florida-LSU contest has lost a lot of its luster.

The Gators took on an Auburn squad that had been one of the most disappointing clubs in the nation. Florida was home and favored by 17.5 points, but the Tigers dominated early, getting out to a 14-0 halftime lead on two TDs on three first half drives. The Gators looked flat, but picked up their game in the second half, scoring 17 points to tie it with less than five minutes remaining. The Tigers, though, got the last laugh as Wes Byrum booted home a 43-yarder on the last play to deflate the reigning national champs.

LSU didn't bring its "A-game" to the Superdome either, as Tulane enjoyed a lead until the final seconds of the first half when Colt David nailed a FG to give the Tigers a 10-9 halftime advantage. LSU pulled away in the second half for the 25-point win, but it wasn't anywhere near enough since the Green Wave were getting over 40 points.


Not a good week as Indiana was the only winner. At least the Hoosiers won the game outright. The record now stands at 19-17-1.

The Top 10 has a huge western flavor as five of the ten teams reside in the Pac-10. Both California and UCLA move into the rankings for the first time, but other than those two clubs, no new schools made the jump.

1) LSU, 105.5; 1) Oklahoma, 105.5; 3) USC, 103.5; 4) West Virginia, 100.5; 5) Ohio State, 99.5; 6) California, 96.5; 6) Oregon, 96.5; 8) UCLA, 95.5; 8) Boston College, 95.5; 10) Arizona State, 94.5


Get ready because a huge week is upon us with multiple top plays, beginning with Virginia Tech at Clemson. The Hokies will be getting their first true test since bowing out early vs. LSU. Incidentally, it seems every game has been a test for them since they have failed to cover any of their four lined games. Freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor has completed just over 50% of his passes with only one touchdown and that came vs. William and Mary. In two starts against FBS schools, he's led Virginia Tech to just 17 points vs. North Carolina and 28 against Ohio.

Good luck, Mr. Taylor, this Saturday in Death Valley against Clemson. The Tigers defense has already recorded five sacks vs. Florida State and six at Georgia Tech. I can't imagine what the "D" will do at home against a V-Tech offensive line that has allowed seven sacks total in its last two games, and at least three in four of its five this season.

The Tigers are 3-0 at home this year and would love nothing more than to pound Virginia Tech after the Hokies crushed them 24-7 on national television last October.

Take Clemson minus the points.

Game two pits Rutgers at home against Cincinnati. If this game were played a couple of weeks ago, I would have picked the Scarlet Knights to walk off the field with a slight victory. However, since that time, the Bearcats had to travel to the west coast for a meaningless game with San Diego State and now have to come all the way East to New Jersey to take on a Rutgers squad not in the best of moods after falling at home to Maryland.

The Knights had to bounce back twice last season after two losses, and both times recorded easy wins. They dumped Kansas State in the Texas Bowl after losing to West Virginia the last week of the regular season and prior to that, beat up on Syracuse, 38-7 after losing to Cincinnati on the road.

Rutgers remembers that game vs. the Bearcats extremely well, as the Knights could only gain 50 rushing yards on 21 carries, the only time they failed to gain 100 on the ground all year. Now the tables are turned as the 'Cats come to New Brunswick as the undefeated squad trying to get national attention. Their play has been quite a story this year with five blowout victories along with a +14 turnover ratio. Unfortunately, this Saturday it all will come crashing down as the Scarlet Knights exact revenge for last year's upset.

Take Rutgers minus the points.

Maryland upset Rutgers last week, and now the 3-2 Terrapins come back home to take on 3-2 Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets had lost two straight with an unhealthy Tashard Choice, but bounced back in a big way last week crushing Clemson at home. Choice, who was still not 100% for the game, rushed for 145 yards on 32 carries, and the defense shut down Clemson the final three quarters to win, 13-3.

The "D" was the story, giving up just 228 total yards and recording six sacks. The Yellow Jackets now have 21 sacks in five games and will push the Maryland offensive line around the entire game. Tech has given up 100 rushing yards just once this season, which doesn't bode well for the Terps, who run the ball 66% of the time.

Take Georgia Tech minus the points.

Conference USA presents a solid betting opportunity this Saturday when Tulsa heads out to El Paso, Texas to take on UTEP. The Miners, 3-2 on the year, 2-0 at home, are 12-2 in the first four home games the last three years under Mike Price. The only two losses came to Top 25-ranked teams in Texas Tech and Boise State.

UTEP's rushing attack gives them ample opportunities to match strides with Tulsa, as the Miners have rushed for 200 yards or more in three of their five games. They have also averaged over 4.5 yards per carry and have thrown for over 200 yards in four of the five.

This will be the Golden Hurricane's first road game since opening the season at UL-Monroe, a game they trailed at halftime. They have also lost three of their last four away from home going back to last year. Their defense, usually rock-solid, especially against the pass, has been nothing of the sort this season. After giving up an average of 297 total yards per game in 2006, they have allowed an average of 482 this season.

Going up against a UTEP team that will look to run at every opportunity is not what Tulsa will appreciate since the Hurricane have not given up less than 157 rushing yards per game.

Take the Miners plus the points at home.

Oregon State continued its ineffectiveness at quarterback as Sean Canfield threw two more picks against UCLA, bringing his total to 11 in five games. Backup Lyle Moevao has thrown four in just 43 passes. Take away the game vs. Idaho State, and OSU quarterbacks have 15 picks in four FBS games.

Yvenson Bernard has carried the offense averaging 100 yards per game, but Arizona's run defense has been superb holding all but California to 3.3 yards per carry or less. The only way the Beavers can win this game is if Canfield doesn't turn the ball over, which will be almost impossible based on his past performances.

It took many weeks for the Wildcats offense to explode with the new spread formation, but going against Washington State was the tonic they needed. Running back Nicolas Grigsby picked up 262 all-purpose yards, tops in U of A history for freshmen. The offense won't have to produce a ton of yards since Canfield will help them get decent field position with a few errant throws.

Take Arizona plus the points.

Six other plays are worthy of action including Georgia getting the win at Tennessee, Kansas plus the points vs. Kansas State, LSU minus the points in a blowout of Florida, Oklahoma gets the best of Texas by at least two touchdowns, Vanderbilt covers the number vs. Auburn and Illinois continues its winning ways with a TD victory over Wisconsin.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

News and Notes - Week 6
Northcoast Sports


Colt Brennan may have hurt his Heisman chances throwing 5 int's vs Idaho but Hawaii still won comfortably, 48-20...

Texas Tech DC Lyle Sentencich stepped down this past week after Tech allowed 49 points to Oklahoma St. Their new DC is Ruffin McNeill who was the DC at UNLV in '98 and at Appalachian St from '94-'96...

A&M dominated the Baylor game even more than the final would indicate with 31-7 FD and 552-254 yd edges. Baylor came in avg'ing 441 ypg but had just 2 FD's at the half. A&M missed their 3rd FG of the game to start the 4Q up 20-3 and BU got a 68 yd pass to the 4 setting up a TD and actually got under the spread, 20-10 with the ball back with 12:08 left. After BU punted, A&M drove 58/11pl for a TD to get ahead of the spread with 5:39 left, 27-10 and after a fmbl A&M drove 59/7pl for another TD, 34-10 (1:42)...

For the 2nd year in a row, Duke took Miami to the wire. While UM controlled the 1H with a 233-122 yd edge and scored on their first 2 poss, it was just 10-0 at the half. When Duke got a TD with 9:46 left they made it 17-14 and UM was SOD at the Duke 32. Duke got to the UM 30 threatening to take the lead but was sk'd on 4th & 5 and 2 plays later UM got a 33 yd TD pass for some breathing room...

Iowa St had not won in Lincoln since 1977. The Huskers turned the ball over on their first 3 poss and were called for a number of bad penalties while falling behind 10-0 but rallied for a 35-17 win...

Kent St's Eugene Jarvis rushed for 230 yds vs Ohio and like last week, Kent St dominated the game but this week they hung on for the win leading 27-10 after 3Q's...

Louisville bounced back nicely from their embarrassing loss to Syracuse holding NCSt to 334 yds and forcing 5 TO's in their 29-10 win...

Pitt onside kicked to open vs Virginia and in the 1H the two teams had a combined 5 TD's with UVA leading 30-7 but the TD drives were 39, 51, 26, 21 and 28 yds with special teams setting up the short field on all 5...

In the 1H Northwestern had a 308-153 yd edge over Michigan but missed some key scoring opportunities and only led 16-7. Surprisingly Michigan started QB Henne and he led them to a TD on the opening poss but then true frosh Mallett played the rest of the 1H but generated zero points. Henne QB'd the 2H and the Wolves took the lead with 9:53 left and even ended the game on the NW 15 yd line...

Bobby Bowden, who played at Alabama, got a victory over his old school, 21-14. Florida St was in a great situational edge with the Tide off 2 games that came down to the last minute while FSU was off a bye...

Arkansas-Pine Bluff came in just 1-3 in IAA ball and almost got the week's IAA upset as they took New Mexico St to the wire. NMSt needed a FG with :01 left to pull out the 20-17 win...

Last week Cincinnati was ranked for the first time in 31 years and then moved to 5-0 for the first time since 1954 when they whipped San Diego St 52-23. They have now outscored their first 5 opponents 232-53 and still lead the nation in TO margin...

Louisiana Tech lost their 3rd straight game despite a 21-14 FD edge vs Fresno and having just 1 pen and zero TO's yet still lost by 11...

Tulsa appeared on their way to a big win and amassed 695 yds vs UAB leading 38-16 in the 4Q but allowed 2 late drives for TD's. Surprisingly after UAB pulled within 8 they did not onside kick and Tulsa got 3 FD's and ran out the clock...

Arkansas piled up 713 yds vs N Texas in their 66-7 rout despite RB McFadden only playing the 1H. Only 66,343 were on hand, the smallest crowd in Fayetteville since 2005...

New Mexico was done in by 5 TO's vs BYU with 2 int's and 3 fmbl's lost...

Thomas Brown rushed for 180 yds for UGA and helped them break open a game that was tied 17-17 in the 3Q as UGA finished with 328 yds rushing. UGA backup Munzenmaier even tacked on a TD with :44 left. At the half UGA had just a 266-236 yd edge...

Penn St drove deep into Illini terr four times in the 2H and all but one ended in a TO. IL got a 90 yd KR TD in the 1Q. Anthony Morelli appeared to get the key FD on 4th & 13 running inside the Illini 10 but he fumbled with 2:12 left and Morelli's final pass was int'd at the 9 on their next drive.


Two ranked teams lost to the same opponent for the 2nd straight year as Florida lost to Auburn and Texas to Kansas St and the Longhorns cannot cry about playing without an injured Colt McCoy this time (see Blown Opportunites)...

Purdue for the 2nd straight week had a huge halftime lead over an outmanned foe. Last week they led Minnesota big but only won by 14 giving up some late yards. Versus Notre Dame, Purdue led 23-0 at the half and appeared on their way to a blowout. They once again let up and the Irish, which came in avg'ing just 137 per game, would pile up 426 yds with all but 130 in the 2H and actually made a game of it closing to within 26-19 before PU got a TD. Jimmy Clausen was inj'd and Evan Sharpley came off the bench hitting 16 of 26 for 208 yds.


Iowa St trailed Nebraska 21-10 in the 3Q and went on a 13 play drive but was not only int'd they were ret'd 93 yds for a TD and instead of pulling within 3, they trailed 28-10. Trailing 28-17 NU got a 41 yd IR to the 3 setting up a TD with 2:25 left and ISU had 20-17 FD & 415-369 yd edges...

Arizona St led just 6-0 late 2Q when they got a 62 yd TD pass and then on the next play from scrimmage got a 29 yd IR TD to make it 21-0 late 2Q and rolled to a 41-3 win. The two TD's came within a span of :09 and ASU is off to their third 5-0 start since 1982...

Houston trailed E Carolina 37-35 but drove for the game winning FG and with 1:55 left missed it from 37 yards. They got the ball back, drove down again and this time with :08 left missed a 38 yd FG and EC hung on for a 37-35 road upset despite Houston having a 484-329 yd edge.


A few weeks back there were numerous underdogs which should have been leading at the half but were not and in the 2H, those close games turned into blowouts. That happened again this past week with Akron and Connecticut. Akron settled for a 28 yd FG after a 69/13pl drive. They got a TD with 4:04 left in the half to lead 10-9 but UC returned the KO 97 yds for a TD. UA then drove 50/11pl and had a 2nd & goal at the 3 with :33 left but their QB was tackled inbounds and they did not get another play off and despite a 170-151 yd edge, they trailed by 6 at the half. Zips QB Jacquemain was pushed OOB but the refs ruled his forward progress stopped and UA did not realize the clock was running and UA lined up for a FG as the UC players were running to the lockerroom.The 2H turned into a blowout and UC got the cover, 44-10...

Texas came in ranked #7. In the 1H they did have a 183-166 yd edge but gave up a 41 yd IR TD, an int set up a 32 yd FG and they also gave up a KR TD and trailed 24-14. UT pulled within 24-21 but KSU, after an int, drove 13 yds for a 44 yd FG then got an 89 yd PR TD to lead 34-21 after 3Q's and the Cats went on to win comfortably beating UT for a 2nd straight year.


Idaho played most of the game vs Hawaii w/o RB Deonte Jackson who came in leading the WAC in rushing. He was listed as doubtful but had 7 carries for 47 yds only playing in the 4Q...

Iowa was missing 4 starters vs Indiana due to injuries as they were missing their top 2 receivers in WR Brodell and TE Moeaki as well as their leading tackler, LB Klinkenborg and S Moylan. Indy was w/o starting WR Bailey who was susp for the game. Iowa had 428-395 yd and 22-17 FD edges but lost at home...

W Virginia star QB Pat White was inj'd late 1H vs USF. It probably wouldn't have affected the outcome, however, as USF was in control and led 14-3 at the half and took their opening drive of the 3Q for a TD, 21-3. The game did have a misleading box score as USF was clearly in control but WV, after trailing big, rallied for some scores and ended up with a 437-274 yd edge. The stats are very surprising because watching the game it appeared USF was in control throughout...

NCSt QB Harrison Beck was inj'd with 5:01 left in the 3Q and did not return...

Middle Tennessee was without their starting QB for a 2nd straight week but frosh Dwight Dasher led the team to 47 points in the 1H vs Florida Int'l and MSTU finished with a 405-145 yd edge. FIU's only TD came when MT mishandled a punt snap in the EZ.


UCLA appears to have had a blowout win over Oregon St at 40-14. OSU led 14-0 after 1Q and 14-6 at the half. They led in the 4Q when UCLA's stagnant offense got a screen pass to Breazell that he broke 3 tackles and raced 69 yds for a TD. OSU amazingly fmbl'd the next 3 KO's, setting up TD drives of 21 & 39 yds and then after a blk'd punt UCLA drove 21 yds for a TD giving them four 4Q TD's with the longest drive being 5 plays...

Florida Atlantic moved the ball well vs Kentucky and appeared to have the cover well in hand. The game was 38-17 after an FA TD with 6:53 left and UK punted with 5:14 left only up by 21. FA was not only int'd, but ret'd 21 yds for a TD with 4:27 left and the Wildcats got the frontdoor cover. FA got to the UK 31 but a 4th & 1 run was stopped short and UK held on...

Special teams were a key in Army's 37-21 win over Temple. The Cadets got an 88 yd KR TD on the opening KO and later an 85 yd PR TD. It was tied 21 at the half and Army added a 69 yd TD pass in the 4Q but Temple had a 463-329 yd edge but also had 5 TO's and the 2 ST TD's allowed...

It appears C Michigan blew out N Illinois 35-10 but NI did have 28-21 FD and 521-381 yd edges. Here is a litany of NI's problems in the game which turned this into a blowout: They went on a 17 pl drive but settled for a 21 yd FG and missed it. They fmbl'd at the CM 1, allowed a 90 yd KR TD, fmbl'd the ensuring KO which set up a 28 yd TD drive and went on a 16 play drive but settled for a 25 yd FG and trailed 35-10 at the half. In the 2H NI was SOD at the CM 12, int'd at the CM 44, 13 and 3 & 32 yd lines and SOD at the CM 3...

Utah was not dominant as they needed a fake punt to set up a TD and got a 75 yd PR for a TD but still led 34-10 late 4Q before Utah St went on a long drive for a TD and 2 pt conversion with 2:33 left to give the Aggies the backdoor cover...

UNLV got a TD on 4th & 10 with 1:02 left to tie it at 20, apparently clinching the cover with Nevada needing just a FG for the win but the Wolf Pack got a 33 yd TD pass with :27 left for their 12th straight cover as a home favorite. UNLV did get to the Nevada 18 yd line but on the final play overthrew 2 rec's in the EZ and was also called for holding...

Mississippi St appeared to have the S Carolina game completely under control leading 21-17 in the 3Q as SC missed a 50 yd FG however SC blk'd a punt and got a TD on the next play to take the lead. After getting another TD in the 4Q SC took over with just 3:22 left trying to run out the clock from their own 36. They got a 25 yd run by Boyd to the 28 and then on 3rd & 2 when a FD would have ended the game got a 12 yd Davis TD run for the frontdoor cover with :58 left.


Colorado St was a 10 or 10' pt dog vs TCU. They trailed 24-6 when at the start of the 4Q they got a 54 yd TD pass. CSU went for 2 which would have pulled it within 10 but failed and they did not score again losing by 12 to TCU.


Many top teams either lost or struggled with almost all the big boys falling into that category including #1 USC. Washington came out in uniforms that looked like Notre Dame wearing dark blue and gold jerseys and plain gold helmets matching the 1960 team which beat #1 Minnesota in the Rose Bowl, the only time UW beat a top ranked foe. USC did have a 460-190 yd edge and led just 17-14 at the half. At 27-17 UW blk'd a punt setting up a TD with :34 left but USC rec'd the onside kick...

#2 LSU - they actually trailed Tulane 9-7 before getting a FG on the final play of the half for a 10-9 lead. LSU did get a 22 yd 3Q drive for a TD after a fmbl and after an int drove 76/8pl for a TD to get some breathing room in a 34-9 win that was closer than expected...

#3 Oklahoma - Unlike the other ranked teams that fell, OU appeared to have their game in hand. OU led 24-7 late 3Q. OU fmbl'd the punt with 4:44 left on their own 16 setting up CU's tying 15 yd TD pass with 4:05 left then punted and CU got a 45 yd FG on the final play to pull out the win...

#4 Florida - had an 11 game winning streak and had won 18 in a row in The Swamp but both of those streaks were snapped by an Auburn team that came in at just 2-2. UF was held to 312 yds total offense despite Quentin Groves missing a good portion of the game with an inj'd right foot. AU led 17-3 but needed a 43 yd FG as time expired for the upset...

#6 California. The Bears had the toughest test facing #11 ranked Oregon on the road. The Ducks appeared on their way to the win leading by 7 most of the game but needed a TD to tie it with 7:06 left. UO forced a punt but then threw an int which led to a Cal TD. The Ducks immediately came down the field for what appeared to be the tying TD with :22 left but WR Colvin reached the ball out and it came loose and was ruled a TB and Cal escaped winning at Autzen Stadium for the first time since 1987 breaking a 7 game losing streak there...

#8 Ohio St - No struggle here as the Buckeyes had 459 yards and finished a perfect 11-0 in the Metrodome with Michigan being the only other team UM did not defeat in the dome as they move to a new stadium next year...

#9 Wisconsin. Mich St rolled up 564 yds vs the Badgers as UW had their 4th unimpressive win out of 5 games...

#10 Rutgers - Moved into the top 10 for the 2nd time in school history and just like last year, lost. We used Maryland as the as a play on Saturday and the Terps appeared in control leading 14-3 but missed a 39 yd FG with 1:41 left in the half. RU got a TD with :52 left then amazingly got the ball back with :29 left trying for a FG but ended up with a TD and a 17-14 halftime lead. The Terps finished with a 24-19 FD edge and 239 yards rushing and 219 passing in their 34-24 road win...

#13 Clemson - Missed an amazing 4 FG's, had a punt blk'd that set up GT's only TD, fumbled the KO setting up a FG and had a TD called back b/c of a personal foul penalty gave GT an extra shot at TD after pass interference in the EZ and lost to GT 13-3 on the road.


Memphis appeared to ice their game vs Arkansas St when they got an 88 yd FR for a TD with 1:00 left in the 1H and led 31-6. An 89 yd PR helped spark ASU in the 2H. They pulled to within 31-21 after 3Q's and scored on their first 2 poss of the 4Q for a 35-31 lead. UM had a 75 yd PR for a TD called back on penalty with 3:16 left and their final 2 drives were SOD at the ASU 30 (3:16) and their own 45 (:49). Tough break for UM as this was a rescheduled game making them play on a Saturday, followed by a Thurs and then again Tuesday for an amazing 3 contests in 11 days.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 6

Lester returns to Auburn backfield
October 2, 2007

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -Brad Lester is back in a familiar role: Auburn's backup tailback.

The main point for both the Tigers and Lester, who was projected to be the starter, is that he is back. The junior returns from a six-game suspension for academic issues Saturday against Vanderbilt, supplying instant speed, experience and depth to a backfield that could use a dash of each of those qualities.

Coach Tommy Tuberville said Lester will play but won't start and will have to work his way past Ben Tate and Mario Fannin on the depth chart.

``He's going to have to earn his way back,'' Tuberville said Tuesday. ``He will be there because he's done a lot of it before, but we need to ease him in and let him know he'll be playing a spot role for us the first couple of games.''

Whatever his role, Auburn (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) is happy to have Lester back. He was viewed as the starting tailback before the season, but his suspension from the Cotton Bowl carried over well into this season.

Lester, who wasn't made available for interviews this week, ran for 849 yards and 14 touchdowns the past two seasons behind Kenny Irons. Without him and an injured Tristan Davis, the inexperienced Tate and the redshirt freshman Fannin were forced to carry the load for a running game that ranks eighth in the SEC. With Lester, they finally have depth.

``It will be hard for teams to prepare for us because they'll always have a fresh back coming at them,'' said Tate, whose 410 yards leads the team. ``We won't have to worry about getting tired. Well always have fresh legs.''

But they'll also have extra competition for carries. Tate has run the ball 41 times the past two games and Fannin 28.

``You know there's another back out there, so your chances get cut down a little more,'' Tate said. ``That makes you more hungry. You want to make a play every time. That will make you run harder. That will help us out tremendously.''

Even though the Tigers indicated they plan to ease the 5-foot-11, 194-pound Lester back into action, he has been able to practice during the suspension.

So he's at least close to playing shape. But, Tuberville said, ``The other two guys have put a lot into the first five games. They've made a lot of progress.''

In fact, he said the backs' pass protection in Saturday's 20-17 win at No. 9 Florida represented ``one of the biggest improvements we've had in the entire offense.''

But Lester remains the team's most experienced tailback, with three career starts and a solid average of 5.2 yards per carry.

``He's going to add a lot of speed back there,'' Fannin said. ``Brad's a real quick guy. It's going to help us out a lot. We're happy that he's back, and he's happy that he's back. He just can't wait to get out there and play.''

Notes: Tuberville said defensive end Quentin Groves was scheduled for X-rays on three dislocated toes Tuesday, and didn't have his prognosis. Antonio Coleman is expected to replace him against Vandy. ... Linebacker Merrill Johnson practiced some Tuesday after missing the last three games with a shoulder injury.

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