College Football News and Notes Week 11

College Football News and Notes Week 11

LSU slides into No. 2 in AP Poll
November 4th, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Another second-ranked team went down to an underdog, again jumbling the picture in the latest Associated Press college football poll.

The Boston College Eagles (8-1) stumbled Saturday, falling 27-17 to Florida State at home, and the LSU Tigers (8-1) took advantage, coming back to defeat Alabama 41-34 on the road to move up a spot to second, behind Ohio State.

The Buckeyes (10-0) scored three late touchdowns to break away from Wisconsin, 38-17. Ohio State received 60 first-place votes, and a total of 1,616 points to retain the top spot in the poll. LSU, despite its one loss, earned five first-place votes and 1,523 points.

Oregon (8-1) continued its impressive run through the Pac-10 by knocking off previously unbeaten Arizona State, 35-23. The Ducks are right on the heels of LSU in the poll, with 1,517 points. Oklahoma (8-1) downed Texas A&M, 42-14, to move up to fourth, while the only remaining unbeaten from a BCS conference, Kansas, destroyed Nebraska, 76-39, jumping from eighth to fifth.

Idle West Virginia (7-1) moved up a spot to sixth, while Missouri (8-1) stomped Colorado, 55-10, to move up two spots to seventh. BC and ASU (8-1) fell from second and sixth to eighth and ninth, respectively.

Georgia (7-2) survived Troy, 44-34, to round out the top-10.

Virginia Tech, Southern California, Michigan, unbeaten Hawaii, and Texas filled out the top-15, followed by Connecticut, Florida, Auburn, Boise State, and Clemson in the top-20.

Alabama and Tennessee were 21st and 22nd, while newcomers Virginia, California, and Kentucky joined the top-25, with the final two tied at 24th.

South Florida's quick fall from grace continued, as the Bulls, who were ranked second in the country entering their game at Rutgers on Oct. 18, lost their third straight, to UConn, 38-33, and fell out of the top-25.

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College football : Week 10 recap
ASSOCIATED PRESS

STARS


-Todd Reesing, Kansas, threw a school-record six touchdown passes and the No. 8 Jayhawks battered Nebraska 76-39.

-Chris Wells, Ohio State, ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries to lead the Buckeyes to a 38-17 victory over Wisconsin.

-Knowshon Moreno, Georgia, ran for 196 yards and three touchdowns and the No. 10 Bulldogs beat Troy 44-34.

-Chris Johnson, East Carolina, ran for a career-high 301 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Pirates to a 56-40 victory over Memphis.

-Dervon Wallace, Shepherd, ran for 311 yards and a school-record five TDs in a 42-7 win over West Virginia State.

-Jammal Charles, Texas, ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries to lift the Longhorns to a 38-35 victory over Oklahoma State.

-Tyler Roehl, North Dakota State, ran for 257 yards and four touchdowns in a 54-28 win over Illinois State.

-Chad Henne, Michigan, tied a school-record with four touchdowns in the Wolverines' 28-24 win over Michigan State.

-Chad Hall, Air Force, ran for a school-record 275 yards and a touchdown in a 30-10 win over Army.

LONG TIME COMING

It took 44 years and three overtimes for Navy to beat Notre Dame. The Midshipmen snapped an NCAA-record 43-game losing streak to the Fighting Irish with a 46-44 victory in triple overtime. It was the first time Navy (5-4) beat Notre Dame since a 35-14 win in 1963 when Roger Staubach was quarterback for the Midshipmen.

DYNAMIC DUO

Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns, Percy Harvin became the first player in school history with 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game, and No. 18 Florida rebounded from its third loss in four outings with a 49-22 drubbing of Vanderbilt. Tebow was 22-of-27 passing for 281 yards with three touchdowns and he added 35 yards and two scores on the ground. Harvin ran 11 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns and caught nine passes for 110 yards.

STARBUCKS

The Buckeyes' defense stiffened and Chris Wells ran for three second-half scores to help Ohio State overcome a third-quarter deficit and beat Wisconsin 38-17. The Buckeyes are off to a 10-0 start (6-0 in the Big Ten). The victory was also Ohio State's 20th consecutive Big Ten win, eclipsing the mark it shared with Michigan (1990-92).

DOMINATED

Todd Reesing threw a school-record six touchdown passes and No. 8 Kansas battered Nebraska 76-39. Kansas swamped Nebraska 48-24 in the first half, setting a record for points scored against the hapless Huskers in the first two quarters. The Jayhawks (9-0, 5-0 Big 12) scored touchdowns on 10 straight possessions and rolled up the most points ever scored against Nebraska in its 117-year football history. Reesing was 30-of-41 for 354 yards, and his 23 touchdown passes also set a school single-season record. Brandon McAnderson ran for 119 yards and tied a school-record with four rushing TDs.

IN GOOD COMPANY

Georgia's Knowshon Moreno ran for 196 yards and three touchdowns and the No. 10 Bulldogs beat Troy 44-34. Moreno ended the day with 1,003 yards rushing this season to become only the second Georgia freshman to rush for 1,000 yards. Herschel Walker rushed for 1,616 yards as a freshman in 1980.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH

Chase Clement threw for six touchdowns and ran for two more and Rice scored the final 28 points in a 56-48 victory against Texas-El Paso. Clement, who set a Conference USA record by accounting for eight touchdowns, completed 32 of 58 passes for 395 yards and ran for 103 yards. The six passing touchdowns set a Rice record and tied the conference mark, and his 498 total yards were a school record.

STREAKS


Michigan beat Michigan State 28-24. The Wolverines have won eight straight, and have beaten the Spartans six straight times for the first time since the 1970s. ... Max Hall passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns and Brigham Young won its 12th straight Mountain West Conference game by beating Colorado State 35-16.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson finished with a school-record 486 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys' 38-35 loss to Texas. ... Nebraska's Joe Ganz, was 25-of-50 for 405 yards and four touchdowns but the Cornhuskers lost to Kansas 76-39.

SLUMPING


Notre Dame lost to Navy 46-44 in triple overtime. It was school-record fifth straight home loss for the Irish. ... Michigan beat Michigan State 28-24. The Spartans have lost five of six. ... Arkansas State beat Florida International 27-24. FIU has the nation's longest Division I losing streak at 21 games.

SPEAKING

''A low point is when you get beat 38-0. That's a low point. A low point is when the game is going OK and one team is pulling away from you and making plays when you're not making plays. The low point for me is we didn't win the game.''- Notre Dame's Charlie Weis after Navy's 46-44 victory over the Irish. It was Notre Dame's school-record fifth straight home loss, and snapped a 43-game winning streak over the Midshipmen.

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Tennessee DT Chase Nelson out for rest of season with wrist injury
ASSOCIATED PRESS

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee defensive tackle Chase Nelson will miss the remainder of the season after dislocating his wrist in the Volunteers' 59-7 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Coach Phillip Fulmer said Sunday the sophomore underwent surgery following Saturday's game and will be out for eight to 10 weeks.

Wide receiver Austin Rodgers, who was limited in Saturday's contest, was also banged up, but Fulmer said he hopes to have the Vols' second-leading receiver back for next week's game against Arkansas.

''He's got a bruised shoulder-type thing going on, so we're hopeful that he'll be back for the weekend,'' Fulmer said. ''But he'll be limited early in the week.''

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UCLA quarterback Cowan released from hospital
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA quarterback Patrick Cowan was released from the University of Arizona Hospital emergency room late Saturday night after being treated for a concussion and collapsed lung.

He won't return to Los Angeles until early this week.

Cowan sustained a concussion in the third quarter of the Bruins' 34-27 loss to Arizona on Saturday, and was taken to the hospital after experiencing discomfort and shortness of breath. Tests showed he has a slight collapse of his right lung.

He is unable to fly because of the injury, so will take ground transportation back to California, probably on Monday.

It wasn't immediately known when Cowan would be able to play again. With regular quarterback Ben Olson already sidelined by a knee injury, the Bruins turned to Osaar Rasshan to replace Cowan against the Wildcats.

Rasshan, who had been converted to wide receiver then switched back to quarterback, guided the Bruins to a pair of field goals and a touchdown after taking over.

UCLA, which has lost three of its last four games to drop to 5-4, faces No. 9 Arizona State at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Rasshan likely will make his first start.

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Hokies TE Wheeler out for season

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -Virginia Tech tight end Sam Wheeler will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Wheeler, a sophomore, was injured in the first quarter of No. 11 Virginia Tech's 27-3 victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday night. Hokies trainer Mike Goforth said Wheeler will have surgery in a few weeks and should be back to full strength by fall.

Wheeler had started the first nine games and had 15 catches for 211 yards with a touchdown.

Also Friday, the school said linebacker Vince Hall had a cast removed from his broken left wrist but will not be ready when Virginia Tech plays Florida State next Saturday. Hall, who has missed three games, could return against Miami on Nov. 17.

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Sooners DE English To Miss 1-2 Weeks With Hairline Fracture

Auston English, the Big 12's sack leader, is expected to be out one to two weeks

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma defensive end Auston English, the Big 12's sack leader, is expected to be out one to two weeks after suffering a hairline fracture in his leg during the Sooners' 42-14 win against Texas A&M on Saturday night.

English, who was fifth in the nation with 8 1/2 sacks entering the game, walked off the field alongside two trainers early in the second quarter and did not return. He had already notched one sack and one tackle for a loss among his three tackles.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops said linebacker Rocky Calmus had a similar injury years ago and only missed minimal time.

"That's something we'll just have to see how he feels, I think as much as anything," Stoops said. "It's a non-weight-bearing bone, and it's something that I think more than anything it's when he gets comfortable with it."

English is the Sooners' second defensive end to get injured this season. Starter John Williams tore his Achilles' tendon and had season-ending surgery earlier this season.

English's injury resulted in bigger roles for backups Alan Davis and Jeremy Beal.

"I didn't notice anything glaring that wasn't good," Stoops said.

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Keep The Coach Or Let Him Go? Several Teams Could Be Faced With Choice

The coaching situation at Nebraska seems to have reached the point of no return

Nov. 4, 2007

While some teams have their sights set on a championship as the college football season hits the home stretch, others are thinking about - how to put this kindly - heading in a new direction.

The coaching situation at Nebraska seems to have reached the point of no return for Bill Callahan. Hard to bounce back from a 76-39 loss to Kansas.

Same goes at Texas A&M, were coach Dennis Franchione has been receiving $2 million a year for the last five seasons and the Aggies have been no better than Texas Tech or Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders and Cowboys could argue that point, by the way.

Those are two high-profile positions that could be open.

Who else could be cleaning out his office soon?

Chuck Neinas probably knows of at least a couple of coaches who should be worried, but if he does he isn't telling. Neinas, the longtime director of the College Football Association, now heads a search firm for schools looking for new coaches and athletic directors.

Confidentiality between Neinas and his clients is so important to him, he wouldn't even say Sunday in a telephone interview how many schools, if any, have contacted him.

He did say he's been headhunting for major college football programs for 11 years and on average about 13 jobs come open a season.

Last year was a particularly busy one for coaching changes, with 23 teams bringing in a new top guy.

So it stands to reason there will be far fewer changes this year. Maybe.

"What you can't predict is a domino effect," Neinas said. "If a coach leaves school A to go to school B, then A needs a coach, too."

Also, with many teams having three regular-season games left, there's still time for coaches to save their jobs.

Syracuse coach Greg Robinson, for example, could use a three-game winning streak. In three seasons with the Orange, the 56-year-old longtime NFL and college defensive coordinator has won seven games, two against Buffalo.

Syracuse doesn't make its contracts public, but it's believed he signed a five-year deal. Tax records show he makes more than a $1 million per year. Paying Robinson not to coach for two years might be a bit much for Syracuse's wallet.

Pitt practically begged Dave Wannstedt to coach his alma mater, but in his third season the Panthers haven't shown much improvement. Injuries have hit Pitt (4-5) hard this season, even Wannstedt has had surgery on his knee and Achilles' tendon, and the experts say the coach has recruited well. That probably buys Wannstedt one more season to get the program turned around.

Mississippi coach Ed Orgeron, with his 10-23 record over three seasons, seems another coach in need of a strong finish. Ole Miss is 3-7 and winless in the Southeastern Conference. Rebels fans have turned on Orgeron and showed their displeasure Saturday. Ole Miss drew only 23,283 for a 38-31 homecoming win against Northwestern State.

The good news for Orgeron is the most important guy on campus, Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat, is still in his corner.

Up in Pullman, Wash., Bill Doba hasn't been able to maintain the success the Cougars had under Mike Price in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With the Cougars at 3-6 this year, Doba is now 28-28 in his fifth season.

The people on the Palouse are a patient bunch, having watched the Cougars be an afterthought in the Pac-10 for years, but a fourth straight season without a bowl bid is probably too much for Doba to overcome.

UCLA's inconsistency has many Bruins fans exasperated with fifth-year coach Karl Dorrell. UCLA (5-4) has a brutal final three games - Arizona State, Oregon and USC - and a losing record would make the Bruins one of the most disappointing teams in the country. Not good for job security.

Clemson's Tommy Bowden always seems to be a three-game losing streak from getting fired or three-game winning streak from a contract extension.

No matter what some Michigan fans hope (pray?) for, Lloyd Carr is only leaving if he wants to. And don't even bring up Charlie Weis being in trouble at Notre Dame. Next year, however, things get interesting in South Bend.

Success on the field hasn't been a problem for Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. In 10 seasons with the Razorbacks, Nutt is 73-47 and has gotten his team to the SEC title game three times. That should get him a lifetime deal in Fayetteville, but some Razorbacks followers haven't been impressed and they've been out to get Nutt canned.

Nutt didn't help himself by going through a courtship with Nebraska before Callahan was hired.

With longtime athletic director Frank Broyles on the way out, and lot of negative energy around the program, even a strong finish by the Razorbacks (6-3) might not stop a change. In fact, don't be surprised if Nutt takes matters into his own hands and gets himself another job.

Maybe Nebraska's still interested.

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Several Big 12 coaches on the hot seat
November 4, 2007

Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- The Baylor Bears players have tuned out the rumors surrounding the job status of coach Guy Morriss.

"We don't mess with that," quarterback Blake Szymanski said. "He's our coach right now."

Yeah, but for how long?

It's a similar question hanging over embattled Nebraska coach Bill Callahan as well. Already on the hot seat, Callahan faces even more scrutiny after an embarrassing 76-39 loss to fifth-ranked Kansas on Saturday. It was the most points ever scored on Nebraska (4-6, 1-5) in its 117-year football history.

Callahan's squad has now lost five in a row for the first time since 1958. To make matters worse, interim athletic director Tom Osborne was on hand and watched the drubbing from a suite in the press box. Osborne spoke briefly to Callahan after the game, but declined to talk to reporters.

"There's really no words to explain this loss," Callahan said. "We need to help the players get through this because this is a tough time for us."

The Bears know the feeling. Baylor lost its sixth straight game when Graham Harrell threw for 433 yards and three touchdowns as the Red Raiders cruised to an easy 38-7 win.

Baylor (3-7, 0-6) is now guaranteed the team's 12th consecutive losing season. And while Morriss' job may be in jeopardy -- despite having a year remaining on his contract -- he's not thinking about it.

"I'm focused on trying to get these guys ready to play," said Morriss, who is 18-38 in five seasons at Baylor. "All of that other stuff is out of my control."

Yet the persistent rumors are hard to ignore.

"You don't want to get caught up in what everybody else is saying, the rumors and this and that," linebacker Joe Pawelek said. "You also have to understand that college football is a business. It's just the way things go."

Things aren't exactly going according to plan for Texas A&M this season. They were routed 42-14 by 0fourth-ranked Oklahoma (8-1, 4-1) on Saturday.

It's been a tumultuous season for the Aggies (6-4, 3-3). Earlier in the season, coach Dennis Franchione was caught giving out inside information about his team to boosters in a secretive for-pay newsletter.

Now, the Aggies are in the midst of a brutal stretch. They've dropped the first two games of four straight contests against ranked teams. They play No. 7 Missouri next week and at home against No. 15 Texas on Nov. 23.

"I know that will motivate them," Franchione said.

Missouri was flying high after a 55-10 win over Colorado in Boulder, a place the Tigers (8-1, 4-1) hadn't won since 1997.

"It's huge," said quarterback Chase Daniel, who threw five touchdown passes. "We've been breaking down barriers and that was one of them."

The Jayhawks (9-0, 5-0) improved to 9-0 for the first time since 1908, and did so in impressive fashion. Kansas scored touchdowns on 10 straight drives against the Cornhuskers.

"I thought we had a chance to have a really good football team," Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino said. "Those kids have stepped up and developed and here we are."

The Longhorns (8-2, 4-2) rallied to beat Oklahoma State, 38-35, on Ryan Bailey's 40-yard field goal as time expired. Texas had to overcome a 21-point deficit in posting its second-largest comeback in school history.

Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy wasn't the least bit worried.

"I was always a positive guy," McCoy said. "I kept my head up and kept my teammates believing in me. As you can see, when we believe, we're going to do good things."

Iowa State (2-8, 1-5) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 31-20 win over Kansas State and earned coach Gene Chizik his first Big 12 victory.

"I think we've gotten better as a football team the last three weeks," Chizik said. "I think it's been long overdue."

Kansas State (5-4, 3-3) missed out on a chance to become bowl eligible.

"We aren't really worried about bowl eligibility," linebacker Eric Childs said. "We just want to go out and beat Nebraska (next Saturday)."

These days, that's everyone's philosophy -- get the Cornhuskers while they're down.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing threw a school-record six touchdown passes against the beleaguered Cornhuskers.

"This is one of those games that you're never going to forget," Reesing said. "Anytime you can score over 70 points against a team like Nebraska, it's unbelievable. We're ecstatic."

The Cornhuskers still don't know what happened.

"I can't tell you what they were doing that we couldn't stop," safety Bryan Wilson said. "It got out of hand real fast."

The Bears can empathize as the Red Raiders (7-3, 3-3) led 38-0 before Baylor scored late in the fourth quarter.

Texas Tech has now won 12 in a row over Baylor.

"By no means are we going to give up on the season," Baylor safety Jordan Lake said. "We're not going to just throw our hands up in the air. We're not going to go to a bowl game, but we're still playing for Baylor and we're still playing for pride."

And, quite possibly, their coach's job.

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Bacon joins Ducks’ wounded starters

For the sixth time in just over six weeks, the Ducks have lost a player to what could be a season-ending injury.

The latest victim is middle linebacker John Bacon, who appeared to suffer a torn left anterior cruciate ligament while playing on Oregon’s punt coverage team in the second quarter of Saturday’s 35-24 victory over Arizona State in Autzen Stadium. An official diagnosis will likely come today.

“It’s great to win,” UO coach Mike Bellotti. “It’s not great to lose another player, another starter. We’re already at the razor’s edge in terms of depth, and that’s a scary deal.”

Bacon is seventh on the team with 42 tackles this season, after taking over the starting job this fall following the graduation of 2006 team MVP and leading tackler Blair Phillips. Bacon’s seven tackles Saturday were a career high, despite the fact that he was injured with 7:04 left in the first half.

He was replaced immediately by true freshman Casey Matthews, who had two tackles in six snaps a week earlier while Bacon recovered from a shoulder injury. On Saturday, Matthews had three tackles; two were for lost yardage, including his first career sack.

“You talk about a freshman, a kid that was playing in high school last year, playing against an 8-0 team in a gigantic game, and I didn’t see any flaws,” UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said. “I saw a guy step up and make some plays. I feel awful for John Bacon, who’s been really solid for us. Our depth is getting thin there at linebacker. But Casey’s got a little moxie to him. I think he’ll be just fine.”

Matthews will be the expected starter in Oregon’s next game, Nov. 15 at Arizona in a Thursday night ESPN telecast.

“I feel comfortable,” Matthews said. “Every week I feel more comfortable getting the defense down. They’re going to call on me this week, so I need to be perfect in my knowledge of the opposing offense.”

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Upon further review: Week 10 betting notes
Covers.com

Some football folks will suggest Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan cost himself the Heisman Trophy with his three interceptions against Florida State on Saturday. I think he set himself up for failure earlier that week when he agreed to play his guitar in front of ABC cameras.

A clip of Ryan strumming the Dave Matthews Band's Crash into Me was shown in the second half immediately preceding his second interception of the night.

I'm a Ryan fan. Honestly. He'll be a fine pro QB and he seems like a good guy. Though ABC's Kirk Herbstreit might have gone overboard when he said, "I have four sons and I only hope they grow up to be like Matt Ryan." Come on, Kirk, you haven't met me yet. As far as degenerates go, I make a fine role model.

But back to Ryan. His team is chasing the title and he’s playing a drippy ballad on national TV? Is he hard up on the ladies front? A tip for next time, Matt: paint yourself up like Ace Frehley, play some mindless cock rock and let America know you intend to kick ass the rest of the season.

In the meantime, Jon Campbell has taken a decent lead over rest of the pack in Covers.com’s Staff Picks race. I'm not pleased. The more games we agree on, the more difficult it is to make up ground. That's why I was pleased to see I stood all by myself with three of Week 10's games.

Too bad I went 0-3 with them. Losing on LSU -7 ½  wasn't too bad because the Tigers actually covered on the closing line. But thinking Duke would keep things close against Clemson wasn't brilliant. And deciding that Colorado might actually beat Missouri in Boulder was downright dumb.

Crap. Seven games off the pace and we're already coming up on Week 11. That’s why we need to reflect on what happened in Week 10.

Alabama Crimson Tide

They made great plays, they forced turnovers, they played disciplined football and they even maintained the momentum edge through most of the second half. But the Tide couldn't put it away at home.

Bama's remaining SEC games are on the road. The trip to Auburn on Nov. 24 won’t be hard to get excited about. But Saturday's visit to Starkville reeks of mental letdown. The LSU game was so hyped and the result was so devastating – where do the Tide go from there but down?

Arizona State Sun Devils


The Sun Devils fought back after digging an early 18-point hole and didn't lose my faith as a team worth backing. ASU visits UCLA this weekend and the Bruins are currently a disaster.

I can't help but look ahead to the Nov. 22 game against USC, which could determine the Pac-10 Rose Bowl representative if Oregon cracks the top two. The Sun Devils and the Trojans will both be coming off byes, but the game is in Tempe. If Arizona State can protect Rudy Carpenter a little better (OK, a lot better) than it did against the Ducks, the Devils can take the honors.

Boston College Eagles

The wind and rain didn't affect passing in Boston as much as expected on Saturday night. But who expected Ryan to lose his QB duel with Drew Weatherford?

Boston College next draws a road trip to Maryland, which has become the ACC's biggest disappointment of 2007. The Eagles had best beware, however, of looking ahead to the Nov. 17 game with Clemson. The Terps' two paydays this season were both straight-up upsets over highly-esteemed foes.

Florida State Seminoles

The second half against UAB. The second half against Alabama. The bulk of Week 10 at BC. Florida State's offense was dangerous and productive in all three situations, but rarely at any other point this season. Is that enough to go by as the Seminoles visit Blacksburg this weekend?

Drew Weatherford asserted himself in the poor weather right away and played his best game of the season. De'Cody Fagg, Preston Parker and Greg Carr looked like a trio of targets to scare any team. But I have too many bad memories of FSU's offense this season to jump on the bandwagon yet, especially visiting the Hokies at Lane Stadium.

LSU Tigers

LSU nearly killed its title hopes with turnovers and penalties on Saturday. Alabama defensive backs read Matt Flynn's reads too easily. The Tigers also drew 14 flags for 130 yards, compared to the Tide's two-for-15. That helps explain LSU’s poor against-the-spread record this season.

The Tigers will snap their streak of playing close games when Louisiana Tech visits this weekend. They could use the break after four bruising games in a row. 

Miami Hurricanes

Miami completed only one pass the entire game against N.C. State, not exactly the ACC's elite defensive school. Now the Hurricanes wrap up their schedule against three of the conference's strongest defenses. Hmm. Oddsmakers can peg the total under 30 for each of these games and I'd still consider the under.

Michigan Wolverines

I wanted to see how the Wolverines would handle an excellent ground game and, for the first half, I was convinced that Michigan was ready to challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten crown. The defense, in fact, persuaded me to take the under 23 ½ points for the second half. Whoops.

Michigan State nearly covered the second-half total by itself. At least I got an exciting finish out of what had been a snooze-fest before the intermission.

Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans should have claimed the Paul Bunyan Trophy on Saturday. Poor play-calling and poor execution sunk the Spartans before the break.

A bad bounce sunk them in the second half. The defense sacked UM freshman Ryan Mallett and knocked the ball loose, only for it to bounce Mike Hart's way. Hart broke tackles for a drive-saving first down, Chad Henne limped back into the game and the Wolverines gritted out a comeback that MSU should never have let happen. Typical Spartans, really.

Navy Midshipmen

Navy and Notre Dame had combined for 35 points before halftime and both teams refused to punt. It seemed like a great time to take the second half over at 28 ½ points.

It came through, but only because the game went into triple overtime. Navy's touchdown in the third quarter was built almost entirely on the run (typical for the Middies) and ate up almost the entire quarter. Lesson learned: don't count on Navy to go to the air, even if they’re losing big-time. Come to think of it, I think I wrote about that last week. I should really listen to myself more often.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

It was exciting as hell, but Notre Dame's loss to Navy was an ugly harbinger for the Irish's upcoming game against Air Force.

The Falcons run the ball almost as frequently as the Midshipmen do, but with more balance in their attack. Air Force is a solid squad with an outside shot at winning the Mountain West. Notre Dame's first loss to a service academy in over a decade might not have been its last of the season.

Ohio State Buckeyes

I said I'd be on the Buckeyes the rest of the year after their "narrow" win over the Spartans, but I need to see the line for Saturday's home game against Illinois before I hold myself to it.

Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin all have stronger football pedigrees than the Illini in recent years. Still, Illinois is the most athletic offense that Ohio State will have faced all season. If the Illini O-line protects its quarterback better than Wisconsin's protected Tyler Donovan last Saturday, then I'm leaning toward the over at the Horseshoe.

Oregon Ducks

Two questions:

1. How is Dennis Dixon's knee? Oregon already looks shaky when trying to protect a lead. Trying to protect a lead with Brady Leaf at QB, however, makes the Ducks look like surefire bait to allow backdoor covers.

2. What's the scoop with Jaison Williams? Ignore Saturday’s yards and touchdowns. Williams dropped a trio of catchable passes and reacted entirely the wrong way. Teammates tried to console him on the sideline, but he looked like he was heavily sedated and/or on the verge of tears. For God's sake, man, your team was winning at the time. Not only that, with Brian Paysinger and Cameron Colvin sidelined, you have to be Dixon's go-to target. Snap out of it!

The Ducks have a week off before facing Arizona in a Thursday night game. The Wildcats demolished Oregon 37-10 as 14-point underdogs at Autzen last year, so bettors beware.

Penn State Nittany Lions

An 8-point favorite is one of my least favorite teams to play. You could buy the point to make it a much friendlier -7 line, but you justify taking the -8 by saying, "Hey – I'm not taking them because I think they'll win by eight points, I'm taking them because I think they'll win by double-digits and the 8-point spread just means they have value!"

Luckily I avoided (barely) this line of thought with Penn State on Senior Day in Happy Valley. Purdue's Dorien Bryant returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the line became PSU -15 before 10 seconds had elapsed.

The Boilermakers kicker had a perfect 4-for-4 day on field goals, including a career-long 50-yarder, and the Nits only won by a touchdown. My sympathies to Penn State backers, you deserved better.

Pittsburgh Panthers

I've suffered through far too many Pitt games this season. But there's a benefit: I recognize them as a good under play the rest of the season.

The Panthers defense has picked up the intensity since the home loss to Navy. The offense is built around a clock-killing running game. LeSean McCoy proved once again against Syracuse that he creates his own space, even when the opposing defense knows he's getting the rock.

Pitt has a trio of superior Big East foes remaining on its schedule. I'm going to seriously consider the Pitt / under parlay on each of them.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

So many times when I wager on slight underdogs, I consider taking them on the moneyline too. In Week 10, for instance, Wake was a 1 ½-point underdog at Virginia. If I think the Deacons are going to win (as I did), why pay -110 with the 1 ½ points when I could get a +115 price by taking them to win?

Fortunately, I talked myself out this with the Deacons. They lost by a single point and I revelled in my own genius for a brief moment. Then Mizzou pounded the snot out of the Buffaloes and I was reminded that I'm clueless.

Wake visits Clemson this Saturday and thanks to BC's loss, the Tigers control their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic. Jim Grobe's special teams will have to deliver in Clemson if the Demon Deacons want to stay in the picture. And a team counting on special teams is no team worth wagering on.

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Sizing up the title picture
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

There are seven legitimate contenders for the national championship remaining, while a pair of two-loss sleepers can’t be put to bed yet. Let’s take a look at the BCS players as we hit the stretch run of the 2007 college football season.

Ohio State is in the driver’s seat at No. 1 in every poll. If the Buckeyes win out, they’ll play for the title for a second straight year. However, the path isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Jim Tressel’s team faces a tester at home against Illinois this week. Remember, the Illini played the Buckeyes to the final horn in a 17-10 loss in 2006. If Ohio State survives the Fighting Zookers, it will conclude the regular season with a trip to the Big House to face Michigan.

LSU is No. 2 in the new BCS rankings after surviving a game effort from Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tigers continue to live on the edge; rallying from a seven-point deficit late in the fourth quarter thanks to a fourth-down TD pass from Matt Flynn to Early Doucet.

Les Miles and Co. have three regular-season games – vs. La. Tech, at Ole Miss and vs. Arkansas. – and a likely trip to the SEC Championship Game left. The trip to Oxford sounds easy, but the Rebels always seem to give LSU fits.

In fact, LSU trailed Ole Miss 20-7 with 11:13 remaining in Baton Rouge last year. The Tigers rallied to force OT and eventually won a 26-23 decision. They have won five in a row over the Rebels, but four of the last five meetings have been decided by a field goal or less.

And you certainly give Arkansas a shot in Baton Rouge. When you have Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Marcus Monk on your team, you have a chance to win every time out. Also, the Razorbacks might be playing for their coach’s job in that game.

Oregon is rapidly gaining momentum, clearing Saturday’s hurdle with a 35-23 win over previously-undefeated Arizona State. The Ducks are off this week, giving QB Dennis Dixon time to nurse a knee injury. They face a Thursday trip to Arizona the next week, followed by a road game at UCLA and the home finale against Oregon St.

Then there are the three Big 12 teams – Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas, not necessarily in that order. Oklahoma and Missouri have one loss apiece with the Sooners losing at Colorado and Mizzou falling at OU. Kanas is still unbeaten after crushing Nebraska, 76-39.

The Sooners have three games left and two of ‘em won’t be easy. A home game against Baylor is a given ‘W,’ but a trip to Texas Tech is not. Neither is a home game against Oklahoma State. Remember, Bob Stoops’ team was in line for a title-game berth in 2001 when Les Miles’ Cowboys came into Norman and won outright as 27-point underdogs.

Missouri hosts Texas A&M and travels to Kansas St. before meeting Kansas in its regular-season finale at Arrowhead Stadium in KC. As for the Jayhawks, they go to Stillwater and host Iowa St. before squaring off against Mizzou.

If Ohio St. wins out along with the aforementioned contenders, there’s going to be a raging debate about who it should face out of Oregon, the Big 12 champ and the SEC champ. The bottom line is that a valid case can be made for any of those three.

But that’s assuming all of those teams win games. If we’ve learned anything this season, it’s that anything can happen. Therefore, we have to evaluate a slew of additional scenarios.

What about West Virginia? Well, the Mountaineers aren’t getting any help from the lone team that beat them. That would be USF, which has lost three in a row. Rich Rodriguez’s team is also hurt by Louisville’s collapse this season, taking away most of the luster from this Thursday’s game.

Nevertheless, if West Virginia wins its remaining four games – vs. Louisville, at Cincy, vs. UConn and vs. Pitt – it will be in the picture. What will the Mountaineers need? They want LSU to lose to Ole Miss, Arkansas or the SEC East champ. They also want UCLA to beat Oregon, and they need something crazy to happen in the Big 12.

For instance, the West Virginia faithful are big fans of Oklahoma State the rest of the year. If the Cowboys beat Oklahoma and/or Kansas, the Mountaineers’ title hopes will get a big lift.

Who are the sleepers? They are Michigan and Georgia, both of whom are playing the “Ok-St. Card” with West Virginia. Since the Dawgs beat the Cowboys in Athens in the season opener, they are even bigger fans of Ok-St. for strength-of-schedule purposes.

And on that note, Michigan is rooting for Auburn and/or Georgia Tech against Georgia. The Dawgs would most likely get the nod over the Wolverines since UGA could conceivably finish the year with seven straight wins, including victories over highly-ranked Florida, Auburn, Kentucky and LSU.

What do I think will happen? Watch it go something like this:

1-Michigan will beat Ohio St.
2-LSU will survive close games with Arkansas and the SEC East champ.
3-Oregon will win out.
4-The Big 12 champ will get screwed.
5-LSU will beat Oregon in a nail-biter at the Superdome to win the national title.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Would Michigan or Georgia possibly get into the title game ahead of a one-loss Ohio St.? I would think so. We saw how the loser of Michigan-Ohio St. got treated in the polls last year. Michigan would have a head-to-head win over the Buckeyes, while Georgia would have more quality wins on its resume. It won't be an issue if Illinois can pull the upset this weekend.

--I never thought I’d say this, but I must admit it. Arkansas QB Casey Dick is starting to play good football. If I’m Les Miles, I’m a little nervous about the Hogs’ trip to Baton Rouge in a few weeks.

--There’s no reason for Nebraska to wait any longer. Bill Callahan should be fired today.

--South Carolina has failed to cover the number in four straight games.

--Heisman Contenders:
1-Dennis Dixon (Oregon)
2-Darren McFadden (Arkansas)
3-Todd Reesing (Kansas)
4-Chase Daniel (Missouri)
5-Tim Tebow (Florida)

--If at any point this week you feel like you're having a bad day or things aren't going your way, count your blessings instead. Just think, you could be a Nebraska fan. Even worse, you could be a Notre Dame fan. As long as you're neither, you should have no complaints this week.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Texas C Griffin done for season with knee injury
November 5th, 2007

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - University of Texas center Dallas Griffin will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Longhorns coach Mack Brown revealed the extent of the injury at his Monday press conference.

Griffin went down in the first half of Texas' thrilling 38-35 comeback win over Oklahoma State on Saturday.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Beavers' Bernard may go against Washington; QB Canfield doubtful
November 5, 2007

Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon State running back Yvenson Bernard, the third-leading rusher in the Pac-10, may be back for the Beavers' game Saturday against Washington.

Bernard missed last weekend's 24-3 loss at USC with an injured shoulder. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Oregon State coach Mike Riley said Bernard will practice Tuesday without contact.

"It looks good today," Riley said. "The progress he's made has been good."

The same can't be said for quarterback Sean Canfield, who injured his throwing shoulder against the Trojans. Riley said Canfield is doubtful and was getting additional exams Monday.

Canfield was sore on Sunday, and Riley said it would be hard to see him getting close to playing this week.

If Canfield can't go against Washington, he said, Lyle Moevao would get the start.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

K-State DT Cline out for season
November 5, 2007

Associated Press

For the Associated Press

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas State defensive tackle Steven Cline will be out for the remainder of the season with an ACL injury, coach Ron Prince said Monday at the team's weekly press conference.

The 6-foot-2, 296-pound senior was hurt and carted off the field during the Wildcats' 31-20 loss at Iowa State Saturday.

"It's obviously a big loss for us leadership-wise," Prince said. "The players respect Steve Cline. I know the coaches do -- his effort and the things he's put into it ... You feel bad for the kid because it's his senior year, and he's worked so hard. He and I had a long conversation yesterday about it, and he's in as good of spirits as you can have under that circumstance."

Cline recorded 13 tackles this season, including five for loss and 2 1/2 sacks.

His highlight came when he intercepted the first pass of his career in Kansas State's 51-13 victory over Baylor two weeks ago.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

LB Collins leaves Oklahoma State for trial
November 5, 2007

Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Starting linebacker Chris Collins has left Oklahoma State's football team to attend his assault trial in Texas this week, and he may not return in time to play Saturday against No. 5 Kansas.

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said Monday that he wasn't sure when Collins, who is due to stand trial Tuesday in Texarkana, Texas, on an aggravated sexual assault charge stemming from an after-prom party in 2004, would return to the team.

"I don't know anything about what's going on there. It doesn't matter. Either he shows back up here or he doesn't," Gundy said.

Oklahoma State has a policy that injured players who do not participate in practice by at least Wednesday will not play in that week's games. Gundy said that policy would also hold true in Collins' situation.

"If he doesn't show up in a couple days, we're not going to play him in the game for two reasons," Gundy said. "The first reason is he wouldn't be effective. The second reason is it wouldn't be fair to the team."

Collins, a sophomore, was the Cowboys' leading tackler through six games last year before an injury forced him to miss the second half of the season. He had also missed Oklahoma State's last four games before returning Saturday to record five tackles in a 38-35 loss to No. 14 Texas. He has 31 tackles in five games this season.

"He hasn't been out there on the field. He hasn't been actually in a totally hitting situation, playing against a team like Texas, so he was a little bit rusty in the fact that he hadn't played in a little bit," defensive coordinator Tim Beckman said.

With another starting linebacker, Jeremy Nethon, expected to miss a second straight game due to injury, Collins' presence would be an even bigger lift for the Cowboys, who moved Rodrick Johnson back to the position from defensive end and also used safety Andre Sexton at linebacker against the Longhorns. Coaches said that doesn't change the practice policy.

"You're going to practice Tuesday and Wednesday if you're going to plan on playing in the game," Beckman said. "I've seen it too long and too many times where you play a kid who practices sparingly on Wednesday and they don't play up to their caliber."

It's possible the trial may not start this week, and Collins would be able to return. The Bowie County District Attorney's office requested a change of venue, and the motion was expected to be considered before jury selection on Tuesday.

"I have a hard time debating with federal regulations whether I can keep him here or not," Gundy said.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Peerman out for season, may need surgery on right foot
ESPN.com

Virginia coach Al Groh said Monday night that leading rusher Cedric Peerman will miss the rest of the season and will probably undergo surgery to repair his injured right foot.

Peerman, who was the ACC's leading rusher with 585 yards and five touchdowns when he was hurt in a 23-21 win over Middle Tennessee State on Oct. 6, has missed the No. 19 Cavaliers' (No. 23 AP) last four games.

"He was leading the conference in rushing when he got hurt, but he was more than that," Groh said. "Lots of guys can carry the ball and do it effectively, but there are a few backs that kind of carry the flag for the team. ... They energize and excite everyone around them with their energy and their toughness. Cedric was the right back for this team. He wasn't going to be a Heisman Trophy winner and there are more spectacular backs, but he was the perfect back for this team."

Without Peerman, Virginia has relied heavily on quarterback Jameel Sewell and former receiver Mikell Simpson in the running game. They combined to carry the football 25 times in Saturday's 17-16 win over Wake Forest; no other Cavailers player ran the football in the game.

Virginia (8-2) has won eight of its last nine games and is in first place in the ACC's Coastal Division standings with a 5-1 record in conference play. The Cavailers play at Miami on Saturday, the Hurricanes' last game in the Orange Bowl.

Virginia closes the regular season Nov. 24 against No. 11 Virginia Tech at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.

"We all feel bad for Cedric, but we're moving on," Groh said. "We don't talk about it and we don't whine about it. Every team has guys that get hurt. Why talk about it all the time?"

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Va. Tech hasn't decided on starting QB against 'Noles
November 6, 2007

Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- With Tyrod Taylor healthy again and Sean Glennon playing about as well as he ever has, it's unclear which quarterback will start for Virginia Tech against Florida State on Saturday.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said Tuesday the coaching staff will decide whether to start Glennon or Taylor after they've put their game plan together and the decision won't come before late Friday.

Taylor has recovered from an ankle sprain that kept him out of 21/2 games.

Glennon, a junior, started all last season and the first two games of this year, but was replaced by the more mobile Taylor after the 48-7 trouncing Virginia Tech suffered against LSU in the second week of the season.

Glennon, a drop-back passer, wasn't at his best behind a shaky offensive line in the first two games for the No. 11 Hokies (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). He has played with more confidence since he got another chance when Taylor was injured in the first half of the Hokies' game Oct. 13 at Duke. They won that game 43-14, with Glennon directing touchdown drives on his first three series.

Glennon completed 22 of 32 passes for 296 yards and two long touchdowns and ran for another score as the Hokies had a season-high 491 total yards in a 27-3 victory over Georgia Tech last Thursday. It was Glennon's best game.

"I feel so good about my reads right now," Glennon said.

"This is how I expected to be playing," he said. "Although it gives me a lot of confidence and I'm glad I'm playing well, it's almost a relief more than anything because I knew this is how I could play."

He said he'd be disappointed not to start Saturday when the Seminoles (6-3, 3-3) come to town, but he would accept the coaches' decision. "If the game plan dictates using Tyrod's strengths, then that's what we've got to do," he said. "If the game plan or situation dictates for my strengths, then put me in there."

Glennon's play has also let him feel more comfortable as a leader.

After Josh Morgan had an onside kick to bounce off his chest against Boston College, allowing the Eagles to recover and then complete their remarkable comeback in a 14-10 loss for the Hokies, Glennon called Morgan late that night to reassure him.

He said Morgan had done the same after Glennon was demoted.

The Hokies have used two quarterbacks in the past with Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick sharing the job in 2003, but Beamer said it's not a good option.

"One guy would have a good series, and they next guy didn't have a good series, and then people are booing," Beamer said. "It's just hard to get the whole thing right."

Randall, a former ACC Offensive Player of the Year whom Glennon looked to as a mentor, contacted Glennon after Taylor was named the starter to encourage him to stay positive. Glennon said Randall told him, "They're going to need you eventually.

Virginia Tech is looking for its first win in seven tries against the Seminoles under Beamer, and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is 15-0 in his career against Tech.

The Hokies will be without tight end Sam Wheeler and linebacker Vince Hall on Saturday, and could be without wide receiver/punt returner Eddie Royal and center Ryan Shuman, both of whom Beamer described as questionable to be ready.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 11

Wright to start Saturday for Miami against Virginia
November 6, 2007

Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami quarterback Kyle Wright still has some aches and pains related to the injuries he suffered three weeks ago.

Being unable to play hurt even more.

So Wright -- less than three weeks after suffering sprains to his left ankle and left knee -- will be back under center Saturday night, when the Hurricanes host No. 23 Virginia in the game that'll end Miami's 70-year run of calling the Orange Bowl home.

"I've got my RoboCop ankle boot on, but at this point, it is what it is," Wright said, pointing to the hard plastic brace protecting the joint. "I've just got to still get as much treatment as possible and try to get better, but it felt great to be back out there as opposed to standing and watching, which was very hard to do."

Wright was injured in the second quarter of Miami's game at Florida State on Oct. 20. Even with an off week to heal, Wright still wasn't able to play in last Saturday's 19-16 overtime loss to North Carolina State. Kirby Freeman started and went 1-for-14 with three interceptions.

Wright watched that one from the sideline, in uniform but aching. He said he isn't "100 percent" and added he doesn't expect to be by season's end, either.

"At this point, I'm trying to push through it," Wright said.

He's done enough to satisfy coach Randy Shannon, who said Tuesday that Wright was back as the starter.

Shannon has said numerous times in the past three days that the passing struggles were not the only reason why the Hurricanes lost to the Wolfpack, and reiterated those thoughts to Freeman during a meeting Monday.

He summoned Freeman for the chat, which turned into a pep talk of sorts.

"I didn't want to say anything," Freeman said. "I knew God gave me two ears to listen and one mouth to speak, so that means something. I just wanted to go listen to him and see what he had to say to me, because coach Shannon can be pretty inspirational."

So while insisting he still has faith in Freeman, Shannon seems eager to get Wright -- who has completed 88 of 142 passes this season for 1,240 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions -- on the field.

"Kyle's fine. He's ready to go," Shannon said. "He was trying to do it last week in warm-ups, but he couldn't get that push and step into the football. When you don't have that, you don't have the velocity on the football."

The move wasn't unexpected; Wright told reporters after the N.C. State loss that he believed he'd be ready to play Virginia.

"He'll be fine. We won't put a player out there unless they have full mobility," Shannon said. "I would not do that as a coach."

It's a crucial game for Miami (5-4, 2-3), which still needs one win to become bowl-eligible -- and could still capture the ACC's Coastal Division title with three wins and some help from around the rest of the league.

But Wright said he won't be thinking about the ACC picture on Saturday, citing it as a possible distraction.

"I think we've kind of gotten caught up in that the last couple weeks," Wright said. "I think we need to go and play. We just need a win. That, by far, is the most important thing."

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Syracuse QB Andrew Robinson has cracked rib, day to day
November 6, 2007

Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- All of a sudden, Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson is staring at the final three games of his third season with the Orange not knowing who his starting quarterback will be.

Andrew Robinson, who has started every game this season, is day-to-day after an MRI revealed he has a slight crack in a rib on his upper left side. He started in Saturday's 20-17 loss at Pitt but was replaced by Cameron Dantley in the second half.

"It's really a matter of him just working and seeing where we are," Greg Robinson said Tuesday. "We don't know when he got the injury. He was hurt last week and didn't practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At one time, he thought it was a muscle. When you have a little injury like that, your muscles really work to shield the area.

"We were just trying to rest him and trying to get him to where he was, hopefully, feeling better, and I think he felt like he was feeling better," Greg Robinson said. "He was still real tight. That was really how the week was, which in some cases was really good because it gave Cam (Dantley) a good amount of work."

Greg Robinson said he would have to wait to see what Andrew Robinson feels comfortable with as the week progresses before deciding if he'll start Saturday at home against Big East foe South Florida (6-3, 1-3 Big East).

"Andrew's not going to play if we think he's in jeopardy," Greg Robinson said. "If he's playing, it's because he can go."

In the first extended stint of his career, Dantley, a former walk-on and the son of former NBA star Adrian Dantley, acquitted himself well, Although the Orange (2-7, 1-3) never found any consistency on offense, Dantley threw two touchdown passes, hitting Taj Smith on a 56-yard toss down the middle on Syracuse's second possession after halftime to tie the game at 10.

Dantley also threw a 3-yard TD pass to Mike Williams with 1:46 remaining in the game and ended 15-of-27 for 189 yards after previously attempting only four passes all season.

Andrew Robinson said he was feeling a lot better than he was after Saturday's game but cautioned it was too early to say if he would play this week.

"We're really going to take it as a day-by-day thing right now, see how I feel," Robinson, who has been the victim of most of the 37 sacks allowed by Syracuse's beleaguered offensive line, said Tuesday. "It's my first rib. I thought I had a back injury of some kind. To be honest, I can't really tell you when I cracked it. We were thinking it might have been a hit I took in the Buffalo game or the game before that, and I possibly aggravated it in the weight room."

For the season, Robinson is 117-for-224 passing for 1,714 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. And he's not looking forward to the prospect of watching a game from the sideline.

"I've never missed a game or practice in my entire life. It's a little bit foreign to me," he said. "I was excited the way Cam played, he put the team in position to win. But at the same time, me being a competitor, I want to be out there playing."

Greg Robinson hinted that quarterback-turned-safety Joe Fields might get some work at his old position in practice this week just in case. The senior, who leads the team with 72 tackles and three interceptions, smiled at the thought.

"I'll do whatever I can to help the team," Fields said. "You really can't so no if coach says you can help the team this way. But I don't see that happening."

Notes:Mike Williams had a career-high eight catches against Pitt for 81 yards and set a school record with a touchdown reception in his sixth straight game to bring his season total to seven. He leads the Orange with 37 catches and has 554 receiving yards. Smith has 33 catches for a team-best 607 yards and four TDs.

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Look Ahead and Let Down -- Week 11
VegasInsider.com

Just when you think that all is getting back to normal on the college gridiron, it slaps you back into reality. Boston College had the look of a team that would be fit for a let down two weeks after escaping Blacksburg with a win. And the Eagles didn’t disappoint (or did they?) by losing at home to Florida State, 27-17. That result opens the ‘Noles up to a perfect trap play.

Set up to be scalped…

Florida State found itself in the strange position of being the team looking to upset the national title contender last week against the Eagles. But the Seminoles pulled out a win last week in Chestnut Hill. Their reward is a trip to Lane Stadium for a tilt against the Hokies as 6 ½-point road ‘dogs this Saturday.

The ‘Noles have owned Virginia Tech over the past decade. They are 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS against the Hokies since 1988. However, Florida State has failed to string together two consecutive wins over teams with winning records this year. And the odds are pretty good that Frank Beamer can get his team off the snide this weekend.

Don’t look past Bucky…


The Wolverines had their hands full last Saturday up in East Lansing, barely beating Michigan State as 4 ½-point road favorites, 28-24. Now Michigan has the unenviable task of heading up to Camp Randall Stadium and taking on the Badgers as a 2 ½-point road “chalk.”

Michigan is banged up already on offense. Chad Henne is going to play, despite having a separated shoulder. And Mike Hart is still nursing his right ankle. But those two will play hurt no matter what the injury might be.

I’ll be honest, the odds that the Wolverines will trip up here are slim and none, with slim walking right out the door. Michigan is 7-0 and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games leading into the season finale with the top-ranked Buckeyes. But Wisky did win the last game against UM in Madison as a three-point home dog, 23-20, back in 2005.

It’s a long shot, but crazier things have happened against Michigan this year.

The return of Sparky…

So much for the miracle title run for Arizona State this season. Still, the Sun Devils have a chance at making a BCS bowl this year and that is plenty to play for, if you ask me. They’ll start their redemption tour with an easy contest against UCLA at the Rose Bowl as 6 ½-point road favorites.

The Bruins have controlled the recent series, going 5-1 SU and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six meetings. However, Karl Dorrell’s squad has fallen on hard times this year. UCLA has dropped games to the Utes, Irish, Cougars and Wildcats…not exactly top shelf talent.

Besides, UCLA hasn’t really stopped any good passing teams yet, giving up 255.7 YPG through the air. That isn’t a good thing when you have an Arizona State passing attack that is throwing for 268.8 YPG this season.

This game will help the Sun Devils regain confidence they lost at Oregon last weekend.

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