Arizona State...Injuries have been piling up since the beginning of fall camp for the ASU defense, with starting DE Junior Onyeali (knee) the latest to miss action, although the Sun Devil "D" bucked up and forced four TOs in Saturday's rousing 43-22 win over Southern Cal, ASU's first over the Trojans since 1999.
Arizona... Things have gone pear-shaped in Tucson, as the Wildcats lost their eighth straight to a BCS foe last Saturday when Oregon romped 56-31. Of course UA has been in tough the past few weeks (Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Oregon), but the Cats are losing in the same manner, failing to generate much of an infantry diversion, held under 100 YR each of the past three games and unable to complement QB Nick Foles. Some desert observers believe backup Matt Scott, a better runner, might even be more effective than Foles, although HC Mike Stoops would like to redshirt Scott if possible and have him available for one more season at the helm in 2012.
Arkansas State... RS frosh RB Frankie Jackson, Red Wolves top rusher, left early in last week's game vs. Central Arkansas with a knee problem. His absence did not slow ASU in its 53-24 win over the Bears, with the Red Wolves gaining 646 total years. All-name backup RB Sirgregory Thornton chipped in with 120 YR and do-everything QB Ryan Aplin added another 87 YR in ASU's 398-yard ground assault vs. UCA.
Colorado... The Buffs aren't running the ball too well and continuing injuries on the OL aren't helping, with C Ryan Miller and LT Jack Harris both KO'd by ankle injuries for last week's game at Ohio State.
Duke... RB Desmond Scott, the leading returning Blue Devil rusher with 511 YR in 2010, missed his third straight game with a leg injury. But Duke hardly missed him last Saturday vs. Tulane, dominating the Green Wave and scoring on its first eight possessions en route to a 48-27 win. The Devils amassed 166 YR (very good for them) in the rout.
Florida International... Golden Panthers were dealt a blow when QB Wesley Carroll had to leave last Saturday's game vs. UL-Lafayette with an ankle injury. RS frosh backup Jake Medlock was not too bad in relief, completing 17 of 27 passes for 224 yards, but also tossed a key pick in the final moments of 36-31 upset loss.
Florida State...Starting QB EJ Manuel missed last weeks game at Clemson with a shoulder injury suffered the week before vs. Oklahoma. The Noles lost little in translation to RS frosh backup Clint Trickett, who completed 24 of 38 passes for 336 yards and 3 TDs, although it wasn't enough to prevent a 35-30 loss at Death Valley. FSU also gained only 31 YR vs. the Tigers.
Fresno State... Bulldog OL took some attrition last week at the Kibbbie Dome vs. Idaho when LG Matt Hunt and C Richard Helepiko both went down with ankle injuries. It didn't hurt the offense much vs. the Vandals as FSU scored 48 points and gained 519 yards, but both would be welcomed back for this week's revenge match vs. SEC Ole Miss is they could regain their fitness.
Hawaii... Slotback Jeremiah Ostrowski, who caught 19 passes in the first two games, remains sidelined with a foot injury. Note that QB Bryant Moniz hardly missed Ostrowski last week when tossing 7 TDP in the first half of an eventual 56-14 win over UC Davis.
Kentucky... HC Joker Phillips might be shortening the leash on QB Morgan Newton, completing only 52.6% of his passes while throwing 6 picks and just 5 TDs. Joker had seen enough last week vs. Florida and yanked Newton in the second half of the 48-10 blowout loss to Florida in favor of 6'4 true frosh Maxwell Smith, a California product. No word yet on what Joker might do for this week's game at high-flying LSU.
Louisville...HC Charlie Strong says that the starting QB job will return to junior Will Stein, perhaps as early as this week vs. Marshall, as he recovers from a sprained AC joint in his shoulder. Some Big East sources thought Strong might make the switch to athletic frosh Teddy Bridgewater, who came off the bench and played with his advertised flair in leading the Cards to a 24-17 win at Lexington on Sept. 17.
Memphis... Things are going from bad to worse for the Tigers, 42-0 losers to visiting SMU last week at the Liberty Bowl. Coach Larry Porter's most-explosive runner, Jerrell Rhodes, remains out with a knee injury, and he's now joined in the infirmary by top WR Marcus Rucker, whose 17 catches were by far and away the most on this year's Tiger team through three weeks but KO'd with a knee injury against the Ponies. The previous week, the beleaguered Porter had dismissed d.c. Jay Hopson and replaced him with defensive assistants Mike DuBose (former Bama HC) and Galen Scott, who both planned to "simply" the schemes for the stop unit. It didn't look like it did much good in last week's lopsided loss to the Mustangs.
Ole Miss... The natives are restless in Oxford, with a group of disgruntled Rebel backers taking out full-page ads in six papers in Memphis and Mississippi, expressing their displeasure at HC Houston Nutt. AD Pete Boone is also on record as saying he wants his team to display more "fire" after the recent loss at Vanderbilt. We're not sure he saw much in last week's 27-13 loss to visiting Georgia, a game in which Nutt alternated QBs Zack Stoudt and RS juco Randall Mackey, who fired the TD pass in Ole Miss' only offensive TD from scrimmage vs. the Bulldogs (the other score was on a punt return). Stoudt's recent stats tell the story, as he's completed just 20 of 49 passes with 6 picks over the last two games. SEC sources believe Nutt might simply opt to go with Mackey for this week's game at Fresno State.
North Carolina State... The Wolfpack has been struggling an things are not getting better with injuries piling up defensively. Hardest hit is the front seven, the line in particular, where DE Jeff Rieskamp (shoulder) and DT Brian Slay (ankle) were knocked out for the Kentucky game, joining another starter, MLB Terrell Manning (knee), on the sidelines during last week's 44-14 beating absorbed at Cincy. Each is likely to return within the next two weeks, however.
Nebraska... Star DT Jared Crick, who had started 31 straight games, traveled with the team but did not suit up last week at Wyoming due to an undisclosed injury. Check status for this week's Big Ten showdown at Wisconsin.
Nevada... The Wolf Pack Pistol uncovered a new component in last week's heartbreaking 35-34 loss at Texas Tech. But the defeat was not to be blamed on RS frosh CB Cody Fajardo, who provided a nice change-of-pace from starter Tyler Lantrip when running for 139 yards and passing for 59 more (and a TD) last Saturday at Lubbock. Look for HC Chris Ault to use Fajardo more as the season progresses.
New Mexico... After Saturday's 48-45 OT loss to FCS Sam Houston State, Lobo AD Paul Krebs canned HC Mike Locksley, whose 2+ year record in Albuquerque was 2-26. Also contributing to the ouster was the DWI arrest of a 19-year-old friend of the family who was driving a car registered to Locksley. That was the final straw for Krebs, who had negotiated a reduced buyout deal with the embattled Locksley in the offseason. "I didn't see any good ending to this story," said Krebs, who named d.c. George Barlow as the interim coach for the rest of the campaign. UNM's next game is the in-state battle hosting New Mexico State on Saturday night.
New Mexico State... QB Andrew Manley, who led the Aggies' surprise win at Minnesota Sept. 10, has been lost for the season with an ACL injury. Backup Matt Christian is no greenhorn, however, having started eight games LY. Christian was at the helm last Saturday at San Jose State and completed 16 of 27 passes, although SJSU broke its 13-game win streak at the expense of the Aggies, 34-24.
North Carolina... WE Eric Highsmith, the Heels' second leading receiver with 11 catches, was out of last Saturday's game at Georgia Tech with ankle problems.
Northwestern... QB Dan Persa, recovered from an Achilles tendon injury, is slated to get his first start of the season on Saturday at Illinois.
Ohio... Sr. RB Donte Harden, the leading Bobcat rusher with 214 yards thru the first three weeks, was out of last Saturday's loss at Rutgers due to a groin strain.
Oregon State... WR James Rodgers returned to the lineup for the first time in almost a year for last week's game vs. UCLA. Rodgers, who severely injured his knee in last year's wild win at Arizona, was back on the field vs. the Bruins, but RS frosh RN Andrew Agnew, who gained 223 YR in the opener vs. Sac State, remains out with a strained hamstring. The Beavers are struggling on both sides of the ball, however, including the DL, where both DT Castro Masaniai and DE Dominic Glover are dealing with suspensions.
Stanford... The Cardinal has been hit with a few injuries of note in the past week, with star LB Shayne Skov now done for the season with a knee injury, while WR Chris Owusu (shoulder) and TE Coby Fleener (concussion) are questionable for the game vs. UCLA this week.
TCU... Leading returning Frog rusher Ed Wesley missed his third straight game with shoulder issues last week vs. Portland State. But fear not, as the Frogs have rushed for at least 200 yards in each game of Wesley's absence, with Waymon Jones slamming for 136 yards in Wesley's place in Saturday's 55-13 romp past the Big Sky rep Vikings.
Texas... Junior QB Garrett Gilbert has been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury, although he had already lost the starting job to RS soph Case McCoy.
Toledo... RB Adonis Thomas, leading Rocket rusher with 227 YR and 6.1 ypc, was KO'd early last Saturday at Syracuse with an arm injury.
Tulane... Leading returning receiver Ryan Grant remains out with a strained groin, and his absence might be starting to negatively impact QB Ryan Griffin, who completed no more than three passes to any pass catcher in last Saturday's 48-27 loss at Duke.
Tulsa... QB G.J. Kinne made a quick recovery from the knee injury he suffered the previous week at Oklahoma State, and was back in the Tulsa lineup for last week's 41-21 loss at Boise State.
UAB...QB Bryan Ellis suffered what appeared to be a serious head or back injury last Saturday at ECU, having to be carted off the Ficklen Stadium pitch on a flat board. Backup Jonathan Perry, a product of Baltimore Dunbar High, relieved Ellis and completed 9 of 16 passes in the process, although it wasn't enough in a 28-23 loss to the Pirates. Perry would seem likely to get the call for this week's game at Troy.
UCLA... HC Rick Neuheisel made the switch at QB prior to last week's game at Oregon State, benching oft-injured starter Kevin Prince in favor of longtime caddy Richard Brehaut, who had nonetheless started eight games over the past season-plus. Brehaut was serviceable at Corvallis vs. the Beavers, but hardly spectacular when completing only 7 passes in the 27-19 win. Some Westwood observers believe it's only a matter of time before Neuhseisel turns the offense over to true frosh Brett Hundley, a ballyhooed recruit from the Phoenix area who has been recuperating from a non-football knee injury suffered in the summer.
UTEP... With starting QB Nick Lamaison still out with a shoulder injury for last week's game at South Florida, HC Mike Price opted to start soph Carson Meger instead of RS frosh Jay Hall, who completed only 9 of 28 passes the previous week at NM State. Meger, the third Miner QB to start a game this season (and it's only September!), fared decently when completing 26 of 40 passes for 240 yards and 2 TDs, although his three picks proved costly in a 52-24 defeat at the hands of the Bulls.
Vanderbilt... The anemic Dore offense could only generate 77 yards in last Saturday's 21-3 loss to South Carolina. Starting QB Larry Smith was nicked in the second half with a minor knee injury and relinquished snaps to RS juco Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of Packer QB Aaron Rodgers, who was slightly more effective than Smith in the 18point loss. Smith completed 13 of 17 passes during his stint, but they only measured a collective 50 yards in an incredible display of "dinksmanship." Some Nashville sources expect Rodgers to supplant Smith as the starter in the near future.