Posted 09/11/2009 at 03:15 AM
On to some news and notes for this weekend’s college slate. Georgia has been getting hit pretty hard with injuries on their two-deep. LT Trinton Sturdivant is once again out for the season, and he was sorely missed by the Bulldogs last season. The rest of the missing talent is mostly second and third unit, but depth is going to be an issue for this team… Vanderbilt will still evidently be without Jared Hawkins, last year’s leading rusher. The Commodores ran for more than 400 yards last week, but will find the sledding much tougher this weekend… Bad news for Iowa with the news that highly regarded soph RB Jewel Hampton is out for the year. Hampton showed lots of promise as a freshman behind Shonn Greene. Considering that the Hawkeyes game plan is to run the ball while stopping opponents from doing so, this could be a critical blow to their ‘09 hopes… Wisconsin is having a rough week. They’ve got a slew of guys under the weather, so be sure and check the late injury reports for this weekend’s game… Texas has three starters likely missing for this week’s game. It’s a very soft spot for the Longhorns and they have a monster revenge tilt next Saturday, so they’re likely just looking to get in and out of Laramie with no further damage… Oklahoma is hoping to get QB Sam Bradford back before too long, but they will not be getting TE Jermaine Gresham back at all. That’s a huge blow to the Sooners, as Gresham is a premier talent… Oregon State will probably be without QB Lyle Moevao again this weekend and they have a significant number of other players banged up as well… No team is off to a worse start than Oregon. The Ducks are thin at a number of positions and one cannot help but wonder about this team’s mental condition considering the chaos in the aftermath of last week’s disaster… Washington State keeps losing players. The Cougars are thin in the secondary and now they’ve lost WR Kevin Norrell for the year… Rutgers is turning to true freshman Tom Savage as their starting QB. This was going to happen eventually anyway, as Savage is an elite recruit, but I doubt Greg Schiano wanted to be forced into making the move this soon… UNLV is gunning for the upset this weekend, but leading tackler Jason Beauchamp is nursing a sprained ankle. He’s insisting he’ll play, and his presence for this contest is crucial… Wyoming was overmatched to begin with this weekend, and losing WR Greg Bolling to a suspension doesn’t help… Tulane is looking thin along the defensive front. Two starters will be missing this week, one with an injury, one with a suspension… UAB got a huge effort from exciting QB Joe Webb in their opening week win. He’ll need to come up big again here, as RB Rashaud Slaughter will likely miss his second straight game… Ball State brought back only 11 starters and now one of those players is gone as valuable TE Madaris Grant is finished for the season… Buffalo just keeps finding ways to win games, and they pulled the upset last week despite an injury to talented WR Naaman Roosevelt. It looks like he’ll be good to go this Saturday.
Here’s the free opinion for Saturday in college football. Both Mississippi State and Auburn delivered solid opening week wins. But I thought the Tigers were more impressive as they broke open a close game and blew out a decent Louisiana Tech squad with a huge third quarter. Auburn had a miserable 2008, but this has been a powerhouse program and I believe they’re now stronger than they’re stronger than most people believe. As for Mississippi State, they’re not. The Bulldogs won against a 1-AA team last week, and benefited from three very short drives off opponent errors. I see this game being lopsided and will side with Auburn minus the points.