Posted on: November 24, 2010 12:43 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 1:31 pm

Nebraska to be without Niles Paul

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hey look!  It's Nebraska news that doesn't involve either Bo Pelini or Carl Pelini apologizing for their behavior.  Though that doesn't mean it's good news. Bo Pelini made the announcement on Wednesday that Nebraska's leading receiver Niles Paul hurt his foot during practice on Tuesday, and he's not going to be available for Friday's game against Colorado.

"His status for the rest of the season will be evaluated," said Pelini in a statement.

This could have a huge impact on the Nebraska offense against Colorado.  There's still no word on whether Taylor Martinez will be available to play in the game, and Nebraska's offense has already struggled mightily since he hurt his ankle.  Plus, when Martinez is out of the game, the 'Huskers can't rely as heavily on the ground game, and need to throw more to move the ball consistently.

Something that isn't easy to do if Paul is out of the game.  He not only leads the team with 39 receptions for 516 yards and a touchdown this season, he also serves as the team's top return man on special teams.  Making matters worse?  The three names behind Paul on the depth chart -- Curenski Gilleylen, Tim Marlowe and Khiry Cooper -- don't have a single reception to their name this season.
Posted on: November 22, 2010 2:15 pm

BC's Montel Harris has knee surgery

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been a tale of two seasons for Boston College in 2010.  The team started off 2-5 and 0-4 in the ACC while playing musical chairs with its quarterback throughout.  Really, the only constant for Boston College through the first two months of the schedule was running back Montel Harris, who game in and game out was the best player on offense.  Well, not much has changed for Harris, but his team finally caught up with him over the last month, as BC has won four straight conference games and are now 6-5 going into the season's final game against Syracuse.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they're not going to have Harris for the game.  Harris tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee during BC's 17-13 victory over Virginia on Saturday, and had to have arthroscopic surgery to repair it on Monday morning.  

Now, there is a chance that Harris will be able to return in time for a bowl game, though that all depends on where Boston College ends up, and how much time he'll have off to recover.  Odds are that Harris will do everything he can to play in the bowl game, as he's a senior and it would be the final game of his career.  Plus, he has a chance to rush his way into the Boston College record books.

Harris moved past Mike Cloud to take over second place on BC's all-time rushing list before being injured on Saturday, and finds himself with 3,600 yards in his career.  Which is only 125 yards shy of Boston College's all-time leading rusher Derrick Knight.
Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:35 pm

Kiffin hopes to get Barkley back against ND

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Unlike Dillon Baxter, if USC quarterback Matt Barkley is seen riding around campus this week on a golf cart, it's only because it's easier than walking right now thanks to a high-ankle sprain he suffered against Oregon State on Saturday.  Barkley was carted off the field just before halftime of USC's 36-7 loss, and though he didn't play very well before the injury, his replacement Mitch Mustain didn't do anything to instill confidence in his teammates and coaches.

Which is probably why Lane Kiffin is holding out hope that Barkley can return to the field this Saturday against Notre Dame

"We're gonna work to hopefully have him healthy this week," Kiffin said. "As far as Matt coming back, obviously we're extremely hopeful.

"We're prepared to start Mitch.  We have great confidence in Mitch. He's played well for us in scrimmages."

Odds are that Kiffin is going to need to have confidence in Mitch, because high ankle sprains generally take several weeks to recover from, not several days.  So while it's possible that Barkley will be able to play through the injury this weekend, I wouldn't bet money on it.  If the Trojans were playing the same Notre Dame team that got beat by Tulsa three weeks ago, losing Barkley may not be that big of a deal, but the Irish defense has looked pretty stout the last few weeks, allowing only six points in two games against Utah and Army.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 9:06 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2010 9:06 pm

Taylor Martinez leaves game with ankle injury

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Poor, Taylor Martinez.  If only he could use some of that T-Magic of his to miraculously cure the ankle injury that's been bugging him for weeks.  Maybe then he wouldn't be spending his Saturday night getting roughed up in College Station.  Martinez's night started with a cut on his right arm that was bleeding so badly officials had to keep asking him to wipe the blood off with a towel.

Then Martinez got his right ankle stepped on by his own center, Gino Caputo.  Martinez was stepping up in the pocket while Caputo was getting pushed back, and Caputo stepped directly onto Martinez's ankle, bending it awkwardly.  Martinez then hopped off the field gingerly before trainers told him to lay down during the first quarter.

After being attended to on the sidelines for a bit, Martinez walked -- slowly -- to the Nebraska locker room.  X-rays taken on his ankle were negative, and word is that he is going to try to return to the game.  Though how successful that attempt will be, remains to be seen.  You have to figure that his mobility -- which is his greatest strength -- is going to be severely limited.

Which isn't good news for the Nebraska offense, as they haven't managed to do much without Martinez.  What is good news for the 'Huskers is that Texas A&M hasn't done anything at all against the Nebraska defense, as Nebraska leads 3-0 early in the second quarter.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 1:00 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 1:01 pm

USC's Dillon Baxter hospitalized

Posted by Tom Fornelli

USC running back Dillon Baxter was hospitalized on Thursday due to dehydration and an unspecified illness, though he did show up to the end of the team's practice in sweats. According to head coach Lane Kiffin, the team's third-leading rusher and one of the prized recruits of its 2010 class, has not been cleared to play Saturday against Oregon State.

“He came in very ill today and we had him checked out and he wasn’t able to practice,” Kiffin said. “”We’ll keep working on him through tonight and tomorrow morning.”

If Baxter can't go on Saturday, it won't be the first game he's missed this season.  He was suspended for the team's opener in Hawaii earlier this season, and also missed the Cal game thanks to a turf toe injury.  While no reason was given for Baxter's suspension earlier this season other than the default "violating team rules," it's believed Baxter violated team curfew and was under the influence of a controlled substance.  

A controlled substance that smelled a lot like marijuana.

Baxter has rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown this season.
Posted on: November 17, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 12:54 pm

Austen Arnaud's career is over

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud is currently the school's all-time leader in completion percentage, and finds himself second all-time in passing yards (6,777), touchdowns (42) and total yards (8,044). All totals that Arnaud will never have a chance to add to, as the school announced on Wednesday that the quarterback's career is over.

Arnaud hurt his knee during Iowa State's loss to Colorado on Saturday, and it turns out he's going to need surgery to completely restructure the entire knee, ending his season and his career.

“We had a strong feeling that he suffered serious injuries and the doctors just confirmed it,” said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. “He remains a co-captain on this football team and continues to receive treatment and rehabilitation before surgery. Austen is doing everything he can to help our football team beat Missouri, he is that kind of selfless person."

Obviously this is terrible news for Arnaud, and it's not good news for the Cyclones either.  Iowa State currently finds itself at 5-6, just a win shy of becoming bowl eligible for the second straight season.  Something that seems a lot harder to accomplish against Missouri without its starting quarterback.

Jerome Tiller will start for Arnaud.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 12:00 pm

John Clay may miss Michigan game as well

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Over the weekend, Wisconsin had to host Indiana without the services of its top running back John Clay, and the effects of his absence were painfully obvious to anyone who watched the game.  Without Clay rumbling through the Indiana defense, the Badgers were stopped short of 100 points and only able to manage a paltry 83.

So, obviously, if the Badgers are going to hang 100 on Michigan this weekend in Ann Arbor, it'd be nice if they could get Clay back.  Though according to head coach Bret Bielema, the odds of Clay being ready to go on Saturday don't seem too good.

“I don’t know if we’ll have that three-headed thing this week because John I think won’t be at full strength. But when that situation does pop up, whether it’s the next game or in the bowl game opportunity, it’s something you’ve got to be smart about when and how you use them,” Bielema told the Detroit Free Press. “I think it’s hard to get three guys in rhythm all the way through, but you can definitely go a strong two and the third one comes in when he’s needed.”

Clay sprained his right knee in Wisconsin's win over Purdue on November 6th.

If he can't go this weekend, the Badgers will once again have to rely on Montee Ball and James White.   Those two only combined for 311 yards and five touchdowns against Indiana, so who knows how well they'll perform against Michigan's vaunted run defense?
Posted on: November 16, 2010 10:55 am

Trent Richardson may miss another game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Alabama running back Trent Richardson hasn't played since scoring a touchdown during the Tide's loss to LSU nearly a week and a half ago, thanks to a knee injury he suffered on the play.  Which means that Alabama's two-headed monster at running back was just a one-headed Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram against Mississippi State last Saturday.  Which didn't really seem to hurt Alabama all that much during its 30-10 win.

The Tide now have a short week, as they're going to be hosting Georgia State on Thursday night, and Richardson's status for the game is still up in the air.  Though Nick Saban did sound optimistic that Richardson could play in the game.

"He actually wanted to play in the last game, but we didn't feel like he'd practiced enough or he was ready enough," Saban told the AL.com. "I still think we have to evaluate that day-to-day. It will be interesting. He really didn't do anything on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so he's had three recovery days as well as rehab days to see where he is today, and that will determine a lot as to how ready he will be to play in this game and what contribution he'll be able to make."

Which is good to hear if you're Richardson, but seriously, what exactly would be the point of playing Richardson against Georgia State if you're Alabama?  You aren't going to need him to win this game, as the rest of the starters will probably be out of the game before the end of the third quarter.  So why risk having Richardson aggravate the knee injury in a game he isn't needed when there's that whole Iron Bowl looming on the horizon?

Last I checked, that game means more.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com