Posted on: October 25, 2010 11:27 am

Ponder seems good to go for 'Noles

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Florida State was on a bye this week, and it seems it couldn't have come at a better time for a Seminoles team that is undefeated in ACC play and hopes to stay that way.  The week off let the team keep Christian Ponder out of practice and help him deal with the burst bursa sac in his throwing elbow that he suffered in Florida State's win over Boston College.   Ponder spent the week having the elbow drained, and returned to practice on Saturday.

Ponder practiced again on Sunday, and according to Jimbo Fisher, he looked pretty good and should be ready to go when the Seminoles take on N.C. State this Thursday night.

"He threw the ball real well," said Fisher on Sunday. "I was shocked. I thought there might be a little soreness.

"Shoot, he was slinging it. Seems good so far."

Which, obviously, is very good news for both Ponder and Florida State.  A win over North Carolina State in Raleigh on Thursday night would just about knock the Wolfpack out of contention in the Atlantic Division, and leave Maryland as the only team with a chance to beat out the Seminoles for the division.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: October 22, 2010 11:12 am

Maryland OL breaks legs in scooter accident

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Maryland will be without its starting right tackle Pete DeSouza when they head to Boston College this weekend, and could be without him even longer following an accident he was in on Thursday night.  DeSouza was riding around campus on his scooter when another motorist turned left in front of him and he collided with the car.

The accident happened on Union Lane, between the student union and Cole Field House about 9 p.m., said Capt. Mark Limansky, a spokesman for the school's department of public safety.

Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George's County fire department, said the victim, whom he did not identify, suffered serious injuries to the "lower extremities."

The driver of the car was not injured, Limansky said. The cause of the crash is being investigated.

The driver was also issued a citation.

What exactly the serious injuries to DeSouza's lower extremities are, we don't know.  Though they don't sound like the kind of injuries that he'll be able to recover from soon, so odds are that DeSouza is going to miss more than just one game.

Update: Well, we now know the extent of DeSouza's injuries, and he's going to be missing a lot more than just this weekend's game.  Turns out DeSouza has broken both of his legs, and is going to miss the rest of the season.  The good news is he's expected to make a complete recovery.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 1:28 pm

Saban questions toughness of today's players

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I turned 30 recently, and it's somewhat of an odd age.  On one hand, I realize that I'm not a kid anymore, but at the same time, I sure as hell don't feel like a full-fledged adult yet.  Still, the signs are starting to creep in, and they're scary.  Just the other day the words "kids these days" came out of my mouth, and they came out in a direct, non-sarcastic tone.

I don't want to turn into that person that compares the world of today with the world of my youth, or how things were when I was younger.  I'm afraid that when it happens I'll officially be old.

This is not a fear that Nick Saban has.  He's in full-blown "back in my day" mode at the moment, particularly when it comes to questioning the toughness of today's football player.  Following his team's win against Ole Miss on Saturday, the Alabama taskmaster went on a bit of a rant about it.

"That's what I tell the players all the time, and they hate to hear it, but now I'm going to say it publicly so they can really get upset about it," said Saban.

"You're telling the other guy you're beating me up, I'm hurt and I'm going to stay down here.  It's just like a boxer. If you go down, get up. If you've got to come out for a play, come out for a play. But that's just me. I'm old-fashioned. I know they don't make 'em like they used to. ...

"But a guy lays on the ground and eight trainers go out there and everybody thinks he's hurt and he gets up and runs off the field. When I played, my coach, you wouldn't want to meet him on the sideline. So if you stayed down, you'd better really be hurt."

While Saban brings up some good points -- I'm tired of guys rolling around on the ground like they've been shot because they have a cramp -- he also misses one giant one completely.  He also has horrible timing considering Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand being paralyzed over the weekend.

Still, the one point Saban truly misses on is one he kind of makes.  It's true, they don't make players like they used to anymore.  The players of today are bigger, stronger and faster than the ones of the past.  Which means that collisions are more violent, and will lead to more injuries.  Bones are still bones, after all, and those things can break.

Saban could just ask his own wide receiver Julio Jones, who finished the South Carolina game with a broken hand.  Is that tough enough for Saban?

Some other things Saban thinks they just don't make like they used to?  First, hair gel.  "They're all scented now and make me smell girly."  Then there are scholarship limits.  "Why the hell can't I sign every player in the country!?  If they want to come here, why can't I have them?"*

*Those last two quotes may not actually be true.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:47 pm

No Nick Foles is trouble for Arizona

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When Arizona quarterback Nick Foles went down with a knee injury on Saturday against Washington State, fear immediately spread throughout Tuscon that his season was done, and that Arizona's chances of going to Pasadena were done with him.  A feeling that is understandable considering that Foles is one of the biggest reasons the Wildcats have been a force this season.

The good news for the Wildcats is that Foles is only expected to miss two to three weeks with his dislocated kneecap.  The bad news is that this injury coincides with the part of Arizona's schedule that provides the biggest test of the season, and that they'll have to depend on the much-maligned Matt Scott during the stretch.

When Scott first came to Arizona three years ago, he was pegged as the future.  Scott was a dual-threat quarterback that was going to beat opponents with his arm and his legs, but the problem was that Scott spent most of his time on the field forgetting he had an arm, instead choosing to take off at will.

He was beaten out for the job by Foles last season, and now the junior finds himself thrown into the fire, trying to find the promise he had against teams like Washington, Cal and Stanford.   And that's if Foles only misses three weeks.  After a trip to Stanford the Wildcats have to face USC before heading north to take on Oregon.

Scott played pretty well against Washington State after Foles went down, throwing for 139 yards and completing 70% of his passes while showing a willingness to stay in the pocket he hadn't shown before. 

Still, that was against Washington State, the worst team in the Pac-10, and Scott still made some bad decisions in that game and threw an interception without throwing a touchdown.

Maybe there's a chance that Scott will continue to grow and play well in Foles' absence, finally figuring out how to balance his arm and his legs -- something Arizona coaches should help him with by making adjustments to this week's game plan -- and Arizona won't miss a beat.

Still, something tells me that Scott might play better, but won't be good enough to keep Arizona in contention for the Pac-10.  By the time Foles is healthy enough to return to the field, I fear it will be too late.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 1:35 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 1:36 pm

Mizzou linebacker to miss Oklahoma game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Missouri is currently ranked 11th in the first BCS standings of the season and is getting ready for their biggest test of the year when the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners come to town on Saturday.  If the Tigers can pull off an upset of Oklahoma and improve to 7-0, that's when skeptics like me will wake up and say, "Okay!  This team is legit."

Of course, knocking off Oklahoma won't be easy, and that task got a bit harder with the news that starting linebacker Luke Lambert is going to miss the game -- along with the Nebraska game in two weeks -- with a sprained knee he suffered in the win over Texas A&M.  

"He’s really playing well," said head coach Gary Pinkel. "He actually played through it in the fourth quarter. He’s had a tough road here. He’s had his share of injuries. But he’ll battle back and we’ll get him back, hopefully, in a couple of weeks."

The senior co-captain missed three games earlier this season thanks to a hamstring injury he suffered in the opener against Illinois.

There is some possible good news for the Tigers, however, as they may get another injured starter on defense back on Saturday.  Defensive end Aldon Smith has been cleared to play after fracturing his right tibula against San Diego State on September 18.  Though that doesn't mean he's going to be on the field against Oklahoma.

Smith, who led the Tigers in sacks last season, is not on the depth chart yet and Pinkel said how Smith performs in practice this week will go a long way in determining whether he plays or not.  Pinkel also said that the final decision will come from Smith and the school's medical staff.  Having him on the field would be a big help in trying to stop an Oklahoma offense that is averaging 303 yards a game through the air, the 12th-best passing attack in the country.

Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:34 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 6:23 pm

Cam Newton running over Arkansas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Denard Robinson was grabbing most of the intention during the first month of the college football season, now that Michigan has begun to fade a bit -- it lost last week, and could be on its way to another loss against Iowa -- there is some room atop the Heisman discussion.  Much like the Arkansas linebacker in the clip above, Cam Newton is running right over everybody in his way.

The Auburn Tigers lead Arkansas 27-21 at halftime, and Cam FREAKING Newton is running roughshod all over the Arkansas defense.  He's thrown for 88 yards and rushed for another 143 on 13 carries.  In other words, he's dominating the Arkansas defense and is putting his team in a position to be 7-0.

Though he is getting some help.

Auburn was given a gift touchdown by the officials following a big Newton run to set the Tigers up inside the 10-yard line.  On the next play Mario Fannin got a carry and fumbled at the one-yard line before going into the end zone, Arkansas recovered the fumble, but according to some mystery official, Auburn had scored a touchdown.  To anyone watching the replay it was obvious that Fannin had not broken the plane of the goal line with the ball in his arm, but tell that to the replay official who ruled it a touchdown anyway.

Also not helping Arkansas today?  Ryan Mallett left the game in the second quarter with what Bobby Petrino said was some kind of head injury.

Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:06 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 5:49 pm

Ryan Mallett leaves game with concussion

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has left the game due to an apparent injury.  What that injury is, nobody knows exactly.  Following an Auburn touchdown -- that wasn't really a touchdown -- the Razorbacks came back on the field with Tyler Wilson under center.  CBS's Tracy Wolfson tried to find out what the problem with Mallett was, and where he was, but Arkansas refused to tell her anything.

According to the Auburn sideline, however, Mallett has gone back to the locker room with what they say is a knee injury.  How accurate that report is, we don't know.  What we do know is that without Mallett on the field, Arkansas is in serious trouble.

The first series with Wilson under center resulted in a blocked punt that set up another Auburn touchdown to give Auburn a 24-14 lead.

Hopefully there will be more information on Mallett's injury following halftime.  When we learn more about what's going on, we'll let you know.

UPDATE: Before heading into the locker room at halftime, Bobby Petrino told Tracy Wolfson that Mallett had "hurt his head."  When asked if it was a head injury Petrino responded, "I don't know."  Apparently his head is hurting too.

UPDATE: Bobby Petrino confirmed that Mallett has suffered a concussion and will not be returning in the second half.  Tyler Wilson will continue to play in his place.

Posted on: October 13, 2010 11:16 am

James Rodgers may not come back next year

Posted by Tom Fornelli

James Rodgers' season-ending knee injury was not only painful to see, but also incredibly unfortunate for the Oregon State wide receiver.  Still, if every cloud has a silver lining, this cloud's would be the fact that, if he wants to, Rodgers shouldn't have much trouble getting a medical waiver from the NCAA which would allow him to play next season.  It would also mean that James was able to finish his college career alongside his brother Jacquizz Rodgers.

The key part of that whole equation, though, is if he wants to.  James showed up at Oregon State's practice on Tuesday and he was non-commital as to what his plans for the future are.

"I've got a lot of time to think about that, so I'll just talk to coach Riley, get his input on everything and make my decision when the time comes.''

James should probably talk to his brother too, because according to Jacquizz, his big brother is definitely coming back to Corvallis next season.  At least, that's what he said during his weekly segment on a local radio show.

Odds are that the effects of James' impending surgery, along with the months of rehab that will follow, will be the biggest factor in whether the elder Rodgers brother decides to enter the NFL draft or not.  If things go well and the knee holds up, then odds are he'll go pro.  If not, he'll return for another season.

While at practice Rodgers was also asked whether he was upset about the way he hurt his knee, being pulled to the ground by Adam Hall of Arizona after he'd already crossed the goal line.  He said no, that Hall was only "playing to the whistle."
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