One day closer to the ultimate comeback by Mitch Mustain.
If you've forgotten him, get in line. Mustain was the uber-recruit from Springdale, Ark. who signed with the
hometown Hogs, went 8-0 as a freshman starter then transferred to USC amid the Houston Nutt shenanigans. The
transfer to USC looked curious from the start. Mark Sanchez was there. So was highly regarded Aaron Corp.
At one point this season, Mustain dropped to fourth on the depth chart. Now with Sanchez nursing an injured knee
Mustain might get his first start with the Trojans. I have no idea the amount of rust on Mustain but it says
something that he rose up the depth chart to be in position to take over when Sanchez got hurt against Oregon.
The latest from Tuesday's practice: Sanchez threw lightly but did not practice. With three days to go before the
Arizona State game, that's a positive sign for Mustain.
This is news because 1) the Penn State coach broke his leg two years at Wisconsin, the same place Penn State will
play on Saturday 2) the reports coming out of State College lately have painted a bleak picture of his current
health. Paterno was noticeably limping Saturday at Purdue and had to coach again from the press box. The 81-year-old
has been seen at practices getting around in a golf cart.
The story, often repeated, is that Paterno injured his knee attempting an onside kick during a drill. However, after
the Purdue game he was seen wearing two different shoes and was steadying himself at the podium while speaking to
reporters. JoePa has taken to doing his weekly coach's show from his home.
"We're a little worried," quarterback Daryll Clark said after the 20-6 victory. "His leg's been bothering him for a
little while now. But he's still there at practices doing what he can."
Joe being Joe, he shot down speculation that he is anywhere near the end of his career.
"I can't walk like I used to walk all the time," he said. "I used to love to get up and walk five, six miles. But I
can't do that and still go out and go to practice for a couple hours. It just wears down on me. But what I have can
be fixed, so we'll work on it.
"I'm going to have to live with it for a couple of weeks, maybe more. But hey, that's why I get the big money."
There is an increasing vibe that when Penn State eventually makes a change that the new coach might now come from
the current staff. Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and defensive line coach Larry Johnson are the most likely
Just to be clear, I'm not saying Joe is going anywhere. A Big Ten title or national championship run will give him
more reason to stick around.
South Carolina, 31-24. That leaves them 1-2 in the SEC West with a bye week before going to Alabama on Oct. 18.
I spoke to Houston Nutt recently.
Was there any temptation to shove it in Arkansas' face after that Florida win?
Nutt: I really deep down inside haven't thought about that (like) 'Look at us now.' "
OK, so how sweet was it?
Nutt: It was very sweet. We played Florida in the championship game in Atlanta (while with Arkansas). I thought we
had 'em there. You beat Texas, you beat Tennessee, you beat Alabama, but this one ranks so high. It was 629 days
since this team had won an SEC game."
After beating Georgia, Nick Saban mentioned the day-by-day grind that it takes to win at this level. You have to
Nutt: "The constant grind, that's why you need three weeks of the summer to get totally away from it"
How close are you guys to turning it around?
Nutt: "The disappointing thing is, we're still sitting at 73 scholarships. A lot of names you heard the last three
years aren't here. You're good at defensive line, you're good at receiver. There are some holes. The biggest hole
was the mindset."
D&E told you earlier this week that No. 3 Missouri had not had a three-and-out this season with Chase Daniel at
quarterback. In those 48 possessions, Mizzou has scored 33 times (28 touchdowns, five field goals). The 15 "misses"
include five punts, four lost fumbles, three series turned over on downs, two missed field goals and one
in Black Saturday. The South Florida linebacker was among the three who each suffered serious spinal or back
As mentioned in today's main story, Ball State's Dante Love will never play football again after being injured against
Indiana. He is rehabbing and is expected to make a full recovery. Washington State quarterback suffered a
non-surgical spine fracture.
Mompremier's got back on the practice field on a limited basis on Tuesday. His injury has been defined as
nueroproxia, which is temporary failure of nerve conduction in the absence of structural changes, due to blunt
injury or compression.
• Georgia Tech freshman Jaybo Shaw completed nine of 13 passes in his first career start against Duke, all to
Demaryius Thomas for 230 yards. That's the second-highest receiving total in school history.
• Big week for punt blocks involving guys named Carter: North Carolina's Bruce Carter blocked three punts against
Connecticut. Navy blocked two punts resulting in touchdowns against Air Force. Navy's Blake Carter blocked a punt in
the first half that was returned for a touchdown. In the second half, he picked up a punt blocked by teammate Bobby
Doyle. Navy had not blocked a punt in nine years.
• Rutgers has dropped to 1-4 leading coach Greg Schiano to say he might have overestimated his talent. Maybe his
schedule has been overrated. The Scarlet Knights have beaten two ranked opponents since Schiano took over in 2000.
That's as many ranked teams as Vanderbilt has beaten this season.
• Texas' Mack Brown on the Big (Scoring) 12: "Every time we look up, the most phenomenal thing is to see 50 points
in this league. Nobody is surprised. At one time, you said, 'God they scored 58.' Now people are pulling them out
to keep it to 58.' "
• Seeing the scoring explosion a different way: The nation's top scoring team is Tulsa. Factor in time of possession and
the Golden Hurricane are averaging a point every 28.7 seconds. No. 2 Missouri is averaging one every 28 seconds.
• How important is Oklahoma-Texas this week? Eight times in the previous 12 games during the existence of the Big 12
the winner has gone on to win the South Division. Two other times, the loser has played for the conference title.
The other two South Division titles have been won by Texas A&M.
• Oklahoma is the only team in the country not to lose a fumble this season.
• Washington is 0-5 for the first time in 39 years and one of only two winless teams in I-A. North Texas is the other.
• Name the 12 teams averaging both 200 yards passing and rushing and you win a sucker. Answer below.
• More about Ball State:
It is located in Muncie, Ind. where basketball is king. The 1990 Ball State team went to the Sweet 16 before losing
to UNLV. Muncie Central High School has won eight state championships.
When radio voice Morry Mannies went to school there in the 1950s tuition was $150 and enrollment was 4,000. Today
there are 18,000 students
The last MAC team to be ranked was Bowling Green in November 2004.
The school was shut down three times before 1917. At that point it was bought out of foreclosure by the Ball family.
It was originally known as Eastern Indiana Normal School.
The famous "Boom, goes the dynamite" guy, Brian Collins, is from Ball State.• The 12 incredibly balanced teams referred to above: Oklahoma State, Nevada, Oregon, Penn State, Tulsa, Arkansas
State, Louisville, Illinois, Indiana, Fresno State, LSU and Southern Miss.