Sean Mannion

It’s official: Beavers upset Badgers


UPDATED 7:27 p.m. ET: A rocky start to the 2012 season for the Big Ten continued this afternoon, with the odds-on favorite to claim the Leaders division title going down in stunning fashion.

Entering the game as the No. 13 team in the country, the Badgers went on the road to Corvallis and came out with a 10-7 upset loss to Oregon State.  For the better part of the game, the Badgers could get next to nothing going offensively while at the same time failing to contain Sean Mannion, who passed for 285 yards and the lone Beaver touchdown in the win.

Montee Ball‘s Heisman hopes also took a hit as the running back finished with just 60 yards on 15 carries and, for the first time in 21 games, was kept out of the end zone.

The loss certainly does nothing to impact UW’s shot at representing the division in Indianapolis in early December, but, combined with Alabama’s shellacking of Michigan in the opener, it’s been a ego-bruising beginning for the conference as a whole in 2012.


And by “issues” we mean trailing at the end of 45 minutes to play.

Entering the game as the No. 13 team in the country and a seven-point favorite on the road in Corvallis, Wisconsin was expected to somewhat comfortably head back to Madison with a win stuffed into its back pocket.  Instead, the Badgers have found themselves in a dogfight.  With Beavers.

At the end of three quarters of play, UW trails unranked Oregon State 10-0.  Unbelievably, the Badgers have been held to just 77 yards of total offense by the Beavers.

Running back Montee Ball, one of the preseason Heisman favorites, has been limited to just 34 yards on 13 carries.  As a team, UW, which finished 11th in the country averaging 235 yards rushing per game, has just seven yards rushing as of this posting.

On the other hand, the Beavers have 331 yards of offense, paced by Sean Mannion‘s 263 yards passing and the lone touchdown of the game, a 20-yard scoring toss to Brandin Cooks.

Certainly there’s plenty of time for the Badgers to mount a comeback from what’s hardly an insurmountable deficit.  Based on how the first three quarters have played out, however, that’s far from something to take to any bank.

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury