Braxton Miller

Braxton Miller hospitalized as Buckeyes survive Purdue


If No. 7 Ohio State is to mount a comeback against Purdue and protect its unbeaten season, they very well could have to do it without the unquestioned leader of its offense.

At the tail end of a 37-yard run very late in the third quarter, Braxton Miller suffered an injury on the tackle.  The starting quarterback was tended to by OSU medical personnel for several minutes before being taken via cart back into the locker room for further evaluation.

The exact nature of the injury was not revealed, although it appeared most of the work was being done in the shoulder/head area.  It appears highly unlikely Miller will be able to return to a game that, at the time of this posting, sees Purdue up 22-14 on the Buckeyes in Columbus with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth.

Miller was replaced by Kenny Guiton, who has thrown all of 12 passes the past two seasons, including 10 this year.

For all intents and purposes, Miller has been the Buckeyes’ offense this season.  The quarterback who’s entered the Heisman discussion in recent weeks has scored 21 — 11 passing, 10 rushing — of the Buckeyes’ 37 offensive touchdowns this season.  He also leads OSU in rushing with 959 yards.

UPDATED 3:03 p.m. ET: Miller is being taken via ambulance to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for further evaluation of what’s still an unknown injury.

UPDATED 3:51 p.m. ET: A touchdown pass by Guiton and two-point conversion tied the game, and the Buckeyes claimed a 29-22 decision in the first overtime on the strength of Carlos Hyde‘s one-yard touchdown run.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.