Oregon v Oregon State

Oregon’s rushing attack returns; Ducks scoot by Oregon State


Oregon’s hopes for a Pac-12 championship — let alone a BCS championship — partially hinged on a victory over rival Oregon State this afternoon. Following an upset loss to Stanford at home last weekend, the Ducks could not afford to lose another game.

Turns out, that wasn’t an issue. Even with a banged up Kenjon Barner, No. 5 Oregon was able to pull away from No. 16 Oregon State in the second half thanks to a plethora of turnovers and win 48-24. It was Oregon’s fifth straight Civil War victory over its in-state rival.

Barner sustained what appeared to be rib/midsection injury after rushing for 141 yards on 19 carries in the first half. He would return in the second half and ended the game with 28 carries for 198 yards and a pair of touchdowns. De’Anthony Thomas also added three rushing touchdowns. But it was the turnovers, all six of ’em, that helped Oregon come away with the win.

Now, Oregon waits. The Ducks need UCLA to beat Stanford in Los Angeles later this evening in order to return to the Pac-12 championship game — a rematch from the ’11 game against the Bruins. But even if Oregon doesn’t make it to the Pac-12 championship game, there is a possibility, albeit however slight, that the Ducks can still make it to the BCS championship. That will require Notre Dame and Florida to lose to USC and Florida State, respectively. In fact, the Irish might need to get their clocks cleaned by the Trojans for the Ducks to have a more realistic chance of leapfrogging the Irish.

And that’s not even considering the chance that Stanford, currently No. 8 in the BCS rankings, jumps Oregon over the next couple of weeks. A lot of possibilities left. Few that favor Oregon.

Dalvin Cook returns to practice for FSU

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles runs the ball against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Florida State defeated South Florida 34-14 as Cook rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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With each passing day, it appears Miami won’t be able to avoid one of the most talented and productive running backs in the country.

Thursday, Dalvin Cook returned to practice for the first time this week.  Cook suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, and had spent the previous two days of practice riding a bicycle while the rest of his teammates prepped for the in-state and conference rivalry game against The U this Saturday.

The Palm Beach Post wrote that Cook showed “no signs” of the hamstring injury that had some worried about his availability in Week 6.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher, who said Wednesday he doesn’t “ever count Dalvin out” because of his healing ability, will meet with reporters later this evening and could address Cook’s status for the weekend then.  Or, he could play to keep the Hurricanes guessing, even as most assume the All-ACC back will be on the field.

Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th.

Gophers down eight starters for game vs. Boilermakers

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 03: at Ryan Field on October 3, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern defeated Minnesota 27-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It would be an understatement of significant proportions to say that the Minnesota football team is banged up.

How banged up?  On his radio show Thursday, head coach Jerry Kill, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, revealed his team will be down a whopping eight starters for Saturday’s game against Purdue.

Kill’s revelation comes one day after he confirmed a total of 20 players donned non-contact jerseys in practice earlier in the day.

The coach didn’t specifically identify which starters would be sidelined, with the Pioneer Press writing “[t]he known injuries to starters include safety Damarius Travis (hamstring), cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), tight end Lincoln Plsek (back) and tackle Ben Lauer (knee/hand).”

One injured starter who will play, Kill confirmed, is quarterback Mitch Leidner. While not detailing any specific injury, Kill said Wednesday that Leidner “hasn’t been healthy. He’s been beat up.”

Overall, though, the Gophers’ health, or lack thereof, is bordering on historic.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 32 years in coaching,” Kill said yesterday. “The toughest thing for me right now is all of these kids that work so hard, and when they get hurt, it kills me. … We are running out of people.”

Coming off an 8-5 season last year, the Gophers are struggling. While they stand at 3-2 after five games, the three wins came by a total of nine points over the likes of Colorado State, Kent State and Ohio. Their second loss — the first was by six to TCU in the opener — was a 27-0 shutout at the hands of Northwestern in the Big Ten opener last weekend.