Texas Tech v SMU

SMU’s run game to get much-needed boost

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Through the first four games of the 2013 season, and to put it mildly, SMU’s running game has struggled mightily.

That part of the Mustangs’ offense, though, will receive a shot in the arm — or leg, as the case may be — as the football program takes the field for its first-ever AAC game this weekend.

Running back Traylon Shead has been medically cleared to return to the playing field and will be in the lineup for Saturday’s game against Rutgers.  The junior suffered injuries to both his ankle and his knee very early in the third quarter of the season opener against Texas Tech and has not played since.

Suffice to say, he’s champing at the bit for his return.

I’m so ready,’” Shead said. “I’ve got a lot of frustration built up in me, so I can’t wait to let it all out.”

The Mustangs, who have fielded 1,000-yard rushers each of the past four years, could sorely use someone from the backfield to let it all out.

In the first four games, SMU has rushed for 355 yards; 144 of that total came against FCS-level Montana State in Week 2.  They are currently 114th out of 123 FBS teams with 88.8 yards per game on the ground, and have scored just three rushing touchdowns.

Their leading rusher, Prescott Line, has 104 yards in four games; Zach Line, SMU’s leading rusher the past three years, topped or matched that mark 21 times in a single game.

Head coach June Jones has acknowledged that his rushing attack needs to step up its production.

“You’ve got to have some semblance of a running game,’”  Jones said. “Even if you don’t get yards, it helps contain the pass rush. We historically average 4.5, 4.6 per carry and that’s what we need to be doing.”

Report: Maryland plan to fire Randy Edsall following Ohio State game

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 03:  Head coach Randy Edsall of the Maryland Terrapins looks on from the sidelines during the second half of their 28-0 loss to the Michigan Wolverines at Byrd Stadium on October 3, 2015 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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If one report is accurate, this weekend’s game against Ohio State will be Randy Edsall‘s last at Maryland.

Citing multiple sources close to the situation, the 247Sports.com website InsideMDSports.com is reporting that Edsall “is unlikely to survive as Maryland’s football coach” beyond this Saturday’s game against OSU.  The site writes that, “[b]arring an unexpected last-minute reversal, Maryland will part ways with Edsall when the floundering Terps enter their mid-season bye week.”

Just this past June, Edsall was on the receiving end of a three-year contract extension from the school as the Terps were coming off a 7-6 campaign in their first season in the Big Ten. This year, however, they’re gotten off to a 2-3 start, including losses the past two games to West Virginia and Michigan by a combined score of 73-6.

Edsall is in the midst of his fifth season in College Park, and the overall results have been decidedly disappointing. Under Edsall’s direction, the Terps have gone 22-33 overall and 10-23 in conference play (6-18 in ACC, 4-5 in Big Ten). Edsall is 0-11 vs. ranked teams in that span.

This is far from the first time Edsall has been rumored to be on the hot seat, but this is by far the closest he’s come to the coaching gallows.

As for the financial ramifications of a dismissal? That new deal signed earlier this year ensured that the hit the school would absorb would be, relatively speaking, mild. From the report:

Edsall’s contract was extended for three years in June — a move aimed at stabilizing his public standing, especially with high school recruits — but just $500,000 of the $7.5 million was guaranteed money; by firing Edsall before his original deal ends Jan. 15, 2017, the school will have to pay him for the remainder of this season and an additional $2.6 million: $2.1 million for next year’s salary and that half-million buyout.

High-ankle sprain and all, SDSU RB D.J. Pumphrey will travel with team

CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 06: Donnel Pumphrey #19 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates following a 12-yard touchdown during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on September 6, 2014 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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What’s known is that D.J. Pumphrey will be with his teammates this weekend. What’s unknown is if he’ll join them on the field.

The star San Diego State running back sustained a high-ankle sprain in the Week 5 win over Fresno State. Originally, he was expected to be out for a period of 2-4 weeks.

However, it appears the injury isn’t as bad as originally thought as Pumphrey will travel with the team to Saturday’s game against Hawaii. Pumphrey even took nearly two dozen snaps with the scout team during Wednesday’s practice.

He is expected to be a game-time decision for the Mountain West game.

“He says he’s about 90 percent. That’s his estimation,” head coach Rocky Long said. “If he goes and does another 25 reps [with the scout team Thursday], then he will be cleared to play. So he will be with us in Hawaii. Whether he plays or not has yet to be determined. I assume he will be cleared to play tomorrow.”

However, even if he’s cleared, it’ll be up to Long and his offensive coordinator, Jeff Horton, to decide whether he plays.

Pumphrey currently leads the Aztecs with 429 yards rushing and has scored all four of SDSU’s rushing touchdowns. Last season, he finished fourth nationally with 1,867 yards, while his 20 touchdowns on the ground were ninth.