Tennessee Alabama Football

Report: Vols QB Worley out a month with thumb injury


At least for this coming Saturday, Joshua Dobbs, this is your football team.  Reportedly.

Jimmy Hyams of WNML radio in Knoxville reported Tuesday after that quarterback Justin Worley will be out for “about four weeks” with torn ligaments in his right (throwing) thumb.  Worley suffered the injury in the 35-point loss to Alabama last Saturday.

The Vols have yet to confirm the extent of the damage to Worley’s thumb and what if any time he’ll miss.

With the starter apparently out until late next month, it appears it will be up to Dobbs to guide UT’s offense for the foreseeable future as Hyams also reported he will get the start against Missouri.  Eventually replacing Worley following the injury, the true freshman completed five-of-12 passes for 75 yards against the No. 1 team in the country.  He also ran the ball three times for 19 yards.

It was the first statistical action of the season for Dobbs, a three-star member of the Vols’ 2013 recruiting class who was rated as the No. 20 pro-style quarterback in the country by Rivals.com.

The Worley injury would just add to a quarterback situation that’s been in a relative state of flux the past two months.  Worley exited summer camp as the starter, but was replaced because of ineffective play by Nathan Peterman for the Sept. 21 game against Florida.  Peterman suffered an injury in that game, a hand injury that was projected to keep him out for more than a month at the time.

Because of that injury, Peterman still won’t be healthy enough to play against Mizzou this weekend.

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
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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.