USC’s football program may have gotten a treat today. Wide receiver Marqise Lee was active in practice on Wednesday and has been upgraded to probable for this weekend’s road game at Oregon State, according to the Los Angeles Times. If the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner can be available this weekend, the Trojans offense will have a valuable asset in their passing game to try to keep pace with the Beavers.
Lee has been battling a sprained left knee for the better part of a month now, forcing him to miss two game and leave early in two other games. Lee is USC’s best offensive player and his limited production and absence has been noticeable. Even if he is not quite at 100 percent for the Trojans, he gives the offense a bit of a boost, even if it us just as a decoy for opposing defenses. Lee has just one touchdown catch in six games this season but is second on the team with 403 yards. Lee’s status was reported as questionable earlier this week.
For Lee, who may be the top wide receiver prospect available in the 2014 NFL Draft, there is not much to prove as far as his potential is concerned, but it would benefit him a bit to show he can come back from injury and perform. Expect USC to proceed with caution though as losing Lee once again could hurt the team. USC is just one win away from becoming bowl eligible and there are some big games coming up for the Trojans, including against Stanford and UCLA after facing Oregon State this weekend.
USC is also hoping to add leading tight end Xavier Grimble back to the line-up as well. Grimble injured his ankle against Notre Dame and sat out last weekend’s game against Utah. Like Lee, Grimble was also upgraded to probable for this weekend’s game for the Trojans.
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”
If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.
On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa. The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.
Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.
Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team. He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.
With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.