Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill — out since May as the result of surgery he had on a torn knee ligament suffered in spring ball — has been given the go-ahead by doctors to practice with the Wildcats, head coach Rich Rodriguez said on Monday.
“His doctor from back home cleared him to take that next step,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know what that means as far as availability of when he will play yet. He’s been out there running around with the trainers most of the time. Starting this week, he’ll be doing some with Coach (Tony) Dews.
Hill led Arizona with 81 catches for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns last season as a sophomore and has been sorely missed so far this year. However, it’s not clear when he’ll be able to contribute in a meaningful way for the Wildcats, who are 6-3 thus far. Still, Rodriguez seems visibly excited about the prospect.
“If he can come back at the end of this year or next year, you’re talking about a guy that’s one of the best in the league as far as catching the ball and understanding the coverages and where to go and ball skills,” Rodriguez said. “Austin has worked really, really hard and he looks great.
“Whenever we get him back, whenever that is, I think he’ll be an even better player.”
The Wildcats are currently led in receiving by a freshman, Nate Phillips, who has just 29 catches for 409 yards. Getting Hill back in time for him to play in big games against No. 6 Oregon and No. 21 Arizona State later in the month could be just what the Arizona offense needs.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?