Andre Williams

Nation’s leading rusher should be ‘ready to roll’ for bowl game


An injury that cost Andre Williams half of Boston College’s regular-season finale and brought an abrupt halt to his Heisman momentum shouldn’t have any impact on his postseason availability.

The running back suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter of the loss to Syracuse and did not return, finishing with a season-low 29 yards on nine carries.  Technically, the injury was an aggravation of a previous one, but head coach Steve Addazio sounded optimistic that Williams will play for the Eagles in their bowl game.

“Obviously he had to have X-rays and different things to see the severity of the shoulder injury which occurred very early in the game,” Addazio said according to the Boston Herald. “It was just an extension of what he had and unfortunately he took a shot right on that spot and then a few more. . . . I’m sure he’ll be ready to roll by the time we play a bowl game but we don’t know exactly how long that will be.”

Williams has rushed for 2,105 yards this season; the nation’s second-leading rusher, Washington’s Bishop Sankey, has rushed for 1,775.  897 of Williams’ yards came in the three games prior to the shoulder issue resurfacing.

Because of what he’s meant for the football team both on and off the field, Addazio pushed for Williams to remain part of the Heisman discussion.

“I wanted to reread that (Heisman) mission statement because I really believe that in my heart,” the coach. “I’ve been around a lot of different players in my career and I just think when you have a guy that represents what we all hold dear in college football, those are things that should be held in esteem.

“If the criteria are outstanding football player, dominant football player, great integrity, tremendous person, student athlete, those things are really important. In this case, and I’m not saying anybody is or isn’t, I’m just saying that’s what he stands for.”

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury