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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
3-point stance: Quick trigger for Markuson

By Ivan Maisel

1. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema did the best job he could of explaining why he dumped offensive line coach Mike Markuson. But in the end, his explanation was little more than lipstick on a badger. Maybe, in the age of head coaches getting two or three years to prove themselves, we should expect that assistants will be on a short clock, too. But nine months? Two games? Was there really no way for Markuson to turn this around?

2. Ohio State coach Urban Mayer says that sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is running too much (44 carries in two games), and Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez is looking to do the same with fifth-year senior Matt Scott (33 carries in two games). They have to stay healthy, not only because both have gotten off to impressive starts, but because neither school has any experience behind them. No offense is more vulnerable than one that asks its starting quarterback to get tackled.

3. Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s attitude toward injuries, like most coaches, is “next one up.” That’s good, motivational coachspeak. But you don’t replace a four-year starter and two-time All-Pac-10 first-teamer like free safety John Boyett so easily. Boyett, out for the year with chronic injuries to both knees, always seemed to be where the ball went. He led the Ducks with 108 tackles last season. Oregon's defensive line depth will sustain the defense, but the next one up won’t have Boyett’s combination of experience and savvy.