Friday, November 3|
Henson, Kittner on the mend
By Mel Kiper
In Big Ten action Sept. 23, Illinois hosts the Michigan Wolverines at Champaign.
After Illinois QB Kurt Kittner went down in the third quarter against Cal with a sprained knee, it looked like both Illinois and Michigan would be facing some uncertainty at the QB position heading into this game. However, that hasn't turned out to be the case as far as the Illini are concerned.
An MRI on the knee was negative, and Kittner practiced Tuesday night. Keep in mind though, before the injury, Kittner was struggling, connecting on just four of 16 passes for 73 yards.
While Kittner is expected be under center for the Illini, the status of Michigan QB Drew Henson is still up in the air. He's been practicing the last two weeks, continuing to work his way back from the foot injury.
Remember, the Illini play on Astroturf at Memorial Stadium. All the other regular-season games for Michigan are on grass. With Henson coming off a foot injury, the Astroturf has to create some concern in the minds of the Wolverine coaching staff.
So while John Navarre had his share of problems against UCLA, going eight of 28 throwing the football, you still could see the redshirt freshman under center on Saturday. Then Henson could be utilized in a relief capacity if needed off the bench to rally the offense.
Injury has Stanford looking to frosh QB
|Corso says Drew Henson will lead Michigan to the Rose Bowl.|
Stanford has the week off after pulling the upset over Texas. When they return to action Sept. 30 against Arizona at Stanford Stadium, redshirt freshman Chris Lewis will be the starting QB.
Lewis keyed Stanford's victory over Texas after No. 1 signal-caller Randy Fasani went down with a knee injury, throwing for 214 yards and three TDs. While he completed just 12 of 33 aerials, Lewis came up big in clutch situations, while also finishing the game without tossing an interception.
The key target for the Cardinal thus far has been fifth-year senior wide-out DeRonnie Pitts. He's totaled 20 catches for a 12.4 yard average in the first three games, coming through with two TD receptions against both San Jose State and Texas. So far, Pitts has done a good job of making up for the graduation loss of Troy Walters.
As far as Fasani is concerned, he's scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late September. The outcome of the surgery will determine Fasani's status for the remainder of the season.
UCLA's Coleman out with knee injury
In UCLA's victory over Michigan on Saturday, talented senior DE Kenyon Coleman, their top player on the defensive side of the ball, went down with a knee injury.
Coleman underwent surgery this past Tuesday to repair a torn lateral meniscus. Fortunately, there was no ligament damage, opening up hope that he could return to action in four to six weeks.
Prior to the injury, Coleman looked like a potential mid-late first-round draft choice.
Kansas struggles to get running game going
Kansas was expected to be an improved team in the Big 12 North, but thus far hasn't been able to put it all together.
The offensive line has failed to clear out the necessary running room to allow talented senior FB Moran Norris to do the damage he's capable of. Currently, he's carried the ball 34 times for 127 yards.
In order to prevent the opposition from jamming the box, senior QB Dylen Smith needs to develop a hot hand. In the early going this season, Smith has lacked consistency, missing a few open receivers.
Games to watch
Southern Mississippi, off their huge upset of Alabama this past week, travels to Stillwater on Saturday to face Oklahoma State. In the 21-0 shutout of the Crimson Tide, senior defensive lineman Cedric Scott was the difference-maker. Scott finished with eight tackles, two sacks, recovered a fumble and also blocked a FG.
Georgia, after a week off to hammer out the problems that existed during its loss to South Carolina, figures to severely outman New Mexico State at Athens this week. However, they don't figure to be at full strength. RB Jasper Sanks has been practicing this week, but a nagging ankle injury could force Jim Donnan to start either true freshman Musa Smith or redshirt freshman Bruce Thornton. This figures to be a game-time decision as to whether Sanks is in the starting lineup. Also, TE Jevaris Johnson is still not quite 100 percent due to the rib injury he sustained prior to the season opener.
Tommy Bowden and astute offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez have the Clemson offense hitting on all cylinders, with QB Woody Dantzler leading the Tigers to 16 TDs and 3 FGs in just 28 possessions. This week, they take to the road for the first time this season to face George Welsh and the Virginia Cavaliers.
Florida State has a huge hurdle to overcome when they visit the Miami Hurricanes on Oct. 7. Providing a boost on defense could be the return from the injury list of senior DE Roland Seymour. He's been working his way back to full strength from the serious knee injury he sustained in the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
The target date for Seymour to return to action just happens to be the Miami game. Now that Travis Minor and the ground game seem to be getting things together, all eyes will be on the PK'ing situation. Replacing Sebastian Janikowski hasn't been easy. Freshman walk-on Matt Munyon gets his chance again this week against Louisville. Expectations were high when the Seminoles landed freshman PK Brett Cimorelli, but thus far he's failed to win the job.