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  • Marshall player arrested before Ohio St. game

    Posted: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:23AM; Updated: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:23AM

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A Marshall defensive lineman was charged Tuesday with malicious wounding in an Aug. 22 fight outside a bar that injured an Ohio State player.

    Sophomore Roger Garrett was arraigned in Cabell County Magistrate Court, team officials said.

    A telephone call to the court went unanswered Tuesday night.

    "We're going to allow the court system to take its course. Roger will not make the Ohio State trip," Marshall coach Bob Pruett said in a statement.

    Ohio State defensive end Redgie Arden, 22, suffered a broken nose and other facial injuries in the fight.

    Marshall (0-1) plays at No. 9 Ohio State (1-0) on Saturday.

    Following the fight, Marshall defensive end Jonathan Goddard was arrested after allegedly shoving a police officer who tried to pull him off a Huntington man. The Huntington man was later arrested on drug and weapons charges.

    Goddard pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor last week in Cabell County Magistrate Court. He sat out the first half of Saturday's 17-15 loss to Troy, but it wasn't known if the disciplinary action was related to his arrest.

    Arden last season played seven minutes total in seven games, mainly on special teams.

    He was expected to miss most of the current season after suffering a shoulder injury during preseason practice, Ohio State spokesman Steve Snapp has said.

    Buckeyes may live with, learn from QBs' mistakes
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has always said that he will never have a quarterback who regularly coughs up the ball to the other team.

    Maybe now he has no choice.

    Committed to weathering a learning curve with sophomores Justin Zwick and Troy Smith, Tressel says he just hopes his young quarterbacks learn from their mistakes. In other words, the unacceptable has become almost unavoidable.

    "We're committed to growing through the process and there's no doubt about it, our quarterback being mistake-free is huge," Tressel said Tuesday. "There are some mistakes that we're not going to be able to live with, but Justin knows that, Troy knows that. You learn from those experiences."

    Zwick threw two interceptions and had four fumbles in the No. 9-ranked Buckeyes' 27-6 lashing of Cincinnati on Saturday, but kept the starting job over Smith heading into Saturday's game against Marshall.

    Zwick completed 14 of 26 passes for 213 yards and Smith came on to complete 2 of 3 passes for 29 yards. Each had a touchdown pass. Smith gained 7 yards on five rushing attempts and Zwick lost 8 yards on four carries, including the only sack of the game.

    "You've got to win. That's what it's all about," Zwick said after Tuesday's practice. "I really just wanted to come out with a win on Saturday. We were able to do that. So it's going to be hard to bring me down. It's a good feeling. I'm just glad to have that one under our belts."

    Smith said he accomplished what he set out to do.

    "I felt pretty good with the chances and opportunities I had," he said. "I felt I capitalized on the pass plays I did get. So I felt pretty good."

    Regardless of who is behind center, the Buckeyes are beginning to recognize they are far from the steady offense that seldom put up big numbers in recent years but also seldom dug a hole for the defense.

    Two-year starter Craig Krenzel, who graduated to the NFL after last season, threw interceptions and lost fumbles but made few errors in judgment. He would take a sack rather than throw into double coverage or might toss a pass into the cheap seats rather than attempt to throw a 30-yard dart to a wide-out with a half-step on a defender.

    "The reason Craig was so successful was because he had that experience," backup tailback Maurice Hall said. "He got better and better as he went on. It should be the same thing with our (current) quarterbacks."

    Based solely on efficiency ratings -- a measure derived from a quarterback's stats alone -- Smith turned in the better performance, 257.87 to 119.97.

    Yet Zwick will retain the starting job unless something big happens this week in practice. Not even the quarterbacks know if there has been any kind of shift in playing time or emphasis.

    "He (Tressel) keeps it pretty well hidden with us," Smith said.

    Tressel was asked if Smith -- who led the Buckeyes to 10 points in his three complete series -- had closed the gap on Zwick for the starting spot.

    "As far as have gaps narrowed and this and that, we just go, try to get better, all of us, and we need better quarterback play," Tressel said. "That's not a slam on our quarterbacks. We need to get better at everything we do. I think our quarterbacks will work to do that."

    Smith didn't face the fire that Zwick did, so it's difficult to rate them based on numbers alone. Yet it's hard to believe Zwick improved his status based on his performance.

    Zwick was in for eight possessions (not counting one cut short because the first half ended) and produced 17 points on his 52 plays. He led 80- and 57-yard touchdown drives and was on the field for a 70-yard drive that ended in a field goal.

    His one interception gave Cincinnati the ball at the Ohio State 25 and his fumble put the Bearcats in business at the Buckeyes 32. Those two mistakes led to all of Cincinnati's points.

    Smith's 23 snaps included the longest drive of the day in the number of plays, distance and time, an 11-play, 84-yard march that ate up 5:49 and was capped by his 23-yard scoring pass to Santonio Holmes. That fourth-quarter score smothered any lingering Bearcat hopes of an upset.

    Both quarterbacks averaged right around 6 yards per play, although Zwick's numbers were skewed somewhat because he was on the field when Lydell Ross broke off a 68-yard run.

    It was only one game, but the Cincinnati experience may prove that Tressel is adapting to his new personnel.

    "People are going to make mistakes," said receiver Bam Childress, who had four catches for 67 yards. "There's not a game you can really say somebody went a whole game without making one mistake. Mistakes are going to happen.

    "The thing I was happy about was that they never got down, even after they made a mistake. They were like, 'That was my fault. Let's get it next time,' or 'Coach, we can still run that play. I can get that guy.'"

    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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  • DJRamFan
    Missouri's visit a major coup for Troy
    by DJRamFan
    Posted: Wednesday Sep 8, 2004 2:00 PM

    TROY, Ala. (AP) -- Alfred Malone isn't just interested in letting people outside the state know Troy football exists or proving the Trojans can hang in there against a major conference team.

    When No. 19 Missouri visits Thursday night, the defensive tackle wants to win.

    "Second place in football is nothing,'' Malone said. "You can have individual success and say, 'Yeah, OK, we played good,' but there's nothing like a win. That's what we go out for every Saturday is a win. How can you celebrate just playing good?''

    A win, Troy coach Larry Blakeney said, would be "monumental for this program, for this university and for this conference.''

    Actually, for the fledgling Division I-A program and new Sun Belt Conference member, just having a team from the Big 12 come to town is a coup. Playing on national television for the first time (ESPN2) is a huge bonus.

    Facing fleet-footed, strong-armed Missouri quarterback Brad Smith, on the other hand, might not be so much fun.

    Smith ran roughshod over Troy -- formerly Troy State -- as a freshman in a 44-7 victory in 2002. He showed in Missouri's opener why many consider him a Heisman Trophy candidate, passing for three touchdowns and running for a 34-yard score in a blowout of Arkansas State.

    The Trojans racked up eight sacks in a road upset of Marshall in their season opener, but will have a much harder time catching up with Smith.

    "He can do so many things,'' Blakeney said. "He can beat you with his speed and carrying the football. He's the total player.''

    But, Malone points out, "It's always better when you sack a big name.''

    The Trojans caught Smith's attention in holding Marshall, normally an offensive power, to 177 total yards and constantly hounding quarterback Stan Hill. He's wary of Troy's pass rushers led by defensive end Demarcus Ware, who had three sacks and forced two fumbles in the opener.

    "You definitely have to be aware of them and you've got to make quicker decisions,'' Smith said. "That's probably the big thing is to get the ball out and let the guys run with the ball.''

    The Tigers showed their firepower early against Arkansas State, scoring 21 points in a 5:17 stretch of the first quarter. However, the game also exposed a weak spot -- the Tigers allowed 350 passing yards to two Arkansas State quarterbacks.

    Troy's strength is expected to be running the ball with DeWhitt Betterson and Jermaine Richardson, though both were mostly shut down against Marshall.

    Quarterback Aaron Leak had one of his better games, throwing for 196 yards and running for a touchdown.

    "They're going to watch the film against Marshall and know we're not only a running threat now, we're a passing threat,'' receiver...
    -09-09-2004, 10:21 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Florida State Freshmen Step Up In Rout Of Duke
    by DJRamFan
    The freshmen accounted for all 73 yards of offense on a drive, and Florida State went on to win 55-24 Saturday

    Oct. 23, 2005

    DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Third-string tailback Antone Smith spent the previous two games on the sidelines watching veterans Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker handle most of the load for Florida State. He accepted it as part of his learning curve as a freshman.

    But when the Seminoles traveled to Duke, Smith figured he would get his chance. He wanted to be prepared.

    "I'm thankful anytime I get the ball," he said. "I'm just ready to be that guy now."

    Smith got his opportunity even earlier than he could have expected, joining freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford and the rest of the starters midway through the third quarter. At the time, the Seminoles' lead was down to 10 points, and they needed to respond to an impressive drive by the Blue Devils.

    Florida State coach Bobby Bowden decided Smith might be the answer.

    "I didn't think that our other tailbacks were running very well. I felt like they were dancing too much and trying to pick their way through the line too much," Bowden said. "We were determined to get him in the ballgame more, and we felt like we would be able to. He responded."

    Weatherford connected with Smith on a screen for a 9-yard gain on the first play of the decisive drive, and Smith later had all five rushes, including a 1-yard touchdown that gave the Seminoles a 31-14 lead.

    Yet he wasn't the only first-year player to shine on the possession. Rod Owens had his only catch of the game, a 26-yarder to move the ball into Duke's territory, and Greg Carr set up Smith's score with a 20-yard reception.

    The freshmen accounted for all 73 yards of offense on the drive, and Florida State went on to win 55-24 Saturday.

    "The freshmen on our team are amazing, and I'm really excited about our future," Weatherford said. "Antone showed you that he is strong and fast."

    Carr's effort hardly was surprising. He came into the game leading the Atlantic Coast Conference with five touchdown catches, and he added three more to his total against the Blue Devils.

    Smith, on the other hand, had only 14 carries all season while playing in only three of the first six games. Most of his playing time came in a lopsided victory over Division I-AA The Citadel, but as Bowden said, Smith responded in this one.

    In the fourth quarter, after Duke had gotten within 41-21, the Seminoles faced fourth-and-2 from near midfield. Bowden decided to go for it with Smith, calling for a pitch that the Blue Devils appeared to know was coming.

    At least three defenders were in the backfield, but Smith shrugged off those tacklers...
    -10-23-2005, 03:19 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Missouri's promising season turns miserable after four defeats
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 17, 2004 wire reports

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- One miserable month has wiped away all the promise Missouri started with this season.


    The Tigers (4-5) have lost four straight and the star running back and the father of the star quarterback have questioned the play calling.

    Coach Gary Pinkel's mid-major background, his perceived stubbornness and his apparent decision to transform Brad Smith into a dropback passer have all come into question.

    With two games left, it's hard to believe this team began the season with the grand expectations of a Heisman Trophy contender and a No. 17 preseason ranking.

    "It's been a tough month," Pinkel said.

    Pinkel appeared to have accomplished the big turnaround last season, leading the Tigers to a 7-5 record and an appearance in the Independence Bowl -- their first postseason appearance in five years and only the third in 20 years. Near the end of last season he signed a contract extension through 2008.

    Even earlier this year, it looked like Missouri, as the school advertising slogan goes, was "on the move."

    Missouri began the year 4-1, the only blemish a 10-point loss at lightly regarded Troy in Week 2. That was the first in a series of collapses threatening the season.

    The Tigers scored two quick touchdowns at Troy, then nothing. They ran out to a 17-0 lead against Oklahoma State before losing by three at home, and in their last game two weeks ago they were poised to end an 11-game losing streak against Kansas State with a 21-0 second-quarter lead that also evaporated in a 35-24 loss.

    "If we were playing two halves, I don't think we'd be having a problem," offensive tackle Scott Paffrath said. "That's what's so disappointing about the way we've played. It's not like we've gotten beat, we've let these games go."

    Behind the scenes, things were going just as poorly. Running back Damien Nash was suspended for a loss at Nebraska after remarks about play-calling were overheard by a reporter. Smith's dad, Phillip Smith, telephoned a Kansas City radio show to complain some more about philosophy and memorably said that Pinkel had the personality of a "dill pickle."

    Potentially more harmful, Pinkel snapped recently at members of a booster club, people who might be able to influence his future. He's consistently been curt with the media.

    This week he's seemed more accepting of the firestorm surrounding his program, although he went on the offensive in some aspects. He attempted some spin when he said Saturday's game against border rival Kansas was perhaps more important than a bowl trip and improbably, a possible Big 12 title game appearance, that still hang in the balance despite a 2-4 conference record....
    -11-18-2004, 12:46 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Utah trying for first 9-0 start in school history
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 5, 2004 wire reports

    SALT LAKE CITY -- Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick is impressed with what former Rams assistant Urban Meyer has done in just two years at Utah.


    The No. 7 Utes are one win away from the best start in school history and three victories away from a perfect regular season. Next up are Lubick's Rams on Saturday.

    "Since I've been here, I think this Utah team probably is as good as any of them," Lubick said of the conference teams he's seen in 11-plus years at Colorado State.

    Utah (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West) is trying for the first 9-0 start in school history. The Utes have opened the season with eight consecutive wins twice, most recently 10 years ago. And if that isn't distracting enough, there is also the rampant speculation that Florida may be interested in hiring Meyer, Utah's Bowl Championship Series standing and quarterback Alex Smith's Heisman Trophy candidacy.

    Yet none of it seems to faze the Utes.

    "I'm glad to say this. There's nothing phony about (Smith), me, the staff, the team. It's one of the most unselfish programs I've ever been around," said Meyer, who has refused to comment on the Florida job since Ron Zook's firing was announced last Monday.

    The Utes have maintained they don't closely follow the BCS list, which could put them in one of the top four bowls when the season ends. Utah has been at No. 6 the last two weeks, although No. 4 California and No. 5 Wisconsin both jumped ahead of the Utes, who beat San Diego State 51-28 last week.

    It was a reminder that teams from larger conferences have a chance to pass up the lesser-known Utes, even if they keep winning.

    "We could care less about the BCS. We have no control over it. All we have control over is winning games. That's all coach Meyer expresses to us," defensive back Eric Weddle said. "If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

    Smith learned this week that he officially is a semifinalist for the Heisman, which has never gone to a Ute. Smith is third nationally in passing, completing 131 of 203 passes for 1,905 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has also run for eight touchdowns.

    "What makes them so good is their quarterback (Alex Smith) is very fluid and just very composed. Not only can he run the ball, he is very smooth in running it and makes people miss," Lubick said. "He reminds you of a nice sleek halfback. But then he also has the real poise to sit back there and is a very accurate thrower."

    Smith shrugs off Heisman questions. He's still a little bit baffled by all the attention he's been getting and tries not to focus on the early Heisman lists.

    "If I'm out there thinking about the Heisman on Saturday, that's going to be...
    -11-06-2004, 01:13 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Ohio State QB suspended for bowl game
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 20, 2004 wire reports

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith was suspended on Monday for violating team and NCAA rules and will not play in next week's Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma State.


    Coach Jim Tressel would not say what Smith did or when the violation occurred.

    "Obviously, he feels terrible that he didn't take care of his responsibilities," Tressel said.

    Smith led the Buckeyes to a 4-1 record in their final five regular season games, including a 37-21 victory over rival Michigan last month when he threw for 241 yards and ran for 145 yards.

    "I am aware of what is expected, both on and off the field, at Ohio State and I have fallen short of those expectations," Smith said in a statement released by Ohio State.

    The sophomore will not travel with the team to San Antonio when it leaves on Wednesday for the Dec. 29 game.

    Justin Zwick, also a sophomore, will start for Smith. He had been the starter until he lost the job after mildly separating his left, or non-throwing, shoulder in the sixth game of the season against Iowa.

    Overall, Smith played in eight of Ohio State's 11 games this year, completing 68 of 122 passes for 896 yards and eight touchdowns. He was intercepted three times.

    He also ran 82 times for 339 yards and two touchdowns.

    Athletic director Andy Geiger said the university has petitioned the NCAA to have Smith reinstated for the 2005 season.

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -12-21-2004, 10:26 AM