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  • Gilbertson changes starting QB

    Sept. 27, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    SEATTLE -- Washington coach Keith Gilbertson said Monday redshirt freshman Carl Bonnell will be the starting quarterback when the Huskies visit Stanford next weekend.

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    Casey Paus, a junior who started the first three games, is still expected to play but now is considered the backup.

    "We labored on these thoughts," Gilbertson said. "I'd like to see a guy go in as the starter and stay there. Obviously, we're struggling offensively."

    Some other changes were forced by injuries. Receiver Corey Williams is out for the season after surgery Sunday for a separated wrist. Williams ran into a brick wall after running through the end zone during a 38-3 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday.

    He was examined after the Huskies (0-3) returned from South Bend, Ind., and doctors recommended immediate surgery.

    Receiver Charles Frederick, who also returns kicks and punts, is "very, very doubtful" for the Stanford game because of a strained hamstring, Gilbertson said. And fullback Zach Tuiasosopo probably is finished for the season after breaking a bone in his right leg at Notre Dame.

    "This happens to just about everybody at some point," Gilbertson said. "You're not always going to have smooth sailing."

    The Huskies, winless after three games for the first time since 1969, are becoming much younger. Sophomore Quintin Daniels and redshirt freshman Bobby Whithorne are the starting receivers.

    Several other youngsters have been getting more playing time, including freshman starting defensive tackle Jordan White-Frisbee. Erick Lobos and Greyson Gunheim also have been playing significant minutes on the defensive line.

    The young Huskies might be struggling, but Gilbertson said they'll improve.

    "We're not going to make seniors out of freshmen in just a few weeks," he said. "A month from now, they'll have a month more experience. A month from now, they'll be a much better football team. They've got to know it."

    The demotion came as a surprise to Paus, who was informed by a school publicist when he arrived for Washington's weekly round of interviews with reporters. He was 10-of-26 for 130 yards with no interceptions in the first half at Notre Dame.

    "It's not really up to me," Paus said. "I thought I played pretty well. Unfortunately, wins are what matter."

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    Gilbertson said he made the decision earlier Monday after meeting with his offensive coaches.

    "I don't want anyone to feel I don't think Casey Paus isn't a great player or that I don't have confidence in him. I do," Gilbertson said. "I just think this is the best thing for our offense right now."

    Bonnell, who played mop-up duty in the opener against Fresno State, was 7-of-18 for 93 yards with one interception against the Irish. Except for an interception where he lofted the ball like a punt, the coaches liked Bonnell's effort.

    "He did everything else very well," Gilbertson said. "I think he threw the ball on time. He did a good job scrambling to get out of trouble. He did a good job of running the option."



    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Injured hip might keep Purdue QB Orton out of Iowa game
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 2, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton is questionable for Saturday's game against Iowa with an injured left hip.

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    Orton was injured in last week's 13-10 loss at Northwestern. He was benched for backup Brandon Kirsch in the third quarter, partly because he was injured and partly because he was ineffective.

    Purdue coach Joe Tiller said Tuesday he is in no hurry to announce a starter for Saturday.

    "We could hold it as long as game time," Tiller said. "We will delay the decision as long as possible."

    Orton said he was feeling much better Tuesday than he was against Northwestern, and he thought he would be ready to go for the game in his home state.

    "You look at the progress I've made from Saturday until now, it's a lot better," he said. "If I can play and help the team, then I'm going to play through some pain. But I'm not going to be out there and hurting the team this week."

    After spearheading Purdue's best start since 1945, the one-time Heisman hopeful's play has fallen off. Orton was just 15-for-33 for 143 yards, a touchdown and an interception last week against Northwestern, Purdue's third straight loss.

    Orton was the prime reason the Boilermakers started the season 5-0, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 1,642 yards, 18 touchdowns and two interceptions.

    Over the past three games -- all Purdue defeats -- he has completed just 50 percent of his passes for 591 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

    "It's been three rough weeks," Orton said. "It seems like everything's kind of falling apart a little bit."

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -11-02-2004, 04:32 PM
  • DJRamFan
    'Noles to start Weatherford over fellow freshman Lee at QB
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 31, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Redshirt freshman Drew Weatherford will start at quarterback for No. 14 Florida State in the season opener Monday against No. 9 Miami.

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    Weatherford beat out fellow redshirt freshman Xavier Lee for the job.

    "It looked from about the third scrimmage on that Drew would be the guy you'd start," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Wednesday. "He has all the tools to be an outstanding quarterback."

    Bowden said he considered Weatherford the starter and Lee, possibly, the closer.

    "I want both of them practicing with a number one mentality," Bowden said.

    The veteran coach said he expected Weatherford and Lee would battle throughout the season for playing time.

    "They will continue this competition," he said. "This is not a season-ending contest."


    Drew Weatherford will learn quickly what it's like playing top competition. (AP)
    The competition at quarterback came down to the two inexperienced passers when Wyatt Sexton was lost for the season to Lyme disease. Sexton started seven games a year ago.

    Weatherford played one play last season, spraining his ankle against North Carolina in the fourth game of the season. He had surgery on it this spring, but has been healthy throughout August.

    Lee has been troubled by a sore arm, but Bowden said Wednesday that Lee's arm is now fine.

    Miami coach Larry Coker said Wednesday his team is prepared to face either quarterback.

    "I think it's a good possibility we'll see both," Coker said.

    Miami will also go with a first-time starter in redshirt sophomore Kyle Wright.

    The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Weatherford threw for 401 yards in one scrimmage, connecting with a dozen different receivers.

    "I've been steady, consistent," Weatherford said about his practices and scrimmages during August. "I think that's what they want."

    The last time a Florida State quarterback debuted against Miami was 20 years ago when freshman Chip Ferguson made his first collegiate appearance in a 35-27 loss to the Hurricanes. Ferguson completed 14-of-28 passes for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -09-01-2005, 07:31 PM
  • DJRamFan
    LSU to play both QBs, unsure on starter
    by DJRamFan
    Sept. 6, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    BATON ROUGE, La. -- Quarterbacks Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell both struggled to move LSU's offense against Oregon State last weekend.

    They changed places four times and between them managed to generate just enough points for an overtime victory.

    That was enough to keep both of them in the plans for No. 6 LSU's game against Arkansas State on Saturday, coach Nick Saban said.

    "I think it's a tribute to both guys that they went in and out of the game in the second half, and both ended up making plays that contributed to the success that we had coming back in the game," Saban said of the 22-21 win. "So, I think that it would be safe to say that we'll probably end up playing two quarterbacks."

    Randall, a fifth-year senior whose experience came when he stepped in for an injured Matt Mauck for half the 2002 season, was supposed to have locked up the job. But he had problems in the opener, including seeing a touchdown erased by a penalty.

    At halftime, Russell, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, was sent in. Based on history, Saban said, they had found it best when Randall was struggling to take him out and let him settle down.

    Russell had his own problems, but he also threw two touchdown passes to tie the game.

    Then in overtime, Russell had cramps and had to leave the game. So Randall stepped in again and ran for a touchdown that proved to be the game winner.

    "I'm not sure that I'm ready to say who's going to start the game," Saban said. "But I'm not sure that that's really the issue here. I think the issue is that we need better execution at the quarterback position. We want both guys to continue to improve, we need both guys to continue to improve and we're going to work both guys so that they can improve and give them both an opportunity to most likely play in this game."

    After watching the game film, Saban said there was no lack of effort or letdown even though the Tigers trailed until the final two minutes. There was a lack of execution at every position, however.

    "We looked like seals running around on dry land out there," Saban said.



    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -09-07-2004, 02:13 PM
  • DJRamFan
    QB Mitchell will start South Carolina's season opener
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 4, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has found a starting quarterback in Blake Mitchell -- at least for the season opener against Central Florida.

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    "Blake's earned it and he's our starter," Spurrier said after practice Thursday night.

    Spurrier said the coaching staff decided that Mitchell, a sophomore, should start the Sept. 1 game at Williams-Brice Stadium.

    "Obviously if he plays well he will be the quarterback for the entire season barring injury," Spurrier said. "We felt like Blake is much better prepared mentally and physically. He's had an excellent summer working out and it's clear to all of us here that he's our best guy to go out there."

    Mitchell, 6-foot-3, 194 pounds, played in five games last season, going 9-for-22 for 86 yards passing and a touchdown.

    Mitchell played extensively in the Garnet and Black spring game this past April, completing 12-of-23 passes for 175 yards and a TD.

    The Gamecocks have only had three practices since camp began. The quick decision even surprised Mitchell.

    "It was something I wasn't expecting to hear this early in camp," said Mitchell.

    Mitchell came into fall camp battling Antonio Heffner and Brett Nichols at the quarterback spot. Spurrier had said he also wanted to look at newcomers Cade Thompson and Tommy Beecher.

    "I busted my tail and I did the best I could to give myself every opportunity to be the number one guy. I was out there every day (this summer)," Mitchell said. "I think that showed them I wanted to be a leader on the team."

    While Spurrier said the choice of Mitchell was obvious, he wasn't sure of his rotation after that. "Backups -- we don't know yet," Spurrier said. "We're trying a lot of guys right there."

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -08-08-2005, 07:23 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Despite Miami pain, Bowden says he's staying with Rix
    by DJRamFan
    Sept. 13, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Chris Rix will remain Florida State's starting quarterback despite a dreadful performance in last week's loss at Miami.

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    Coach Bobby Bowden announced his decision at a booster luncheon on Monday.

    Rix, who is Bowden's first-ever four-year starter, became Division I-A's only quarterback to go 0-5 against the same school after failing to lead the offense to a touchdown in Friday night's loss at the Orange Bowl.

    "I thought about it all night and all the next day and all the next night and talked it over with our coaches and everything," Bowden said after practice Monday night. "We felt like he's really got the kids behind him.

    "Four years ago (the players) were not behind him. I think the wise thing to do is start him and see if he can't get back to his old self."

    Rix completed 12 of 28 passes for 108 yards, threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, including a critical one in overtime in the 16-10 loss. He ranks 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference's passing statistics with a 61.0 efficiency ranking.

    "It's way too early to panic," added Bowden, who has spent most of the past three autumns defending Rix, now 24-11 in four seasons leading the Seminoles, who dropped from No. 4 to 8 in the latest media poll. "It's not time."

    Bowden was quick to remind Florida State fans in the audience that the Seminoles ran the table in 1988 after losing their opener to Miami. Florida State finished No. 3 in the AP rankings that season.

    "We've been there before," Bowden said. "The only thing that game the other night proved was we're not going to have a perfect season."

    Bowden also has few alternatives as no other quarterback on the Seminoles roster has ever started a game or seen any significant playing time. Backup Wyatt Sexton was 3-of-5 for 45 yards in limited mop-up duty last season.

    However, Bowden conceded he had thought about playing the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Sexton, the top student on the team and the son of running backs coach Billy Sexton.

    Fabian Walker, who had backed up Rix the previous two seasons, transferred to Valdosta State over the summer. However, Bowden conceded he had thought about playing the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Sexton, a 4.0 student and the son of running backs coach Billy Sexton.

    "We definitely need to get him some action," Bowden said.

    Bowden hopes to redshirt freshman quarterbacks Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford.

    Next up is Alabama-Birmingham, a team that crushed Baylor 56-14 in its opener and has Bowden more than a little worried.

    "It's a good time to play Florida State -- after Miami,"...
    -09-14-2004, 07:34 AM
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