Mississippi State suspension, Clemson threats and A&M's hero
Tyler Murphy's options, Mississippi's big day and Old Dominion's QB
1. Boston College coach Steve Addazio introduced spread option into his offense to take advantage of quarterback Tyler Murphy's ability as a runner. We saw against USC what Murphy can do. Knowing that, it's interesting that Addazio said this week, "I feel like when we do throw the ball we haven't been consistent at all, and that's bothering me." Granted, Murphy's passing numbers (43-83-5, 491 yards, three touchdowns) are so-so. But he has rushed for 500 yards and five scores, as well. Addazio knew what Murphy could do; he recruited him to Florida. Addazio may be bothered, but he can't be surprised.
2. Oct. 4 already is being touted as the biggest day in Mississippi football history, and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has heard about enough. The No. 10 Rebels play host to No. 3 Alabama in the back half of an in-state, top-15 doubleheader that opens with No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 14 Mississippi State. First, however, Ole Miss must play an improved Memphis. "If you guys would quit talking about it [Alabama], it would help," Freeze said. "I don't talk about it. I just can't for the life of me understand why people would jump the gun." C'mon, Hugh. Can't be that hard to figure out. Alabama has won nine straight against Mississippi and Tide coach Nick Saban, dating to his LSU days, has won 10 straight.
3. Just a reminder to keep an eye on Old Dominion senior quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who led the Monarchs to victory during their Conference USA debut over defending-champion Rice, 45-42. He threw for 430 yards and five touchdowns with no picks. Heinicke set an FCS record with 5,076 passing yards in 2012, the year he won the Walter Payton Award. He threw for 4,022 yards last season as ODU began its transition into the FBS. Heinicke is listed at 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, which means he is undersized. It is the reason that he started out in the FCS. But he is proving he can produce against better competition.
Will Hundley Play?
UCLA coach Jim Mora said he's going to "push it as far out as you can" before making a decision on whether quarterback Brett Hundley will start Thursday night against Arizona State in Tempe.
Hundley injured his left (non-throwing) elbow in UCLA's 20-17 win over Texas on Sept. 13. The Bruins had a bye last week, and Mora has been tight-lipped about the status of the All-America candidate.
"Sometimes it goes right up to kickoff before you make that decision," Mora told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "In the NFL, you have to declare a guy inactive or active; at this level, you don't. We just take it as far as we can and make the best decision for the player first, and the team second."
Mora said Hundley has practiced but has been limited.
Through three games, Hundley has completed 70.4 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns and an interception. He also has rushed for 74 yards and a score.
Jerry Neuheisel replaced Hundley against Texas to lead the Bruins to a dramatic fourth-quarter victory, throwing two touchdowns on 23 of 30 passing.
The winner of the last two showdowns between ASU and UCLA has gone on to win the Pac-12 South Division, with ASU winning last year in Los Angeles and UCLA winning at ASU in 2012.
"It's not like anyone is trying to pull anything over on Todd Graham, because you're not going to pull anything over on Todd Graham," Mora said of the Sun Devils coach. "They are preparing for UCLA. They are preparing for schemes and plays and tendencies. I'm sure they are assuming that Brett is going to play. That's what I'd be doing. And I'm nowhere near the coach that Todd Graham is. They'll be ready regardless."
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