Originally Published: September 3, 2014

Injury updates at USC and Baylor and a new celebrity QB at Texas A&M


Sensitivity in awarding scholarships, and North Dakota State: FBS slayer

By Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

1. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini showed his compassionate side Monday as he explained why he didn't want to announce that walk-on Ryker Fyfe, the Huskers' backup quarterback, had earned a scholarship. "That can be difficult at times," Pelini said, "because there are other guys that we just don't have the room for that are also deserving. That's why I've kind of backed off on making those announcements and making a big deal about it, because I don't want to act like there are other guys that are not deserving as well."

2. Maybe word is getting out, or maybe games versus FCS teams are the last, late-fitting pieces of the scheduling puzzle. Whatever the reason, but as of now, North Dakota State and its five-game winning streak against FBS teams will remain intact for two more seasons. The Bison don't have an FBS opponent on the schedule until a game at Iowa in 2016 and none as yet following 2016, either. It's a compliment, albeit a costly one. North Dakota State made $350,000 for its victory. That's a low payout for that kind of game. Then again, Iowa State learned that, sometimes, a bargain is no bargain at all.

3. Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave doesn't know what's wrong with his arm, and nobody at Wisconsin knows, either. He just says his arm doesn't feel right. Here's the cool part: Head coach Gary Andersen didn't tell him to get a rubdown and go out there, or question his guts, or do anything that would have been considered by the coaching book a generation ago. Andersen listened, and he shut Stave down. As Texas coach Charlie Strong said this week discussing quarterback David Ash and his concussion-like symptoms, the health of the player is paramount. That's how progress is measured.

What's going on at Wisconsin?

By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com

Joel Stave
David Manning/USA TODAY Sports

What in the heck has been going on in Madison, Wisconsin, the past few days?

First, we had the confusing saga of Melvin Gordon's injury/non-injury that was to blame for his limited second-half appearance in a 28-24 loss to LSU on Saturday night in Houston.

Well, the Gordon story makes total and complete sense compared to the absurdity of Joel Stave's situation.

Stave, of course, is the quarterback who started all 13 games for Wisconsin last year yet got beat out for the starting job this preseason by Tanner McEvoy. As McEvoy struggled mightily against LSU, Stave remained on the sidelines. I asked head coach Gary Andersen after the game if he considered bringing Stave in, and Andersen said no, because the pass protection was so bad that it wouldn't have mattered.

To continue reading Brian Bennett's story, click here.

Mariota ready for Michigan State

EUGENE, Ore. -- Jameis Winston has already begun putting together a highlight reel of Heisman-worthy clips. The video of his touchdown run against Oklahoma State in the season opener went viral as he hurdled over his own teammate and juked opponents like a video game.

This weekend, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota will get his chance to do the same against visiting Michigan State (6:30 p.m. ET) -- a prime-time game, a quality opponent, and a full four quarters (most likely) to pull a rabbit out of his hat for one play or another.

And the fact it'll be against one of the nation's best defenses could look pretty good to Heisman voters if Mariota is able to put up some big plays.

To read the rest of Chantel Jennings' story, click here.



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