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AROUND THE NATION

Sooner's Year Likely Over

September 16, 2003|From Associated Press

Oklahoma linebacker Lance Mitchell's season is probably over after an MRI exam revealed Monday that he has a torn ligament in his left knee.

Mitchell, a Butkus Award candidate, injured his anterior cruciate ligament while making a tackle in the second quarter of the top-ranked Sooners' 52-28 win over Fresno State on Saturday.

Coach Bob Stoops said there's a "very slight" possibility that Mitchell might try to play through the injury.

It's more probable that Mitchell will have surgery this week, Stoops said.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pound senior had 19 tackles in three games.

Last year, he led the nation's 10th-ranked defense in tackles (124), tackles for loss (19) and fumbles caused (4).

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Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker is questionable for Saturday's game at Notre Dame because of a bruised right big toe.

Smoker was injured during the first quarter of the Spartans' 20-19 loss to Louisiana Tech on Saturday. He also suffered a rib injury and left in the second quarter.

Smoker's chances of playing against Notre Dame are "50-50," Coach John L. Smith said.

Smith said redshirt freshman Drew Stanton, not junior Damon Dowdell, would start against the Fighting Irish if Smoker is unable to play.

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Attorneys for suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett entered a not guilty plea on his behalf on a misdemeanor falsification charge at Columbus, Ohio.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The case was to be assigned today to a judge.

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Marshall quarterback Stan Hill will sit out Saturday's game at No. 6 Kansas State because of a sprained left knee.... Alabama Birmingham offensive coordinator Pat Sullivan, who won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Auburn in 1971, underwent surgery to remove three lumps from his neck and was described as being in good condition.

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