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Nickson leads key SEC win

September 05, 2008|From the Associated Press

Chris Nickson threw for a touchdown and ran for another and Vanderbilt finally beat a ranked opponent on its own field Thursday night, upsetting No. 24 South Carolina, 24-17, in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams at Nashville.

Vanderbilt (2-0) had made it a habit of knocking off SEC teams on the road with victories at Arkansas and Tennessee in 2005, an upset of then-No. 22 Georgia in 2006 and even pulled off the biggest victory in more than 70 years by downing then-No. 6 South Carolina last October.

But the Commodores hadn't upset a ranked team in Vanderbilt Stadium since Sept. 19, 1992, a 31-9 win over then-No. 25 Mississippi 31-9.

South Carolina fell to 1-1.

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A Penn State football player has been kicked off the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules, and three others will sit out Saturday's game against Oregon State because of a separate, off-field issue, Coach Joe Paterno said.

Reserve defensive back Willie Harriott is off the squad, Paterno said on his weekly radio show. In November, Harriott, of New Haven, Conn., was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding. Paterno also said that defensive linemen Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma, and tight end Andrew Quarless will sit out Saturday's game. Paterno said he's still gathering information on a recent off-field incident.

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Former Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk testified that a foot injury prevented him from playing or even practicing at times during his freshman season in 2003 at Wake Forest, where he played before transferring to Cincinnati.

Mauk should be granted a sixth year of eligibility and that the NCAA has been unwilling to listen to Mauk's arguments, attorney Kevin Murphy told Hardin County Judge William Hart, who is overseeing the lawsuit in Kenton, Ohio -- the town where Mauk grew up.

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