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SPOTLIGHT

These Buckeyes looked like pros

September 07, 2008|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

Getting a chance to play in the NFL is a goal for most college players and for many of the top prospects, money can be gained or lost in one week. Here is a breakdown of how several highly rated players performed on Saturday:

NFL hot list

Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis: The Buckeyes may not have looked sharp against Ohio, but Laurinaitis played well with a team-high nine tackles and an interception.

Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford: Veteran had a strong game with two touchdown passes in easy victory over Central Michigan.

Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins: Another player for the Buckeyes who helped his pro stock against Ohio, finishing with an interception, a pass breakup and three tackles, including two solo.

Michigan State running back Javon Ringer: The hard-running senior rushed for 135 yards and scored five touchdowns in the Spartans' victory over Eastern Michigan.

NFL cold list

Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji: Three-hundred pounder was not much of a factor against Georgia Tech, which rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns in a big win over the Eagles.

West Virginia quarterback Pat White: Senior double-threat could not get it done in a dismal loss at East Carolina. Stats: 10-for-15 passing for 65 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions; 19 carries for 85 yards.

Record breakers

Led by running back LeGarrette Blount's 132 yards rushing, Oregon set a school record with 688 yards in a 66-24 home victory over Utah State.

In Illinois' 47-21 home victory over Eastern Illinois, Juice Williams rushed for 174 yards to break his school record for most yards gained by a quarterback in a game.

Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard established a school record with 365 all-purpose yards, including a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Bearcats' 52-26 loss at Oklahoma.

Connecticut running back Donald Brown rushed for a career-high 214 yards and scored the winning touchdown in overtime to give the Huskies a 12-9 victory at Temple. Brown carried the ball 36 times and also had two catches for five yards for Connecticut, which improved to 2-0.

California could not score fast enough in a 66-3 victory at Washington State. The Bears' 63-point margin of victory was the most lopsided ever over the Cougars in the 69-game history of the series.

Key injuries

Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza (leg)

Oregon running back Jeremiah Johnson (shoulder)

Washington safety Darin Harris (concussion/neck)

Washington running back Chris Polk (shoulder)

Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee (shoulder)

'SportsCenter' moments

Washington quarterback Jake Locker ran for a touchdown in the final seconds but cost the Huskies when he was penalized for excessive celebration after he blindly tossed the football in the air.

Brigham Young made the most of Locker's 15-yard penalty and blocked the ensuing extra point and Washington lost, 28-27.

San Diego State led Notre Dame, 13-7, early in the fourth quarter when the Aztecs' Brandon Sullivan was involved in a play that changed the game.

Sullivan came within inches of the goal line when he fumbled the football over to the Irish, who recovered in the end zone. Notre Dame responded by scoring the game's final two touchdowns to win, 21-13, at South Bend, Ind.

On Idaho's first play from scrimmage against Idaho State, quarterback Nathan Enderle completed a highlight 77-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Shaw that helped spark the Vandals to a 42-27 victory.

The victory ended an 11-game losing streak for Idaho, which had not won since the Vandals defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 20-13, on Sept. 8, 2007.

Moments overlooked by 'SportsCenter'

Washington State defensive back Chima Nwachukwu looked sad against California when he missed open-field tackles on lengthy touchdown runs by Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen in the first half of the Cougars' lopsided home loss to the Bears.

Kansas junior safety Darrell Stuckey displayed his speed when he prevented a touchdown by Louisiana Tech wide receiver Philip Livas in the Jayhawks' 29-0 home victory.

Livas, one of the Bulldogs' fastest players, broke free on a reverse and appeared headed for a score when Stuckey closed a sizable gap and tackled Livas inside the five-yard line. Louisiana Tech failed to score on the drive.

--

lonnie.white@latimes.com

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