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Sheffield has a foot in the door

October 18, 2009|Mike Hiserman

You think Texas Tech quarterbacks Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts know the old Wally Pipp-Lou Gehrig story?

Pipp was the New York Yankees first baseman who sat out a game with a headache, opening the door for Gehrig, who took his job away and went on to establish a record streak for playing in consecutive games.

Potts sat out the Red Raiders' Oct. 10 game against Kansas State because of a concussion he suffered the previous week against New Mexico.

And all Sheffield did in his place was pass for 490 yards and seven touchdowns.

Yet Sheffield practiced all last week not knowing whether that would be good enough to earn him a second start Saturday against No. 15 Nebraska.

It was.

Potts sat out again and Sheffield completed 14 of his first 16 passes against the Cornhuskers to spark a 31-10 upset victory.

The Red Raiders' offense did bog down some in the second half, however, so it will be interesting to see which quarterback Coach Mike Leach goes with next week.

After all, Potts, in his first four full games, was leading the nation with 1,602 yards passing and 13 touchdowns.

McCoy shows true self

The first time Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford injured his throwing shoulder was in the season opener against Brigham Young, and one of the first people he heard from was Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

McCoy, who was runner-up to the Sooners star in last year's Heisman Trophy voting, sent Bradford a text message, "telling me that he was praying for me, to stay with it and keep my head up," Bradford said last week, adding, "That just says a lot about the type of guy he is."

Who knows what McCoy might have said after Saturday's game, which saw Bradford knocked out of the game in the first quarter when his shoulder was injured again.

"It's really hard to put into words the frustration I feel right row," Bradford said after Texas pulled out a 16-13 victory.

The rest of the Sooners can certainly relate. Oklahoma has lost three games by a total of five points.

Meanwhile, McCoy became only the third Texas quarterback to beat Oklahoma three times. Bobby Layne and Peter Gardere are the others.

Mission accomplished

Drew Brees had simple instructions for Purdue quarterback Joey Elliott, which he sent by text message the night before the Boilermakers' game against No. 7 Ohio State: "Hey, go out there and shock the world, have fun. I'll be watching."

Following orders, Elliott passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns and Purdue upset the Buckeyes, 26-18.

It was the Boilermakers' first win over a ranked Ohio State team since Brees, who now stars for the New Orleans Saints, led them over the Buckeyes in 2000.

Ohio State had won 16 straight Big Ten road games, one shy of the conference record.

It must be said

It's hard to believe that Iowa, which needed to block two field goals to squeak past Northern Iowa in its season opener, is 7-0, leader of the Big Ten, and is about to crack the top 10 after a 20-10 victory at Wisconsin.

Friends and foes

After 26 years on the same coaching staff, Frank Spaziani of Boston College and Tom O'Brien of North Carolina State were on opposing sidelines Saturday.

Boston College won the game, 52-50, giving Spaziani a victory over the man he worked for 10 years at Boston College and with as part of George Welsh's staffs at Navy and Virginia.

Spaziani simply had a little too much Montel Harris for his buddy.

Harris established school records with 264 rushing yards and five touchdowns against a Wolfpack defense that came in giving up an average of just 62.8 yards a game on the ground.

Harris passed that with one carry on Boston College's second possession, busting loose for a 70-yard gain that set up his own two-yard scoring run on the next play.

Mr. Consistent

Alabama running back Mark Ingram scored on a four-yard, fourth-quarter run in a 20-6 win over South Carolina, keeping alive an impressive streak.

He has run for a touchdown in every game this season, 10 of his last 11, and 16 of 21 in his career.

He also carried 24 times (for 246 yards) and caught two passes (for 23 yards), meaning he has not lost a fumble in 304 career touches.

Case closed

News flash: Houston's Case Keenum passed for his lowest yardage total of the season in a 44-16 win over Tulane.

OK, so it was still for 334 yards.

And two touchdowns.

It was Keenum's sixth straight 300-yard passing day of the season, and the 19th in his college career.

Don't panic

The first Bowl Championship Series standings will come out today, but the teams starting out in the best position to meet in the national title game have reason to be wary.

In the 11 years the system has been in place, only 10 of the 22 first- or second-ranked teams in the first standings have played in the championship game. Only once has the first Nos. 1 and 2 met at the season's end -- Texas and USC after the 2005 season.


Associated Press contributed to this report.



Heisman headache

It wasn't a great Saturday for 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford -- he was knocked out of Oklahoma's 16-13 loss to Texas in the first quarter -- or this year's three top candidates:



* Take away a 77-yard TD pass to a receiver 10 yards open and the numbers are extra pedestrian: 178 yards passing, 69 yards in 27 carries.



* Biggest play was the tackle he made after having a fourth-quarter pass intercepted. 21 for 39 for 127 yards passing, 33 yards rushing.


Notre Dame

* Couldn't convert on any of four passes inside the 10 in the final minute of loss to USC. He was 24 for 43 for 260 yards and a touchdown passing.

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