National briefs: LSU jumps to No. 2 in AP poll; Auburn out

September 7, 2011


Winning the biggest game of college football’s opening weekend boosted LSU to No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25.

No. 1 Oklahoma held on to the top spot in the first regular-season rankings, while the Tigers used their 40-27 victory against Oregon to jump rival Alabama, which slipped to No. 3.

“It’s way too early to feel like we have accomplished anything,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “Our guys understand the need to improve each game.”

The Sooners received 32 of 60 first-place votes and 1,448 points. LSU received 17 first-place votes and 1,415 points.

Alabama had nine first-place votes, and two voters had No. 4 Boise State top-ranked after the Broncos’ impressive 35-21 win against Georgia. Florida State moved up to No. 5.

Oregon dropped nine spots to No. 13, and defending national champion Auburn, which started the season at No. 23, fell out of the Top 25 after needing a late rally to beat Utah State 42-38 at home.

Moving into this week’s rankings were No. 20 Baylor, which beat TCU 50-48, and No. 22 South Florida, 23-20 winners at Notre Dame.

Also ranked for the first time this season were No. 23 Penn State and No. 24 Texas.

Notre Dame and Georgia tumbled out of the Top 25 after losses.

College football

Ex-Texas QB lands at CU

Boulder, Colo. — Quarterback Connor Wood has enrolled at the University of Colorado after transferring from Texas.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound red-shirt freshman will practice with the Buffaloes this fall but must sit out this season. He’ll be eligible in 2012, after starter Tyler Hansen has graduated.

Wood left Texas’ fall camp after finding himself tied for third on the depth chart with freshman David Ash and behind junior Garrett Gilbert and sophomore Case McCoy.

Mizzou TB out a month

Columbia, Mo. — Missouri tailback Kendial Lawrence has a broken bone in his leg and is likely to be out a month.

A school spokesman confirmed the injury on Tuesday, a day after Lawrence, De’Vion Moore and Henry Josey were listed as even atop the depth chart. Lawrence has a broken fibula.

RB Miller leaving Oklahoma

Norman, Okla. — Reserve running back Jonathan Miller plans to leave No. 1 Oklahoma and transfer.

Coach Bob Stoops said after practice Tuesday that Miller had informed him that he was leaving for “family reasons and the opportunity to have a chance to maybe play a little more.”

USC’s Tyler reinstated

Los Angeles — Southern California reinstated tailback Marc Tyler from suspension Tuesday, clearing last season’s leading rusher to play Saturday against Utah.

Tyler missed USC’s season-opening win over Minnesota and much of training camp for a series of disciplinary problems culminating in a rant on TMZ. Tyler has been quiet ever since, and he met several unspecified requirements from coach Lane Kiffin and athletic director Pat Haden to earn reinstatement.

Hawaii players back on team

Honolulu — Two Hawaii starters who were suspended for the season opener after being arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault will play Saturday at Washington.

Warriors coach Greg McMackin says outside linebacker Aaron Brown and receiver Darius Bright are back on the team.

Four Buckeyes return

Columbus, Ohio — Tailback Jordan Hall and cornerback Travis Howard were among four suspended Ohio State players who were reinstated for the 15th-ranked Buckeyes’ game Saturday against Toledo.

Coach Luke Fickell confirmed Tuesday that linebacker Jordan Whiting, who had been suspended in December for last week’s opener for accepting cash and discounted tattoos from a local tattoo-parlor owner, will also be available to play this weekend at Ohio Stadium.

Fickell also said that Hall, Howard and cornerback Corey Brown have also been reinstated after being held out of last week’s game for taking less than $300 apiece in gifts from a charity.


Jags release QB Garrard

Jacksonville, Fla. — David Garrard lost his starting job the same way he got it: just days before the season opener and in stunning fashion.

The Jacksonville Jaguars released Garrard on Tuesday, making a “pure football decision” that will save the franchise $9 million in 2011.

Whether it saves coach Jack Del Rio’s job remains to be seen. Team owner Wayne Weaver has said Jacksonville needs to make the playoffs for Del Rio to stick around for a 10th season.

Del Rio made it clear late last season that he had grown tired of Garrard’s inconsistent ways, but the coach remained steadfast through training camp and the preseason that Garrard was his starter. That changed Tuesday, when the Jaguars parted ways with Garrard after nine up-and-down seasons.

Del Rio turned the starting job over to Luke McCown, who outplayed Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert in the preseason.


Rain washes out U.S. Open

New York — A little after 3 p.m. Tuesday, Rafael Nadal settled in at a table in the U.S. Open players’ cafeteria and sprinkled salt on his lunch of salmon and rice.

The day’s work for the defending champion was complete, consisting of a 11⁄2-hour practice session indoors at Flushing Meadows instead of his scheduled fourth-round match outdoors, because steady rain washed out all of Tuesday’s action.


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