OSU-TCU a big test


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Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins drops back to pass against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins drops back to pass against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day shouts to his team against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


No. 4 Ohio State will learn how good it is vs. No. 15 TCU

By MITCH STACY

AP Sports Writer

Monday, September 10

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State so far proved it can dispense merciless beatings to opponents it is supposed to beat. The Buckeyes will learn more about their potential when they travel to Arlington, Texas, this week to face another AP Top 25 team in TCU.

This will be the first real measuring stick of the season for the No. 4 Buckeyes, a road game in front of what essentially will be a home crowd for TCU, whose Fort Worth campus is a half-hour drive from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

A few sure things have emerged so far for Ohio State: New starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. can stand up against a rush and deliver pinpoint passes in stride to any one of a cadre of talented receivers. Either one of the pair of tailbacks, Mike Weber or J.K. Dobbins, is capable of breaking loose for big plays.

And the No. 4 Buckeyes (2-0) can operate just fine without suspended coach Urban Meyer on the sideline.

“We’re pretty deep, a lot of playmakers,” said acting coach Ryan Day, who will run the show on game day one more time before Meyer is allowed to return for the Sept. 22 matchup against Tulane. “When you get the ball to those guys in space and stretch the ball vertically and horizontally, you can really be explosive. Our ability to protect (quarterbacks) is really good right now, too. So the rhythm has been good.”

The Buckeyes have piled up 1,300 offensive yards in the first two games against overmatched teams. Haskins has thrown for 546 yards and nine touchdowns with one interception. And because those contests were well in-hand by halftime, he hasn’t even played a full game yet.

The No. 15 Horned Frogs (2-0), who routed SMU last Saturday , will present a more complicated challenge.

“They have all the answers,” Day said of the experienced TCU defense. “Any time a defense has been together that long, they’ve seen so many things come their way, so they have adjustments, they make quick adjustments, they know how you’re trying to attack them.”

Parris Campbell , who has been on the receiving end of two of Haskins’ TD passes, said the culture of the program is that the quality of the opponent doesn’t matter; the intensity of the preparation is always the same.

“I think honestly going in it’s going to be about us just continuing to show who we are as an offense, who we are as a defense, who we are as a whole team,” Campbell said. “So I think it’s just more internal. It’s not about who we play, it’s about us at all times. I know if we go into this week preparing the way we can prepare, we’ll be fine.”

Day said Meyer “had a huge amount of input” in game planning last week, his first back with the team. He’ll be with the players again this week but not coaching during the game.

Meyer was sanctioned by the university for his mismanagement of fired receivers coach Zach Smith. An investigation found that Smith had been accused of domestic violence and other bad behavior, some of which Meyer had been aware of.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

Talented crew ready to replace injured Oklahoma RB Anderson

By CLIFF BRUNT

AP Sports Writer

Monday, September 10

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Opportunity has knocked unexpectedly for Oklahoma’s stable of talented running backs.

The Sooners lost star Rodney Anderson for the season to a right knee injury against UCLA over the weekend. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said Anderson might have been the nation’s best player the second half of last season — even better than Heisman-winning teammate Baker Mayfield.

The fifth-ranked Sooners still boast quality depth at running back heading into this Saturday’s game at Iowa State. Trey Sermon, Marcelias Sutton, Kennedy Brooks and T.J. Pledger are ready to fill the void.

“I mean, this is the University of Oklahoma,” quarterback Kyler Murray said. “We have to reload. Next man has to step up. I believe we’ve got the players to do that. It’s obviously tough losing him (Anderson), but we’ve got guys that can step up.”

Sermon and Sutton are the top two backs in the rotation. Sermon started three games last season as a freshman and ran for 744 yards. He ran 12 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor and had three other games with at least 80 yards rushing. The 6-foot, 224-pound bruiser is capable of being a workhorse — he had 20 carries in a win over Texas last season.

Sutton, a senior, ran for 130 yards last season and has 71 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries this season.

“Even before the injury, I didn’t feel different when Rodney was in there opposed to Trey Sermon or Marcelias,” Riley said.

Pledger, a true freshman and top recruit, has rushed for 83 yards on 14 carries this season. Brooks, a redshirt freshman, was rated a four-star recruit by Rivals, ESPN and Scout two years ago. He has 51 yards and a touchdown on four carries this season.

“They’ve done great jobs since I’ve been here,” Murray said. “They’ll step up. Things should be good for them.”

Though Sermon, Pledger and Brooks are young, the Sooners have a history of making stars out of young running backs. In 2014, Samaje Perine ascended after Keith Ford was injured. He ran for 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman, including an FBS-record 427 yards against Kansas. The next year, Joe Mixon stepped in as a redshirt freshman and gained 1,109 yards from scrimmage. Last season, Anderson only started the final seven games of his sophomore campaign, yet he finished with 1,161 yards rushing and 281 yards receiving and scored 18 touchdowns.

The Sooners might have the next young breakthrough star — or stars — in their midst.

“Certainly when you lose a great player, everybody has to step their game up a little bit, no question,” Riley said. “You are going to have to have different guys step up and make those plays. But I know our guys will. I think our whole offense feels that. We hate it for Rodney, but our expectations aren’t any different.”

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Michigan’s big win quiets Harbaugh’s critics _ for now

By CHRIS NELSEN

Associated Press

Monday, September 10

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan was eager for redemption after its loss to Notre Dame in the season opener.

Leading up to last Saturday’s home opener against Western Michigan, the Wolverines were criticized by fans, the media and even former receiver Braylon Edwards, who vented on social media.

A 49-3 thrashing of Western Michigan at the Big House has quieted coach Jim Harbaugh’s critics — at least for now.

No. 19 Michigan (1-1), which moved up two spots from last week in The Associated Press poll, will be seeking another lopsided victory when it hosts Southern Methodist (0-2) on Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.

“The execution was better,” Harbaugh said Monday as he compared the two games. “There were things that were outstanding.”

The dominant effort against Western Michigan (0-2) also had players in a better mood. Michigan’s offense rushed for 308 yards and three touchdowns, transfer quarterback Shea Patterson tallied 125 passing yards and three TDs, and the Wolverines’ defense nearly pitched a shutout.

“Coming off a loss, especially one as hard as Notre Dame, there’s a lot of anger,” said Jordan Glasgow, who plays the team’s hybrid viper position. “Performing such as we did, it’s a confidence boost. We have the urge to keep improving.”

Receiver was one position group that showed its potential. Patterson’s 44-yard scoring pass to Nico Collins in the second quarter marked the first touchdown by a Wolverines receiver in 364 days.

“The receivers are doing things that receivers need to do,” Harbaugh said. “Create space first, then gain separation, then catch the ball. They’re doing it with an assortment of different routes. We feel good about the way they’re ascending.”

Michigan’s offensive line, which got harsh reviews after the Notre Dame loss, also played much better against Western Michigan. Left guard Ben Bredeson was named the Wolverines’ offensive player of the week.

“Keep improving; that’s our mindset,” Harbaugh said. “Three hundred yards of rushing, plus the pass protection. Yeah, you’re seeing good improvement.”

Michigan should have another chance to excel against SMU, which dropped its season opener to North Texas, 46-23, and lost to TCU, 42-12, last weekend.

“You really look back with a fine comb and see, ‘Did we do what we were supposed to do on every play?’” backup offensive lineman Stephen Spanellis said. “It’s less about the results and more about the process.”

Big wins, like the Western Michigan game, allow the Wolverines to build depth by playing reserves longer than normal.

“This past game, 74 players played,” Harbaugh said. “Of those, 18 started their careers as walk-ons.”

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins drops back to pass against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/09/web1_121334413-ac2b713ba54b467ab649aeaf94fcba96.jpgOhio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins drops back to pass against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day shouts to his team against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/09/web1_121334413-2a351f908b9e4380b73920316c15760c.jpgOhio State acting head coach Ryan Day shouts to his team against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

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