• Talkin’ ’bout practice. Beanie Wells was in pads with the rest of the team for the first time Wednesday, on a foot that was "75 percent-ish," according to offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, and the chances of him being 100 percent Saturday "are not real high," though Buckeye anxiety rates suddenly are.
The Trojans, meanwhile, have the luxury of simulating Ohio State’s golden child recruit with their own golden child recruit:
USC tailback Joe McKnight played quarterback on the scout team Tuesday to emulate Ohio State freshman Terrelle Pryor, but not just because Pryor is fast.
When Pryor played in high school, he sometimes had issues with fumbles, so the Trojans’ defense tried to knock the ball loose from McKnight,who has had his own fumbling issues at USC.
"We know [Pryor] is going to play," Carroll said. "They’re trying to get him ready. They’re not going to back off."
Actually, if OSU’s been holding back on offense, who knows what it’s going to pull out of the bag. It’s a lock Pryor will play (29 snaps in the first two games), but put me in the camp that thinks if Ohio State needs Pryor to make a difference, it’s probably in more trouble than a freshman who’s not Herschel Walker or Adrian Peterson can get the Buckeyes out of.
• Wait, aren’t you the guys we should never trust, ever? The San Jose Mercury News‘ Jon Wilner shows the benefit of being around a beat a while: you start to recognize names. And when Wilner heard the defenders of the controversial Jake Locker unsportsmanlike call in Washington’s loss to BYU were Dave Cutaia and Larry Farina, it triggered a couple memories:
The biggest problem, not only with what happened in Husky Stadium but also with the response from [Pac-10 offices], is credibility.
The men involved have zero:
The game referee, Farina, was in charge of the worst-officiated Pac-10 game of the ‘07 season: Oregon State-Washington, in which the officials lost control, fights broke out, players were ejected and Yvenson Bernard’s knee was clearly, obviously down before he fumbled at the goalline.
Everyone saw it, and yet Farina and his gang missed it — missed it so badly they were banned from working any bowl games in 2007.
And then there’s Cutaia, the Pac-10’s coordinator of officials who defended the Locker call. He was only the lead ref for the Oregon-Oklahoma game.
Cutaia and his crew bungled that game like no game has ever been bungled — so badly the Pac-10 apologized to Oklahoma and Cutaia was suspended for a game by the league.
– – –
Emphasis in original; OSU/U-Dub link added.
Pac Ten coaches weighed in on the call, and they agree with you (most of you): it was a stupid call. Pete Carroll says it on video here.
• . Texas’ game with Arkansas will be postponed until Sept. 27th as Hurricane Ike bears down on the Lonestar coast. Austin is too far inland to be rocked on a hurricane scale, but it’s going to be getting mighty wet around here Saturday night, I tell you what — although for Arkansas, if the Hogs are really thinking, the slop might be the only hope.
But LSU, which had been eyeing Ike warily its own self, will kick off as expected in Tiger Stadium at 7 p.m., which will only feel like a hurricane for North Texas.
Quickly . . .
Displaced Trojan Carson Palmer can’t find a bet on Saturday’s game. . . . Maybe Alabama’s offense will be back on track with Andre Smith back in the lineup against Western Kentucky. . . . Stephen Garcia could be in South Carolina’s quarterback mix against Georgia, or, you know, could not be. Nobody at USC practice is telling. . . . Kansas is lining up a redshirt freshman, Jeff Spikes, across from South Florida all-American George Selvie. . . . Nebraska’s Lydon Murtha will start for the first time this season against New Mexico State, off a nasty "leg infection." . . . Suspended Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma are still in limbo for Penn State’s game Saturday with, eh, Syracuse. . . . UCLA still has no idea what the rest of the script has in store for Kevin Craft. . . . And outlets in Oklahoma and Colorado are remembering Eddie Crowder, ex-Sooner quarterback and Colorado coach/athletic director, who died Tuesday of complications from leukemia.
>i>- – –
Photo of Joe McKnight via Getty Images; Photo of Eddie Crowder via the Boulder Daily Camera.