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Keith Marshall Injury: Updates on Georgia Star's Leg and Return

Georgia head coach Mark Richt saw enough injuries to his team last year, so the last thing he wanted to happen was losing another key cog in the machine this season. Unfortunately, the football gods didn't agree.

Running back Keith Marshall is the latest casualty of bad luck in Georgia, leaving the game against Troy with an apparent injury to his legaccording to 247 Sports' Gentry Estes:

Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph describes the scene:

Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald has more on Marshall:

It's hard not to feel bad for Marshall right now. His 2013 season ended on October 5 after suffering a torn ACL. He worked his way back and was earning rave reviews from Richt during the summer, via Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com:

Keith looks great. I've watched him run straight ahead; he looks outstanding in that area. I don't know if he'd say he's 100 percent today, but he has no limitations whatsoever in his training. He can run routes, he can pass [skeleton], he can do anything. 

We think Day 1, he'll be 100 percent, ready to compete.

The silver lining for Georgia in light of Marshall's injury is the team already has one of the best running backs in the country, Todd Gurley, to carry the load.

Gurley was drawing considerable Heisman buzz before the season. ESPN's Desmond Howard even said that the star running back would "jumpstart" his award-winning year against Clemson on an episode of College Gameday:

As lofty as the expectations are for Gurley, the Bulldogs have to be cautious with their No. 1 running back. He missed three games in 2013 due to an ankle injury and was limited in others dealing with a bad hamstring and nausea. 

Marshall hasn't been the picture of health either, as evidenced by this recent issue. He played in just five games last season before having his season ended prematurely against Tennessee. Now the redshirt junior is dealing with another ailment. 

It takes a special kind of athlete to play running back. Marshall has proven to be up to the challenge when he's on the field, averaging 5.8 yards per carry in his first two years with the team.

Physically, though, Marshall has run into a glut of bad luck and may never reach his full potential as a result. 

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Florida vs. Alabama: Live Score and Highlights

The No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide host the Florida Gators in the Southeastern Conference game of the day, where kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

Last week, Nick Saban's crew dismantled Southern Miss 52-12 to the tune of 333 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, improving to 3-0 on the year.

Florida needed three overtimes to escape 36-30 over a pesky Kentucky squad, earning an all-important victory in the SEC East division.

CBS will carry the matchup, and Bleacher Report will provide live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun Body Slams Eastern Michigan QB Rob Bolden

The Michigan State Spartans had a huge 49-0 lead heading into halftime, as their defense continued to shut down the Eastern Michigan Eagles offense with just one yard allowed.

During the first half, Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun demolished Eastern Michigan quarterback Rob Bolden with this body slam after he had already thrown the ball.

Surprisingly, Calhoun was not called for a penalty on the play. What makes the play even better is having WWE announcer Jim Ross making the call on the Vine above.

[Vine, h/t Uproxx]


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Sony Michel vs. Troy: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

The Georgia Bulldogs have no shortage of talent in the backfield with star running back Todd Gurley in the fold. SEC defensive coordinators can now add freshman running back Sony Michel to their list of migraine-inducing phenoms.

The young rusher eviscerated the Troy defense on Saturday, powering through defenders and showing off remarkable open-field speed on his way to a three-touchdown first-half performance. 

Take a look at Michel's absurd stat line from the first half against Troy.

Michel got the nod over Gurley in the Bulldogs' short-yardage situations, powering into the end zone from eight and six yards out in the first quarter. SportsCenter provided a look at his supreme showing of strength in the first 15-minute period.

Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald writer Marc Weiszer noted the Bulldogs didn't need to move the ball through the air on that drive, relying on a steady supply of Gurley and Michel:

This fan was happy the Bulldogs avoided the passing game and gave props to Michel:

Michel also had time to show he was more than just a situational back with a sensational 75-yard scamper in the first half.

UGASports.com's Anthony Dasher noted he was back to his linebacker-breaking ways on the very next play:

With the Bulldogs up 45-0 at halftime, Gurley probably could have taken the day off and let Michel do all the work. He still put up 73 rushing yards of his own in the first half on just six carries.

Head coach Mark Richt has a fantastic problem moving forward with two supremely athletic halfbacks to keep happy. Michel may take away crucial touches from Gurley as the season progresses, which could perhaps prevent the latter from making a run at the Heisman Trophy.

However, missing out on personal accolades likely won't be an issue for any Georgia player if Michel can help propel the team to the top of the SEC.

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LSU Fans Celebrate 'Death Valley' with Casket Beer Cooler at Tailgate

LSU football fans can get pretty creative, especially when it comes to refrigerating their beers.

Before Saturday's game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, a few Tigers fans broke out this casket-shaped cooler at the tailgate to celebrate "Death Valley." As awesome as it looks, it must be a real pain to transport to the stadium.

[Fancred]

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Todd Gurley vs. Troy: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

It was a good news-bad news game for the Georgia Bulldogs against Troy on Saturday. The good news is the Bulldogs quickly put their loss against South Carolina behind them with a dominant performance. The bad news is it didn't give Todd Gurley much to do. 

Georgia's star running back and Heisman hopeful wasn't asked to do much early in a game that was 45-0 at the half. He did, however, manage to make an impression on the few opportunities available. Gurley had four carries on the Bulldogs' first drive, including a 48-yard romp on his second carry. 

Gurley finished the day with 73 yards on just six carries. No one was expecting this game to be close, so seeing Mark Richt protect his best player isn't a surprise, especially since Georgia's SEC schedule resumes next week with a home game against Tennessee. 

It was also a memorable 73 yards for Gurley, as ESPN's College Football Twitter feed noted he needed just 32 yards to pass Knowshon Moreno on Georgia's all-time rushing list:

Since the moments against Troy weren't plentiful, we are forced to savor what Gurley gave us like it is the last piece of pie for the season. Fortunately, the SEC Network's official Twitter feed provided the highlight of Gurley's 48-yard run:

One of the drawbacks of playing against weaker competition, which so often results in blowouts like the one Georgia had on Saturday, is they can put an end to impressive streaks if things get out of hand early. Since Gurley only had six touches for 73 yards, his streak of consecutive games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage ended at six, via ESPN's College Gameday:

Bleacher Report SEC writer Barrett Sallee did provide analysis on Gurley's ability that fans of video games will appreciate:

It's meant to be humorous, but is there a better weapon in college football right now than Gurley? The junior entered the game averaging 9.4 yards per carry, and he wasn't putting up numbers against cupcakes. Georgia played Clemson and South Carolina, two ranked teams, in its first two games. 

Coming into this week, there are only three other FBS players averaging more than nine yards per carry with at least 30 carries: Arkansas' Jonathan Williams, Tulane's Sherman Badie and Arizona State's D.J. Foster.

When you factor in the competition, though, it's not even close. Williams' numbers are largely the result of 143 yards on four carries against Nicholls State; Foster has beat up on Weber State, New Mexico and Colorado; and Badie's yards came against Tulsa (15 carries, 215 yards).

Georgia had a hiccup last week against South Carolina, though anyone who watched the game knows Gurley can't be blamed for that. He had 131 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. This week was a glorified scrimmage for the Bulldogs and their star running back. Even with the limited action against Troy, Gurley still left us with a moment to put on his Heisman reel. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 


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Why Jameis Winston Is the Only Person at Fault for Suspension

By now, chances are that if you're a college football fan, you've heard about the suspension of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston, last year's Heisman winner, had made an obscene comment in the student union Tuesday that was degrading toward women. As a result, he will not play in Saturday's game against Clemson, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.

It's a given that what he pulled was just another mistake in a line of mistakes (e.g., shoplifting crab legs). It's a given that he's an extremely talented individual who led the Seminoles to a national championship last season. It's a given that the outcome of today's game against Clemson is in question since the Seminoles are without Winston (backup QB Sean Maguire will start today's game).

But it is also a given that he's a student first and an athlete second.

According to Mike Dyce of Fansided.com, several FSU students have been conducting something of a "witch hunt," trying to find other students on Twitter who first tweeted about Winston's actions on Tuesday. Some accused the other students of selling out Winston, while other students simply deactivated their accounts.

Not only was this unacceptable behavior from Winston, but it was also unacceptable behavior from the students who blasted the other students for tweeting what happened.

On Winston's end, sure. He's a 20-year-old college guy living large on the Florida State campus. Immaturity is a given in college life—but to an extent. He's the biggest name in college football in 2014, for one. He's also the biggest name on the FSU campus. You would think that with all that responsibility one would act accordingly.

Not to assault one's individuality or anything, but Winston took his "humor" a bit too far. The eyes of the sports world will be watching—even when you think they aren't—when you have "Heisman winner" attached to your name. This was something he should have thought through. Instead, he had a "Manziel moment." Reporters, get your microphones ready. 

But instead he didn't. As a result, the Seminoles' chances of blowing through Clemson have dimmed a bit. This could very well affect their hopes of a championship repeat. That just goes to show that even the smallest of slips can have the biggest of consequences when you're in the spotlight.

As for the FSU students accusing their peers for "selling out," when it comes to university life, there are more important issues than sports. Florida State University is a reputable school that just so happens to have an excellent sports program.

But it isn't a school that was built around a sports program. Rather, the school came first. Schools are places of thought and knowledge and would like to be perceived as such. Not as places where your star QB can fill out the stereotypical "idiot academic" type seen in other universities.

However, there's still hope for Winston that he may turn his attitude around and be not only a productive QB but a productive role model for the sport. He's intelligent and, as previously mentioned, extremely talented.

But if he keeps up with the foolish mistakes, he'll just become another face in the crowd. The choice is his and his alone.

 

Follow Joseph on Twitter: @Shelton500.

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Georgia's Isaiah McKenzie Returns Punt 52 Yards for Touchdown vs. Troy

The Georgia Bulldogs are having no problems against the Troy Trojans on Saturday, as they continue to quickly put up points on the board.

Early in the second quarter, Georgia's Isaiah McKenzie was able to return this punt for 52 yards, taking it all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. The score put the Bulldogs up 31-0, but they continued to pile it on before halftime.

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fact: In its last nine games as an underdog of greater than five points, Clemson has won four games outright.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN Stats & Info

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Georgia Football: J.J. Green Ejected for Targeting Penalty vs. Troy

It was a tough start on Saturday for former Georgia running back J.J. Green, now a defensive back for the Bulldogs. After receiving limited playing time in the first two games of the season, Green entered in the first quarter against Troy and was promptly ejected for a targeting penalty (via Gentry Estes, 247sports):

That it happened on Green's very first moment of action has to be discouraging for a player who has worked so hard after transitioning from the offense.

But was it a good call in the first place?

The targeting rule, which has been the subject of much, er, discussion over the past few years, tends to rear its ugly head week in and week out and more often than not, the interpretation is in question.

Every ejection is reviewed, and you would think that would help clear up some of the trickier calls.  However, it seems to only subject the officials to further criticism given that folks expect the right decision to be made every time if a review is allowed.

Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee was among those who disagreed with the ejection of Green:

Part of the problem stems from the speed of plays, where referees simply do not have the ability to see exactly what occurred during the hit. With the head and shoulders often making contact simultaneously with the offensive player, sometimes how the hit merely looks seems to be what prompts the ejection.

Fortunately for Green and the Bulldogs, he'll be back again next week when Tennessee comes to town. The Vanderbilt Commodores will follow the Volunteers into Athens the week after that, giving Mark Richt's team plenty of time to get things squared away in the secondary after allowing Dylan Thompson to throw for 271 yards in South Carolina's 38-35 victory on Sept. 20th.

 

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Pitt DB Lafayette Pitts Gets Gift Interception from Iowa

Interceptions don't get much easier than this.

On the opening drive of the Iowa-Pittsburgh game, Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock found wide receiver Damond Powell open for a big gain.

Unfortunately, Powell couldn't hang on as the ball slid out of his hands and right to Pitt's Lafayette Pitts.

[Vine]

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College Football Week 4: Live Scores, Highlights and Reaction

Are we in for another wild week of college football? The start of the 2014 season has been unpredictable, and Week 4 has a number of games that could go either way.

The biggest highlights on the schedule are a pair of conference openers: Florida at Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET on CBS) and Clemson at Florida State (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Can the Gators put last season in the past by hanging with (or even beating) Alabama? Will Jameis Winston's suspension doom the Seminoles against their biggest conference rival?

Also starting conference play this week are the Oklahoma Sooners, who hit the road for the first time this season to play West Virginia in Morgantown (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox). The Mountaineers upset Oklahoma State around this same time last season. They played Alabama tough in Week 1 and are coming off a 694-yard offensive performance in a road win at Maryland.

Might Trevor Knight and the Sooners be on upset alert?

Elsewhere on the conference schedule, LSU's young offense faces a plucky Mississippi State defense in Baton Rouge (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) while nonconference games such as Miami at Nebraska (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2), Virginia at BYU (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) and North Carolina at East Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU) are assured to have an impact on the Week 5 polls.

Keep it locked with Bleacher Report for live score updates, highlights and more throughout the day.

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Nick Saban Lectures College Student on Finances in Bank Commercial

"Young lady!"

Nick Saban makes a appearance in this bank commercial, and he sounds exactly like a disappointed dad.  

Saban was spot on his is assessment of the situation, much like his coaching. While it might be nice to have a new dress, you've got to play it smart. 

Nick Saban. He tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Just like real life.  

[YouTube, h/t: College Spun]

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Best Signs from ESPN's 'College GameDay' Week 4

ESPN's College GameDay is spending the day in Tallahassee, Florida for the pivotal matchup between No. 22 Clemson and No. 1 Florida State. 

All eyes will be on Florida State and how it deals with the suspension of Heisman Trophy winner and star quarterback Jameis Winston, who will miss the game for his actions in an off-the-field incident

That being said, it's to be expected that Winston will be the target of many College GameDay signs. Perhaps the only positive thing about this situation is the game is being played at the home of the Seminoles and not at Clemson. 

Backup FSU quarterback Sean Maguire is the most popular guy in town right now. 

Jean shorts aren't a good look. 

Chuck Norris approved.  

We can't forget about Red Lighting. 

Shellfish. Get it? 

More Jameis Winston fun.  

Nice.  

The Claw always wins.  

[ESPN] 

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6 NFL Draft Prospects on the Rise

We are only only one month into the college football season and many teams have only played two games, but a number of NFL draft prospects have already made statements and caught the attention of scouts around the country. 

The following six players are draft-eligible prospects who have elevated their stock either with surprisingly impressive performances or by answering questions about their health and returning to full strength after injury-plagued seasons. 

Plenty of football is left to be played, but initial impressions certainly matter, and these prospects are headed in the right direction in what could be their final season of college ball. 

Begin Slideshow

Bowling Green vs. Wisconsin: Live Score and Highlights

Bowling Green State 0, Wisconsin 0—Early 1st Quarter

The Wisconsin Badgers return to the field after a Week 3 bye to face the Falcons from the MAC's Bowling Green State.  The Badgers, 1-1, host a Falcons squad that already has a win against a Big Ten opponent this season, knocking off the Indiana Hoosiers last week to enter Madison with a 2-1 record.

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Troy vs. Georgia: Live Score and Highlights

Pregame

The Georgia Bulldogs will be hoping to get back on track with a convincing win against the Troy Trojans on Saturday.

The Bulldogs suffered a disappointing loss to South Carolina last week, leaving the team with a 1-1 record. However, the Trojans' season is off to an even more dismal start, and they currently have an 0-3 record.

Visit this page for live score updates and analysis, and tune in to the SEC Network at 12 p.m. ET to watch.

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Eastern Michigan vs. Michigan State: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan State 0, Eastern Michigan 0 — Early 1st quarter

Game action is now underway between No. 11 Michigan State (1-1) and Eastern Michigan (1-2). The Big Ten Network is televising the matchup from East Lansing.

We are watching the game, providing live analysis as the action unfolds:

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Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech: Live Score and Highlights

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will play their first conference game of the year Saturday afternoon as they face the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon EDT, and the game will air on ESPN.

Georgia Tech comes in with a 3-0 record, while the Hokies lost their first game of the year last week to East Carolina.

Be sure to come back here when the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates, highlights and analysis from this ACC contest.

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College Football Playoff 2014: Final NCAA Outlook Before Saturday's Week 4 Games

On paper, Week 4 of the college football season doesn't look great, but we all know unexpected things can happen in this sport.

The No. 1 Florida State Seminoles are the only top-five ranked team set to battle another squad currently seated in the AP Top 25. In fact, the Florida State vs. No. 22 Clemson Tigers game is the only one on Saturday's schedule pitting two ranked teams against each other.

There's no wonder Tallahassee was chosen as the site of this week's episode of ESPN College GameDay. 

Most would expect the Noles to win easily, but they will be without their leader and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston against Clemson. Winston has been suspended for inappropriate conduct stemming from an incident on campus earlier in the week.

 

Can the Tigers use his absence as a spark toward pulling the major upset? That game kicks off the top matchups of the week. Click here for a look at the full schedule for the week in college football.

 

Top Games

Can Clemson Beat Noles on Road?

Even without Winston, the Noles will still be considered the superior team. In Week 1, the Tigers were overrun by Todd Gurley and the Georgia rushing attack. While Winston is on the bench, expect to see Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher lean heavily on Karlos Williams early.

Perhaps he can find similar success on the ground against the Tigers.

If the Noles have their way, they'll be able to step up and come together as a team while Winston is sidelined.

 

Will the BYU Cougars Remain Undefeated?

No. 21 BYU is 2-0 now and won't face a team that is currently ranked on its schedule the rest of the way. There's a decent chance the Cougars could run the table and finish undefeated.

If they do that, it would put some pressure on the college football playoff committee to at least consider them for one of the four spots.

Standing in the Cougars' way this week are the Virginia Cavaliers. Fresh off an upset win over the Louisville Cardinals, the Cavs would like nothing more than to send another ranked team tumbling out of the Top 25.

 

The Battle of the Carolinas...Sort of

Normally the phrase "Battle of the Carolinas" would refer to a matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks, but this year's version features UNC and the East Carolina Pirates.

Led by Shane Carden, East Carolina has gotten off to a 2-1 start after an upset win over Virginia Tech in Week 3. 

Back in Week 2, the Pirates almost knocked off the Gamecocks but fell 33-23. At that point we thought the narrow win was a bad sign for South Carolina. However, after the Pirates' win over the Hokies, we know Carden and Co. are a good team.

 

Potential Upset

Can the Mountaineers Knock off Oklahoma?

For a half, the West Virginia Mountaineers looked as if they could pull off an upset against the-then No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Week 1. 

Bama took control of things in the second half, but the relatively strong showing has planted a seed in my head as it pertains to West Virginia.

Since then, the Mountaineers have ridden the coattails of former Florida State quarterback Clint Trickett. Through three games, Trickett has thrown for 1,224 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception.

Can he lead the Mountaineers to an upset of the Sooners? The game will be played in Morgantown. Last year when the teams met, the Sooners only won 16-7 and that game was in Norman. 

Trickett is hot and the Mountaineers' offense is tough to contain. If there's a major upset in store, this is the spot where it happens.

 

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota

At this point, it's hard to make a case for anyone besides Mariota for the Heisman Trophy. He's already accounted for 962 total yards and 11 touchdowns, and his team is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

In Week 4, Mariota should add more fuel to his Heisman fire against a Washington State Cougars team that hasn't played a ranked opponent but has still allowed 28.7 points per game.

 

Everett Golson

Golson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish haven't faced a tough opponent yet, but he and his team have looked as dominant as one would expect against low-level competition.

Through three games, Golson has 863 total yards, 11 touchdowns and no turnovers. 

If he can maintain his pace and Notre Dame keeps winning, the Oct. 4 showdown with Stanford will be huge for Golson's Heisman campaign and Notre Dame's season.

 

Jameis Winston

A slow start and a bumbling decision off the field may have ruined Winston's chances of repeating as Heisman winner.

In Florida State's Week 1 close call against Oklahoma State, Winston and the Noles had to rally after he threw two interceptions.

He did right the ship in that game and also played well against Citadel in Week 2. Now he just needs to mature off the field to reach the potential everyone knows he has.

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