News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


Boise State beats
New Mexico State

BOISE, Idaho — Taylor Tharp threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Ian Johnson had 158 total yards and a touchdown to help Boise State roll to a 58-0 victory over New Mexico State Sunday night.

All four of Tharp's TDs came in the first half as the Broncos (4-1, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) scored on five of their first six drives, building a 35-0 lead at the half.

But the win, Boise State's third straight, was a total team effort. Special teams blocked a pair of New Mexico State punts, one leading to Boise State's second score, a 25-yard screen pass from Tharp to receiver Jeremy Childs.

And the Broncos defense throttled the Aggies' (3-3, 0-1) potent passing attack, allowing just 64 total yards in the first half. New Mexico State came into the game with the nation's seventh-best passing attack, averaging 340 yards per game, but crossed midfield just once through the first three quarters.


TUSCALOOSA — A week after not playing against Florida State, Alabama cornerback Lionel Mitchell had three tackles against Houston on Saturday.

Tide coach Nick Saban said after losing to Florida State that he was looking for more consistency from his cornerbacks, which was why Mitchell did not play.

Saban pointed out that Mitchell had given up one too many long-yardage plays in the Tide's first four games of the season.

Against a Cougars team on Saturday known for its big plays, Alabama gave up a 68-yard reception to speedy wide receiver Donnie Avery, who caught the ball and took off down the right sideline, beating Marcus Carter to the end zone.

Saban praised Mitchell, saying he did a "good job," but shrugged when talking about the long touchdown, intimating it was Mitchell's fault.

  • Nobody on Alabama's roster was a worse victim of the "big play" against FSU than defensive back Marquis Johnson, who gave up a 70-yard touchdown pass.

    Against Houston, Johnson did his part to atone for the mistakes with a fumble recovery in the third quarter.

    Near the end of the period, Cougars kick returner Teric Williams muffed a P.J. Fitzgerald punt at the Houston 43, which Johnson scooped up.

    "I just did my job, tried to get over and help .. and just jumped on the ball when I saw it pop," Johnson said. "I tried to get up and go, but he had my legs secured."

  • While Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson has battled with consistency most of the season, he has been solid on interceptions.

    Until throwing one in the fourth quarter Saturday, Wilson had gone 132 straight passes without an interception. His last interception came in the fourth quarter against Arkansas.

    Josh Cooper,
    Daily Sports Writer


    AUBURN — Coach Tommy Tuberville said it is likely that center Jason Bosley will be out this week.

    "It doesn't look good this week," he said.

    The Auburn coach said it will be at least 24 hours until he knows the extent of Bosley's knee sprain. Bosley injured the knee during the second quarter of the Tigers' win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.

    Offensive line coach Hugh Nall said he will continue to use the starting lineup that played during the second half of Saturday's game. True freshman Ryan Pugh, who had replaced senior King Dunlap at left tackle during the last three games, moved to center in replacement of Bosley. Dunlap entered as the left tackle.

    Guard Mike Berry will backup Pugh at center, and Andrew McCain will be Dunlap's backup.

    Players and coaches Sunday said Bosley was in good spirits 24 hours after going down.

    "I don't think the injury is quite as serious as we thought it was during the game," Pugh said, "but it was definitely shocking for me to get back (under center) that quick."

  • Tuberville said he hopes he will get at least two of his three injured defensive starters back this week. Linebacker Tray Blackmon (ankle), safety Aairon Savage and defensive end Quentin Groves (toes) did not dress out for Saturday's game.

    "I'd hope we'll get a couple of them back," said Tuberville, who in 13 years as a head coach has never seen a more injury-plagued team. "I was hoping for Blackmon to be back (against Vanderbilt), and that didn't happen."

    Blackmon sprained his ankle in the season-opener against Kansas State, an injury Tuberville dubbed as "mysterious" Saturday. Blackmon started last week and was expected to start again Saturday but didn't even dress out.

    Groves dislocated three toes against Florida. Players said last week that Groves should return this week for the Arkansas game.

    Groves was seen limping out of the athletic building gingerly putting pressure on his right foot, which was wrapped in what appeared to be ice.

    Savage twisted his knee against Florida, according to Tuberville. It is not clear when he will return. A fourth defensive starter, linebacker Merrill Johnson, hasn't played since the second game of the season when he suffered a shoulder injury. It is also unclear when he will return.

    Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said all four players should practice this week.

    Decisions on their playing time will be made later in the week.

    The current injury situation may be at its worst as the Tigers head into the most difficult part of the season: back-to-back road games at defending SEC champion Arkansas and at No. 1 LSU.

  • Receiver Quindarius Carr could be the next true freshman to play this season. Carr is "ready to go," Tuberville said Sunday, but the coach would rather redshirt Carr, a Huntsville native.

    Injuries have caused Tuberville to pull the redshirt off more than 10 true freshmen already this season. Defensive back Ryan Williams and linebacker Josh Bynes were the latest freshmen to play.

    The two were primarily used on special teams against Vanderbilt, but because of the mounting injuries, they also saw time on defense.

    But Tuberville said Carr will not play "unless we're going to play him at receiver, and that's one area where we have a little bit of depth."

    Ross Dellenger,
    Daily sports writer


    ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia running back Thomas Brown will miss 4-6 weeks because of a broken collarbone, coach Mark Richt said on Sunday.

    Richt wasn't sure whether Brown broke the collarbone in Saturday's 35-14 loss at Tennessee or the previous week in a victory over Mississippi.

    "He might have played a week with it," Richt said. "He is just that tough. He would go anyway."

    Jacksonville State

    BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — The Ohio Valley Conference has named Jacksonville State's Cedric Johnson as its newcomer of the week.

    Johnson led the Gamecocks to a 27-24 win Thursday over Tennessee-Martin, throwing for 227 yards and a touchdown. He completed 15 of 27 passes and had seven rushing attempts for 46 yards and another touchdown.

    The junior marched the Gamecocks 61 yards in eight plays with fewer than 2:00 for the come-from-behind win, going 3-for-4 for 51 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to Taurean Rhetta with 1:41 to play.

    The Associated Press

    Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
    AP contributed to this report.

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