Injuries to Watch — Week 3

Published on Wednesday, 9/11/13, at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

–Louisiana Tech sophomore running back Kenneth Dixon enjoyed a banner freshman campaign, rushing for 1,194 yards and 27 touchdowns while averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Dixon sustained a knee injury in last week’s 27-14 win over Lamar and he’s ‘questionable’ Thursday night vs. Tulane. Even if Dixon can’t go, I don’t know that bettors should downgrade the La. Tech offense. Before Dixon became the starter last season, fellow freshman Tevin King started three games and rushed for 369 yards and five TDs. King, who averaged 8.0 YPC before suffering a season-ending injury, replaced Dixon when he went down last week. He responded by exploding for 182 yard rushing on 20 carries. As of early Wednesday, most books had the Bulldogs favored by 7.5 over the Green Wave.

–TCU senior QB Casey Pachall is out until at least late October with a forearm injury. Therefore, sophomore signal caller Trevone Boykin will get the starting nod Thursday night at Texas Tech. Boykin started nine games as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He threw for 2,054 yards with a 15/10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Boykin also rushed for 417 yards and three TDs. In relief of Pachall in last week’s 38-17 win over SE Louisiana, Boykin completed 9-of-13 passes for 133 yards with two TD passes and zero interceptions. He also rushed for 35 yards on five totes.

–Ohio St. QB Braxton Miller is ‘questionable’ at California after spraining a ligament in his knee early in last week’s 42-7 home win over San Diego St. In his absence, Kenny Guiton threw a pair of TD passes and ran for another score for the Buckeyes. RB Carlos Hyde will miss his third and final game due to a suspension against the Bears.

–Much has been made about Vanderbilt’s loss of WR Chris Boyd, who is indefinitely suspended after his arrest in Nashville for allegedly helping his former teammates cover up an alleged sexual assault. Boyd had 50 receptions for 774 yards and five TDs last season. But another injury that might be even more important is the one to senior LB Chase Garnham, who is ‘out’ at South Carolina and might not be back for an extended period of time due to a leg injury. Garnham was Vandy’s second-leading tackler in 2012 when he had 84 stops, seven sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and three QB hurries.

–Ole Miss will most likely be without its best cover corner Charles Sawyer for Saturday’s game at Texas. Sawyer was arrested for DUI early Sunday morning, but he hadn’t been officially suspended as of early Wednesday. The Rebels will already be without their best linebacker (Denzel Nkemdiche) and best offensive lineman (Aaron Morris). On the bright side, Hugh Freeze will get WR Vince Sanders back this weekend. Sanders missed the first two games after suffering a collarbone injury in early August. He had 39 catches for 504 yard and four TDs in 2012.

–Texas QB David Ash remains ‘questionable’ (head) vs. Ole Miss. WR Daje Johnson is ‘out’ with a sprained ankle.

–Nevada QB Cody Fajardo hasn’t practiced this week due to a sprained knee. He is listed as ‘questionable’ Saturday at Florida St. When this news got out Tuesday afternoon, the Seminoles went from 32-point home favorites to 34-point ‘chalk.’

–The Oregon State offensive line is in bad shape going into Saturday’s game at Utah. With multiple players nursing injuries, the Beavers will have only seven healthy o-linemen available against the Utes (hat tip to Andrew Lange of SportsMemo).

–Tulsa lost its best wide receiver Keyarris Garrett for the season when he sustained a compound leg fracture late in the fourth quarter of the Golden Hurricane’s 30-27 home win over Colorado St. Garrett was a second-team All Conference USA selection last year when he hauled in 67 receptions for 845 yards and nine touchdowns.

–Minnesota starting cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun was lost for the season with a torn ACL early in last week’s 44-21 win over New Mexico St. Boddy-Calhoun had an 89-yard interception return for a TD in the season-opening victory over UNLV. The pick-six was the third-longest in school history. Gophers head coach Jerry Kill called the injury “a blow to our football team.”

–Arizona St. could be without two defensive starters vs. Wisconsin. Gamblers should continue to monitor injuries to Chris Young and Damarious Randall, both of whom were listed as ‘questionable’ as of Wednesday. Young is ASU’s leading returning tackler after making 82 stops in 2012. Young also had 12 tackles for loss, two sacks, four passes broken up and one interception. Most spots have the Sun Devils favored by 5 or 5.5 vs. the Badgers, who beat ASU 20-19 in the last meeting at Camp Randall in 2010.

–After winning 11 games last season, Kent St. is off to a rough start under new coach Paul Haynes. The Flashes barley got past Liberty in a non-covering 17-10 home win in their opener. They led Bowling Green early in Week 2 but eventually lost by a 41-22 count as 7.5-point home underdogs. Since the first quarter against Liberty, Kent St. has been without star RB Dri Archer. He sprained his ankle after just three carries for 10 yards and was unable to go against the Falcons. Archer rushed for 1,429 yards and 16 TDs while averaging an incredible 9.0 YPC in 2012. He remains ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s game at LSU.

–LSU safety Craig Loston, a second-team All-SEC selection last year, suffered a leg injury in last week’s win over UAB. However, he has been upgraded to ‘probable’ and will start vs. Kent St.

–Northwestern star RB Venric Mark remains ‘questionable’ vs. Western Michigan. Pat Fitzgerald shouldn’t be in any hurry to rush Mark back into the lineup. The Wildcats host Maine next week before an open date that precedes their Big Ten opener vs. Ohio St.

–Ball St. stud RB Jahwan Edwards remains a question mark at North Texas due to a concussion. Bettors should check his status later in the week. Edwards rushed for 1,410 yards and 14 TDs while averaging 6.1 YPC last year.

–Duke QB Anthony Boone is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone. Brandon Connette will make his first career start at QB vs. Ga. Tech. However, bettors shouldn’t consider this to be a major downgrade. Even though this is his first start at QB, it isn’t as if Connette hasn’t seen plenty of playing time. He has been used by David Cutcliffe as a Wildcat QB, RB and tight end. In fact, Connette had eight rushing TDs, three passing TDs and one TD reception last season. He has a 4/1 TD-INT ratio so far this year.

–Mississippi St. QB Tyler Russell (head) and RB LaDarius Perkins (foot) are both expected to start at Auburn.

–Ohio LB Keith Moore has yet to play this season and is ‘doubtful’ vs. Marshall due to an ankle injury. Moore was the Bobcats’ leading tackler in 2012 when he had 98 stops, two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two passes broken up.

–Florida junior QB Jeff Driskel suffered a sprained knee in last week’s loss at Miami. Fortunately for the Gators, they have an open date this week. Driskel is expected to be ready next week vs. Tennessee.

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