COLLEGE FOOTBALL INJURY EXAM (Week 14)
Jeff Shain sorts through college football’s injury reports to spotlight key concerns ahead of this weekend’s key matchups.
No.1 ALABAMA (12-0) vs. No.4 GEORGIA (11-1)
Site: SEC Championship, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET. TV: CBS. Line: Alabama by 13.
Alabama: Senior DL Isaiah Buggs (knee) is probable after missing parts of the Tide’s Iron Bowl victory over Auburn with a hyperextended knee. Buggs has recorded 9 ½ sacks this season, ranking fourth in the SEC while racking up 37 tackles in all. Sophomore LaBryan Ray filled in admirably vs. Auburn, accumulating nine tackles with a sack.
Georgia: Sophomore LB Monty Rice (ankle) is questionable after sitting out the Bulldogs’ past two games. Though UGa’s second-leading tackler returned to practice this week, he isn’t expected to be 100 percent healthy. Rice has racked up 59 tackles this season, including a career-best 11 in the Bulldogs’ rivalry win over Florida.
No.5 OKLAHOMA (11-1) vs. No.14 TEXAS (9-3)
Site: Big 12 Championship, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas.
Kickoff: Noon. TV: ABC. Line: Oklahoma by 8.
Oklahoma: Senior SS Kahlil Houghton (lower body) and sophomore FS Jordan Parker (undisclosed) are both doubtful as the OU secondary has been decimated by injuries. The Sooners gave up 539 yards passing in last week’s win over West Virginia, two weeks after allowing 501 through the air to Oklahoma State. CB Justin Broiles also is expected to sit out.
Texas: Junior S Brandon Jones (head) is expected to return – but won’t field punts – after missing the second of UT’s win over Kansas. Jones was knocked out of last week’s game after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit while returning a punt. That came in Jones’ first game back after missing three contests with ankle problems. He made seven tackles vs. KU before exiting.
No.6 OHIO ST. (11-1) vs. No.21 NORTHWESTERN (8-4)
Site: Big Ten Championship, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. TV: FOX. Line: Ohio State by 14.
Ohio State: Senior G Demetrius Knox (foot) has seen his college career end after going down late in OSU’s rivalry romp over Michigan. The fifth-year senior left on a golf cart and was diagnosed with an injury of the Lisfranc ligament. Knox had started every game this season; he’ll be replaced by redshirt freshman Wyatt Davis.
Northwestern: Senior S Jared McGee (lower body) and senior CB Montrae Hartage (lower body) are expected to return after missing the Wildcats’ past two games on the way to the West Division title. Hartage’s 13 pass breakups rank No.3 in the Big Ten, while McGee has tallied 49 tackles. Ohio State is coming off a 396-yard offensive outburst vs. Michigan.
No.25 FRESNO ST. (10-2) at No.22 BOISE ST. (10-2)
Site: Mountain West Championship, Albertson’s Stadium, Boise, Idaho.
Kickoff: 7:45 p.m. TV: ESPN. Line: Pick ‘em.
Fresno State: Junior DT Jasad Haynes (leg) is questionable after sitting out the Bulldogs’ past two games, though he might have been able to see limited action last week vs. San Jose State. Haynes has 4 ½ tackles for loss among his 18 total tackles, having also missed an early-season outing vs. Wyoming. FSU has depth at the position, with junior Patrick Belony starting.
Boise State: Junior LB Tyson Maeva (leg) is probable after twice leaving last week’s victory over Utah State that put the Broncos in the MWC title game. Maeva has been one of the Broncos’ stalwarts on a defense that’s been decimated by injuries all year. DT Chase Hatada and S Kekoa Nawahine are listed as questionable for BSU.
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