COLLEGE FOOTBALL INJURY EXAM (Week 4)
Jeff Shain sorts through college football’s injury reports to spotlight key concerns ahead of this weekend’s marquee matchups. As conference play begins in earnest around the country, some teams already are finding themselves thin in key position groups.
NEBRASKA (0-2) at No.19 MICHIGAN (2-1)
Site: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Kickoff: Noon. TV: FS1. Line: Michigan by 17.
Nebraska: Freshman QB Adrian Martinez (knee) took part in a full practice Wednesday but coaches would not commit to him as a starter, citing a long-term outlook. Andrew Bunch threw for 177 yards and two TDs in last week’s loss to Troy, but two interceptions and three fumbles sullied his performance. Offensive coordinator Troy Walters cited lack of protection.
Michigan: Senior RB Karan Higdon (leg) and junior RB Chris Evans (leg) have been full participants in practice and are expected to be ready for the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener. Higdon leads the team with 228 rushing yards despite sitting out last week vs. SMU; Evans has 172 yards but left the SMU game after a late run grabbing his hamstring.
No.22 TEXAS A&M (2-1) at No.1 ALABAMA (3-0)
Site: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. TV: CBS. Line: Alabama by 26.
Texas A&M: Sophomore WR Kendrick Rogers (foot) is expected back after sitting out last week’s game vs. Louisiana-Monroe with his left foot in a walking boot. Rogers had a breakout game two weeks ago vs. No.2 Clemson, making seven catches for 120 yards and two TDs. His per-game average of 76.5 receiving yards is tops among Aggies.
Alabama: Sophomore WR Henry Ruggs III (wrist) hasn’t missed any practice time despite leaving the Mississippi game with his left hand and wrist wrapped. After three catches for 25 yards and a TD last week, Ruggs’ eight catches ranks third among Tide wideouts.
No.3 CLEMSON (3-0) at GEORGIA TECH (1-2)
Site: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. TV: ABC. Line: Clemson by 16 ½.
Clemson: Senior QB Kelly Bryant (chest) told reporters he’s “full go” for Saturday’s contest, though Clemson coaches have been more cautious. Bryant bruised his chest in the second quarter vs. Georgia Southern with an awkward fall on the football. Freshman Trevor Lawrence threw for 194 yards and a TD in his absence.
Ga. Tech: Senior OT Andrew Marshall (leg) and senior OG Will Bryan (leg) remain questionable for a matchup against perhaps the nation’s top defensive line. Marshall practiced Wednesday and seems closer to a return than Bryan, who sat out last week’s loss to Pitt. Marshall left the Pitt game and did not return.
No.7 STANFORD (3-0) at No.20 OREGON (3-0)
Site: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. TV: ABC. Line: Stanford by 1 ½.
Stanford: Senior RB Bryce Love (knee) will return to action Saturday after sitting out last week’s victory over UC Davis. Love left in the fourth quarter of Stanford’s 17-3 win over USC a week earlier, though coach David Shaw said he could have gone back in if needed. Last week’s absence appears to have been a precautionary move.
Oregon: Junior WR Brenden Schooler (concussion) is back at practice, though still sitting out a couple drills as he finishes up concussion protocol. Coach Mario Cristobal says Schooler is on track to play Saturday. Schooler, who left early in last week’s win vs. San Jose State, has four catches for 30 yards.
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