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Buffs unsure of QB's future

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 9, 2002

BOULDER, Colo. -- A third concussion in a year has put Colorado quarterback Craig Ochs' career in jeopardy.

Ochs is doubtful for Saturday's game against USC. The junior left Saturday's 34-14 victory over San Diego State at halftime.

Ochs was hit near the sideline at the end of a scramble on the next-to-last play of the first half. He was taken to the hospital, but a CAT scan and other tests were negative.

Ochs' first concussion came Sept.22 against Kansas. His second was Oct.13 against Texas A&M, and he was held out the next week. Ochs also had a concussion in high school.

The school said Sunday the coaching and medical staff will be especially cautious. Coach Gary Barnett deflected questions about Ochs' future.

"I understand and know what you're going to ask, and I don't have an answer for it," Barnett said. "I'm not sure what the extent of his injury is going to be. For us, it means basically Robert Hodge now is going to have to step up."

Hodge, a senior who was in for just 10 plays last season, directed two second-half scores to help the Buffs pull away from the Aztecs.

Sooners say they have confidence in new QB

NORMAN, Okla. -- Jason White was the man Oklahoma wanted at quarterback. Now that he's out for the season, the Sooners again will count on Nate Hybl to carry their national title hopes.

White tore the ACL in his right knee during Oklahoma's 37-27 victory over Alabama on Saturday.

Hybl, who lost the starting job to White last season before White hurt his left knee, played well in the first half Saturday.

"In practice, Nate's been very good," coach Bob Stoops said. "He gained a lot of experience a year ago. He's grown and progressed a lot since then. He made some great plays out there to help us win."

Hybl threw a deep ball to Mark Clayton for a 51-yard touchdown in the second quarter. But Hybl was off target through most of the second half. Regarded as less mobile than White, Hybl also was sacked five times.

"We don't want Jason to be hurt, but I'll promise you, our team has great confidence in Nate," Stoops said. "I don't think that will bother our offense at all."

White won the job midway through last season, only to injure his left knee two games later. Hybl played the rest of the way and finished with 2,200 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Sooners went 11-2, but a late-November loss to Oklahoma State cost them a chance to repeat as national champions.

White came back and started the opener against Tulsa on Aug. 31, going 15-of-26 for 126 yards and two interceptions in a 37-0 victory.

* * *

CLEMSON: Offensive tackle Derrick Brantley has two torn ligaments in his knee and likely is out for the season unless he rehabilitates without surgery. Even then, he would be out at least a month. Fullback Chad Jasmin, who pulled his groin Saturday, and tailback Bernard Rambert, who missed the game with tendinitis in his foot, are questionable for Saturday.

NORTHWESTERN: Quarterback Alexander Webb will miss at least eight weeks with a lacerated liver. He got caught between two defenders as he threw an interception in the fourth. He doesn't need surgery but is expected to stay in the hospital for two to three days.

NOTRE DAME: Ending a practice started by Lou Holtz, new coach Tyrone Willingham won't meet with reporters on Sundays after game days unless there are special circumstances.

Late Saturday

ARIZ. ST. 46, UCF: 13: The host Sun Devils rallied from a 13-10 third-quarter deficit by scoring 29 points in 5:21, capped by consecutive interception returns for scores. On the first, UCF quarterback Ryan Schneider bruised his ribs and left the game. His status has not been determined.

UCLA 30, COLO. ST. 19: Akil Harris and Manuel White ran for touchdowns 64 seconds apart early in the fourth for the host Bruins. The then-No.19 Rams had a chance to tie with 1:32 left when Bradlee Van Pelt scored from 7 yards, making it 21-19. But he tried to pitch the ball on an option on the two-point conversion. Ben Emanuel picked up the errant toss and ran it back for two points.

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