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College Football Notes: Stanford searching for its next great running back


The Associated Press

First published Aug 07 2014 11:37PM
Updated Aug 7, 2014 11:40PM

Stanford coach David Shaw is beginning this season the same way he has his first three: preaching a running back-by-committee approach in training camp.

That never seems to last long on The Farm.

From Toby Gerhart to Stepfan Taylor to Tyler Gaffney, Stanford has seamlessly replaced one NFL draft pick in the backfield with another in recent years. The Cardinal’s commitment to the run game has been relentless, and so has the competition to be the next guy anchoring it each fall.

Kelsey Young and Barry Sanders — yes, the son of the Hall of Famer with the same name — are competing for the starting job along with Remound Wright and Ricky Seale.

Weis knows Jayhawks need wins to prove progress

Charlie Weis is entering the third year of a five-year contract at Kansas and he knows better than anyone that the Jayhawks need to start winning games in a hurry.

The longtime Big 12 doormat won just once in his first season and three times last year, including a conference victory over West Virginia. But for Weis to feel good about the progress that has been made, it may take going at least .500 for the first time since 2008.

Weis took the drama out of the biggest question in the spring when he appointed sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart the starter. But there are plenty of question marks elsewhere on the two-deep, especially with another influx of junior college prospects.

Kansas opens its season Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State.

Washington QB apologizes for off-field incident

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles apologized Wednesday for his involvement in an off-field incident after the Super Bowl that led to his suspension for the Huskies’ season opener at Hawaii.

Miles was investigated for his role in a Super Bowl night fight that included former teammate Damore’ea Stringfellow, who decided to transfer from the program. Miles was suspended for spring practice. He was reinstated to the team after not being charged by prosecutors.

Miles apologized reading a prepared statement after practice, then said the suspension for the opener by coach Chris Petersen was a fair punishment.

"I thought it was fair. Like I said, that’s really out of my control. That’s coach Pete’s decision," Miles said. "But I thought it was a fair consequence by him, and regardless of what it was, I’ve got to take it anyway. I didn’t have a problem with it."

Miles was the presumptive starter going into 2014 after appearing in eight games with one start last season, throwing for 418 yards and four touchdowns and running for another 200 yards. While he may eventually be the best fit for the offense Petersen wants to run, he’s essentially in last place in the competition to be the starter.

Either redshirt freshman Troy Williams or sophomore Jeff Lindquist will likely be the starter to open the season on Aug. 30.

"Things happen and I take full responsibility for my actions," Miles said. "I messed up big time, and I’m willing to face the consequences and do everything in my power to gain the respect back of Husky fans, my teammates and Coach Pete."

Miles said the most difficult part came during spring practice when his teammates would go off to practice and he would stay at home or start getting ready for classes. His first action could come Sept. 6 in Washington’s home opener against FCS power Eastern Washington, but Petersen has cautioned it would be presumptive to assume Miles will step in as the starter after the first week.

Report: Lutzenkirchen, driver both intoxicated

Former Auburn football player Philip Lutzenkirchen and the driver involved in a fatal crash were both legally intoxicated, according to the Georgia State Patrol’s toxicology report released Wednesday.

The report shows that Lutzenkirchen had a blood alcohol level of 0.377 at the time of the one-vehicle crash in Troup County on June 30. The 23-year-old was a passenger in the car when it ran off the road and overturned at about 3 a.m.

The report also indicated that driver Joseph Ian Davis, who was also killed, had a blood alcohol level of 0.17. He was 22.

The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08.

The Chevrolet Tahoe ran a stop sign near LaGrange. Two other passengers, Christian Case and Elizabeth Craig, were injured and transported to West Georgia Health Systems in LaGrange. Lutzenkirchen and Craig were both ejected from the SUV while Davis was partially ejected.

Several thousand people attended a public memorial for Lutzenkirchen at his alma matter Lassiter High School’s stadium in Marietta, Georgia.

The service was attended by Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, athletic director Jay Jacobs and several dozen current and former Auburn players.

Malzahn said Lutzenkirchen will "be remembered as one of the best players to ever put on an Auburn jersey."

Lutzenkirchen was the first player Malzahn recruited when he arrived as Auburn’s offensive coordinator after the 2008 season.

The fan favorite played for Auburn from 2009 to 2012 and set a school record for tight ends with 14 touchdown catches. Lutzenkirchen’s biggest reception was for the game-winning touchdown against Alabama during the 2010 national championship season.

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