Colts scouting Manning's successor?


Colts scouting Manning's successor?

From Comcast SportsNet Monday, September 12, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Colts say vice chairman Bill Polian spent Saturday watching quarterback Andrew Luck lead Stanford to a win at Duke.

His presence led to speculation that the Colts are already looking at next year's NFL draft after losing Peyton Manning, who is out while he recovers from neck surgery. Indianapolis opened the season with veteran Kerry Collins and was blown out by Houston, 34-7.

There may have been other reasons Polian was on the road Saturday. His son, Brian, is Stanford's assistant special teams coordinator and the family's home is in Charlotte, N.C.

The Colts have scouted top college quarterbacks before. They brought in Andrew Dalton and Colin Kaepernick for workouts this spring. Both were taken in the second round of the draft, before Manning had neck surgery in May.

Bill Polian isn't making the Colts' day-to-day personnel decisions. Chris Polian, the Colts' general manager, took over those duties during the offseason.

Michigan improves to 7-0 with predictable blowout win over Illini


Michigan improves to 7-0 with predictable blowout win over Illini

Plenty could've predicted Michigan blowing out Illinois. And, well, that's exactly what happened.

The Wolverines, who at 7-0 now have an average margin of victory of 38.7, grabbed their latest runaway win Saturday in Ann Arbor, crushing the visiting Illini to the tune of 41-8.

Michigan had an insurmountable 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, and Illinois seemed to start this one without a chance as third-string quarterback Jeff George Jr. was pressed into starting duty due to injuries to Wes Lunt and Chayce Crouch.

The Wolverines entered Saturday's contest with the No. 1 scoring defense in the country and the No. 2 scoring offense in the country, and that certainly shone through in the final statistics. Michigan out-gained Illinois, 561-172, holding the Illini to 95 passing yards and 77 rushing yards. Illinois turned the ball over twice while going 2-for-11 on third and fourth downs. Michigan had its typical explosive day offensively with 291 passing yards and 270 rushing yards. The Wolverines were 8-for-16 on third and fourth down.

Michigan scored a touchdown on each of its first four drives: two touchdown tosses from Wilton Speight to Jake Butt and Tyrone Wheatley and a pair of touchdown runs from Khalid Hill and De'Veon Smith. The Wolverines made it 31-0 right before halftime, kicking a field goal off a George interception. Michigan added just 10 points after halftime.

The Illini scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard pass from George to Malik Turner to end an impressive eight-quarter scoreless streak by the Wolverines which dated back to the Oct. 1 win over Wisconsin.

How about this number? Michigan won the time-of-possession battle 41:23 to 18:37. The Wolverines had 29 first downs to the Illini's six.

Speight finished his day 16-for-23 for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Karan Higdon had 106 of the Michigan rushing total, and Amara Darboh had 99 receiving yards.

George completed only four passes for 95 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Kendrick Foster and Ke'Shawn Vaughn combined for 88 rushing yards.

The win kept the Wolverines without a loss and sent the record to 7-0. Next weekend is the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy against in-state rival Michigan State.

The Illini dropped to 2-5 with the defeat and play host to Minnesota next weekend.

Last-second field goal helps Gophers avoid embarrassment vs. Rutgers


Last-second field goal helps Gophers avoid embarrassment vs. Rutgers

Minnesota got its win over Rutgers on Saturday, just as everyone predicted.

But no one saw the Gophers blowing an 18-point lead and needing a go-ahead field goal with six seconds left to avoid what would've been an embarrassing fall-from-ahead defeat at the hands of the Big Ten's worst team.

Minnesota had a 21-3 lead after a quarter, but Rutgers stormed back behind new starting quarterback Gio Rescigno and took a 32-31 lead with four minutes to go. But Emmit Carpenter sent one through the uprights with six seconds left on the clock to re-grab the lead and give the Gophers a win ... barely.

The Knights entered this one with just 14 combined points in four Big Ten contests, out-scored in those games by a whopping 174-14 margin. And it looked like it would be another blowout loss for Rutgers as Minnesota jumped out to that big lead, getting first-quarter touchdown runs from Shannon Brooks, Rodney Smith and Mitch Leidner.

Rescigno, installed as the new starter this week by head coach Chris Ash, threw his first touchdown toss of the game in the second quarter, but the Knights still trailed by double digits at the break.

Huge plays defined the third quarter. Rescigno hit Andre Patton from 37 yards out in the first minute of the second half before Minnesota added a field goal. When Damon Hayes intercepted Leidner and took it back 55 yards for a score, it appeared Rutgers had come all the way back, but the Knights were unsuccessful on their two-point conversion try, keeping it a one-point Minnesota lead. And then Smith put the Gophers back in front by a full touchdown with a 94-yard return touchdown on the ensuing kickoff.

Rescigno threw another touchdown a few minutes into the fourth quarter but failed again on the two-point conversion, trimming Minnesota's lead to two, and David Bonagura's field goal with four minutes to play gave Rutgers its first lead of the day at 32-31.

But immediately following that kick, the Gophers went on a 13-play, 59-yard drive that chewed almost four minutes off the clock and ended in Carpenter's kick to retake the lead for Minnesota and give it the win.

The Gophers racked up nearly 400 yards of offense, gaining 243 yards on the ground thanks 111 yards from Smith and 87 yards from Brooks.

Rescigno was a mixed bag in his first start, completing 22 of his 38 passing attempts for 220 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin had 97 yards rushing.

The win sent Minnesota to 5-2 on the season ahead of next weekend's game at Illinois.

The loss dropped Rutgers to 2-6 on the year, with an 0-5 mark in Big Ten play. The Knights play Indiana in two weeks.