College football notebook: East Carolina loses key linebacker
The college football notebook …
GREENVILLE ó East Carolina will have to go after its first 4-0 start in nine years without one of its top defensive players.
Coach Skip Holtz says linebacker Quentin Cotton is likely out for the season after injuring his right knee during the weekend win at Tulane. Cotton was hurt during the second quarter during a goal-line stand in the Piratesí 28-24 come-from-behind victory.
The senior had started 23 games over the past two seasons and all three games this year for the 15th-ranked Pirates, who travel to in-state rival North Carolina State on Saturday.
iWe lose arguably one of our best players on defense,î Holtz said Monday during his weekly news conference.
RALEIGH ó The numbers have not been kind for North Carolina Stateís punchless offense.
The Wolfpack (1-2) are one of three bowl subdivision teams who rank 100th or worse in all four of the major offensive statistical categories ó rushing, passing, scoring and total offense.
They havenít scored an offensive touchdown against a team from what used to be called Division I-A all season.
In last weekís 27-9 loss at Clemson, they had only one play of at least 20 yards ó a 30-yard pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to running back Andre Brown.
GREENSBORO ó Three of the Atlantic Coast Conferenceís six players of the week are located within an eight-mile radius of one another.
Thaddeus Lewis and Vincent Rey of Duke joined North Carolina kicker Jay Wooten in claiming ACC weekly honors on Monday.
They were joined by Clemson center Thomas Austin and two Virginia Tech players ó defensive lineman Brett Warren and running back Darren Evans.
Lewis, the offensive back of the week, threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over Navy, while Rey returned a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown in that game.
Wooten tied a school record for freshmen with three field goals in a win at Rutgers.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó A 3-0 start has Vanderbilt knocking on the door of its first national ranking in 24 years.
The Commodores, undefeated through three games for only the third time since 1984, received 63 votes in this weekís Associated Press poll, the most of any team outside the Top 25.
Thatís no small accomplishment for a program that hasnít won a bowl game since 1955 and is in the midst of a 25-year losing streak.
Should Vanderbilt win at Mississippi on Saturday, the Commodores could vault into the national rankings for the first time since being ranked No. 19 after the first four games in 1984.
ATHENS, Ga. ó Georgiaís home game against Alabama on Sept. 27 has been set for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff.
The Southeastern Conference game between two teams currently ranked in the top 10 will be televised by ESPN.
Georgia (3-0) is No. 3 in this weekís AP poll. The Bulldogs play at Arizona State on Saturday.
Alabama (3-0) is No. 9.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel faces a delicate issue with his quarterbacks. He was noncommittal Saturday as to whether freshman Terrelle Pryor would replace senior Todd Boeckman as the Buckeyesí starter.