College Football Notebook
The college football notebook …
GREENVILLE ó Don’t blame East Carolina coach Skip Holtz for feeling optimistic about the days ahead. After all, things just have to get better after a rough week.
His Pirates have limped into the midway point of the season with injuries, flu bugs and frustrating on-field mistakes ó all of which surfaced during a weekend loss at SMU. So Holtz hopes to get them healthy and regroup for a winnable home game on Saturday against winless Rice.
The Pirates (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) are coming off a 28-21 loss to the Mustangs in which SMU scored touchdowns on a blocked field goal, an interception return and a 96-yard pass play..
When the Pirates returned home, Holtz canceled the typical Sunday night workout, then kept things light on Monday to coincide with the school’s fall break and let his players recharge.
“I’m trying to give them as much rest and sleep they can have so they can get their legs back under them,” Holtz said.
GREENSBORO ó Duke’s Thaddeus Lewis is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s offensive back of the week.
Lewis was joined by Georgia Tech lineman Cord Howard, Wake Forest defensive tackle John Russell, Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling, Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith and Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams.
Lewis was 40 of 50 passing for 459 yards with five touchdowns against the ACC’s best pass defense and added a scoring run in the Blue Devils’ 49-28 victory over North Carolina State.
NEW YORK ó Alabama’s steady rise in the rankings has left the Tide with a clear view of No. 1 Florida.
Alabama jumped Texas into second-place behine top-ranked Florida in the AP Top 25 on Sunday, giving the Southeastern Conference the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the country.
Texas for the first time this season did not receive a first-place vote. No. 4 Virginia Tech, No. 5 Boise State and No. 6 Southern California each moved up one spot.
In the battle for Ohio, Ohio State moved up to No. 7 and ahead of No. 8 Cincinnati .
Miami is No. 9 and LSU dropped six spots to No. 10 after its first loss.
In the AP Top 25, No. 11 Iowa had another narrow escape, beating Michigan 30-28 to stay unbeaten. No. 12 TCU also had a close call.
No. 13 is Oregon followed by Penn State and Nebraska, which vaulted six spots to 15th after beating Missouri on the road.
After the Cornhuskers are Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State and Kansas.
No. 18 is BYU, Georgia Tech is 19th and Oklahoma No. 20.
The final five has South Florida and South Carolina, then three teams that re-entered the rankings this week.
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