Replacing center Blake Kerley won’t be easy, but Arizona thinks it has the depth to make up for the junior’s injury.
Kerley is likely out for the season, coaches said Monday, after he suffered a sprained anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter of UA’s 31-10 win at UCLA on Saturday.
“We are 99 percent sure it (involves the) ACL,” coach Mike Stoops said. “That will take the rest of the year away from him.”
Kerley, who redshirted in 2005, likely won’t receive an extra year of eligibility because of the injury.
“I would not think he would be a candidate unless something happened next year,” Stoops said.
Colin Baxter will move into Kerley’s slot from his starting guard position. Baxter, the backup center since fall camp started, played the rest of the fourth quarter against the Bruins.
Baxter and UA quarterback Willie Tuitama will have almost two weeks to work on their snaps. UA is off this week before hosting Washington Oct. 4.
“It could not happen at a better time,” Stoops said. “Colin has always been our backup center. He’s familiar with (the offense).”
Mike Diaz, a transfer from Cerritos (Calif.) College will take over Baxter’s spot at left guard.
The rest of the line should remain intact. The Cats have depth if another injury occurs.
Senior James Tretheway played the entire third quarter at UCLA for left tackle Eben Britton, who was receiving IVs for dehydration.
“Mike Diaz did a good job and so did Tretheway,” Stoops said. “They held up well.”
Iowa hires off-field coach
IOWA CITY, Iowa – With a football program plagued by arrests, Iowa hired a coach to help players handle off-field issues.
Chigozie Ejiasi was hired Monday as the Hawkeyes’ player development director. The position was created by coach Kirk Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta in response to the nine players with legal issues who have been dismissed or left the program in the past year and a half.
“We created this position to assist our student-athletes in the transition from high school to college and to help make their experience at Iowa as positive as possible,” Ferentz said.
NFL shaken up
Same old, same old?
Not in the NFL.
Not when the New England Patriots are trounced at home 38-13 by the rebuilding Miami Dolphins for their first regular-season loss since Dec. 10, 2006, a record span of 21 games.
Not when the 1-2 Indianapolis Colts face their greatest deficit since the inception of the AFC South in 2002 after being toppled 23-21 by visiting Jacksonville.
And not when the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants are extended to overtime by the winless Cincinnati Bengals before escaping with a 26-23 win at home.
That improbable trifecta exposed the vulnerability of some of the league’s perceived superpowers, especially the Tom Brady-less Patriots.
It’ll probably take defending AFC champion New England its off week and then some to digest what happened against a Miami team it had swept by a combined 77-35 during its 16-0 regular-season in 2007.
“We don’t live off the past, and this is a new season. But this being our first loss of the season, it definitely hurts,” wideout Randy Moss said. “What makes matters worse is that it was in the division. They really came in and handed it to us in our house.”
With an opening-day knee injury ending Brady’s season, the Pats have work to do to catch 3-0 Buffalo and win their sixth AFC East title in a row.
The same goes for Indianapolis. The five-time defending AFC South champions have never faced a two-game deficit in a division currently ruled by 3-0 Tennessee. They are under .500 through three games for the first time since quarterback Peyton Manning’s rookie season in 1998.
“It is what it is. We have to try to do something about it,” he said.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin credited Cincinnati for giving his team a scare. He dismissed a question about desire, saying, “Don’t give me that flat stuff.”
Nike drops swimwear
PORTLAND, Ore. – Nike said Monday that it is leaving the elite swimwear market.
The company will continue to provide swimwear for colleges and sell to traditional retail customers. But it will not compete against the likes of Speedo to get the swoosh on the world’s top swimmers. Nike said it made a “strategic decision as part of a long-term growth plan.”
Nike lost some of its edge at the games when Speedo stole the spotlight with its LZR Racer suit. According to Speedo, of the 77 world records set since the release of the suit in February, 72 have been in the LZR Racer. And it was worn by Olympics darling Michael Phelps.
The Associated Press
ON THIS DATE
1926: Gene Tunney beats Jack Dempsey with a 10-round decision to retain the world heavyweight title.
1952: Rocky Marciano knocks out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round to retain the world heavyweight title.
1979: St. Louis’ Lou Brock steals his 938th base to break Billy Hamilton’s record as the Cardinals beat the Mets 7-4 in 10 innings.
1992: Manon Rheaume, 20, becomes the first woman to play in one of the four major pro sports leagues when she allows two goals on nine shots in NHL expansion Tampa Bay’s 6-2 exhibition loss to St. Louis.
1995: Keyshawn Johnson catches 13 passes for 171 yards, becoming the first player in NCAA history with 12 straight 100-yard receiving games, as Southern California beats Arizona State 31-0.
2001: The Cubs’ Sammy Sosa becomes the first player to hit three home runs in a game three times in a season in a 7-6 loss to Houston.
Give Smith the ball, too
Re: Cats sticking with Nic Grigsby despite fumbles
• Xavier Smith needs to get the ball, too. He is much bigger and physical. We need him to play smash-mouth football. ADRIAN G.
• Why doesn’t UA coach Mike Stoops use a back who is bigger than Nic Grigsby in short-yardage situations? How about using tight end Rob Gronkowski? No one could stop him. 58-YEAR-OLD FAN
Impressed with Stover
Re: Basketball center Anthony Stover lists UA as top choice
• Hey, it’s nice to see a kid that can listen to his dad! How many other high-profile recruits are at all interested in the academic merits of the school they will be attending? Sounds like a good family to me. J.C.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
Unbeaten teams – and winless teams – in the NFL:
Buffalo 3-0 St. Louis 0-3
Tennessee 3-0 Detroit 0-3
Denver 3-0 Kansas City 0-3
Dallas 3-0 Cleveland 0-3
N.Y. Giants 3-0 Cincinnati 0-3
Baltimore 2-0 Houston 0-2
Greg Biffle has won back-to-back NASCAR races. What was his losing streak before that?
Answer: Thirty-three races