Making the morning rounds.
• Back to the drawing board. Having just watched its burgeoning identity as a power-running team evaporate in a 17-5 flop at Missouri, Texas is hitting the stretch run with no one left to keep running even if it wanted to: Injuries to senior Fozzy Whittaker (torn ligaments), freshman Malcolm Brown (turf toe) and freshman Joe Bergeron (hamstring) have left the Longhorns without their top three tailbacks for Saturday's date with Kansas State, and possibly for their final Thanksgiving trip to Texas A&M next week. On the heels of back-to-back 400-yard games against Texas Tech and Kansas, UT was held to 76 yards on the ground at Mizzou — its worst game of the season before sacks — after Whittaker went down for the season on his fourth carry.
"We got us a real mess right now," coach Mack Brown said Monday. "The thing you look at is, we've got an identity. And all of a sudden, that identity is gone in the first quarter. So we've got to go back and regroup. … We can't plan on Joe and Malcolm being ready on Saturday, and we can't plan on them playing the whole game if they are ready." [Austin American-Statesman]
• No pressure, kid. Washington quarterback Keith Price underwent an MRI on his left knee Monday, opening the door for Nick "Yes That Montana" Montana to earn his first career start Saturday against Oregon State. Montana, son of Joe, played the entire fourth quarter after Price was knocked out of Saturday's 40-17 loss at USC, connecting on his first touchdown pass with 13 seconds to play in the blowout.
"We'll prepare ourselves for Nick Montana to make his first start Saturday," said coach Steve Sarkisian, "and if things change then things change. But I think you have to prepare for that so we don't get caught off-guard." [Seattle Times]
• The Rap Sheet. Michigan safety Marvin Robinson was charged with second-degree home invasion last week after allegedly stealing an Xbox video game system from another resident's dorm room on Sept. 29. He was arraigned on Nov. 8 and released on a personal recognizance bond. "We are aware of the report," said coach Brady Hoke, who has held Robinson out since the second game of the season with an undisclosed injury. "We will let the legal process run its course, and we will not have any further comment until that time." [Detroit Free Press]
• You can't do that on television. Georgia Tech linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu has been suspended by coach Paul Johnson for the first half of Saturday's game against Duke after punching Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas at the end of a critical third down sack last Thursday night. Instead of forcing the Hokies into a punt on fourth-and-long with the Yellow Jackets leading 26-21 late in the third quarter, Attaochu's punch needlessly extended the drive, which ended with Thomas rumbling into the end zone for the first of 17 unanswered points by Virginia Tech to close the game.
"It's out of character for him," Johnson said on Monday. "Certainly, that's not his M.O., and that's why it's not more [than a suspension for a single half]. But I think that certainly, we don't condone that and I know he's learned his lesson, but there still needs to be something. You have to pay a price when you mess up." [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
• Gator down. Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson, a full-time starter as a true freshman, is out for the season with a strained neck he suffered against South Carolina. The injury isn't considered career-threatening, but will force the Gators to turn to sophomore Cody Riggs or one of three other freshmen — Joshua Show, De'Ante Saunders and Loucheiz Purifoy — to fill the void. This item exists mainly because it will be my only chance this season to type "Loucheiz Purifoy." [Gainesville Sun]
In other injury news… Mississippi State cornerback Nickoe Whitley is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. [Clarion-Ledger] … And Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray has been cleared to practice and may play Saturday against Vanderbilt. [Knoxville News Sentinel]
• An offer they couldn't refuse? By far, the most bizarre story of the day comes from Boulder, Colo., where a local couple returned home early Sunday morning to discover a severed buffalo head in their front yard. Don't worry: It didn't belong to Colorado's live buffalo mascot, Ralphie, who (as helpfully noted by the Boulder Daily Camera) was "last seen publicly running across Folsom Field prior to the start of the CU Buffs' game against Arizona on Saturday." Two retired Ralphies are both accounted for on ranches, the locations of which the university does not disclose. An investigation is underway. [Boulder Daily Camera]
Quickly… Boise State is appealing NCAA sanctions as "excessive" and an "abuse of discretion." … DeVier Posey returns to Ohio State's lineup just in time for Senior Day. … Ex-Missouri running back Derrick Washington is sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault. … On Vanderbilt as the most important game of Derek Dooley's tenure at Tennessee. … The Liberty Bowl can't pass up an opportunity to match Mississippi State and Southern Miss. … Tim Kish is looking for players who actually appear interested in playing against Arizona State. … … And less than 48 hours after his team was spanked by Louisiana Tech, Kentrell Lockett speculates on just how much "the NCAA would hate us" if Ole Miss snapped its 12-game SEC losing streak against No. 1 LSU.