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CFB Roundup: South Carolina loses Lattimore, ND's Atkinson misses game

The SportsXchange

South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore left Saturday's game against Tennessee with what appeared to be a serious right knee injury.

Lattimore left the field on a cart with his right leg immobilized.

A junior, regarded as one of the top NFL prospects at his position, Lattimore missed the final six games of the 2011 season with torn ligaments in his left knee. He was sidelined for 22 weeks between the time he was injured against Mississippi State until he returned to team workouts.

In Saturday's home game against Tennessee, Lattimore was hit on a second quarter carry off left tackle. He was struck near his knees by Volunteers cornerback Eric Gordon while being pulled down from behind by linebacker Herman Lathers.

His right leg buckled from the hit on the inside of right knee as he was dragged to the turf.

Lattimore was tended to immediately and writhed in pain. He was surrounded by almost the entire South Carolina team while he was fitted with an air cast and helped onto a cart.

Lattimore had 11 carries for 70 yards at the time of his injury.

He came into the game hurting, and had 16 carries for 48 yards in consecutive losses at LSU on Oct. 13 and last week at Florida.

Lattimore was ranked as the top running back prospect potentially available for the 2013 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com, and projected by draft analyst Rob Rang as a top-10 pick.

---Notre Dame running back George Atkinson III did not make the trip to Norman for Saturday's game at Oklahoma because of flu-like symptoms, according to ESPN.com.

The sophomore running back is averaging a team-high 8.1 yards per carry. He has 38 carries for 301 yards with four touchdowns, including scores from 56 and 55 yards out.

Atkinson is also the kick returner for the No. 5 Irish. He returned two kickoffs for a touchdown as a freshman last year.

Notre Dame (7-0) is off to its best start since 2002. No. 8 Oklahoma is 5-1.

---Former LSU players Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were released from a Baton Rouge, La., jail Friday after being arrested on marijuana charges, according to ESPN.com.

Mathieu, Jefferson and two other former Tigers were arrested at Mathieu's apartment Thursday.

Derrick Bryant and Karnell Hatcher remained in jail.

Mathieu, Jefferson and Hatcher were charged with simple possession of marijuana. Hatcher's charge was for a second offense. Bryant was charged with an intent to distribute.

Mathieu, a one-time Heisman Trophy finalist at cornerback, was dismissed from the team in August after he reportedly failed a drug test. Jefferson, a quarterback, is playing in the Canadian Football League.

Jefferson's father, John Jefferson, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Friday that his son is innocent because he arrived at the apartment just 10 minutes before police got there.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," John Jefferson said. "The lawyer looked at it, and it looks like he didn't have any involvement with it.

"He's upset about it, but live and learn."

Baton Rouge police said the arrests came after officers responded to a complaint about a man trying to force his way through a security gate at the apartment complex where Mathieu lives. A resident let in the man, later identified as Jefferson. He was seen going into an apartment before officers arrived.

Police said Mathieu answered the door and officers obtained permission to search after smelling marijuana.

Officers found a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana, police wrote in a news release.
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