Redskins

No. 25 Utah State aiming even higher against Idaho

No. 25 Utah State aiming even higher against Idaho

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah State Aggies already have had quite the week.

They went on the road to beat a nationally ranked team in overtime then arrived back in Logan to the cheers of several hundred fans who didn't mind waiting in the rain.

Now, after earning a spot in the AP poll for the first time since 1961, the 25th-ranked Aggies have a chance to make more history in Saturday's regular-season finale against Idaho.

``There are a lot of `nevers' out there,'' said coach Gary Andersen, who was moved to tears after his Aggies beat high-powered Louisiana Tech last weekend to guarantee at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference crown.

``There are a lot of things that they can do that have never happened in the history of Utah State football. That's pretty special.''

The Aggies (9-2, 5-0) can secure the program's first 10-win season and first 6-0 mark in conference play.

Though they are 39-point favorites against Idaho (1-10, 1-4), history has taught Utah State not to take anything for granted.

Last year they needed double-overtime to beat the Vandals in Moscow, prevailing 49-42 on Robert Turbin's 2-yard TD run.

``Idaho is going to come in here prepared to play,'' Andersen said.

Just as the Aggies have much on the line, so do the Vandals, who have played the last three games under interim coach Jason Gesse, who is making a pitch to keep the job.

``Kids want to beat the champion,'' Andersen said. ``It's always a driving force for competitive kids.''

Utah State is eligible to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for the second straight year, but another win conceivably could vault the Aggies to a bigger postseason payout.

``We couldn't ask for much more out of our season, but we still have goals in front of us,'' Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton said of winning the WAC title outright, then a bowl game.

Keeton entered the week ranked 11th in the nation in total offense (321.6 yards per game) and 25th in passing (273.3). Now he faces an Idaho defense that is allowing 42.2 points and 493.3 yards a game. He needs 258 yards passing to break Utah State's single-season record.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham certainly knows what Keeton can do, having lost to the Aggies in early September in a game that saw the sophomore QB complete 22 of 32 passes for 216 yards and two TDs and rush for what then was a career-high 86 yards.

``He is just like the dual-threat quarterbacks we faced this year (in the Pac-12),'' Whittingham said, drawing comparisons to the most recent opposing QB, Arizona's Matt Scott.

``On those zone reads, if (Scott) doesn't have the speed and athleticism to get around the edge, we make the tackle for no gain or (a loss) instead of a ... 20-yard gain,'' Whittingham said. ``That's a huge difference to have that element in your offense. He's surrounded by a good back, good receiver ... it's not just him. But (Keeton) certainly is the catalyst that makes it go.''

The other is senior running back Kerwynn Williams, who ranks 10th in the nation in all-purpose yardage (164.3) and is one of 19 seniors playing his final home game.

Then there's Andersen, who has been asked if Saturday will be his final game as Aggies coach, considering all the times his name pops up for a vacancy.

``I get that 24/7, but my love has been Utah for a long time,'' said Andersen, who recently signed a contract extension to keep him in Logan through 2018.

He said there are no guarantees for anything in life, especially coaching, ``But I love where I'm at and expect to be here for a long period of time.''

Andersen said he knew this was a special group after the 6-3 road loss to Brigham Young before the Aggies went on their five-game winning streak.

``That was a tough loss and the way those kids bounced back and prepared as early as that Monday made me take a step back and realize how much it truly meant to them, how important it was for them to break the huddle every day they walked off the practice field and say `WAC Champs,''' Andersen said.

Now the title is official. The Aggies just want it all by themselves.

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Redskins activate running back Byron Marshall for Week 11, release wide receiver Brian Quick

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins activate running back Byron Marshall for Week 11, release wide receiver Brian Quick

On Saturday the Washington Redskins announced their activation of running back Byron Marshall off of the injured reserve list. Marshall is eligible to play in Week 11 against the Houston Texans.

To make space on the roster, the Redskins also released wide receiver Brian Quick.

The move to add Marshall back on the 53-man roster is not too surprising. Earlier this week Samaje Perine was ruled out for Week 11 with a calf injury. Only Adrian Peterson and Kapri Bibbs were the healthy backs left on the active roster. Chris Thompson is still not available to play.

Before the season even started Marshall was placed on the IR with a sprained ACL and MCL. Those injuries occuring in the second preseason game of the season.

In his second season with Washington, Marshall has only played in four games. Don't expect him to see significant time against the Texans behind Peterson and Bibbs, either. It will probably just be some fill-in opportunities in the backfield. At worst, he sees a notable amount of snaps if one of the two gets dinged up.

The release of Quick comes with Trey Quinn coming back this week as well. Placed on waivers, Quick only had three catches for 18 yards through six games for the Redskins. 

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Maryland goes toe to toe with Ohio State, but ultimately falls to the Buckeyes

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Maryland goes toe to toe with Ohio State, but ultimately falls to the Buckeyes

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Relentlessly zipping up and down the field, ninth-ranked Ohio State and upstart Maryland were racking up yards and points at a dizzying pace.

Finally, the Terrapins were presented with the chance to end it -- one way or another.

A gutsy decision by Maryland interim coach Matt Canada did not achieve the desired results, and the Buckeyes avoided one of the most stunning upsets in this college football season by squeezing out a 52-51 victory in overtime on Saturday.

After a 5-yard touchdown run by Dwayne Haskins gave the Buckeyes a seven-point lead to start overtime, Tayon Fleet-Davis scored for the Terrapins. Canada opted to keep his offense on the field to attempt a 2-point conversion, and Tyrrell Pigrome's pass to Jeshaun Jones was off target .

"It was a gut call," Canada said. "I felt like they were scoring, we were scoring. We had the ball, we had to make one play to win. Obviously it didn't work. I wasn't trying to be aggressive. I was just trying to win."

After watching his defense allow 535 yards and seven touchdowns, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer understood why Canada opted to win it right there.

"I would have probably done the same thing if I was their coach, the way they were gaining yards on us," Meyer said. "I'm relieved we won."

Favored by 14 points, Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) trailed by two touchdowns in the third quarter and 45-38 with under two minutes left before rallying.

The victory kept the Buckeyes in the hunt for the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State concludes the regular season next week in a game against Michigan that will decide the Big Ten East winner.

After describing the performance of his defense as "alarming," Meyer said, "But we won. Let's go back to work and get ready for next week."

The Buckeyes never led until overtime against the gritty Terrapins (5-6, 3-5), who have made the most of a season dedicated to teammate Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke in June. The players teamed together under the guidance of Canada, who maintained his role of offensive coordinator after taking over for head coach DJ Durkin, who was placed on administrative leave in August, reinstated on Oct. 30 and fired on Oct. 31.

On this day, the Terps traded blows with one of the best teams in the nation, and stuck in it to the end.

"I wish we had been a little bit better on the last play," Canada said. "It's a tough day. We put a lot into this."

Pigrome was making his first start of the season after Kasim Hill sustained a season-ending knee injury last week. He went 6 for 13 for 181 yards.

Haskins ran for three touchdowns and was 28 for 38 for 405 yards and three TDs. Ohio State finished with a whopping 688 yards, including 203 on the ground by J.K. Dobbins.

All that offense meant nothing until Pigrome's pass went about six inches wide of his intended target.

"For us to stop them on a 2-point conversion, a whole bunch of emotions just came out of me," Haskins said. "All that grit, all that adversity we faced in this game, to come back on top just meant everything for myself and my teammates."

Maryland freshman Anthony McFarland had touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards in the first quarter and finished with 298 yards rushing -- seven short of the school's single-game record.

The Terps took a 45-38 lead when Chigoziem Okonkwo recovered a fumble by McFarland in the end zone with 1:41 left. Haskins then orchestrated a 50-yard, beat-the-clock drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victory with 40 seconds remaining.