Kellen Moore threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns, as fifth-ranked Boise State trailed for the first time all season before moving past and then holding off Tulsa, 28-21, on a rainy night at Chapman Stadium. Boise State (6-0), playing to continue its undefeated season and make a statement to pollsters going forward, struggled early then had to watch G.J. Kinne's across-the-body toss for a wide open receiver in the middle of the field fall short on fourth down late in the game to seal the victory. Doug Martin gashed the Golden Hurricane (4-2) defense for 112 yards rushing and Jeremy Avery added 73 yards on the ground.
The Big East gets the national spotlight on Thursday, as unbeaten top-25 foes collide in the Sunshine State, when the eighth-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats call on the 21st-ranked South Florida Bulls. The Bearcats are a perfect 5-0 on the year and are 1-0 in Big East play, opening the 2009 campaign with a 47-15 rout of Rutgers. More recently, the team finished up a flawless non-league slate with a 37-13 win at Miami-Ohio back on October 3rd. The Bulls have also run the table, with the biggest victory coming at the end of September against a slumping Florida State team (17-7). USF has also been idle since October 3rd and comes into this game after opening Big East action with a 34-20 victory over Syracuse.
University of Southern California running back Stafon Johnson, who was involved in a freak weightlifting accident, was released from the hospital on Wednesday. Johnson was injured September 28th when a bar reportedly carrying 275 pounds slipped from his hand and crushed his throat. He underwent what head coach Pete Carroll called "a very intricate surgery." Doctors spoke Wednesday of Johnson's quick recovery from major reconstructive throat surgery. The Los Angeles Times had earlier reported that Johnson had his larynx realigned and that doctors were hopeful he would speak again. Dr. Ryan F. Osborne said Johnson will continue to rest at home and will be managed on an outpatient basis, undergoing rehabilitation related to swallowing, breathing and speech. In four games this season, Johnson rushed for 157 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries.
The New England Patriots made it official with Junior Seau on Wednesday, signing the veteran linebacker to a contract for the remainder of the season. Seau, 40, had not played this year while hosting a television show, "Sports Jobs with Junior Seau," on the Versus Network. Seau released a statement Tuesday on the Versus website announcing his return. Seau was coaxed out of retirement last year, playing four games for New England after signing with the club in December. He finished with 29 tackles. The USC product first joined the Patriots in August 2006, just days after pronouncing his career over. He has played 31 games with New England over the past three seasons. A 12-time Pro Bowl selection, Seau spent the first 13 years of his career with San Diego and also played three seasons with Miami. For his career, Seau has registered 1,899 tackles, 56.5 sacks and 18 interceptions.
Pittsburgh star safety Troy Polamalu practiced in full on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's game versus Cleveland. Polamalu, who sprained his left MCL in the Steelers' season-opener, has missed the last four games -- two of them losses -- for the defending Super Bowl champions. The good news came along with running back Willie Parker's full participation in practice. Parker has missed the last two games with a toe injury.
The Indianapolis Colts announced Wednesday that kicker Adam Vinatieri is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to remove a piece of cartilage. The club signed veteran kicker Matt Stover to replace Vinatieri, who is 6-for-8 in field goal attempts this season. Stover, 41, had spent his entire 18-year career with the Cleveland/Baltimore organization.
Amid scrutiny from numerous decision makers in the NFL community, Dave Checketts released a statement on Wednesday announcing Rush Limbaugh has been dropped from the group seeking to purchase the St. Louis Rams. When it was revealed Limbaugh was part of the group to buy the Rams last week, several people, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, stated their ambivalence with the conservative radio personality having stock in the league. Checketts, also the owner of the St. Louis Blues, has decided to move forward on the bid without Limbaugh in the mix, according to a St. Louis paper, seemingly as a result of the controversy. The team has not officially been put up for sale.
The National League Championship Series, a rematch of 2008, gets started Thursday night as the defending World Series winning Philadelphia Phillies battle the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Phils, who finished off the Dodgers in five games a year ago, will start Cole Hamels on the mound. The Dodgers will go with 21-year-old Clayton Kershaw in the battle of left-handers. Philadelphia beat Colorado in four games in the Division Series, while the Dodgers swept St. Louis. LA won the season series with the Phils, 4-3, as the Dodgers took two of three at Citizens Bank Park and split the four games at Chavez Ravine.
Game 1 of the American League Championship Series won't take place until Friday in New York, as the Yankees host the Angels. Both teams swept their respective Division Series matchups this past weekend. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins and the Angels toppled the Boston Red Sox. The Angels will go with John Lackey for Game 1, while the Yankees will start CC Sabathia.
The inaugural five-member class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame was selected on Wednesday, with Bill France Sr., Richard Petty, Bill France Jr., Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson to be inducted next year. Bill France Sr., nicknamed "Big Bill," founded NASCAR in the late 1940's and directed it to its present status as one of the world's most popular motorsports circuits. His son, Bill France Jr., took over the chief responsibilities of NASCAR in 1972 and guided the sport into its modern era. Earnhardt was perhaps NASCAR's most popular figure of all-time, capturing a NASCAR record-tying seven championships and 76 races in the sport's premier series. Petty holds numerous records in the NASCAR Cup Series, including 200 wins, seven Daytona 500 victories and 1,185 starts. Johnson won 50 races as a driver and six Cup championships as a team owner.