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Minnesota WR Chris Autman-Bell needs season-ending surgery on leg Florida shakes up secondary after dismal game at Tennessee Pac-12 looking stronger at top after early-season losses

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MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota to enter Big 10 without lead receiver Chris Othman-Bellan outstanding sixth year to have surgery on his right leg at the end of the season.

The invincible Gophers are used to this kind of failure.

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“Not if it happens to you. This is when and for whom, ”said the coach. PJ Fleck said after the announcement of the news.

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Othman-Bell was injured in Minnesota’s 49-7 win over Colorado on Saturday when he landed badly trying to catch an off-target shot in the second quarter. He clutched his leg in pain, needed help to leave the field, and was sent to the hospital for further examination.

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“Your heart breaks because of him because he worked incredibly hard,” Fleck said. “He reacted as if someone responded with really hard news, but it didn’t take long for him to wipe those tears away. His thoughts were already occupied with what he was going to do, what to achieve and where to return from.

The procedure will take place on Wednesday. Fleck did not elaborate on the diagnosis, except to describe an injury to Othman-Bell’s lower leg. The Gophers will apply to the NCAA for a medical redshirt that would allow him to return for a seventh season if he so chooses.

Last year they lost a star running back Mohamed Ibrahim in the first game until the end of 2021 due to an Achilles tendon rupture. Since then, Ibrahim’s attitude and determination have inspired the team, and his decision to return for a sixth season influenced Othman-Bell, the quarterback. Tanner Morgan and center John Michael Schmitz do the same thing.

Outman-Bell retweeted a poignant, year-old post from Ibrahim shortly after his injury, asking, “What if everything you’re going through prepares you for what you asked for?”

Ibrahim is tied for second in FBS with 464 yards and first with seven touchdowns for the Gophers (3-0), who play in Michigan State (2-1) on Saturday.

Othman-Bell, a native of Kankakee, Illinois, was in Fleck’s first recruiting class in Minnesota after he backed out of his commitment and followed him from Western Michigan. The first year, he wore a red shirt. The 2020 season did not count for anyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With 1970 career receiving yards, Oatman-Bell ranks ninth in program history. He caught a 39-yard touchdown pass against Colorado before suffering an injury. The team’s leading returning receiver since 2021, when he had 36 catches for 506 yards and six touchdowns, Oatman-Bell has again become Morgan’s favorite target.

The young players around him in this position have developed to the point where the depth should not fall so sharply, with Michael Brown-Stevens, Dylan Wright and Daniel Jackson is next in line. tight end Brevin Spann Ford will probably also increase his role in passing the pass.

“If it happens maybe three or four years ago, maybe it will have a different vibe,” Fleck said. “But there are a lot of guys who can make a ton of games.”

GAINESVILLE, Florida – Florida Coach Billy Napier shakes up his supporting role after the Gators gave up 349 yards, including 247 of them in eight plays, in a loss in Tennessee.

Safety Trey Dean, a fifth-year senior who started 32 games and played in 54, was out of action with what Florida calls a “shin injury.” But no one would be surprised if Napier calmly left Dean on the bench after he made two mental errors against the volunteers that led to 70 and 45 yards and touchdowns.

Freshman Yesterday Wilson will replace Dean and make his first college start on Sunday against Eastern Washington.

corner defender Jadon Hill will join Wilson in the starting lineup. Hill, a third-year sophomore, will make his first start since 2020. He missed the 2021 season with a torn knee ligament. He impressed Napier and his new hires in the spring, but missed preseason camp with another knee injury.

Hill to replace sophomore Avery Helmwho also fought against Vols.

“You talk about what he’s been through in terms of injury,” Napier said after Wednesday’s workout. “Jaydon was one of the best players we had on our team in spring training. I was very impressed . It doesn’t surprise me. He showed quite quickly here that he is very capable. I’m excited to watch him play.”

Georgia transfer Sorry Kimber, a five-star former rookie, is now listed as third team cornerback. Kimber played just 11 snaps in Knoxville in a week after he intercepted a touchdown in a 31-28 win over South Florida.

“I like to say we’re trying to get rid of bad football,” Napier said. “Talking about mental errors, inconsistencies, poor communication, poor fundamentals and techniques, poor decision making in the game. … We have a long list of things that we need to eliminate every week.

“In the game last week, I thought we were very close, but there are 12 or 15 draws in the game where Florida beats Florida. We have a smart group here. I think they are well aware of the issues and I think they are working hard to resolve them.”

With Oregon being choked out by leading Georgia and Utah losing to Florida, it looked like the Pac-12 was headed for another college football playoff miss.

The week before the start of the season, the top two teams in the conference had already failed big early tests.

Fast forward three weeks and it looks like Pac-12 might be in good shape after all.

The Ducks and the Utes took the win with big wins, and the conference leader looks strong with four teams in the top 15 for the first time since 2016.

It’s still early, but Pac-12 is positioning itself to take the team to CFP for the first time since Washington in 2016-17.

Watch how the Pac-12 peak stacks up on the first weekend in October:


The No. 6 Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) seem to have quickly returned to glory in their first season under Lincoln Riley. Former Oklahoma Coach Brought Quarterback Caleb Williams with him to Southern California and they did well in the first four games.

Williams threw for 1,054 yards and threw for nine touchdowns, adding 100 yards and two more scoring shots. USC’s defense was opportunistic, leading the nation with 11 interceptions and tied for the lead with 14 clearances.

The Trojans survived a panic against the bully Oregon State over the weekend and started 4-0 for the first time since 2012. USC is scheduled to play in Utah on October 15 but has avoided Washington and Oregon this season.


12th-place Utes opened the season with a heavy road loss at The Swamp in Florida, but won three lopsided games in a row.

Short of a costly interception against the Gators, the quarterback cam height was sharp, throwing for 954 yards and 10 TDs. Utah (3-1, 1-0) has physical defense and is third in FBS with 132.8 yards per game.

The Cliff also has a veteran team that won the Pac-12 championship last season. Bad news: hard ending Brant Kuittheir lead wide receiver, out for the season with a knee injury.

Utah will play Oregon State this weekend and have tough games against USC and Oregon still on the schedule.


The Ducks’ playoff chances plummeted after a 49-3 loss to defending national champion Georgia in the first game.

No. 13 Oregon (3-1, 1-0) bounced back with a decisive victory over a good BYU team and outlasted previously undefeated Washington State 44-41 last week.

The Ducks couldn’t match the Bulldogs in any way – there aren’t many of them – but they’ve averaged 51.6 points in their last three games. Oregon’s biggest weakness is his pass defense. The Ducks allow 72.5% of passes to be completed, the third worst in the country.

Oregon’s biggest test left this season will come in back-to-back games against Washington and Utah.


The Huskies quickly changed in their first season under a coach. Kalen DeBoer.

defender Michael Penix Jr. Now that he’s healthy, he’s been great, throwing a top 1,388 yards and 12 TDs with one interception. No. 15 Washington (4-0, 1-0) has a solid home win over Michigan State and has 15 sacks this season, including eight against Stanford last week.

On Saturday, the Huskies will play their first road game at undefeated UCLA before facing Oregon on November 12.

University of California at Los Angeles

After winning in Colorado for the first time since 2014 last Saturday, the Bruins (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have the longest winning streak since winning their first eight games in 2005.

UCLA had a hard time getting past South Alabama and opened its Pac-12 schedule with a victory over the struggling Buffaloes.

The Bruins will find out how good they are over the next three weeks, a brutal stretch that includes home games against Washington and Utah before heading to Eugene to play the Ducks on October 22.


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