The Auburn Tigers are changing starting quarterbacks, turning from a struggling Jeremy Johnson to redshirt freshman Sean White. Coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday that White will start Saturday night's game against Mississippi State, but didn't rule out playing Johnson, too.
Johnson was billed in the preseason as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate but has thrown six interceptions in three games. White hasn't played a game for Auburn yet.
"Any time you change quarterbacks, it's not an easy decision," Malzahn said. "Really, probably (Tuesday) is when me and coach (Rhett) Lashlee made the decision. We feel like that's best for our offense right now. ... Sean White is a guy that has gotten a lot of reps. He's responded very well in practice and very well in scrimmages. I feel like he needs a shot right now, and we've got a lot of confidence in him."
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The Tigers have fallen out of the rankings after starting at No. 6, losing 45-21 at LSU on Saturday after needing overtime to beat FCS Jacksonville State. They rank 113th in total offense.
The defense also has struggled, and help is not on the way. Auburn will be without one of its best players indefinitely.
■ Another week, another new starting quarterback at South Carolina. Getting the call this time: freshman Lorenzo Nunez.
Gamecocks Coach Steve Spurrier had promised changes ahead after his team's 52-20 loss at No. 7 Georgia last week. The coach began the moves by replacing former walk-on Perry Orth with a true freshman in Nunez. Orth started against the Bulldogs last week, but Nunez came on for several snaps.
Nunez was the leading rusher for South Carolina with 76 yards on 10 carries and hit four of five passes for 18 yards. He also scored on a 7-yard run. Spurrier said the 6-foot-3 Nunez gives the Gamecocks versatility with his skill at running, zone-read option that Orth does not.
Nunez is the third different starter at quarterback when South Carolina (1-2) faces Central Florida (0-3) on Saturday. Sophomore Connor Mitch started the first two games. However, he separated his shoulder in the opening half in a loss to Kentucky and is not expected back for several more weeks.
Cowboys trade with Bills for Cassel
Matt Cassel is headed to Dallas in a trade as the Cowboys try to bolster their depth at quarterback while Tony Romo is sidelined at least seven games because of a broken left collarbone. The Cowboys acquired Cassel from Buffalo on Tuesday, sending a fifth-round pick in 2017 to the Bills. Both teams announced the trade, and a source told The Associated Press what Buffalo received in return because the round of the pick wasn't disclosed.
Brandon Weeden is expected to start Sunday at home against Arizona, but Cassel is a veteran with far more experience than the fourth-year pro. Cassell has 71 starts in 90 games over 11 seasons, not counting the opener this year when he took the first snap for the Bills with Tyrod Taylor lined up at receiver.
The Cowboys placed Romo on the injured list with a designation to return. He will be eligible to return Nov. 22 at Miami. He can practice again in six weeks, starting Nov. 4.
NBADavis says Pelicans closing gap on top teams
Former University of Kentucky star Anthony Davis has seen one preseason ranking of the New Orleans Pelicans as the No. 8 team in the NBA, which gives him confidence that his team can become a contender more quickly than many think.
"It can happen in a matter of a year, couple of years," Davis said Monday night in New York during a launch party for the NBA 2K16 video game. "I mean, we were 12th in the West coming into the season last year, made the playoffs in the eighth spot. Just off last year they got us No. 8 overall in the league, so to go from 12th in the West to 8 overall in the league, that's a huge jump."
Davis said the first thing he did when he got a copy of the game was check "my rating, and my jump shot. See how far I can shoot. That's the first thing I do, every time."
NBA 2K16 is available for purchase Friday.
Men's soccer routs Eastern Illinois 6-0Kentucky's men's soccer team got two goals apiece from Grant Mook and Stefan Stojkovic — en route to a 6-0 defeat of Eastern Illinois on Tuesday at the Bell Soccer Complex. It was the Cats' largest margin of victory since 2008. Napo Matsoso and Hampus Agerstrom also scored goals for UK (4-2-1).
The goalkeeping combination of Callum Irving — who worked the first 79 minutes — and sophomore Stuart Ford provided the third UK shutout of the season. Irving has a 0.97 goals-against average in his career, which ranks him second in program history.
The Cats will return to action on Sunday when they host Florida Atlantic at 1 p.m.
EKU women's golf smashes program record
Eastern Kentucky's women's golf team broke one program record and tied another on its way to a first-place finish at the Cardinal Classic, hosted by Ball State on Monday and Tuesday.
EKU's 54-hole total of 3-over par 867 was 35 shots better than the previous program record of 902 set at the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Championship. The Colonels' second-round score of 284 on Monday tied for their best single round. EKU was 13 shots ahead of second-place Eastern Michigan in the 16-team field.
EKU freshman Amanda Lindahl finished second on the individual leaderboard at 1-under par, four shots behind Eastern Michigan's Kesley Murphy. The Colonels' Anna Gleixner was third at even par.
■ The University of Pikeville's Burgess Clark, a sophomore out of Madison Central, shot 4-over par over two rounds on Monday and Tuesday to edge teammate Will Boyd by a shot for the individual title at the Bluegrass Mid-South Classic at Cherry Blossom Golf Course in Georgetown. The Bears finished at 25-over par as a team, six shots clear of host Georgetown and 14 shots ahead of St. Catherine.
■ Ray Zuberer, a multi-sport star at Owensboro Catholic, committed to play baseball for Western Kentucky on Monday, the Messenger-Inquirer reported. Zuberer, a senior who also plays for the Aces' football and basketball programs, batted .442 last season with a team-leading 42 hits and 30 runs. He also finished with 18 runs batted in, 10 triples and five doubles.
■ Georgetown's women's soccer team has started the season 7-1 after knocking off Cumberland, ranked 19th in NAIA, on Tuesday. Skye Zimmer, a freshman out of Manual, scored the lone goal in the 15th minute in the Tigers' 1-0 victory.
■ Lindsey Wilson men's soccer team cruised to a 14-0 win at Pikeville on Tuesday. Aleksi Pahkasalo scored six goals and set a program record with five assists. Both Anthony Tshimpi and Franco Roman added their first career hat tricks for the Blue Raiders, who are ranked sixth in NAIA.
The last word
Former University of Kentucky star Julius Randle, who missed all but part of the first game of his rookie year with the Los Angeles Lakers with a leg injury, has dropped his weight to about 245 pounds at slightly less than 10 percent body fat. He told the Los Angeles Daily News that his changed diet took some getting used to:
"It's tough in the beginning. But when you figure out what you want to do and how you can become the best version of yourself after you make that change and get into the routine, it becomes part of your life."