Football

Cards hold three aces in their backfield

LOUISVILLE — A little bit of grit in the running game has helped Louisville get back on track.

The Cardinals (1-1) rolled up 234 rushing yards against Tennessee Tech over the weekend, 114 of them by freshman Victor Anderson. Brock Bolen added two scores on the ground and Bilal Powell showed flashes in relief.

Asked on Monday if he's considering naming a starter, Coach Steve Kragthorpe said there's no point. All three will continue to see playing time, and he feels all three can contribute regardless of the situation.

"We knew Brock and Bilal are good, and now we've found that Vic is too, so I think it's a great situation," Kragthorpe said. "It's a bonus situation for us that we have three tailbacks of the quality we do. And we're going to need all three of those guys if we're going to be successful this year."

They each got their chances against Tennessee Tech. Anderson and Powell had 12 carries each while Bolen had 11. Kragthorpe said it wasn't by design, but speaks to the versatility of each player.

"The best thing about the three of those guys is when you put one of them into the game, from (an opponent's) defensive standpoint, you can't say, 'Well, this guy can't do this,' " Kragthorpe said. "What I like about it is you're minimizing tendencies. All three can do everything we ask our running backs to do and do it with proficiency."

The Cardinals have the weekend off before hosting Kansas State (2-0) on Sept. 17.

Kragthorpe also announced on Monday that the Cardinals will begin a home-and-home series with former Conference USA rival Southern Mississippi in 2009. The Golden Eagles will play at Louisville in 2009, with the Cardinals going on the road in 2012. Louisville won the last meeting between the two schools 20-17 in 2002.

LSU preparing for Ike

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Monday he wants his school's game against North Texas to be played in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night as scheduled, but adds that other venues are being considered in case Hurricane Ike forces a change.

LSU has contacted officials at Texas Stadium in Dallas, Independence Stadium in Shreveport, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and the Superdome in New Orleans — although the Superdome would be unlikely if Ike heads for the state, Alleva said.

"Dallas and Shreveport may not be the best places given the direction of the storm," Alleva added. "The safest place to go right now is Atlanta. Hopefully by Wednesday, we'll know where we'll play. We're just keeping our fingers crossed."

LSU was forced to postpone its game last Saturday against Troy after Hurricane Gustav damaged the stadium and much of the Baton Rouge area. Now, Louisiana is forecast as a possible landfall location for Ike. Alleva said the stadium is ready to host the game.

"Our No. 1 priority is to play the game," Alleva said. "Our No. 2 priority is that we want to play in Tiger Stadium, but that may be out of my control."

Around the nation

Utah: Defensive lineman Lei Talamaivao had surgery Monday to repair his broken right fibula and will miss the remainder of the season. Talamaivao broke the leg in the first quarter Saturday in No. 22 Utah's 42-21 win over UNLV.

Nebraska: Offensive lineman Andy Christensen was reinstated to the team after being acquitted of sexual assault charges last week. Cornhuskers Coach Bo Pelini said Christensen would resume practicing, but will be suspended for Saturday's game against New Mexico State.

Miami: Running back Javarris James has a high left ankle sprain that could keep him out of the Hurricanes' next game on Sept. 20 at Texas A&M. James was hurt early in Miami's 26-3 loss Saturday at Florida and didn't return.

Syracuse: If there's a coach in America under more duress this week than Syracuse's Greg Robinson, it is difficult to imagine. In his fourth season as the helm, Robinson's record fell to 7-30 on Saturday after a 42-28 loss at home to Akron. "To me, it comes right down to coaching and right to me. There's no excuses for it," Robinson said. "It's pretty obvious I would have liked to have won more games to this point. I really didn't have that much knowledge of where the program was at that point (when he took over from Paul Pasqualoni in 2005). There was a lot of work to be done."

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