Ex-Louisville star takes over in backfield at Georgia Tech
Jonathan Dwyer is off to the NFL, but Georgia Tech's potent rushing attack might not miss a beat. Anthony Allen moves over from A-back to the featured B-back position in Coach Paul Johnson's spread option offense, and he could be even more of a threat than Dwyer, now a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Allen averaged 9.7 yards per carry last season and is convinced that figure doesn't have to decline despite the switch and a heavier workload. "Who says I can't match it," asked the speedy 229-pound senior, breaking into a smile.
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Allen had a Louisville record 275-yard rushing effort in 2007 as a sophomore before transferring. He had 14 touchdowns as a freshman and nine as a sophomore with the Cardinals.
Allen is now at more of his natural position, running from behind the quarterback after playing on the wing last season.
"I think Anthony will have a really good year," Johnson said after Georgia Tech's third practice session. "He's a very talented guy and I think he's excited about moving in there."
Allen, from Tampa, Fla., had just 64 carries last season, but gained 618 yards and scored seven touchdowns, one receiving. He broke off an 82-yard TD against Clemson and had a 60-yard run against Florida State.
Dwyer, who declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season, carried 235 times a year ago as he repeated the 1,395-yard rushing total that earned him ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.
"I can't lie. I'm really looking forward to that part," Allen said when asked about the extra touches he'll get this season.
Gilbert steps in at QB for Texas
Garrett Gilbert is the Texas quarterback now, and for a sophomore with no starts in his career, he also finds himself filling the role of grizzled veteran for the Longhorns.
With No. 2 quarterback Sherrod Harris' decision to leave the team on the eve of training camp, Gilbert and the Longhorns reported for the 2010 season Saturday with a serious lack of experience and depth at the position where Colt McCoy spent the past four seasons winning 45 games.
Harris, who would have been a fifth-year senior, has already earned his degree and left the team Friday. That leaves true freshmen Case McCoy, Colt's younger brother, and Connor Wood battling for the No. 2 spot.
"We probably had two freshman quarterbacks who were a little anxious when they went to sleep last night because their lives have changed," Coach Mack Brown said. "They've got to come in and start competing."
Gilbert is best known for taking over for McCoy early in last season's national championship game when McCoy got hurt early in Texas' 37-21 loss to Alabama.
"That game was pretty much a blur," Gilbert said.
After a shaky first half, Gilbert threw two touchdown passes to rally Texas within 24-21 in the fourth quarter before Alabama pulled away late. The experience forced Gilbert to grow up fast in the huddle on the field.
"I can't wait. I've got some butterflies but I'm ready to get going," Gilbert said.
Power on pole for IndyCar race in Ohio
Will Power is IndyCar's king of the road. The Australian driver captured the pole for Sunday's race at Mid-Ohio in Lexington, Ohio.
Power turned a lap time of 1:07.199 at the twisting 2.258-mile course. Dario Franchitti qualified second, followed by Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The pole is Power's seventh of the season, tying a record set by Penske Racing teammate Helio Castroneves in 2007.
The performance allowed Power to clinch IndyCar's first Road Course Championship. The former ChampCar regular has dominated the road events this season, collecting four victories and finishing no worse than fourth in seven road races.
Nadal, Djokovic to team up in Toronto
No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic are teaming up to play doubles together at next week's tournament in Toronto. The ATP said it thinks it's the first time the men holding the top two spots in the singles rankings have partnered for doubles at a tournament since No. 1 Jimmy Connors and No. 2 Arthur Ashe did it in 1976.
Benito Perez-Barbadillo, the publicist for Nadal and Djokovic, said the pair discussed the possibility of playing alongside each other last season at hard-court events in Montreal or Cincinnati. But Nadal wound up having a stomach muscle problem, so those plans were scuttled. Djokovic brought up the thought of a high-powered doubles team again recently.
"Novak called Rafa a couple of weeks ago and reminded him," Perez-Barbadillo wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Saturday. "Rafa liked the idea again and here they are."
Nadal returned to No. 1 in the ATP singles rankings in June, replacing Roger Federer there, after winning his fifth French Open championship. When Federer then lost in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, that made him slide to No. 3 for the first time since 2003, and Djokovic moved up to No. 2.
The Toronto tournament starts Monday.
Connors and Ashe teamed up at a tournament in North Conway, N.H., in August 1976, losing in the quarterfinals. In July 1976, they lost in the finals at Washington.
Chelios takes position with Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Chris Chelios is going to work for the team. Holland said Saturday that Chelios' new job doesn't have a title yet and his specific responsibilities haven't been determined. The 48-year-old Chelios played for the Atlanta Thrashers last season. The defenseman helped Detroit and Montreal win the Stanley Cup, won the Norris Trophy three times as the NHL's top defenseman, and was an 11-time All-Star.
The last word
Penn State football coach Joe Paterno claims he's gone to the movies only about four times in the past 35 years — if you don't count game films. Said Paterno:
"I think the last one I saw was, uh, 'Amareus' ... what was it, 'Amadeus'?"