Lippincott injury more serious than thought

The injury to senior running back Luke Lippincott was more serious than Nevada coach Chris Ault indicated after Saturday's 35-19 loss to Texas Tech.

It was first announced that Lippincott had tore his left anterior cruciate ligament. Ault said Monday before practice that Lippincott had injured the medial collateral ligament, too.

The injury happened in the second quarter, and he didn't need help coming off the field.

Ault said that Lippincott will have surgery in approximately three weeks. The coach said Lippincott was already talking about Notre Dame, which is the Pack's season-opening game in 2009.

Ault said the WAC has already been contacted regarding Lippincott's status, but that nothing can officially be done until the season is over.

BADGERS INVADE FRESNO

After knocking off a BCS school in their opener, the Fresno State Bulldogs have a chance to make it two straight when they host Big 10 powerhouse Wisconsin.

It's the second of three games against BCS schools in the nonconference. Fresno State also plays at UCLA before conference play starts in late September.

"It's a great opportunity again," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. "It's great for our fans. They deserve this."

This is one of the few times Fresno State has been able to lure a big-time team to Fresno. Normally if Fresno State is playing a BCS school, the game is on the road.

"The kids don't mind going on the road," Hill said. "That's one of the difficulties of scheduling the way we do. That's why kids come here to play these types of games."

MATHEWS A REAL FIND

Ryan Mathews, a sophomore from Bakersfield-West High, is one of the top running backs on the West Coast.

It was Hill's persistence with the speedy Mathews that enabled the Bulldogs to land him. Mathews had some academic issues in high school that scared some of the bigger schools away. Hill hung in and was rewarded.

"A lot of it was transferring after ninth grade," Hill said. "He was behind in his core subjects. He did a great job the last two semesters, and he's doing a great job in college, too. Sometimes you need a game plan.

"He's matured (since last season). It's a big change from high school to Division I, especially if you are thrown into it."

Mathews had 26 carries against Rutgers which was a career-best for him.

A WIN AT LAST

When Idaho outlasted Division 1-AA Idaho State last weekend, it was 363 days between victories for the Vandals, who knocked off Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo 20-13 on Sept. 8, 2007.

Idaho went 1-11 last year, losing 10 straight to end the season. Idaho is 1-1 entering a game against Western Michigan.

"Three hundred sixty-five days is a long, long time," Idaho coach Robb Akey said. "The hardest thing is watching the kids bust their butts and not getting rewarded. There were a lot of smiles on Saturday. They feel a whole lot better."

Akey said that Deonte Jackson's back keeps seizing up on him, and it's something that the Vandals have had to deal with all spring and summer camp.

The Idaho coach said that Jackson hasn't practiced much. In fact, Jackson didn't start against Idaho State, but still eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 105.

POW HONOREES

It didn't take long for Tyler Graunke to get back in the good graces of the Hawaii coaching staff and his teammates.

Graunke didn't travel to the season-opener against Florida because he was ineligible. He did come in the second half of Saturday's game against Weber State and sparked the Warriors to their first win of the season. He went 13-for-20 passing for 218 yards and three scores to pace Hawaii to a come-from-behind win, earning him WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

The performance earned him the starting job against Oregon State this weekend.

"He got quite a few reps," said UH coach Greg McMackin. "If we had been ahead, we were going to go with the JC kids in the second half and get them some positive reps. If we were behind, we were going to go with Tyler because of his experience. It worked out good for us."

Idaho teammates Isaac Butts and Eric Hunter were named the defensive and special teams players of the week.

Butts finished with six tackles and two interceptions in Idaho's 42-27 win over Idaho State. Hunter blocked a punt and recovered it in the endzone for a score in the first quarter of the victory.

HURRICANE VICTIM

New Mexico State has yet to play its first game of the season after its home game with Nicholls State was canceled because of Hurricane Gustov.

So, the Aggies are forced to play their season-opener at Nebraska, which handled San Jose State last weekend despite being outgained by the Spartans.

"I feel like we're an Ivy League school," said NMSU coach Hal Mumme on the late start. "Nebraska definitely has an advantage. We'll have first-game jitters. Usually teams make the most improvement between the first and third games. Nebraska has had a chance to do that and we haven't."

NMSU did get a game, however. Alcorn State will visit Las Cruces on Oct. 4.

- Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281

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