So is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney legitimately injured, or is he trying to protect himself from injury to guarantee a big payday at the next level?

Obviously Clowney, who let coaches know before last week's game against Kentucky that he couldn't play because of a strained muscle near his rib cage, is the only one who knows. After Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier suggested afterward that Clowney could have played, he later said that he only was unhappy that proper injury protocol was not followed.

Clowney, who has not performed to expectations this season, is listed as questionable for Saturday at Arkansas but Spurrier said there's "a good chance" he'll see action.

Kill sitting out

Bravo to Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, who (finally) has taken a leave of absence to deal with his epilepsy. Kill, 52, missed last week's contest against Michigan after suffering a seizure on the morning of the game.

Since taking over the reins of the Golden Gophers in 2011, Kill has had five seizures on game days, including one at halftime of the team's Sept. 14 game against Western Illinois, but last week marked the first time he's missed an entire game. Kill's leave is open-ended so as to allow him to focus on treatment and management of his epilepsy.

The Golden Gophers, who host Penn State on Nov. 9, are off this week.

Four-quarter guy?

To give you some idea of how dominant Oregon has been through its first five games, quarterback Marcus Mariota has yet to throw a single pass in the fourth quarter. That could change Saturday when the second-ranked Ducks travel to 16th-ranked Washington seeking their 10th straight win over their border-state rival.

Mariota, who ranks ninth in the country in total offense at 339 yards per game, has accounted for 21 touchdowns (14 pass, seven run) this season.

Two-quarter guy?

If you think Mariota's numbers are impressive, how about Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk, who has carried the ball 53 times - but only twice after halftime?

Thanks to the No. 15 Bears' jet-propelled offense, Seastrunk is the nation's second-leading rusher at 147 yards per game while picking up a mind-blowing 11.1 yards per carry.

The Bears, who rang up a Big 12 record 864 total yards last week against West Virginia and are averaging 70.5 points, may get their toughest test Saturday when they take on Kansas State in their first 2013 road game.

Brown not down

The folks who follow Texas football are convinced that Saturday's game against Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl is "win or else" for Longhorns coach Mack Brown. He says they're wrong.

"It doesn't affect me at all," Brown said in an Associated Press story. "There's no giving up, no quitting in this coaching staff. None of that is a factor."

The Longhorns (3-2) are 6-9 vs. the Sooners under Brown and that includes a pair of blowout losses - 55-17 and 63-21 - the last two seasons.

Shootout vs. shutout

Florida owns one of the nation's toughest defenses, ranking in the top five nationally in total yards yielded (217.0 per game) and points allowed (12.2).

But 10th-ranked Louisiana State has other ideas when the No. 17 Gators come calling in Baton Rouge, such as matching or surpassing its offensive averages of 489 yards and 46 points per game.

The Gators haven't given up 21 points in any of their last 13 SEC games but the Tigers have a deadly combination in quarterback Zach Mettenberger throwing to either Odell Beckham Jr., or Jarvis Landry.

UNLV = football?

The UNLV football team, not its basketball squad, is getting the attention for a change in Sin City.

The Runnin' Rebels (3-2), winners of two games in each of the last three seasons, meet Hawaii going for their fourth straight victory, which would be their longest winning streak in the regular season since 1984. During that run, they broke a 23-game road losing streak at New Mexico.

Quarterback Caleb Herring leads the nation in completion percentage at 75.0, and broke UNLV's single-game record for percentage, 85.7 (24 of 28) that had been held by former Eagle Randall Cunningham.

Expatriate of the week

Kass Everett, who played high school ball at Roman Catholic, has found a home at Oklahoma after a circuitous route that took him to Delaware and a Los Angeles junior college.

The 5-foot-10, 189-pound Everett, a senior defensive back who plays in the Sooners' dime defense, had a key forced fumble last month in a win over West Virginia.

He began his college career at Delaware but was suspended from the team as a sophomore for violating unspecified team rules and eventually dismissed. He played one season at Los Angeles' Pierce College before moving on to Oklahoma.

Games of the Week


Oregon at Washington, 4 p.m., Fox Sports 1

The Huskies are trying to join Oregon and Stanford in the Pac-12 North chase, but Marcus Mariota has visions of a 10th straight win by the Ducks over their rival.


Missouri at Georgia, noon, ESPN

The Tigers, who have sneaked into the rankings thanks to quarterback James Franklin, have a shot at an upset because of key injuries to the Bulldogs.

Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas, noon, 6ABC

The 12th-ranked Sooners have blown out the Longhorns each of the last two years and it doesn't figure to get any better for embattled Texas coach Mack Brown.

Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech, noon, ESPNU

Cardinal O'Hara graduate Tom Savage has been cleared to play after recovering from a concussion. But the Hokies, who lead the nation with 19 sacks, will put plenty of heat on him.

Florida at Louisiana State, 3:30 p.m., CBS3

The Tigers have been rolling on offense behind quarterback Zach Mettenberger but the Gators boast the SEC's best defense.

Northwestern at Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

The Wildcats had to be crushed after falling short yet again against Ohio State and the Badgers will try to overwhelm them with their prolific running game.

Texas A&M at Mississippi, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Johnny Manziel takes his act on the road as the Aggies look to win their 10th consecutive road game.

- Joe Juliano