SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was released from jail Friday after his pickup truck apparently struck a tree, and he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession, authorities said.
Smith later took to the practice field with his teammates Friday afternoon at team headquarters in Santa Clara. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4.
Aldon Smith’s Off-Field Troubles
Aldon Smith has faced a series of issues off the field since the 49ers drafted him with the 7th overall pick in 2011.
• Jan. 2012: Arrested in Miami on suspicion of DUI (charges later reduced)
• June 2012: Stabbed during party at his house
• Sept. 2013: Named in lawsuit by man who said he was shot during party at Smith’s house
• Friday: Arrested in San Jose on suspicion of DUI
The Niners host the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park on Sunday, and coach Jim Harbaugh said, “I expect Aldon to be back at work and play on Sunday.”
The team released a statement Friday regarding Smith shortly after his arrest.
“The 49ers organization is aware of the matter involving Aldon Smith. As we continue to gather information regarding this situation, we will have no further comment,” the team said.
Smith, 23, posted $5,250 bail and was released from the Santa Clara County jail late Friday morning, just hours after he was taken into custody by police responding to a single-vehicle crash that involved his truck in San Jose, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said.
San Jose police arrested Smith after officers received a call from a resident about the crash in the city’s Silver Creek area around 7 a.m., Sgt. Heather Randol said.
Officers proceeded to give Smith breath and other tests after his pickup apparently struck a tree, hit a curb and left streak marks on a driveway and sidewalk.
“They conducted an investigation and determined he was under the influence,” Randol said about Smith. “He was the only person inside the vehicle.”
The linebacker, who played in his first Pro Bowl and helped the Niners appear in the Super Bowl last season, was also arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Miami Beach in January 2012.
Smith, who turns 24 on Wednesday, has also been named in a lawsuit by a Northern California man who said he was shot during a party at Smith’s house.
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In the suit filed earlier this month in Santa Clara County Superior Court, David Kleczek, an attorney for Ronndale Esporlas, claims that Smith and former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker fired weapons illegally during a party at Smith’s San Jose home on June 29, 2012.
The players charged a $10 admission and $5 per drink, the lawsuit said. Smith and Walker, who is also named in the suit, were allegedly intoxicated on Smith’s balcony when they later fired gunshots in the air while trying to end the party, the lawsuit said.
Kleczek said they then moved to the driveway where he alleged more shots were fired. Esporlas, 21, was shot twice in the leg while he was “caught in the crossfire between the two groups of people firing gunshots at each other,” the lawsuit said.
As a result, Esporlas, “sustained serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries,” the lawsuit said. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Attorneys for Smith and Walker, 29, who currently plays for the Tennessee Titans, have said Esporlas “freely and voluntarily exposed himself to all risks of harm” by attending the party.
They say injuries suffered by Esporlas, who was shot in the leg, were not caused by the defendants.
Santa Clara County prosecutors have said they are considering criminal charges.
Read more: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9698010/aldon-smith-san-francisco-49ers-arrested-suspicion-dui
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is considered a “game-time decision,” coach John Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice.
Rice hasn’t practiced all week after injuring his hip in the fourth quarter of the 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns. But Harbaugh has previously said that the three-time Pro Bowl running back doesn’t have to practice to play Sunday against the Houston Texans.
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One answer was essentially revealed Friday when running back Ray Rice was listed as doubtful on the injury report. But one big question remains: How are the Ravens going to fix their running game? Jamison Hensley takes a look. Story
On the official injury report released Friday Rice was listed as doubtful. Texans safety Ed Reed, who is working back from a hip injury, was listed as questionable. He hasn’t played this season after coming over from the Ravens.
Rice has started 43 straight games, the longest current streak for NFL running backs.
“There’s really nothing new to report,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed, although we’re prepared for it to go either way.”
Backup running back Bernard Pierce wouldn’t speculate whether he would start his first NFL game on Sunday.
“I try not to get involved with all the hype,” Pierce said. “I just go out, stay focused and play my game.”
Also Friday, the league said it would not discipline Rice after he was accused of spitting on Browns nose tackle Phil Taylor. Film of the play was inconclusive, according to the NFL.
Read more: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9698161/ray-rice-baltimore-ravens-game-decision-hip-injury
RALEIGH, N.C. — Clemson struggled to get its offense running in high gear and spent much of Thursday night fighting to protect a slim lead. The third-ranked Tigers still did enough to stay unbeaten in the kind of game that often has slipped away in recent years.
Tajh Boyd threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns to help Clemson beat North Carolina State 26-14, winning its Atlantic Coast Conference opener on the road.
Clemson came in averaging 45 points and 490 yards, but didn’t score its first touchdown until late in the first half.
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• Dinich: Analysis of Clemson’s win
“We had two or three scoring opportunities that we didn’t convert on and just missed them. Just that simple,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “I thought we had a good game plan. I was pleased with how we were able to run the ball but disappointed with some execution in the first half. … But we cleaned it up, we battled hard and got it to the second half and we ended up coming alive.”
Boyd’s 30-yard scoring pass to Martavis Bryant capped a critical third-quarter sequence — including an apparent Wolfpack touchdown negated by an official’s whistle — that allowed the Tigers (3-0, 1-0 ACC) to seize momentum in front of a hostile crowd.
Boyd found Bryant for another touchdown, with Bryant snatching the ball from defender Niles Clark for a 15-yard score that made it a three-possession game early in the fourth.
Sammy Watkins added 10 catches for 96 yards, helping Clemson finish with 415 total yards.
Shadrach Thornton scored the Wolfpack’s first touchdown on a 21-yard run in the second for a 7-6 lead, but NC State (2-1, 0-1) couldn’t complete the upset in coach Dave Doeren’s first league game.
The Tigers entered Raleigh with their highest ranking in 25 years and a prime spot in the national championship chase. They also came in with memories of their inexplicably bad performance here two seasons earlier, when the Wolfpack scored 27 second-quarter points en route to a 37-13 rout of the then-No. 7 Tigers.
NC State followed that win with an upset of No. 3 Florida State here last year, and Doeren — the former Northern Illinois coach — said that history gave his veterans confidence they could do it again. But NC State’s hopes of beating a top-10 team at home for the third straight season essentially ended in one frustrating sequence.
Receiver Bryan Underwood, who stepped out along the sideline earlier in the game to cut short a long run, sprinted around the right side for what appeared to be an 83-yard touchdown to tie the game at 13 midway through the third. But officials ruled Underwood stepped on the sideline at the Clemson 47 and blew the play dead, making it an unreviewable play — TV replays appeared to show him remaining inbounds — that led to boos raining down from the Carter-Finley Stadium stands.
“It was right in front of me,” Doeren said. “He didn’t go out of bounds. Unfortunately they blew it dead so they couldn’t review it. It’s an unfortunate deal. I know the guy felt bad about it. You can’t do anything about it. That’s just the way it is.”
Three plays later, Clemson’s Vic Beasley knocked the ball loose from Pete Thomas on a sack for a fumble recovered by Spencer Shuey. Boyd and the Tigers’ offense pounced on the opportunity, with Boyd hitting Bryant for the 30-yard score that made it 20-7 with 5:25 left in the quarter.
“I think for the offense we always go and find a way to make a play when it’s needed,” Boyd said. “When we really need it, we go get it done. … It was huge. We had to make sure we got something out of it.”
Bryant’s impressive grab for his second touchdown on Clemson’s next drive made it 26-7 with 11:27 left — and the booing over the Underwood call continued.
“It hurts, but hey, things happen in games,” Underwood said. “So you’ve got to bounce back with them, good or bad.”
Sam Cooper added an 11-yard touchdown catch with 2:23 left in the second that gave the Tigers a 13-7 halftime lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Thomas threw for 213 yards on 20-for-36 passing for the Wolfpack and also ran for a late 4-yard score. N.C. State finished with 378 total yards, but failed to convert its first eight third-down tries and finished 3-for-16 for the game.
Read more: http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=332620152
Heading into Week 4 of the college football season, the most talked about Pac-12 team has been Oregon. After all, the Ducks rank second in the nation in points scored (61.3 PPG), fourth in in points against (9.0 PPG) and have obliterated teams from both the ACC (Virginia) and SEC (Tennessee). But while Oregon has impressed, another team in the conference might actually have a better shot of winning a BCS title this season, particularly if it involves defeating an SEC powerhouse.
As the No. 5-ranked team in the country heading into a big early-season game versus No. 23 Arizona State on Saturday, the Stanford Cardinal are poised to step into the national spotlight. The Cardinal, coming off nondescript wins over San Jose State and Army, return 15 starters from last year’s Pac-12 championship squad, including QB Kevin Hogan and star guard David Yankey. But what might be most significant about this year’s Cardinal team is its size and style of play. In certain ways, Stanford is built like — and perhaps best equipped to match up with — a typical SEC champ.
If Stanford hopes to end the SEC’s seven-year BCS title streak, a statement win on Saturday would be a good place to start. Heading into its first true test of the season, here’s a closer look at what makes Stanford’s offense and defense so special – and why the Cardinal could pose a threat to dethrone the SEC in January.
Read more: http://insider.espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9696941/why-stanford-cardinal-hang-sec-best-college-football?addata=2009_insdr_mod_ncf_xxx_xxx
It’s always nice to see guys make good on second chances.
Auburn’s Nick Marshall and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, who square off Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, are doing just that after taking circuitous routes back to the SEC.
Their bond is a unique one. Each began his career at Georgia, meaning the Bulldogs at one point had three of the SEC’s current starting quarterbacks on their roster.
But whereas Aaron Murray has carved out a record-setting career at Georgia, Marshall and Mettenberger were sent packing after running into trouble off the field and seeing their careers at Georgia derailed before they ever had a chance to get started.
Mettenberger, then a redshirt freshman, was competing with Murray for the starting quarterback job in the spring of 2010, and it was a tight race. Not long after the conclusion of spring practice, though, Mettenberger was dismissed following a spring break incident at a South Georgia bar with a female. Mettenberger pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery and received probation under the state of Georgia’s first offender act. He spent a season at Butler (Kan.) Community College before landing at LSU.
Marshall was never charged criminally, but was dismissed in February 2012 for violating Georgia team rules. He and two other teammates (who also were dismissed) were reportedly involved in stealing from other teammates. Like Mettenberger, Marshall also detoured through Kansas, at Garden City Community College, before getting a second shot at Auburn.
“I’m happy for them that they landed in a good place and are getting an opportunity to do what they hoped and dreamed about doing coming out of high school,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt, who will face both Mettenberger and Marshall later this season.
“I’m big on guys realizing their dreams. That’s part of the reason why I coach. When you hit a major roadblock like they did, you like to hear stories of guys turning it around and doing really good things.”
Rodney Garner never doubted for a second that Marshall and Mettenberger would turn it around, although he might not have predicted that both would be back in the SEC as starting quarterbacks.
Keep in mind that Marshall spent his only season at Georgia in 2011 as a cornerback.
Garner, in his first season as Auburn’s associate head coach and defensive coordinator, was a member of Georgia’s staff when the Bulldogs signed both Marshall and Mettenberger.
“Nick and Zach are both examples that one mistake as a kid doesn’t define who you are,” said Garner, a 24-year coaching veteran in the SEC. “They’re both good kids that just made bad decisions.
“I think back to when I played. If I had gotten caught doing some of the things I did at their age, I might not be where I am today. It does me good to see both of those kids get their lives back on track.”
Mettenberger grew up just outside Athens in Watkinsville, Ga., and his mother, Tammy, still works in the Georgia football office. His dismissal was especially hard on everybody in the Bulldog family.
“I’ve known Zach since he was 5,” Garner said. “I know what kind of kid he is, and when you take second chances on kids, you’ve got to be sure there’s not something you’re missing. In both Zach and Nick’s case, anybody who knows those kids will tell you that they were raised right and taught the difference between right and wrong. They weren’t bad kids.”
That’s why when Auburn was looking for a quarterback after Gus Malzahn was hired that Garner went to his new boss and assured him that Marshall was made of the right stuff.
“With some of the things Auburn has been through the last few years, the robbery, the shootings and some of the things that have gone on, we had to be sure,” Garner said. “But I told Gus that Nick was a kid that I had at my house, and I would have him at my house any time. What he did just wasn’t indicative of the kind of kid he is.”
Malzahn didn’t need to be sold on Marshall as a player. Even before Marshall played a down at Garden City last season, Malzahn offered him a scholarship while still the head coach at Arkansas State.
By that time, Marshall was convinced that he wanted to play quarterback, and he wanted to do so in the SEC. He was originally recruited to Georgia as a quarterback after setting the state record for touchdown passes with 103 at Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Ga.
But during the recruiting process, Marshall was wrestling with the decision as to whether he wanted to play football or basketball in college. He played AAU hoops with former Georgia star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and was equally dynamic on the hardwood. While Marshall was going back and forth, Georgia took a commitment from another quarterback, Christian LeMay, and was only going to sign one that year.
Eventually, Marshall decided that it might be best for him to play defense in college, making it easier to play two sports. When Marshall’s coach at Wilcox County, Mark Ledford, informed Richt that Marshall had decided to play defense, Georgia reopened its recruitment of Marshall as a cornerback.
“That’s the thing about Nick. He can do whatever you want him to do and do it well,” Ledford said. “He even kicked off some for us, but I had to find him some rest. He played 100 percent of the snaps on offense and defense.”
In one game against Herschel Walker’s old high school, Johnson County, Marshall passed for four touchdowns, ran for four touchdowns and had an interception for a touchdown that was called back because of a penalty.
“He could have played a lot of different positions in college, but just like when he’s on the basketball court as a point guard and can see the whole court, he’s got that same vision in football,” Ledford said. “He sees things a lot of people don’t.”
For Garner, seeing both Marshall and Mettenberger back on an SEC field together Saturday night, albeit on opposite sidelines, will be heartwarming.
“It’s a feel-good story, two kids who stumbled, but didn’t stay down,” Garner said. “They got back up, and that’s what this game teaches you.”
It’s a huge test for Marshall, his first road game of the season after leading Auburn on a clutch game-winning drive last week against Mississippi State that was capped by his 11-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah with 10 seconds to play.
“We saw Nick do that so many times when he was in high school,” Ledford said. “When it’s time to go win a game, he just has that extra sense about him.
“The best thing is that it’s about what he’s doing now and not something that happened in his past.”
The same goes for Mettenberger, who’s one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country. He’s thrown nine touchdown passes and no interceptions and leads the SEC in passing efficiency through his first three games.
Garner doesn’t relish having to go up against Mettenberger, who vowed when he signed with LSU that he would restore his image and rebuild the trust people had in him before his misstep off the field.
Not only has he done that, but he’s put himself in a position to play this game for a living.
“Zach’s a pro, an NFL quarterback, and we knew it when he was at Georgia,” Garner said. “There’s only one kid I’ve seen in my 24 years of doing this that had a stronger arm than Zach, and that was Matthew Stafford. He has a cannon and has really matured and turned into the player we all knew he would be.
“I don’t think anybody’s surprised.”
• • •
It’s been a bad week (actually, a brutal week) for Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, and all eyes are on him now to see if he can survive. The outing of his F-bomb tirade against the Nebraska fans two years ago, coupled with his dismissive reaction to Nebraska legend Tommie Frazier’s critical comments, don’t play well when you’re coming off a 20-point home loss to UCLA.
Listen, Pelini’s a good football coach. He just tends to have zero finesse when dealing with many external elements of the program. Although the way he reached out to young cancer patient Jack Hoffman was as touching as it gets.
Even before this season, there were rumblings close to the Big Ten championship game a year ago that Pelini might be looking around. It was floated to Arkansas and Auburn that he might be interested in those jobs.
The key stretch for him comes in November when the Huskers play Northwestern at home, Michigan on the road and Michigan State at home in successive weeks.
Even if Pelini survives, you can’t help but wonder how fractured his relationship there is with the Nebraska fan base and if he wants to be there long-term.
• • •
Emotion can be an unpredictable thing, but you’ve got to hand it to UCLA’s players and coaches with the way the Bruins responded to the tragic death of teammate Nick Pasquale, who was killed after being struck by a vehicle.
The team attended his memorial service on Sunday. At Nebraska, players wore No. 36 patches on their jerseys in memory of Pasquale. Quarterback Brett Hundley admitted there was an onslaught of emotion to start the game, and UCLA fell behind 21-3 midway through the second quarter, but ripped off 38 unanswered points to win 41-21.
That type of resolve tells you a lot about this team and the job Jim Mora Jr. has done. It’s a program clearly on the rise, but the Bruins got the short end of the stick on the schedule this season. They have to play at Stanford and at Oregon in back-to-back weeks on Oct. 19 and Oct. 26.
• • •
Alabama has made a living under Saban by playing a lot of man coverage with the likes of cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick, Dee Milliner, DeQuan Menzie, Javier Arenas and Kareem Jackson, all of whom were selected in the NFL draft.
The jury is still out on this group of Crimson Tide cornerbacks. You know they’ll get better. That’s just a trademark with Saban’s players, especially defensive backs, which is his forte. But there might not be a shut-down, premier cornerback on this defense similar to past years under Saban.
• • •
It looks like junior quarterback Justin Worley will again be Tennessee’s starter at quarterback Saturday at Florida after coach Butch Jones re-opened the quarterback competition this week.
The reality is that people need to play better around Worley if the Vols are going to snap an eight-game losing streak to the Gators. The second quarterback in would probably be redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman, who’s more mobile than Worley.
But down the road, don’t be surprised if true freshman Riley Ferguson emerges as the guy. The Tennessee coaches like his quick release, his arm strength and the edge in which he plays the game. They just don’t want to throw him out there before he’s ready.
• • •
Who needs veteran coaches, right?
Texas Tech is off to a 3-0 start and ranked No. 25. Looking down the Red Raiders’ schedule, it’s not out of the realm to think that they could be 7-0 heading into that Oct. 26 game at Oklahoma.
The “old guy” on the staff is defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, who’s 47. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is just 34 and is one of seven coaches on the staff under the age of 40.
There won’t be any AARP applications floating around the Texas Tech coaches’ offices any time soon.
• • •
For all the talk about the SEC suddenly becoming an offensive league, Florida’s defense might be one of the best in the country.
Coach Will Muschamp still wants to see the Gators give up fewer big plays, but good luck in converting on third down against these guys. They’ve allowed two third-down conversions in 24 attempts this season. And, yes, they lead the country in that department.
• • •
One of the players who’s helped himself the most in the eyes of NFL scouts through the first three games is LSU junior defensive tackle Ego Ferguson, who’s played well enough that he could be an early-entrant candidate for the NFL draft. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis said in the spring that Ferguson was poised for a big season, and to this point, Ferguson has been even more productive than his more heralded teammate at tackle, Anthony Johnson. Ferguson leads the Tigers with 16 total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.
Read more: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9694585/auburn-nick-marshall-lsu-zach-mettenberger-started-georgia-thriving-second-chances
Most people download TV-on-PC software so that they can watch live TV on their computer. However, a few people have been asking us if they can use the software to receive all the channels and then watch them on a normal TV or flat screen. If you’d like to do that, here is a step-by-step video tutorial showing you how to connect your PC computer to your TV or HDTV.