By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
For first-year Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham, the hits just keep on coming.
After seeing his top quarterback, Scott Frost, transfer to Nebraska in the offseason, he has lost his number-one running back, junior Mike Mitchell, in the first game of the season.
Mitchell, a standout at Phoenix¹s Brophy Preparatory School, dislocated his left elbow in Saturday¹s opener at San Jose State and will be out of action 4-6 weeks. He had gained 58 yards on nine carries and scored a touchdown before the injury.
³Losing Mike Mitchell is definitely a loss for our team, because we believe he was just coming into his own,² Willingham said. ³We felt the combination of Mike and Anthony Bookman worked very well for us. This injury takes one of our strong links out of the chain. We¹ll have go on from here and look forward to his return.²
This marks the second major injury that Mitchell has succumbed to in as many years. He was returning to the lineup after suffering an ankle injury in ¹94 which sidelined him for the final eight games of the season. He had gained 323 yards in a little over two games before his injury last year.
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Coming into this season, Washington coach Jim Lambright was hoping that someone in its rushing attack could step up and help fill Napoleon Kaufman¹s shoes. And in just one game, senior Leon Neal looks to be the main candidate.
In his debut as a starter against Arizona State, Neal rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries, averaging 4.8 yards a carry. At 5-feet-9, 180 pounds, Neal not only is built like Kaufman, who in 1994 set the Husky single-season rushing record with 1,390 yards, but also possesses the same ability to slide through seemingly microscopic holes.
³Leon Neal has done a solid job for us in limited action in the past,² Lambright said. ³We feel he has the ability to pick up where Napoleon left off.²
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Even though the Pacific 10 Conference had five running backs run for about 100 yards this past weekend, it is still famous for its quarterbacks. A glance at the NFL opening day starting quarterbacks shows that seven of 30 are from the Pac-10, two more than from any other conference.
This list of Pac-10 quarterback alumni includes Troy Aikman (formerly of UCLA, now with Dallas), Drew Bledsoe (Washington State/New England), Steve Bono (UCLA/Kansas City), Chris Chandler (Washington/Houston), John Elway (Stanford/Denver), Chris Miller (Oregon/St. Louis) and Warren Moon (Washington/Minnesota).
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