Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Passing 101: Repeated attempts will tire arm

College football notebook

The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. - Dana College quarterback Tom Lensch felt like he was pitching for the high school baseball team again.

In the hours after throwing a record 101 passes Saturday in a 60-35 loss to Hastings College, he wrapped his weary left arm in ice and started popping ibuprofen.

"When I was pitching, I probably threw 100 pitches every game," Lensch said. "It's a lot harder to do it when you play football. It kind of got to me."


Assistant coach Ron McBride returned to practice and worked a full day Monday, less than four weeks after suffering a heart attack.

McBride - who spent 13 seasons as the head coach at Utah, where he compiled an 88-63 record and earned six bowl trips - awoke in the middle of the night Oct. 6 in a cold sweat with chest pains.

His wife, Vicky, drove him to a hospital, even though he was sure it was nothing more than heartburn.

Doctors told McBride, 65, that he had 90 percent blockage in an artery, and a stint was inserted to clear the blockage.

"It's a wake-up call," said McBride, who has been on a steady workout plan and a diet since the heart attack.

McBride, who coaches the inside linebackers, said he never had missed a practice as a player or a coach until this episode.

"I'm just trying to gradually work my way back in," said McBride, who was on the practice field with the Wildcats last week but has not been working full days in the office until this week.

Exercise and his diet have helped McBride lose 15 pounds.

"I just have to make time to take care of myself," he said.

McBride is eager to get back on the sidelines, and freshman linebacker Wesley Woodyard is eager to get on the field.

Woodyard grew up in LaGrange, Ga., near the Georgia-Alabama line, and he said his old neighborhood was about 60-40 in favor of the Bulldogs over Auburn.

"This is exciting for me, because now I get a chance to beat up on those guys," he said of the Bulldogs, who face UK on Saturday.

--Louisville Courier-Journal

The previous all-division college record for passes in a game was 92 by Paul Gray of Hanover, Ind., against Georgetown, Ky., in 1991.

Lensch completed 56 passes for 507 yards and two touchdowns, with three interceptions, and remarkably was not sacked. He is averaging 59 attempts and 308 yards passing this season for Dana, a 500-student NAIA school in Blair, Neb.

"I really didn't expect 101 passes; I was thinking I was around 80," Lensch said. "Hastings was playing a prevent defense and wouldn't let anyone beat them deep. We took it underneath the zone and moved the ball up and down the field."

Coach Bill Danenhauer said breaking the record provided valuable publicity for the school, which has struggled to win football games. The Vikings have won just nine since 2000 and are 1-8 this season.

TENNESSEE: Just when it looked as if Tennessee had given up its two-quarterback system, the Volunteers revived it long enough to get another critical win.

Now the system is shelved for at least a month while Brent Schaeffer recovers from breaking his collarbone in a 43-29 victory at South Carolina last week.

Fellow freshman Erik Ainge is the lone quarterback as No. 9 Tennessee (7-1) prepares for Notre Dame (5-3) Saturday in Knoxville.

PURDUE: Quarterback Kyle Orton is questionable for Saturday's game against Iowa with an injured left hip. Orton was injured in last week's 13-10 loss at Northwestern.

He was benched for backup Brandon Kirsch in the third quarter, partly because he was injured and because he was ineffective.

Orton said he was feeling much better Tuesday than he was against Northwestern, and he thought he would be ready to go for the game in his home state.

"You look at the progress I've made from Saturday until now, it's a lot better," he said. "If I can play and help the team, then I'm going to play through some pain. But I'm not going to be out there and hurting the team this week."

Orton was one of 12 semifinalists named Tuesday for the Maxwell Award, presented each year to the nation's outstanding college football player.

Orton, also a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's top senior quarterback, has completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,233 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.

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