Transition from QB to receiver a smooth one for MU's Outlaw

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- When Missouri played Nebraska in 2001, Darius Outlaw was on the sidelines as the backup quarterback. Last Saturday, Outlaw was Missouri's leading receiver in a 24-13 loss.

In less than a year, Outlaw has not only learned the wide receiver position, but he is a starter and one of quarterback Brad Smith's favorite targets. And Outlaw wasn't even sure if he'd be back for this season after becoming academically ineligible in the spring.

Outlaw re-earned his eligibility this summer and began practicing as a receiver in two-a-days. With several young receivers on the squad, Outlaw, a senior, was doubtful of his chances to play.

"I'm not gonna lie, I didn't expect to touch the field at all this season," he said.

But Outlaw has learned to catch, and he already was athletic enough to make the depth chart. After Marcus James and Thomson Omboga went out with injuries, he got his chance to start at Nebraska. He caught five passes for 71 yards, and has caught nine passes in the last two games.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Outlaw's quick progress was a pleasant surprise.

"He's pretty natural at it," Pinkel said. "He's done a great job, and he keeps getting better and better. He's been a real plus for us. You look at all the injuries there, and you see how important it is that a guy shows up and does a really good job."

Said wide receiver Justin Gage: "I've seen a lot of improvement from Darius. He learned a lot more on how to run routes and get away from receivers."

Nebraska QB will start Saturday despite charge

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska quarterback Jammal Lord will start Saturday at Oklahoma State despite being charged with disturbing the peace.

Coach Frank Solich said Lord would be disciplined, but the misdemeanor ticket did not warrant suspension.

"I know that Jammal was issued one ticket," Solich said. "The system that we have in place and probably most systems around the country would not kick a young man out of playing or a starting role."

Volleyball and basketball player Greichaly Cepero, who was at Lord's apartment when police were called to it Sunday, was cited with disturbing the peace and failure to obey a police order. City prosecutors said charges were filed against both athletes Tuesday.

Scene has changed for Iowa State's McCarney

AMES, Iowa -- Times certainly have changed for Iowa State football coach Dan McCarney.

McCarney has gone from having a fan spit in his face after a lopsided loss to having fans mob his ninth-ranked team in adoration.

"It's amazing," McCarney said Tuesday. "We came over there across the street the other day and we literally almost can't even get to the building now, there's so many people out there."

That was the scene before Iowa State's 31-17 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday. It reminded McCarney of a scene at another game in 1997, a 56-10 loss at Wyoming.

"We were so bad," said McCarney, whose team was 1-10 that season. "I was coming off the field and this guy got right in my face. He was screaming. He was spitting in my face with his screaming. He yelled, 'Don't you know anything?' The old Yogi Berra thing popped in my head. 'Sir, I'll be honest with you, I don't even suspect anything.'"

-- From wire reports

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