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Third & short

Third & short

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri wide receiver Jared Perry will miss the rest of the season with a fractured right leg.

Perry, a senior, was hurt on an end around for a 5-yard gain in the second quarter of Saturday's 38-12 victory at Kansas State. The school said the fracture is slight and is hopeful Perry could return to play in a bowl game if the Tigers (6-4, 2-4 Big 12) get an invitation.

Coach Gary Pinkel said Perry would be out four to six weeks. He expects Jerrel Jackson and Wes Kemp, both sophomores, to step up in the meantime.

"We have a lot of different ways we can go," Pinkel said. "He's certainly one of our big play receivers, and it's unfortunate."

Perry is second on the team with 46 receptions for 696 yards and six touchdowns. He's seventh on the school career list with 13 receiving touchdowns, eighth with 1,844 career yards receiving and ninth with 137 receptions.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Two of three Tennessee freshmen football players charged last week in an attempted armed robbery have been dismissed from the team.

"Clearly, their actions have no place in our program," coach Lane Kiffin said Monday.

Kiffin said wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson, 18, and defensive back Mike Edwards, 18, were permanently dismissed from the team, while former starting safety Janzen Jackson, 18, will continue to be barred from team activities while Kiffin awaits more information in his case.

Richardson was the player whose recruitment first got Kiffin in trouble with the Southeastern Conference. Kiffin joked in February that Florida coach Urban Meyer cheated in trying to keep Richardson as a Gator, earning Kiffin a reprimand from the SEC.

All three players were out on bond but kept home Saturday when Tennessee traveled to play Mississippi.

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LAS VEGAS -- UNLV has fired football coach Mike Sanford after five losing seasons, a 15-43 record and no bowl appearances.

Sanford's firing comes after a 45-17 loss to Air Force on Saturday made the Rebels ineligible for a bowl game.

In a joint statement, university president Neal Smatresk and interim athletic director Jerry Koloskie said Sanford will coach the final game of the season at home against San Diego State on the Nov. 28.

"We agree this action is needed at this time," Smatresk said.

Sanford, 54, will be paid a $225,000 buyout, under terms of a three-year contract extension the coach signed last year.

Sanford had been watched closely by Smatresk and Koloskie since Oct. 3, when UNLV lost 63-28 to rival Nevada, allowing 773 total yards.

NFL

CINCINNATI -- Larry Johnson might get to revive his troubled career with a team known for giving second chances.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said on Monday that Johnson would be in Cincinnati to discuss a limited role -- fourth-string running back, essentially an insurance policy in case Cedric Benson's hip injury gets worse or another running back gets hurt.

It's a very low-profile role.

"That's what his role would be, it would be as a fourth running back and an opportunity as a backup player on this football team doing all the things backup players do, and that's work their tails off in the kicking game and showing looks [on the scout team] and so forth that way," Lewis said. "And then he would be an insurance policy if something would happen down the line to one of our guys where he'd have a chance to be active.

"But I couldn't foresee him being active when he was initially here, if this is what happens. And that's what I've told him."

Lewis said the interest in Johnson is unrelated to Benson's injury. Benson, who is one of the NFL's top running backs, strained a hip muscle and couldn't finish an 18-12 win in Pittsburgh on Sunday that left the Bengals (7-2) in control of the AFC North.

Benson is expected to practice on a limited basis this week. Lewis said there's a chance he could play Sunday in Oakland.

Johnson turns 30 on Thursday and is coming off several years of decline. He also created controversies while with the Kansas City Chiefs, who released him last week on the day he was due back from his second suspension in the last 12 months.

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