College football notebook: Illinois backup QB leaves program

Science

Illinois sophomore quarterback Cam Thomas has departed the program just 10 days after failing to win the starting position.

Sep 1, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; FIU Golden Panthers running back Anthony Jones (2) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois announced Thomas’ departure and said it was “for personal reasons.”

Thomas lost the starting quarterback battle to Virginia Tech graduate transfer AJ Bush, and didn’t play in last Saturday’s season opener against Kent State.

Thomas played in four games (two starts) last season and completed just 42.4 percent of his passes. He threw for 375 yards and five interceptions and didn’t throw a touchdown pass.

—Florida International running back Anthony Jones and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller were injured in a drive-by-shooting in South Florida, according to police.

Nov 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards (82) reaches for the pylon to score a touchdown as Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Avonte Maddox (14) defends during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jones was shot in the face and back, and Miller was shot in the arm in an apparent drive-by-shooting in the Miami suburb of Opa-locka, according to Opa-locka police chief James Dobson.

Both players were taken to a nearby hospital and are listed in stable condition. A motive for the shootings isn’t known.

—No. 22 Miami has ruled out junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards and senior defensive end Demetrius Jackson for Saturday’s game against Savannah State with knee injuries.

Richards, considered the top receiving threat for the Hurricanes (0-1), banged a knee in last week’s opener against LSU and was deemed day-to-day. He had one catch for 9 yards. Jackson played some against the Tigers but did not register on the stat sheet.

Both players missed time with injuries last season, including six games for Richards and seven for Jackson.

—Field Level Media

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