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Football: Bigelow practices, likely to play

Running back Brendan Bigelow practiced Wednesday, four days after taking a shot to the head against Northwestern, and should be cleared to face Portland State on Saturday afternoon, according to coach Sonny Dykes.

“He moved around good, looked fresh, looked fine. We’re anxious to see how he plays Saturday,” Dykes said.

Bigelow has not yet been cleared to play, but Dykes said he anticipates it will happen.

Defensive end Chris McCain and receiver Kenny Lawler, both of whom also took head shots against Northwestern, sat out Wednesday’s workout, but should return Thursday.

Receiver Chris Harper, who injured his shoulder in practice a week ago but caught 11 passes Saturday, practiced lightly and isĀ fine, Dykes said.

“I don’t think there’s much to it. I think he’s going to be sore from time to time, but I don’t think there will be any lingering problems.”

Nothing has changed with defensive end Brennan Scarlett (hand), linebacker Nick Forbes (back) or nose tackle Mustafa Jalil (knee). Scarlett is still awaiting clearance, while Forbes and Jalil are OK’d to practice whenever pain allows it.

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Dykes provided a bit more explanation for why the Bears practiced their fake field goal using a volleyball.

He said the play was practiced during a walk-through workout in which they were not allowed to use a football.

“We practiced it about 100 times, but we didn’t ever practice it with a football,” he said. “You can’t practice with a football — it counts as practice when you use a football.

“Sometimes you’re allowed to use a volleyball, sometimes socks, a tape ball — whatever they tell us we can use.”

Placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato threw the first touchdown pass of the Dykes era last Saturday, turning a field goal fake into a 10-yard connection to holder (and receiver) Jackson Bouza.

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So, coach, peeking ahead to Ohio State a week from now? Just a little bit?

“No, not even one-tenth of 1 percent,” Dykes said. “Not at all.”

Jeff Faraudo