College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    College football roundup: Oklahoma RB Ford out 2-3 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange

    Oklahoma running back Keith Ford is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a slight fracture in his foot suffered during Saturday's victory over Tennessee, coach Bob Stoops said Monday.

    • Ford will miss Saturday's road game at West Virginia, but has a chance to return following the team's bye week and in time for an Oct. 4 game against TCU.

      Ford is Oklahoma's leading rusher with 197 yards to go with five touchdowns. He also has six receptions for 100 yards and another touchdown.

      ---Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly, who injured his foot in Saturday's 38-24 win at Colorado, will miss the Sept. 25 game against UCLA, CBSSports.com reported.

      Kelly also could miss the Oct. 4 game at USC but is expected back for the Oct. 18 game against Stanford at the latest, the CBS source said. The Bruins do not play this week.

      The Sun Devils will likely start junior Mike Bercovici in Kelly's absence.

      --- Rutgers University officials apologized for what the school's athletic director called "inappropriate and offensive" behavior by some Rutgers fans during Saturday's game against Penn State.

      Much of that behavior was related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal that rocked the Nittany Lions program. T-shirts with "Ped State" on them reportedly were being sold outside High Point Solutions Stadium mocking the former Penn State assistant coach. Chants of "Sandusky" during the game were especially troubling.

      Other instances of fans trying to make light of child sex abuse were reported.

      ---Alabama head coach Nick Saban said there is a good change injured wide receiver DeAndrew White will return to action for this week's game against Florida.

      White suffered a "little shoulder separation" in the Crimson Tide's Week 1 win over West Virginia and missed the past two games.

      Another starter, safety Jarrick Williams, might also see some playing time after sitting out the past two games with a broken foot.

      ---University of Miami quarterback Kevin Olsen was suspended indefinitely after being charged with driving under the influence and possessing a stolen/fictitious driver's license, a felony.

      Olsen, a redshirt freshman and the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end and former Hurricanes star Greg Olsen, was suspended for the team's 2013 bowl game and the first two games of this season for a violation of team rules.

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    Alabama hopes two starters healthy for Florida game
    By The Sports Xchange

    As Alabama prepares for its showdown Saturday against Florida, head coach Nick Saban said there is a good change injured wide receiver DeAndrew White will return to action.

    • White suffered a "little shoulder separation" in the Crimson Tide's Week 1 win over West Virginia. White has missed the past two games.

      "We'll see how it goes with him and make a decision later in the week and see if we think he's able to play," Saban said.

      Another starter, safety Jarrick Williams, might also see some playing time after sitting out the past two games with a broken foot on Aug. 30.

      Saban told al.com Williams is expected to run sometime this week, adding that it might be long shot to expect Williams will be ready to play.

      Saban will not have starting safety Nick Perry available for the first half against the Gators. Perry, who was ejected for targeting in Saturday's game against Southern Mississippi, must sit out as required by NCAA rules.

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    Rutgers apologizes to Penn State for fan behavior
    By The Sports Xchange

    Rutgers University reveled Saturday in its first game against a Big Ten team as a member of the conference. A record crowd watched as Penn State escaped Piscataway, N.J., with a 13-10 victory.

    • On Monday, the university apologized for what the school's athletic director called "inappropriate and offensive" behavior by some Rutgers fans.

      Much of that behavior was related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal that rocked the Nittany Lions program. T-shirts with "Ped State" on them reportedly were being sold outside High Point Solutions Stadium mocking the former Penn State assistant coach. Chants of "Sandusky" during the game were especially troubling.

      Other instances of fans trying to make light of child sex abuse were reported.

      Rutgers AD Julie Hermann apologized to Penn State in a statement, saying that she had been in contact with that school's athletic director on Monday.

      "On behalf of Rutgers University and the Athletic Department, we would like to apologize for the regrettable actions of a handful of Rutgers fans on Saturday that do not convey the message of good, competitive spirit that we look forward to having with our new Big Ten rival Penn State University. ...

      "It is unfortunate that the actions of a few spoiled an otherwise historic and recording-setting night that Rutgers fans provided for our first Big Ten football game."

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    Sooners RB Ford out 2-3 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange

    Oklahoma running back Keith Ford is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a slight fracture in his foot suffered during Saturday's victory over Tennessee, coach Bob Stoops said Monday.

    • Ford will miss Saturday's road game at West Virginia, but has a chance to return following the team's bye week and in time for an Oct. 4 game against TCU.

      "He won't play this week for sure. After that it’s a little unsure," Stoops said, per SoonerScoop.com. "It can be two weeks to three. You just don't know for sure."

      Ford is Oklahoma's leading rusher with 197 yards to go with five touchdowns. He also has six receptions for 100 yards and another touchdown. Ford (5-feet-11, 206 pounds) is the No. 17-rated sophomore running back in the nation by NFLDraftScout.com, but the Sooners have enjoyed production from a deep backfield early this season.

      Freshman Samaje Perine (177 rushing yards this season) and sophomore Alex Ross (132) will receive the bulk of the action in Ford's absence.

      "We love him," Stoops said of Perine. "He's an excellent runner. Even when there's not much there he finds a way to make something happen with his power."

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    Hurricanes QB Olsen suspended following DUI arrest
    By The Sports Xchange

    University of Miami quarterback Kevin Olsen was suspended indefinitely after being charged with driving under the influence and possessing a stolen/fictitious driver's license.

    • The redshirt freshman was arrested early Monday morning and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County at 4:11 a.m., per The Miami Herald. Bail was set for $6,000.

      Olsen, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end and former Hurricanes star Greg Olsen, was suspended for the team's 2013 bowl game and the first two games of this season for a violation of team rules - reported to be for a failed drug test. That prevented him for competing for the starting job after Ryan Williams suffered a knee injury during the spring, and Kevin Olsen was fourth on the quarterback depth chart last week.

      Coach Al Golden had praised Olsen last week for paying for "his sins of awhile back." Now it is uncertain if the 19 year old former four-star recruit has any future with the program.

      True freshman Brad Kaaya has been starting in Williams' absence after being out fifth-year transfer Jake Heaps.

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    Arizona State QB Kelly out (foot)
    By The Sports Xchange

    Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly, who injured his foot in Saturday's 38-24 win at Colorado, will miss the Sept. 25 game against UCLA, CBSSports.com reported Monday.

    • Kelly also could miss the Oct. 4 game at USC but is expected back for the Oct. 18 game against Stanford at the latest, the CBS source said. The Bruins do not play this week.

      ESPN reported Sunday night that the No. 15 Sun Devils (3-0) do not expect Kelly to play against the Bruins. Kelly left the Colorado game in the third quarter after falling awkwardly from a tackle when trying to escape the pocket. He came back to the sidelines on crutches and wearing a protective boot.

      The Sun Devils will likely start junior Mike Bercovici in Kelly's absence.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Health issues force Nicholls State coach to resign
    By The Sports Xchange

    Charlie Stubbs, head coach at Nicholls State since 2010, resigned on Sunday citing health issues.

    • The school released a statement in which Stubbs revealed he has been diagnosed with "major health issues."

      "For more than four years I have given my best effort to create the climate of change needed to support a winning football program here at Nicholls," he said in the statement. "I know that now is the time to step aside and focus my efforts on my health."

      In four-plus seasons, Stubbs has compiled a 10-38 record, including an 0-3 mark this season.

      The school appointed associate head coach Chuck Hepola to oversee the day-to-day football operations until Stubbs' replacement is hired.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    First and 20: Pac-12 South a virtual toss-up
    By The Sports Xchange

    The third week of the college football season didn't look like anything special, mostly a pause in the action before the heat of full-on conference play.

    • And then all hell broke loose in the Pac-12 South.

      The game of the week was Georgia-South Carolina in the SEC East (more on that in a bit), but the biggest trembles in Shakeup Saturday occurred later in the Pac-12 South, with results ranging from troubling to potentially disastrous.

      --Boston College ran over ninth-ranked USC 37-31. It was easy to overlook the Trojans' flaws a week earlier because they won at Stanford when the Cardinal was epically bad in the red zone. USC faced full exposure against the Eagles, allowing 452 rushing yards, gaining only 20 on the ground, and looking thoroughly unprepared emotionally to follow up a big win. Let's repeat to make sure it sinks in: Out-rushed 452-20.

      --No. 12 UCLA continues to walk the ledge, escaping personnel-weakened Texas 20-17 in its third straight closer-than-the-experts-think victory and losing quarterback Brett Hundley to a left elbow injury. The word from FOX Sports late Saturday night was that the injury was minor (Bruins fans still hold their breath).

      --No. 16 Arizona State won its league opener, 38-24 at Colorado, but the snapshot was starting quarterback Taylor Kelly leaving the field on crutches, his right foot in a boot. There was no immediate word about the severity of the injury, but his sideline body language spoke loudly -- towel over his head, emotionless. The Sun Devils also ended the game without a key defensive player -- linebacker Laiu Moeakiola, whom coach Todd Graham just last week complimented as a "kind of like a Taylor Kelly on defense."

      The upshot: That UCLA at Arizona State game on Thursday, Aug. 25, could be less a showdown and more a battle of the injury reports. The winner of this matchup has gone on to take the South in each of the past two seasons.

      Kelly's health could leave the biggest mark across the rest of the schedule, but the Pac-12's glamorous L.A. schools also face long-term questions.

      USC, which was shot out of a cannon to start the season with 701 yards and 37 first downs against Fresno State, has a combined 628 yards and 34 first downs in the two games since. What happened to all of coach Steve Sarkisian's fast-paced goodness? UCLA has yet to show its expected dominance, with spotty play up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage, never a trait of a true contender for the national title.

      Is there a sleeper in the South? Eh. In the past two weeks, Arizona has needed a late defensive stop to thwart UTSA and Nevada. More like sleeping than sleeper.

      But after a wild Saturday night, it's hard to tell much about the Pac-12 South.

      Five things we learned about the SEC

      1. Things could be thisclose in the East. South Carolina, benefiting from a late fourth-down conversion late that needed a magnifying glass to tell if the football actually nicked the yardstick, went on to beat Georgia 38-35. Hang tight, Bulldogs. The Gamecocks already have a league loss, and this game hasn't been much of a barometer for predicting the league champ -- the winner has gone on to the SEC title game only one time in the past eight seasons.

      2. And by thisclose, we mean the East is wide open. There are two ways to read Florida's triple-overtime victory against Kentucky. Either the Gators are still trying to climb out of 2013's 4-8 hole, or the Wildcats are much-improved. For now, we'll give a faster and more physical UK credit for being a tough out, infused with Stoops swagger in its second year under the youngest brother, Mark. Oh, and for the second consecutive season, anybody who sleeps on Missouri does so at their own peril.

      3. There is no weak sister in the West. Bret Bielema knows power football, so it should be no surprise the Razorbacks are second nationally in rushing (362.0 yards per game) and first in rushing touchdowns (14). The running back duo of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins is top-notch, helping to chew up Texas Tech 49-28 on Saturday. And the Hogs are supposed to be the worst team in the division.

      4. Alabama is sticking with Blake Sims. We keep waiting for Jake Coker to take the quarterback job. Not happening. The Florida State transfer has played in reserve in the Tide's 3-0 start, while the senior Sims has completed 48 of 64 passes for 646 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. Looks like Nick Saban has made his decision as his team gets ready for Florida and Ole Miss.

      5. It's never a bad idea to give Todd Gurley the ball. The Georgia junior maintained his Heisman status with a tackle-shredding 131 yards on 20 carries. He also ripped off a 54-yard TD run that was called back by holding (like he needs the help). But question Mark Richt for this: First-and-goal from the 4, trailing by three with about five minutes left, college football's best running back at your disposal ... and Georgia tries to pass, ending in an intentional grounding penalty. The Dawgs ultimately missed a 28-yard field goal.

      Five players to watch

      1. Baylor WR KD Cannon. The true freshman has 14 catches for 471 yards and five touchdowns. The math doesn't look right, but, yeah, that's 33.6 yards per catch. Baylor football, ladies and gentlemen.

      2. Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel. The well-traveled sophomore transfer from Notre Dame threw six touchdown passes against Toledo, the most ever by a quarterback making his college debut. Riding his strong arm, the Bearcats could end up being the team among the Group of Five conferences that gets a spot in a big-six bowl game.

      3. Missouri DEs Markus Golden and Shane Ray. They have moved from productive backups for Michael Sam and Kony Ealy in 2013 to ultra-productive starters in 2014. Golden and Ray have a combined nine sacks and 14 tackles for loss in three games.

      4. Oklahoma CB Zack Sanchez. Pick a Sooner, any Sooner. Oklahoma has an aggressive, playmaking defense in which coordinator Mike Stoops says there is "no real weak link." Sanchez, with a leaping interception in the back of the end zone vs. Tennessee, has three picks in three games.

      5. UCLA QB Jerry Neuheisel. He turned in the feel-good story of the week, as the walk-on son of ex-Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel came in for injured Brett Hundley and delivered a late 33-yard TD strike to Jordan Payton with the help of a pump fake. The proud papa, back in the Pac-12 Networks studios, later interviewed Jerry, who was carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.

      The fizzling five

      1. The Big Ten. More meltdowns. Iowa, with a schedule built to start 10-0, lost at home to Iowa State. Bowling Green, with a backup QB throwing 73 times, beat Indiana 45-42 on a touchdown with nine seconds left. Newcomer Maryland lost 40-37 to West Virginia on a last-play field goal. TCU crushed Minnesota. Illinois rolled over at Washington.

      2. Preseason rankings. After three weeks, half of the teams that began the season in the AP top 16 have a loss.

      3. The Texas coin toss. The Longhorns lost the coin toss to UCLA, and defensive tackle Tank Jackson told the official that Texas elected to kick, thereby giving the Bruins the ball at the start of each half. Texas coach Charlie Strong fumed while UCLA coach Jim Mora couldn't believe his luck. "I had trouble believing it at first," he said. "I asked (the officials) probably four or five times, 'Are you sure? Are you sure?'"

      4. Ohio State DE Noah Spence. Spence, who had eight sacks last season and was expected to be part of arguably the nation's best defensive line, failed a second drug test, putting him on indefinite suspension.

      5. Virginia Tech. It takes just one week to go from national darling to national pretender, following a 28-21 home loss to East Carolina.

      Five best week 4 games

      1. Auburn at Kansas State, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. The home team is extra dangerous on a Thursday night as an underdog, and K-State coach Bill Snyder knows how to pull off an upset. As the T-shirts say, with a nod to Auburn's state rival, "Roll Snyd."

      2. Clemson at Florida State, 8 p.m., ABC. As big as it gets in the ACC. The Seminoles won 51-14 last season. Jameis Winston needs an early Heisman moment.

      3. Oklahoma at West Virginia, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX. The snarly OU defense matches up against West Virginia's Clint Trickett, who threw for 511 yards in Saturday's win over Maryland.

      4. Florida at Alabama, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CBS. The Tide's season starts now. Or not, if the Gators are as iffy as they looked vs. Kentucky.

      5. Mississippi State at LSU, Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN. Don't sleep on the Bulldogs, whose defensive front is good enough to diffuse the Tigers' power running game and discombobulate a young quarterback.

      NFLDraftScout.com: Film Room Review

      Senior Analyst Rob Rang's five takeaways on how prospects performed in Week 3. Players listed including position, school, year (Height, weight and current NFLDraftScout.com overall rating and by position).

      1. RB Todd Gurley, Georgia, Jr. (6-1, 232, #18/#1): Gurley rushed for 141 yards and 20 carries in a losing cause against South Carolina. Gurley, who has drawn comparisons to Marshawn Lynch and Jamal Lewis from NFL scouts, showed off his strength, acceleration and balance throughout the game.

      2. TE Rory Anderson, South Carolina, Sr. (6-5, 232, #193/#10): Anderson was able to attack the seam, hauling in a career-high five passes for 67 yards while showing impressive body control and hand-eye coordination. Scouts will also note that the broad-shouldered, well-built Anderson also is an effective blocker, demonstrating a strong initial punch to generate movement, as well as the tenacity to sustain.

      3. WR Justin Hardy, East Carolina, Sr. (6-0, 188, #84/#13): Hardy's four receptions matched his lowest output since 2011. He frequently drew man coverage from Virginia Tech cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson, both considered quality NFL Draft prospects. Hardy lacks elite top-end speed, but accelerates quickly and cuts sharply. However, he is not a physically imposing receiver and Fuller was particularly successful in driving through him to break up several catchable passes.

      4. QB Taysom Hill, QB, BYU, Jr. (6-2, 221, #21 QB in 2016): Hill threw for 200 yards and a touchdown while adding 160 more yards on the ground against Houston. He's not only much faster than he looks; Hill is very strong, boasting the upper body more typical of a linebacker. Hill's reliance on his mobility and limited passing skill cap his NFL projection. He was reluctant to throw passes until his receivers were open and shows less-than-ideal ball placement when doing so.

      5. RB Jamaal Williams, BYU, Jr. (6-0, 200, #26 RB in 2016): Williams showed lateral agility and surprising balance for a back with his high-cut frame. His acceleration comes naturally -- his mother was a standout sprinter at UCLA and he ran for the BYU track team this past spring. Williams showed impressive power for his build, consistently generating yardage after contact. Williams keeps his legs churning and spins out of tackles.

      Each week college football insider Anthony Gimino surveys the landscape for the top storyline from Saturday and follows with 20 items of note, plus a bonus reel -- NFLDraftScout.com's film review by senior analyst Rob Rang.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    SEC has seven teams in top 15
    By The Sports Xchange

    The SEC hit a new high by having an unprecedented seven teams ranked in the top 15 of the latest Associated Press top 25 poll on Sunday.

    • No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Oregon stayed on top of the poll. The Seminoles received 37 first-place votes while the Ducks got 17.

      Among SEC teams, Alabama is No. 3 and received one first-place vote. Auburn is fifth, Texas A&M is sixth and received three first-place votes, LSU is eighth and Ole Miss is 10th.

      South Carolina's win over Georgia resulted in the Gamecocks moving up 10 spots to No. 14. Georgia fell to No. 13.

      One other SEC team, Missouri, is No. 18 to give the conference eight teams ranked in the top 25.

      No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 7 Baylor and No. 9 Notre Dame made up the rest of the top 10.

      Virginia Tech and Louisville fell out of the poll and were replaced by No. 24 Nebraska and No. 25 Oklahoma State.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Graham: Sun Devils QB Kelly will be 'fine'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Arizona State coach Todd Graham downplayed a foot injury to Taylor Kelly that saw the quarterback leave the field on crutches following Saturday night's 38-24 victory over Colorado.

    • Kelly threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score before leaving in the third quarter with a right foot injury.

      Kelly is "going to be absolutely fine," Graham said after the game, per the Arizona Republic.

      Arizona State has a bye week before playing host to UCLA the following week.

      Kelly, rated the No. 13 quarterback in the 2015 class by NFLDraftScout.com, showed his value before leaving Saturday. He threw for two scores in the first half, passed to wide receiver Jalen Strong for another early in the third quarter and then put it away with a 50-yard touchdown run midway through the quarter that made it 38-17.

      Kelly (6-feet-2, 2111 pounds) left the game after the Sun Devils went three-and-out late in the third quarter, and his absence was felt in the fourth quarter.

      Kelly sat on the bench with a protective boot and a towel over his head while backup Mike Bercovici ran the offense. Arizona State had 371 yards of offense in the first three quarters but stalled in the fourth.

      "All is I know is he's out tonight and we'll evaluate it tomorrow," Graham said in is post-game press conference. "I'm very concerned. It was tough for us tonight, that's part of it. You have to be able to respond. This is the adversity we talk about."

      The Sun Devils are averaging 47 points per game this season, with Saturday's total being their lowest of the three games.

      That's with Kelly running the show. He has more than 7,300 career passing yards and 63 TD throws, one behind Danny White for fourth in school history.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Kelly leads Arizona State win but suffers injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOULDER, Colo. -- Arizona State opened the Pac-12 schedule with a win and a loss.

    • The loss could end up being more costly to the Sun Devils.

      Taylor Kelly threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score before leaving with a right foot injury to lead No. 16 Arizona State to a 38-24 victory over Colorado 38-24 on Saturday night.

      D.J. Foster had 147 yards rushing and 59 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (3-0, 1-0).

      If Kelly's foot injury is serious, the ripple could be felt for weeks. The only bright spot for the Sun Devils is they have an open date next weekend before hosting UCLA for their first home game in nearly a month.

      Kelly showed his value before leaving. He threw for two scores in the first half, passed to wide receiver Jalen Strong for another early in the third quarter and then put it away with a 50-yard touchdown run midway through the quarter that made it 38-17.

      Kelly left the game after the Sun Devils went three-and-out late in the third quarter, and his absence was felt in the fourth quarter.

      Kelly sat on the bench with a protective boot and a towel over his head while backup Mike Bercovici ran the offense. Arizona State had 371 yards of offense in the first three quarters but stalled in the fourth.

      Kelly left the field on crutches after the game ended.

      "All is I know is he's out tonight and we'll evaluate it tomorrow," Sun Devils coach Todd Graham said. "I'm very concerned. It was tough for us tonight, that's part of it. You have to be able to respond. This is the adversity we talk about."

      Sefo Liufau was 31-for-46 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns for the Buffaloes. Wide receiver Nelson Spruce had 86 yards receiving and two touchdown catches for Colorado.

      "We should have won that game, flat out," said Liufau, who threw two interceptions. "Too many turnovers, too many mistakes. We should have beat that team. Point blank."

      The Buffaloes (1-2, 0-1) used Kelly's absence to cut the lead but couldn't come all the way back. Liufau hit Spruce on a 31-yard scoring strike to reduce the lead to 14 with 8:38 left.

      Colorado was driving again, but linebacker Christian Sam intercepted Liufau at the Arizona State 34 to seal the win with 4:44 remaining.

      The Sun Devils are averaging 47 points per game this season, with Saturday's total being their lowest of the three games.

      That's with Kelly running the show. He has more than 7,300 career passing yards and 63 TD throws, one behind Danny White for fourth in school history.

      So far this season, he and Foster have formed a solid tandem for the Sun Devils.

      Foster followed up his first 200-yard rushing game with another strong one. He had 109 yards rushing and a touchdown by halftime. He also caught a pass for a score that gave Arizona State a 24-14 lead at intermission.

      "I thought we finished the game," Foster said. "I thought 'Berc came in and did what he could. I thought our team had a lot of passion and that's what I wanted to see, our team bond together when we had someone go out."

      Kelly took advantage of the soft coverage by Colorado with passes all over the field. His 38-yard scoring strike to running back Kalen Ballage in the first quarter gave the Sun Devils a 14-0 lead.

      It was 17-0 when the Buffaloes came alive. Liufau hit wide receiver Shay Fields with a 5-yard slant pass to make it 17-7, and the defense forced Arizona State's first three-and-out of the game on the ensuing possession.

      Colorado then drove 77 yards on eight plays, capped with Liufau's 16-yard touchdown pass to Spruce that made it 17-14 with 5:39 left in the half.

      The Buffaloes lost momentum when running back Michael Adkins fumbled at the Colorado 9-yard line late in the half and the Sun Devils turned it into seven with Kelly's second touchdown pass of the game.

      "Got to hold onto the ball there, but we've got to stop them," Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. "We've got to make them kick a field goal and we didn't."

      NOTES: Arizona State sophomore LB Viliami Moeakiola left the game in the first half with an injury and didn't return. ... The Buffaloes have lost 15 straight games against ranked team. Their last win was 34-30 over Kansas in 2009. ... With his 52-yard rush at the end of the first quarter, Arizona State RB D.J. Foster has three runs of 40 or more yards in the first two games this season. No Sun Devil had more than two in 2013.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Texas A&M explodes in second half to defeat Rice
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill wasn't as sharp in Saturday night's 38-10 victory over the Rice Owls as he has been in his previous two games.

    • In the opening half, the Owls defense harassed Hill into six incompletions. A&M punted twice in the first half after two rare three-and-out series. The punts were one fewer than the seventh-ranked Aggies had in the first two games combined.

      The first half ended with A&M (3-0) leading the Owls (0-2), the defending Conference USA Champions, 21-7. But the game felt so much closer as the A&M defense had a difficult time zeroing in on Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson.

      "We had to get ourselves going," Hill said. "We came out flat. We had to get ourselves going."

      Then Hill and the offense hit zoom drive to open the third quarter. In touchdown drives that lasted all of 1:34 and :33, Hill and company blew open the game. The sophomore quarterback, after a sluggish start, put up some gaudy stats, throwing for 300 yards and four touchdown passes, two of them to Josh Reynolds. He almost had the first rushing touchdown of his career, but an official review overturned the score. They ruled that Hill's knee hit the 1 after a 39-yard run.

      The Owls kept the ball for an astonishing 43 minutes, 14 seconds. But they couldn't convert their drives into points.

      "Where it went wrong, we had six drives of over eight plays where we only had three points," said Rice coach David Bailiff. "We had a drive of 14 plays where we didn't score any points. Time of possession is important when you're getting points out of those drives. If you're not scoring points, it doesn't help you."

      As Hill passed his way through the Rice secondary, the Owls' Jackson was nearly as elusive, albeit with a less talented offensive cast.

      Jackson, like Hill, a first-year starter, rushed for 84 yards on 13 carries and threw for 212 with a touchdown. Owls tailback Johan Davis led all rushers with 86 yards on 23 carries.

      "We just have to do a better job of putting points on the board," Jackson said. "We have to take the stress off of our defense."

      Conversely, the Aggies defense hadn't allowed a team collectively to rush for more than 100 yards in each of its first two games. But A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said in pregame interviews that the Owls, who amassed more than 500 total yards against A&M a year ago, would be a good barometer. Snyder will have one more nonconference game against Southern Methodist next Saturday to fine tune the defense in time for the Aggies next SEC game, Sept. 28 against Arkansas in Arlington, Texas.

      "Coach asks us to play smart and play fast," said linebacker Justin Bass. "It looks like we didn't play smart."

      Saturday's game probably will be most remembered for the way the first half ended. It featured one of the strangest sequences college football ever will see.

      On the last play, Rice kicker James Hairston looked to have made a 53-yard field goal. Owls players celebrated and sprinted to the locker room. However, officials called the Aggies for an illegal substitution after they counted 12 men on the field. Because it was a dead-ball foul, Rice couldn't decline it and was forced to try the field goal again.

      On the 48-yard attempt, A&M receiver Ricky Seals-Jones blocked the kick. Safety Armani Watts scooped it up at the Aggie 7 and sprinted 93 yards for a touchdown, gutting the Owls to give his team a 28-7 cushion.

      Then the officials waved off the score, saying someone on the A&M bench interfered with the play. The Aggies, with one second on the clock, took a knee.

      NOTES: The crowd of 103,867 who attended the game will go down as the second largest in the state of Texas to watch a college football game. However, there were 39,271 students. That breaks a national record the Aggies set last Saturday against Lamar, when 38,800 attended. ... The Kyle Field ground crew was busy throughout the game. The grass surface was planted last month. Because of torrential rains in the area Friday night, there were broad bald spots all over the field. They were covered with sand. A&M was without three starters, C Mike Matthews (ankle), tight end Cam Clear (ankle) and middle linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni (ankle). ... A&M freshman Josh Walker started at middle linebacker. He's the third true freshman to start for A&M in three games. However, in the second half, freshman receiver/returner Speedy Noil, who led the Aggies in all-purpose yards, was taken to the locker room on a cart. A&M freshman defensive end Myles Garrett was credited with 2.5 sacks against Rice to give him 5.5 for the year.

      Owls DB Bryce Callahan, whose 11 career interceptions rank third among active NCAA players, couldn't get a pickoff of Hill. He's five interceptions away from breaking the Rice school record. Owls DB Malcolm Hill intercepted A&M backup QB Kyle Allen late in the game. ... Owls RB Darik Dillard has incredible athletic blood lines. He's the younger brother of former Rice star WR Jarrett Dillard, who holds the NCAA record with 60 touchdown receptions. His sister, Tai Dillard, was a star basketball player at Texas, playing for the Longhorns Final Four team in 2003.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Game roundup: South Carolina holds off No. 6 Georgia
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina proved it can still be a factor in the SEC East race after a thrilling 38-35 victory over No. 6 Georgia on Saturday night in front of 84,232 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium.

    • The No. 24 Gamecocks lost the season opener to Texas A&M two weeks ago and knew they couldn't fall two games behind the Bulldogs in the loss column this early in the season. They got enough offense from quarterback Dylan Thompson, running back Brandon Wilds and a deep core of receivers to pull off the victory.

      The Bulldogs (1-1) had a chance to tie it after Damian Swann intercepted a Thompson pass at the South Carolina 24-yard line and returned it to the 6-yard line. Hutson Mason was called for intentional grounding on the first play and Georgia had to settle for a 28-yard field-goal attempt by Marshall Morgan, who had a streak of 20 straight field goals broken earlier in the game. The kick was wide right and the Gamecocks still had a three-point lead with 4:24 remaining.

      The Gamecocks (2-1) converted a fourth down from mid-field and were able to run out the clock.

      No. 2 Oregon 48, Wyoming 14

      EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota passed for 221 yards and two scores, and ran for 71 yards and two touchdowns to lead Oregon over Wyoming in front of 56,533 in the 99th consecutive sellout at Autzen Stadium.

      Mariota completed 19 of 23 passes and became the fourth Oregon quarterback to pass for 7,000 yards in his career. He had five carries, and two of them ended in the end zone, as he remained one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy.

      Mariota left the game early in the third quarter with Oregon (3-0) leading 41-7.

      Oregon fell behind 7-0 after the first quarter, but scored 41 points in under 20 minutes to blow the Cowboys (2-1) away in the middle of the third quarter.

      No. 3 Alabama 52, Southern Miss 12

      TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Blake Sims passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a third in three quarters as Alabama held serve at home with a drubbing of Southern Mississippi.

      The rout of the Golden Eagles (1-2) served as a tune-up for next week when the Crimson Tide (3-0) welcome the Florida Gators to Tuscaloosa in the teams' SEC opener.

      Sims got the start at quarterback for the third straight game, and once again, coach Nick Saban's decision paid off. Sims completed 12 of 17 passes for 168 yards and added 46 rushing yards.

      Sims' favorite receiver, Amari Cooper, hauled in eight receptions for 135 yards and one score.

      No. 4 Oklahoma 34, Tennessee 10

      NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight threw for 308 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score as the Sooners knocked off Tennessee.

      Knight topped 300 yards passing for the second time in his career. The other came in Oklahoma's upset of Alabama in January's Sugar Bowl.

      Oklahoma (3-0) kept Tennessee (2-1) scrambling, sacking quarterback Justin Worleyhim five times.

      and forcing him to hurry constantly even when they didn't bring him down.

      No. 7 Texas A&M 38, Rice 10

      COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill wasn't as sharp as he was in his previous two games but still threw for 300 yards and four touchdown passes, two of them to Josh Reynolds, against Rice.

      Hill almost had the first rushing touchdown of his career, but an official review overturned the score. It was ruled that Hill's knee hit the 1 after a 39-yard run.

      A&M upped its record to 3-0 and Rice fell to 0-2.

      Boston College 37, No. 9 USC 31

      BOSTON -- Rebuilding Boston College, heavy underdogs against USC, ran the visiting Trojans into the ground and held off a late charge for the upset win.

      Graduate senior quarterback Tyler Murphy, a transfer from Florida, ran for 191 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown late, and passed for 54 yards. The Eagles rushed for 452 yards and five TDs in their first win over a ranked team since 2008.

      BC (2-1) had dropped 12 straight to teams in the Top 25. It was also the program's first win over a top-10 team since 2004. USC (2-1) was coming off a victory over Pac-12 rival Stanford.

      The Eagles, totaling 506 yards of offense, ran up the huge ground numbers against a USC team that had allowed 285 yards on the ground in its first two games.

      No. 10 LSU 31, Louisiana-Monroe 0

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- Highly touted freshmen Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams combined for three rushing touchdowns and LSU's suffocating defense pitched another shutout as the Tigers defeated Louisiana-Monroe.

      Fournette broke open the game with a 24-yard burst around left end with 3:26 left in the third quarter, giving LSU (3-0) a 24-0 lead.

      Williams, who had a 22-yard scoring run in the first half, added a 1-yard dive to open the third quarter, and Kenny Hilliard had a 4-yard touchdown in a 21-point spurt that put LSU up 31-0 with 12:19 left.

      Louisiana-Monroe (2-1) managed just five first downs and 93 yards on 48 plays.

      No. 11 Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14

      INDIANAPOLIS -- After a pair of lopsided wins, Notre Dame withstood a lengthy challenge from in-state rival Purdue to remain unbeaten.

      Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 56 yards and another score to lead Notre Dame (3-0) over Purdue (1-2).

      The Boilermakers were heavy underdogs but trailed by only 3 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium, the latest neutral site to host Notre Dame's annual "Shamrock Series."

      No. 12 UCLA 20, Texas 17

      ARLINGTON, Texas -- Billed as the Cowboys Showdown, the Texas-UCLA matchup played out like an old-fashioned Western shootout.

      Both teams played it close to the vest, eyeing their opponent for three quarters. Then when they finally drew in the fourth quarter, UCLA had the better aim to claim the victory at AT&T Stadium.

      UCLA backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jordan Payton as the Bruins (3-0) took back the lead with three minutes left.

      Earlier in the fourth, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes led the Longhorns (1-2) on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Swoopes threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to John Harris to give Texas a 17-13 lead.

      Neuheisel completed 23 of 30 passes for 178 yards after Brett Hundley injured his left elbow in the first quarter.

      No. 14 Ole Miss 56, Louisiana-Lafayette 15

      OXFORD, Miss. -- The home opener for Ole Miss was stress-free thanks to the precise passing of quarterback Bo Wallace, who continued to set passing records in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

      Wallace surpassed Jevan Snead to move into sole possession of second place on the school touchdown passing list with 48. The senior completed his first 14 passes and finished the first half 20-for-24 for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Wallace finished with 316 passing yards and four touchdowns, including two to Vince Sanders.

      Ole Miss (3-0) has never lost to Louisiana-Lafayette (1-2).

      No. 15 Stanford 35, Army 0

      STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford's defense dominated the game until its offense got going, leading the Cardinal to an easy win over Army

      Stanford (2-1) rebounded from its 13-10 loss to USC last week to chalk up a non-conference win, but it had to work harder than expected against the Black Knights.

      Army (1-1) trailed just 7-0 until a Black Knights turnover late in the first half helped the Cardinal take control.

      Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was 20-for-28 for 216 yards with no interceptions and four touchdown passes, with three of those going to wide receiver Devon Cajuste for TDs.

      No. 16 Arizona State 38, Colorado 24

      BOULDER, Colo. -- Taylor Kelly threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score before leaving with a right foot injury to lead Arizona State over Colorado in an Pac-12 game.

      D.J. Foster had 147 yards rushing and 59 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (3-0, 1-0).

      It could be a costly victory for Arizona State if Kelly's foot injury is serious. He threw for two scores in the first half, hit Jalen Strong for another early in the third quarter and then put it away with a 50-yard touchdown run midway through the quarter that made it 38-17.

      Sefo Liufau was 31-for-46 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns for Colorado (1-2, 0-1). Nelson Spruce had 86 yards receiving and two touchdown catches for Colorado.

      East Carolina 28, No. 17 Virginia Tech 21

      BLACKSBURG, Va. -- East Carolina scored three first-quarter touchdowns and held on to upset Virginia Tech.

      Pirates quarterback Shane Carden broke the school record for career completions and career touchdowns in the win. The senior completed 23 of 47 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns.

      Carden, a senior, ran for the 1-yard game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds remaining, only moments after the Hokies tied it up on an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Brewer to freshman wide receiver Cam Phillips.

      East Carolina wide receiver Cam Worthy had six catches for 224 yards. Bryce Williams, Trevon Brown and Isaiah Jones all had touchdown catches for the Pirates (2-1).

      Virginia Tech (2-1) looked completely out of sorts at the start, only one week over a big road victory over Ohio State.

      No. 20 Missouri 38, Central Florida 10

      COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Maty Mauk threw four touchdown passes, two each to Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser, and passed for 144 yards to lead Missouri past Central Florida.

      The Tigers (3-0) led 14-10 at halftime before pulling away from the Knights.

      Mauk finished the game with 174 total yards, completing 14-of-24 passes for 144 yards, with one interception.

      Quarterback Justin Holman threw for 209 yards and one touchdown in his first career start for Central Florida (0-2).

      Virginia 23, No. 21 Louisville 21

      CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia used a 42-yard field goal by kicker Ian Frye late in the game to upset Louisville.

      It was the Cavaliers' first ACC victory since Nov. 10, 2012 when they knocked off Miami 41-40.

      Wide receiver James Quick of Louisville (2-1) muffed a punt with under six minutes remaining to set up Virginia (2-1) with good field position where it would convert on the eventual game-winning kick.

      The Cardinals turned the ball over four times.

      No. 22 Ohio State 66, Kent State 0

      COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After a stunning loss at home to Virginia Tech last week, Ohio State took it to overmatched in-state opponent Kent State in a big way.

      The Buckeyes scored on seven of their eight first-half possessions and rolled to an easy victory before 104,404 in Ohio Stadium.

      Redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, in his third start as the replacement for injured Braxton Miller, turned in the best performance of his young career by far. A week after completing only 9 of 29 passes against Virginia Tech, Barrett connected on 23 of 30 for 312 yards and six touchdowns with one interception.

      Ohio State (2-1) punted only once against Kent State (0-3), with 6:05 left, and finished with 628 yards.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    No. 4 Oklahoma rolls over Tennessee
    By The Sports Xchange

    NORMAN, Okla. -- This wasn't the Sugar Bowl but Bob Stoops and Oklahoma once again made a statement against the SEC.

    • The No. 4 Sooners beat Tennessee 34-10 Saturday night at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

      Over the last two years, Stoops has had plenty to say about the SEC's dominance -- real or perceived.

      His team backed up his words in January, beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and came through yet again against the Volunteers, even if Tennessee still is in rebuilding mode in Butch Jones' second season in Knoxville.

      Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight had the second-best passing game of his career, throwing for 308 yards and a touchdown.

      Knight's only other 300-yard game came in the Sugar Bowl.

      "We came out and started fast again," Knight said. "I think we could've played better in the second half. We kinda sputtered there on a few drives. The three-and-outs aren't acceptable. Overall, it's a big team win for us."

      Tennessee showed its progress in Jones' second season.

      Last season, the Volunteers went to Oregon in their biggest nonconference test and got blown out, 59-14.

      This time against a top-five opponent, Tennessee had a chance in the second half before Oklahoma's defense turned up the pressure.

      "I see progress every day," Jones said. "Unfortunately sometimes the progress isn't measured in a victory. We still have a long way to go in understanding what it takes in certain stages of the game to play winning football."

      A couple of second-half turnovers helped Oklahoma put the game away.

      Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez intercepted a pass for the fourth consecutive game, going up in the end zone and wrestling the ball away from Tennessee receiver Justin Croom for a touchback.

      On Tennessee's next drive, their first of the fourth quarter, Volunteers quarterback Justin Worley once again was picked off in the end zone.

      This time, though, Oklahoma cornerback Julian Wilson had space to move.

      Wilson returned the interception off a tipped ball 100 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners up 34-10.

      It was Wilson's first career touchdown and the second 100-yard interception return in school history.

      Oklahoma's defense is looking like the groups that Mike Stoops had in the early 2000s during his first tenure as the Sooners' defensive coordinator.

      The Sooners sacked Worley five times -- four times in the first half -- and generally kept him scrambling most of the night.

      "There's a reason they're the fourth-ranked team in the country," Worley said. "It was a great growing-up session for our youngsters but I thought at times we were able to do some really great things."

      The Sooners kept Worley scrambling by bringing blitzes from a variety of different places.

      Safety Quentin Hayes, who had just one career sack entering the game, twice got to Worley, including getting a sack and a fumble recovery on the same play on Tennessee's second drive of the game.

      Defensive end Chuka Ndulue and nose guards Jordan Phillips and Matt Romar added one sack each for the Sooners (4-0).

      Even though he didn't get to Worley, linebacker Eric Striker also made it tough on Tennessee's quarterback, with three of Oklahoma's eight quarterback hurries and coming up with three tackles for loss.

      "He's so disruptive," Bob Stoops said. "Rushing, he's like a tasmanian devil out there just running all over the place. He was great."

      This week, Stoops mostly stayed out of the debate over the conferences, calling the talk about him vs. the SEC "overblown."

      But his players said they were well aware of their coach's feelings about the conference and made it a point to make a statement against the Volunteers.

      It wasn't pretty at times -- Oklahoma turned the ball over twice and had to settle for field goals twice despite quickly driving the ball down the field -- but the Sooners escaped their nonconference schedule without much heartburn.

      Knight's favorite target was receiver Sterling Shepard, who had five catches for 109 yards. Tight end Blake Bell, who moved from quarterback after last season, had a career-high three catches for 52 yards.

      Tennessee freshman running back Jalen Hurd had 97 yards rushing. The Volunteers had minus-11 yards rushing in the first half before breaking through in the second half.

      Oklahoma (4-0) begins Big 12 play at West Virginia on Saturday. Tennessee (2-1) has the week off before opening SEC play at Georgia on Sept. 27.

      The Sooners had success moving the ball for much of the first half but struggled to finish off drives.

      On their first drive of the game, the Sooners quickly moved the ball to the Tennessee 11 before the drive sputtered out and Oklahoma had to settle for a field goal.

      Then late in the first quarter, Oklahoma moved the ball to the Tennessee 10 thanks in large part to a 45-yard reception by Shepard.

      But once again, the Volunteers defense stood tall and held the Sooners to a field goal.

      Oklahoma did find the end zone a couple of times before the half thanks to sophomore running back Keith Ford.

      First he scored on a 23-yard pass from Knight, where he caught the ball near the line of scrimmage and only had to beat the safety coming across from the other side to take it in for the touchdown.

      Then Ford added an 11-yard touchdown run just before halftime, running right up the middle to put the Sooners up 20-7 at the break.

      NOTES: The game was the third meeting between the teams. The other two happened in the Orange Bowl, with Tennessee winning in the 1938 game and the Sooners winning in 1968. ... Oklahoma K Michael Hunnicutt has field goals in his last 20 games. ... Oklahoma has outscored opponents 55-0 in the first quarter this season and 82-10 in the first half. ... Oklahoma backup DE Charles Walker missed the game with a knee injury and is expected to miss next week's Big 12 opener against West Virginia as well.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Boston College upsets USC 37-31
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- They announced a crowd of 41,632 at Boston College's Alumni Stadium on Saturday night.

    • When the game ended, it seemed all of them were on the field.

      Their Eagles, who came in as 17-point underdogs, had just upset No. 9 USC, and there was reason for the home fans to celebrate.

      "It's a great night for our team, for the players. They played really hard," coach Steve Addazio said after the 37-31 victory. "They had a rough week last week (a loss to Pittsburgh). They had a hard week of practice. There's a lot of people second-guessing them, but they had a real steel resolve.

      "This was a great win. There (were) big plays made by a lot of people."

      This is supposed to be a rebuilding year at BC. The Eagles -- who reached a bowl game last season, Addazio's first -- were hit with serious losses. Gone are all-time leading rusher Andre Williams; all-time leading receiver Alex Amidon; kicker Nate Freese, No. 1 in scoring; and quarterback Chase Rettig.

      This season was supposed to be painful, but BC is 2-1 with FCS Maine coming next Saturday.

      With the game dedicated to the late Welles Crowther, a former BC lacrosse player who saved lives before losing his at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the Eagles played inspired football from start to finish. They later gave a game ball to his family.

      Graduate senior quarterback Tyler Murphy, a transfer from Florida, ran for 191 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown late, and passed for 54 yards. The Eagles rushed for 452 yards and five TDs in their first win over a ranked team since 2008.

      "It meant a lot, especially after last week's loss," Murphy said. "It was a tough loss for us, and Coach really challenged us as a team this week. We really went after it.

      "It just goes to show that if we really set our minds to something and we play as a team, sky's the limit."

      BC had dropped 12 straight to teams in the Top 25. It was also the program's first win over a Top 10 team since 2004.

      The Eagles, totaling 506 yards, ran up the huge ground numbers against a USC team that had allowed 285 rushing yards in its first two games, both wins. The rushing total was the second highest in BC history.

      Freshman running back Jon Hilliman ran for his first two college touchdowns, rookie wide receiver Sherman Alston took a reverse 54 yards for his first a score and sophomore running back Tyler Rouse also scored.

      "They outplayed us," said Steve Sarkisian, who suffered his first loss in three games at his new job. "They beat us in all three phases.

      "They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The end result was we didn't get it done. It starts with me coaching and goes to everyone in that locker room. We need to improve."

      Despite the nonconference loss, Sarkisian said, "The goal obviously of being Pac-12 champs is very alive for us."

      The Eagles spotted their visitors leads of 10-0 and 17-6 and then roared back -- dominating on both sides of the ball and special teams.

      Boston College scored 24 straight points before USC quarterback Cody Kessler went 8 of 9 through the air and took his team to a touchdown with 3:43 remaining.

      Murphy then pulled off his long run, but Kessler came right back, throwing his fourth touchdown pass with 1:18 left.

      USC then tried an onside kick that was recovered by Boston College wide receiver Shakim Phillips.

      Hilliman, who totaled 89 yards on 19 carries, ran for 22 yards on the first play and 17 more on two more carries -- and the Eagles were able to run out the clock before their fans stormed the field.

      The Eagles sacked Kessler five times, with linebacker Josh Keyes making 5 1/2 tackles for loss in the win that lifted BC to 2-1.

      One of Kessler's TD passes was a 51-yard swing pass to running back Javarious Allen.

      Andre Heidari kicked a 52-yard field goal for USC and Joey Launceford hit a 25-yarder for Boston College.

      Kessler, who dissected Boston College last year' in USC's 35-7 win in Los Angeles, finished 31 of 41 for 317 yards. Allen, the No. 2 rusher in the Pac-12 with 100-yard games in the first two, netted just 31 yards and his team just 20 in the loss.

      NOTES: Boston College players all wore something red, including shoes, in honor of the late Welles Crowther, the former Boston College lacrosse player who saved at least 12 people in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, at the cost of his own life. People described Crowther as "The Red Bandana Man" and the red bandana was the theme of the night. ... USC hosts Oregon State in a Pac-12 game next Saturday, and Boston College is home for FCS foe Maine in the third of four straight home games. ... Former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, whose battle with ALS led to him being the catalyst for the Ice Bucket Challenge, was honored with a video tribute at halftime.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    No. 11 Notre Dame rallies to defeat Purdue
    By The Sports Xchange

    INDIANAPOLIS -- After a pair of lopsided wins, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had a feeling that his team would encounter adversity sooner than later.

    • On Saturday, Kelly's hunch proved correct. And No. 11 Notre Dame proved ready.

      "Now, it's behind us," Kelly said. "We know what the standard is."

      Notre Dame overcame an early deficit, a player's ejection and a slew of injuries Saturday to beat Purdue, 30-14, at Lucas Oil Stadium as part of the annual "Shamrock Series." The No. 11 Fighting Irish (3-0) scored the final 20 points of the game to rally from a 14-10 deficit against Purdue (1-2), which was held scoreless and managed only 121 total yards of offense in the second half.

      Quarterback Everett Golson led Notre Dame with 259 passing yards and two touchdowns to go along with 56 rushing yards and another score on the ground. Meanwhile, Purdue quarterback Danny Etling led the Boilermakers with 234 passing yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns but was sacked three times.

      The bruising, in-state rivalry game proved costly for the Fighting Irish.

      Already depleted by injuries and suspensions, Notre Dame lost a key member of its secondary when safety Max Redfield was ejected for targeting in the second quarter. Redfield jogged toward the locker room after his 15-yard penalty and ejection, which followed his helmet-to-helmet blow against Etling at the end of a scramble with 9:14 remaining in the second quarter.

      Backup safety Nicky Baratti replaced Redfield, who will not miss the Irish's next game because his ejection came in the first half. But Baratti injured his shoulder and left the game, adding to a postgame injury list that included wide receiver Amir Carlisle (knee), cornerback Cole Luke (neck) and defensive tackle Andrew Trumbetti (neck).

      Despite those losses, Notre Dame seemed to get stronger as the game continued. Golson increased a 3-point lead to double digits when he fired a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Robinson with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter.

      "This was a very physical game," Robinson said. "Purdue always comes out ready to play, and they are a very physical bunch. So we're just trying to bang a little bit, and that's when we had to step up and make some plays."

      Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said his team was prepared emotionally for a hard-fought game.

      "There is no going back, playing at that intensity level," Hazell said.

      Kicker Kyle Brindza extended Notre Dame's lead to 27-14 on a 48-yard field goal with 9:31 remaining. Brindza ricocheted a 39-yard attempt off the right upright and through the goal posts to make it 30-14 with 5:30 remaining.

      Meanwhile, Purdue struggled. Etling remained in the game after Redfield's hit and finished 27 of 40 for 234 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

      Kelly said his team had no choice but to turn to inexperienced second- and third-stringers in the secondary such as freshman Drue Tranquill.

      "He did great," Kelly said with a smile. "He doesn't know what he's doing, but he's awesome. ... I say that kiddingly because he does know what he's doing. But we're trying to really keep it simple for him out there."

      Notre Dame seized an early lead before running into trouble.

      After Amir Carlisle returned the opening kickoff 47 yards, Notre Dame marched downfield with an efficient six-play, 45-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Golson to wide receiver Will Fuller with 12:23 remaining in the first quarter. Purdue answered late in the first quarter to tie the game on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Etling to fullback Brandon Cottom.

      Notre Dame regained a 10-7 lead on a 19-yard field goal by Kyle Brindza with 11:57 remaining in the second quarter before Purdue rallied again. Purdue cornerback Antoine Lewis punched the ball loose from Notre Dame tight end Ben Koyack for the Fighting Irish's first turnover of the season, and the Boilermakers capitalized three plays later on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Etling to DeAngelo Yancey to take a 14-10 lead with three minutes remaining in the half.

      Notre Dame regained a 17-14 lead on Golson's 15-yard run with 13 seconds remaining in the half. Golson dropped back and scanned the field before tucking the ball and sprinting toward the right pylon.

      Although Notre Dame and Michigan drew national headlines last week for playing the final scheduled game in their longtime rivalry, the Fighting Irish and Purdue have played more. The teams met for the 86th time overall and for the 69th consecutive season, with the Irish increasing their all-time series lead to 58-26-2.

      However, the in-state rivalry will go on hiatus starting next season. The schools will take a five-year break until home-and-home meetings slated for 2020 and 2021.

      NOTES: Notre Dame remained without five players amid an academic fraud investigation. ... Notre Dame S Austin Collinsworth (knee), WR Torii Hunter Jr. (groin) and LB Jarrett Grace (leg) did not play. ... Purdue LB Jimmy Herman (thumb) did not play but is expected to return next week against Southern Illinois.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Backup Neuheisel rallies UCLA past Texas
    By The Sports Xchange

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Billed as the Cowboys Showdown, the Texas-UCLA matchup played out like an old-fashioned Western shootout.

    • Both teams played it close to the vest, eyeing their opponent for three quarters. Then when they finally drew in the fourth quarter, UCLA had the better aim to claim a 20-17 victory at AT&T Stadium.

      UCLA backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jordan Payton as the Bruins took back the lead with three minutes left.

      "What a heck of a game between two gutty teams," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "We were fortunate to get away with a win. We'll take it and get on that plane real fast."

      Earlier in the fourth, Texas sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes led the Longhorns (1-2) on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Swoopes threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to John Harris to give Texas a 17-13 lead with 5:13 left.

      UCLA punt returner Ishmael Adams set up the winning touchdown with a 45-yard punt return to the Texas 33 with 3:06 left. On the next play, Neuheisel hit Payton for the game-winner.

      Swoopes had the ball in his hands again with 2:55 to go, but the Bruins (3-0) stopped Texas from even gaining a first down. Swoopes threw incomplete on fourth-and-7 from his 26-yard line. UCLA took over on downs and ran out the final 1:50.

      Neuheisel, who played the final three quarters in place of injured starter Brett Hundley, finished with 178 passing yards and two touchdowns. Teammates lifted Neuheisel on their shoulders after the win.

      Mora said he was enthusiastic knowing Neuheisel, the son of former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, was going in the game in the first quarter.

      "My first thought was excitement for Jerry Neuheisel," Mora said. "This kid is everything that's right about college football and about UCLA. He bleeds Bruin blue. You couldn't write a better script than this right here -- for him to come to Texas and bring his team back for a win."

      Hundley left the game after running 11 yards for a first down with 4:29 left in the first quarter. He stood on the sideline with his left elbow wrapped during the second half. Mora said the elbow would be evaluated by the UCLA medical staff when the team returns to Los Angeles.

      Neuheisel took UCLA the rest of the way on a drive that reached the Texas 29 before kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn booted a 47-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

      Hundley remained on the sideline with his helmet off until UCLA went back on the field for its next possession. But Neuheisel returned to the game and Hundley went to the locker room.

      Meanwhile, Swoopes completed his first 11 passes and looked more confident running the offense as the first half progressed. He finished the half completing 13 of 15 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.

      Swoopes completed two passes and running back Malcolm Brown ran for 22 yards as Texas drove to the UCLA 14 before Nick Rose kicking a tying field goal from 33 yards.

      The Longhorns then took the lead as Swoopes heated up, connecting on 6 of 8 passes on a 14-play, 62-yard touchdown drive.

      Swoopes kept the drive going with a 33-yard completion to senior wide receiver John Harris on fourth-and-8 from the UCLA 38. Swoopes capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end M.J. McFarland that gave Texas a 10-3 edge that it took to halftime.

      Swoopes completed 24 of 34 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

      "He just continues to get better and better," Texas coach Charlie Strong said. "The team is all behind him and he's big and strong enough to where he can make the throws. He's just getting better and better, week by week."

      However, UCLA outgained the Longhorns by more than 100 yards, mostly on the ground. The Bruins rushed for 217 yards, led by Paul Perkins' 126 yards on 24 attempts.

      "We didn't stop the run," Strong said. "You can't miss tackles. We missed a lot of them. We weren't fitting our gaps and getting off blocks and we weren't able to establish the running game."

      NOTES: Although the UCLA-Texas series was tied at three wins each entering the game, there haven't been many close ones between the Bruins and Longhorns. Only one game -- the first meeting in 1970, which Texas won 20-17 --- had been decided by fewer than 18 points. Texas won the last meeting, 49-20 in 2011, to stop UCLA's three-game winning streak in the series. Saturday's game at AT&T Stadium was the first time that UCLA and Texas met on a neutral field. ... Entering the game, UCLA had won nine of 10 nonconference matchups, with the only loss coming against Baylor in the 2012 Holiday Bowl. ... It was only Texas' second game at AT&T Stadium. The Longhorns defeated Nebraska 13-12 in the 2009 Big 12 Championship game.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Navy soldiers on without QB Reynolds in 35-21 win
    By The Sports Xchange

    SAN MARCOS, Texas -- The Navy football team proved that it has depth at the important position.

    • With highly regarded junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds on the sideline recovering from a bruised right knee, sophomore Tago Smith gained 202 yards running and passing, leading the Midshipmen to a 35-21 victory at Texas State on Saturday night.

      Reynolds, a three-year starter, suffered the injury last week during the fourth quarter of a game at Temple. A few days later, reports indicated that he was expected to play this week. Instead, coach Ken Niumatalolo called on Smith to make the first start of his career.

      Directing Navy's triple-option offense, Smith rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries -- nothing special. But Reynolds made the pitchouts and handoffs that enabled other backs to excel and completed some critical passes.

      "I'm really proud of Tago," Niumatalolo said. "He played great."

      Smith, who came to Navy (2-1) as a slot back, completed 5 of 7 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns against one interception.

      Noah Copeland, a fullback from nearby San Antonio, gained 116 yards on 11 carries, including one run of 63 yards.

      Navy gained 469 yards rushing and passing.

      Smith said he was nervous before the game but expected to succeed.

      "I always have confidence in myself," Smith said. "And the coaches have confidence in me."

      Announced attendance was 32,007, second most since capacity at Bobcat Stadium was increased to 30,000 in 2012.

      The faithful watched Texas State (1-1) damage its own cause with eight penalties for 99 yards in the first half, including three on its first possession.

      "We kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Texas State quarterback Tyler Jones said. "We could have had a couple of scores in the first half that we took away with penalties."

      Texas State fell behind 28-0 but scored the next two touchdowns of the game, each on a 1-yard run -- by Jones in the second quarter and tailback Robert Lowe early in the fourth quarter. Jones passed for 231 yards and rushed for 82. Lowe ran for 92.

      Navy put an end to the comeback with a 67-yard touchdown pass from Smith to wide receiver Jamir Tillman against a Texas State defense that was crowding the line of scrimmage in deference to a team that began the night second in the nation in rushing. Tillman was wide open.

      "I knew it was going to be wide open because of what they were doing," Smith said. "But when he got the ball in his hand I was like 'please score.'"

      Tillman won a race to the end zone. He said failing to score was not an option.

      "It's one of those things where I have to score," Tillman said. "I can't not score when you are so wide open. Coach would never let me hear the end of it."

      Smith directed Navy to touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game. The Midshipmen's fifth possession lasted only one play and 37 seconds before the game reached halftime. They led 28-7 at the break.

      The first drive covered 59 yards and was completed with a 14-yard run by Chris Swain, a 245-pound fullback. Smith had a 14-yard run along the way.

      The Midshipmen produced a few firsts on their second possession, a drive that went 80 yards. Facing a first-and-20 at the Texas State 32, Smith connected with junior wide receiver Thomas Wilson for 22 yards. Wilson made a lunging catch for the first reception of his career.

      Smith then found senior wide receiver Brendan Dudeck for a 6-yard touchdown. That marked the first career touchdown pass for Smith and the first TD reception for Dudeck. Smith also used his legs on the drive, producing a 27-yard run.

      Navy made two long plays on the third touchdown drive, both involving slot back Geoffrey Whiteside.

      The first was a spectacular 38-yard run on which Whiteside took a pitch from Smith running toward the right sideline and then cut back over the middle with quick burst.

      The second big play was a nifty play-action pass from Smith to Whiteside for 19 yards to the Navy 5.

      Texas State appeared to finally have stopped Navy on its fourth possession. But the Midshipmen, facing third-and-12 from the Texas State 26, called a reverse, Tillman taking a pitch from Smith and gaining 24 yards. Smith finished with a 1-yard run.

      Reynolds might be back next week when Navy faces Rutgers. If he's ready, he'll start.

      "If he's healthy, he's playing," Niumatalolo said. "He's our quarterback. Tongo's a good quarterback, and he played a great game. But our quarterback is Keenan Reynolds."

      NOTES: Keenan Reynolds, Navy's junior quarterback, missed the game with a bruised right knee that he suffered last week against Temple. Reynolds took a helmet to his knee in the fourth quarter. His replacement is sophomore Tago Smith. ... The Navy at Texas State game completed a two-game series between the schools. Navy beat Texas State 21-10 in 2012 in Annapolis.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Northern Illinois escapes Vegas with streaks alive
    By The Sports Xchange

    LAS VEGAS -- Northern Illinois kept alive its impressive regular season and road win streaks Saturday, but not before UNLV made the Huskies sweat a little in the 100-degree desert heat at Sam Boyd Stadium.

    • Make that sweat a lot.

      The host Rebels (1-2), who had scored two offensive touchdowns in their first 10 quarters of the season, exploded for four touchdowns in less than 16 minutes to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but sophomore quarterback Drew Hare answered with a 56-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Da'Ron Brown and safety Marlon Moore added a key interception in the end zone as the Huskies pulled out a 48-34 victory.

      It was the 26th consecutive regular-season victory for Northern Illinois (3-0) and 17th straight win in an opponents' stadium, the longest such streak in the FBS.

      Hare, making his first college start, completed 18 of 28 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 74 yards and another score on 14 carries.

      "We thought it was going to be a 60-minute game," Hare said. "We're in the desert. We're not used to this. But we prepared all week for it and were ready for a four-quarter game. We stepped up when we needed to."

      Four plays after UNLV had fought back to tie the game at 34-34, Hare hit Brown streaking up the left sideline for the game-winner. Brown reached back up and over UNLV corner Kenneth Penny to grab the ball at the 25 and without breaking stride cruised into the end zone.

      "When you have Da'Ron Brown out there, the guy is as fast as they come," Hare said. "I tried to put it up so he could make a play and he did just that. He does that a lot for us. He's awesome."

      "We needed a big play and being a senior you have to step up," Brown said. "I saw the ball in the air and I just focused."

      Senior tailback Cameron Stingily rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, including a 2-yarder with 1:58 remaining that clinched the victory. The Huskies finished with 616 yards and 35 first downs.

      Junior quarterback Blake Decker completed 24 of 42 passes for 397 yards and two touchdowns for UNLV. He also threw an interception.

      Both TD passes went to senior wide receiver Devante Davis, who finished with six receptions for 150 yards.

      "Obviously losing hurts," Davis, who had the ninth 100-yard receiving game of his career, said. "We finished well but we've got to start better. ... We had those plays in the first half but we just weren't making them."

      With the aid of a safety when Northern Illinois tight end Desroy Maxwell was flagged for a chop block in the end zone, UNLV trailed just 7-5 entering the second quarter. But the Huskies pulled away with two impressive 80-yard drives capped by Hare touchdown passes.

      The first was a 12-yarder to tailback Keith Harris that capped a 14-play drive. The second, which came after UNLV kicker Jonathan Leiva missed a 33-yard field goal attempt, was a 10-yarder to wide receiver Juwan Brescacin with 29 seconds left in the half.

      Hare's 12-yard run bumped the lead to 28-5 after NIU's first drive of the second half. UNLV scored three touchdowns in the third -- including passes of 26 and 53 yards to Davis -- to cut the deficit to 31-26 entering the final quarter.

      The Rebels then tied it at 34-34 on a 9-yard run by senior running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence and a two-point conversion pass from Decker to Davis.

      After Hare's touchdown pass to Brown made it 41-34, the Rebels drove back down to the NIU 7-yard line where Moore tipped and then intercepted a pass intended for Davis in the left corner of the end zone.

      "We executed better the second half," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. "Certainly it's not a 30-minute game and we need to play better in the first 30. We went into this thing thinking we were going to get them. The guys were really tuned in, focused on it. Our guys are disappointed, and so am I."

      Northern Illinois puts its win streaks on the line again next week when it travels to Arkansas, which upset Texas Tech 49-28 on Saturday.

      "They're an SEC team and it's going to be a good challenge for us," Hare said. "We're going to be excited."

      NOTES: UNLV officials, upset that Northern Illinois wouldn't move the game to Friday night for TV purposes, decided to schedule kickoff at 4 p.m. PT, which is normally the hottest time of the day. The temperature at kickoff was 100 degrees and only about 1,000 fans sat on the sun side of the stadium behind the Husky bench at the start. Northern Illinois officials said they did not keep records for the hottest temperature at kickoff for the team. ... Northern Illinois last lost a true road game on Oct. 1, 2011, at Central Michigan 48-41 and hasn't lost a regular season game since a 18-17 loss to Iowa on Sept. 1, 2012, at Soldier Field.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    LSU notches second straight shutout
    By The Sports Xchange

    BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU knew it would take a few games for its inexperienced but highly talented offense to find its rhythm, but not even the most rabid Tiger fan believed defensive coordinator John Chavis' lightning-quick defense would be flirting with school history.

    • The suffocating LSU defense pitched its second consecutive shutout Saturday night with a 31-0 rout of Louisiana-Monroe, the first time since 1941 that the Tigers have recorded back-to-back shutouts at home.

      "Raise your hand if you were born before 1941," LSU coach Les Miles said with a smile.

      LSU (3-0) held the Warhawks (2-1) to just 93 yards on 48 plays, a 1.9-yard average.

      "Offensively, we were just bad," Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry said. "I've been doing this a long time, been around a lot of offensive football. That's about as bad as it gets. To LSU's credit, they're good. But we're ... it's just bad. We got our tails whipped on everything. We couldn't get open. We couldn't block anybody. Offensively, that was an embarrassment."

      ULM, which had averaged 443 yards and 27.5 points in victories over Wake Forest and Idaho, punted on 10 of its 12 possessions. On the two other series, ULM ran out the clock at the end of the first half and lost a fumble.

      ULM's longest play of the game was a 12-yard screen pass from quarterback Pat Thomas to wide receiver Kenzee Jackson with 6:32 left. The Warhawks managed just six first downs and amassed just 16 yards rushing on 18 carries.

      Even more incredibly, since a touchdown drive by Wisconsin early in the third quarter of the season opener, which put LSU in a 24-7 hole, LSU has outscored Wisconsin, Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe 108-0.

      LSU scored the final 21 points against Wisconsin to win 28-24, and last week it shut out Sam Houston State 56-0. Chavis' defense has held its opponents scoreless over the last 31 possessions.

      "Defensively, we've played dominant football," Miles said, looking forward to next week's SEC opener against Mississippi State in Baton Rouge. "I think we're now in position to take on a very quality opponent. We're needing to improve and take strides, but I like where we're at."

      ULM quarterback Pete Johnson said LSU was too fast to give him time to look for weaknesses.

      "They've got great athletes," Johnson said. "They were a great defense and they challenged us man to man."

      Offensively, LSU relied mostly on its backfield-by-committee approach and not taking too many chances with the football.

      Highly touted freshman running back Leonard Fournette broke open the game with a 24-yard burst around left end, putting LSU up 24-0 late in the third quarter, after the Tigers had played conservatively in a 10-0 first half.

      Darrel Williams, another freshman runner, had a 22-yard run from the fullback slot in the first half and capped LSU's first possession of the second half with a 1-yard dive. Senior running back Kenny Hilliard added a 4-yard touchdown in a 21-point spurt that put LSU up 31-0 with 12:19 left.

      LSU spread the ball around its four-man backfield stable: Fournette had 10 carries for 54 yards, Hilliard 12 for 50, Terrence Magee 12 for 45 and Williams seven for 37.

      "They're ready to play ball, and I don't think they'll be shocked (by playing in big games)," Miles said. "We have four tailbacks that can take snaps in a game, which is real good."

      Sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings had an average performance, completing 11 of 18 passes for 139 yards, but Miles was upset by Jennings' decision to throw a deep pass into triple coverage late in the first half that resulted in his first interception of the season.

      "Basically we were patient and ran the ball," Miles said. "We had a miscue with the quarterback throwing the ball away in the middle of the field, but by and large we did the things we needed to do. Defensively, we played dominant football."

      NOTES: Miles is 38-0 against nonconference opponents in the regular season. ... LSU recorded its 400th victory in 91 seasons at Tiger Stadium. The stadium opened in 1924. Over that stretch, LSU is 400-144-18 at home. ... The 93 yards by Louisiana-Monroe were the fewest since LSU yielded 95 yards to Northwestern State in 2011.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    QB Sims continues solid play as 'Bama cruises
    By The Sports Xchange

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 3 Alabama held serve at home with a 52-12 drubbing of Southern Mississippi on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

    • The rout of the Golden Eagles served as a tune-up for next week when the Crimson Tide welcome the Florida Gators to Tuscaloosa in the teams' SEC opener.

      Blake Sims got the start at quarterback for the third straight game, and once again, coach Nick Saban's decision paid off. Sims completed 12 of 17 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He added 46 rushing yards and another score.

      "I'm very proud of the way the team executed and communicated today," Sims said. "We came on the sideline and let coach (Lane) Kiffin know what we saw so he could let us know what we could do better."

      Sims' favorite receiver, Amari Cooper, hauled in eight receptions for 135 yards and one score. Coming into the game, Cooper led the nation in receiving.

      Sophomore running back Derrick Henry led the Crimson Tide (3-0) in rushing with 11 carries for 79 yards. Running back Kenyan Drake scored three times for Alabama and rushed for 59 yards on nine carries.

      Southern Miss (1-2) compiled 260 total yards with 207 coming through the air and just 53 on the ground.

      "We asked our guys to play physical," Southern Miss coach Todd Monken said. "That's a physical team. It always has been. They're big and physical. We asked our guys to play physical, and I thought we did that."

      Southern Miss' offense showed promise at the start of the game. The Golden Eagles moved the ball on their opening drive and scored on a field goal for a 3-0 lead.

      "I thought we got off to a really slow start today," Saban said. "We didn't have very much intensity to start the game. Don't quite know why. We had a tough, good week of practice. But it just seemed like the longer we waited to play today, the more casual everybody got."

      On Alabama's first drive, Sims set the tone for the day and connected with Cooper for a 22-yard touchdown.

      The Eagles added another field goal late in the second quarter after a special teams mishap by Alabama gave the Golden Eagles good field position. Southern Miss kicker Corey Acosta connected from 43 yards for the half's final score.

      "This doesn't happen in Conference USA. I can tell you that," Monken said. "I'm proud of our guys. In the 15 years I've been a head coach, our guys have fought. A loss is a loss -- I don't care how you slice it. We kicked too many field goals.

      Alabama took a 21-6 lead into halftime and came out for the third period and struck quickly when Sims found tight end Brian Vogler in the back of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown.

      The Golden Eagles were able to move the ball, but each time the Tide's defense grew stingy when backed into its own territory and didn't allow a touchdown.

      Alabama has now gone 10 straight quarters without allowing a touchdown.

      "Defensively, I thought we played well in the game," Saban said. "I just thought we gave up a few plays that ... those are the types of plays we're going to need to make in the future that turn out to be explosive plays that we were in position on. We need to try to make some of those plays."

      Tide backup quarterback Jake Coker led a 99-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter with the chunk of the yardage coming on runs.

      NOTES: Coming into the game, Alabama WR Amari Cooper led the nation in receptions (25) and receiving yards (319). Cooper pushed that total to 30 catches and 391 yards in the first half. ... Southern Miss OL Jerry Harris was helped off the field late in the second quarter. Harris did not return. ... When leading at halftime, Alabama is 75-4 under head coach Nick Saban. ...... Alabama safety Nick Perry was ejected in the third quarter for targeting. The referees reviewed the play and the call was upheld. Perry, Alabama's starting free safety, will miss the first half against Florida.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    South Carolina claims SEC win over Georgia
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina proved it can still be a factor in the SEC East race after a thrilling 38-35 victory over No. 6 Georgia on Saturday night in front of 84,232 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium.

    • The No. 24 Gamecocks lost the season opener to Texas A&M two weeks ago and knew they couldn't fall two games behind the Bulldogs in the loss column this early in the season.

      They got enough offense from quarterback Dylan Thompson, running back Brandon Wilds and a deep core of receivers to pull off the victory.

      "I'll say the same thing I said last week: Some wins are better than others. I think this one was better than most others. Gosh, what a ballgame," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "Sometimes it's our turn to win. We were meant to win this game and Georgia was not."

      The Bulldogs had a chance to tie it after Damian Swann intercepted a Dylan Thompson pass at the South Carolina 24-yard line and returned it to the 6.

      Mason was called for intentional grounding on the first play and Georgia had to settle for a 28-yard field-goal attempt by Marshall Morgan, who had a streak of 20 straight field goals broken earlier in the game. The kick was wide right and the Gamecocks still had a three-point lead with 4:24 remaining.

      The Gamecocks converted a fourth down from midfield and were able to run out the clock to improve to 2-1, 1-1 in the SEC.

      "We played hard enough to win, but we didn't seize the moment, especially after the big turnover," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We're deep in their territory and get zero points out of it. Very disappointing right there.

      "Regardless what happened before then, that was a moment right there we could have capitalized on. It was one of the things that got us."

      Richt also said he probably would do things differently if he had to so it over.

      "If had to do it again, we would have hammered it," Richt said.

      Thompson played well until that interception. He finished 21-of-30 for 271 yards and three touchdowns.

      "I'm just so happy we won," Thompson said. "All you hear all week is how great Georgia is and I just got tired of it. We wanted to come out today and just show what we had, bring our best game to the ballpark."

      The running game also turned out to be a big factor. South Carolina only attempted one pass in the fourth quarter with Wilds and Mike Davis churning out yards in big chunks. They duo had 67 yards on 20 carries in the first three quarters but combined to gain 92 yards on 11 attempts in the fourth quarter alone.

      Wilds led the attack with 93 yards on 14 carries and Davis added 66 yards on 17 attempts.

      "We were trying to run out the clock and that was a key part of the last couple of drives," Wilds said. "Getting a first down and being able to take a knee at the end of the game was a key part for us."

      South Carolina led 31-20 going into the fourth quarter. Georgia scored on a 5-yard pass from Mason to tight end Jay Rome on the first play of the fourth quarter and converted the two-point conversion on a Mason pass to wide receiver Michael Bennett to make it 31-28 with 14:55 remaining.

      South Carolina quickly made it a two-score game when Wilds capped a four-play, 58-yard drive with a 24-yard scoring run that made it 38-28 with 13:01 remaining. Shon Carson set up the drive with a 42-yard kickoff return.

      Georgia answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown from fullback Quayvon Hicks with 7:10 remaining.

      Thompson set the tone with three passing touchdowns in the first half to give the Gamecocks a 24-13 lead at the break.

      His first scoring pass was a 10-yard back-shoulder throw just inside the sideline to wide receiver Shaq Roland on the opening series.

      Georgia answered quickly. Mason completed two passes, the second a 33-strike to running back Sony Michel to tie it.

      The Bulldogs took a 10-7 lead on a 36-yard field goal from Morgan before the Gamecocks seized the lead for good on the next series.

      Thompson threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Pharoh Cooper with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter.

      Marshall added a 26-yard field goal before Thompson connected with tight end Rory Anderson on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 5:34 remaining in the half.

      Elliott Fry kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

      NOTES: Georgia K Marshall Morgan set an SEC record by making his 19th straight field goal with a 36-yarder in the first quarter. He later connected on a 26-yarder to extend his streak to 20 straight before missing on a 44-yard attempt. He was tied with former Tennessee K Fuad Reveiz coming into the game. ... South Carolina TE Rory Anderson scored on an 18-yard reception for his first touchdown since Oct. 27, 2012 against Tennessee. He caught eight touchdowns his first two seasons but was held without a score last season. ... The game was delayed one hour, 26 minutes because of severe weather in the area. South Carolina last had a home game delayed by weather in the opener of the 2013 season against North Carolina.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    ODU defense dominates Eastern Michigan
    By The Sports Xchange

    NORFOLK, Va. -- Offense usually wins games at Old Dominion, but on Saturday it was the Monarchs' oft-maligned defense's turn to shine.

    • Old Dominion used some rare defensive muscle and shut down punchless Eastern Michigan 17-3 at rain-soaked S.B. Ballard Stadium.

      Running back Ray Lawry ran 55 yards for a touchdown and Antonio Vaughan returned a punt 46 yards for a score as the Monarchs (2-1), first-year members of Conference USA, posted their first home victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision program.

      In addition, the three points were the fewest allowed by Old Dominion since the school restarted its football program in 2009. The Monarchs, who came in allowing 567 yards per game, held Eastern Michigan to just 215.

      "It was definitely awesome to see, the fact that we could rely on the defense to carry us pretty much the whole game," Monarchs quarterback Taylor Heinicke said. "They were just out there ballin'. Really fun to stand there and see that."

      Eastern Michigan, meanwhile, continued a stretch of offensive futility that dates to its season opener.

      The Mid-American Conference Eagles (1-2), who were crushed 65-0 at Florida on Sept. 6, endured a stretch of seven quarters without a point and have now gone nine-plus quarters without a touchdown. Eastern Michigan's last touchdown came on running back Ryan Brumfield's 14-yard dash against Morgan State late in the third quarter on Aug. 30.

      "Our defense gave us repeated opportunities," Eagles coach Chris Creighton said. "We just couldn't get it in the end zone."

      On a night when rain began shortly before kickoff and continued throughout the game, Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback completed just 5 of 11 passes for 48 yards before giving way to Rob Bolden.

      Bolden burned the Monarchs with a couple of quarterback draws during a 15-play drive that led to a field goal. Like Roback, however, Bolden was unable to get much going in the passing game, completing 3 of 7 for 16 yards.

      "(Brogan) wasn't doing a bad job, but we needed a little bit of a spark and I thought the quarterback runs would give us something," Creighton said.

      The Monarchs led 7-0 at halftime and then boosted the margin to 10 on Ricky Seger's 26-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.

      Dylan Mulder ended the Eagles' scoring drought by booting a 43-yard field goal with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter.

      Old Dominion broke the game open with 7:28 left on some nifty open-field running by Vaughan, who appeared to be hemmed in along the right sideline inside the 25-yard line before breaking free, cutting across the field and scampering untouched the rest of the way.

      "I knew I was close to the sideline so I just tried to keep my heels up and just tippy-toe along there," Vaughan said.

      Heinicke was 17 of 30 passing for 187 yards for the Monarchs, who finished with 367 yards. But the Monarchs converted on just 2 of 15 third-down opportunities¸ and their 17 points were well off their 37.5 average through their first two games.

      Fortunately for the Monarchs, on this night, 17 was more than enough.

      "Our defense won it tonight, and it's not too often we've been able to say that here at Old Dominion," coach Bobby Wilder said.

      The two defenses controlled play throughout the first half, a tone that was set when Eastern Michigan defensive back Kevin Johnson intercepted Heinicke's pass on the third play.

      The first half's only touchdown came midway through the first quarter on Lawry's long run. It marked the 15th time this season the Eagles allowed a play of 30-plus yards.

      The Eagles' defense snuffed out Old Dominion's two other prime scoring opportunities, though.

      Midway through the second quarter, Eastern Michigan linebacker Anthony Zappone recovered Monarchs receiver Antonio Vaughan's fumble at the Eagles' 14.

      And with less than two minutes remaining, the Eagles forced an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line.

      Old Dominion's defense was even stingier, though, never allowing the Eagles to advance beyond the Monarchs' 33 to allow Lawry's TD to stand up for a 7-0 halftime lead.

      NOTES: Eastern Michigan was playing the second of four straight road games covering 2,006 miles during a 42-day span. The Eagles played at Florida on Sept. 6, will visit Michigan State on Saturday and will conclude the trek on Oct. 4 at Akron. ... On the play before RB Ray Lawry's TD, QB Taylor Heinicke completed a 5-yard pass to receiver David Washington on fourth-and-2 from the Monarchs' 40-yard line to keep the drive alive. Washington was the Monarchs' backup quarterback last season before being converted to wide receiver in the offseason. ... The Monarchs' oft-maligned defense pitched a first-quarter shutout for the second time in three games. The only touchdown Old Dominion has surrendered in the opening 15 minutes came last Saturday at N.C. State after Heinicke's interception set the Wolfpack up with first-and-goal at the Monarchs' 2.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    No. 15 Stanford rebounds, shuts out Army
    By The Sports Xchange

    STANFORD, Calif. -- After all four of Stanford's first-team all-conference defenders departed following last season, there was some concern the Cardinal would not be the defensive power they have been in recent seasons.

    • No. 15 Stanford is putting those fears to rest, as it recorded its second shutout of the season in a 35-0 victory over Army on Saturday afternoon at Stanford Stadium.

      "First and foremost, (defensive coordinator) Lance Anderson did a phenomenal job on the defensive side," Stanford head coach David Shaw said. "The defense is in a great place right now, because we're playing great team defense."

      The Cardinal have allowed just 13 points and one touchdown over their first three games.

      Stanford needed the standout defensive effort Saturday, because Army (1-1) trailed just 7-0 until a Black Knights turnover late in the first half helped the Cardinal take control.

      Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was 20-for-28 for 216 yards with no interceptions and four touchdown passes, with three of those TD passes going to wide receiver Devon Cajuste. Wide receiver Ty Montgomery had eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, and he also scored a rushing touchdown.

      Cardinal running back Barry Sanders ran for 92 yards, including a 44-yard run during a 98-yard touchdown drive that gave Stanford a 21-0 lead in the third quarter.

      Stanford scored touchdowns all three times it reached the red zone, an improvement over last week, when the Cardinal missed many scoring opportunities from close range in a 13-10 loss to USC.

      "We're still not where we want to be on offense," Hogan said. "We stalled there in the first half. It was a great day for the defense, shutting them out and making things easier for us."

      By game's end the only suspense was whether Stanford could finish off the shutout with its backups in the game.

      "We were going crazy on the sidelines," said Stanford defensive end Blake Martinez, who had a team-high 11 tackles. "We were giving as much advice as we could to the second defense."

      Stanford preserved the shutout by stopping Army on a fourth-and-1 play from the Cardinal 2-yard line in the final two minutes.

      Army is by no offensive juggernaut, but it did rack up a lot of points in its 47-39 victory over Buffalo in the opener. However, the Black Knights' triple-option attack made little headway against Stanford.

      "When you line up on offense and can't block anyone and get knocked back, I don't care what offense you run, it won't work," said first-year Army coach Jeff Monken. "The (Army) defense did a good job, but we couldn't move the ball."

      This is only the second time since 1972 that Stanford has had two or more shutouts in a season, and the Cardinal have at least nine more games left to increase that total.

      Army running back Larry Dixon, who had 174 rushing yards against Buffalo, ran for just 60 yards on 19 carries against the Cardinal. His fumble in the second quarter was costly.

      Stanford opened with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Hogan completed all five passes he attempted on the drive, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Cajuste.

      Army provided Stanford with a scoring opportunity late in the second quarter when Dixon fumbled at the Army 15-yard line with 1:40 left in the half.

      "It was 0-7, and they gave me the ball and I fumbled it, so a lot of it falls on me," Dixon said.

      Linebacker Kevin Anderson recovered the fumble for Stanford, which needed four plays to turn the turnover into a touchdown. Hogan finished the drive off by lobbing a 2-yard touchdown pass to the 6-foot-4 Cajuste on a third-down play to make it 14-0.

      Stanford bullied Army on its first possession of the third quarter, marching 98 yards on eight plays to make it 21-0. All the yardage on that drive came on the ground until Hogan hit Cajuste on 15-yard scoring pass on a third-and-goal play.

      "They're a lot bigger," Monken said. "Every team we play is a lot bigger than us. We're not going to win many football games unless we play next to perfect on assignments."

      NOTES: The Black Knights completed their first three passes of the game, which made them 10-for-10 through the air for the season before backup QB A.J. Schurr threw Army's first incompletion of the season in the fourth quarter. ... RB Remound Wright, Stanford's leading rusher after two games, did not play because of a foot injury. ... Stanford has a bye next weekend, followed by its first two road games of the season on Sept. 27 at Washington and Oct. 4 at Notre Dame. ... Army last played at Stanford in 1979, and the Black Knights won that game 17-13.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Record-setting Wallace leads Ole Miss to easy win
    By The Sports Xchange

    OXFORD, Miss. -- It was way too easy for the No. 14 Mississippi Rebels in their home opener thanks to another fantastic outing by Bo Wallace.

    • The senior quarterback continued to set passing records in the Rebels' 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday in front of 60,937 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

      Wallace threw four touchdown passes and moved past Jevan Snead into second place on Mississippi's touchdown passing list, with 49. He also tied former Ole Miss great Eli Manning for the school record with 10 300-yard passing games.

      Wallace completed his first 14 passes and finished 23 of 28 for 316 yards.

      It was the kind of performance Wallace feels like he should be able to give at this point in his career.

      "It's what I'm expecting of myself. I'm trying to get into a rhythm as soon as I get out there," Wallace said. "I've felt good the last couple of games. I'm playing like I expect myself to play. I just have to keep doing it each week."

      Ole Miss (3-0) went into its bye week riding high by grabbing a 28-0 lead in the first 22 minutes.

      Running back I'Tavius Mathers started the scoring barrage with a 56-yard touchdown run on the third play for the Rebels, who rolled up 554 total yards.

      Wallace filled in the rest of the work, completing two touchdowns to senior wide receiver Vince Sanders and one for 40 yards to junior running back Jaylen Walton in the opening 30 minutes.

      In the first half, Wallace went 20-for-24 for 290 yards and three touchdowns.

      Nine Rebels caught at least one pass in the game, Sanders leading the way with a career-high eight catches for 125 yards.

      "I'm real, real happy that we went out and took control of the game," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "And we pretty much kept control of it. There are still things we have to clean up that will keep us from being one of the top-tier teams in this country. It was a really solid day for Bo. The receivers played well, for the most part, and it was good to see us get some explosive runs."

      Lafayette (1-2) came to Oxford trying to make up for a disappointing loss at the hands of Louisiana Tech in Week 2. Ole Miss never let the Cajuns get off the mat, setting the tone on defense with some early stops and forcing four turnovers.

      "I told the team before the game, 'The team that wins the turnover battle is going to win the football game,'" Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth said. "I said for us to even keep it close we were going to have to be perfect with the turnovers. On the road against an SEC team, there is no hope with four turnovers."

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson had two interceptions of Lafayette's Terrance Broadway, returning one 59 yards for a touchdown. It was the second straight week a Rebel defensive back returned an interception for a touchdown -- the first time the Rebels have done that since the 2009 season against Memphis and Southeastern Louisiana.

      Ole Miss came into the game leading the SEC with five interceptions. The Rebels now have eight after taking three from Broadway, who hit just 15 of 30 passes for 129 yards.

      "The thing that I think is allowing them to make good breaks on the ball is they are in the right position on the receivers," Freeze said of his defensive backs. "(Coach) Jason (Jones) has done a great job of teaching them technique and working on deep balls."

      NOTES: For the second straight week, Ole Miss returned an interception for a touchdown. ... Ole Miss entered the game ranked No. 1 in the SEC and No. 2 in the nation with five interceptions. The Rebels increased that number with three against Lafayette. ... Ole Miss is off to a 3-0 start for the second straight season, the first time that's happened since 1971-1972.