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Pac-12 Notes


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Pac-12 Notes


September 22nd

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No. 23 Utah gets by Arizona on the road, 30-24

Related … “Turnovers prove costly in Arizona Wildcats’ home loss to Utah” … from the Arizona Republic

From ESPN … When Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley went down with a shoulder injury in the second quarter, the Utes had an experienced and reliable alternative ready.

Troy Williams, a senior who started 13 games last season, came on and guided the No. 23 Utes to a 30-24 victory over Arizona on Friday night in the Pac-12 opener for both schools.

“We’re in a good place quarterback-wise,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “Obviously we want Tyler back as soon as possible, but Troy won nine games for us last year, and he was ready.”

Not that was easy.

Chris Hart recovered Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins’ fumble at Utah’s 20-yard line with 2:33 left to preserve the victory.

Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez didn’t think it was a fumble.

But, Dawkins said, “You’ve got to go with what the refs call and that’s what they called. I shouldn’t have made it close. I should have held the ball a little tighter and not let them get a late strip there. So that’s on me regardless.”

Utah (4-0) led throughout and was up 30-17 late in the fourth quarter, but Dawkins threw a 30-yard TD pass to Tony Ellison with 2:44 to play, cutting the lead to six. The subsequent onside kick attempt bounced downfield, and Arizona’s Shawn Poindexter recovered at the Utes’ 35.

On the next play, Dawkins ran 15 yards to the 20 but fumbled, and Hart recovered.

The Wildcats (2-2) committed five turnovers, including three interceptions by Dawkins.

Jon Wilner posts his Pac-12 picks

From the San Jose Mercury News … We have not quite reached the point of Separation Saturday, but Week Four in the Pac-12 sure stacks up like Identification Saturday … and Friday.

Thus far, the lack of challenging non-conference schedules has muddled assessments.

There are few actuals and many theoreticals:

Theoretically, Colorado, Utah and Oregon are pretty good, if not better than pretty good.

Theoretically, Washington is a playoff contender.

Theoretically, the Arizona schools are headed for the South cellar.

It will be nice to begin the process of collecting answers.

Last week: 5-4-1
Season: 12-14-1
Five-star special: 1-2

Washington (minus-10) at Colorado: Buffaloes have been waiting nine months for this game, but the Huskies are better on the lines of scrimmage and will take command after halftime. Key stat: Despite playing substandard competition, Colorado is No. 98 in red zone touchdown efficiency. Field goals won’t beat UW. Pick: Washington.


September 21st

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ESPN writers pick Pac-12 games

From ESPN … I’ve been around these parts for officially a month now, and I think I’m getting the hang of things. The sun is always out, miles mean nothing on the GPS and it’s smart to pack layers for the three different temperatures Los Angeles hits you with throughout the day.

I’ve also learned that as far as the football side of things go, people are a little more laid-back out here. I mean, no one seems to care about the NFL and I’ve received exactly zero pieces of hate mail for anything negative I’ve said about any teams on this side of the country.

However, I did feel the wrath of some overzealous and salty BYU/Utah fans last week after I downplayed the passion of that rivalry. For the record, I was being facetious and having a little fun. My best friend went to BYU for a semester and then decided he’d rather party in the SEC (smart man) for the rest of his college days. He more than filled me in on the vitriol harbored in the Beehive State between those two schools.

Still, until a message board guy helps to try to bring down the rival just north of him during an NCAA investigation (and legitimately has a hand in it), please, don’t fill my Twitter (@AschoffESPN) mentions with your complaints about how I view your rivalry.

On to the picks! Visit our college football PickCenter page for additional information on these games and many more.

No. 7 Washington (3-0) at Colorado (3-0)

Aschoff: I have to say that my first time in Seattle was great. It didn’t rain much and the seafood was delicious. The Huskies are a very talented team that no one seems to be talking about, while Colorado is a talented team that no one remembers from last year. This should be the game of the day in college football, and Washington will prove that it belongs in the College Football Playoff discussion again. Washington 30, Colorado 24

Kyle Bonagura: After playing in the Pac-12 championship game last year, Washington and Colorado competed to see who could have the more boring nonconference schedule. It was a draw. The Huskies humbled the Buffs, so this will serve as an interesting measuring stick for how they’ve both evolved. Washington 31, Colorado 24

Read other Pac-12 picks here

Nebraska fires it’s athletic director

… CU plays the first of four games with Nebraska (2018, 2019, 2023, 2024) next September in Lincoln … 

From ESPN … Nebraska fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst on Thursday, calling for a higher level of competitiveness five days after the Cornhuskers football team lost to Northern Illinois.

University chancellor Ronnie Green, who did not hire Eichorst, said in a statement that while Eichorst made positive contributions to the school, his “efforts have not translated into on-field performance.”

“We’re not satisfied with the results,” Green said in a news conference with university president Hank Bounds.

The firing is effective immediately, and Nebraska will immediately begin a search for its next athletic director. Eichorst, hired in October 2012 from the University of Miami, will be paid the approximately $1.7 million remaining on his contract, which runs through June 2019.

An interim AD will be named soon. Nebraska plans to use a search firm to assist in the hiring, Green said, and no timetable exists to find a replacement for Eichorst, who took over for Tom Osborne at Nebraska in 2013 and was groomed at Wisconsin by Barry Alvarez. The Badgers’ longtime athletic director, Alvarez is a Nebraska native and former football player for the Huskers.

“Our fans and our student-athletes deserve leadership that drives the highest levels of competitiveness, as well as excellence across all facets of Husker athletics,” Green said in a statement.

The stunning move comes just days after Eichorst, in a rare impromptu meeting with reporters, expressed his frustration and anger over Nebraska’s 1-2 start to the season. He reiterated his support for third-year coach Mike Riley, whom he hired to replace Bo Pelini after the 2014 season.

Continue reading story here


September 20th

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UCLA senior running back Nate Starks out for “significant time”

… CU plays UCLA next Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2 …

From FanRag.com … UCLA Bruins senior running back Nate Starks will miss significant time with an MCL injury in his knee, head coach Jim Mora announced on Monday. Starks left the team’s loss to the Memphis Tigers on Saturday with the injury and had been considered questionable to suit up this upcoming Saturday against the Stanford Cardinal in the team’s Pac-12 opener.

Prior to his departure for the Bruins, Starks rushed for 4 yards on three carries, while also making a catch for 6 yards. He had a more successful showing against Hawaii back on Sept. 9 when he earned seven carries and gained 42 yards, while making three receptions for 68 yards.

As Starks goes down, junior running back Soso Jamabo is nearing a return after missing the game against Memphis on Saturday. The lone game Jamabo has appeared in came during the team’s scintillating Week 1 comeback win against the Texas A&M Aggies. He carried the ball seven times for 46 yards and a touchdown during that game.

The Bruins’ running game has been a committee to open the 2017 season over their first three games. There have been 11 different players to earn a carry, with junior Bolu Olorunfunmi leading the way with 29 carries for 140 yards and a score. Five different players have found the end zone as rushers, including Olorunfunmi and Jamabo.

Starks’ injury will assuredly keep him sidelined when the team takes on Stanford on Saturday. After receiving a career-high 87 carries last season, he was looking to reclaim his sophomore form from 2015 when he had over 300 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.

Jon Wilner’s take on the Pac-12 games of the week

From the San Jose Mercury News

Best matchup (in theory): Washington at Colorado. Should be closer than the Pac-12 title game (41-10), but how much closer? I’m not convinced the Buffaloes are sharp enough offensively to match UW touchdown for touchdown for four quarters. Or even for three.

Best game (in actuality): UCLA at Stanford. Struggling offense vs. turnstile defense and devastating aerial game vs. elite secondary should make for a close, entertaining affair. Also, both team are coming off road losses and are approaching desperation mode, if they aren’t already there.

Statement game: Oregon. Trip to Tempe provides Ducks with a chance to show they’re capable of keeping pace in the North after three mostly-convincing wins over three unquestionably bad teams. (Yes, Nebraska is bad.) Las Vegas has set the over/under at 75. That’s for both teams, not just Oregon.

Last stand: Arizona State. Lose, and the Sun Devils are 1-3 with a grueling stretch upcoming and no reasonable path to the postseason. Lose badly, and the Todd Graham Watch will commence in some corners. Perhaps even the corner offices of the ASU administration.

Continue reading story here


September 19th

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Oregon State quarterback out with spinal injury

From the Oregonian …  Darell Garretson needed an unprintable four-letter word when describing his admiration for the player he will now supplant as Oregon State starting quarterback.

Jake Luton suffered a thoracic spinal fracture Saturday in the fourth quarter of the Beavers’ 52-23 loss at Washington State. Yet despite lying on the Martin Stadium turf for more than seven minutes before being taken to a local hospital on a stretcher and cart, Luton rejoined his teammates on the plane back from Pullman.

“That dude’s tough as s—,” Garretson said.

On Tuesday, OSU started its first bye week of the season without the 6-foot-7 starter whom coaches hoped would rejuvenate a statistically deficient passing offense. The school defined Luton’s status as “week-to-week” and while Luton has pledged on Twitter that he will be back, that offense will be in Garretson’s hands for the time being.

Continue reading story here

Rose Bowl the last holdout … naming rights to be announced

From the San Jose Mercury News … For the first time, the Rose Bowl’s storied field — home to hundreds of gridiron and soccer clashes and live performances by the world’s top musicians — could bear a name.

But it won’t be of a corporate sponsor. The field will be named for Silicon Valley real estate investor and UCLA alum Richard “Tod” Spieker, who is prepared to donate $10 million to kickstart a $40 million fundraising campaign for stadium improvements. Stadium staffers say the upgrades are necessary to keep the Rose Bowl financially viable and preserved for future generations.

The Rose Bowl Operating Company. will seek city approval Monday for new name. Its goal is to raise a total of $40 million by the stadium’s 100th birthday in 2022.

The most prominent place Spieker’s name will be seen is on the hedges that surround the field, not on the field itself, said Darryl Dunn, CEO and general manager of the Rose Bowl.

And you won’t hear Spieker’s name being dropped on broadcasts, as media outlets covering events at the Rose Bowl will not be required to refer to the field as the “Tod Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl,” a requirement often seen at other venues with corporate naming sponsorships, Dunn said.

Continue reading story here


September 18th

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Week Five game time set … Buffs under the lights in the Rose Bowl on ESPN2

From the Pac-12 … 

USC at Washington State … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN

Arizona State at Stanford … 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

Washington at Oregon State … 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

California at Oregon … 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1

Colorado at UCLA … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2

… Utah and Arizona have bye weeks …

5Dimes … No. 7 Washington a 10-point favorite over Colorado (Sat., 8:00 p.m., FS1)

From 5Dimes

Pac-12 lines … 

— Arizona … a 2 1/2-point underdog at home against No. 23 Utah (Fri., 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1)

— California … a 16-point underdog at home against No. 5 USC (Sat., 1:30 p.m., MT, ABC)

— Arizona State … a 14 1/2-point underdog at home against No. 24 Oregon (Sat., 8:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

— Stanford … a 7.0-point favorite at home against UCLA (Sat., 8:30 p.m., ESPN)

— No. 18 Washington State … a 28.0-point favorite at home against Nevada (Sat., 4:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

— Oregon State has a bye (this was the weekend the Beavers were originally scheduled to play Colorado State)


September 16th

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Other Pac-12 games … 

— Pettis’ 4 total TDs leads No. 6 Huskies past Fresno St 48-16 … ESPN recap

— Oregon has no problem with Wyoming, 49-13 … ESPN recap

— Washington State routs Oregon State, 52-23 … ESPN recap

— Shimonek, Texas Tech top Arizona State 52-45 in another duel … ESPN recap

— Huntley’s 4 TD passes carry Utah past San Jose State 54-16 … ESPN recap

— California gets defensive in 27-16 win over Ole Miss … ESPN recap


USC rallies to post double-overtime win over Texas

From ESPN … Deep into the fourth quarter, Southern California and Texas played a defense-dominated, turnover-plagued game that had none of the poetry or flair of these powerhouse programs’ last meeting in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Then the offenses finally found their stride. Texas’ freshman quarterback led a gutsy 91-yard touchdown march in the final minutes of regulation. USC answered with a desperate drive to force overtime.

By the time walk-on Chase McGrath hit a walk-off field goal, this famed matchup definitely had its mojo back.

Sam Darnold passed for 397 yards and three touchdowns, and USC’s freshman kicker hit a 43-yard field goal to end the No. 4 Trojans’ thrilling 27-24 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday night.

Vince Young and Matt Leinart were the quarterbacks for Texas’ 41-38 victory in that famous Rose Bowl matchup 12 seasons ago, and they watched every twist in this sequel from the Coliseum stands.

Darnold and his Trojans (3-0) earned their own memorable win by outlasting a Texas offense led by Sam Ehlinger, the freshman from Austin who nearly engineered a huge win early in coach Tom Herman’s debut season with Texas (1-2).

Continue reading story here

Stanford falls to San Diego State

From ESPN … No. 19 Stanford was already on its heels against San Diego State when aging San Diego Stadium plunged into darkness.

After the lights flickered back on, the Aztecs scored a signature win to leave their Pac-12 foe in the dark.

Christian Chapman threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Wells with 54 seconds left, capping a wild ending sparked by a darkness delay in San Diego State’s 20-17 victory Saturday night.

Six plays before Wells’ score, the game was delayed nearly 25 minutes when most of the lights suddenly went out at what used to be known as Qualcomm Stadium. The city has fallen behind on maintenance of the 50-year-old stadium, and the NFL’s Chargers moved to Los Angeles earlier this year after they couldn’t get a deal for a new home.

The game resumed with the Aztecs on the Stanford 42, and SDSU quickly moved in for the score. On the winner, Chapman rolled right and found Wells, who slammed into Brandon Simmons and tumbled into the end zone.

Continue reading story here

No. 25 UCLA upset by Memphis, 48-45

Related … “Josh Rosen tries to will UCLA to win but falters in 48-45 loss to Memphis” … from the Los Angeles Times

From ESPN … UCLA and Josh Rosen came in with the reputation and the ranking. The Memphis Tigers think it is time they got some respect and notoriety.

Rosen was unable to put together a fourth-quarter comeback like he did in the opener against Texas A&M, and Memphis beat the No. 25 Bruins 48-45 on Saturday. The nationally televised game showcased a Tigers program that is 2-0 and has beaten a ranked team in each of the last three seasons.

Riley Ferguson threw for 398 yards and six touchdowns, and Jacobi Francis broke up a late fourth-down pass to lead Memphis. Francis’ breakup with 56 seconds left sent the Tigers faithful into a celebration.

“They’ve been given nothing. They’ve had to earn everything they’ve ever gotten,” Memphis coach Mike Norvell said about his team. “That’s what today’s about. It’s about going out there and when you get that opportunity and you put the work in, then you go out there and you make the play. That’s why I love this football (team).”

Rosen, considered one of the top quarterbacks in the country, was 34 of 56 for 463 yards and four touchdowns for the Bruins (2-1). But there also were two key interceptions.

Continue reading story here


September 15th

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Arizona routs hapless UTEP, 63-16

Related … “QB Brandon Dawkins accounts for six TDs, Arizona Wildcats beat UTEP” … from the Arizona Republic

From ESPN … Brandon Dawkins scored six touchdowns — three passing and three rushing — to lead Arizona to a 63-16 win over UTEP on Friday night.

Dawkins, who played only one series in the fourth quarter, threw for 155 yards on 18-of-22 passing and ran for 143 yards on 13 carries.

Arizona came into the game as a 25-point favorite, but struggled in the first quarter against winless UTEP before scoring 28 unanswered points.

The Wildcats (2-1) scored on the first play of the second quarter when Dawkins found freshman J.J. Taylor for 2-yard TD on fourth-and-goal, capping a 12-play, 78-yard drive. Dawkins connected with Shun Brown on a 36-yard touchdown pass followed by a 5-yard Dawkins TD run three minutes later to push the lead to 28-0.

After UTEP (0-3) scored on a pass from Zack Greenlee to Tyler Batson with 2:50 remaining in the half, Dawkins scored his fourth touchdown on a 3-yard run as the Wildcats scored 35 second-quarter points to take a 35-9 lead.

Continue reading story here

Hot Seat rankings involving Pac-12 coaches

From CBS Sports.com

Suddenly cooler … 

Jim Mora, UCLA: How do you coach yourself off the hot seat? Orchestrate a 34-point comeback after halftime in front of your home crowd on national television certainly helps. That was Mora did on the opening Sunday night of the year against Texas A&M, and followed it up with a 56-23 win over Hawaii.

Of course, that could change in a hurry — especially if the Bruins fall at Memphis this weekend. For now, Mora has made the program relevant again, quarterback Josh Rosen has vaulted back into the thick of the Heisman Trophy race and the Bruins look like USC’s primary threat in the Pac-12 South.

Wait and See ...

Todd Graham, Arizona State: Consecutive double-digit win seasons in 2013 and 2014 seem like they occurred a decade ago.

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona: Finished higher than fourth in the Pac-12 South once since 2012.

Coaches Hot Seat website

CoachesHotSeat. com

1. Todd Graham – Arizona State … up from No. 2 last week

8. Rich Rodriguez – Arizona … up from No. 21 last week

17. Jim Mora – UCLA … down from No. 9 last week

39. Gary Andersen – Oregon State … just joined the “Edge of Hot Seat” category


September 14th

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UNC running back Zach Lindsay on playing against his brother on Saturday

ESPN GameDay next weekend is heading to … New York City

… Buff fans were hoping that Boulder would be the choice. Perhaps for the USC game …

From ESPN … Mark the date, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is headed to New York City for the first time Saturday, Sept. 23, originating from Times Square and marking the show’s 81st location in its 25 years of road shows.  The seven-time Emmy Award-winning program will air in its traditional timeslot, from 9 a.m. to noon ET, on ESPN and stream on the ESPN App.

“New York City is a melting pot of college football fans and the heartbeat of America,” said ESPN vice president of production Lee Fitting. “Thousands of alumni gather in the city each fall Saturday to root on their school and we are bringing College GameDay to New York for them!  We want every alumni base and college football fan near and far to join us in Times Square to provide the celebratory, festive atmosphere that is synonymous with the show.”

College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit added, “This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for us and the fans. With iconic Times Square as the backdrop and alumni bases from all over the country making their presence known in the crowd, my expectation is that it will be one of the top College GameDay settings of all time. We can’t wait to bring the show to the Big Apple!”

Continue reading story here

CBS – Fornelli’s Top 50

From CBS Sports … The Fornelli 50 didn’t debut on CBS Sports until last season, and now we begin the second year of my rankings. For those of you coming across these rankings for the first time, here’s a quick reminder on how they’re tabulated.

1. My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the rankings: They are based on a mathematical formula of my creation. Early in the season, when there’s such a limited sample size with which to work, there can be some wonky results. It’s a situation that’s more drastic this year, as we have some teams that have played three games, and others who have played only one due to cancellations caused by both hurricanes Harvey and Irma. So keep all of this in mind before you call me an idiot, which I know you will.

2. There is true equality to start: The math doesn’t play favorites. Before the season begins, defending national champion Clemson is just as good as our defending Bottom 25 champion Texas State. The only factor that matters in the rankings is how you’ve performed on the field in 2017 to this point.

3. Wins and losses mean more than anything: I have a lot of different statistics involved, and I factor in strength of schedule, but at the end of the day, whether you won or lost is going to mean more than anything else. Also, just because it’s too difficult for me to rank FCS teams as well, my formula doesn’t have much respect for FCS schools. If you beat one it won’t mean much, and if you lose to one, well, you might show up in The Bottom 25.

4. The formula is in no way predictive: It is based on nothing but what has occurred in the season to this point in time. Just because a team is currently ranked No. 15 does not mean it’s better or that it’s going to beat a team ranked No. 35. It just means that, to this point, it has been the 15th-best team in the country. Think of it as a meritocracy in its purest form.

The Pac-12 … 

6. USC

14. UCLA

19. Colorado: I had some serious concerns about Colorado with everything it lost after last year, but it’s off to a promising start.

20. Washington

28. Oregon

45. California

47. Washington State

48. Utah

Not ranked … Arizona State, Stanford (all of the top 50 teams are undefeated. The Cardinal will return), Arizona, Oregon State


September 13th

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Pac-12 sued by sports marketing company

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 has been sued by a sports marketing company seeking compensation for its role in helping the conference secure a sweeping 2013 deal with AT&T worth tens of millions of dollars to the member universities.

The lawsuit alleges that the Pac-12’s refusal to compensate EMG, which had connections to top AT&T executives, “crippled” the company’s business.

EMG, which is based in Palos Verdes, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

It did not have a written contract with the Pac-12.

“Anticipating a multi-million dollar fee for their work, EMG had invested thousands of hours into the deal and hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses out of pocket,’’ according to a copy of the second amended complaint, which was obtained by the Pac-12 Hotline.

EMG estimates that the conference’s partnership with AT&T, which includes carriage on U-verse for the Pac-12 Networks, is worth $90,000,000 over five years.

The Pac-12 declined to comment. The conference and the Pac-12 Networks are named defendants.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on ongoing litigation,” a conference spokesperson said via email.

Continue reading story here

Jon Wilner Pac-12 Power Rankings 

From the San Jose Mercury News … These power ratings have a subjective, fire-from-the-hip element.

In football terms, the ballot is the scripted series to start the game; the power ratings are akin to making something happen when the pocket collapses.

1. USC … 2. Washington … 3. UCLA … 4. Stanford … 5. Washington State

6. Colorado (2-0)
Last week: 6
Result: Beat Texas State 37-3
Next up: vs. Northern Colorado
Comment: The non-conference schedule does get tougher … next season. CU starts a home-and-home with Nebraska. (When that’s done, Texas A&M comes aboard, and then TCU.)

7. Oregon … 8. Utah … 9. California … 10. Arizona … 11. Arizona State … 12. Oregon State

Nebraska gives Mike Riley a contract extension

Note … CU plays Nebraska in 2018 and 2019, with another home-and-home 2023 and 2024 … 

From the USA Today … Nebraska coach Mike Riley has been given a one-year contract extension through the 2020 season.

Riley originally signed a five-year contract when he was hired in December 2014. He signed the extension last month and is now on a four-year contract.

No salary for the fourth year was listed in paperwork the university provided to The Associated Press on Tuesday. Riley’s base salary is $2.9 million this year, $3 million in 2018 and $3.1 million in 2019.

Riley, who formerly coached at Oregon State, is 16-12 with the Cornhuskers, including 1-1 this season after a 42-35 loss at Oregon last week.

Athletic director Shawn Eichorst said the extension “is indicative of our great belief in his leadership of our program and in our future with him at the helm.”

The Omaha World-Herald first reported the extension.


September 12th

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Buffs in the NFL 

From CUBuffs.com … After Week 1 of the NFL season, we finally have some clarity on where a few Buffs landed on NFL rosters. Some were released and put on injured reserve or practice squad while others made a 53-man roster.

Here is the list of Pro Buffs:

Mason Crosby, David Bahktiari – Green Bay Packers

Jimmy Smith – Baltimore Ravens

Nate Solder – New England Patriots

Paul Richardson, Tedric Thompson – Seattle Seahawks

Chidobe Awuzie – Dallas Cowboys

Ken Crawley – New Orleans Saints

Josh Tupou – Cincinnati Bengals (Practice Squad)

Daniel Munyer – Arizona Cardinals

Will Pericak – Buffalo Bills (Practice Squad)

Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Gilbert– San Francisco 49ers

Offensive lineman Stephane Nembot was waived by the Baltimore Ravens, but remains on their injured reserve list. Also, linebacker Jimmie Gilbert remains on the San Francisco 49ers injured reserve list.

Long snapper Justin Drescher reached an injury settlement with the New Orleans Saints and was cut. Wide receiver Nelson Spruce was waived from the L.A. Rams after reaching an injury settlement with the team. Linebacker Kenneth Olugbode was waived by the Cleveland Browns. Defensive tackle Jordan Carrell was cut by the Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback Sefo Liufau was waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after reaching an injury settlement with the team.

Cal loses leading returning running back

From NBC Sports … Tre Watson entered the 2017 season with his name on the preseason watch lists for the Paul Hornung and Doak Walker awards.  The Cal running back will end it watching his teammates from the sidelines.

Bears head coach Justin Wilcox has confirmed that Watson will miss the remainder of the 2017 season because of an unspecified injury to his right knee.  The senior sustained the injury in the first quarter of the Week 2 win over Weber State.

“You feel for a guy like that that’s put in so much time and effort into the program,” Wilcox said. “We’ll have his back. Now it’s going to be the next man up at that position. He’ll bounce back from this, but it’s never easy going through that.”

The next man up at the position appears to be Patrick Laird, who ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries in helping the Bears to easily get past their FCS opponent.

Last season, Watson was second on the Bears in rushing yards with 709 and led the team with four rushing touchdowns.  He ran for 83 yards in less than five quarters worth of work this season.


September 11th

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5Dimes … CU a 37-point favorite over Northern Colorado

From 5Dimes

Pac-12 lines … 

— Arizona … a 20-point favorite on the road over UTEP

— UCLA … (only) a three-point favorite on the road over Memphis

— Colorado … a 37-point favorite at home over Northern Colorado

— Washington State … a 21 1/2-point favorite at home over Oregon State

— Oregon … a 14-point favorite on the road against Wyoming

— Arizona State … a 7 1/2-point underdog on the road against Texas Tech

— USC … a 17-point favorite at home against Texas

— Washington … a 33-point favorite at home against Fresno State

— Utah … a 27-point favorite at home against San Jose State

— California … a 3-point underdog at home against Mississippi

— Stanford … a 9 1/2-point favorite on the road over San Diego State

Luke Falk to start at quarterback for Washington State despite benching v. Boise State

From ESPN … Washington State quarterback Luke Falk will start for the Cougars against Oregon State on Saturday, coach Mike Leach said.

Falk was benched for a series in the second half of the Cougars’ 47-44 triple-overtime win over Boise State and then was knocked from the game with an apparent injury early in the fourth quarter. With Falk sidelined, backup quarterback Tyler Hilinski helped the Cougars erase a 31-10 deficit to force overtime and threw the game-winning touchdown pass in the third overtime period.

“I wanted Luke to see how easy it was out there, which it was until Tyler tried to do too much,” said Leach, when asked why Falk was pulled before the injury. “Then we held Luke for precautionary reasons.”

Hilinski finished the day 25-of-33 for 240 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Falk was 24-of-34 for 193 yards with no scores and an interception.

Leach added that the distribution of the reps in practice would not change.

Continue reading story here


6 Responses to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. cricky

    I always love it when the “fans deserve something better” out at Nubs. That means they are in full meltdown. Why just react when you can over react?

  2. buffnaustin

    If Eichorst was the problem at Nubraska then it is too bad they didn’t keep him.

  3. Old Codger


    Gimmee a break. While I love the City, outside of Murray Hill where all the recent college grads move, I’ll bet there aren’t 25 regular college football fans in Manhattan. Its a pro-sports town, as is most of the East Coast.

    And to choose Manhattan’s cheesiest, most-touristy spot, Times Square?

    Oh brother! Its no wonder ESPN’s ratings are on the decline, with stupid decisions such as that!

  4. DenverBuff

    Hope your right about 8-4, but I have some doubts. CU got lucky last year and won all the close games. Usually, we wins some close ones, but lose some too. Pac 12 was weak last year, will be a stronger conference this year so 8 wins might be 1 too many. I hope we get them all, but I am not sure yet. Also, I didn’t think the defense was as good against CSU as some say. I was at the game and then watched on film. The flags really helped the score, but CSU marched down the field a lot on us. Granted it was between the 30 yd lines, but their offense look a lot better than our offense, yet the stats show otherwise.
    Just some thoughts as we wait for the Washington game to see how good we really are.

  5. As it relates to Josh Rosen’s win, I loved how the Wunderkind Jedd Fisch dialed up that play to throw the ball right through the DB’s hands, landing safely in his receiver’s belly, for an easy touchdown. Great offensive mind.

    And, if anyone saw that prayer that Rosen tossed, trying to get the ball out of bounds, and instead it too was caught for a touchdown. What an amazing play design.

    Now, we know “players make plays, and players win games.” And, we also know that coaching has a lot to do with putting their players in the right places, at the right times, and helping them build the tools to be successful when those opportunities arise. Nobody doubts either of those statements, do they?

    And, from my vantage point? Our Buffs have a solid amount of both: “players making plays” and coaches putting them in the right positions to do so, and having them ready to perform when the time comes.

    I’d say 10 and 4 and from worst to first in the Pac 12 South support that narrative. Looking forward to their adding to it this year, on their way back to the Pac 12 Championship game. And? Winning it.

    Lots of football between now and then, but? I’m liking what I’m seeing so far. Offensively, defensively and? Yes, special teams too. They’ll get better every week. I’m still a “little” worried they may drop a game they shouldn’t (Cal? OSU?) b/c there are still likely to be growing pains. And, potentially some bad breaks, too. But? At least they’ve got a team that can now overcome those when they happen, vs. during the recent “lost decade” of CU Football. Man, am I fired up for this team.

    Go Buffs!

    • Marcus

      Eric, I have to agree on those lucky plays of Rosen, at times he’s sharp and has great throws, but those two were plain luck. The defender should have just batted the ball down with him being right in front of the end zone and it being that late in the game with the lead. I thought the other was more of a hail mary type pass that was up for grabs, just his guy came down with it. If it had been a TO everyone would have been saying it was a bad decision to heave it like that.

      But, like I said, he can have some great passes that are quick releases and sharp, but when he misses other throws the announcers are still gushing about the last great throw, or blaming the receiver, or the line, or… The young man is good, but he makes mistakes too. Those two times he got very lucky to not only not have a TO, but to get a TD both times too.

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