POSTED: September 17, 2022

Pac-12 Notes – Minnesota Week


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Pac-12 Notes – Minnesota Week

September 17th 

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UCLA (a 15.5-point favorite) escapes with a 32-31 home win over South Alabama

From ESPN … Nicholas Barr-Mira kicked a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the game and UCLA escaped South Alabama’s upset bid with a 32-31 victory Saturday.

The Jaguars looked to be in control of becoming the fourth Sun Belt Conference team in two weeks to beat a Power Five team, but were done in when a trick play went awry. The Jaguars tried a fake field goal with 2:52 remaining but Tanner McGee was sacked by Carl Jones Jr., giving the Bruins the ball at the 33.

UCLA drove 61 yards in 10 plays, culminating in Barr-Mira’s second field goal of the day.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 20 of 30 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns as the Bruins start 3-0 for the first time since 2015.

La’Damian Webb rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown and Carter Bradley passed for 237 yards and two scores for South Alabama (2-1), which was looking to join Marshall, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt’s hit parade. Last Saturday, Marshall and Appalachian State posted upsets against ranked teams Notre Dame and Texas A&M and Georgia Southern’s win over Nebraska got Scott Frost fired.

Webb and Bradley transferred to South Alabama this season. Webb, who spent the past two seasons at Jones Community College in Mississippi, had his first 100-yard game.

Bradley was at Toledo the last four years and nearly led the Rockets to a road upset at Notre Dame last season. He completed 26 of 36 passes, including a 4-yard TD to Caullin Lacy late in the third quarter to put the Jaguars up 31-23 late in the third quarter.

South Alabama led 20-17 at halftime, but UCLA took its first lead on the opening drive of the second half when Thompson-Robinson connected with Kam Brown for an 11-yard touchdown. Barr-Mira’s 28-yard field goal extended the lead to 23-17 before South Alabama responded.

Marco Lee’s 1-yard run up the middle for his second TD put the Jaguars up by one with 1:43 remaining in the third. South Alabama got the ball back when Thompson-Robinson fumbled on the first play of the ensuing drive and it was recovered by Ed Smith IV at the UCLA 6. Two plays later, Lacy’s score extended the Jaguars lead to eight.

Continue reading story here

Notre Dame picks up first win of the season over Cal, 24-17

From ESPN … Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman finally got his first victory. It wasn’t easy.

Drew Pyne passed for two touchdowns and 150 yards in his first career start and Notre Dame overcame numerous mistakes to hold on to beat California 24-17 Saturday.

Freeman was asked what was going through his mind when two potentially game-clinching turnovers were overturned, one on a targeting penalty and another when Cal quarterback Jack Plummer was ruled down before he fumbled.

“It was a conversation between me and God, and a conversation between me and myself to focus on what matters,” Freeman said.

The way the Irish have played this season has a lot of Irish fans praying and talking to themselves.

The Irish (1-2) outscored Cal (2-1) 10-0 in the fourth quarter to avoid becoming just the third Notre Dame squad to start a season 0-3. The Irish, who started the season ranked No. 5, had blown leads three times, made sure there was no second-half letdown this time.

“Found a way to finish,” Freeman said. “I’m proud of those guys. You know what, it is hard to win football games. It’s hard. You’ve seen it in the first three games. It’s hard.”

It wasn’t over until the last play as officials overturned two plays that appeared to be game-clinching turnovers for the Irish, giving the Bears a last-second shot. On fourth-and-13 from the Notre Dame 35, Cal’s Jack Plummer threw the ball into the end zone. The ball bounced off several players and Bears receiver Jeremiah Hunter nearly pulled it in, but the ball landed on the grass.

It was a familiar feeling for the Bears, who had five losses by seven points or less last season.

“It’s gut-wrenching. We had chances to win. Too many errors. One or two more plays,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said.

Continue reading story here

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September 16th

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NFL airs on Amazon – Could the Pac-12 be next?

From the San Jose Mercury News … One of the most important games of the Pac-12 season was played Thursday night, didn’t involve Pac-12 teams and, in fact, wasn’t even a college matchup.

The NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ made its debut on Amazon with the Chargers facing the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Amazon has streamed the NFL in previous seasons, those were simulcasts of the FOX broadcast. This week marks the first regular-season NFL game with Amazon as the exclusive rights-holder. It produced the game and served as the sole national distributor.

Expect Pac-12 executives and key campus officials to be glued in.

By this time next month, the conference and Amazon could be partners.

Multiple sources in the sports media industry — none of them affiliated with the Pac-12 office or the campuses — have told the Hotline that commissioner George Kliavkoff is serious about a media rights agreement with Amazon.

“George is focused on digital,” a source explained recently — and it wasn’t a reference to ESPN+.

Kliavkoff hinted at that possibility during the Pac-12’s preseason kickoff event in late July, explaining that a deal with one of the major digital media companies was “highly likely.”

The comment was vague enough that it could have been taken as a reference to ESPN’s digital arm. Or to Peacock (NBC) or Paramount+ (CBS). And Kliavkoff hasn’t uttered a public peep about his media strategy since then.

But six weeks later, some clarity has emerged: A multi-year partnership with Amazon is under consideration.

“It’s smart,” a second source said. “They could get more money relative to their real media value with Amazon.”

It’s unclear where the Pac-12’s media negotiations stand. The conference revealed in early July, following the announced departures of USC and UCLA for the Big Ten, that Kliavkoff would begin negotiating a media rights agreement.

As the Pac-12’s existing partners, ESPN and Fox were permitted an exclusive 30-day negotiating window. But no timeline was given for the start of the exclusive window and, at the time, the two networks were immersed in negotiations with the Big Ten.

If Fox, ESPN and the Pac-12 agreed to delay the exclusive window until the Big Ten completed its deal, the clock would not have started until the second half of August — and be coming to a close this week or next.

The exclusive window gives ESPN and Fox a chance to lock up the Pac-12’s rights for another contract cycle, either separately or in combination.

If no agreement is reached, the Pac-12 would take its inventory to the marketplace and negotiate with other companies, including Amazon.

Continue reading story here

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September 15th

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“Overwhelming majority” of Division I AD’s want to keep FBS football under NCAA

From ESPN … An overwhelming majority of Division I athletic directors at the annual fall LEAD1 meeting on Wednesday expressed a “strong preference” to keep FBS football under the NCAA if it can be more streamlined and less bureaucratic.

Tom McMillen, the CEO and president of the organization representing the 131 athletic directors in the FBS, said there were a total of 105 ADs who participated in the closed-door discussions (about 80 in-person and the rest virtually), and that by a show of hands in the room, it was clear they prefer the NCAA continues its oversight of the most popular sport in college athletics.

“Rarely do we have such consensus on an issue,” McMillen said. “It was doubly reaffirmed today that the status quo was not acceptable, and that there was a strong, very strong preference for a model in the NCAA that is extremely streamlined and much less bureaucratic. That’s a lot of details to be worked out in that, but a much [more] streamlined governance within the NCAA. And if that can’t be accomplished, move it to the outside.”

FBS football is currently the only collegiate sport that is governed by the NCAA but runs its own national championship through the College Football Playoff. The NCAA deals with issues such as rules, officiating, concussion litigation and enforcement, but doesn’t receive any money from the CFP. The idea of separating FBS football from the NCAA began in December 2020, when the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics proposed it.

The commission has continued to back its recommendation for the NCAA to “govern all other sports in a reorganized Division I governance, and schools with FBS football programs would remain part of the NCAA in all other sports except football.”

The idea had gained traction, especially as college athletics has undergone sweeping changes, including name, image and likeness rights for athletes, another round of conference realignment, and the recent approval of a 12-team playoff in the CFP.

Continue reading story here

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September 14th

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CU in the “waiting room” for ESPN “Bottom Ten”

From ESPNInspirational thought of the week:

If you can walk or crawl, let’s leave this hospital
And take this car far as it goes
Lost and kicked about, sun belt scars remove all doubt
Cover up, this chapter’s closed, no, this world ain’t all snow

— “Sun Belt Scars,” by Banner Pilot

Here at Bottom 10 headquarters, located behind the buckets where my SEC Network coworkers puked up their Nashville hot chicken, we have long been on the Sun Belt bandwagon. Which is to say that we have ridden on that wagon when it not only didn’t have a band, but it was trying to roll on four flat tires.

We’re talking about the not-so-long ago days when Georgia State was racking up Bottom 10 championships. When Georgia Southern fans were angry at me because I jokingly called them Georgia Southern Not State. When R.O.C.K. in the UTSA was a decade-long joke. When the only notes of notability about Coastal Carolina were that its field was teal and its mascot was a rooster first written about by Chaucer.

Now all of those teams are bowl season regulars. And thanks to the unforgettable Week 2 Saturday conjured up by them and their conference cohorts, the cloud-busting beams of the #FunBelt have giddily sunburned shoulders in the unsuspecting seating bowls of college football’s most stories venues, from College Station to Lincoln to South Bend. And the three big winners — Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Marshall — were paid more than a million bucks each to slap the faces of the superpowers who had just signed those checks.

5. The Ghost of Dana X. Bible

From 1917 until 1928, head coach Dana X. Bible led Texas A&M to five Southwest Conference titles and a pair of national championships. But in ’29 he left for Nebraska, where he won another six conference championships in eight seasons. How did he land that job? Because it had been turned down by their first choice, Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne, who told Nebraska administrators that he couldn’t leave his beloved Fighting Irish, but added, “I am recommending a man you probably know little about. He is Dana X. Bible at Texas A&M and I consider him the finest young coach in America. If you can get him, he’s your man.” Oh, and Bible finished his head coaching career with a decade at Texas. One can only imagine Bible and Knute bellied up to a bar in college football heaven this past Saturday as they watched their beloved Aggies, Huskers and Irish being simultaneously smoked by the Sun Belt, not to mention the Horns’ blown lead against Bama. The comments were no doubt Dana X-rated.

8. Colora-duh State (0-2)

Most in the Centennial State will agree that it is total ram doo-doo that Colorado State no longer plays Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. Most in the Mile High State agree that it is a pile of buffalo caca that the best the teams could do was schedule home-and-homes sporadically over the next two decades. But we all can agree that the absence will be felt most this year, when both schools are 0-2 and playing like their cleats stepped in all of that dung previously mentioned.

Waiting list: Temple of Doom, Colora-duh, ULM (pronounced “ulm”), the year 2022 B.C., UTEP Minors, Whew Mexico, FI(not A)U, Minute Rice, the entire AFC South.

Read full story here

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September 13th

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CU sinks (rises?) from No. 25 to No. 5 in CBS Bottom 25 Rankings

From CBS SportsHeadline: “College football rankings: Colorado sinks in The Bottom 25 after blowout loss to Air Force” 

If recently-fired Scott Frost can take solace in anything, it’s that he didn’t leave Nebraska in The Bottom 25. OK, he can also take solace in the extra $7.5 million he’s getting in buyout money since somebody at Nebraska didn’t want to wait a few more weeks to fire him. Which, honestly, makes me wonder if Frost didn’t tank the Georgia Southern game knowing a loss could be worth $7.5 million.

Would you lose a game on purpose for $7.5 million? I would. Anyway, I’m getting off-topic! The point here is that Nebraska is not ranked in this week’s Bottom 25, so it’s not as bad for the Cornhuskers as you might think. I recommend that athletic director Trev Alberts mentions this to every potential candidate and that Scott Frost puts “wasn’t in The Bottom 25 when fired” on his resume as he sits by the phone waiting for Nick Saban to call and offer him an analyst job.

As for the teams that are in The Bottom 25, we start, as we so often do, in the MAC.

No. 5 … Colorado … I made the mistake of betting Colorado to cover the spread against Air Force. The basic premise was that the Buffs were a Power Five team and three-score dogs to a service academy. Well, a 41-10 loss later, and I’m not betting the Buffs again in 2022. I’m sure an awful run defense won’t have trouble stopping Minnesota this week! (last week: 25)

No. 2 … Colorado State … Jay Norvell is off to a rough start at Colorado State. The 51-7 loss to Michigan wasn’t a surprise to anybody. But the 34-19 home loss to a Middle Tennessee team that lost by 37 to James Madison the week before? Yikes. Now the Rams must go on the road and face the Washington State team that beat Wisconsin last week. (last week: 10)

No. 1 … Hawai’i … The next couple of weeks will be crucial for Hawaii. With Duquesne this week and New Mexico State the week after, these could prove to be the best chances at wins this year. If they lose both games, it’s a near certainty this team will be a contender for the Bottom 25 title this year. Hell, it probably will be, regardless. (last week: 1)

Read full story here

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September 12th

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Nebraska’s issue: If Frost Couldn’t Succeed, Who Can?

From CBS Sports … When the 47-year-old Frost was fired Sunday on the heels of a 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern of the Sun Belt, one obvious questioned loomed over the college football world: If Frost didn’t work at Nebraska, who will?

Whomever replaces Frost will walk in the door knowing the obvious: Nebraska has lost its way, and the road map out isn’t immediately available. Getting on a hamster wheel of coaches would to slow down any program. Frost, the fifth Nebraska coach since Tom Osborne retired in 1997, was just the latest example of a giant whiff that no one saw coming.

Nebraska is now a rebuild the scope of which its next coach may not realize. In leaving the Big 12 in 2012, Nebraska lost a big part of its history and tradition — to the point that the average 17-year-old recruit might have trouble distinguishing Tom Osborne from Ozzy Osbourne.

All of it combined to highlight Nebraska’s isolation as an outpost in a league that bragged about its big-city links to New York and Chicago. Thanks to more realignment, it is now the closest Big Ten program to incoming members USC and UCLA (1,500 miles). So, there’s that.

ESPN executive Burke Magnus made news a couple of weeks ago when he said the network looks for rivalries, not markets, in realignment. Try to name Nebraska’s biggest rival in the Big Ten. A contrived rivalry with Iowa never caught on with the masses. To be realistic, though, these are ruthless times.

Nebraska needed to take the Big Ten money and cut ties with a lot of its history, but it doesn’t mean it fit. In fact, the Big Ten move feels like a net negative. Look what scores of Nebraska athletic directors and administrators did with those millions: not nearly enough. A conference marriage of economic convenience has been witness to the continued eroding of a program. All of it has been confounding.

The Program Formerly Known as a National Power had plenty of practice at this. It tried the unknown (Bill Callahan), the fiery defensive assistant (Bo Pelini) and the retread (Mike Riley).

Nebraska can get back; there’s simply too much ambition there. In the process of watching Georgia Southern gain 642 yards on Saturday, possibly the game’s most loyal fans were screaming their lungs out. There are growing NIL opportunities for players, which negates the isolation issue.

Athletic director Trev Alberts, another Huskers legacy, has taken a calm, steady approach to the inevitable. The school ate $15 million in Frost buyout money to get in line early to hire the best coach possible and ensure recruiting did not suffer further in the 19 days it would’ve needed to wait to see that buyout drop to $7.5 million on Oct. 1.

As long as the Nebraska job is open, the program is a national story. No. 6 Oklahoma visits this week, so consider that game a three-hour commercial for what could be in Lincoln, Nebraska. A potential coaching savior and the talent who might follow will be watching. There are scores of accomplished coaches who would be great fits.

Continue reading story here

Candidates to replace Scott Frost (first road game: at CU – 9/9/23)

From CBS Sports … Nebraska is not the same quality of job it used to be. In moving from the Big 12 to the Big Ten, the program lost its identity. Traditional recruiting grounds in Texas and California were either ignored or eventually shriveled up. Nebraska has no natural rival in the Big Ten, as much as some want to make Iowa that team. Instead, it’s seen a far-flung outpost in a league that suddenly boasts a presence in New York, Chicago and soon Los Angeles.

Can the Huskers rebound? Absolutely. Look at the teams against which they have lost. Northwestern has played in two of the last four Big Ten Championship Games. Georgia Southern’s Clay Helton was the first coach fired last season at USC. Almost a year to the day, he had a hand in beating Nebraska and ousting Frost.

Nebraska can turn its program around quickly; it just hasn’t done so as of late. The next hire must hit because the hamster wheel of coaches since Osborne is worn and rusted. Meanwhile, a once-proud program suffers.

Nebraska coaching candidates

Mark Stoops, Kentucky coach: Stoops has spent a decade methodically developing the Wildcats into an above-average, competent SEC program. Twice since 2018 he has won 10 games, perhaps prompting his angry comeback recently when John Calipari suggested Kentucky is far more focused on basketball success. Coming off one of his biggest wins Saturday at Florida, there is evidence Stoops may have peaked with the Wildcats. Nothing against Stoops, but no one is beating Georgia anytime soon. He’d have much better access to the Big Ten Championship Game (as opposed to the SEC Championship Game) playing in the Big Ten West. His culture, tireless work ethic and no-nonsense approach would appeal to Nebraska. If you don’t want to call him the new Bo Pelini, fine, but don’t forget Pelini’s legacy (67-27 in seven seasons) looks damn good right now. Stoops may be even better than that … without the baggage.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State coach: Several sources have told CBS Sports that Campbell is interested in Nebraska. It’s certainly more highly resourced than Iowa State, especially with the Big 12 moving down in the pecking order with the forthcoming departures of Texas and Oklahoma. But Campbell has to get to a certain level this season to be in the mix. That means 6-6 or even 7-5 might not be good enough for Nebraska, which absolutely has to hit a home run this time around. Campbell (10-7 in his last 17 games) may have simply hit his ceiling at Iowa State. Prior to this development, insiders were saying Campbell was interested in only two jobs: Ohio State and Notre Dame. Both are filled at the moment.

Mickey Joseph, Nebraska interim coach: Joseph has a lot of support as Frost’s associate head coach and a fellow former Huskers quarterback under Osborne. Like Frost, Joseph worked his way up the coaching ladder most recently at LSU where he developed what some say is the best group of wide receivers in history. Like Frost, he has a national championship ring (LSU, 2019). He would also bring continuity to the program. With the timing of the firing being almost all about recruiting — Nebraska is swallowing $15 million to fire Frost before Oct. 1, when the buyout dropped to $7.5 million — Joseph would be able to pick up where Frost left off on the trail.

Bill O’Brien, Alabama offensive coordinator: “Obie” already has Big Ten experience as the first Penn State coach in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. There is no healthier coaching tree from which to pick a coach: Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. He has coached both a Heisman Trophy winner (Bryce Young) and the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). The feeling right now: If O’Brien goes anywhere, it’s back to the NFL perhaps to replace Belichick one day.

Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin defensive coordinator: Like Oklahoma’s Brent Venables, Leonhard has turned down a lot of interest from head coaching opportunities. Like Venables at Clemson, Leonhard has to be figuring he has a better job right now. His next gig has to be the absolute right fit. Moving within the division to suddenly chase his old boss, Paul Chryst, and alma mater doesn’t seem like an ideal move. Leonhard is a brilliant defensive mind, but does Nebraska want to put all its eggs in the basket of a hot assistant who had never assembled a staff or been responsible for recruiting?

AP Top 25 Poll: Oregon back in; Utah falls despite 73-7 victory

From CBS Sports … Georgia overtook Alabama for the No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 on Sunday after the Crimson Tide struggled in a 20-19 win at Texas on Saturday. The Bulldogs beat Samford 33-0 the week after beginning their season with a 49-3 drubbing of Oregon in Atlanta. Georgia’s ascension to the top spot caps a rapid early-season rise for the reigning national champions, which were ranked No. 3 in the AP’s preseason poll.

The Longhorns, meanwhile, make their first appearance in the AP Top 25 this year despite the Week 2 loss to the Crimson Tide. Largely without the services of starting quarterback Quinn Ewers, Texas used a strong defensive effort nearly pull the home upset.

Elsewhere, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 10 Arkansas each rose after conference victories on Saturday, meaning the SEC makes up four spots in this week’s top 10. The Wildcats used a strong second-half effort to pull away from Florida in The Swamp. Tennessee also rose nine spots to No. 15 after winning at Pittsburgh.

Another big winner in this week’s AP poll is USC, which improved to 2-0 under first-year coach Lincoln with a 41-28 win at Stanford. The Trojans rose to No. 7, up three spots, and have already risen seven spots from their preseason ranking of No. 14. USC’s rise came at the expense of the likes of No. 17 Baylor, No. 24 Texas A&M and unranked Notre Dame, which all plummeted from top 10 rankings because of Week 2 losses.

Top 25 …

1. Georgia (53)
2. Alabama (9)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Michigan
5. Clemson
6. Oklahoma
7. USC … +3
8. Oklahoma State
9. Kentucky
10. Arkansas
11. Michigan State
12. BYU
13. Miami
14. Utah … -1 
15. Tennessee
16. NC State
17. Baylor
18. Florida
19. Wake Forest
20. Ole Miss
21. Texas
22. Penn State
23. Pittsburgh
24. Texas A&M
25. Oregon … +1

Others receiving votes: Marshall (85), Cincinnati (80), Appalachian State (80), Kansas State (77), North Carolina (71),

Mississippi State (43), Florida State (42), Oregon State (42), Minnesota (37), Washington State (30), Notre Dame (23),

Air Force (19), Texas Tech (17), Wisconsin (7), Auburn (4), Iowa State (4), Purdue (1)

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September 11th 

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Nebraska fires Scott Frost three weeks into the season

From ESPN … Nebraska fired coach Scott Frost on Sunday, one day after a 45-42 home loss to Georgia Southern in what had become an untenable situation for the Huskers.

Nebraska (1-2) had been a three-touchdown favorite.

“Earlier today I met with Coach Frost and informed him we were making a change in the leadership of our football program, effective immediately. Scott has poured his heart and soul into the Nebraska Football program both as a quarterback and head coach, and I appreciate his work and dedication,” Nebraska vice chancellor for athletics Trev Alberts said in a statement.

Associate head coach Mickey Joseph will take over for the rest of the season. Nebraska hosts Oklahoma on Saturday.

Frost returned home to coach his alma mater in 2018 after two seasons at UCF, including an undefeated run in 2017.

But Frost was never able to get the Huskers going. Alberts made a surprising move last November when he announced he would bring back Frost after what turned out to be a 3-9 season. Frost fired four offensive assistants, had his pay cut from $5 million to $4 million and agreed to having his buyout drop from $15 million to $7.5 million on Oct. 1.

There was no immediate word Sunday of a negotiated settlement.

After Alberts gave him one more chance heading into this season to turn around the program, Nebraska started the year with a disappointing loss to Northwestern. The loss to Georgia Southern only added to the problems.

Frost ends his Nebraska coaching career with a 16-31 mark.

September 10th 

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Washington State upsets No. 19 Wisconsin, 17-14

From ESPN … Nakia Watson acknowledged having extra motivation this week facing his former team.

No wonder he was a little more emotional than usual afterward.

Watson scored both of Washington State’s touchdowns as the Cougars upset No. 19 Wisconsin 17-14 on Saturday. Watson rushed for 522 yards and five touchdowns at Wisconsin from 2019-20 before transferring.

“Normally, I’m not a person that cries,” Watson said afterward. “But I cried a little bit, I’m not going to lie.”

Watson scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and put the Cougars ahead for good by turning a short completion into a 31-yard score with 5:12 left in the third period. Watson said he followed the counsel of running backs coach Mark Atuaia, who reminded him to maintain his poise at all times.

He only let his emotions out once the game ended while thanking Atuaia for the advice.

“The fireworks were going in my head when the clock hit zero,” said Watson, who had 10 carries for 33 yards.

Washington State (2-0) was about a 17-point underdog but survived a game that featured multiple bizarre plays and produced a happy homecoming for Watson and Cougars coach Jake Dickert.

Dickert was born in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, about 65 miles east of Camp Randall Stadium. Dickert played for Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 2002-06, and about 200 friends and relatives gathered for a pregame tailgate.

Several of them hung around for a postgame celebration around the visitors’ locker room.

“I think a few of the are looking for some beers in the fridge that aren’t there,” Dickert quipped. “Just Gatorades and water.”

This game featured two separate plays in which one team intercepted a pass and then fumbled the ball away, creating a first down for the team that threw the pick.

Wisconsin (1-1) trailed 17-14 and faced third-and-6 from the Washington State 9 midway through the fourth quarter when defensive tackle Christian Mejia picked off a Graham Mertz pass before losing the ball. Mertz recovered the fumble at the Washington State 20, but a personal foul on tight end Clay Cundiff pushed Wisconsin back to the 35.

Cundiff then caught a 24-yard pass, but Quinn Roff forced a fumble that Sam Lockett III recovered at the 12 with 5:14 left.

Washington State never gave up possession the rest of the way.

Continue reading story here

No. 11 Oklahoma State takes out Arizona State, 34-17

From ESPN … Spencer Sanders passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, and No. 11 Oklahoma State defeated Arizona State 34-17 on a rainy Saturday night.

Sanders passed for 268 yards and ran for 54, and Dominic Richardson ran for 131 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 44 yards for the Cowboys (2-0).

Emory Jones passed for 223 yards and a touchdown and Xazavian Valladay rushed for 118 yards and a score for Arizona State (1-1).

In the second quarter, Oklahoma State’s Brock Martin’s hit Valladay hard and forced a fumble, Tyler Lacy recovered and the Cowboys took over at the Arizona State 37. Oklahoma State took advantage, and Richardson’s 3-yard touchdown run gave the Cowboys a 7-3 lead.

Later in the quarter, Sanders kept on the option for a 6-yard touchdown run to put Oklahoma State up 14-3 with just under three minutes left before halftime. His score capped an 11-play, 96-yard drive. The Cowboys tacked on a field goal to lead 17-3 at the break.

Valladay’s 1-yard touchdown run, which came shortly after a 73-yard reception by Giovanni Sanders, cut Oklahoma State’s lead to 17-10.

After an Oklahoma State field goal, Jones connected with Elijhah Badger for a 21-yard touchdown that pulled Arizona State to 20-17 with 14:25 to play. The Cowboys responded with trickery as Sanders found Bryson Green wide open on a flea-flicker, and the 31-yard score put Oklahoma State in control for good.

Continue reading story here

Cal defensive stands holds off UNLV, 20-14

From ESPN … Jaydn Ott scored two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air, and California’s defense stiffened late to lead the Bears to a 20-14 victory over UNLV on Saturday.

Cal (2-0) made three fourth-down stops in the second half, including a fourth and goal opportunity for the Rebels from the Cal 8 with 2:46 remaining that preserved Cal’s six-point lead.

UNLV got the ball back one more time with 1:03 remaining, but Isaiah Young intercepted UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield deep in Cal territory on the game’s final play. That clinched the Bears’ first 2-0 start since 2019 as they turn their attention to next week’s game at Notre Dame, the marquee opponent on Cal’s schedule.

“I think it’s huge for us, giving us a little bit of confidence and momentum going into a tough game,” Cal safety Daniel Scott said. “We’ve got to keep building. At the end of the day, we’re 2-0 and that’s the best part about it.”

Jack Plummer threw for 278 yards and a touchdown as the Golden Bears got off to a fast start on offense. But after taking a 20-7 lead on a Dario Longhetto field goal midway through the third quarter, Cal’s offense stalled and UNLV (1-1) grabbed momentum.

Aidan Robbins rushed for 84 yards for UNLV, including a 31-yard score in the third that brought the Rebels to within 20-14.

Three times Cal drove to UNLV’s 10-yard line or deeper and didn’t get touchdowns. The Bears settled for two field goals and Plummer was intercepted on the third drive.

“The goal, No. 1 , is to win the game, and it carries more weight than any other goal,” California coach Justin Wilcox said. “We also recognize where we need to be better.”

Continue reading story here

CSU falls 34-19 to Middle Tennessee

… The Blue Raiders lost their opener, 44-7, against James Madison …

From ESPN … Tra Fluellen returned an interception for a score on the first play from scrimmage, Frank Peasant ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns in the second quarter and Middle Tennessee never trailed as the Blue Raiders beat Colorado State 34-19 Saturday.

Peasant finished with 22 carries for 93 yards. Chase Cunningham completed 31 of 39 passes for 266 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Metcalf that gave Middle Tennessee (1-1) a 34-0 lead with 13:41 left in the third quarter.

Zeke Rankin made a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter and kicked a 35-yarder that gave the Blue Raiders a 20-0 lead with 2:20 left in the second. Christian Dixon’s strip-sack of Colorado State’s Clay Millen was recovered at 18 and three plays later Peasant’s second TD run make it 27-0 at halftime.

Millen was 20-of-30 passing for 256 yards and three touchdowns — all to Tory Holton — but threw two interceptions and was sacked nine times. Horton finished with nine receptions for 186 yards, including scoring receptions of 48, 69 and 17 yards in the third quarter for Colorado State (0-2).

 

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30 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes – Minnesota Week”

  1. We incintivize (is that a word?) coaches to SIGN but not PERFORM! If they fail they end up in the Bahamas with a summer home in Vail (at the very least…Scott Frost, anyone?). How do you change that? …I don’t know but maybe some kind of dollar amount cap on expenses etc within the NCAA? I hate that but we are seeing a polarization already among the schools in College ranks.

  2. Tell you what, give me Dorrell’s job for one year at one half, no one QUARTER the cost, and no matter what you can fire me. Send any correspondence after that to my PO Box in the Bahamas.

  3. If we’re gonna lose every game (and probably by double digits), why not put the young, inexperienced guy in to , at least, get valuable experience instead of this quarterback roulette unless you know as a coach your day are numbered. Also why not get a coach that I don’t know, believes in fundamentals like TACKLING!!!?

  4. Watching the game: even more pathetic than I expected and I didn’t set the bar very high…at all. I feel so sorry for these young men who came to CU and were sold a bill of goods as Stuart said of the fans. I think HCKD is a good man and a fine person but he is not the answer to CU’s football problem(s) but who is?

  5. Canzano had a similar piece about the Pac and Amazon.

    Did anyone watch the game last night? How was it? Streaming don’t fly to high where we’re at. Maybe that’s one way to put me out of my misery? If I can’t watch games (or at least have to work at it, vs. just turning on the TV) maybe I’ll get my Saturday’s back?

    Go Buffs

    1. It was good. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit. A little weird hearing Herbstreit doing an NFL game, but it was a good matchup … and a really good game!

    2. I watched the game. I thought Prime did a good job. The color was bright and vivid. Some one said they did this because the young male demographic is used to seeing bright colors on video games.
      I also learned this: when I watch Netflix, I pause the show to answer the phone, go to the bathroom etc.Last night I paused the game. When I went back to the game, the picture and sound were not in sync. I did not realize this at first.Then, at the interception at the goal line, the announcer said it’s an interception before the picture showed the QB throwing the ball. Bottom line: don’t pause the game.

  6. I think back to Coach Mac 1’s difficulty getting the Buffs up to speed.

    HCKD needs to prove he can do it too. If Buffs are in the bottom 25 in either offense or defense, he can seek the coaching carousel somewhere else. It takes a lot of money to have a top 10 coach.

    C’mon Buffs

    1. Man, it takes a lot of money to whiff on a coach too. Just look around. Frost is only one example. The coaching roulette of college football is littered with them.

      Karl is the most expensive coach CU ever had. Fire him this year, buyout is like $11mill I think. $7mill after 2023, then $4mill.

      Too ten coaches don’t grow on trees.

      Go Buffs

  7. Frost made $24 million (minus this year’s prorated amount) Plus $15 million buyout, maybe somewhere between $7.5 million and $15 million for a failed win record. Wow!

    Over $30 million and he lives in Neb, so he still has over $29 million left after living large in Neb for 5 years.

    1. Not bad jack, huh? And maybe sending him out now, so he got a little more coin, was their way of saying thanks? Either way, he looks like he may have aged 50yrs in five, so there’s that.

      Go Buffs

      1. Thanks?
        for what?
        How many millions does it take to say thanks?
        Send one or two in my direction and I will thank you on every social media known to man, promote your business incessantly and wont complain that you clutter up this comment board.
        and
        I might even bet a game or 2 with you
        Its amazing how much someone can stomach for a million or two.

        1. Thumbs up, like and etc.

          So, he looks 50, he can’t be that far from it. He could retire and relax, a good diet, exercise and healthy living will get a few of those years back; being able to afford live where he wants, to drive what he wants, and play all the golf/ski/ride motorcycles, whatever floats his boat that he wants, will get some back too, or slow things down compared to the daily grind.

          But he’ll probably go to a major program in a support or coordinator role and in a couple of years a school will hire him. Maybe an FCS or Group 5 but he’ll make 6 figures until then.

          1. He looks 100. Ok, 70.

            Whatever. Alberts and co said tanks fer nuttin, frosty! And gave him an extra $7mill. And no, he wouldn’t be on my list for CU’s next coach.

            Go Buffs

          2. He would be an immense improvement to Dorrell. It would be hard to find anyone with recent college head coach or even coordinator experience who wouldn’t at least be a moderate improvement. But Frost would be an immense improvement. We can do better of course. Gary Patterson, Bill O’Brien, Mike Riley, Jeff Grimes, I could go on.

  8. How low have we sunk when hiring Scott Frost would be considered an upgrade?

    I was really hoping the fuskers would keep him around for another year or two

  9. Where is Nero? Err, I mean Rick George. He tweets about womens soccer but football? Ostrich imitation. Rick George is now Nero Ostrich.

    1. And Lance is the gm of football.

      Give them all 2023. Hell extend Karl (with zero buyout) and big performance incentives, so teams can’t as easily recruit against the “dorrell won’t be there, there’s no support”.

      And if 2023 is a dumpster fire? Start over. Rick has already shopped himself for other gigs.

      Karl deserves a chance to reap what he has sown.

      Go Buffs

        1. He lobbied for the Pac 12 gig and threw his hat in the ring for the Big 12 gig. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s a very good fund raiser and money manager.

          Go Buffs

    1. Hell no, most of the games he lost were due to poor game management and undisciplined players. He had more talent to work with with more walk-on players too than CU along with cup cake games for non-conference and what was his win total?

      And he had a lot more financial support too, so how would he do well at CU?

      Did you see how many games that they were a head or making a come back that he lost because of poor coaching decisions/clock management during the game?

  10. Darn it… I was hoping they’d hold on to Frost for another couple of seasons; sink the buskers even further down into the abyss of no return (where the Buffs seem to be dwelling). Misery loves company 🙂

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