Ball State is undefeated no more.Buffalo, which entered the game a heavy underdog at 7-5, was propelled by two long fumble returns for touchdowns to a 42-24 upset in the MAC championship game, and the Cardinals fell to 12-1.”It’s going to hurt for a little bit, but our kids will bounce back and be resilient and get ready for what’s next,” Ball State coach Brady Hoke said.Ball State had a 17-14 lead in the third quarter and appeared to be controlling the game, but when quarterback Nate Davis tried to dive into the end zone to give the Cardinals a 24-14 lead, he instead fumbled, and Buffalo’s Mike Newton picked it up and ran it 92 yards for a touchdown that gave Buffalo a 21-17 advantage. Buffalo then added a 74-yard fumble return for a touchdown later in the third quarter.Buffalo coach Turner Gill deserves a great deal of credit for guiding the Bulls to an 8-5 season. Before Gill came along in 2006, Buffalo had won 10 games in seven seasons of Division I-A football. Now the Bulls are conference champions.Buffalo will play in the International Bowl in Toronto. Ball State will most likely play in the Motor City Bowl.
Consider The Nicktator perturbed. Again.
Jalen Hurts (pictured, right) helped lead Alabama to the national championship game as a true freshman last season and is seemingly the Crimson Tide’s unquestioned starter as we trudge toward summer. Five-star 2017 signee Tua Tagovailoa (pictured, left), however, had an impressive first spring in Tuscaloosa, capped off with an excellent showing in the annual A-Day game this past weekend.
The true freshman passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns in what amounted to a glorified scrimmage, while the incumbent threw for 301 yards and a pair of scores. Hurts also tossed the lone interception between the two on the day.
Tagovailoa’s showing throughout the 15 spring practice sessions had led some to wonder whether there could be a quarterback controversy brewing at ‘Bama. According to Nick Saban, that’s just the media being the media.
“Jalen Hurts played a lot of good football for us last year, and he’s certainly made a lot of progress this spring,” the head coach said by way of al.com. “Even though all of you in the press are trying to make a quarterback controversy out of nothing, which is what you’re doing right now, there isn’t one.”
There’s a series of words I’d never imagined I’d string together in a headline.
As you may have heard, Jim Harbaugh has taken his Michigan football team to Italy for an offseason European vacation. As part of the trip, the team is in the Vatican City today and took in the Pope’s Wednesday address to the masses in St. Peter’s Square — the players and athletic director Warde Manuel sat amongst the crowd while the head coach and his wife were seated on the same stage as Pope Francis.
Following the address, and after a wait of nearly a half-hour, Harbaugh was able to meet with and speak to His Holiness. The coach didn’t come empty-handed, either, as Pope Francis was gifted with a Michigan football helmet and a pair of Air Jordans. Michigan-themed, of course.
— LaMarr Woodley (@LaMarrWoodley) April 26, 2017
“Michigan” Jordan 5 PE’s for the Pope from coach Jim Harbaugh
— J23 iPhone App (@J23app) April 26, 2017
Sarah Harbaugh said the Pope looked at the Michigan helmet gift with curiosity like hmmmm what’s this pic.twitter.com/dcO9l3GNDs
— angelique (@chengelis) April 26, 2017
“This is as good as it gets,” Harbaugh said according to mlive.com after his meeting with the pope. “This has been the experience of my lifetime.”
Sarah Harbaugh “I’ve never seen my husband at a loss for words” after meeting Pope “I was crying. I was trying to breathe. It was surreal”
— angelique (@chengelis) April 26, 2017
Last season, there was just one FBS team — Army and its triple-option (967) — that passed for fewer yards than Tulane’s 1,360. Tulane’s team passing efficiency rating of 93.12 was 128th of the 128 teams at this level of football. Their completion percentage of 42.2 was, again, 128th in the FBS. Their 5.3 yards per attempt was… 127th.
This season, the Green Wave’s passing hopes in a run-heavy offense will likely land on the shoulders of a junior college transfer.
Throughout the spring, Jonathan Banks had taken the majority of reps with the first-team offense. Tuesday, Willie Fritz confirmed that Banks will be his starter under center heading into summer camp and, presumably, for the program’s season opener against Grambling at home Sept. 2.
At least for now, Banks has staked his claim to the job after a competition that included Glen Cuiellette and Jonathan Brantley, the starter and backup, respectively, last season.
“He did a good job this spring picking things up,” the head coach said according to nola.com. “We evaluated practices 1 through 15 and I thought, for a guy coming into a new situation, he did a very good job. He provides us with both a passing and a running threat, which in our offense you need to have.
“We’re excited about his development.”
Another day, another FBS player has transitioned away from his first college football home.
On his personal Twitter account recently, Drew O’Bryan acknowledged his decision to transfer from Western Kentucky. Additionally, he announced his next destination for good measure — Eastern Kentucky.
The linebacker said he made the decision “[a]fter talking with my family and many prayers.”
After talking with my family and many prayers, I have decided to further my college career at Eastern Kentucky University! #GoBigE
— Drew O’Bryan (@TheDrew22) April 22, 2017
As EKU plays at the Football Championship Subdivision level, O’Bryan will be eligible to play immediately for the Colonels in 2017.
O’Bryan was a two-star member of WKU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 18 player at any position in the state of Kentucky. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.