A primary concern for TCU as they prepared for the Poinsettia Bowl against Louisiana Tech was the motivation for the Horned Frogs. Although ranked in the Top 16 in the AP, Coaches and Harris polls, TCU found itself at No. 18 in the BCS at regular season’s end and out of an at-large spot.
So TCU went from playing January to playing before Christmas, and for the first half of tonight’s game, it looked like TCU would rather be in Ft. Worth than San Diego (although I don’t see how that’s possible. San Diego is amazing). Gary Patterson‘s team was uncharacteristically lethargic on defense. They couldn’t execute on offense, either, failing to convert a third down through two quarters.
But a late first-half interception from La Tech quarterback Colby Cameron set up a 7-yard Ed Wesley touchdown run with under a minute to play. TCU took that momentum into the second half, scoring first to go up 17-10. But, two La Tech touchdowns put the Bulldogs back on top, and it looked like Sonny Dykes‘ team had a very real chance of pulling the upset — the first of this bowl season.
TCU needed 14 unanswered fourth quarter points to win 31-24. I wouldn’t classify a loss to the Bulldogs as embarrassing per se, but it wouldn’t have looked great heading into the Big 12. TCU avoided a major letdown loss.
The win gave Patterson his 109th victory with the Horned Frogs, who move to 11-2. Although La Tech falls to 8-5 on the season, Dykes will be getting a substantial contract extension for the great job he’s done.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.