Big Ten spring games wrap-up

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Unfortunately, the overriding storlyine for Big Ten spring games this weekend was Mother Nature. Specifically, inclement weather that forced the cancellation of three of the seven scheduled games involving members of that conference — Nebraska, Indiana and Purdue.

The four other Big Ten spring games went ahead as scheduled, including Michigan’s and which was touched upon in a separate post.

The other three? For your convenience, we’ve touched on the highlights for Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern below.

Illinois — Behind a 150-yard effort by freshman running back Josh Ferguson, the Blue team picked up a 13-12 win over the Orange team in the annual Blue & Orange Game.  Thanks to a light rain — there’s that weather storyline again — the defense got the best of the offense on the day, with Ferguson’s effort accounting for nearly a third of the yards gained in the game by both teams combined.  To illustrate the defense’s dominance, starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase attempted 26 passes but completed just 11 for 65 yards.

Iowa — ( The Hawkeyes — as of this posting and when the game commenced at noon local time — weren’t inclined to offer up any kind of synopsis or recap or anything of its “Spring Scrimmage Presented by Coke Zero” either via a release or update on its official website, so I’m not inclined to offer up any type of meaningful/meaningless drivel.  Very certain, though, that the title sponsor is extremely happy with how its dollars were maximized.)

Northwestern — When a fat guy touchdown dominates the postgame discussion, you have a significant clue as to the importance of these contests.  Be that as it may, the Wildcats put the finishing touches on its 15 spring sessions, with the defense dominating the offense in a 47-43 win.  While the score, which utilized a system that rewarded big plays, doesn’t scream domination, at least one member of the winning team saw it as just that.

“We’ve actually created a mentality the last couple weeks. We’ve really come together and really dominated the offense,” defensive end Tyler Scott said. “That’s saying a lot. But I personally like to say that. Give them a little tough time.”

The offense’s response?  “They might have gotten the best of us today,” starting quarterback Kain Colter allowed.

Effort to schedule Georgia Tech-Georgia State makeup game fails

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Georgia Tech lost a game to Hurricane Irma, a Sept. 16 trip to Central Florida. Georgia State also had a game canceled due to Irma — Saturday’s scheduled game with Memphis, which was axed to makeup the Memphis-UCF game that was supposed to be played Sept. 8.

So if Georgia Tech lost a game, and Georgia State lost a game, and the Atlanta schools stadiums’ sit just 2.2 miles away from each other, wouldn’t it make sense to try to get them together?

The sides tried, but the effort isn’t going to work.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Tech and Georgia State officials attempted to find a date that worked for both sides, but one simply is not available.

Georgia Tech attempted to arrange the game for Oct. 7, the Jackets’ original bye week, but Georgia State has a conference game against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 7. Georgia State is off on Nov. 18, but Georgia Tech visits Duke that day. The rare Championship Saturday makeup isn’t even possible (provided Georgia Tech doesn’t win the ACC Coastal) because Georgia State hosts Idaho on Dec. 2, in what is Idaho’s final game as a Sun Belt member.

Incidentally, Georgia Tech and Georgia State have never met on the field despite being two miles apart. Perhaps this episode will spur the Atlanta neighbors to invite the other over to play sometime down the line.

Asked about injury to Shy Tuttle, Butch Jones rants about fake news

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A clear cut sign when a coach is feeling the heat is when he scolds the media for focusing on negative stories instead of sharing the plethora of positive news happening all around the program.

In a purely unrelated note, Butch Jones is 3-1 this season with a tight win over Georgia Tech, a Hail Mary loss to Florida and a way-closer-than-it-should-have-been escape over Massachusetts on Saturday. The Vols host No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, and a loss there will almost certainly doom Tennessee to a 10th straight season without winning the SEC East, including all five seasons of the Jones era.

Jones was asked about an injury to defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, who suffered a broken orbital bone. Asked about a rumor that Tuttle was injured by a teammate, Jones launched into a rant that included chastising the media for “fake news.”

I think it’s safe to say Jones is wound just a little tightly these days.

Broken ankle takes Washington WR Chico McClatcher out

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Washington has been chugging along quite nicely in the early portion of the 2017 college football season, but the Huskies may have to continue through Pac-12 play without a key wide receiver on the field. Chico McClatcher, a junior, could potentially be done for the remainder of the season after breaking his ankle Saturday night against Colorado.

Washington head coach Chris Petersen announced McClatcher will be out for an undetermined amount of time, but the fear is a broken ankle could keep him out for the rest of the season.

In three games this season, McClatcher caught 10 passes for 128 yards. He did not play in a Week 3 game against Fresno State. On Saturday against the Buffs, McClatcher caught four passes for 44 yards in the 37-10 victory in Boulder.

Petersen did note McClatcher can still preserve a year of eligibility by utilizing a possible redshirt to his advantage.

Alabama and Clemson remain top two national title favorites according to Bovada

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Alabama and Clemson appear to be on a collision course for a third straight meeting in the College Football Playoff national championship, and the Crimson Tide and defending national champion Tigers remain the top two favorites to win the national championship this season, according to the latest updated odds from Bovada.

Alabama’s odds have moved to 19/10 after being 2/1 last week. Right behind Alabama is Clemson at 9/2 a week after having 11/2 odds. Despite having one loss on their record already, the Ohio State Buckeyes remain in the thick of the race as well with the third-best national title odds after four weeks of play. Ohio State is listed at 7/1 by Bovada, staying ahead of USC (15/2) and Oklahoma (8/1) despite a head-to-head loss to the Sooners in Columbus in Week 2.

Penn State comes in at 10/1, followed by Michigan at 12/1. Georgia is on the rise as well with 14/1 odds to stay ahead of Washington (16/1). The biggest drop of the week was by Oklahoma State, who fell from 9/1 to 20/1 after a home loss to TCU. The Horned Frogs jumped up from 75/1 to 33/1 this week.

Bovada also updated their Heisman Trophy odds, with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley moving to the top of the board.