Update 6:48 p.m. ET: Rutgers couldn’t turn it around, but could still turn it over, in the second half. As a result, the Scarlet Knights’ quest for an undefeated season is no more. Kent State went on to win 35-23. Gary Nova finished the game with six interceptions.
Yeah, hard to win doing that.
Rutgers can still win the Big East, obviously, but they’ll likely need to win out and/or get some help from Louisville in the form of a total collapse. Like Cincinnati, a nonconference loss probably hurts Rutgers too much in the event of a three-way tie atop the Big East standings because BCS standings are then used as part of the tiebreaker.
Last week, previously-ranked Cincinnati lost a close game on the road to a good Toledo team. This week, another Big East program is perhaps on the verge of falling to a MAC opponent.
No. 18 Rutgers currently trails Kent State 21-10 at the half. If not for a 19-yard touchdown pass from Gary Nova to Tim Wright with just seconds remaining in the second quarter, the margin would be larger. Nova’s been the difference in this game so far — and not in a good way. He has four interceptions to the one aforementioned touchdown.
Of course, an 11-point deficit isn’t insurmountable (unless you’re Iowa) and Kent State isn’t playing phenomenal, either. Point being is that the Scarlet Knights are still very much in this game despite the turnovers.
Louisville showed last night that they’re the team to beat in the Big East, but things can get interesting if Cincinnati wins out and Rutgers beats the Cardinals at the end of the year. That’s all a month away, of course, but the Scarlet Knights need to take care of its out-of-conference business for the Big East race to be exciting at year’s end.
Right now, they have a lot of work to do just to accomplish that.
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.