No. 18 Utah State vs. Toledo
Sat., Dec. 15 – 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Boise, Idaho – Bronco Stadium
Shopping at the mall? You’ll be sorry. This is a nice matchup on the blue turf.
Utah State (10-2) had 10 wins for the first time in school history, winning the WAC title and going unbeaten in the league. The Aggies lost only to Wisconsin (16-14) and BYU (6-3). Since then, though, the Aggies have won six straight, scoring 38 points or more each time.
Meanwhile, Toledo (9-3) won eight straight at one point, highlighted by a 29-23 upset of Cincinnati, even though the Rockets failed to score an offensive touchdown.
If last season’s bowl results are any indication, it could be a classic. Toledo defeated Air Force 42-41 at the Military Bowl after halting a fake extra-point kick with 52 seconds remaining. Utah State fell against Ohio 24-23 in this very same Potato Bowl, when Bobcats quarterback Tyler Tettleton scored on a 1-yard run with 13 seconds remaining.
The Rockets will have no answer for Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton. Hey, Utah State. This season, this spud’s for you.
Opening point spread: Utah State by 7 1/2
The pick: Utah State 35, Toledo 24
Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.
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.