With BCS game upcoming, Brian Kelly wins another coach of the year award

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Coach of the year awards have been rolling in for Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly. With the BCS championship just an hour away, the third-year coach received another one.

Kelly was announced as the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year on Monday, voted by a combination of fans, media and members of the College Football Hall of Fame. From the release:

“The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes college football coaches who demonstrate Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence both on and off the field. Endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, the program awards one winning coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II, and III) with $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school’s alumni association, and the Coach of the Year trophy.”

Last year’s winner of the award was Les Miles of LSU.

In addition to the Liberty Mutual honor, Kelly has also taken home coach of the year awards from the Walter Camp FoundationAssociated Press, the Football Writers Association of America and Home Depot.

Florida State looked sluggish and sloppy in first half vs. N.C. State, as expected

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Florida State, as many probably expected, looked like a team that has not played a game in three weeks after one half of play in Tallahassee against N.C. State. The visiting Wolfpack took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and hold a 17-7 advantage on the Seminoles at halftime in Doak Campbell Stadium.

Ryan Finley completed a 71-yard touchdown to Jakobi Meyers, who performed some acrobatics across the goal line (which was flagged, although the score counted) for the 17-7 lead in the second quarter.

Florida State seemed to get in sync in the second quarter. After two series on the field resulting in a pair of three-and-outs and a total of one yard of offense, Blackman and the Noles put their first drive together to the tune of 12 plays and 75 yards. Blackman capped the drive with a pass to Auden Tate from the four-yard line, but it was this key 3rd and 8 play that suggested Blackman had gotten comfortable for the first time in the game. A dropback pass to Tate went for 24 yards, and the placement of the pass could not have been much better.

That momentum did not seem to last too long, however. Florida State fumbled the ball away in crazy fashion on their next offensive series and later missed a field goal from the NC State 13-yard line. Blackman had a nice spin move to get away from a tackler, but he lost control of the football toward the end of his run, leading to a massive shift in momentum in bizarre fashion.

The play was reviewed to determine if Blackman’s knee had hit the ground prior to the fumble. After the review, the call on the field was upheld, and N.C. state recovered the ball at their two-yard line.

N.C. State’s first two offensive possessions were good for a combined 22 plays and over 120 yards and 10 points.

Blown call by SEC official screws Texas A&M out of a touchdown in first half vs. Arkansas

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Arkansas is leading Texas A&M by a score of 21-17 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas after one half of play, but the story of the half will be the blown call by a SEC side judge trailing a long run down the sideline. It was bad.

After Kellen Mond appeared to run the length of the field and stumble his way into the end zone for six, the official on the field ruled Mond had stepped out of bounds at the Arkansas 10-yard line.

He did not.

Because the play was blown dead, the ruling on the field could not be sent upstairs to the instant replay booth. Texas A&M would get no further down the field and had to settle for a field goal as a result.

The two teams exchanged touchdown drives in the first quarter, first with Austin Allen completing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cornelius for the Razorbacks and then Mond completing a pass to a wide-open Christian Kirk for an 81-yard score.

Arkansas regained the lead in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns with Cole Kelley tossing one from two yards out and Chase Hayden running for a six-yard score. The Aggies did eventually get back in the end zone late in the first half with Trayveon Williams finding room up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown.

Report: No. 6 Oklahoma State expected to be down two starting O-linemen against No. 16 TCU

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This is certainly an interesting potential development.

According to Jake Trotter of ESPN.com, the right side of No. 6 Oklahoma State’s offensive line — guard Larry Williams and tackle Zachary Crabtree — is expected to be sidelined for the game against No. 16 TCU in Stillwater.  Both linemen sustained the injuries in the Week 3 win over Pittsburgh, Williams his ankle and Crabtree a toe.

Crabtree has started 32 straight games at right tackle for the Cowboys.  He was named second-team All-Big 12 following the 2016 season, while he was a preseason All-Big 12 selection heading into the 2017 season.

Williams began his collegiate playing career at East Carolina, coming to OSU from the junior college ranks after leaving the Pirates.

The Cowboys enter the conference opener for both schools with one of the most explosive offenses in the country, currently third in the country in total yards per game (607),  tied for fourth in points per game (54) and seventh in passing yards per game (407.3).  OSU enters today’s contest as an 11.5-point favorite according to the line set by Bovada.lv.

St. John’s-St. Thomas to double Div. III single-game attendance mark

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Yes, this is kind of a big deal.

St. John’s-St. Thomas is one of the best and longest-running rivalries at the Division III level of college football.  Today’s renewal will mark the 87th meeting between the two Minnesota schools, with this one being played at Target Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins.

According to the Associated Press, more than 35,000 tickets have already been sold for the game that kicks off at 2:20 ET Saturday afternoon.  That number will likely more than double the previous D-III single-game attendance record of 17,535 set in October of 2016 for UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater.  The record that game broke?  The 17,327 that were in attendance for the 2015 St. Thomas-St. John’s game.

In fact, this rivalry between the two Catholic schools accounts for four of the top seven single-game attendance marks at that level of football.  From D3Football.com:

17,535: UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater, 10/8/16
17,327: St. Thomas at St. John’s, 9/26/15
16,514: St. Thomas at St. John’s, 9/24/16
16,421: St. Thomas at St. John’s, 10/2/10
15,287: UW-Platteville at UW-Whitewater, 10/3/15

14,437: Randolph-Macon at Hampden-Sydney, 11/12/94 (100th meeting)
14,286: St. Thomas at St. John’s, 9/15/12
13,671: Amherst at Williams, 11/11/89 (New England small-college record)
13,627: UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater, 10/25/14
13,107: Bethel at St. John’s, 11/8/03 (John Gagliardi’s 409th win)

Today’s game will also fare favorably when compared to its big football brother as, according to research undertaken by the St. Thomas sports information department, the attendance for this contest will exceed the attendance of 20 of the 40 FBS bowl games played last season.

“If we could do this every single week for the rest of my career, sign me up right now,” St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso told the AP. “It has been an absolute blast, and it would never, ever get old. Are there extra media requests? Yes. Are there extra ticket requests? Sure. But at the end of the day if you can’t get genuinely excited about this opportunity, then what are we doing coaching this sport?”

In addition to the attendance record, this matchup will also mark the first-ever college football game played at the major league park.