Allen, Wilson’s primary backup last year, went 11-of-19 for 137 yards, a touchdown and an interception with the first-team offense, while Mitchell went 7-of-14 for 112 yards and a short touchdown pass.
The competition between Allen and Mitchell is expected to continue through the spring.
Posted by Kevin McGuire on September 16, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota remains the top player in college football according to a select panel of Heisman voters. According to the latest straw poll conducted by HeismanPundit.com, if the Heisman Trophy was to be awarded today, it would go to Oregon’s Mariota.
The Heisman Pundit straw poll is updated every Tuesday. Through four weeks of the straw poll, Mariota has been on top three out of the four weeks and has now been voted on top of the poll two straight weeks. Mariota’s big performance a couple of weeks ago resulted in the Pac-12 favorites coming from behind to pull away from defending Big Ten champion Michigan State. Mariota has completed 70 percent of his passes and has thrown eight touchdowns without an interception early on in the 2014 season. Only Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill has thrown more touchdowns without an interception (11 touchdowns).
Posted by Kevin McGuire on September 16, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston once again is under a hot lamp. No, he isn’t being accused of any sexual assault, stealing soda in ketchup cups, or stealing crab legs, but any time Winston does something out of the ordinary it is going to be worth discussing. He is, after all, college football’s best player and the reigning Heisman Trophy. He is not a typical college student, so let’s forget about that argument right off the bat.
Winston was witnessed on campus jumping on a table and shouting out an explicit phrase alluding to a sexual act. The phrase stems from an Internet meme, which some people must find humor in on some level. There was no harm done in any of this, nor does it sound as though there was any ill-intent in the random act of spontaneity on campus. It was just Winston looking to have a laugh all accounts. Given Winston’s history, this should be something that Winston should have thought about to himself and say “You know what, maybe this is in poor taste.” But hey, he’s just a college kid, right?
Whether you want to believe it or not, Winston is the face of Florida State football right now, and thus the face of the university for the time being. Even if this was just a joke to Winston, his friends and those around him, it does not come off with a positive glow for he or the university. There is no reason to discipline Winston for this latest story, nor should there be, but as word of this spreads around the Internet (via Deadspin and SB Nation, for example), this will be at least one small distraction from what should be a big week for Florida State. The Seminoles are hosting Clemson Saturday in a key ACC Atlantic Division battle. By the end of the week the game itself will be the story. This single isolated incident will merely be a side story without many legs to crawl on for very long.
The point regarding Winston is simply this; the actions of Winston will be highly scrutinized because of his stature in our sports culture. In light of recent stories regarding top football players getting into trouble, Winston’s shouting on top of a table is a relative non-issue. However, Winston’s past actions have been criticized to a fair degree time and time again. This will too. Because of the big shoes Winston wears representing Florida State, and college football as a Heisman Trophy winner, there will be times when Winston needs to create a filter and think about how his actions will be portrayed and received. Winston knows he needs to hold himself to a higher degree of morality. He has stated this himself.
Winston is still young, but he is certainly more than old enough to be able to make these decisions now.
Posted by Kevin McGuire on September 16, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT
SMU has lost its first two games of the season by a combined score of 88-6. This week the Mustangs host No. 6 Texas A&M in the first game since June Jones resigned as head coach. The next two weeks could very easily continue to be sour for the struggling SMU program (TCU is up next after Texas A&M), but interim head coach resigned as head coach. The next two weeks could very easily continue to be sour for the struggling SMU program (TCU is up next after Texas A&M), but interim head coach Tom Mason will continue to keep his team motivated by finding ways to t them to realize a chance at the American Athletic Conference is still within their control.
“I just told them we got to continue to grow, change some things about how we practice, put my stamp on some of that,” Mason said Tuesday when meeting with the media, according to The Dallas Morning News. “It’s not going to be one of those quick fixes (but) I told them we have a lot left to play for. We have a conference championship left to play for a bowl game is still out there. And this team is still capable of doing that.”
“We’re young,” Mason said. “We don’t know how to practice yet obviously. We can get better every week (then) by the time we hit conference we might be a decent football team.”
Posted by Kevin McGuire on September 16, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT
Saturday night got off to a weird start for the Texas Longhorns when a slip in managing the coin toss resulted in UCLA getting to receive the football first in both halves. Texas captain Desmond Jackson inexplicably told the ref Texas wanted to kick off to start the game, after UCLA had won the coin flip and deferred to the second half. This resulted in Texas having to kick off to the Bruins at the start of the first and second half. The bizarre coin flip sequence quickly became a point of ridicule for the Longhorns, and Jackson felt a need to apologize for the error in football judgement. He did so by issuing a public apology via his Twitter account on Tuesday.
To everyone including longhorn nation.. That’s my fault on the coin toss.. You live and you learn. It won’t happen again.
UCLA won the football game, 20-17. Would Texas getting one of the half-opening possessions have changed the outcome? It is impossible to guess how things might have been different. The game still went down to the wire. The only time a mistake in the coin flip may have taken a costly toll on the Longhorns might have been if the mistake had taken place in overtime, with Texas choosing to play defense second rather than the more traditional option of playing defense first.
Mistakes happen, but mistakes are bigger in Texas.
Posted by Kevin McGuire on September 16, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
Michigan State is set to officially begin defending their Big Ten championship reign at the beginning of October, at home against Nebraska. By then, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio believes his defensive line will be ready to go with the returns of a pair of linemen to the depth chart. The head coach of the Spartans said on Tuesday he expects defensive tackles Damon Knox and James Kittredge to be ready to go by the time conference play starts.
“We’re going to get Kittredge back, we’re going to get Damon Knox back, that gives us six defensive tackles to play once we get into Big Ten season,” Dantonio said, per MLive.com.
Michigan State has two more games to play before opening the Big Ten portion of the 2014 against Nebraska on October 4. This weekend the Spartans host in-state MAC foe Eastern Michigan. Next week Michigan State will welcome Wyoming to Spartan Stadium. These are games Michigan State should win without much concern, but the hope will continue to be to avoid further injuries before conference play.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 3:53 PM EDT
This right here is Exhibit No. 3,456 why preseason watch lists are brutally unnecessary.
Tuesday morning, the Biletnikoff Award announced that 12 players have been added to its watch list. Among those added were the nation’s top two in receiving yards — Baylor’s KD Cannon (471) and West Virginia’s Kevin White (460) — three games into the 2014 season. In fact, every single one of the dozen players added are in the Top 14 in the country in that category.
The only two players among the 14 receiving yards leaders that weren’t added — Alabama’s Amari Cooper (third) and Northern Illinois’ Da’Ron Brown (ninth) — were already included in the award’s preseason watch list.
With the inclusion of Cannon, a true freshman, the Bears now have three receivers in the running for the Biletnikoff, the other two being Antwan Goodly and Levi Norwood. Neither one of those two have caught a pass this season due to injury, but that didn’t stop a BU assistant from touting the new “WideReceiverU.”
Below is the list of the 12 receivers added to the Biletnikoff watch list.
KD Cannon, Baylor Travin Dural, LSU
DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
Geno Lewis, Penn State
Roger Lewis, Bowling Green
Keevan Lucas, Tulsa
Teldrick Morgan, New Mexico State
Isiah Myers, Washington State Demarcus Robinson, Florida Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
Nelson Spruce, Colorado
Kevin White, West Virginia
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT
Yes, yes, yes. Let’s hope he has a speedy recovery. Now, with that out of the way, we can move on.
According to 247Sports.com, and citing unnamed sources, Texas A&M wide receiver Speedy Noil sustained an injury to the MCL in his left knee during the win over Rice Saturday. Because of the injury, Noil will miss 3-5 weeks.
At the short end of the prognosis, Noil would miss games against SMU (Sept. 20), Arkansas (Sept. 27) and Mississippi State (Oct. 4). Also in jeopardy for Noil are matchups with Ole Miss (Oct. 11) and Alabama (Oct. 18).
Head coach Kevin Sumlin would only state that Noil likely won’t play this weekend. He also took to task the report of Noil being out for upwards of a month.
Sumlin declined to elaborate on Noil's status past this weekend, but said any media reports speculating on him are 'wrong.'
Through three games, Noil, a five-star member of A&M’s most recent recruiting class, is third on the team in receptions (12) and second in receiving yards (197). He’s also the team’s leading punt returner — three returns for 74 yards, with a long of 67 — and has returned one kickoff for 53.
Monday, Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads confirmed that P.J. Harris has a broken leg and will be out for the foreseeable future. Harris suffered the injury during ISU’s win over in-state rival Iowa this past weekend.
Rhoads stopped short of proclaiming Harris out for the season, saying instead that “P.J. may be able to be back later” this year. That, though, doesn’t sound promising.
Through three games, Harris is tied for second — with two other players — on the team with nine receptions. Harris, a three-star member of ISU’s 2012 recruiting class, caught seven passes as a redshirt freshman in 2013.
Rhoads did, though, confirm that backup offensive tackle Jacob Dunning suffered a ruptured patella tendon in the win over the Hawkeyes.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
And just like that, Kevin Olsen‘s very brief career as a Miami Hurricane football player has come to an end.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Miami confirmed the expected by announcing that the erstwhile UM quarterback no longer a part of either the football team or the university. “Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami. We wish him the very best in the future,” a statement from the school read.
The separation, needless to say, was far from a mutual decision by both parties.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT
Forget about getting his football career back on track; the life of a touted 2015 quarterback prospect is hurtling straight toward years and years worth of incarceration.
Detroit Cass Tech (Mich.) High School’s Jayru Campbell is — or at least was — given a four-star rating by Rivals.com, rated as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2015. He had been a Michigan State verbal before, ahem, “decommitting” from the Spartans back in June.
Late last week, the 17-year-old Campbell was arrested and charged after allegedly assaulting his 17-year-old girlfriend at Cass Tech. Campbell has officially been charged with unarmed robbery, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and misdemeanor domestic violence assault and battery.
Those charges came hours — literally — after Campbell had been released from jail after serving a 60-day sentence connected to an earlier assault on a school security officer. This latest assault will result in a probation violation, which in and of itself could trigger significant jail time for the troubled teen. And that doesn’t even take into account the potential sentences for his latest charges: assault to do great bodily harm, a felony that could lead to up to 10 years in jail; unarmed robbery, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail; and domestic violence, a misdemeanor worth up to 93 days in jail.
As for the details of what led to those potentially serious charges, this from the Detroit NewsHERE and HERE pretty much sums it up:
He reportedly grabbed his girlfriend’s phone, saw whom she was texting when he was in jail, went into a rage and began choking her.
According to the prosecutor’s office, “during school hours it is alleged that Campbell was at Cass Tech when he assaulted his girlfriend in front of other students over a dispute over a phone.”
Again, that alleged assault came just 3-4 hours after he had been released from jail at noon for an earlier assault.
Campbell missed the start of the 2014 season, his senior year, because he was in jail serving 47 of the 60 days to which he was sentenced. This latest incident all but assures his high school career is over, although that’s not the least bit surprising given the player’s propensity for violence.
The school security guard incident wasn’t the first instance of violence involving Campbell, however.
Last November, Campbell was again (somewhat) caught on video, this time punching a Detroit Catholic Central player in the handshake line following a Cass Tech playoff loss. The Detroit News reported Campbell was suspended for 3-5 days by the school immediately following that incident. He was also suspended for the 2014 season opener, a suspension he served while behind bars.
In the video below, you don’t see the actual punch that was acknowledged by the player’s own coach, but you do see the aftermath — including, ironically enough, Campbell being put to the ground by another man:
“I’m not a thug,” Campbell said during a June TV interview, prior to serving his jail term. “I would not consider myself as a criminal. I would consider myself as a natural-born leader and someone that likes to help others. …
“I just learned that violence is not the answer. There’s different ways that you can solve a problem. … Learn to forgive. It took some time but I would say I definitely got to the point where I’m thinking before I react.”
What’s the old axiom, actions speak louder than words? Yeah, that pretty much sums up this whole sordid situation.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT
Thanks to what transpired in 2013, Utah State and its fan are rather cognizant of any type of injury scare when it comes to Chuckie Keeton.
Fortunately for USU and its followers, this latest one’s just that, a scare. Probably.
In the first half of USU’s win over Wake Forest Saturday, Keeton suffered an injury to his left knee — the same knee in which significant ligaments were torn asunder last year. While the quarterback finished out the half, he didn’t play the last two quarters because of the issue and instead spent the second half on the sidelines and on crutches.
The bad news is Keeton will not play in this weekend’s game against Arkansas State. The good news? Following the bye in Week 5, Keeton is expected to be back for the Oct. 3 game against BYU. Maybe.
“Chuckie is fine from a health standpoint,” head coach Matt Wells said. “The ACL is all intact; everything’s good. But it’s banged up, guys, and that’s the bottom line.
“So, we’re going to sit him out this week, and we’re going to sit him out next week. Then we’re going to re-evaluate him during the BYU week.”
In the first half of the game against the Demon Deacons, Keeton was 20-of-27 for 166 yards passing and a touchdown. And it won’t be his last on-field action as Wells was emphatic that “he’s not out for the year.”
With Keeton out for the ASU game at bare minimum, though, Darrell Garretson will get the start. After replacing Keeton in the road win over the ACC school, Garretson completed 11-of-16 passes for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The fact that USU may be erring on the side of caution when it comes to one of the most underrated players in the country is not the least bit surprising.
Posted by John Taylor on September 16, 2014, 8:08 AM EDT
Marcus Peters sat out Washington’s win over Illinois this past Saturday because of what was essentially a toddler-level temper tantrum on the sidelines the week before.
After serving that timeout, it appears the cornerback is set for a return. Probably.
“We got him back,” UW head coach Chris Petersen said after Peters had returned to practice. “He’s back with us. We’ll just take it one day at a time.”
Petersen was non-committal, at least for now, when it comes to Peters reassuming his starting roll. When asked if Peters has been doing well since his eviction from the doghouse, Petersen quipped, “for the first six hours, yes.”
Not counting the Illini game, Peters has started 22 of the last 23 games at cornerback for the Huskies. He was named second-team All-Pac-12 following the 2013 season.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 10:42 PM EDT
Well, this isn’t what you want to happen five days before No. 4 Oklahoma comes to town.
West Virginia cornerback Daryl Worley has been suspended indefinitely for the ubiquitous “violation of team rules”, head coach Dana Holgorsen announced Monday night.
Worley registered 45 tackles and an interception in five starts a year ago as a freshman. The Philadelphia native was one of three Mountaineers selected to represent the club at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas this summer, if you’re looking for an idea of where he stood on the team. Through three games this season, Worley has posted 17 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a team-best two interceptions.
The good news here is that West Virginia’s secondary won’t be totally depleted. As Worley moves off the active roster, senior cornerback Ishmael Banks replaces him. Banks’ three-game, NCAA-mandated suspension for academic issues is now over. Banks started all 12 games at cornerback in 2013, and posted two interceptions.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT
Arizona State’s leadership is serious about renovating Sun Devil Stadium. So serious, in fact, that two major figures inside the athletics department have pledged a cool $1 million to get it done.
Head coach Todd Graham and athletics director Ray Anderson, along with their wives, have each pledged $500,000 to the $50 million fundraising campaign to renovate the 56-year-old stadium. They are the largest gifts in the history of the Arizona State athletics department made by ASU employees.
“Pick the cliche, skin in the game, put your money where your mouth is, you’ve got to walk the walk,” Anderson told the Arizona Republicon Monday. “I think intuitively the four of us understood we needed to step up and be able to answer those challenges, and we believe we have in a significant way to the extent our circumstances allow. Now Todd and I can go out much more credibly and much more comfortably to ask others to say, ‘Join us in this transformational experience.’ We can do it much more emphatically, because in fact we put skin in the game.”
Graham earns $2.4 million in his third year as the Sun Devils’ head coach. Anderson earns $600,000, but can afford to pledge more than 80 percent of his salary after multiple decades in high-paying positions within the sports business. Anderson spent many years as an agent before working as a labor lawyer in Atlanta, then executive vice president and chief administration officer for the Atlanta Falcons, and then as executive vice president of football operations for the NFL before joining the Sun Devils’ athletics department. He reportedly made $1.69 million with the NFL.
“We’re not following anybody else’s model,” Graham said. “It’s the Arizona State model. We have an opportunity to do something great. It’s a family decision for us, but it wasn’t something I spent a lot of time thinking about. It was a no-brainer because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we wanted to step up and say, ‘The Grahams are committed.'”
So committed is Anderson to getting this project done that he hired Greg McElroy Sr. away from the Dallas Cowboys to serve as associate vice president and chief business development officer.
All told, the project is slated to cost $225 million, with construction beginning next year.
Posted by Zach Barnett on September 15, 2014, 9:33 PM EDT
Army is but two games into its 2014 season, but its 2015 schedule is already set.
The Black Knights unveiled their 2015 slate on Monday, highlighted by a trip to Penn State, a home date with Duke, a return to Yankee Stadium to face Rutgers, and the traditional finale versus Navy. Army will also face Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy rival Air Force on Nov. 7 in Colorado Springs; the Black Knights have not claimed the trophy since 1996, and have posted a combined 4-34 record against their service academy rivals since then.
The Rutgers game will be Army’s third appearance in the new Yankee Stadium. The Black Knights fell to Notre Dame 27-3 on Nov. 20, 2010, and will face Connecticut in the House That Jeter Built on Nov. 8 of this season.
The date with Penn State represents the 26th all-time meeting between the Black Knights and Nittany Lions, but first since 1979. Penn State holds a 13-10-2 lead, and has claimed the last nine meetings.
Army will be one just three FBS Independents next season, as Navy begins is maiden voyage in the American Athletic Conference.
Army is 1-1 in the debut campaign of head coach Jeff Monken.
The full schedule:
Sept. 5 – vs. Fordham
Sept. 12 – at Connecticut
Sept. 19 – vs. Wake Forest
Sept. 26 – at Eastern Michigan
Oct. 3 – at Penn State
Oct. 10 – vs. Duke
Oct. 17 – vs. Bucknell
Oct. 24 – at Rice
Nov. 7 – at Air Force
Nov. 14 – vs. Tulane
Nov. 21 – vs. Rutgers (at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.)
Dec. 12 – vs. Navy (at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia)