Neither team has been able to do much of anything on offense in the first half, but Notre Dame managed to take a lead against Michigan State to the break after scoring a late touchdown for a 10-7 lead. T.J. Jones caught a pass from Tommy Rees at the back of the end zone to extend his reception streak to 31 games. If Jones did not bring in that pass the Irish may have gone to the locker room with their heads dropped after a frustrating first half.
Connor Cook‘s 12-yard touchdown pass to a back-peddling Macgarrett Kings Jr. gave the Spartans the lead midway through the second quarter, but Tommy Rees and the Irish moved down field before halftime to grab the lead back. The late score by the Irish was aided by one of three pass interference penalties called against the Spartans in the first half.
This game was expected to be more about the defense than the offense, and for the most part that has held true. Michigan State is finding out rather quickly that the offense they discovered last week against Youngstown State is having a much more difficult time this weekend in South Bend. Neither offense has been able to do much, but neither offense has made any costly mistakes. There were no turnovers in the first half. Given the recent history of this rivalry, the first turnover could become a huge factor in the second half.
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.