Stanford’s physical defense knocked out two Washington State quarterbacks on back-to-back series in the third quarter as the No. 5 Cardinal crushed the Cougars in rainy Seattle, 55-17.
Washington State came into the game with a new-found reputation for being physical on both sides of the ball. The Cardinal soon showed the Cougars just what that word means.
Stanford’s modest 17-3 lead expanded rapidly in that third stanza when linebacker Trent Murphy nailed WSU quarterback Connor Halliday as he threw, which resulted in a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by safety Jordan Richards.
Suddenly it was 24-3.
Halliday left the game and was replaced by freshman Austin Apodaca, who was promptly laid out by linebacker Kevin Anderson on a third down pass attempt. Apodaca left the game briefly while WSU punted, then Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan threw his third touchdown pass to make the score, 31-3. Apodaca returned on the next series just in time to throw a pick six to Murphy.
That made it 38-3. Game over.
Hogan faced no such pressure and he calmly carved up the WSU defense, going 16 of 25 for 286 yards with touchdown passes of 57, 33 and 45 yards. With the Cardinal’s recent corps of talented tight ends now in the NFL, the Stanford offense has now become more vertical, with receivers like Devon Cajuste and Michael Rector routinely getting behind the Cougars secondary for big plays.
It was a dominant effort for Stanford, which rolled up 560 yards of total offense while holding WSU to 373 (much of it in garbage time).
For the Cougars, it’s a stark reminder of how far they have to go before they can be competitive against top-flight Pac-12 competition. For the Cardinal, it was another chance to get playing time for its reserves, including one Barry Sanders, Jr., who scored his first career touchdown.
When word first broke of NCAA violations against Ole Miss, word from the Rebels’ football program was one of caution, for it was uncertain how many were targeted against football versus women’s basketball and track and field.
It appears we now know.
On Tuesday evening, the Associated Press reported the NCAA levied 13 allegations out of a possible 28 against the Ole Miss football team, nine of which occurred under the watch of head coach Hugh Freeze. However, it appears the most serious violations were either already know or took place during the Houston Nutt regime.
Included in the allegations are Laremy Tunsil‘s improper benefits, for which the left tackle already sat seven games. Also included are accusations former Nutt assistant David Saunders participated in a scheme to produce fraudulent test scores for recruits — the same allegations currently levied against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The remaining allegations, as detailed by the AP, include run-of-the-mill violations such as having the wrong people provide transportation on recruiting visits or assistant coaches making improper contact with recruits, many of which Ole Miss has already self-reported.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.
In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.
The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.
Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.
Data dump, begin!
The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).
Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.
The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.
The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.
View the full AAC slate here:
Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.
After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.