No. 2 Oregon shook off a rusty first half and kept its BCS title dreams alive by crushing No. 12 UCLA in Eugene on Saturday, 42-14.
The Bruins and Ducks were tied at 14 at the half and the game started to evoke memories of Oregon’s 17-14 loss to Stanford last season. But Heisman Trophy front runner Marcus Mariota completed all 10 of his second half passes for 99 yards and the Ducks scored on four out of six second half possessions to pull away.
You might have to credit the Oregon defense for this win. The Ducks intercepted UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley twice and held him to just 64 yards passing. The Bruins were more successful on the ground, but ended up with 283 total yards — their second-straight sub-300-yard game. Ducks linebacker Boseko Lokombo really came to play — he had two sacks and snared a key interception when UCLA was threatening to score.
Unlike previous games, Oregon didn’t come up with many big plays on offense. Instead, it was content to nickel and dime UCLA’s defense, with 325 of its 555 yards coming on the ground. Byron Marshall notched his fifth-straight 100-yard game, rushing for a game-high 133 yards and three touchdowns.
Mariota had a solid game — 21 of 28 for 230 yards and one score, plus 18 rushing yards — and he extended his Pac-12 record streak of passes without an interception to 292. While it wasn’t his flashiest performance, he should remain atop the Heisman race for now.
Oregon has passed its first two tests of the season — marquee games with ranked Washington and UCLA teams — with both wins coming by an average score of 44-23. But we’ve become so spoiled by how easy the Ducks make it look in beating teams by huge margins, it’s easy to think they’re struggling when they don’t dominate from the first snap.
For UCLA, it really is right where it should be. The Bruins are playing so many true freshmen, it was probably too much to expect them to pull out the last two games versus elite teams like Stanford and Oregon. But a game like this will definitely play dividends down the road for such a young roster.
When Boise State opens its 2016 season in a little over a month, the Broncos could do so with a very depleted secondary.
An unspecified violation of team rules prevented Dylan Sumner-Gardner from playing in or even traveling to BSU’s Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois in late December. Chanceller James (pictured, No. 29), meanwhile, did not participate in the annual spring game for an unknown reason.
Both players are starting safeties for Bryan Harsin, and the head coach declined to state with any certainty whether one, both or none of the defensive backs would be on the field when they open the season Sept. 3 against Louisiana-Lafayette.
“It’s where it is right now, just with our team,” Harsin said according to the Idaho Press-Tribune when asked if the players would be facing any type of punitive measures for the start of the season. “I’ll kind of leave it at that.”
James started nine of the 13 games in which he played last season as a redshirt junior, finishing fourth on the Broncos in tackles with 55. All told, he’s started 12 games the past two seasons.
Sumner-Gardner started the first four games of 2015 before sustaining a season-ending injury. The junior played in 13 games as a true freshman in 2014.
With rumors swirling around one of the top young defensive playmakers on Florida State’s roster, there’s some relatively positive news to report on that front.
Warchant.com reported that Derwin James did indeed undergo surgery on his foot two weeks ago to repair what was described as a small fracture. The good news is that the procedure is described as being “minor” in nature. Even better? The timeline for a return of 4-5 weeks.
From the Rivals.com website:
With the start of football practice scheduled for August 9, which is right at four weeks following surgery, the Noles’ second-leading tackler from 2015 is expected to be able to participate. And he should be 100 percent recovered with no limitations in time for the second week of practice.
James was the most heralded member of FSU’s 2015 recruiting class, a five-star prospect rated as the No. 5 player overall on 247Sports.com’s composite board. And, suffice to say, James lived up to the plaudits.
As a true freshman, James’ 91 tackles were second only to Reggie Northrup’s 94. He was also second on the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and sacks (4.5).
For that, he was named a freshman All-American and third-team All-ACC. This offseason, he was named to the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award watch lists.
A statement from Colby Delahoussaye expressed thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers he had received since the weekend. Friday, his family expressed a similar sentiment.
On their way home from a kicking camp Saturday night, Cornhuskers punter Sam Foltz and ex-Spartans punter Mike Sadler were killed in a car accident as they were driving through a severe thunderstorm in Wisconsin. Additionally, LSU placekicker Colby Delahoussaye, a backseat passenger in the Mercedes driven by Sadler, was injured in the crash that claimed the players’ lives.
In a statement, the Delahoussaye family said it “sincerely appreciates the outpouring of support for Colby since the accident” while also reminding people to “continue to pray for the families of Mike Sadler and Sam Foltz during this very difficult time.”
Our family sincerely appreciates the outpouring of support for Colby since the accident last weekend. The number of calls, emails and text messages that we have received from people throughout the country has been overwhelming and much appreciated. Colby is in good hands with treatment to his injuries and he’s making progress with his recovery.
“We ask that you continue to pray for the families of Mike Sadler and Sam Foltz during this very difficult time. Mike and Sam were wonderful young men who Colby had great admiration for. Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Delahoussaye sustained burns to his legs and lacerations that required stitches, but it’s the former injury that’s being credited with saving his life.
“All he remembers is that the fire was burning his leg and that woke him up,” Dwayne Delahoussaye, told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “He was knocked unconscious. The burning sensation revived him. That’s all he remembers. He doesn’t even know how he got out. He doesn’t know where he crawled out of.”
In 2013 and 2014, Delahoussaye, a senior walk-on with the Tigers, converted on a combined 24-of-29 field goal attempts. He was replaced last season by Trey Domingue, who announced earlier this month that he was transferring from LSU after his scholarship wasn’t renewed before confirming this weekend that he’ll be continuing his collegiate playing career at Texas.
It’s unknown if Delahoussaye, expected to be the Tigers’ primary placekicker this season, will be healthy enough to participate in the start of summer camp, which kicks off early next month.
When it comes to being offensive, Jim Turner seems to have all of the bases covered.
Turner was one of two Texas A&M assistant coaches suspended two weeks without pay by head coach Kevin Sumlin Friday for a train wreck of a presentation at a women’s football clinic. Photos leaked to various media outlets showed a slide show with various “pass-blocking rules” that included such helpful tips as “spread your legs,” “enter-front/not-behind, “get erect,” “stay erect” and “bang him hard.”
Turner came to the Aggies after a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins. Turner was fired by the NFL club after getting swept up in the maelstrom that was the Dolphins’ bullying and harassment scandal. Turner subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming “his reputation and career have been unfairly affected” by the reports commissioned by the NFL.
One particular portion of the report has been making its way around the Internet, and it casts and more negative light on the current situation involving Turner.
Turner was aware of the running “joke” that Player A was gay, and on at least one occasion, he participated in the taunting. Around Christmas 2012, Coach Turner gave the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. The gifts included inflatable female dolls for all of the offensive linemen except Player A, who received a male “blow-up” doll. [Jonathan] Martin and another player reported that they were surprised Coach Turner did this; Martin further said that he was offended that Turner had endorsed the humiliating treatment of Player A by participating in it. Incognito and others agreed that this incident with Coach Turner occurred. When interviewed, Turner was asked if he gave Player A a male blow-up doll. He replied, “I can’t remember.”
“We want to sincerely apologize to the passionate Aggie fans and to women everywhere for our failed attempt at humor during this week’s Aggie Football Chalk Talk and fundraiser,” a statement from Turner and the other suspended assistant, special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks, began. “We clearly understand now that our comments and slides were not appropriate or consistent with the values of our football program or our Department. We must do better, and we will.”