Washington may have won the game, but in the process it lost a significant piece of its passing attack.
In the second quarter of the Huskies’ matchup with Cal, Kasen Williams landed awkwardly as he attempted to catch a Keith Price pass. The wide receiver left the game and did not return, an air cast on the left foot serving as an ominous sign that the injury was indeed as significant as the replay showed.
In his postgame press conference, head coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed the worst, acknowledging that Williams had suffered a broken foot that could cost the junior the remainder of the regular season.
“We know there’s a break and a dislocation in his foot, so he’s going to be out quite some time,” Sarkisian said. “Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with Kasen. He’s a great kid. He’s already home. I know the guys are all headed over there to see him.”
Williams is currently third on the team in receptions (29) and receiving yards (241).
No. 2 Alabama holds a 12-6 lead over Auburn at halftime of the Iron Bowl.
Alabama’s offense has been typical of the 2015 season — Derrick Henry and not much else. Henry rushed 16 times for 102 yards, while Jake Coker hit 9-of-15 passes for 106 yards.
Adam Griffith kicked field goals of 26, 40, 26 and 50 yards for the Tide, while Auburn’s Daniel Carlson countered with makes of 24 and 44 yards. Carlson also missed from 48 yards toward the end of the half, ending a streak of 15 consecutive makes.
Jovon Robinson led Auburn with 12 carries for 53 yards, while Jeremy Johnson hit 3-of-7 passes for 56 yards with three rushes for 14 yards.
Alabama held a slight 109-104 edge over Auburn in ground yards, and neither team committed a turnover.
Alabama will receive the ball to open the second half.
Needing a win to clinch the Big Ten East Division and face Iowa with a likely spot in the College Football Playoff on the line next week in Indianapolis, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is giving all he can to give the Spartans a chance to celebrate a division title in East Lansing today against Penn State. So far, so good enough. Michigan State leads the Nittany Lions 20-10 at halftime.
Penn State has managed to move the ball on the Spartans and even have more offensive yards than Michigan State, but Penn State also has two turnovers that have led to 14 points for the men in green, including one defensive touchdown. Penn State did, however, manage to put together a late half touchdown drive, capped with a touchdown reception by Chris Godwin. Michigan State’s Cook has attempted just 15 pass attempts so far, and he has completed 10 of them for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Any time Penn State has presented any sense of a threat against the Spartans, disaster seems to strike. Penn State opted to kick a field goal from the Michigan State one-yard line in the second quarter. The game’s opening drive ended with Christian Hackenberg throwing deep into the end zone from the 31-yard line, only to be intercepted by Arjen Colquhoun. Late in the first quarter, Penn State once again had a promising drive working, thanks in large part to freshman running back Saquon Barkley saving Penn State on a 22-yard run on 3rd and 23 followed by a short gain on fourth down around midfield. The drive again imploded when Hackenberg completed a pass to tight end Kyle Carter, but Carter lost the football immediately and Demetrious Cox picked up the loose ball and found blockers to allow him to return the fumble 77 yards for a touchdown and a 20-3 lead.
It might as well be game, set and match for Michigan State the way this one is going, which surely is a bit deflating for Ohio State fans. After roughing up Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State needs Penn State to win this game in order to represent the Big Ten East in Indianapolis as the Big Ten East champion. A Michigan State win clinches the division for the Spartans.
Never kick to USC playmaker Adoree’ Jackson. That si the lesson UCLA learned the hard way late in the first half in The Los Angeles Coliseum this afternoon. A 42-yard punt return by Jackson gave USC a 20-14 lead late in the first half and gives the Trojans the edge at the midway point of what amounts to the Pac-12 South Division Championship Game. The winner of this game moves on to next week to face Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
USC was the first to put points on the scoreboard in the Coliseum when a lengthy drive stalled inside the red zone, forcing the Trojans to send Alex Woods out for a 30-yard field goal. It would take two more offensive possessions by UCLA to put their own points on the board. Paul Perkins ripped off a 19-yard touchdown run on a fourth and one play from the USC 19-yard line, giving UCLA the 7-3 lead.
USC put together a 10-play, 85-yard touchdown drive a couple of possessions later, with quarterback Cody Kessler punching one in from the goal line. UCLA’s Thomas Duarte hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Josh Rosen in the second quarter to regain the lead, 14-10. That lead evaporated with USC’s special teams chipping in with a field goal and Jackson’s punt return.
Western Kentucky earned one of the spots in the Conference USA championship game on Black Friday. A day later, they learned who will be their competition on the other sidelines next weekend.
Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech came into their game Saturday tied atop the West division standings at 6-1, effectively turning the contest into a play-in game. Thanks to a huge day from quarterback Nick Mullens, the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 24-10 halftime and really poured it on in the fourth quarter in rolling to a 58-24 win over the Bulldogs.
Mullens passed for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the win. It was Ito Smith, though, who put the final nails in the Bulldogs’ coffin as the USM back ran for three fourth-quarter touchdowns to turn the game into a rout.
With the win, Southern Miss will move on to face Western Kentucky in the conference championship game next Saturday afternoon in Bowling Green. The Hilltoppers finished a perfect 8-0 in conference play to the Golden Eagles’ 7-1, giving WKU the home-field advantage.
Southern Miss will be playing in its first Conference USA title game and third overall. WKU is in just its second season in Conference USA, and will be playing for its first conference title.
The division title also continues the quietly astounding turnaround head coach Todd Monken has fashioned in Hattiesburg. In Monken’s first year, coming off a winless 2012 season, the Eagles went 1-11 and followed it up with a 3-9 2014 campaign. With two games remaining in 2015, Monken has his team sitting at 9-3, easily the team’s best record since going 12-2 in Larry Fedora‘s last season in 2011.