Marqise Lee was quick to make an impact and Silas Redd has led the USC running game to help the Trojans take a 21-14 in to the break against Oregon State.
USC’s offense has had some easy plays against an Oregon State defense that has been lost at times and lacks pursuit other times. Allowing Lee to break free in a wide open field on USC’s first play proved to be costly, to the tune of a 71-yard touchdown for an early lead. Redd leads USC with 85 rushing yards but Javorious Allen has stepped in to score twice on the ground.
Oregon State dug the 14-0 hole in the first quarter but wasted little time in storming back in the second quarter. Sean Mannion connected with Brandin Cooks for a 27-yard touchdown to get the home team on the scoreboard and then 14 seconds later Oregon State’s Ryan Murphy had intercepted a Cody Kessler pass and returned it down the right sideline for a 42-yard pick-six that needed to be upheld by a video review to determine if he had broken the goal line while in the air. He did, and the game was tied at 14-14.
Kessler and the Trojans kept their cool though and marched 75 yards in ten plays and capped the drive with the second touchdown run by Allen in the first half.
Oregon State’s offense may have been cracked last week by Stanford. USC’s defense has risen to the occasion so far, but must keep it going to hold off Oregon State’s potent offense after the break. USC was unable to do that against Arizona State earlier in the season, and Arizona made things interesting in the second half of a game as well. Oregon State is only down one score at home, but the offense has to start playing better against a solid USC defense.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson will not be a candidate for the same position at Texas.
Anderson released a public statement Friday evening to put to rest the rumors connecting him to the Texas vacancy and to ease the Maryland fan base.
“I must confess I am humbled to be mentioned in connection with such a position but more importantly, I feel it speaks volumes to the outstanding progress we have made at the University of Maryland and to the new heights our athletic department is destined for in the future,” Anderson’s statement says.
“Let me be clear, I am not pursuing any other professional opportunities at other institutions. I am steadfast in my commitment to the University of Maryland.”
Anderson helped lead Maryland through negotiations to leave the ACC and join the Big Ten, a realignment change that will take place next summer. The cash-strapped athletics program has had to make some sacrifices in recent years and a move to the Big Ten figures to help dig the school out of financial trouble in time. If Anderson really is staying put, the decision comes at a great time. A school preparing for a conference change needs stability in the leadership positions off the field, especially at the athletic director position. Having Anderson stay put in College Park will help Maryland focus on the process of leaving the ACC and getting started in the Big Ten.
Earlier this week Ohio State’s Gene Smith said he is staying at Ohio State. Earlier in the month Louisville’s Tom Jurich said he was not interested in the Texas job. Previous reports have suggested West Virginia AD Oliver Luck, who will be a member of the College Football Playoff’s selection committee, is the leading candidate for the job.
Helmet sticker to CSN Baltimore.
Marqise Lee is in the starting line-up for USC tonight as the Trojans are visiting Oregon State. He immediately made an impact on the game as well.
After Oregon State’s opening drive field goal attempt was partially blocked and fell well short of the uprights, USC needed just one play to get Lee involved. USC quarterback Cody Kessler dropped back and found a wide open Lee down field and nobody came close to stopping him from getting to the end zone. The play went down as a 71-yard touchdown pass from Kessler to Lee on the first play of the game for USC’s offense.
Lee was upgraded from questionable to probable as the week progressed, and USC is certainly happy to have their biggest playmaker back on the field in good health. Lee had been hindered by a sprained left knee.
USC leads Oregon State 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy last season and is still considered to be a strong candidate for this year’s trophy. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is now getting involved with stumping for one of his players to be considered for the Heisman, and it may not be who you think it is.
Sumlin thinks Aggies receiver Mike Evans should be receiving more consideration for the award and wonders why nobody seems to be mentioning it as a possibility.
“I’m puzzled why Mike Evans isn’t in the Heisman race,” Sumlin said in a report by the Associated Press. “I think he’s as good a player as there is in the country.”
“He’s second in the country in yards per game and everybody knows we’re going to throw him the ball,” Sumlin said. Evans is also third in the nation with 11 touchdowns and second in total receiving yards. Evans is also one of the game’s top big-play threats with the nation’s fifth best average yards per reception with 22.94 yards per play.
History is against Evans though. The last time a wide receiver won the Heisman Trophy was 1991 when Michigan’s Desmond Howard was named the Heisman Trophy winner. The only other two receivers to win the Heisman Trophy are Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers in 1972 and Notre Dame’s Tim Brown in 1987. Since 1998 a running back or quarterback has been named the Heisman Trophy winner each season.
At this point in the season the top Heisman candidates are probably pretty much set. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston appear to be locks, and Manziel could very well make the return trip to New York as a finalist. Other candidates still considered to be in the running include Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty.
When Florida Atlantic made the decision this week to remove Carl Pelini has head coach, there was plenty of discussion about alleged marijuana use. Word quickly spread that thee was more to the story besides marijuana use, and apparently there may be some truth to that rumor.
According to a report by SB Nation published Friday, Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis agreed to resign from his job after being tied to alleged marijuana and cocaine use during their tenures at Florida Atlantic. According to documents obtained by SB Nation through a Freedom of Information Act request, two witnesses (possibly an assistant coach) accused Pelini of using the drugs.
You can see the documentation used for the report via SB Nation’s original story.