Clint Chelf

Clint Chelf putting on a show as Oklahoma State leads Baylor 14-3


Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf completed his first 12 pass attempts for 238 yards and a touchdown and the Cowboys defense has been masterful against one of the top offenses in the country. As a result, Oklahoma State owns a 14-3 lead against the undefeated Baylor Bears and is one half away from seizing control of the Big 12 race.

Mike Gundy took an early gamble when he decided to try and pick up a first down from his own 47-yard line on fourth and one. Baylor sniffed it out and stuffed Desmond Roland for no gain and a turnover on downs around midfield. Baylor nearly took advantage.

Bryce Petty looked to have a clear path to the end zone in the first quarter when he took off to run, but the invisible opponent of gravity had other plans as the quarterback stumbled and tripped himself up just shy of the goal line. The less-than-graceful fall ended up costing the Bears when Shock Linwood tried to muscle forward and stretching for the goal line one yard out. The extra effort, though generally applauded, proved costly this time when Oklahoma State defensive tackle James Castelman knocked the ball loose and picked it up on his own one-yard line.

Oklahoma State than executed a 99-yard drive on just eight plays. It started off with a Chelf pass to Charlie Moore to quickly jump out to the 30-yard line and one play later a 51-yard pass to Marcell Ateman put the Cowboys in the red zone. Kyle Staley later ended the drive with a short touchdown run up the middle for the first score of the game.

Baylor avoided being shut out of the first half for the first time since their 2011 trip to Stillwater by scoring a late field goal before the half. Oklahoma State has held Baylor to just 174 yards of offense and three third-down conversions out of nine. Petty is just 11-of-21 for 120 yards.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.