In control of their ACC Coastal fate and coming off a big win over Miami the previous week, perhaps a slow start should have been expected for Duke this weekend. Playing on the road at Wake Forest, the Blue Devils did just that but David Cutcliffe‘s team managed to pull it together and find some momentum going in to the half after digging out of a 14-0 hole to tie things up at the half.
Wake Forest took advantage of a first quarter turnover by Duke when Duke’s Issac Blakeney lost control of a football while fighting for extra yardage on a short pass play. Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson forced the fumble and Thomas Brown picked up the loose ball and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown and early 7-0 lead. A touchdown pass from Tanner Price to Spencer Bishop in the second quarter gave the home team a surprising 14-0 lead but then Duke settled down.
Duke quarterback Anthony Boone tossed the first of his two first half touchdowns to Jamison Crowder inside the red zone to get the Blue Devils on the board after starting a possession on Wake Forst’s side of the field. About six minutes later, and about a minute before halftime, Boone struck again deep inside the red zone with a short pass to Max McCaffrey.
Duke’s defense has played well, holding Wake Forest to just 100 yards of total offense at the break. Duke’s Boone has also been accurate, completing 13 of 16 pass attempts in the first half. A Duke victory will keep the Blue Devils on top of the ACC Coastal Division with one game to play. A loss though will re-open the door for the division with time running out. Duke still has a leg up n the division but needs to seize the opportunity today before traveling to rival North Carolina next week.
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.