WHO: 8-4 BYU vs. 8-4 Washington (Pac 12)
WHAT: Fight Hunger Bowl (12th Year)
WHERE: AT&T Park in San Francisco, California
WHEN: Dec. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET
WHY: The Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco certainly will not be starving for offense. Washington and BYU should each have some success moving the football in this game with top 15 offenses and the ability to pu up 30 points per game. The Huskies enter the game having won four of their last five games down the stretch of the regular season. BYU has split their final four games of the year, with road losses at Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
Washington is looking for their highest win total in a year since the 2000 season, which would be a good way to provide some sort of momentum entering the Chris Petersen era for the Huskies. Washington will be coached by interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo with Steve Sarkisian already getting settled in to his new job with USC. The Huskies will be led by quarterback Keith Price (2,8843 passing yards, 20 touchdowns) and running back Bishop Sankey (1,775 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns). It should be quite a difficult one-two combo for BYU’s defense to slow down, but BYU’s defense has been one of the toughest for teams to score on. BYU held nine of their opponents to fewer than 21 points, with linebacker Kyle Van Noy leading the defensive effort.
Both teams have quarterbacks who should be heavily involved on offense. While Washington has Price under center, BYU will have Taysom Hill led the Cougars in rushing with 1,211 yards and nine touchdowns. Hill edged running back Jamaal Williams and his 1,202 yards and seven touchdowns.
This game has potential to be back-and-forth, but Washington should have the overall athletic advantage that should prove to be a difference by the end of the game. If BYU’s defense can avoid letting Washington pull away, the Cougars should have a shot at picking up their fifth straight bowl win.
PREDICTION: Washington 36, BYU 34
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.