It certainly was not easy, but Ohio State has reached halftime of the Orange Bowl with a 22-20 lead on Clemson. A late touchdown drive led by Braxton Miller ended with the Big Ten’s best player finding room to run in to the end zone to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the night. Ohio State had trailed 20-9 earlier in the second quarter.
Tajh Boyd came up with a big play right on the game’s opening drive. On a third down with two yards to go from the Ohio State 49-yard line, Boyd ran right up the middle fo the Buckeyes defense for s career long 49-yard touchdown run and the early 7-0 lead. Prior to that run the longest run of the season for Boyd had been for 17 yards. Ohio State responded on the ensuing possession, first by faking a punt and picking up a first down and later by seeing their quarterback break a big run for a touchdown. Miller’s found a path to the left sideline and raced 33 yards toward the end zone, holding up momentarily to get a defender off his course.
Clemson got right back at it on offense, wasting little time moving down the field. This time wide receiver Sammy Watkins showed off his speed with a big run down the left sideline and then creating room in man coverage down the middle of the field for a 34-yard touchdown catch from Boyd to cap a quick four-play, 75-yard drive. Clemson’s next offensive possession actually resulted in points for the Buckeyes though. Pinned down on their one-yard line, Clemson gave up two points when the Buckeyes forced Boyd to let go of a pass that was ruled as intentional grounding. A pair of other penalties on the offensive line would have resulted in a safety regardless of the intentional grounding.
Big plays would continue for Clemson as they used speed to their advantage on both sides of the football. Clemson has kept Ohio State’s defense on their toes while racking up over 350 yards of offense in the half. Both teams would pick up touchdowns before the half but each missed an extra point attempt, but Ohio State capitalized on a late half turnover on downs by Clemson. Ohio State traveled 64 yards in five plays for the final score of the half with 12 seconds to spare.
Ohio State is still in need of some major adjustments. Clemson’s athleticism is already starting to wear down Ohio State’s defense, and lineman Joey Bosa has battled injury throughout the half and may not be back on the field for the rest of the game the way the second injury timeout looked. The offense has struggled to find any momentum, but perhaps the late score will change the story of the game in the second half.
Still, this is anybody’s game going in to the second half.
In the end, Baylor’s loss will turn into Texas’ gain. Again.
Just a couple of days after Baylor announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent, one of those prospects announced their new landing spot. And, to add insult to injury, said landing spot is a fellow Big 12 member.
And the state’s flagship university for good measure.
Pictured with Texas head coach Charlie Strong, that would be offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez announcing that he will begin his collegiate playing career with the Longhorns. And the get for UT, at least when it comes to recruiting pedigree, is a huge one.
Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.
The lineman becomes the second 2016 Bears signee to join the Longhorns since the sexual assault scandal slammed headfirst into Waco. Late this past week, UT confirmed the addition of four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay.
Thursday, reports surfaced that two Tennessee offensive linemen would be leaving the Volunteers football program and possibly transferring to the FCS level. Friday, one of those two confirmed he’s looking into it.
Speaking to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Ray Raulerson acknowledged that he’s “exploring options right now,” although he stopped short of confirming a transfer. However, the redshirt sophomore center talked of his time in Knoxville in the past tense, an indication that he is prepared to move on.
“I’m exploring options right now,” Raulerson told the News Sentinel. “…I really loved it at Tennessee, but I’m going to go to a place where I have a better chance to play.”
Raulerson was a three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in five games in 2015.
It has yet to be confirmed that the other lineman, fifth-year senior tackle Dontavius Blair, is indeed transferring. Raulerson, though, told the newspaper that his teammate is leaving as well.
Students at Clemson can rest easy; your football fix will still be free of charge this year.
In 2015, tickets for the student sections in both the lower bowl and upper bowl of Memorial Stadium came at no cost to those enrolled in classes at the university. In April, however, athletic director Dan Radakovich proposed levying what was described as a “$225 student donation” for those wishing to sit in the lower bowl on season tickets, while the upper bowl seats would remain free.
Late this past week, tigernet.com reported, Radakovich’s proposal was tabled as the university will “continue to have good conversations with student leaders about the entire ticketing process.”
So, for the 2016 football season, tickets in both bowls will come at no cost to students. As was the case last year, all of those tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It wasn’t all good news financially for Clemson students — or their parents — as The State news paper writes that “[t]he university’s board of trustees voted almost unanimously via teleconference Thursday to raise tuition rates for the 2016-17 year for in-state and out-of-state students.”
Unfortunately, the private life of a major college football coach has once again become laid bare for public consumption.
In a statement released Friday, the agent for UCLA head coach Jim Mora, Jimmy Sexton, released a statement confirming that his client and his wife, Shannon, have decided to separate. The couple have been married for more than 30 years, and have four children — one daughter and three sons.
“After much thought and careful consideration, Jim and Shannon Mora have decided to separate,” the statement from Sexton began. “This was a very difficult decision and they appreciate the respect for their family’s privacy at this time.”
The 54-year-old Mora will be entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Bruins. Earlier this month, UCLA announced that Mora, 37-16 in his first four seasons with the Bruins, had reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension with the university.
There was no specific word on whether any type of raise was involved in the new agreement, which keeps Mora signed through the 2021 season.