The 2014 season is still a little bit down the road, but LSU has already “gotten over on” one of its SEC West rivals.
As the football program is in the final stages of an expansion of the south endzone, LSU announced that it has increased its stadium capacity to 102,321. Such a capacity would push LSU past Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821) and into third in the SEC behind Texas A&M’s Kyle Field (106,511) and Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium (102,455). It also moves Tiger Stadium to sixth nationally.
(Writer’s note: that placement is based on A&M’s Kyle Field moving to No. 3 nationally and tops in the SEC once a multi-phase expansion project is completed sometime in 2015.)
Now, LSU didn’t necessarily add 10,000-ish seats during the expansion. Instead, and in addition to the increase in seating, the program changed its accounting procedures to fall in line with how others “in its peer group” compute their numbers.
“We are listing a stadium capacity now rather than seating capacity, which is in line with what other schools in the SEC are doing,” LSU associate athletic director for tickets operations Brian Broussard said in a statement provided by the school. “The stadium capacity takes into account ancillary groups, such as media, game management and concessions staff.”
So, there’s that.
And, in totally unrelated news, the 2014 college football season will begin in earnest in 47 days with Abilene State-Georgia State on a Wednesday and a day later with Texas A&M-South Carolina in Columbia at Williams-Brice Stadium (capacity: 80,250, No. 24 in the country).
And, yes, both of those games can’t get here soon enough.
It’s long been thought, or even assumed, that Josh Allen will be leaving collegiate eligibility on the table to take his talents to the next level after this season. In Week 12, there’s yet another sign pointing in that general direction.
As is the case across a substantial portion of the college football landscape, Saturday is Senior Day at Wyoming as the Cowboys square off with Fresno State in their 2017 home finale. And, while just a junior, Allen was introduced as part of that group of seniors, signaling that this is very likely his last season in Laramie.
Allen, who has been dealing with a right (throwing) shoulder injury, has another season of eligibility at his disposal, but this latest development has him trending toward making himself available for the 2018 NFL draft. If he opts to leave early, he’s projected to be a first-round selection.
Players such as Allen have until mid-January to officially declare for the April draft.
Last season, Allen completed exactly 56 percent of his passes for 3,203 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Through 10 games this season, and with less of a supporting cast around him, the 6-5, 240-pound redshirt junior has hit on 56.2 percent of his attempts for 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. His yards per attempt have gone down from 8.59 in 2016 to 6.61 in 2017, although he’s thrown a pick in every 25 attempts this season compared to one every 42 last season.
After binging on a cupcake for 30 minutes, Florida State — and said dessert — have apparently had their fill.
Through two quarters of play, FSU spanking FCS Delaware State 56-6. The Seminoles led 21-6 at the end of the first quarter, then erupted for five second-quarter touchdowns to account for the 50-point halftime deficit for the Hornets.
During that halftime, the two sides agreed to help minimize the 2-8 FCS squad’s misery by slicing some time off the second-half play clock.
At 3-6, FSU needs to “hold on” in this game and beat in-state rival Florida in Gainesville and Louisiana-Monroe the next two weeks to become bowl-eligible. The Seminoles are trying to avoid their first bowl-less postseason since 1981.
After winning a big game in the national spotlight a week ago, the No. 3 Miami Hurricanes were faced with the challenge of playing a noon game at home against an opponent that doesn’t bring nearly the same spotlight last week’s opponent did. And for that, Virginia took advantage early on. Miami came back to tie the game at 14-14, but a late touchdown pass has given Virgina the lead at halftime, 21-14.
Virginia used a pair of big pass plays to take a surprising 14-0 lead on the Hurricanes in the first quarter. Kurt Benkert has been nearly flawless in the first half, and two long touchdown plays to Joe Reed and Olamide Zaccheaus caught Miami off guard.
Miami quarterback Malik Rosier eventually warmed up though with a pair of touchdowns of his own. On the ensuing drive after falling behind 14-0, Rosier got Miami on the board with a 10-yard pass to Ahmonn Richards. That came after Virginia attempted a surprise onside kick on Miami, only to have ACC officials controversially rule the ball to be Miami’s when it appeared Virginia may have recovered. Miami was forced to punt on their next offensive possession, but a special teams fumble by Virginia punt returner Daniel Hamm gave the Hurricanes the ball at the 36-yard line, and Rosier went for the tie with a pass to Dayall Harris to tie the game up on the first play from scrimmage following the turnover.
In the final minute of the half, Benkert again took to the air for a big strike, this time to Andre Levrone. After officials ruled the 33-yard pass to the end zone incomplete, a quick instant replay review overturned the call and confirmed Levrone had full possession of the football before the ball came loose at the end of the play. And just like that, Virginia took the lead into halftime.
We now have quite an interesting second half coming up in Miami as far as the College Football Playoff may be concerned.
It’s a good old-fashioned defensive battle in the Big Ten between Michigan and Wisconsin, and if not for a couple of plays going the wrong way, Michigan could very well be in the lead. Instead, the Wolverines and Badgers are locked in a 7-7 draw at halftime as the defenses have set the tone on both sides of the sideline so far today.
Wisconsin’s lone score came on a punt return by Nick Nelson in the first quarter, and it came after making a usually costly decision to pick the ball up to make a return. He managed to avoid a disaster and found pay dirt for the first score of the game.
Just when it appeared Michigan was about to get some point son the scoreboard with a touchdown, a video replay from the Big Ten officials upheld a controversial incompletion to Donovan Peoples-Jones. The play was ruled incomplete but the video review appeared to show the receiver get his left foot down just before the right foot touched out of bounds. This may have been a case of not feeling the video evidence was indisputable to overturn the original call on the field. Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters lost the football on a fumble while trying to pick up an extra yard near the end zone, giving the Badgers the ball deep in their own end with a 7-0 lead preserved.
Michigan did manage to get in the end zone in the first half though, and there would be no review to overturn the result. Ben Mason powered his way across the goal line at the end of a seven-play, 84-yard drive. Still, Michigan fans have to be a bit upset about that non-touchdown call by the replay booth. We’ll see if that comes back to haunt Michigan in the second half or not.
Michigan has out-gained Wisconsin 170-99 at the half. The Badgers have just four first downs.