And the hits just keep on coming for a Nebraska defense suddenly ravaged by injury and attrition.
While the school has yet to formally announce it, Michael Rose-Ivey took to social media very late last night to announce that he had suffered a very serious and likely season-ending knee injury. The linebacker stated he “tore my acl possibly mcl and cartilage,” but that “I’ll see more tomorrow” as he undergoes an MRI to reveal the true extent of the injury.
Based on his Instagram post, however, it doesn’t sound promising and is, to be honest, downright heartbreaking:
I’m hurting… I’m not gonna lie. I’m hurting bad. So much work out in this off season to get my weight down and body fat to prove to people I can be an every down linebacker. A lot of film study critiquing myself and trying to learn techniques from some of the best linebackers to ever play on any level. It’s hard right now for me. I can barely express how I feel right now cause I’m numb to it. It won’t hit me until I see my boys, my brothers, my teammates run out on that field aug 30th against FAU. It won’t hit me till I see my boy @ameerguapo and @afro_thunder80 put up touchdown after touchdown on defenses this year. It won’t hit me until my man @zaireanderson and @vrvj98 and randy lead the way to a top 10 defense. It’s gonna be a long process back but I got a lot of good people on my side. I’m coming back stronger than ever. Trust and believe that!! Send prayers up to the man above for me but don’t send me sympathy !! I will be back better than ever before !! #GBR #HUSKERNATION
Last season as a redshirt freshman, Rose-Ivey started seven of the 12 games in which he played. He set an NU freshman record with 66 tackles, which were tied for third on the team, while six of those tackles were for losses.
Exiting spring and entering summer camp, Rose-Ivey was expected to be the full-time starter at middle linebacker.
Friday it was reported that the Cornhuskers’ top nickel cornerback, Charles Jackson, would miss all of the upcoming season with a serious knee injury. Later on in the day, NU announced that another starting defensive back, LeRoy Alexander, had been suspended for the entire 2014 season.
(Tip O’ the Cap: Omaha World-Herald)
Colorado’s unlikely road to the Pac-12 title may have gotten a little bit harder on Friday night.
Buffaloes starting quarterback Sefo Liufau suffered a lower leg injury midway through the first quarter and missed most of the half as the unlikely South Division champions trailed Washington 14-7 in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Liufau eventually headed to the locker room before the whistle at the end of the second quarter but it’s possible he will return to the game.
Backup Steven Montez did lead the team down on a scoring drive shortly afterward (capped off by a Phillip Lindsay touchdown run) but was under pressure on nearly every snap by the Huskies’ pass rush.
His counterpart similarly didn’t have much luck against Colorado’s stingy defense either. Washington signal-caller Jake Browning finished the half just 4-of-12 for 38 yards but the Huskies didn’t bat much of an eye by doing what they wanted on ground — rushing for 148 yards behind the tough running of both Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman.
It should make for a fantastic second half from the Bay Area as both teams harbor hopes of making it into the College Football Playoff after capturing a Pac-12 title.
Still perfect. Still rowing.
Western Michigan completed a dream undefeated regular season on Friday night and captured the school’s first MAC Championship since 1988 with a 29-23 win over Ohio.
The Broncos led from wire-to-wire on Friday night but struggled to complete drives with touchdowns against a stingy Bobcats defense on a night where they needed all the style points they could get. WMU is the College Football Playoff’s highest ranked Group of Five team but are in a neck-and-neck battle with Navy for a bid to the Cotton Bowl this season.
Even if the final margin wasn’t what head coach P.J. Fleck wanted, he nevertheless was excited at the way his team played defensively in holding Ohio to just 213 yards on the night. The normally prolific offense had their moments too, with quarterback Zach Terrell finishing with 301 yards, two scores and two interceptions.
One of those touchdown passes from Terrell went to wide receiver Corey Davis, who continued to press his case that he’s a first-round pick in the spring. The pass-catcher scored the team’s first touchdown back in the second quarter on a 70-yard scamper and the all-time leader in FBS receiving yardage finished his MAC career with 155 yards on nine catches.
The Bobcats tried to use their normal formula of running the ball and playing defense to control the clock but failed to do much of the former. The team finished with just 37 yards on the ground (and 251 overall) but did manage to make things interesting with three second half touchdowns and a late drive that could have taken the lead but instead ended with a game-sealing interception.
That wasn’t exactly the kind of high-flying #MACtion game the conference record 45,615 fans at Ford Field were looking for, with many of them sporting WMU colors as the school looks ahead to Sunday and whether or not they’re headed to a New Year’s Six Bowl at the end of the month.
On Friday night however, they just had to soak in the remarkable run the Broncos are on and row that boat all the way to a championship.
One of the bigger storylines of this offseason is the annual coaching carousel and where former LSU head coach Les Miles will land.
The longtime coach has stated he wants to coach again in 2017, and has plenty of credentials — over 100 wins, SEC and national championships — but where he will find a fit is one of the bigger mysteries.
A lot of folks have noted that he could be in the running for the Purdue job (Miles is a Big Ten man at heart) but it appears that will not be the case. According to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, a source told him to cross Miles’s name off of Purdue’s list.
There are not a ton of big openings at the moment so with the Boilermakers reportedly off the table, it might be a long offseason for the former LSU coach. Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm and Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck have been the two biggest names mentioned with the Purdue search but it appears unlikely any movement happens before this weekend.
Thamel also mentions Miles could be in the mix at Houston, which would be fascinating given his years at Oklahoma State and over a decade spent a few hours East in Baton Rouge. Either way, it looks like the carousel has a few more spins left in it this month.
Colorado plays Washington on Friday in the Pac-12 Championship Game but that hasn’t stopped the coaching carousel from taking a break.
Rumors have circulated that Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre is a candidate at Baylor and that he would be interviewing with the Bears either today or tomorrow. Colorado’s sports information director wanted no part of those reports continuing to flourish however, and took to Twitter to vehemently deny them.
That is… quite the denial.
At the same time, you can understand why Baylor wants to speak with MacIntyre give his credentials for turning around the program, his moral values and the fact that he was just named the Walter Camp Coach of the Year.
If it’s not meant to be however, the school will no doubt be turning to other candidates this weekend, possibly including fellow Pac-12 coach Sonny Dykes at Cal.