Hurricanes weather early storm, but still trail Bearcats at the half

3 Comments

Miami’s first game on the road in 2015 was preceded by something that’s become very familiar throughout the first part of the season…

… and then began like the #FireAlGolden banner flyers would have additional ammunition in their quest.  While that still may be the case, Golden’s troops aren’t seemingly in the mood to hand it to the detractors on a silver platter — unless the last two minutes of the half portends impending defensive doom.

Down double-digits early on, Miami bounced back to take a 20-17 lead early in the second quarter.  Late in the half, however, a Hayden Moore one-yard touchdown sneak put the Bearcats up 24-20. A field goal with no time left on the clock gave UC a 27-20 halftime lead.

After the Hurricanes’ opening drive was capped by a field goal and a 3-0 lead, the Bearcats looked like they were going to put the visitors away early.  Four plays after the ensuing drive commenced, Hosey Williams ended it with a 29-yard touchdown run that featured ridiculous defense in general and horrific tackling specifically as the back should’ve been stopped for a loss. A little less than a minute later, Moore, replacing the concussed Gunner Kiel at quarterback, hit Mekale McKay from 11 yards out for a 14-3 lead with 9:02 left in the first.

10 straight points to end the quarter, however, pulled the Canes back to within one at 14-13. An Andrew Gantz field goal from 51 yards that seemingly would’ve been good from 71 extended the lead to 17-13, but Joseph Yearby‘s eight-yard touchdown run gave the ‘Canes their first lead since early in the first quarter at 20-17.

Cincinnati has rolled up 300 yards of offense to Miami’s 240. After throwing for a school-record 557 yards in his last Thursday night effort, Moore has been “held” to “just” 207. Yearby leads all rushers with 67 yards on just eight carries.

Cincinnati will get the ball first to start the second half.

Tom Herman names Shane Buechele starting QB… for now

Getty Images
1 Comment

It’s certainly expected that Shane Buechele will start at quarterback for Texas this fall. After all, he did so last season and performed capably well — about as well as you could expect for a true freshman on a 5-7 team. Buechele’s competition for the job is true freshman Sam Ehlinger, and you definitely wouldn’t bank on a true freshman beating out an incumbent starter.

Tom Herman confirmed as much Monday. Herman said Buechele would start if the Maryland opener was tomorrow, and that will be the case until it isn’t.

“As of today, Shane’s starting,” he said. “Now, does that guarantee he’ll start against Maryland? No. But, he’ll take the bulk of the ones. If he doesn’t take advantage of them, Sam plays better than him, that’ll change. As of now, Shane’s getting the bulk of the one reps, but Sam will continue to do that…. It’s a good battle, but you can tell Shane’s played 12 games of college football.”

The question, of course, is not who will take the first snap against Maryland, but how much Ehlinger will play and how long Buechele can hold him off.

It’s no secret Herman asks his quarterbacks to take hits, and Ehlinger seems better equipped to do that. Texas lists Ehlinger carrying 230 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame, compared to Buechele’s 6-foot-1, 205-pound build. Ehlinger compiled 2,395 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns while playing through injury for the bulk of his senior year. Buechele rushed for 151 yards on 97 carries, while also setting Texas freshman records with 2,958 passing yards.

LSU officially welcomes new Mike the Tiger to his new habitat

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
3 Comments

LSU is keeping the tradition of a live tiger mascot alive with the announced addition of Mike VII. The new Mike the Tiger has moved into his new spacious digs and is already having football fans and animal lovers fall in love with him.

The newest addition had to be checked to make sure he was qualified to be released into LSU’s special habitat that has been the home for previous tigers. Mike VII will not be making appearances at Tiger Stadium on game days as has previously been a tradition. Instead, Mike VII will be able to roam a recently updated and renovated tiger habitat in style and root on the Tigers from the comfort of his new home.

Mike VI died of cancer last October.

Utah’s surprise QB announcement tabs Tyler Huntley as starter

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
2 Comments

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham made one of the more surprising decisions on Monday. Instead of naming the senior captain as his starting quarterback, Whittingham chose sophomore Tyler Huntley to be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1 against North Dakota.

The decision to go with Huntley means Troy Williams will be reduced to backup duty. Alabama transfer Cooper Bateman will also be sitting down on the depth chart, which is another mild surprise from Salt Lake City.

Williams was Utah’s quarterback last season when the Utes made a push for the Pac-12 South Division before falling just short of the Pac-12 championship game. Williams passed for 2,757 yards and 15 touchdowns. Williams also rushed for 235 yards and five touchdowns for the Utes.

As a freshman, Huntley appeared in six games and attempted just seven passes for 60 total yards. It would seem Huntley has done a lot to impress the coaches to earn the starting nod over an experienced starter and the transfer option. His improvement in the offseason and athleticism are said to be fueling his rise as a quarterback, so we’ll see how that pays off on the field once the games begin.

Jim McElwain says Florida is heading to Texas to “beat the heck out of Michigan”

Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images
10 Comments

It goes without saying that coaches will say what coaches say. Suggesting their team is on a mission to score a big win in front of fans clad in the school colors should not be taken for anything more than simply aiming to get a rise out of the fans. Mission accomplished for Florida head coach Jim McElwain, but possible bulletin board material for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Speaking before Florida students over the weekend, McElwain laid it out there by saying his Gators were looking to do one thing against Michigan; win with authority.

“We’re heading to Dallas here in a couple weeks to go beat the heck out of Michigan, and then come back to you guys,” McElwain said, according to SEC Country.

The Gators are opening the college football season next week in Arlington, Texas against the Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten. Florida will be a bit undermanned with the recent suspension of seven players, including star wide receiver Antonio Callaway. Michigan also won the most recent meeting between the two schools, with Harbaugh’s Wolverines dominating McElwain’s Gators in the Citrus Bowl two seasons ago (41-7).

Michigan will be looking to reestablish its identity with a good amount of roster turnover this season, but the depth hit from the recent suspensions in Gainesville may help give Michigan an edge. Either way, we can only look forward to seeing how Harbaugh potentially responds once this claim from McElwain makes its way to Ann Arbor.