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Perine shines as No. 17 Oklahoma stomps Texas Tech

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A game that was supposed to be about Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield facing his former team for the first time ended up a rout as the Sooners’ one-two punch of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon ran roughshod over an overmatched and undermanned Texas Tech defense. The duo combined for 355 yards and six touchdowns as the 17th-ranked Sooners won, 63-27.

Mixon and Perine staked Oklahoma to a 21-3 early in the second quarter with alternating touchdowns until a pair of turnovers allowed Texas Tech briefly back into the game. Jarvis Baxter coughed up a Mayfield completion at the Texas Tech 29 and Jah’Shawn Johnson raced it 50 yards to the OU 29, setting up a six-yard scoring toss from Patrick Mahomes to Reginald Davis. Mayfield was intercepted on the ensuing possession by Justis Nelson, who raced the pigskin back to the Oklahoma 32. Texas Tech again capitalized, this time on a 13-yard DeAndre Washington run, to pull within 21-17 with 7:05 to go in the second quarter.

Perine answered with his second touchdown of the day, this time from 10 yards out with 3:31 before the break, and Oklahoma intercepted Mahomes for the third time in the first half inside its own end zone with just 10 seconds before the break to kill any semblance of red-and-black momentum.

Oklahoma opened the second half with a four-play, 75-yard drive punctuated by a 13-yard strike from Mayfield to tight end Mark Andrews and, after a 28-yard Red Raiders field goal, added another Perine score with 7:04 to play in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 42-20 and effectively putting the game out of reach.

Mahomes sneaked in from one-yard out on the following possession to bring the score to 42-27, but the Red Raiders did not score again. Mayfield added a 15-yard scoring strike to Durron Neal to close the third quarter, Perine scored his fourth touchdown of the day with 8:18 remaining to put OU in the 50’s for the second straight week, and Alex Ross notched a nine-yard paydirt plunge with 2:26 remaining to close the scoring.

Perine posted his best day since breaking the FBS rushing record against Kansas last season, registering a season-high 201 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries. Mixon added a career-high 154 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. Mayfield added an economical 15-of-22 passing for 212 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.

As a team, Oklahoma pounded out 405 yards and seven touchdowns on 57 carries.

Standout cornerback Zack Sanchez left the game after just one snap with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Mahomes completed 26-of-40 throws for 233 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions, and Washington led the Red Raiders’ ground efforts with 19 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown.

For Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1 Big 12), it was a second straight impressive showing as the Sooners look to mount a post-Texas surge and stay in contention for the Big 12 and national championships. Texas Tech drops to 5-3 (2-3 Big 12) on the year with losses to TCU and Baylor in addition to today’s thumping.

Most concerning for Texas Tech – beyond the final score, obviously – was another game in which the defense allowed 600-plus yards and turned the ball over four times. That’s the formula that saw Texas Tech miss a bowl last season and, if not corrected, could end 2015 in a similar fashion.

Former Baylor TE Tre’Von Armstead arrested in connection to 2013 sexual assault

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The cloud habitually hovering over the Baylor football program continues to get darker.  And more ominous.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, “[f]ormer Baylor football player Tre'Von Armstead was arrested Wednesday… on three second-degree felony sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged 2013 sexual assault while he was a member of the Baylor football team.” While the alleged rape occurred in mid-April of 2013, the case was suspended by the Waco Police Department, ESPN.com writes, “after the alleged victim chose not to pursue charges against Armstead and former Bears running back Myke Chatman, who she accused of sexually assaulting her at her apartment.”

The victim in that alleged assault, a former “Baylor Bruin” recruiting hostess for the football program, filed a lawsuit in late January of this year in which it’s alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape over a four-year period starting in 2011.  It was further alleged in the lawsuit that BU assistant football coaches, including current Florida Atlantic assistant Kendal Briles, contributed to what was described as a “culture of sexual violence” around the football program.

“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players,” Briles, the son of disgraced former BU head coach Art Briles, told one recruit according to that lawsuit, one of many the university is currently facing as a result of the sexual-assault scandal.

Despite the 2013 allegations of Armstead being involved in a sexual assault, he remained with the football program until his dismissal in September of 2015.  A little over a week ago, Armstead was arrested on multiple charges in Las Vegas after he allegedly physically assaulted a woman.

Louisville clarifies titles for revamped defensive coaching staff

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The offseason shuffling of Bobby Petrino‘s defensive coaching staff appears to be complete.

Thanks to Todd Grantham‘s move to Mississippi State earlier this offseason, Petrino was forced to overhaul his staff on that side of the ball.  Peter Sirmon, who Grantham replaced at MSU, was hired by the U of L as defensive coordinator in mid-January.

As the Cardinals kicked off spring practice this week, the football program detailed the responsibilities for the defensive side of the staff.

New defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon announced on Wednesday that he has finalized position changes on his defensive staff. Sirmon will mentor the defense, but will also coach the outside linebackers. Lorenzo Ward will coach the secondary, while Cort Dennison will now mentor the inside linebackers. L.D. Scott will stick with coaching the defensive line.

Last season under Grantham, the Cardinals were 31st nationally and sixth in the ACC in scoring defense (23.8 points per game).  They were 14th and third, respectively, in total defense (319.6 yards per game).

Auburn wide receiver Kyle Davis potentially out for spring

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was optimistic about wide receiver Kyle Davis returning to the team at some point this spring, but the tune has changed regarding his future. Malzahn is now saying Davis may be out for the remainder of Auburn’s spring practices due to personal reasons.

“Kyle Davis is still taking care of some personal business,” Malzahn said, according to SEC Country. “I’m not for sure if he’s going to be back before the end of the spring. He will be back for the fall, just taking a little bit longer than we initially thought.”

It was just a few weeks ago Malzahn said Davis was going to be out for the start of spring practices, which are now close to half over. For now, the plan is simply to have him return over the summer in preparation for the fall.

In the meantime, Malzahn confirmed John Franklin III is working primarily as a wide receiver, which had previously been suspected to be the case.

Penn State announces three captains for 2017 season

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With Penn State just about to get started with spring football practices, head coach James Franklin wasted no time in naming his captains for the 2017 season. Quarterback Trace McSorley, linebacker Jason Cabinda, and safety Nick Scott have been voted captains by their peers on the team.

“These three young men have been leaders in our program, on and off the field,” Franklin said in a released statement. “They live our four core values and act with the program’s best interest in mind. Our team is in good hands with these guys!”

McSorley took over the offense as Penn State’s starting quarterback in 2016. A bit of a mystery to most entering the season after being the backup to Christian Hackenberg, McSorley ended his 2016 season with a Big Ten-leading 3,614 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes with eight interceptions and played a key role in guiding Penn State to a late run to a Big Ten championship and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. He enters the 2017 season as one of the top quarterbacks returning to the Big Ten, along with Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett.

Cabinda, an All-Big Ten third team player in 2016, was Penn State’s third-leading tackler last season with 81 tackles. He accumulated that many tackles despite missing five games due to injury. He is slated to be the leader in the middle of the Penn State defense with a starting role already locked down and will look to help guide some younger linebackers stepping into key roles in the defense this upcoming season, such as Manny Bowen and Koa Farmer.

Scott has been a special teams leader for Penn State and is expected to continue to lead the special teams effort once again this season.