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Arkansas unravels, rallies to top No. 15 TCU in double OT

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In a game the Hogs at separate times had in hand and let slip away, Arkansas mounted a late rally to tie and then overcome No. 15 TCU as quarterback Austin Allen surged into the end zone for a 41-38 double overtime victory in Fort Worth.

Arkansas was seemingly set Fort Worth and beat No. 15 TCU. Thanks to a red zone fumble and a pick-six the Hogs opened up a 13-0 halftime lead, and the lead was set to move to 23-7 with 11:30 to play in the game. All Arkansas kicker Cole Hedlund needed to do was make a 22-yard field goal.

He missed. That was all TCU needed to awaken from its offensive slumber.

The Frogs moved 80 yards in seven plays to pull within 20-14 with 9:44 remaining and, after forcing a three-and-out, raced from their own 16 to the end zone again, mostly on the legs of lightning bug KaVontae Turpin. He returned the ensuing punt 34 yards to midfield, then immediately snagged a 43-yard catch-and-run, setting up a seven-yard Kyle Hicks go-ahead touchdown run.

Arkansas went three-and-out again on its next possession, and again TCU capitalized. Kenny Hill and Derrick Green took turns dicing the Hogs through the ground and air, with Hill finishing off the 8-play, 50-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring dash. Rather than gamble on a chance to go up nine and put the game away, Gary Patterson kicked an extra point to go up 28-20 with 2:05 remaining.

The ramifications of that decision immediately came into effect as Arkansas glided 58 yards in four snaps to pull within 28-26, and a reverse pass from Keon Hatcher to Allen tied the game at 28-28 with 1:03 remaining.

Arkansas, for some reason, kicked to Turpin on the ensuing kickoff, which he returned 64 yards to the Arkansas 27. Hill found Emmanuel Porter for another go-ahead score on the very next play, but the scor was called back for illegal touching. The Frogs instead settled for a 28-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining, which 6-foot-10 offensive lineman Dan Skipper blocked to send the game to overtime.

The Hogs took the ball at the top of the first overtime, and Austin Allen cashed in with a third down touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Hill answered with a third down strike of his own, this one to Taj Williams in the corner of the end zone from 13 yards out.

TCU had to settle for a field goal at the top of the second overtime and, faced with a 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Allen rushed toward the goal line, was stopped short, then surged again into the end zone for a Razorbacks victory. He closed the day hitting 17-of-29 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, plus the game-winning rushing score. Rawleigh Williams III led all rushers with 28 carries for 137 yards.

Hill hit 36-of-56 passes for 377 yards with a touchdown and a pick-six while also leading the Frogs’ (1-1) ground efforts with 15 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Turpin notched seven catches for 126 yards, plus another 169 yards in the return game.

Arkansas (2-0) secured a massive win for a program that struggled to secure close games under head coach Bret Bielema. Of the Hogs’ 11 losses over the past two seasons, seven had come in one score games.

TCU (1-1) heads into a rivalry game with SMU facing major questions about its defense as Big 12 play looms around the corner.

Ex-Alabama WR T. Simmons officially a WVU Mountaineer, too

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In the post below this, we noted that Jovani Haskins is officially a member of the West Virginia football program.  T.J. Simmons can say the same as well.

After Simmons announced it via social media over this past weekend, WVU has confirmed that the wide receiver has signed a grant-in-aid for the 2017-18 academic year and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Mountaineers.  That continuation won’t happen immediately as, after sitting out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws, Simmons will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Mountaineers.

Simmons had decided last week to transfer out of the Alabama football program.

A three-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2016 recruiting class, Simmons was rated as the No. 58 receiver in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama.

As a true freshman, Simmons played in 12 games, mainly on special teams.  In this year’s annual spring game, the 6-2, 201-pound receiver caught six passes for 82 yards and a touchdown for the Crimson Tide.

WVU makes addition of ex-Miami TE Jovani Haskins official

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One down, one to go.

Over the weekend, both former Miami tight end Jovani Haskins (HERE) and ex-Alabama wide receiver T.J. Simmons (HERE) indicated on social media that they would be transferring and continuing their collegiate playing careers at West Virginia.  Monday, WVU confirmed that the former has signed his grant-in-aid for the 2017-18 academic year.

Haskins will have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.  Beginning with the 2018 season, he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.

A three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2016 recruiting class, the 6-4, 245-pound Haskins was rated as the No. 18 tight end in the country and the No. 10 player at any position in the state of New Jersey.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Earlier this month, Haskins opted to transfer from The U in order to “get a fresh start somewhere else.”

Haskins is the third Power Five player to officially transfer to the Mountaineers this offseason, joining former Syracuse defensive back Corey Winfield (HERE) and ex-Miami quarterback Jack Allison (HERE).

Texas JUCO reported landing spot for former four-star Auburn DT

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A little over a month after leaving The Plains, Antwuan Jackson has reportedly settled on a new college football home.

Citing multiple sources familiar with the situation, 247Sports.com is reporting that Jackson has signed with Blinn Community College in Texas.  The defensive tackle will play for the JUCO this season, with his eyes set on a return to the FBS level, perhaps as early as December.

On his Twitter account earlier Monday, Jackson hinted at an unspecified development regarding his football future.

In mid-May, Jackson announced his decision to transfer from Auburn. AU blocked him from transferring to a handful of schools he had requested, including Ohio State. It’s believed the Buckeyes have emerged as the favorites to land the lineman when he jumps back to the FBS level.

Jackson was a four-star member of AU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country; the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 49 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Only three players in the Tigers’ class that year were rated higher.

As a true freshman last season, Jackson took a redshirt.

Nova, Auburn’s live eagle mascot, grounded for 2017 season

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Auburn will be forced to go to a backup when it comes to its famed pregame mascot flights.

The university announced Monday that’s live eagle mascot, War Eagle VII, has ben grounded for the entire 2017 season.  The university stated that its College of Veterinary Medicine faculty diagnosed the 18-year-old golden eagle with cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart.

The diagnosis was made following what was described as a routine checkup.

Below are the comments of the veterinarians in charge of the care of an eagle who has been a part of gamedays on The Plains since 2004.

Nova has been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, indicated by an enlarged left ventricle, decreased systolic function and supraventricular premature complexes (arrhythmia),” said Dr. Seth Oster, an avian veterinarian at the raptor center and the college’s Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

“These areas of constriction can increase the systolic pressure of the heart so that Nova’s heart has to pump harder to move blood around his body,” said Oster. “This type of problem could have multiple causes, the most common of which in birds is atherosclerosis.”

“Vessels that are constricted, like those that are seen in Nova’s scan, can have dangerous complications when put under increased stress from exercise,” said Dr. Seung-Woo Jung, an assistant professor of cardiology in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “This includes aneurysm or clot formation that could lead to vascular rupture, stroke, aortic thromboembolism or heart attack.

The release added that due to “the risk of severe medical complications, veterinary medical staff decided that Nova should not be placed in situations that cause his heart to work harder than usual, including flying in the stadium before each game.”

With War Eagle VII sidelined, pregame duties will fall to Spirit.

Spirit is the only bald eagle that has ever flown in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Her first game flight was in 2002, and she is recognizable by her bright white head and tail feathers. In 1995, Spirit was discovered as an injured fledgling in Florida. She came to Auburn in 1998 and joined the educational collection at the Southeastern Raptor Center. Her damaged beak makes her non-releasable.