One of the biggest questions of the first three weeks of the 2016 college football season was “what’s wrong with Dalvin Cook?” As it turns out, the answer was “nothing the USF defense couldn’t cure.”
Entering Florida State’s Week 4 in-state matchup, Cook had rushed for 228 yards. He had yet to crack the 100-yard mark in the first three games, posting a season-high 91 yards in the opener against Ole Miss before seeing those totals drop to 83 against Charleston Southern and 54 in the loss to Louisville last Saturday.
This Saturday, Cook’s statistical fortunes turned in a big way and right away as the running back broke off a 75-yard touchdown run on the Seminoles’ first play from scrimmage. Cook went on to add another 110 yards in the half to finish with a whopping 185 yards through two quarters of play.
Then halfway through the third quarter, Cook had pushed that total to 220 yards.
Not only that, but his two rushing touchdowns in the first half matched the number he had the first three games combined.
After USF tied the score at 14-all — the Bulls scored a touchdown on its first play from scrimmage and two in just over three minutes — Cook’s 13-yard touchdown run jump-started a 31-0 run to end the half and send the Seminoles into the locker room with a comfortable 38-14 lead. As of this posting, FSU leads 45-14 with less than half of the third quarter remaining.
UPDATED 2:59 p.m. ET: Cook finished the game with 244 yards — and one sore shoulder — in just three quarters of work. At the time of his departure, he was also FSU’s leading receiver with four catches for 62 yards.
UPDATED 3:34 p.m. ET: Cook’s day wasn’t finished, as it turned out, as the back returned to the game in the fourth quarter to set a career-high with 267 yards. His previous career high was 266 yards set last year against… USF.
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.
Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.
Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.
Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.
A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.
Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.
Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.
It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.
Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.
Helmet sticker to Al.com.
The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.
Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.
These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.