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Iowa stuns No. 3 Michigan in deja vu thriller

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The last time Jim Harbaugh went to Iowa City, his No. 2-ranked Wolverines lost to Iowa on a last-second field goal. History repeated itself Saturday night.

Keith Duncan knocked in a 33-yard field goal as time expired to give his Hawkeyes a 14-13 win over No. 3 Michigan. Coupled with losses by No. 2 Clemson and No. 4 Washington, Iowa’s win secured the first day in which Nos. 2, 3 and 4 lost on the same day since… Oct. 19, 1985 — the same day No. 2 Michigan lost to No. 1 Iowa in Harbaugh’s last visit to Kinnick Stadium.

Michigan had a chance to chill away a win when Channing Stribling intercepted C.J. Beathard at the Michigan 16-yard line with 1:54 remaining, but the Wolverines — as was the case the entire second half — could not move the ball. An incomplete pass on 3rd-and-8, with Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight throwing on a bum shoulder, stopped the clock at 1:36, and an 8-yard Desmond King punt return aided by a ticky-tack 15-yard facemask penalty gave Iowa the ball at the Michigan 36.

Iowa moved into field goal territory after its first play on the ensuing possession, but an 8-yard Beathard draw on 3rd-and-7 with 16 seconds remaining turned Duncan’s field goal into a chip shot.

Playing in their first true road game of the year — Rutgers don’t count — Michigan jumped out to a 10-0 lead when a botched fake punt set the Wolverines up for a short field and a 26-yard Kenny Allen field goal at the 4-minute mark of the first quarter and, one Iowa missed field goal later, a 9-play, 72-yard march resulted in a 7-yard Ty Isaac scoring run midway through the second quarter.

But Michigan’s offense struggled mightily to move the ball for the rest of the night, starting with a De'Veon Smith safety on the Wolverines’ next possession to put the Hawkeyes on the board. Iowa didn’t score on the next possession, but a 3-and-out resulted in a 7-play, 52-yard drive culminating in a 3-yard pass from Beathard to Akrum Wadley on 4th-and-goal to pull the Hawkeyes within 10-8 at the half.

Michigan fumbled the second half kickoff, and Iowa moved 36 yards in five minutes to set Keith Duncan up for a go-ahead 25-yard chip shot. After four straight punts, Michigan moved back in front when Allen nailed a 51-yard field goal at the 9:35 mark of the fourth quarter.

Michigan could not protect that lead, though, as Speight was intercepted in field goal range with 3:43 remaining. After starting hot, Speight closed the day hitting only 11-of-26 passes for 103 yards and an interception, while the ground game pounded out only 98 yards on 35 carries.

Iowa threw for only 66 yards but managed to rush for 164 yards on 64 clock-chewing carries.

In addition to serving as the highlight of the season, Iowa clinches a bowl trip by moving to 6-4 on the season.

Michigan, meanwhile, drops to 9-1 on the season and 6-1 in the Big Ten, still needing a win at Ohio State on Nov. 26 to reach the Big Ten championship and, ultimately, the College Football Playoff.

Iowa LB Aaron Mends to miss extended time with injury

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Talk about a hard-luck story.

After never starting a game at Iowa, Aaron Mends (pictured, blocking punt) had earned a starting job at outside linebacker during practice this spring.  With football being the cruel mistress that it can be at times, the Hawkeyes announced Friday night that Mends “will miss an extended period of time due to injury.” The program offered no details as to the specific nature of the injury, although it’s believed to involve the knee.

According to the school’s release, the fifth-year senior suffered the injury during the final week of Iowa’s spring drills.

Mends was a three-star member of the Hawkeyes’ 2014 recruiting class.  He was the highest-rated linebacker in Iowa’s class that year.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Mends has played in 38 games the past three seasons.  A baker’s dozen of those appearances came during the 2017 season.

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, James Franklin and Clay Helton among 15 CFB coaches attending NFL Draft

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We’re less than a week away from former college players officially finding out their new homes with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is palpable no matter if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan or somebody who dons the cardinal and gold of USC.

Naturally this is a big deal for the players’ former programs as well and their recent head coaches will be taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity to future recruits by stopping by the draft itself at AT&T Stadium for the festivities. The NFL released a list of 14 college football coaches and one recent one on Friday as being confirmed to attend the event and there are a few notable names beyond the big ones we’re used to seeing every year:

In addition, Stanford head coach David Shaw will serve as a draft analyst on NFL Network for a seventh year in a row and even ESPN’s College GameDay is getting involved with a pregame show outside the stadium they are quite familiar with from big games over the years.

Georgia DB Mark Webb tears meniscus in practice but expected back before fall camp

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Georgia’s injury luck this spring isn’t getting much better as the defending SEC champions move toward their annual G-Day spring game over the weekend.

Head coach Kirby Smart confirmed with reporters after Thursday’s practice that sophomore defensive back Mark Webb suffered a knee injury earlier in the week and tore his meniscus. He already had the knee scoped and is expected back before fall camp after the rather minor procedure.

Webb originally landed in Athens as a wideout but made the move to the secondary just as the season was getting going. He appeared in 13 games in 2017, mostly on special teams, but was expected to challenge for one of the starting spots at cornerback heading into the upcoming campaign.

The absence of Webb in the lineup for the final week of spring adds to a growing list of injuries for the team during practice as they do a little bit of roster building toward the future. Receiver Michael Chigbu’s career may be over due to lingering injuries and defensive back Divaad Wilson tore his ACL not long after enrolling this semester.

Safe to say that G-Day on Saturday might not be as physical as Smart and the coaching staff would otherwise like as a result of trying to keep the team healthy as they prepare to head into a big offseason.

Old Dominion announces remodel, expansion plans for S.B. Ballard Stadium

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Old Dominion is making sure the first word in the school’s name is not the first thing you think of when you are playing against the Monarchs, joining a long list of their FBS peers with some significant upgrades for their home venue over the coming years. In plans approved this week by the university, ODU released renderings and an updated timeline on a $65 million remodel of S.B. Ballard Stadium that is set to begin as soon as this summer.

“We are excited to begin Phase 1 reconstruction,” said Greg DuBois, the school’s vice president for administration and finance. “Fan comfort and high-quality amenities are the primary focus of this phase. The project will help us create the type of game-day experience fans want and will set us up for future expansions.”

The stadium, some 81-years-old, will undergo a nearly complete teardown over the next two years in order to transform the place most know as Foreman Field. Both the east and west stands will be demolished and rebuilt, complete with new seating and a new press box. There will naturally be more restrooms and concession stands as part of the plan that includes plenty more bells and whistles for the Conference USA program. Seating is expected to grow beyond 21,000 or so capacity the current venue seats.

While construction will get started in the coming months, the bulk of activity will take place after the 2018 campaign is wrapped up at home and before kickoff of the opener in 2019. The Virginian-Pilot reports that funding will not utilize state funds but that the school is requesting that the legislature approve an added $10 million to the cost structure as a result of rising prices beyond the original $55 million forecasted.

2018 will be just the 10th season for the Monarchs (and fifth in FBS) since the football program was reinstated and it goes without saying that the new digs will be some of the nicest in CUSA when all is said and done. Few programs have been able to successfully navigate the transition as well as ODU has and it seems an updated stadium in the near future is the reward for head coach Bobby Wilder and others in Norfolk.