For most of the day, it was truly a Black Friday for potential Group of Five teams across the country.
No. 19 Boise State was upset by Air Force while No. 20 Houston was more consumed with Tom Herman coaching speculation than with beating Memphis.
No. 21 Western Michigan paid no attention to those losses however and made a convincing case they were the best Group of Five team in the country by dispatching Toledo 55-35 and securing the MAC West title in record-setting fashion.
Wide receiver Corey Davis finished with eight catches for 81 yards and a touchdown to set a new FBS mark for career receiving yardage in the process. The mark was previously held by Nevada’s Trevor Insley at 5,005 yards but Davis will have plenty of time to put more distance between second place with the MAC title game and a bowl still left on Western Michigan’s schedule.
Broncos quarterback Zach Terrell had an ever efficient night, throwing for 196 yards and three touchdowns. As solid as he was however, he took a backseat to the rest of his backfield as Jamauri Bogan rushed for 198 yards and a touchdown while Jarvion Franklin had a relatively quiet night but did find the end zone twice.
Toledo’s normally potent offense was limited most of the night despite finishing with decent numbers by the final whistle. Signal-caller Logan Woodside had three touchdown passes and two picks on just 229 yards while terrific tailback Kareem Hunt rushed for 200 yards and found the end zone once.
The result concludes a terrific 9-3 debut season for first-year Rockets coach Jason Candle, even if the team couldn’t overcome their division rival on Friday. As for his opposite number P.J. Fleck, all eyes are on Western Michigan as they head into the MAC title game undefeated next week against Ohio.
With losses around the country, only No. 25 Navy represents a challenge to the Broncos for capturing that elusive Group of Five bid and a trip to the Cotton Bowl. Both need to win their conferences to actually end up with the bid but judging by the way the Broncos looked on Friday night, chances are high they’ll be sitting there undefeated entering the final set of rankings.
Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.
The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.
The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.
Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.
Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.
Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.
A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.
After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.
UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.
There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.
But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.
Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”
Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.
It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.
Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass. Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.
Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday. Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.
“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”
Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects. The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.
After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017. All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.