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No. 1 Alabama rolls to another easy SEC win, leaving no doubt against Ole Miss


When it comes to drama in the SEC West, there’s really only been program that can create some when playing Alabama and that’s been Ole Miss. The Rebels have won two of the past three in the series and cut it to one score against the Tide last year.

In 2017 however, the only drama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night was how many touchdowns backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would throw or run for. The answer turned out to be two as part of a dominating 66-3 win that showed why Nick Saban’s team has an iron grip on that No. 1 ranking in the polls.

If Alabama wanted to run the ball, they did (365 yards, five scores). If they wanted to pass the ball, they did (248 yards, three touchdowns). And of course if they wanted to play a little defense, they did that too (a pick-six and no third down conversions allowed until the fourth quarter).

All told, the team has begun SEC play with a 125-3 start. That’s not bad in any sport but, in one of the nation’s toughest conferences, it’s just Bama being Bama. Those that made it to Bryant-Denny Stadium for kickoff probably could have made it home to watch every other game on the schedule on TV by the time this was well in hand in the, uh, first quarter.

Signal-caller Jalen Hurts looked extremely sharp in roughly a half of work, throwing for 197 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 101 yards and a score to lead the team on the ground. Four players had at least one 15 yard run, which sounds impressive were it not for the five members of the wide receiving corps hauling in a 20+ yard reception (and a sixth who had one go 18).

As good of a night as it was for the home team, it was a miserable beatdown for the visitors who looked beyond dead on the sidelines by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Quarterback Shea Patterson had a few flashes of good play but was otherwise sacked five times and picked off twice. Jordan Wilkins did top the century mark rushing but that was about it for the Rebels in terms of positives.

So, uh, good luck Texas A&M because next week’s trip to Kyle Field could be just as unpleasant as the last few given how Alabama is playing right now. Ole Miss certainly found that out on Saturday.

VIDEO: Blind USC long snapper Jake Olson can play quarterback, too

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Jake Olson became one of the stories of the 2017 season on the opening Saturday, when he entered USC’s opener to serve as a deep snapper for an extra point in the waning moments of a win over Western Michigan.

Which would not otherwise be a story except for the fact that Olson is legally blind.

Olson’s athletic ability extends far beyond his ability to accurately snap a football, as he showcased last month.

With Sam Darnold now off to the NFL, Olson has thrown his name in the ring of those vying to become USC’s next quarterback.

After displaying his ability to snap and throw the football, his next step needs to be to kick the pigskin.

Clemson QB Tucker Israel enters his name in graduate transfer market

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Tucker Israel has yet to see significant action during his time at Clemson. With Kelly Bryant coming back and No. 1 quarterback recruit Trevor Lawrence joining the roster, that wasn’t likely to change.

So Israel (the non-Deshaun Watson player pictured above) is leaving.

“My time here at Clemson will always hold a special plate in my heart,” Israel said in a Twitter post released by the school. “I enjoyed every minute being here & thank Coach Swinney for believing in me. After much consideration, I plan on transferring upon getting my degree from this amazing university.”

A former 3-star recruit, Israel redshirted in 2015, threw four passes in 2016 and did not play in 2017. The Orlando, Fla., native will have two years of eligibility remaining upon arriving at his new destination.

Shane Beamer reportedly leaving Georgia for Oklahoma

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After you beat them, join them? Georgia special teams coordinator Shane Beamer is on his way to Oklahoma to become an offensive assistant coach at Oklahoma, according to multiple reports on Monday.

At Georgia, Beamer held the role of special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. At Oklahoma, it is reported Beamer will take on an assistant head coach title and assist head coach Lincoln Riley in preparing the offensive game plan for the Sooners. Beamer was with the Georgia staff for two years under Kirby Smart after leaving Virginia Tech to join the coaching staff in Athens.

Beamer is the son of former Virgina Tech head coach Frank Beamer. Georgia defeated Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, which was a semifinal game for the College Football Playoff last season.

There is no update on how Smart will replace Beamer on his coaching staff at this time, but Dawg Nation notes Georgia has already lost special teams advisor Scott Fountain to join the coaching staff at Mississippi State.


Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley among Lombardi Award finalists

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The list of Lombardi Award candidates has been whittled down to a list of seven select finalists for this year’s award. A week after a list of 21 candidates was unveiled, only seven remain after a panel of voters cast their initial ballots for the award.

2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love of Stanford, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville highlight the list of finalists for the Lombardi Award. Other finalists include Saquon Barkley of Penn State, Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Shaquen Griffin of UCF and Joel Lanning of Iowa State.

The Lombardi Award has a new trophy and criteria this season after opening the award up to any position after previously being reserved for the top lineman or linebacker in the nation. The award is based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency on and off the field.

Lombardi Award Finalists for 2017 Season

  • Saquon Barkley, Penn State (RB)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (S)
  • Shaquem Griffin, UCF (LB)
  • Lamar Jackson, Louisville (QB)
  • Joel Lanning, Iowa State (LB/QB)
  • Bryce Love, Stanford (RB)
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (QB)

Alabama’s Jonathan Allen won the award for the 2016 season. Carl Nassib of Penn State won the award in 2015, meaning Barkley and Fitzpatrick are attempting to win another Lombardi Award for their school. Oklahoma is the only other school with a Lombardi Award among the schools represented by the finalists for this season’s award. Iowa State, Louisville, Stanford and UCF are all looking for their first Lombardi Award winner in school history. Oklahoma has three all-time Lombardi Award winners, and Alabama and Penn State each have two.