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No. 3 Georgia hands Florida its worst Cocktail Party beating in 35 years


No. 3 Georgia and Florida met up in Jacksonville for their annual Cocktail Party. The Gators were sent home early, while the folks in red and black will party their way back to Athens. The Bulldogs knocked out the Gators in the first half of the first quarter and cruised from there, taking home a 42-7 victory, the program’s largest over Florida since a 44-0 whipping in 1982.

Georgia opened the game by pushing Florida nine yards backward in a three-and-out, then scored in four plays, keyed by a 39-yard pass from Jake Fromm to D’Andre Swift. Playing in what seems like his 11th Cocktail Party, Nick Chubb punched in the opening score from six yards out.

Feleipe Franks was intercepted on Florida’s next possession, and Fromm capitalized by hitting Javon Wimms for a 17-yard touchdown strike.

Georgia forced another three-and-out on Florida’s next possession, and Sony Michel, also playing in his 11th Cocktail Party, got in on the fun with a 74-yard touchdown run on the first play of Georgia’s third possession.

Michel’s run made the score 21-0 Georgia — at the 7:32 mark of the first quarter.

The score remained there until the middle of the third quarter, when Michel again busted free, this time for a 45-yard score. Georgia pushed the lead to 35 on the ensuing possession when J.R. Reed sacked Franks, forced a fumble in that sack and then returned that sack for a touchdown.

After another long completion from Fromm to Swift, Elijah Holyfield added a capper on a 39-yard burst. Chubb and Michel combined to rush 19 times for 214 yards and three touchdowns, and Holyfield added 49 yards and a score on four carries.

Franks’s first Cocktail Party went decidedly different than Fromm’s. He hit 7-of-19 passes for 30 yards with an interception and was credited as the Gators’ leading ball-carrier with nine attempts for minus-15 yards. Malik Zaire entered the game in mop up duty and got the Gators on the board, rushing and passing for 66 yards on a 71-yard drive that culminated in a 1-yard Mark Thompson touchdown plunge with 2:42 remaining, narrowly avoiding Florida’s first shutout since 1988.

Georgia (8-0, 5-0 SEC) can clinch the SEC East if Tennessee beats Kentucky later tonight and the Bulldogs best South Carolina in Athens next week. Florida (3-4, 3-3 SEC) will need to win three of its final five games to reach a bowl game. Oh, and Florida AD Scott Stricklin is reportedly exploring firing Jim McElwain with cause over his death threats claim last week.

Clemson DT Christian Wilkins on substitute teaching: I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Kindergarten Cop’

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Those of a certain age may look back on going to grade school and think fondly on those rare days where the regular teacher was out and a substitute filled in. For many around the country, that often meant watching a movie or two for class instead of doing, well… actual work.

If you happen to be a kindergarten student at James M. Brown Elementary School in Walhalla, South Carolina though, having a substitute teacher for class has been taking on a whole different meaning the past few weeks. That’s because 300-pound Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has been moonlighting as a sub and trying to corral little kids on a much gentler scale than he corrals quarterbacks on Saturdays in the fall.

“It was fun, but took a lot out of me,” Wilkins told ESPN earlier this week. “I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Kindergarten Cop’ with all those little kids. Talk about energy, but it was a real cool experience.”

Perhaps the most accurate line from Chris Low’s excellent story on Wilkins’ substitute duties came by one young pupil who muttered, ‘That’s one big mister.’ The senior All-American is only getting $80 for a day’s worth of work with the kids but seeing the massive defensive tackle walk into a room is probably as priceless for Wilkins as it is for those at the school.

UCF claims undefeated season was worth $200+ million in exposure for football program

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How much is an undefeated season worth for a program? If you ask the most recent team to accomplish the feat, the answer is a lot of dough. Like nine figures worth.

According to a release by UCF, the school commissioned a report compiled by Joyce Julius & Associates on just how much value they got from their football team’s perfect season that was capped off with an AAC conference title and a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn:

When combining national television game broadcasts, television news coverage, print media, Internet news and social media, the value of the exposure for UCF Football from Nov. 17, 2017-Jan. 31, 2018 was $171,079,417.47. Combined, the entirety of the 2017 UCF Football season’s exposure was valued at well over $200 million.

Further more, the study found roughly 160,000 total social media posts “generated nearly 655 million impressions with an estimated exposure value of $17,696,403.81. Of the 160,792 posts the study found, over 138,000 of them were on Twitter.” No word how many of those tweets were fans ridiculing the school for claiming a national title or just angry Alabama supporters yelling back about the sport’s true champion last season.

There’s no doubt that the Knights’ story and resulting publicity from claiming to be “national champions” was worth plenty to the school, but it seems like a bit of fuzzy math to claim all of $200 million worth of exposure even with new state license plates and trips to Disney World. One wonders if UCF can claim low nine figures from a “championship” run you’ve got to think Nick Saban’s actual title-winning Alabama team might be able lay claim to more than double that amount for winning the College Football Playoff after all.

Louisville signee Jairus Brents caught speeding, arrested for outstanding shoplifting warrant

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It’s never good for a head coach to get a call that one of his players was arrested and equally bad when the player in question hasn’t even arrived on campus. Such is the case for Louisville coach Bobby Petrino as one of his recent signees was arrested by police on Wednesday.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that four-star cornerback Jairus Brents was cited for speeding by local police and then was arrested due to an outstanding warrant that was the result of a shoplifting citation from shortly before National Signing Day. He was reportedly going 86 mph in a 55 mph zone and was also cited by police for reckless driving and driving without a license.

While that’s not great to say the least, here’s what the Courier-Journal says about the reason for Brents’ actual arrest:

He was arrested because of a warrant stemming from an alleged incident on Jan. 26. According to police, Brents and an “unknown (co-defendant)” took five tank-top shirts and four boxer briefs from the JCPenney store at St. Matthews Mall. Brents’ court date was set for March 5, but court records show that he was not present.

Louisville has not released a statement about the matter yet but Brents is still expected to remain a member of the Cardinals’ recruiting class. In addition to being rated as a four-star defensive back by 247Sports, the local star was also listed as the state’s No. 2 prospect in the class of 2018.

Either way, not the way one wants to begin a career in college football… before it really even begins.

With offensive line coach recovering from a broken hip, Baylor turns to former QB to fill in as coach during spring practice

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Spring practice has arrived in Waco and things are probably not off to the smooth start that Baylor head coach Matt Rhule was hoping for after a turbulent 2017 campaign.

In addition to suspending two players amidst sexual assault allegations, the program is dealing with being a coach short on the field for the next several weeks. That’s because offensive line coach George DeLeone is recovering from a broken hip and the ensuing surgery, resulting in former Bears quarterback Shawn Bell stepping into his spot to coach the big boys up front.


“And it’s because of his character and because of his patience and never really questioning anything,” Rhule told the school’s website of the change. “Luckily, there’s no egos with anybody there. I think George kind of hand-picked Shawn, saying he’s the right guy.”

Bell is currently an offensive analyst for the program and was hired when Rhule first arrived in Waco after several years as a head coach in the high school ranks in the state of Texas.