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Georgia Tech players involved in knockout video release statements

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This will likely put this off-field situation to bed.

Tuesday, a video surfaced that showed one Georgia Tech football player, Step Durham, laying out and knocking out a teammate, fellow starting defensive back Lance Austin (pictured), with one punch.  The incident reportedly occurred prior to the start of spring practice this year in Tech’s practice facility.

WARNING: a bit of NSFW language is included, so be aware.

Shortly after the video went viral, Tech acknowledged it was aware of the incident between the seniors and stated unspecified discipline was handled internally.  Late Tuesday night, the football program released statements attributed to the two players involved, one of which confirmed that the incident was the result of a dispute that got violent instead of mere locker room horseplay.

Step Durham
First off, I would like to start by apologizing to Georgia Tech, my teammates – especially Lance Austin – and my coaches, fans and family for bringing a negative light on the school, the football program and my name.

My actions in the video that was made public today were unacceptable and the dispute should have been handled in a more adult manner. Taking disputes to a physical level is never the answer and I hope my peers take note of my mistake.

The incident occurred during the spring, which gave Lance and me an opportunity to discuss the matter and put it aside a long time ago. Lance and I have always had a brother-like relationship and brothers sometimes fight but, as I said before, the situation should have been handled in a more mature manner. I’m glad that even after the incident, our friendship remains strong.

I’m deeply sorry for my actions and, being an adult, I understand that consequences and judgment come with the actions shown. I hope to prove to those who don’t know me that I’m not a violent person whatsoever. I would respectfully ask those that have viewed the video not judge or categorize Lance or me based on what they saw in the video alone. Thank you.

Lance Austin
A lot has been made today of an incident that happened months ago. The video snippet of that incident is not beneficial to anyone. Step Durham apologized and we long ago put that incident behind us. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no further need for an apology. I forgave him already and we have since played well together as teammates this season. Like Step said, as brothers, we have put our aside our differences and our friendship remains strong.

WATCH: Georgia Tech player knocks out teammate with one punch

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If this football thing doesn’t work out for Step Durham, he may have a future in another, slightly more violent sport.

Durham (pictured) and Lance Austin are teammates on the Georgia Tech football team, each playing in the defensive secondary for the Yellow Jackets.  In a video obtained by TMZ.com, Durham is seen absolutely laying out Austin with one right cross to the chin/jaw.  As Austin is laying unconscious sprawled on the floor, Durham is seen attempting to wake his teammate up, to no avail.

WARNING: a bit of NSFW language is included, so be aware.

According to TMZ, the incident occurred at Tech’s practice facility prior to the start of spring practice.  The football program has been aware of the incident, and neither player missed any playing time because of it.

“Georgia Tech’s football coaching staff became aware of the incident between teammates and friends shortly after it occurred,” the school said in a statement. “Discipline was handled internally.”

Both players involved are senior starters for the Yellow Jackets and played in every game this season.  Durham had one of Tech’s six interceptions this season, while he led the team in passes broken up (five) and passes defensed (six).

No. 7 Georgia stays in playoff position with win at Georgia Tech

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The conventional wisdom suggests the SEC champion will go on to play in the College Football Playoff, with the expectation of the SEC champion being either an undefeated Alabama or one-loss SEC champ. Following a season-ending 38-7 victory on Saturday against Georgia Tech (5-6, 4-4 ACC), No. 7 Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) did their part to make sure they remain in playoff contention with those qualifications in play.

The rushing combo of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb may not have had a blockbuster day on the ground, but it was more than effective with a combined 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Michel’s touchdown run was especially smooth in the third quarter to put Georgia up 24-7.

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Jake Fromm had a role in the blowout too, of course. Fromm completed 12 of his 16 pass attempts for 224 yards and two touchdowns, and he even picked up some rushing yards for good measure. Georgia doubled the offensive production of Georgia Tech in the game and prevented Georgia Tech from taking away time on the clock with long scoring drives.

Georgia will now take on either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC Championship Game next week in Atlanta. The opponent from the SEC West will be determined today in The Iron Bowl with Auburn hosting the No. 1 Crimson Tide. Auburn thrashed Georgia just a few weeks ago, but Georgia and Alabama have not played each other this season. Regardless of the opponent, the stakes will be high as it is universally accepted the SEC champion will be one of the four teams selected to play in the College Football Playoff. The only team that can potentially suffer a loss in the title game and still stand a decent shot of being included in the playoff without a mass chaos scenario in play appears to be Alabama, and even that is not a guarantee depending on the variables in play.

Georgia has not won the SEC championship since 2005, when the Bulldogs topped No. 3 LSU by a score of 34-14. Georgia is 0-2 in the conference title game since then, with back-to-back losses to No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Win or lose, Georgia is guaranteed to be going bowling. Georgia Tech will now have to wait and see if any bowl vacancies still need to be filled. At 5-6, Georgia Tech is not eligible for the postseason (Georgia Tech only played 11 games after having a game against UCF scrapped due to a hurricane early in the season. The Yellow Jackets could ask for a waiver but otherwise would have to be standing in line to fill any leftover bowl spots that may be available. And those vacancies may not be there this season.

Late TD gives Georgia Tech a spark, but Georgia holds 17-7 lead at halftime

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Still with a chance to make the College Football Playoff, Georgia still has a little business to attend to today against Georgia Tech. So far, good enough for Georgia with the Bulldogs up 17-7 on their in-state rivals at halftime.

Georgia Tech appeared to start the game in horrible fashion with a kickoff return by Jerry Howard initially appearing to reach just outside of Georgia Tech’s own end zone, but an official ruling determined the kickoff should have been blown down for a touchback. But Georgia Tech could not do much of anything with the football on the game’s opening possession and had to punt away to the Bulldogs. Georgia then went on a 12-play touchdown drive covering 61 yards and capped by a Nick Chubb touchdown run on the goal line for a 7-0 lead.

Georgia Tech’s best scoring opportunity came on their first drive at the start of the second quarter but ended in futility with a turnover on downs after not being able to convert on fourth and four from the Georgia 34-yard line. Georgia took advantage and extended its lead to 14-0 five plays later. Jake Fromm connected on a touchdown pass to Javon Wims from 21 yards.

Georgia Tech managed to get points on the scoreboard before the end of the first half. After grinding their way to the Georgia 10-yard line, Ricky Jeune hauled in a pass from TaQuon Marshall after finding empty space amid a defensive breakdown in the endzone.

A win for Georgia would send them to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game still on the College Football Playoff radar. A second loss may not necessarily eliminate Georgia from playoff contention, but it would be more difficult to recover.

Schools across the FBS honoring the military on Veteran’s Day

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The whole of college football is making sure its message of support for those who serve gets heard loud and clear.

This year, Veteran’s Day just happens to fall on a gameday, and arguably the biggest college football gameday of the 2017 season in fact. Whether it be helmets or uniforms or in-game presentations, schools throughout the week have unveiled their gameday plans for honoring our nation’s military.

Kevin mentioned a couple on Wednesday; below is but a sampling of others who will honor those brave men and women who have allowed, and continue to allow, all of us to continue to enjoy this great sport, and every other freedom we enjoy for that matter.

And, from CFT as a whole and myself personally, God bless every single member of every branch of the military, past and present. From the bottom of our collective hearts, thank you so much for your service.