Conference USA

Louisiana Tech RB Jaqwis Dancy battling cancer

1 Comment

Sadly, the insidious disease of cancer has impacted yet another college football player and program.

Earlier this week, Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz confirmed that sophomore running back Jaqwis Dancy has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  The diagnosis comes after Dancy sustained an ankle injury earlier this year that, ultimately, led to the Oct. 7 cancer revelation.

From the News-Star:

What they’re going through is traumatic. It is hard to deal with,” Holtz said of what Dancy and his family are dealing with now. “I’ve sat in those meetings when you hear that c (cancer) word and how has that is to deal with especially when you’re a 19-year-old sophomore in college athletics who is fit and healthy with what he’s battling. Jaqwis is in a different battle right now.

“For everybody on this team, it has brought a real sense of togetherness and really an appreciation for the blessings we have on a day-to-day basis. We find a way to complain, moan and groan over some of these issues we have, but it’s real easy when something like this close to home, one of your teammates, is fighting a battle for his life. He’s in our thoughts and prayers in everything he’s going through.

The football program has, obviously, rallied around Dancy, as has a future College Football Hall of Famer who kicked the ass of the very same disease.

As a true freshman last season, Dancy played in all 13 games.  The ankle injury he sustained in summer camp kept Dancy off the field in 2016.

LSU to wear memorial decals on helmets to honor Mike VI

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 06:  LSU mascot Mike VI, a Bengal/Siberian mixed tiger, is displayed on the field before the Florida Gators take on the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 6, 2007 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

LSU’s beloved live mascot may be gone, but he’s not been forgotten.

Earlier this week, Mike VI was euthanized following a months-long battle with a rare form of cancer.  In May, the 11-year-old tiger was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma and, while an experimental form of radiation initially shrunk the tumor in his head, the cancer subsequently spread to his legs, throughout his lungs and elsewhere.

Thursday, the school revealed that the football program will “celebrate the life” of the Bengal/Siberian mix, starting with wearing a helmet sticker for Saturday’s game against Southern Miss.

Despite PETA’s ongoing protests, LSU is currently searching for a new live tiger mascot and is expected to have one in place for the start of the 2017 season.

Big 12 expansion decision coming Monday?

Matt Ritchey
Associated Press

After months of speculation, the end, one way or another, could be near for one of the biggest off-field storylines in college football over the past several months.

The Big 12’s board of directors will gather Oct. 17 for a previously-scheduled meeting that will continue the conference’s discussion on expanding the league from 10 to 12 or 14 teams — or staying put — with some previously noting that that date could prove to be D-Day for the group.  With that date fast approaching, that could very well be the case as Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News writes that “[a] news conference has been scheduled after the… meeting, presumably to let everyone know whether the Big 12 will” expand or not.

The speculation of late, especially as it pertains to the reported waning of Oklahoma’s support for expanding, is that the Big 12 could indeed be leaning toward staying at 10 teams, or at the very least tabling the expansion discussion for now.  While “pretty much all the options are on the table,” Carlton writes, the likelihood of standing pat has grown of late.

Sources confirmed Wednesday that pretty much all the options are on the table, including the possibility of football-only membership with Houston and BYU the most likely members. The sources also confirmed that expansion has gone from likelihood about six weeks ago to maybe a 1-in-3 chance.

A total of 20 Group of Five schools, including 10 alone from the AAC, made initial pitches to the Big 12 for inclusion if the conference opted to expand.  Ultimately, nearly a dozen of those made the cut as “finalists.”

Of the 11 that are currently under consideration, seven come from the AAC — Cincinnati, Houston, SMU, Tulane, UCF, UConn, USF — two from the Mountain West — Air Force, Colorado State — and one from Conference USA — Rice. The lone remaining school, BYU, is a football independent.

Onging ankle injury leaves Leonard Fournette questionable for Week 7

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 24:  Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts after the Auburn Tigers won 18-13 over an official review to end the game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Even as a devastating weather event gave LSU an extra — and still controversialweekend off, the status of one of the Tigers’ most notable names is still up in the air.

As the Tigers began prep work for this Saturday’s game against Southern Miss, Leonard Fournette was not a participant in practice because of a lingering ankle injury.  In the days leading up to the Florida game that was ultimately “postponed” because of Hurricane Matthew, the running back had been listed as highly doubtful with the ankle issue.

I don’t know if he’s going to play this week,” interim head coach Ed Orgeron said according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I think he’s going to attempt to do…. I talked to Jack (Marucci), he’s going to do some things this week. He’s getting better. I would list him as questionable right now.”

The All-American initially injured the ankle during a mid-August summer camp practice; then aggravated it against Wisconsin in the opener; sat out the Week 2 game against an FCS foe; and then aggravated it again in Week 4 against Auburn before sitting for Missouri the following Saturday.

Fournette also missed the Week 2 game against FCS Jacksonville State because of the injury.

Shouldering most of the running-game load in place of Fournette, Derrius Guice ran for a career-high 163 yards in the win over Mizzou.  The sophomore now leads the Tigers in rushing with 402 yards, four rushing touchdowns and 8.7 yards per carry.  Fournette’s currently at 386-2-5.8 in less than three full games.

FAU game-winning Hail Mary vs. Charlotte overturned by video review

BOCA RATON, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Jason Driskel #16 of the Florida Atlantic Owls passes during the a game against the Miami Hurricanes at FAU Stadium on September 11, 2015 in Boca Raton, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Florida Atlantic quarterback Jason Driskel uncorked a 38-yard Hail Mary at the end of regulation and Kamrin Solomon appeared to come down with the football to lift FAU past Charlotte Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for FAU, the video replay review led to a different conclusion.

Charlotte won just their second game in school history against another FBS program as a result. It is Charlotte’s first Conference USA victory, and it is one that will not be forgotten any time soon considering the drama at the end.

This game was pushed back a day due to Hurricane Matthew moving up the Florida coast. It was surely worth the wait for the 49ers.