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.
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right?
In the case of BYU and their long-lost offense, that is hopefully not the case in more ways than one. The Cougars found a rare offensive groove in the most unlikely of places to secure their first road win of the year on Friday night either way in a 31-21 victory over UNLV.
Even more shocking than all those points for one of the lower scoring teams in all of FBS was how they were put on the board. Freshman Joe Critchlow made his first start of the year (the third BYU QB to take the first snaps this season) but looked more like a veteran instead of a fresh-faced signal-caller, throwing for 160 yards and a touchdown while playing off his run game and avoiding turning the ball over. Despite facing a stacked box, tailback Squally Canada had several big runs on his way to an impressive career-high 213 yard and one touchdown night on the ground.
Former quarterback turned wideout Austin Kafentzis also chipped in with 55 yards rushing and a score as a unique red zone threat too.
That attack made it difficult to keep up with on the other sideline for the Rebels. Quarterback Johnny Stanton did wind up throwing for 325 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as the team had close to 500 yards of offense. It didn’t mean much without many stops on the defensive end though to put UNLV on the ropes in order to make the postseason, needing to win both of their final two games (on the road) in order to reach an ever elusive bowl game for the program.
BYU doesn’t have to worry about getting to a bowl game at this point in a 3-8 season but the effort on Friday night had to be an encouraging one for a team that has struggled to move the ball on seemingly every snap. That wasn’t the case against UNLV however as the Cougars left Sin City with a satisfying victory.
If Veterans Day is on the calendar, then that means college football programs will be mixing in a little stars and stripes into the uniform design this week. Western Michigan and UNLV are among the schools getting in the patriotic spirit this week with their helmets of choice this week.
Western Michigan is in action tonight on a busy night of MAC football. Earlier this week, images of the white helmet with a bronco logo filled with the stars and stripes were shown off by the Western Michigan equipment staff.
Filling in the logo with the same pattern used for the American flag is one of the trendiest ways to alter a football uniform. And UNLV has the same idea with their helmet for this week as well. The black helmet with red chrome facemask will have the pattern filling in the “UNLV” font on the side of the helmet.
Look for more of these types of themed uniforms this week as well as teams pay tribute to our nation’s veterans.
Cal and UNLV will meet four times in a 7-season stretch in the next decade, the programs announced Wednesday. The two programs have never met previously.
The Rebels will host the Golden Bears on Aug. 29, 2020 and Sept. 5, 2026. UNLV will make the trip to Berkeley on Sept. 17, 2022 and Aug. 30, 2025. All but the 2022 meeting will be season openers for both squads.
“This is a series we have been working on since I arrived and is beneficial for both programs,” UNLV athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. “Playing a Pac-12 institution such as California upgrades our non-conference schedule for our fans and also benefits our program’s recruiting efforts in the area. These are the types of games that impact our city and the fact that UNLV and California have never met before makes it even more anticipated.”
UNLV also has games against Pac-12 opponents lined up for 2018 (at USC) and 2020-21 (a home-and-home with Arizona State). The Rebels’ 2020 slate will see them face three Power 5 foes as Iowa State is also lined up in addition to Cal and Arizona State; both games against the Pac-12 opponents will be in Las Vegas.
Cal only has three future games against Mountain West opponents lined up, according to scheduling clearinghouse FBSchedules: a 2022 visit from Nevada, a 2023 trip to San Jose State and a TBD visit from San Jose State.
Because America, dammit.
With under a minute remaining in the second quarter, Air Force trailed UNLV 27-0. Over the next 31 or so minutes, however, the Falcons outscored the visiting Rebels 34-3 in soaring to a 34-30 Mountain West Conference win.
The win was the second-largest comeback in the service academy’s history — they trailed Fresno State by 28 in 1996 before coming back to win — while it matched UCLA’s feat from the opener.
Quarterback Arion Worthman (pictured) led the way to the win with his legs, rushing for a team-high 166 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Air Force, which came into the game ninth nationally averaging 287.8 yards per game, gained 401 yards on the ground on a whopping 78 carries. The Falcons attempted just eight passes on the day, completing four for 72 yards.
The win snaps a four-game losing streak for the 2-4 Falcons, while the Rebels have lost two in a row and sit at 2-4 on the season.