Getty Images

Alabama leading Colorado State at the half

Leave a comment

Alabama threatened to run away and hide, but Colorado State fought back to make the game competitive as the Crimson Tide holds a 24-10 lead at the break in Tuscaloosa.

The Tide seemed to put the game in blowout mode early by grabbing a 14-0 lead before the midpoint of the first quarter. Alabama accepted the ball to open the game and immediately moved 75 yards, the last 27 coming on a Jalen Hurts rush. After forcing a three-and-out, Alabama moved 95 yards in four plays, the final 78 coming on a bomb from Hurts to Calvin Ridley at the 8:56 mark of the first quarter.

But Colorado State stiffened, briefly, after that, forcing a 46-yard Andy Pappanastos field goal on Alabama’s next possession, then a missed 52-yard J.K. Scott field goal, and then a three-and-out.

As Alabama stopped scoring, Colorado State started. The Rams put together a 55-yard field goal drive to get on the board, then an 11-play, 86-yard march keyed by a 36-yard connection from Nick Stephens to Michael Gallup to get Colorado State out of the shadow of its own goalpost and a 4-yard toss to Warren Jackson to complete the drive.

Alabama responded, though, knifing 76 yards in five snaps. Hurts hit Robert Foster for a 52-yard slash-and-dash touchdown on 3rd-and-9 with a minute left before the half. The sophomore connected on 8-of-11 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns while leading all rushers with six carries for 64 yards and another score. Damien Harris and Bo Scarborough combined for 47 yards on 11 carries.

Stephens completed the half hitting 10-of-14 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown while leading Colorado State with four carries for 21 yards.

Colorado State will receive to open the second half.

Colorado State opens new stadium in style by rolling over Oregon State 58-27

AP Images
Leave a comment

Oregon State may have scored the first touchdown of the 2017 FBS season but Colorado State wound up taking home the thing that mattered on Saturday: the first win.

The Rams opened their sparkling new on-campus stadium in style by putting on an offensive showcase against the Beavers to score a 58-27 win in the very first game of ‘Week 0’ in college football.

Senior quarterback Nick Stevens led the way for CSU, throwing for 334 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.  While his arm played a big part in jumping out to a multi-score lead over the second and third quarters, the ground game behind Dalyn Dawkins (67 yards, one touchdown), Marvin Kinsey (34 yards and a touchdown) and Izzy Matthews (one score, 28 yards) helped salt away the game late.

OSU kept things close for the most part until turnovers help doom them in during the second half. As expected, new strong-armed starting quarterback Jake Luton was a bit of a mixed bag: throwing for 304 yards and two scores but also turning the ball over three times via interceptions. Beavers’ star tailback Ryan Nall was effective early on but had to take a back seat in the offense as things got a bit lopsided on the scoreboard, finishing with just 115 yards and a touchdown.

The loss kept Oregon State winless on the road under head coach Gary Andersen.

The flip-side of scoreline could be a nice little buzz for the Rams as a potential team that could snap up that ‘Group of Five’ bid to a New Year’s Six bowl. The team already dispatched one Pac-12 opponent and can do so again next Friday when they take on in-state rival Colorado what will formally be Week 1. Most of the talk in the Mountain West has centered on Boise State and San Diego State but the debut win in Fort Collins was enough of a statement that a third team will certainly be in the mix.

The 10 best and 10 worst bowl matchups, as ranked by F/+

Getty Images
7 Comments

2016’s most even bowl matchup will happen in El Paso, Texas, while the most lopsided game will take place in Boise, Idaho.

Those on-paper analyses are based on the end-of-the-season F/+ rankings, which are explained here on Football Outsiders. Personally, they’re a go-to for getting a rough idea of how good a certain team is, so why not use them to preview the best and worst bowl matchups?

Here are the 10 best games based on how close the two participants’ F/+ rankings are:

Sun Bowl (+1): No. 25 Stanford vs. No. 26 UNC
Fiesta Bowl (+2): No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Clemson
Rose Bowl (+2): No. 7 USC vs. No. 9 Penn State
Sugar Bowl (+2): No. 8 Auburn vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
Armed Forces Bowl (+2): No. 51 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 53 Navy

Peach Bowl (+4): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 Washington
Quick Lane Bowl (+4): No. 93 Boston College vs. No. 97 Maryland
New Mexico Bowl (+5): No. 81 New Mexico vs. No. 86 UT-San Antonio
Citrus Bowl (+6): No. 5 LSU vs. No. 11 Louisville
Cotton Bowl (+10): No. 12 Wisconsin vs. No. 22 Western Michigan

Obviously, the two College Football Playoff games (Ohio State-Clemson, Alabama-Washington) are among the closest, but it’s good to see three of the four other New Year’s Six bowls in here as well. The Orange Bowl (No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 13 Florida State) just barely missed the cut.

As for the 10 biggest mismatches:

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (+71): No. 29 Colorado State vs. No. 100 Idaho
Birmingham Bowl (+61): No. 33 South Florida vs. No. 94 South Carolina
Military Bowl (+54): No. 18 Temple vs. No. 72 Wake Forest
Cactus Bowl (+52): No. 14 Boise State vs. No. 66 Baylor
Miami Beach Bowl (+45): No. 44 Tulsa vs. No. 89 Central Michigan

Arizona Bowl (+38): No. 49 Air Force vs. No. 87 South Alabama
Las Vegas Bowl (+30): No. 20 Houston vs. No. 50 San Diego State
Poinsettia Bowl (+27): No. 30 BYU vs. No. 57 Wyoming
Heart of Dallas Bowl (+26): No. 85 Army vs. No. 111 North Texas
Russell Athletic Bowl (+25): No. 15 Miami vs. No. 40 West Virginia

It’s not surprising three of these games involve top-level Group of Five teams (South Florida, Temple, Boise State) playing 6-6 Power Five teams (South Carolina, Wake Forest, Baylor), given that’s where a lot of bowl mismatches can take place. It was a little surprising to see the gulf between Houston and San Diego State be so significant, though.

But while these matchups may either be close or lopsided, always remember the ironclad rule of bowl season: Weird stuff is gonna happen. One team may not care while the other does, one team may not deal with the elements (especially in the northern bowls) as well as the other, or one team may come in with something to prove while the other team doesn’t. The best-case scenario for us college football fans is that every game is interesting and worth watching, no matter what the on-paper numbers may say.

Former Colorado State RB Treyous Jarrells explains why he quit football for marijuana

Getty Images
4 Comments

The Coloradoan has a fantastic story up on former Colorado State running back Treyous Jarrells, who stopped playing football so he could continue to use marijuana (which is legal in the state of Colorado but a banned substance for Colorado State student-athletes).

Before rushing to judgment, read the whole story in which Jarrells makes some good points about pain management, painkiller abuse and just the general ridiculousness of how weed is viewed.

He entered his first season at CSU in 2014 with lingering ailments, though he never showed it. Playing running back for 16 years, dating back to Pop Warner football in Florida, took a toll on Jarrells’ knees. A 2015 surgery to repair a torn meniscus helped, but the pain never went away. His body ached.

Concerns about addiction to narcotic prescription painkillers and the long-term side effects of over-the-counter remedies such as acetaminophen led Jarrells to self-medicate. He’d done so since high school.

It was a calculated risk to use marijuana, but Jarrells said had he not, he wouldn’t have been able to endure the pain football caused.

Read the whole story here.

Jarrells, who rushed for 478 yards and six touchdowns in his college career, said he quit the team so he wouldn’t be subjected to drug testing that could’ve put his scholarship at risk. He graduated from CSU and now operates a grow room in Colorado.

S. Illinois announces additions of four FBS transfers, including ones from Florida, K-State

Getty Images
Leave a comment

When Southern Illinois takes the field in 2016, their roster will have a decidedly FBS look to it.

In a press release Monday, the FCS football program announced that it has added four former FBS players to the team.  Those four are wide receiver Deionte Gaines (Colorado State), cornerback CJ Jennings (Wyoming), running back Jarvis Leverett, Jr. (Kansas State), and wide receiver Ryan Sousa (Florida).

All four of those players will be eligible to play in 2016. Jennings and Sousa will have three years of eligibility remaining; Gaines will have two; and Leverett one.

Originally a Florida State commit, Sousa was a three-star member of the Gators’ 2014 recruiting class, rated by 247sports.com as the No. 67 receiver in the country and the No. 70 player at any position in the state of Florida. In addition to UF and FSU, Sousa also held offers from, among others, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, UCLA and Wisconsin.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Sousa played in two games in 2015. The fact that Sousa was a depth-chart afterthought after two springs in Gainesville likely played a sizable role in the player’s decision to transfer last month.

Despite being at K-State the past four years, Leverett played in just five games for the Wildcats.  He rushed for 67 yards on 20 carries, all of which came during the 2014 season.

As a redshirt freshman last season, Jennings played in 10 games. Exiting the spring, Jennings was one of the Cowboys’ starting corners before announcing his decision to transfer earlier this month.

Gaines started five of the 22 games in which he played the past two seasons prior to a mid-May decision to transfer from the Rams. He caught 22 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown, and added another 153 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

As a true freshman in 2014, the 5-8, 180-pound Gaines led the Mountain West and was 20th in the FBS with 672 kick return yards on 28 returns (24.0 average).