AP Images

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

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.

Oregon State wraps up spring football without any clarity on starting QB

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Add Oregon State to the list of schools who have wrapped up spring football before, well, spring.

The Beavers held their annual spring game on Saturday and one of the big things everybody was wondering is if there would be any set pecking order at the quarterback position with three players neck-and-neck for the job. Based on everything being said in Corvallis however, it doesn’t appear the team is any closer to naming a starter right now and may have the race continue through fall camp.

“I truly believe we have three quarterbacks who can manage the football game in the Pac-12,” head coach Gary Andersen told reporters. “It comes down to who can make special plays. We’ll continue to evaluate them.”

Junior college transfer Jake Luton is probably the most intriguing option at the position but didn’t appear to create the necessary separation with incumbent starters Marcus McMaryion and Darell Garretson. OSU has suffered a ton of injuries behind center so it’s probably good that the team has options but it doesn’t appear the coaching staff is any closer to picking “the guy” until August.

The Beavers open the 2017 season at Colorado State and have plenty of momentum after a late season surge last year. Whether they can reach that elusive six-win mark for a bowl game remains to be seen but chances are high that any success in the upcoming year will come down to if the team can get some consistent play at quarterback.

Either way, at least they’ll be able to lean on star tailback Ryan Nall, who threw for 60-yard touchdown in the game in addition to rushing for 72 yards and a score on the ground. Who knows, maybe there’s four options at quarterback in Corvallis if you consider the team’s Wildcat package.

Greyson Lambert wins Georgia’s starting QB job over five-star frosh

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It appears that, at least for the time being, the future of the quarterback position at Georgia has been put on hold.

While there’s no official word yet from the school, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing people with knowledge of the situation, is reporting that Greyson Lambert will start UGA’s opener Saturday against North Carolina.  Lambert was the incumbent as he started 12 games for the Bulldogs last season after transferring from Virginia, but was given a significant fight for the job by true freshman by Jacob Eason.  Redshirt junior Brice Ramsey was also a part of the competition through the first portion of summer camp this month.

In  addition to the Journal-Constitution‘s report, one of Lambert’s former teammates also let the quarterback cat out of the bag.

Last season, Lambert completed just over 63 percent of his passes for 1,959 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.  His 141.5 pass efficiency rating was 41st nationally and fourth among SEC quarterbacks.

In addition to his dozen starts last season, Lambert started nine games for the Cavaliers before transferring to the Bulldogs.

Eason was one of the most decorated recruits in this most recent recruiting cycle, rated as the No. 5 prospect overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board and the No. 2 pro-style quarterback.  He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.

While he lost the initial competition, it’s only a matter of time before Eason takes the reins of the Bulldogs’ offense.  Whether that’s at some point this year, as most suspect, or next remains to be seen.

Utah St. transfer Darell Garretson sits atop Oregon St.’s QB depth chart

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Entering spring practice earlier this year, many an observer viewed Darell Garretson as the favorite to win the starting quarterback job at Oregon State.  Exiting the spring, those views have been officially validated.

OSU released its post-spring depth chart Wednesday afternoon, with Garretson’s name sitting atop the quarterback position.  While it’s not the be-all, end-all, Garretson put the finishing touches on the spring portion of the competition with a 21-32, 263-yard, three-touchdown, no-interception performance in the recent spring game.

Garretson had been in a competition with sophomore Marcus McMaryion and early-enrollee Mason Moran.  McMaryion, who started the regular-season finale last season, is listed as the No. 2 quarterback and Moran No. 3.

The competition is expected to continue on into summer camp, although Garretson will, again, enter as the favorite to start the season opener against Minnesota Sept. 1.

Garretson transferred to OSU from Utah State in July of 2015.  NCAA bylaws forced him to sit out all of last season.

After starting seven games as a freshman in 2013, Garretson played in just five games in 2014 before suffering a season-ending wrist injury.  It was announced in late March of last year that he was transferring out of USU.

Nick Saban named one of Fortune’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’

Associated Press
8 Comments

It’s not often you can put a college football coach and the leader of Catholicism in one post and it make sense, but this is one of those situations.

Thursday, Fortune magazine announced its third annual, 50-person-strong list of “World’s Greatest Leaders.”  Just one college football head coach made the exclusive list: Alabama’s Nick Saban at No. 11, ahead of the likes of U2 frontman and philanthropist Bono (No. 14), Blackrock CEO Larry Fink (No. 21), Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez (No. 24), Argentine president Maurizio Macri (No. 26), the first women to graduate from Ranger School (No. 34), the heads of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (No. 41) and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (No. 48).

Not only is Saban the only college coach to make the exclusive list — there’s at least one other SEC connection, though: Auburn grad and Apple CEO Tim Cook — he’s one of only three associated with any type of sports, period.  The other two?  The Golden State Warriors duo of Steve Kerr and Steph Curry at No. 15.

“In business, government, philanthropy and the arts, and all over the globe, these men and women are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same,” the magazine wrote in describing its endeavor. Below is the blurb attached to Saban’s selection:

The dynasty was over. That was the consensus of the pundits after Alabama’s 43–37 loss to Ole Miss in its third game of the season last September. The famed “process” that Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, 64, had used to win three national titles in football at Bama—while boosting graduation rates—and one at LSU had run its course, and the competition had caught up. Saban challenged his team: “How are you going to respond?” When Alabama defeated Clemson 45–40 for another title on Jan. 11, 2016, he had his answer, and the dynasty—and Saban’s legacy as a leader—remained intact.

As for the 10 individuals who merited spots above Saban? Here you go…

1. Jeff Bezos (CEO, Amazon)
2. Angela Merkel (Chancellor, Germany)
3. Aung San Suu Kyi (Leader, National League for Democracy)
4. Pope Francis (Pontiff, Roman Catholic Church)
5. Cook
6. John Legend (Recording artist and activist, The Show Me Campaign)
7. Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)
8. Paul Ryan (Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives)
9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court)
10. Sheikh Hasina (Prime Minister, Bangladesh)