Rice adds additional years to Bailiff’s contract

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Coming off a turnaround season in his sixth season at Rice, David Bailiff has been rewarded with some additional job security.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Bailiff and Rice have reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension.  Bailiff is now signed through the 2016 season, meaning he would’ve been entering the final year of his old contract.

As Rice is a private institution, any changes to the financial terms of his old deal are not required to be revealed.

“We are building a great program,” said Bailiff by way of the Chronicle. “I’m excited and have been excited since the day I got here about the direction we are going.”

In Bailiff’s six seasons at the school, the Owls have gone 30-44.  Included in that total is a 7-6 season last year that came on the heels of a combined 10 wins from 2009-11.  Six wins in the last seven games left the Owls bowl eligible for the second time under Bailiff.

The first came following 2008 season.  That year, Bailiff’s second at the school, the Owls won 10 games in a season for just the second time in team history (1949).

Colorado State becomes FBS’ seventh FCS victim in 2018

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Don’t worry, Colorado State.  You certainly have some company.

Colorado State came into Saturday’s game in Fort Collins as anywhere from a four- to a six-point favorite over FCS No. 16 Illinois State.  After 60 minutes of play, the Rams exited with an embarrassing 35-19 loss at the hands of the Redbirds.  It was actually even worse than the final score indicated as the Rams scored a garbage-time touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth to slice into what was a 22-point deficit.

CSU simply had no answer defensively as ISU put up 538 yards of total offense — 271 passing, 267 rushing.  Most notably, they allowed ISU to run for 6.4 yards per carry.

With the loss, CSU becomes the seventh FBS team to lose to an FCS team this season.  The others?

  • UC Davis 44, San Jose State 38 (August 30)
  • No. 19 Villanova 19, Temple 17 (September 1)
  • Northern Arizona 30, UTEP 10 (September 1)
  • No. 18 Nicholls State 26, Kansas 23 in overtime (September 1)
  • No. 14 North Carolina A&T 28, East Carolina 23 (September 2)
  • No. 22 Maine 31, Western Kentucky 28 (September 8)

This is actually a “down” year for the FCS (thus far) as last season there were nine such FBS losses, the same number as in 2015.  In 2016, the FBS lost 10 games to lower-level teams.  The single-season record for FCS wins over FBS teams is 16, set in 2013.

Exactly 10 years ago, there were two FCS upsets — Cal Poly over San Diego State and New Hampshire over Army.

The last time there was an FCS upset past September was 2015, when Georgia State and North Texas lost in October.  South Carolina dropped one in November of that year as well.

And the first-ever FCS upset of an FBS team, since the 1978 split to I-A and I-AA? Lamar lost to Stephen F. Austin Sept. 23, 1978.  A little over three years later, the Cardinals dropped down to the FCS level, where they have remained ever since.

That same year, by the way, Boston College lost to UMass 27-0 in late November in the midst of a 0-11 season.  UMass, of course, now plays at the FBS level.

Florida taking advantage of Tennessee mistakes

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Tennessee isn’t going to be good in Jeremy Pruitt‘s first year of his effort to excavate the program from the rubble of all of Butch Jones‘s bricks, but one has to wonder how good the Vols might be if they could just get out of their own way.

A chorus of miscues have staked Florida to a 26-3 halftime lead in Knoxville.

The mistakes started immediately for Tennessee. On the Vols’ first drive of the game, Jarrett Guarantano was sacked and fumbled, which Florida’s David Reese II recovered and returned to the UT 21. Felepie Franks put the Gators up 7-0 four plays later when he hit R.J. Raymond for a 1-yard toss.

On Tennessee’s next possession, Guarantano was intercepted by Luke Ancrum at his own 12, which he returned to the 7. Franks rushed in from one yard out two plays later, handing Florida a 14-0 lead.

Dear reader, this was just the beginning.

A safety handed Florida a 16-3 and, after the free kick, Franks found Freddie Swan for a 65-yard score, effectively ending the game at 23-3 with 10:42 to play in the second quarter.

Tennessee appeared to be in position to pull back within two scores when, on a 4th-and-1 from their own 45, Guarantano found a wide open tight end Austin Pope for a 51-yard connection. But as Pope leaped to avoid a tackle near the goal line, he lost control of the ball, which then rolled out of the end zone, turning a 1st-and-goal into a touchback.

Florida punted on the ensuing possession and Tennessee again moved into scoring territory, facing a 3rd-and-11 at the Florida 23, but a botched shotgun snap ended a second straight promising drive in a fumble.

Florida drove 66 yards at the close of the half to add a 25-yard Evan McPherson field goal to close the first half with a 26-3 lead.

Are they back now? Texas snaps four-game losing streak to TCU

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Before the 2018 season began, many were pondering what’s been an annual question of late: “Is Texas back?” A road loss to an embattled Maryland in the opener suggested no.  The last two weeks, however, might say otherwise.

Trailing 13-10 at the half, and then 16-10 in the middle of the third, Texas ripped off 21 straight points to secure a huge 31-16 win over No. 17 TCU in the Big 12 opener for both schools.  The win snapped the Longhorns’ four-game losing streak to the Horned Frogs.

Sam Ehlinger passed for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for another score in a winning effort.  Tre Watson led all rushers with a game-high 58 yards.

Defensively, the Longhorns forced four turnovers — three interceptions, one fumble recovery.  Texas was able to turn those turnovers into 14 points.

Combine this impressive win with a 23-point win over then-No. 22 USC the week before, and we’re right back to…

Of course, the answer to the question won’t be definitively answered for another two weeks as, after a road trip to Kansas State, Texas will play host to No. 5 Oklahoma.  And, even then, we may not get answer.

Old Dominion stuns No. 13 Virginia Tech for first-ever Power Five win

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Since returning to the FBS level, Old Dominion had been 0-9 against Power Five teams, with eight of those losses coming to schools from the ACC.  And then Saturday afternoon/evening happened.

Coming in as a 27.5-point underdog, Old Dominion left Foreman Stadium with a stunning 49-35 upset over No. 13 Virginia Tech.  The Monarchs had been 0-3 entering the game — losses to Liberty, FIU and Charlotte — while the Hokies were a perfect 2-0.

Tech had allowed just two touchdowns in two games; ODU had four in the fourth quarter alone and seven total in the game.

The two teams traded the lead six times, while it was tied on another six occasions.  The Monarchs took its first lead of the game with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, only to see the Hokies tied it up nearly three minutes later.

With 5:11 left in the contest, ODU took the lead for good on a tremendous one-handed catch by Jonathan Duhart on the back-end of a 29-yard touchdown pass from Blake LaRussa.

Both teams ended the game with their backups quarterbacks on the field.  LaRussa passed for 495 yards and four touchdowns after he replaced the starter before the second offensive series, while Ryan Willis went eight-of-15 for 115 yards and a touchdown in place of the injured Josh Jackson (8-16, two touchdowns, one interception).

 

Tech was the second ranked ACC team to go down in defeat at the hands of a previously-winless squad.  Earlier in the day, No. 23 Boston College was railroaded 30-13 by a Purdue team came in 0-3.