UCLA scored a late touchdown in the first half to cut the Nebraska’s halftime lead from 21-3 down to 21-10. After a sluggish start, that touchdown allowed the Bruins to get to halftime with a little less pressure on them. UCLA also made the adjustments. The Bruins outscored the Huskers 28-0 in the third quarter and made it look as easy as that number would indicate. From there, the Bruins were set to score a bit of a statement with a 41-21 win at Nebraska.
UCLA was dominant after digging an early hole, perhaps a result of flying east to play an early game when the bodies were still on west coast time. As well as UCLA played, Nebraska played just as poorly. Quarterback Brett Hundley got off to a rough start but ended his day completing 16 of 24 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 61 yard on the ground and running back Jordan James led the Bruins with 105 rushing yards and a touchdown. The defense also cranked it up in the second half, limiting Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah to 98 yards and not allowing a rushing touchdown. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez had a solid first half with three touchdown passes but he and the entire Huskers offense stalled in the second half. Nebraska had to punt four times, lost a fumble and turned the football over on downs in the second half. Nebraska managed to put together just 140 yards of offense in the second half, 69 of which came on the lone promising possession that ended with a lost fumble. UCLA had over 200 yards of offense in the third quarter alone.
You can say a lot about UCLA’s ability to dig deep and gut this win after the week the team combined with having to play an early game on the road. But looking at the big picture for the Bruins, this could just be the next building block to emerging as a top threat out of the Pac 12.
Does this make UCLA the team to beat in the Pac 12? Not yet, but this is a pretty significant performance that could make them he obvious team to beat in the Pac 12 South. UCLA has played in the Pac 12 Championship Game each of the first two years it has existed and they could very well be on their way to a third trip. UCLA’s schedule is going to be challenging moving forward. Back-to-back games on the road in mid-October at Stanford and Oregon should not be wished on anyone, but UCLA has shown they can go on the road and compete in a big game and they are only improving.
Nebraska will get a chance to regroup a little bit next week with one more home game before hitting the bye week. South Dakota State will visit Lincoln next week, which would normally be penciled down as an automatic win. Unfortunately for Nebraska, South Dakota State entered this weekend ranked sixth in the FCS rankings, so the match-up may not be quite the pushover contest we typically expect when a power program takes on an FCS squad. Given the track record of some of the ranked FCS teams this month, who knows?
Go ahead and add the Oklahoma football coach as taking one for the team. Or school, as the case may be.
Wednesday, Oklahoma announced that, with the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year, the athletic department is initiating cost-cutting measures that will help slash “approximately $13.7 million in controllable operating expenses.” Included in that is a 10% salary reduction for any university employee earning a salary of $1 million or more per year. Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley, of course, is part of that group.
Last year, Riley was paid nearly $6.4 million, a figure that was second in the Big 12 and ninth nationally. With a 10% reduction, Riley would forego in the neighborhood of $640,000.
From the school’s release:
All of us understand that a number of circumstances will unfold in the weeks ahead,” he said. “Our staff continues to monitor our expense and income projections closely and we’ll take other actions, as necessary.”
Castiglione added that he was pleased that the department was able to balance its budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
“It’s a testament to our staff and our practices that we were able to balance our budget for fiscal year 2020,” Castiglione said. “We have always benefited from excellent teamwork in our department, but our staff has come together as never before. I am very proud of our people.
Below is a partial list of FBS programs that have initiated various cost-cutting measures for athletic department personnel, including coaches:
Additionally, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who reportedly made north of $5 million a year ago, is taking a 20% pay cut. Scott’s Big 12 counterpart, Bob Bowlsby, announced pay cuts for himself and the conference’s staff.
The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.
In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.
So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 2, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.
(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section. Mailbag, maybe?)
THE HEADLINE: Report: James Madison interested in moving up to FBS to take UConn’s spot in AAC
THE SYNOPSIS: Thus far, no school has taken UConn’s place in the conference. The league seems content moving forward with 11 football-playing members.
THE HEADLINE: Dismissed Notre Dame RB CJ Holmes finds second chance at Penn State
THE SYNOPSIS: Nearly a year to the day later, Holmes moved on from Penn State to Kent State.
THE HEADLINE: Braxton Miller to reveal plans for future next week
THE SYNOPSIS: Hmmm, wonder what the Ohio State quarterback will do? Stay tuned…
THE HEADLINE: Randy “Captain Obvious” Edsall: We’re not going to be Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State
THE SYNOPSIS: That was when Edsall was the boss at Maryland. Edsall lasted one-and-a-half more seasons at the school. The Terrapins went 22-34 under the current UConn head coach, including a 2-4 start to the 2015 season that triggered his midseason dismissal. Mike Locksley was named interim coach. Three years later, Lockley was back as the full-time head coach.
THE HEADLINE: Paterno family condemns ‘leaking of selective emails’
THE SYNOPSIS: This development, which came a week after Jerry Sandusky became a convicted pedophile, continued to erode Joe Paterno‘s legacy.
THE HEADLINE: UGA-ly: Bad situation gets really uncomfortable for AD Damon Evans
THE SYNOPSIS: What made it so uncomfortable? During a traffic stop, a state trooper detected a pair of red panties situated between Evans’ legs. In the vehicle with the married Evans was a female who was not his wife. Three days later, Evans resigned. Eight years later, Evans was named as the athletic director at Maryland.
It didn’t take long for one erstwhile Florida State football player to find a new home. On a lower rung of the sport, but still.
It was reported last week that Anthony Grant is no longer a member of the Florida State football team. In fact, Grant is no longer listed on FSU’s official roster. It’s unclear at this point whether the parting of ways was mutual or one-sided.
Then again, that doesn’t much matter as the running back has reportedly opted to start over at Garden City Community College. The news of the JUCO move was first reported late last week.
It’s expected that Grant will spend the 2020 season at the Kansas junior college, then move back to an FBS school. That would leave him with two years of eligibility at this level of football starting in 2021.
Grant was a three-star member of the Florida State football Class of 2018. The Georgia native was rated as the No. 17 running back in the country on the 247Sports.com composite. He held Power Five offers from nearly two dozen schools, including Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
In 2019, Grant didn’t see the field at all for the Seminoles. As a true freshman, Grant played a dozen games. In that action, he ran five times… for zero yards. He did, though, lead FSU by averaging 22.5 yards on 11 kick returns. Additionally, he totaled nine tackles on special teams.
Go ahead and add Oklahoma to the “major college football programs pushing herd immunity” conspiracy theory for the black helicopter crowd.
Wednesday, Oklahoma football players officially kicked off their voluntary on-campus workouts. The development came two weeks after schools from the Big 12 were permitted to commence such activities.
The same day workouts commenced, Oklahoma confirmed that 111 football players were tested as part of the return to campus. Of those 111, 14 came back positive for COVID-19 — seven positives after players had returned to campus, seven before. The program also noted that 12 of those cases remain active, which means the players haven’t recovered.
Additionally, two of the 72 OU football staff, including coaches, tested positive for coronavirus.
Oklahoma isn’t the first football program to be impacted by COVID-19 concerns.
Last week, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts. June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well. The reason? “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19. This week, Arizona paused its phased return because of a spike in cases in the state.
Other programs, meanwhile, have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts. Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).