TPD releases timeline of Jameis Winston investigation

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While we could go with BB guns, hot soda pop or previously-known protocol for awards, we’ll just stick with something more pertinent when it comes to advancing this particular story.

Facing mounting criticism from multiple media outlets over its handling of the case, the Tallahassee Police Department Wednesday afternoon released a timeline related to its investigation into the complaint of alleged sexual assault made last December against Jameis Winston.  The release of the timeline comes one day after reports surfaced that the investigation into the case, now being handled by the state’s attorney office, will drag on beyond this week, with a decision on the filing of charges likely not in the offing until after the ACC  championship game two Saturdays from now.

“As we have previously said, this is an active investigation and we are not going to discuss details that could possibly impact this case,” TPD interim police chief Tom Coe said in a statement. “At the same time, there have been process questions that I want to respond to because I believe they demonstrate TPD’s  professionalism and the investigative processes of a sexual battery case.”

While the intent was to answer questions, there’s very little new information contained in the TPD’s release.

The timeline confirms that, within a couple of weeks of each other, both the alleged victim and the potential suspect (Winston) declined to speak with police.  The alleged victim canceled a scheduled interview with police one day after requesting to speak to TPD detectives.

Below is the timeline, as provided by the TPD in the press release posted to its official website:

December 7, 2012: The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) responds to a sexual battery case referred by the Florida State University Police Department because the alleged incident occurred off campus. TPD transports the victim to the hospital for treatment and evidence is collected including a sexual assault kit. An investigator responds to the hospital and interviews the victim.

December 7, 2012: An initial police report is filed. Contact is made with an assistant state attorney related to obtaining cell phone records, although no potential suspect had yet been identified.

December 7, 2012 to January 10, 2013: Additional investigative follow up is conducted, including witness interviews, pursuing investigative leads, issuing a court order and a search warrant.

January 10, 2013: The victim calls the investigator and identifies a suspect by name and a meeting is scheduled with the victim.

January 11, 2013: An attorney contacts TPD representing the victim and indicates all future contact will be through her and the meeting with the victim does not occur.

The week of January 14th, 2013: TPD investigator makes contact with the suspect and requests an interview.

January 15, 2013: Based upon now having a named suspect, all applicable evidence is sent to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for processing.

January 23, 2013: The potential suspect’s attorney tells TPD his client declined to be interviewed.

On February 11, 2013: A supplemental police report is filed indicating the case is open but inactive and will be further pursued if the victim decides to pursue charges.

February 22 & March 29, 2013: Results received from the FDLE Toxicology Section are received, which are relayed to the victim’s attorney. The victim’s attorney stated she would review the findings with her client and contact the investigator if she wished to pursue the case further.

August 27, 2013: FDLE provides the analysis of the sexual assault kit to TPD.

No. 21 Fresno State runs past Arizona State in Las Vegas Bowl

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No. 21 Fresno State concluded arguably the best season in school history with an emphatic win over Arizona State on Saturday, toppling the Sun Devils 31-20 in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl.

For a moment in the third quarter, it seemed the Las Vegas Bowl was headed toward a heartbreaking loss. After a 17-17 first half, Fresno State threatened to strike first in the second half when Dejonte O’Neal hauled in a beautifully designed screen pass and jetted 29 yards toward the end zone. But the ball was dislodged as O’Neal reached toward the pylon, resulting in a fumble that turned the ball over to the Sun Devils.

Fresno State forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but the Bulldogs’ next touch ended in another costly turnover when Marcus McMariyon was intercepted in his own territory.

Brandon Ruiz turned that pick into a 44-yard field goal and a 20-17 lead.

Fresno State’s next possession ended in another McMariyon pick near midfield, but again the Bulldog defense stiffened, forcing another three-and-out — though with the help of Herm Edwards. Facing a 4th-and-1 at the Fresno State 44 with a 3-point lead, Edwards elected to take a delay of game and punt the ball away. The Sun Devils gained only two first downs after that punt.

Given a fourth chance to take the lead, Fresno State this time didn’t leave anything to chance. McMariyon handed the ball to Ronnie Rivers, who charged 68 yards for a touchdown to give Fresno State a lead it would not relinquish. The Fresno State defense thoroughly shut down the Sun Devils’ second-half offense — forcing four three-and-outs and an interception, while surrendering just a 13-yard field goal drive — which allowed Rivers’ 5-yard touchdown rush with 5:19 remaining to put a cap on an important, satisfying win.

Rivers earned MVP honors, rushing 24 times for 212 yards and two touchdowns.

Arizona State’s comeback efforts ended when Manny Wilkins was intercepted by Juju Hughes at the Fresno State 11-yard line with 3:36 remaining. The senior closed his career hitting 17-of-25 passes for 112 yards — he threw for just one yard after halftime — with one touchdown and two picks, including a pick-six.

With the win, Fresno State set a school record with 12 wins, capping a season in which the club captured its third Mountain West championship. The Bulldogs will end the season ranked inside the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2004, another impressive milestone in the Jeff Tedford era, a 2-year run in which a program that went 4-20 in 2015-17 has turned the tide to go 22-6 in 2017-18.

Despite the loss, Year 1 of the Edwards era was still a success for Arizona State. Picked to finished last in the Pac-12 South in the league’s preseason poll, the Sun Devils concluded the year at 7-6.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-0 lead 10 minutes when Anthoula Kelly stepped in front of a Wilkins pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown, but the Sun Devils responded with consecutive touchdown drives.

The first scoring drive was almost all Wilkins, as he rushed or pass on the final seven snaps of a 9-play, 65-yard drive, culminating in a 3-yard scoring toss to Kyle Williams. After forcing a Fresno State three-and-out, Arizona State took the lead when Eno Benjamin covered the final 30 yards on an 8-play, 58-yard march. Benjamin’s 17-yard touchdown run not only gave his team the lead, it handed him the Arizona State single-season rushing record at 1,585 yards.

Fresno State answered with a 9-play, 75-yard drive, seven of them runs. Rivers ran for gains of 19 and 15 yards to open the drive, then quarterback McMariyon finished the drive with a 10-yard keeper, putting the Bulldogs back in front at 17-14 with 8:03 left in the first half.

Arizona State consumed nearly the remainder of the half, piecing together a marathon 17-play, 72-minute drive. Rather than go for a 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Edwards, foreshadowing another un-Vegas-like decision, opted for a 20-yard Ruiz field goal with 51 seconds left in the first half.

Georgia Southern running wild to take halftime lead over EMU in the Camellia Bowl

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When MACtion meets the Fun Belt in a bowl game, chances are points will come in bunches, right? Well, not in the case of the Camellia Bowl between Georgia Southern and Eastern Michigan as the two sets of Eagles played a somewhat low-scoring first half that featured plenty of fun plays but surprisingly few scoring drives to put GS up 17-7.

Part of the reason why was the Sun Belt squad’s option offense turning in one of the drives of the season, covering a whopping 95 yards over 15 plays before Shai Werts found the end zone — taking off a robust nine minutes and one second off the clock in the process. That was the first of two scores for the quarterback, who put on a masterclass in pitching, catching and converting on third down for the Eagles.

The offense finished the first half with 230 yards rushing and are hoping to keep their perfect bowl record going in just the program’s second-ever postseason appearance at the FBS level. Tyler Bass also added a 50-yard field goal in the rain just as the clock hit zeros too.

Eastern Michigan, relative bowl novices themselves, made their fair share of plays in all three phases to keep things close for the most part. That included a blocked punt in the second quarter to put them at midfield and set up a fairly brisk six-play scoring drive that saw Mike Glass (7/8, 53 yards passing) hit Tyler Lyle from a yard out to find pay dirt.

Word to the wise though, don’t count out the Eagles from the North in this one even with the Eagles from the South taking that lead into the break. Few programs have a knack for playing in close, one-score games quite like Chris Creighton’s group does and they’ll need yet another rally to get that job done in this fun bowl matchup.

Utah State bowls over North Texas in New Mexico

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As if there was ever any doubt, players are more important than coaches in college football. Despite the fact Matt Wells and the majority of his coaching staff bailed early, Utah State rolled over an overmatched and undermanned North Texas team, cruising to a 52-13 win in the New Mexico Bowl presented by Progressive.

The win was a fitting close to one of the best seasons in school history for Utah State. The Aggies (11-2) tied a school record for wins and will likely become the fourth team in school history to finish the season ranked in the AP poll, joining John Ralston‘s 1960-61 teams that went a combined 18-3-1 and former and future head coach Gary Andersen‘s 2012 squad that also went 11-2.

The points started early for the Aggies, finding pay dirt on their third play of the game — a 72-yard strike from Jordan Love to Aaren Vaughns — and ripped off 31 unanswered points over the first and second quarters to break the game open for good.

In addition to the 72-yarder to open the game, Utah State scored touchdowns from 26, 37 and 67 yards in the first half (plus another score on a 10-play, 78-yard drive), as the nation’s No. 3 scoring offense played to its paper throughout the day. Love completed 21-of-43 passes for 361 yards with four touchdowns (plus one rushing) and an interception inside the UNT end zone that robbed him of a sixth score, while Gerold Bright and Darwin Thompson combined to rush 37 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

In all, the Aggies rolled up 556 yards of total offense — 360 of them in the first half.

As the score indicates, the game was a complete nightmare for North Texas. The Mean Green entered the game without leading receiver Rico Bussey (1,017 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns) and played the majority of the day without franchise quarterback Mason Fine. Visibly hobbled by a bum hamstring, Fine threw only 12 passes and left the game in the second quarter when he had to limp his way to recover an errant snap — a theme for UNT during the game — near his own goal line.

Fine was replaced by senior backup Quinn Shanbour, who completed 2-of-8 passes for 24 yards with three interceptions. Shanbour was replaced by freshman Jason Bean, whose only completion in his two passes was to Utah State safety DJ Williams, setting up a field goal on the final play of the half that pushed UNT’s deficit to 38-7.

Fellow freshman Kason Martin played the bulk of the second half, and hit Jalen Guyton for a 75-yard touchdown on his first pass. After that throw, Martin went 6-of-11 for 36 yards.

The loss served as a bitter end to a bittersweet season for North Texas. Though the Mean Green (9-4) increased or matched their win total for the third time in as many seasons under Seth Littrell, North Texas saw three double-digit leads turn into losses and then closed with a second consecutive bowl loss in which the opponent hit half a hundred, following a 50-30 loss to Troy in the 2017 New Orleans Bowl.

No. 21 Fresno State, Arizona State dueling in the desert

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It’s hard to state definitively whether it’s the match-ups, the locale or the gorgeous color-on-color uniform combination, but the Las Vegas Bowl frequently delivers some of the best early bowl season viewing, and the 2018 installment is no different.

No. 21 Fresno State and Arizona State are tied 17-17 at the half in the desert.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-0 lead 10 minutes when Anthoula Kelly stepped in front of a Manny Wilkins pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown, but the Sun Devils responded with consecutive touchdown drives.

The first scoring drive was almost all Wilkins, as he rushed or pass on the final seven snaps of a 9-play, 65-yard drive, culminating in a 3-yard scoring toss to Kyle Williams. After forcing a Fresno State three-and-out, Arizona State took the lead when Eno Benjamin covered the final 30 yards on an 8-play, 58-yard march. Benjamin’s 17-yard touchdown run not only gave his team the lead, it handed him the Arizona State single-season rushing record at 1,585 yards.

Fresno State answered with a 9-play, 75-yard drive, seven of them runs. Ronnie Rivers ran for gains of 19 and 15 yards to open the drive, then quarterback Marcus McMaryion finished the drive with a 10-yard keeper, putting the Bulldogs back in front at 17-14 with 8:03 left in the first half.

Arizona State consumed nearly the remainder of the half, piecing together a marathon 17-play, 72-minute drive. Rather than go for a 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Herm Edwards opted for a 20-yard Brandon Ruiz field goal with 51 seconds left in the first half.

Excluding kneel downs, Fresno State ran only 24 plays in the first half. McMaryion was 6-of-12 for 76 yards with a rushing touchdown, while Rivers carried nine times for 54 yards.

Wilkins was good outside of his pick-six, hitting 14-of-18 passes for 111 yards with a touchdown while rushing six times for 24 yards. Benjamin led all runners with 14 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Arizona State will receive to open the second half.