Though it is the final game of extended Week 1 of the 2014 college football season, we must remember tonight is indeed still Week 1 for everyone. Because all three teams on the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium field tonight – Louisville, Miami and the officials – have been sloppy as all get out. Louisville leads Miami 14-10 at the break.
The most entertaining – and infuriating – sequence came at the top of the second quarter. ‘Canes quarterback Brad Kaaya hit Clive Waiford for a two-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the quarter. After the ensuing kickoff, Will Gardner was sacked and fumbled on first down, handing the ‘Canes the ball again at the Louisville seven. One snap later, Kaaya snapped a pass to Stacy Coley, which he dropped. Keith Kelsey scooped the free pigskin and raced toward his own end zone, but the play was blown dead even though it was clearly a backward pass. To top it all off, Louisville had 13 players on the field at the snap.
Louisville started its first five possessions inside its own 20 thanks to some atrocious special teams play, and then took the lead with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Corvin Lamb. Bobby Petrino’s offense has been mostly inconsistent through the night with four drives of three plays or less, but opened the scoring with a 12-play, 93-yard drive capped by a two-yard touchdown toss from Gardner to Charles Standberry.
Kaaya has been as good as you can reasonably expect for an 18-year-old true freshman making his first start in a road conference game. He’s hit 8-of-12 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions – though he did under-throw that lateral to Coley that ended a golden opportunity for the Hurricanes.
Miami gets the ball to open the second half.
UAB and North Texas collide today in a pivotal Conference USA matchup between the 6-1 Mean Green (2-1 in Conference USA) and the 5-1 Blazers (3-0 in Conference USA. The matchup alone is enough to carry plenty of importance moving forward as far as the conference championship race is concerned, but today UAB will be doing something that means something more beyond football by paying tribute to patients at Children’s Harbor, a medical center focusing on assisting children and their families dealing with serious illnesses.
Players for UAB will ditch their own names on the back of their jerseys and instead will wear the names of a young patient at Children’s Harbor. It has become a bit of a tradition for the Blazers and is a nice way to be a part of the community since the football program was resurrected.
“It shows the city how appreciative we were when the program shutdown,” UAB wide receiver Collin Lisa said, via Al.com. “It’s not just the university, it’s about the city, the medical center, and all the little kids. It’s way more than just the game of football here.”
A full list of the children each UAB player will be representing today can be found here.
Morgan Ellison‘s time in Bloomington has officially come to an end.
Friday night, Indiana announced that the running back has been suspended for two and a half years from the university as well as permanently dismissed from the Hoosiers football team. On Oct. 3, an IU panel determined that Ellison had sexually assaulted a female student in mid-August of this year.
IU’s announcement yesterday came after Ellison had appealed the original ruling.
The unidentified victim had alleged at the hearing that she was sexually assaulted in her sleep by Ellison. “It hurt so much and when I woke up I was like stop stop and he wouldn’t stop,” the alleged victim claimed in a text to a friend shortly after the assault, the Indianapolis Star had previously reported.
During the hearing, Ellison had claimed that all sexual activity that night in August was consensual.
Ellison has not been charged criminally in connection to the alleged sexual assault, although it’s unclear if the university’s police department is investigating the allegations.
In late August, Indiana announced that Ellison had been indefinitely suspended from all football activities, including games and practice, by Tom Allen for unspecified violations of team rules. Oct. 2, one day before the panel found him guilty, the head coach revealed that the running back was permitted to practice with his teammates but would remain suspended from playing in games for the foreseeable future.
Last season, Ellison led the Hoosiers with 143 carries for 704 yards and six touchdowns. The true junior had not played in any of the Hoosiers’ games this season before or after the panel’s ruling.
Everybody has an opinion on one of the biggest storylines of the past week in college football, including a former Heisman Trophy winner.
Tuesday, Ohio State announced that, because of injury, Nick Bosa had decided to withdraw from school “in order to devote more time to his rehabilitation and training efforts” for the 2019 NFL draft. Bosa’s father explained that the decision was “difficult on” his son, who “had set all kinds of team goals.”
One of those team goals was likely earning a berth in the College Football Playoff. Because he withdrew from school, Bosa will not be a part of the playoffs if the Buckeyes qualify, a decision that Tim Tebow said the All-American defensive end could very well come to regret.
From USA Today:
This is a really tough situation, because yes, he’s got a severe injury and he’d probably be out until early December healing from it. One one side you can say ‘you know what, if he waits and he goes and trains, he can probably make 20 to 30 million dollars, and that’s amazing.’
But at the same point, when you’re 50 years old and you look back, aren’t you going to regret it a little bit? To say ‘my guys went to the playoff and they played Alabama in the championship… I could have been with them, but I was more worried about the money.’
Listen, your family’s already made however many million. You’re probably still going to make that. And I get that you want to be safe and keep your body [healthy], and I can see both sides. I get where he’s coming from. But at the same point, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You’ve got a team that has a chance to win a championship. Your brother’s got one. You don’t want to compete to go win a championship like your brother?
For me, what I would do? I would wait, I would get healthy, and if my team was in the Playoff, I’m going to compete with my team. But that’s who I am.
As long as Nick Bosa is comfortable with his decision, that’s all that really matters — regardless of what Tebow would or wouldn’t have done
It was worth a shot, I guess.
Friday night, Iowa State announced in a short, to-the-point press release that its appeal of field-storming fine slapped on it by the Big 12 had been denied by the conference. The fact that ISU came out on the wrong side of the ruling was the expected result of the university’s Hail Mary appeal.
“Our institution takes the safety and welfare of all student-athletes, officials, and fans very seriously,” ISU president Dr. Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement, “and we will continue to review and refine our safety protocols based upon our actual experiences.”
Earlier in the week, the Big 12 had announced that ISU was fined $25,000 after their fans stormed the field this past Saturday. The field storming came in the aftermath of ISU’s huge upset of then-No. 6 West Virginia in Ames.
In a statement announcing the fine, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the league “[has] a duty to provide a safe game environment” and that ISU “has a written event management policy that was not thoroughly implemented, and was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of all visiting team game participants” — a sentiment with which WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen is likely to agree.
“Our institution takes the safety and welfare of all student-athletes, officials and fans very seriously,” Wintersteen said in a midweek statement, shortly after the fine was announced. “We have reviewed all of our procedures, including several videos of the post-game celebration, and we do not agree with Commissioner Bowlsby’s assessment of the events that evening.”