If you’re a fan of offensive football, move on. There’s not a whole helluva lot to see here.
In what has been the dictionary-definition of a defensive slugfest, the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide out-slugged Ole Miss defensively in taking a 14-3 lead into the locker room. The first touchdown of the half came on a Blake Sims one-yard touchdown run with just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter.
That was just the third touchdown Ole Miss’ defense has surrendered this season, and its first since Sept. 13.
The second touchdown, appropriately enough, was a defensive one as the Tide’s Alab Cyrus returned a fumble 13 yards for the score with just under a minute left in the half. The touchdown should’ve been called back, however, as Cyrus Jones was shown clearly on the replay committing a facemask penalty as he knocked the ball out of I’Tavius Mathers‘ left arm.
The Tide had 176 yards of offense, 68 of which came on the drive that was capped by Sims’ short scamper off a play fake. The Rebels, meanwhile, were held to 100 first-half yards and converted one of their seven third-down attempts. The visitors weren’t much more successful in the latter category in converting three of nine.
A microcosm of the defensive dominance came in the form of Amari Cooper. The Tide wide receiver came into the game leading the country in receiving yards per game (163.8) and second in receptions per game (10.8); he was held to four catches for just 22 yards in the first two quarters.
Unfortunately, the game also featured a horrific leg injury suffered by ‘Bama running back Kenyan Drake very early in the second quarter. Drake, who leads the Tide with four rushing touchdowns, was taken off the field on a cart with an injury that very much has the look of a season-ending one. Just one piece of advice: if you haven’t seen a replay of the injury, continue doing so. Not only for the sight of it but for the sound of Drake’s screams. You’ll thank me later, trust me.
Sadly, there’s yet another deadly shooting involving a college football player on which to report.
According to multiple media outlets in the Sacramento area, Sierra College defensive back Chancelor “Chance” Fields-Colbert was shot and killed very early Sunday morning following an incident during what was described as a college sendoff party in Fair Oaks. Fields-Colbert was shot once inside the residence in which the party was being held and managed to get out of the house before collapsing in an intersection a short distance away.
The sophomore from Fairbanks, Alaska, was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“It’s disbelief and shock,” the junior college’s head coach, Benjamin Noonan, told ABC’s Sacramento affiliate. “It’s been a nightmare these last 48 hours and the kids are, you know, pulling it together and just want to be around each other.”
As a freshman this past season, Fields-Colbert played in five games for the Wolverines.
With eight semifinalists from a year ago gone, the Outland Trophy’s 2019 preseason watch list takes on a decidedly fresh look this go ’round.
Headlining the 83-player group of the nation’s top interior linemen is Oregon’s Calvin Throckmorton, who is the only Football Writers Association of American All-American from a season ago on this year’s watch list. Throckmorton is one of 12 players from the Pac-12 listed, which is tied for third among all conferences with the Big 12; with 13 apiece, the Big Ten and SEC lead all leagues.
The ACC’s 10 is the fewest among Power Five conferences, while Group of Five leagues are paced by the AAC’s six. All 10 FBS conferences are represented, including the Mountain West (four), Conference USA (three), MAC (three) and Sun Belt (three). Independents account for four as well.
Throckmorton is one of four linemen from Oregon, tied with Michigan for the most of any single school. Georgia has three, while another 15 schools have two each.
A total of 32 offensive tackles are on the watch list, the most for any single position. That group is followed by 19 defensive tackles, 18 offensive guards and 14 centers.
Less than two weeks before training camp kicks off, Rod Carey has (again) finalized his first Temple coaching staff.
Earlier this month, it was reported that longtime Temple assistant and the program’s current special teams coordinator Ed Foley would be leaving the school and reuniting with Matt Rhule at Baylor. Monday, the Owls confirmed that Carey has promoted Tyler Yelk to outside linebackers coach. Yelk was a part of Carey’s Northern Illinois football staff this past season.
Additionally, it was announced by the football program that Brett Diersen has been hired as associate special teams coordinator. Diersen spent the 2018 season as the defensive line coach at SMU.
This will mark the third time Diersen and Carey have worked together, first at Wisconsin-Stout in 2000 and then again at Northern Illinois from 2013-17.
“Tyler is an excellent young coach and we promoted him to add balance to the coaching staff,” said Carey in a statement, making reference to the fact that there are now six full-time coaches with an offensive background and five on defense. “We are very fortunate to get a coach of Brett’s caliber in the role of special teams coordinator. I’ve known him for 20 years and am excited that he and his family can join us at Temple.”
Of all the watch lists released thus far this month, this one’s the biggest — literally.
Via the Football Writers Association of America, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Tuesday released its preseason list of players to watch, with a whopping 97 individuals making the award’s initial cut. All 10 FBS conferences are represented, as are 65 individual schools.
One first-team FWAA All-American (LSU safety Grant Delpit) made the initial watch list for the award given annually to the best defensive player in college football, while a trio of second-teamers from a year ago (Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes, Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo) made the cut as well.
Conference-wise, the SEC has the most with 18, followed the other four Power Five leagues in the Big Ten (15), ACC (12), Pac-12 (12) and Big 12 (11). The AAC led all Group of Five conferences with six, followed by Conference USA (four), Mountain West (four), MAC (three) and Sun Belt (two). Football independents accounted for five of the watch listers.
With four, Alabama led all individual schools. Iowa State, LSU, Notre Dame and Penn State placed three each, with another 16 schools placing two apiece on the list.
As for the positional breakdown, there are 36 linebackers, 28 backs, 21 ends and seven tackles.