Maryland QB Brown banged up in win over Iowa

3 Comments

A week after getting roughed up on its home field by Ohio State, Maryland (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) came back on a little bit of a redemption mission this week at home against Iowa (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten). Maryland took a 38-21 lead in the fourth quarter and held on for a 38-31 win in Big Ten play.

Maryland fell behind Iowa early in the game, with the Hawkeyes jumping out to a 14-0 lead in part because Maryland turned the football over on the first play of the game. Maryland was not rattled though, and rallied with 17 straight points heading to the halftime break with the lead. Maryland linebacker Will Likely intercepted a pass from Iowa’s Jake Rudock and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, giving Maryland a 10-point advantage. That was later expanded to a 17-point advantage with a Wes Brown touchdown run, his second of the game. Stefon Diggs dazzled with 130 yards and a touchdown on nine catches.

Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown was forced to leave the game after taking a hit from an Iowa defender. Brown was scrambling for a first down when he went diving head first. Brown was able to leave the field under his own power, but given his history with head injuries it is understandable why Maryland would be extremely cautious with their quarterback’s health. Redshirt sophomore Perry Hills replaced Brown under center, a move that was necessary with Caleb Rowe out for the year following an injury this week. Brown is Maryland’s top passer and leading rusher, so his absence could be important if he is unable to play in the future.

Iowa may face some quarterback questions as well. The position has been a frustrating ones at times this season for Iowa, and Rudock had his ups and downs in this game as well. Iowa is far from panic mode, as they still sit in a good position in the Big Ten West division, but if Kirk Ferentz is going to make any adjustments then he may need to do so soon if he feels one is needed.

Iowa will have a week off to prepare for the home stretch to the season. It begins at home against Northwestern and will later end with back-to-back home games against Wisconsin and Nebraska in late November.

Maryland will play the next two weeks on the road before getting another bye week. Next week Maryland will visit Wisconsin. The following week, on November 1, Maryland will rekindle an old series with Penn State in Beaver Stadium.

LSU students will go to class on Saturday to make up for national title game

Getty Images
1 Comment

LSU students who got to skip class for the national title game (and the ensuing celebrations…) were hit with a dose of reality returning to Baton Rouge on Friday.

According to an announcement from the university, classes that were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday for the championship game have been rescheduled. As a result, students will have to go to class on Saturday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 8.

So yes, Saturdays in the fall have resulted in a few Saturdays of work in the spring.

The school had received a bit of criticism when it was announced that classes were cancelled on the dates surrounding the championship game. While the practice has happened elsewhere, the nature of the game being less than an hour from campus in New Orleans certainly made things unique for the Tigers and their large fan base.

While some students no doubt had hoped that the classes at the time were indeed cancelled, it turns out they were in fact just being rescheduled. Going to school on a Saturday probably isn’t what many had in mind when signing up for the spring semester but there’s probably not a soul in purple and gold will take issue with the change given that it comes as a result of hoisting the ultimate football trophy on Monday night in the Big Easy.

Virginia safety Chris Moore enters transfer portal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The transfer portal has claimed another name.

As first noted by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Virginia safety Chris Moore has entered his name into the database as he explores a move out of Charlottesville.

Moore started five of his nine appearances for the Cavaliers in 2019 and wound up recording 42 tackles. While he was in line to become one of the key members in the secondary going forward, a prior  suspension for violating team rules back in November may have wound up playing a role in his departure and standing with the team.

The safety had previously missed all of the 2018 season with an injury as well.

Moore was originally a three-star recruit out of Ashburn, Va. in 2016 and, assuming the redshirt senior has a degree, likely has a season remaining as a grad transfer.

DL Jay Tufele, WR Tyler Vaughns skipping draft to stay at USC

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Clay Helton has a lot of issues to deal with at the moment. Having a talented USC football team is not one of them.

The Trojans received a rare bit of good news on Thursday evening as two key players announced they were skipping the 2020 NFL Draft. In back-to-back announcements, defensive lineman Jay Tufele and wideout Tyler Vaughns confirmed they would remain in Los Angeles for the 2020 season.

Tufele is one of USC’s best defensive players. He recorded 42 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season as a redshirt sophomore despite dealing with a handful of injuries. With leading sacker Drake Jackson also back, there’s a nice tandem up front for whoever the team hires as defensive coordinator to work with going forward.

Vaughns returning also makes a dangerous receiving corps that much deeper. Michael Pittman Jr. was lost to graduation but the next three top wideouts are set to be back in 2020. Add in a group of solid tailbacks and both J.T. Daniels and Kedon Slovis at QB and USC will once again have one of the top offenses in the Pac-12.

Whether it will all help save Helton’s job again remains to be seen. If nothing else though, there’s at least there’s some positive news for the cardinal and gold this offseason with Tufele and Vaughns back in the fold going forward.

Nebraska and OC Troy Walters “mutually agreed to part ways”

Getty Images
1 Comment

A year after significantly falling short of expectations, an offseason of change has commenced at Nebraska.

In one of the first big moves since Scott Frost took over at his alma mater, the Cornhuskers and offensive coordinator Troy Walters announced on Friday that they had ‘mutually agreed to part ways.’

“Troy has been a valued member of our coaching staff for the past four years,” Frost said in a statement. “Troy is a good mentor for his players, provides great energy on and off the field, and carries himself with a presence off the field that will be missed. I want to thank him for his work on our coaching staff, and wish him and his family all the best going forward.”

The duo first came together when Frost was hired at UCF and led a number of prolific offenses, including the undefeated 2017 team for the Knights. Walters was a finalist for the Broyles Award that same season though has not called plays for either team.

Walters had a distinguished career as a player at Stanford that included All-American honors and a Biletnikoff Award in 1999. He spent several years in the NFL before going into coaching during stops at Texas A&M, N.C. State and Colorado.

The departure of Walters could interestingly lead to a reunion between Frost and a familiar name in Mark Helfrich. The latter was head coach at Oregon when Frost was elevated to offensive coordinator for the Ducks and is in search of a job after being let go by the Chicago Bears from a similar role.