No. 3 Ole Miss dispatches Tennessee, 34-3

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We’re headed to late October and Ole Miss still has not allowed more than 20 points in a game this season.

The third-ranked Rebels’ defense continued its claim as the best unit on either side of the ball in college football, manhandling an overmatched Tennessee squad to the tune of a 34-3 win in Oxford.

The Volunteers actually opened the scoring at the 12:40 mark of the second quarter with a 27-yard field goal by Aaron Medley. Needless to say, the highlights began and ended there for Tennessee.

Dave Wommack’s defense victimized Tennessee for seven sacks, three interceptions, one fumble recovery, minus-two rushing yards, just three third-down conversions in 16 tries, only 10 first downs and 189 yards of total offense. Justin Worley completed 19-of-34 passes for 191 yards and those three interceptions, while Jalen Hurd managed 40 rushing yards on 13 carries. No Tennessee possession lasted more than nine plays, and seven of its 15 touches went three-and-out. The Volunteers punted nine times.

To put Ole Miss’ dominance in perspective: Tennessee’s only scoring drive started in Rebel territory. Every one of the other 14 possessions started in Volunteer territory, and only two crossed midfield.

Bo Wallace put Ole Miss on the board with 5:08 remaining in the second quarter what turned out to be the winning score, a 38-yard toss to Vince Sanders. He also found Evan Engram for a 28-yard scoring strike late in the third quarter to truly put the game away at 24-3, and hit 13-of-28 passes for 199 yards with 33 additional rushing yards on the night.

Seven Rebels combined to rush 47 times for 180 yards and three scores, led by Jaylen Walton’s 10 rushes for 60 yards and one touchdown, a seven-yarder with 1:51 to play before halftime.

The win pushes Ole Miss to 7-0 (4-0 SEC) with a trip to LSU waiting Saturday, while Tennessee falls to 3-4 (0-3) SEC with a visit to – gulp – Alabama next week.

It’s official: LSU-Alabama moving to daytime for the first time since 2010

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Astute observers of college football’s television contracts (read: nerds) perked up when CBS announced over the summer it had chosen Notre Dame’s Sept. 21 visit to Georgia as its annual primetime selection, meaning LSU’s Nov. 9 trip to Alabama would likely be played under sunshine for the first time since 2010.

However, there remained a question that CBS could work a backroom deal with ESPN to get Tigers-Tide in prime time, like it did back in 2011 when CBS initially used its annual primetime pick on Florida-Alabama and then nabbed LSU-Alabama when it became apparent that would be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game. With history repeating itself on the field — Alabama is No. 1 in the AP poll, LSU is No. 2 — one had to wonder if history could also repeat itself in the boardroom.

That question was answered Monday, when CBS announced LSU-Alabama on Nov. 9 will indeed be played in the SEC on CBS’s traditional time slot of 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT.

Playing the Crimson Tide in daylight could be a good omen for LSU. The Tigers, losers of seven straight primetime affairs, won the most recent afternoon kickoff, a 24-21 decision on Nov. 6, 2010.

Mark Richt suffers heart attack, says he’s ‘doing fine’

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From the outside, it seems as if Mark Richt is the most relaxed, stress-free person in the entire college football universe. In 18 seasons as the head coach at Georgia and Miami, Richt had an inner peace and perspective that never seemed to let the stresses of the job get to him in the way it did most other coaches or people in similar high-stakes gigs.

Now, he’s very much living that retired multi-millionaire life.

That’s why it was so surprising when Richt announced Monday he suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.

“I am assuming word travels fast,” he tweeted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

While Monday’s news was obviously frightening, it’s comforting to know Richt survived and will hopefully be around to eat many, many more cheese balls on the beach.

 

‘GameDay’ making maiden voyage to South Dakota State

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The Football Championship Subdivision recently made a coordinated, nationwide push for ESPN’s “College GameDay” to pay its brand of football more attention. That push has quickly paid off.

ESPN announced Sunday that “GameDay” will make its first ever visit to Brookings, S.D., as No. 3 South Dakota State hosts No. 1 North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are 6-1 this season, losing only to FBS No. 17 Minnesota 28-21 to open the season and then running off six straight victories by an average of 24.3 points. North Dakota State is 7-0 on the season with four victories over FCS top-20 opponents.

South Dakota State should send flowers to Wisconsin, who lost to Illinois ahead of their visit to No. 3 Ohio State, to Michigan, who lost to Penn State before hosting No. 8 Notre Dame, and to ESPN for their recent visit to Baton Rouge, making a return visit for No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU seem too redundant.

“GameDay” last visited an FCS site on Oct. 14, 2017, as No. 1 James Madison hosted Villanova.

Saturday will mark North Dakota State’s third “GameDay” appearance, passing Harvard for the most among FCS teams. The Bison won both of their previous appearances, a 51-0 drubbing of Delaware State on Sept. 21, 2013, and a 58-0 blowout of Incarnate Word on Sept. 13, 2014.

South Carolina dismisses DB Jamel Cook after domestic violence arrest

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Because of an off-field issue, South Carolina’s depth in the secondary has been pared a bit.

Friday, Jamel Cook was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree domestic violence.  Other than he was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or return to the location of the alleged incident, details surrounding the arrest and charge have not yet been divulged.

Early Sunday, the Gamecocks confirmed that Cook had been indefinitely suspended for violating unspecified team rules.  Later that day, Will Muschamp announced that the redshirt junior has been dismissed from his football program.

“[That’s] all I’m going to say about that,” Coach Gump added.

Cook was originally a four-star member of the Left Coast USC’s 2016 signing class, rated as the No. 17 player at any position in the state of Florida.  He played in three games in two years for the Trojans before transferring to the Gamecocks following the 2017 season.  Because of NCAA transfer rules, the defensive back was forced to sit out the 2018 season.

This year, Cook had appeared in one game prior to his off-field issues.