Under normal circumstances, turning the ball over three times – all in your own territory – in one quarter is an automatic death sentence against TCU. This, however, is not normal circumstances.
Playing its first game outside the state of Texas all season, No. 10 TCU trails No. 20 West Virginia and its swarming, aggressive defense 13-7 before a raucous Milan Puskar Stadium crowd on a rainy Morgantown day.
The Mountaineers built a 13-0 lead after marching 75 yards in 10 plays to open the game, capped by a 23-yard pass from Clint Trickett to Mario Alford. West Virginia then moved another 51 yards in 14 plays, but Dreamius Smith was stuffed on a 3rd-and-2 near the goal line, forcing a Josh Lambert 21-yard field goal. West Virginia then recovered an onside kick and turned it into a 44-yard Lambert field goal at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter.
TCU quelled thoughts of a blowout by responding with a six-play, 83-yard drive, punctuated by a 47-yard screen pass from Trevone Boykin to Deante’ Gray.
The Horned Frogs had plenty of chances to take the lead in the second quarter, but capitalized on none of them. The Frogs recovered a Rushel Shell fumble at the WVU 43, but lost three yards before punting. Chris Hackett intercepted Trickett and returned it to the West Virginia 21, but a chop block sabotaged the TCU possession. Later in the quarter Hackett forced a Wendell Smallwood fumble at the West Virginia 23, but Boykin threw an interception two plays later.
Outside of the 47-yard touchdown, Boykin is 4-of-15 for 26 yards and an interception, and the TCU ground game has mounted only 56 yards on 13 carries. The Frogs have just five first downs and are 2-of-7 on third down.
West Virginia has managed 128 rushing yards and Trickett has thrown for 108 more.
TCU receives the ball to open the second half.
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.
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.
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.
That’ll teach him. They hope.
In the third quarter of Clemson’s 35-point win over Louisville Saturday night, Tigers cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. was involved in a punt-return kerfuffle with Cardinals defensive back Trenell Troutman that ended with Booth, after he had taken him to the ground, punching Troutman. The fracas resulted in Booth being ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Following the game, head coach Dabo Swinney apologized to his UofL counterpart, Scott Satterfield, for what he described as unacceptable, disappointing behavior.
Sunday, Swinney stated that the punishment phase for Booth commenced almost immediately, and commenced in a very unique way.
“He had a long bus ride home last night and plenty of time to think about it,” Swinney said, confirming that Booth rode the managers’ bus back to Clemson instead of flying home with the rest of his teammates.
For those keeping score at home, it’s a roughly seven-hour drive from Louisville to Clemson via an automobile, and likely longer if you’re taking a bus. Taking a plane, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour and a half.
In addition to the bus ride, Swinney also stated that Booth will be subject to additional, unspecified in-house sanctions.