The ball bounced in favor of the No. 12 Kansas State Wildcats during the first half of play against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
A suspect touchdown call and another touchdown being called back proved to be the biggest difference for the Wildcats, who hold a 17-3 lead at halftime.
The fortunate calls in Kansas State’s favor started on the team’s initial drive.
After a 23-yard punt return from Tyler Lockett — and his presence on special teams will come up again — the Wildcats started their initial drive from West Virginia’s 49-yard line. Seven plays later, Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters drove his offense to the 7-yard line. On third-and-goal, Waters scrambled in the pocket and found running back DeMarcus Robinson open for a touchdown pass.
However, Robinson dropped the football during the follow through of the catch. Despite the bobbled ball, the referees ruled he had possession before he went to the ground and the touchdown call stood. Kansas State gained an early 7-0 lead.
After the team’s traded field goals, the Mountaineers finally found the end zone on one of the wackiest touchdown catches of the season. Or so they thought.
Kevin White, the nation’s third-leading receiver, came up with an amazing tipped pass for the unlikely score (see: below).
The catch was eventually ruled incomplete upon review. One angle appeared to show the ball hitting the ground before it flipped into the air toward White. The situation was compounded by the fact West Virginia kicker Josh Lambert missed the ensuing field goal attempt.
Locket extended Kansas State’s lead with a 43-yard punt return for a touchdown. The All-American returner averaged 33 yards per punt return through two quarters of play.
As the teams enter the second half, Kansas State wants to return to playing sound football after a sloppy first half. West Virginia, meanwhile, needs to capitalize on its opportunities and find ways to get its vertical passing attack on track.
A key piece of the passing game for Arizona football is recovering from a health issue. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear it will impact his availability for the upcoming season.
Prior to Arizona shuttering spring football practice because of the coronavirus pandemic, Jamarye Joiner suffered a fractured left foot. It was reported at the time that the wide receiver was “believed to have suffered a Jones fracture, which is a break between the base of the foot and the fifth metatarsal.”
According to The Athletic, Joiner underwent surgery to repair the damage May 12. The procedure was delayed as elective surgeries were scuttled because of the pandemic.
The same website reported that the receiver will be sidelined for a period of 6-12 weeks. Such a timeline would extend, at the long end, to early August. Arizona is scheduled to open the 2020 football season Aug. 29 against Hawaii.
Joiner was a three-star member of the Arizona football Class of 2018. The Tucson native was rated as the No. 6 prospect regardless of position in the state of Arizona.
Originally signing as a quarterback, Joiner completed three of his four pass attempts for 17 yards in two games a true freshman. Playing in less than four games allowed Joiner to preserve a year of eligibility.
Prior to the start of summer camp, Joiner made the move from quarterback to wide receiver. In his first season at the position, the redshirt freshman led the Wildcats in receiving yards with 552 and receiving touchdowns with five. His 34 receptions were third on the team, while his 16.2 yards per catch was second among the nine players with at least 10 receptions.
Arizona head football coach Kevin Sumlin this month became one of a handful of coaches to take a pay cut.
Here’s to guessing the Oklahoma head football coach is completely on board with this approach. Even as it’ll put him nearly a month behind other Power Five programs.
When word began to surface that some conferences/schools would possibly be allowing its player to return to campus June, Lincoln Riley blasted the notion.
“All the talk about these schools wanting to bring players back on June 1 is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard,” the coach said in mid-May. “We’ve got to be patient. We have one good shot at it. …
“It would be completely irresponsible to bring these guys in too early. We need to bring these guys in as late as we can. Every day they come in could be a day we could’ve gotten better, learned more about the virus, the [personal protection equipment] gets better, a day closer to a vaccine, the testing capabilities get better. It’s just not worth it.”
Two weeks later, Oklahoma has announced that it will reopen its facilities July 1 for voluntary football workouts. That’s exactly one month beyond the date to which the NCAA gave the green light last week.
According to the program, returning Oklahoma football players will need to be evaluated and cleared by the OU medical staff before they can participate in the voluntary activities. OU added that the players “will be continuously monitored and will be expected to adhere to a number of safety protocols and guidelines.”
“As I have stated before, we are going to approach this return with extreme care,” Riley said in a statement. “We have received tremendous guidance from highly respected medical professionals, and we will follow their recommendations. We understand that the well-being of our student-athletes is at the top of our responsibilities. That’s why we will be diligent in how we manage everything from the way we relate to each other to the cleaning of our facilities and beyond.
“Our medical personnel have told us that the safest thing we can do is keep our players off campus for as long as possible. We chose the latest point that we could bring them back and still have enough time to prepare.”
The SEC confirmed its players would be returning June 8. Both Ohio State and Illinois from the Big Ten will be doing the same on the same date. Ditto for Clemson and Louisville as well.
One former USC football player has found himself a new home. Unofficially.
Clayton Bradley had entered the NCAA transfer database back in January. Four months later, the offensive lineman took the next step in leaving USC football by committing to UNLV.
Bradley made the announcement of a move to the Rebels on Twitter.
“I would like to thank the Trojan family for the past five years at the [U]university of Southern California,” Bradley wrote. “My experience and the relationships I’ve made will last a lifetime. I’d like to thank the coaches who have recruited meduring my time in the transfer portal for the opportunity to complete my final year of eligibility.
“After speaking with Coach Arroyo and Coach Norcross I am excited about the program that they and the staff are building. I have decided to attend the University of Las Vegas for my final season. Excited for the journey ahead!”
Bradley had been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA earlier this offseason.
Bradley was a four-star member of the USC football Class of 2015. The Anaheim, Calf., product was rated as the No. 33 tackle in the country. He was also the No. 42 player regardless of position in the Golden State.
In five seasons with the Trojans, Bradley appeared in 17 games. The lineman started three of those contests. All three of the starts, and 14 of the appearances, came during the 2016 season. Bradley didn’t see the field at all this past season for USC football.
In December, UNLV turned to Marcus Arroyo as its next head football coach. The Oregon offensive coordinator replaced the dismissed Tony Sanchez.
Thanks to Clemson football, another return domino has fallen.
Last week, the NCAA announced that it would allow schools to bring its student-athletes back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1. The SEC subsequently confirmed its players would be returning June 8. Both Ohio State and Illinois from the Big Ten will be doing the same on the same date.
Monday afternoon, Clemson announced that some student-athletes, including football players, will be permitted to return to campus for voluntary activities starting June 8. Clemson is the second ACC school to announce such a return, with Louisville being the first.
As will be the case with the Cardinals, the Tigers are doing a phased approach to the return. From the school’s release:
Clemson Athletics has planned a three-phase approach to return, with oversight from the University, as well as guidance from local and national health officials and best practices. The first phase is expected to commence in conjunction with Clemson University’s previously-announced Phase I target date.
All phases include guidelines for social distancing, face coverings, enhanced sanitization, limited groups, modified use of space and other safety measures. In addition to the overarching plan, the department has worked at a granular level with coaching and support staffs, looking at each facility and developing guidelines for those individual spaces. The plans are subject to change based on guidance from the CDC, DHEC, State of South Carolina, Clemson University, the NCAA or the ACC or new medical information and research.
Phase I includes just those staff members directly responsible for the health and well-being of student-athletes, as well as those preparing facilities for Phase II. Sport coaches are expected to work remotely for Phase I, which will last no fewer than 14 days. Coaches may begin activity within facilities in limited numbers and employing recommended protocols with objective-based duties no sooner than Phase II.
Phase II and Phase III each further integrate staffs and student-athletes, and make adjustments to capacities and group settings, as well as facility access. Clemson will continue to evaluate policies and procedures on spacing, contact tracing, testing, and other safety measures as more is known from the CDC, DHEC, ACC, NCAA or other medical research or guidance. Details regarding fall competition are not available at this time.
“We are encouraged to begin the first step in the implementation of our Phase I planning, and appreciate the leadership of our University in helping us prepare for our student-athletes and staff to return in early June,” said athletic director Dan Radakovich in a statement. “We are confident in our ability to provide a safe environment and have put our energy into that goal. We’re encouraged by the progress and remain vigilant as we begin to welcome a limited number of student-athletes back to our facilities.”