The New Mexico Bowl may have seen some crazy endings the past few years, but this year’s game went against that script. Instead, Utah State (10-4, 6-2 Mountain West Conference) recorded just the second 10-win season in program history with its third straight bowl victory with a 21-6 victory over UTEP (7-6, 5-3 Conference USA).
UTEP opened the scoring in the first quarter with a field goal on the game’s opening possession, but Utah State later scored a touchdown in the first quarter when quarterback Kent Myers broke off a 48-yard touchdown run down the left sideline for the lead. The Aggies punched in a second touchdown in the third quarter with Nick Vigil pushing one in from three yards out to cap a 75-yard drive. UTEP would add a late field goal.
UTEP’s chances to get the ball back for one last chance to tie things up took a critical blow when a kickoff following the second field goal by Jay Mattox went out-of-bounds, setting Utah State up in good field position. UTEP burned a timeout before the field goal try, which meant the decision not to go for the onside kick was a little extra confusing with under three minutes to play remaining. Utah State simply let running back Joe Hill carry the team the rest of the way with some big runs to run clock, including a touchdown run with 1:33 to play for the knockout blow.
Heading into 2015 the first big question for Utah State will be how does quarterback Chuckie Keeton look? Keeton’s return to the field in 2014 did not go according to plan, as he never seemed to be playing at full speed after a knee injury ended the 2013 season for him. The knee acted up again early in 2014, but he has one more year of eligibility to play. It would be wise to have Utah State proceed with extreme caution with Keeton in order to make sure he is ready for the rigors of the 2015 season.
Enough cannot be said about the coaching job Utah State head coach Matt Wells did this season. The Aggies won 10 games using four different starting quarterbacks along the way. That included a bowl game victory that even saw Myers receive some brief medical attention.
UTEP will look to find a way to build on the momentum the second half of the season saw on the field. The Miners win five of their final seven games of the regular season, although they fell a couple of games shy of the division title. The start to the 2015 season could be rough with three consecutive road games against Arkansas, Texas Tech and New Mexico State. UTEP will look to replace some key position players like quarterback Jameil Showers and receivers Jarred Shaw and Ian Hamilton, but the bulk of the offense should be in place. The defensive secondary will be hit hard as well, but the front of the defense should largely in good shape.
One member of the Arkansas football Class of 2020 has more to worry about than the start of his collegiate playing career.
According to the Saline County (Ark.) Sheriff’s Office, Catrell Wallace was arrested Monday morning on one count each of second-degree sexual assault and tampering. Both of those charges are felonies. The Arkansas football signee had turned himself in after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
The alleged assault took place on New Year’s Day this year. Wallace was 18 at the time. The alleged victim was 12.
“Although it appears to have been a consensual encounter, BNPD detectives were able to determine that Wallace had reason to believe the victim was underage at the time of the crime,” a portion of a statement from the Benton (Ark.) Police Department read. “It was also noted that Wallace instructed witnesses to lie about the crime in an effort to conceal it.”
Sam Pittman, the first-year Arkansas football head coach, said in a statement that his program is aware of the off-field situation.
“We are aware of the serious allegations involving Catrell Wallace,” said Pittman. “We are gathering information and [are] in contact with the proper authorities regarding the situation. Once we have additional information, we will make a determination on his status with our program.”
Wallace was a three-star 2020 prospect who signed with Arkansas football this past December. The linebacker was the No. 6 recruit regardless of position in the state of Arkansas. Only one linebacker in the Razorbacks’ class was rated higher than Wallace.
The pause button has been hit on the recent Michigan football tradition stared under Jim Harbaugh.
In 2017, Harbaugh and the Wolverines traveled to Italy as part of its spring football practice. The following year, the program went to France. This past year, it was South Africa that was the program’s spring destination.
This year, Michigan football had been expected to take another trip abroad. That destination had yet to be determined. As it turns out, a determination won’t be necessary as, due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak, U-M has decided to nix its 2020 plans for the team to travel abroad.
“The football team will not be taking an international trip this spring due to the health concerns around the world, most notably coronavirus,” a Michigan football spokesperson stated. “In lieu of traveling abroad, as the team has done the last three years, the players are expected to participate in community projects in the Ann Arbor area,” the Detroit Free Press wrote.
And for those unfamiliar with the coronavirus? From NBC News:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there have been two cases of person-to-person transmission in the U.S., and that the virus can be spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC says on its website that the virus is not currently spreading in the U.S.
The majority of deaths linked to COVID-19 have been in mainland China, where the outbreak began. There have been 12 deaths in Iran, eight in South Korea, seven in Italy, and others elsewhere, according to public health officials.
In mainland China, the national health commission on Tuesday morning local time reported a total of 2,663 deaths linked to COVID-19.
The epicenter of the outbreak has been in Hubei Province, where the city of Wuhan is located. There have been more than 77,600 confirmed cases in mainland China, according to the national health commission.
When it came to a member of the Indiana Hoosiers football program, this was an expected next step.
Late Saturday night, Peyton Hendershot was arrested on multiple charges in connection to an alleged domestic violence incident. The tight end is facing one count each of residential entry, domestic battery, criminal mischief and criminal conversion. The residential entry charge is a felony; the other three are misdemeanors.
Sunday, the Indiana Hoosiers football program issued the following statement:
Indiana University Athletics is aware of the arrest of redshirt sophomore Peyton Hendershot. IU Athletics will continue to gather facts, cooperate with and monitor the legal and administrative processes, and take further action as the evolving situation warrants.
A day later, the Indiana Hoosiers football program issued an updated statement in which it was confirmed that Hendershot has been indefinitely suspended.
Indiana University Head Football Coach Tom Allen has suspended redshirt sophomore Peyton Hendershot immediately and indefinitely from all team activities. He will continue to evaluate the situation pending further developments.
It should be noted that Hendershot was expected to miss spring practice because of injury issues prior to his off-field situation.
Hendershot was a three-star member of the Class of 2017 for Indiana Hoosiers football. An injury his true freshman season allowed the Indiana native to take a redshirt. In 2018, Hendershot started 10 games, catching 15 passes for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
This past season, Hendershot set a school record for tight ends by catching 52 passes for 622 yards. After starting all 13 games, Hendershot was named third-team All-Big Ten.
Not surprisingly, it will continue to pay to be the Ohio State football head coach.
Tuesday morning, OSU announced it has agreed to a three-year extension for Ryan Day. The coach is now signed through the 2026 season.
It should be noted that the agreement is pending approval by the Ohio State University Board of Trustees.
According to the school, Day will make $5.375 million from Feb. 1, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021. Additionally, OSU will make an employer contribution of $1 million to his retirement continuation plan on Dec. 31, 2020. Day will then make $6.5 million in 2021 and $7.6 million in 2022.
“Increases to his compensation package after Feb. 1, 2023 will be determined by the director of athletics and approved by the Board of Trustees,” the school wrote.
In 2019, Day’s $4.5 million in guaranteed compensation was seventh in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally.
“Ryan Day’s management of this football program, from mentoring and leading our student-athletes in their academic pursuits and off-field endeavors to coaching them on the playing field, has been exceptional,” Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith said. “I am appreciative of his work. And I want to thank President Michael V. Drake for his leadership and the Board of Trustees for its work with this extension.”
In his first full season as the Ohio State football head coach, Day guided the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record. After winning the Big Ten title, Day became the first OSU coach in four decades to be named as the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Ohio State football also returned to the playoffs for the third time in six seasons.
Day is actually 16-1 as a head coach. With Urban Meyer suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, the Buckeyes went 3-0 with Day as the acting head coach.