Fournette’s 2015 Heisman campaign deflated by Irish last-second FG for Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl win

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Notre Dame (8-5) celebrated a 31-28 victory over LSU (8-5) after kicker Kyle Brindza sent a game-winning, 32-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired Tuesday in the Franklin American Mortage Music City Bowl. Notre Dame had to battle to score the victory.

The second half got off to a fast start for the LSU Tigers. John Diarse caught a pass over the middle of the field after Notre Dame’s secondary got sucked in for what they thought would be a run by quarterback Anthony Jennings. Diarse ran down field for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half, which also tied the game at 21-21 after the Tigers were the victim of a controversial ending to the first half prevented LSU from scoring a touchdown.

Later in the third quarter, LSU’s star running back Leonard Fournette once again broke off a big play. This time the big play came courtesy of an 89-yard run, on the first play from scrimmage after Notre Dame punted away to the Tigers and downed the football at the 11-yard line. It took just 12 seconds for the long touchdown run. every time Fournette touched the football, something explosive was probable to happen. the freshman running back carried the football 11 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns, and he added a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half.

This time, LSU took its first lead of the game with the score, but Notre Dame responded four plays later. C.J. Prosise broke off a 50-yard touchdown run and reached for the end zone down the right sideline to put the Irish on the board, tying the game at 28-28 with a little more than four minutes to play in the third quarter.

Heading into the 2015 season, LSU’s Fournette will very likely be one of the preseason Heisman Trophy hopefuls. He struck the Heisman pose early in the 2014 season, but next season he will be a legitimate Heisman contender, and he will carry the load for the Tigers after setting the freshman rushing record at the school.

Notre Dame’s offense should also be ready to grow with Malik Zaire under center. The sophomore will be a junior and will be the likely starting quarterback for the Irish. As long as he protects the football and avoids making poor decisions, as he showed in the Music City Bowl, then the Irish should have a decent offense ready to go. But will Brian Kelly be around?

The coaching carousel may have come to a stop at the college level, but with the NFL carousel just getting started there will likely be a rumor or two connecting Kelly to a possible NFL gig. As long as Kelly sticks in South Bend, a very realistic scenario, then the Irish will prepare for a challenging schedule that includes home games against Texas, USC, Georgia Tech and road games at Stanford and a neutral site game against Boston College.

This was the second straight bowl victory for Notre Dame, and the first loss suffered by the SEC in bowl play this year. LSU has now lost three of its last four bowl games. Notre Dame head coach Kelly is now 5-3 in bowl games, and 3-2 in bowl games at Notre Dame.

Scott Frost says RB Maurice Washington not part of Nebraska’s plans ‘in the immediate future’

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Maurice Washington played in Nebraska’s most recent game, a 34-7 loss to No. 12 Minnesota on Oct. 12, toting the ball six times for 20 yards in the setback.

However, the running back has not practiced with the team since that game and is apart from the team indefinitely, Scott Frost revealed Monday.

What’s notable here is Frost said Washington’s absence is not related to the running back’s pending court date in California, where he is accused of violating the state’s revenge-porn laws. As our own John Taylor summarized the issue just a few short days ago:

It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which allegedly shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.

Washington is facing a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.

If facing a felony count of disseminating a sexually explicit video involving a 15-year-old girl doesn’t qualify as “non-negotiable,” one has to wonder what exactly Washington did to get himself removed from Nebraska’s team this time around. One would have to assume it’s something serious; otherwise, why would Nebraska go through the trouble to keep a player, only to give him a soft boot for, say, sleeping through a workout?

As it stands, the sophomore from Stockton, Calif., ranks second among Husker running backs with 50 carries for 298 yards and one touchdown. Time will tell if that number changes over the remainder of the season.

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.