Pair of pick sixes helps Herd thunder past Purdue

1 Comment

Say this for Austin Appleby: outside those times he was intercepted, the Purdue quarterback played a pretty good game. Problem is, he was intercepted four times and two of them went back for touchdowns, providing the margin necessary for Marshall to register a come-from-behind 41-31 victory on Sunday afternoon.

After accepting the opening kickoff, Purdue’s very first snap from scrimmage was an Appleby pass immediately snared by Tiquan Lang and returned 30 yards for a touchdown. Appleby settled down from there – for the most part – over the course of the first half, tossing a nine-yard touchdown to Danny Anthrop (while in the process of stiff-arming a Marshall defender) and plunging in for a one-yard score, allowing the Boilermakers to take a 21-17 lead to the locker room.

Marshall’s Michael Birdsong put the Herd back on top to open the second half, firing a one-yard scoring strike to Ryan Yuracheck as the punctuator to a nine-play, 71-yard drive. Purdue regained the lead midway through the third on a 36-yard Markell Jones jaunt and held that edge until the game’s final three minutes. Trailing 31-27, Birdsong led Marshall on an efficient 11-play, 84-yard march, handling most of the drive himself before handing to Devon Johnson for a twisting six-yard score to give Marshall a 34-31 edge with 2:50 to go.

On the ensuing drive, Appleby led Purdue to its own 40 before a downfield toss was intercepted by Lang, again, who raced the rock 55 yards for the clinching score with 1:20 remaining. Appleby was intercepted again for good measure just five plays later, ending any delusion of a comeback with 27 ticks remaining.

For the day, Appleby was 31-of-48 for 270 yards (plus 12 rushing) for those two touchdowns to go with his four interceptions. The Boilermakers moved the ball more effectively than Marshall, edging the Thundering Herd on the ground (D.J. Knox and Jones combined for 174 yards and two scores on 34 attempts) and through the air while maintaing a 28-20 edge in first downs and a 10-4 advantage in third down conversions. The Purdue defense even forced three turnovers of its own. But it’s hard to win, especially on the road, while handing the opponent 17 points in the forms of two pick sixes and a missed field goal.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

For Doc Holliday and company, Sunday’s win was a grand way to begin the post-Rakeem Cato era. Birdsong connected on 23-of-36 throws for 234 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Johnson added 11 carries for 89 yards and a score. Before a sellout crowd of 38,000-plus, the Herd recorded their 20th win in 22 tries dating back to November of 2013 – and first ever over a Big Ten opponent.

The loss sends Purdue careening on an opposite trajectory. The program has now lost 21 of 25 games under head coach Darrell Hazell. Sunday’s loss was also Purdue’s sixth straight road non-conference setback, a streak dating back to 2007.

WATCH: Colorado mascot Chip takes groin shot from t-shirt gun

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Yep, if you saw “Colorado mascot Chip takes groin shot from t-shirt gun,” you absolutely read it correctly.

Ralphie is Colorado’s much-beloved live animal mascot.  Chip, on the other hand, is Colorado’s equally beloved costumed human mascot.  And it was the latter who, during this past weekend’s win over FCS New Hampshire, took a direct hit very near no man’s land when a t-shirt gun he was operating somehow malfunctioned and backfired.

Not surprisingly after that turn of events, Chip was carted off the field for further examination, but not before giving a thumbs-up to the crowd on his way out of the stadium.

The good news is that, one, Chip is good to go and, two, Colorado is on a bye this weekend anyway, so any lingering aftereffects of the shot to the beanbag brothers should subside by game-time.

Adrian Martinez ‘looks better and better every day’ for Nebraska vs. Michigan

Getty Images
1 Comment

As Nebraska looks to reverse its worst start to a season in over six decades, they appear likely to have the triggerman of their offense back under center in the Big House this weekend.  Possibly.

Adrian Martinez suffered a mildly controversial leg injury in their season-opening loss to Colorado and didn’t play in last weekend’s humbling loss to Troy.  With a trip to Ann Arbor to face No. 19 Michigan on tap this Saturday, Martinez had been deemed a game-time decision earlier this week, although it appears more and more likely as kickoff gets closer that the true freshman quarterback will take the field for the Cornhuskers against the Wolverines.

Maybe.

“He’s making progress,” offensive coordinator Troy Walters said Wednesday by way of Rivals.com. “He looks better and better every day, so we’ll see come Saturday what his status is, how he’s feeling. We’re going to make the best decision with the team in mind and our future in mind, so we’ll see where that goes. But he’s making progress each day…

“We want to make sure he’s healthy. We want to make sure he’s close to 100 percent. We’re going up against a good defense. They fly around and they’re physical, so we’re not going to put him in any harm or any danger. He’s got be able to make all the throws and make all the runs and things of that nature, so we’ll take our time and make sure that he’s healthy and he gives us the best chance to win.”

Prior to being injured against the Buffaloes, and in his first career start at the collegiate level, Martinez connected on 15-of-20 passes for 187 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing 15 times for a game-high 117 yards and two more touchdowns.  His replacement, walk-on Andrew Bunch, threw a pair of interceptions in his first career start in the 24-19 home loss to Troy the following week.

Martinez is the only scholarship quarterback currently on NU’s roster available to play this season.

FCS was landing spot for Michigan State transfer Darien Tipps-Clemons

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Unbeknownst to many, one of the handful of Michigan State transfers this past offseason had already quietly found a home.

As noted by mlive.com, Darien Tipps-Clemons is now playing his collegiate football for Eastern Kentucky. As the Colonels play at the FCS level, the linebacker was eligible to play immediately this season.

Tipps-Clemons has played in all three games in 2018 for the Colonels, and has been credited, per the team’s official website, with three tackles, one quarterback hit and one blocked kick.

In late February of this year, Tipps-Clemons announced via Twitter that he had decided to transfer from Michigan State.

A three-star member of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class, Tipps-Clemons was rated as the No. 45 player at any position in the state of Ohio. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Including this season, Tipps-Clemons will have three years of eligibility he can use.

TE Jalen Harris to leave Auburn as graduate transfer, will use new rule to redshirt this season after playing

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Auburn tight end Jalen Harris is going from catching passes for the Tigers one week to transferring the next.

In a tweet he posted on Wednesday afternoon, the senior announced he was leaving the team as a graduate transfer but would remain on the Plains this semester as he finished classes.

Harris, who is from down the road in Montgomery, has played on special teams for the Tigers but hasn’t been too involved in the offense in his natural position. He has caught just four passes in three seasons at Auburn, including one in last year’s Iron Bowl against rival Alabama and a 12 yard reception this past week in a loss to LSU.

Far more notable for Harris’ career on the field is this move off it. He’s one of the first players to publicly take full advantage of the new redshirt rule (which allows a player to maintain a year of eligibility while playing in up to four games) and will also wind up leaving the team mid-year to be a graduate transfer as well.

The 6-4, 250 pound Harris was considered by 247Sports as a three-star prospect coming out of high school with offers from a number of SEC programs and others like Nebraska, Louisville and Miami as well.