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No. 3 TCU survives a thriller in Lubbock, topping Texas Tech 55-52

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TCU is down seven starters from an already inexperienced defense. But the Frogs do have quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson. And for one wild afternoon-turned-night in Lubbock, that was enough. Boykin threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns and Doctson racked up 267 yards and three of those scores as the third-ranked Horned Frogs outlasted Texas Tech, 55-52.

Doctson tied a Big 12 single-game record with 18 catches but, typical of this game, it was the one he didn’t make that secured the win for TCU. Facing a do-or-die 4th-and-goal from the Texas Tech 4, Boykin’s pass deflected off Doctson’s hand and into the waiting arms of TCU running back Aaron Green, who found himself alone in the back of the end zone for just his third catch of the year and the biggest, by far, of TCU’s season.

The game saw nine lead changes, and it was the first that proved most crucial. With the game tied at 7-7 in the first quarter and Texas Tech at its own 20, a snap sailed past an unsuspecting Patrick Mahomes and into Texas Tech’s end zone, giving TCU an easy safety and a 9-7 lead. Those two points allowed TCU to go for two and take a 48-45 lead with 8:22 remaining. TCU converted even though Shaun Nixon‘s pass appeared to split Boykin’s arms and hit the turf but was ruled complete on the field; the call held up under review.

TCU led 33-28 at the half but Texas Tech claimed two fourth quarter leads, the first on a one-yard DeAndre Washington run that capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive, and the second on a 50-yard pass from Mahomes to Justin Stockton that gave Texas Tech a 52-48 lead with 5:55 remaining. The Red Raiders’ defense forced a three-and-out on TCU’s ensuing possession but, with a chance to put the game out of reach with a touchdown, Texas Tech answered with a three-and-out of its own. TCU scored the game’s winning touchdown on the next possession.

The teams combined for 1,357 yards of total offense and 69 first downs on 187 plays from scrimmage. TCU rushed 47 times for 247 yards and three touchdowns, led by Green’s 28 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Boykin added 42 yards on the ground while completing 34-of-54 throws for 485 yards and four scores.

Texas Tech, meanwhile, rushed for 215 yards and five scores on 39 carries. Washington, who extended his lead as the Big 12’s top rusher thus far, racked up 188 yards and four scores on 22 carries. Mahomes connected on 25-of-45 throws for 392 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 36 yards and a touchdowns while fighting through a bum knee. Jakeem Grant led the Raiders with eight grabs for 126 yards and a touchdown.

TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) returns home to face Texas next week, while Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) looks to pick up the pieces of its broken heart against, gulp, No. 5 Baylor next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Liberty the new home for Georgia Tech transfer kicker Brenton King

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The ever-evolving kicking position for Liberty football has taken another turn.

Back in March, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins revealed that Brenton King had decided to go pro in something other than sports.  Earlier this month, though, it was confirmed that the placekicker had since placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.

On Twitter this week, King announced that he has committed to Liberty football.

“Excited for this new chapter in my life,” the kicker wrote. “Can’t wait to be back on the field. Thank you [special teams coordinator Tanner Burns] for believing in me and giving me a chance to play the sport I love still.

“Go Flames!”

Coming out of high school in Georgia, King was a two-star member of the Georgia Tech football Class of 2017. As a true freshman, he split time as the primary placekicker for the Yellow Jackets.  King was Tech’s primary kicker this past season.  In between, he kicked in four games but was able to take a redshirt for 2018.

During his three seasons, King connected on 42-of-46 point-afters.  However, he was successful on just nine of his 17 field-goal attempts.

King left Georgia Tech as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility.  That, of course, means he can immediately play this season as well as next.

The football independent will be looking to replace its full-time kicker from a year ago, Alex Probert.  In February of this year, Probert transferred to Iowa State.

Liberty became a provisional Football Bowl Subdivision member in 2018.  In its initial season as a full FBS member last year, the Flames qualified for their first-ever bowl game.  And won it.

Syracuse makes addition of starting FCS defensive lineman official

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Syracuse football has officially bolstered its defensive line with a lower-level addition.

Earlier this month, Cody Roscoe announced on Twitter that he will be transferring into Dino Babers‘ Syracuse football program.  This week, the Orange confirmed the defensive lineman has signed with the program.  The defensive lineman is coming to the ACC school from McNeese State.

Because he comes in from an FCS program, Roscoe will be eligible to play immediately in 2020.  According to a release, Roscoe is already enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Roscoe was a two-year starter for the Cowboys.  He totaled 19 tackles for loss and 13½ sacks in that action.  The lineman had 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks this postseason, with both totals good for second on the team.

The FCS player is one of the few additions for a Syracuse football program that has lost its share to the portal this offseason.  Since mid-March, the Orange has seen four of their players leave for the NCAA transfer database.

Wallace, incidentally, has since moved on to Kent State.

Syracuse is set to open the 2020 college football season at Boston College Sept. 4.

Jimbo Fisher issues statement after he, Texas A&M slapped by NCAA over minor violations

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As required by The Association, the Texas A&M head football coach has issued a public mea culpa.

Thursday afternoon, the NCAA announced it had sanctioned the Texas A&M football program and Jimbo Fisher over a pair of minor violations committed between January 2018 and February 2019.  Among other penalties, the Aggies were placed on probation for a year.  Fisher, meanwhile, was given a six-month show-cause.

As part of Fisher’s punishment, the coach was required to issue a public statement addressing the NCAA violations.  A short time ago, Fisher did just that.

As Texas A&M’s Head Football Coach, I am responsible for promoting and monitoring for NCAA compliance in our program. While I am disappointed in the violations, including an unintended one that resulted from a conversation with a high school athlete, it is still my responsibility to ensure we are adhering to each and every rule.  I am pleased to have this matter completely behind our program and look forward to continuing our efforts to make every aspect of our program one all Aggies can continue to be proud of.

According to the Committee on Infractions, Fisher “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation.” Fisher was also accused of failing to monitor his coaching staff, which led to the allowable-hours violation.  That resulted in the NCAA issuing its show-cause order.  Fisher had previously served a nine-day ban on phone calls/emails/texts with recruits in January of this year as well as a reduction in off-campus recruiting from December 2019-January 2020.  Fisher will also be banned from all off-campus recruiting activities throughout the fall contact period.

“Since I arrived at Texas A&M, I have seen up close and personal Coach Fisher’s commitment to integrity and following the rules,” Ross Bjork, hired as athletic director in May of 2019, said in his statement. “I appreciate his response, including actions taken during the process itself. As a result, the program moves forward and remains on track in both our short- and long-term quest for excellence.  This will have no impact on our current student-athletes, the 2020 post-season, or our pursuit of championship success on and off the field.”

Texas A&M gets one-year probation, Jimbo Fisher six-month show-cause for two minor NCAA violations

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Texas A&M football has been slapped lightly by The Association.  Very, very lightly.

In releasing the results of the Committee on Infractions findings Thursday, the NCAA announced that “[t]he Texas A&M football program violated… recruiting and countable athletically related activity rules between January 2018 and February 2019.” The two violations “uncovered” by the NCAA?

The university, head coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the head coach and an assistant coach had impermissible recruiting contact with a prospect at his high school. The conversation was impermissible because it occurred before the completion of the prospect’s junior year in high school.

Regarding the countable athletically related activity violations, during permissible weeks of spring and summer activity, the football program unintentionally caused student-athletes to exceed activity time limits by approximately seven hours.

According to the committee, head coach Jimbo Fisher “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation.” Fisher was also accused of failing to monitor his coaching staff, which led to the allowable-hours violation.  As a result, Fisher was slapped with a six-month show-cause order by the NCAA.  Fisher had previously served a nine-day ban on phone calls/emails/texts with recruits in January of this year as well as a reduction in off-campus recruiting from December 2019-January 2020.  Fisher will also be banned from all off-campus recruiting activities throughout the fall contact period.

As part of the show-cause, Fisher is also required to issue a public statement addressing the NCAA violations.

Other penalties incurred by the Texas A&M football program include:

  • One year of probation.
  • A fine of $5,000.
  • A reduction in football official visits by 17 days during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • An off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff for November 2019, which reduced the permissible evaluation days for the 2019-20 academic year by 19.
  • A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 spring off-campus recruiting period and a 10-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 fall off-campus recruiting period.
  • The university ended its recruitment of the prospect.
  • A ban on recruiting any prospects from the prospect’s high school for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-222 academic years.
  • A six-month show-cause order for the assistant coach. The terms of the show-cause order include a previously served nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January 2020; a reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by three for the December 2019 through January 2020 contact period; a ban on all off-campus recruiting activities for the fall 2020 contact period; and additional one-on-one rules education.