Nebraska once again snakebitten as Wisconsin hits late game winning FG

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College football can so often write a redemption story like no other. Late in the game in Lincoln, with Wisconsin staring down a possible 0-2 start in Big Ten play, Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone saw a potential go-ahead field goal attempt bounce right off the right upright to keep the Badgers down by one. Just minutes later, Gaglianone got another chance, from a farther distance, and he cashed in. The game-winning field goal gave Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) a thrilling 23-20 victory while Nebraska (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten) slumped to another late game loss.

Nebraska held a halftime lead of 14-7 on Wisconsin, but the Badgers took control in the second quarter with three straight scores. Gaglianone hit a 45-yard field goal late in the third quarter and a 42-yard field goal in the fourth to give Wisconsin a six-point lead, 20-14. The Badgers touchdown was scored by Alec Ingold from one yard out to give Wisconsin its second lead of the game (Wisconsin led 7-0 in the first quarter).

Down by one score with just under half the fourth quarter to play, Nebraska got to work with Tommy Armstrong leading the way. After two incomplete passes from Armstrong and a holding penalty to put Nebraska in a 3rd and 15, Armstrong created his own running room and just reached the first down marker before running out of play for a 16-yard gain.Two plays later saw Nebraska once again in a critical third down situation, this one much shorter with just one yard to go. The call was to keep the ball in the hands of sturdy fullback Andy Janovich. He picked up the first down but broke the tackle to keep running for what was nearly the game-winning score.

Wisconsin did get a chance to retake the lead, but a 39-yard field goal bounced off the right upright to preserve Nebraska’s lead. The Badgers also came up with a defensive stop on Nebraska’s ensuing possession to force Nebraska to punt back to the Wisconsin offense. This time Wisconsin would cash in. Gaglianone was given a chance to kick a 46-yard field goal for the win, and he nailed it.

Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 21.

With the win, Wisconsin remains in the Big Ten West race early on in the Big Ten schedule, but they continue to chase Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated Wisconsin last week to take a head-to-head tiebreaker. Northwestern also went down in flames today, which was good news for Wisconsin. The Badgers should have a good chance to pick up another win next week at home against Purdue, and games against Illinois, Rutgers and Maryland will follow before hosting Northwestern in November.

Nebraska has now lost three games in dramatic fashion. First there was BYU’s Hail Mary. Then there was the comeback that fell flat in overtime at Miami. That was followed up by a clock management loss at Illinois. Now Nebraska has gone down to a late field goal. How will Nebraska lose next week (at Minnesota)? We’ll just have to tune in and find out.

Alabama: Tua Tagovailoa to undergo hip surgery Monday in Houston

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There’s some additional clarity to what was the biggest college football storyline in Week 12 — or the entire 2019 season, for that matter.

After hours and hours worth of ofttimes ominous speculation, Alabama announced Saturday night that Tua Tagovailoa had been diagnosed with a dislocated right hip, an injury suffered in the first half of its rout of Mississippi State, and would miss the remainder of the 2019 season. At the time, the school stated that Tagovailoa “is undergoing further testing to determine the best course of treatment.”

Sunday night, the football program confirmed in a statement attributed to Dr. Lyle Cain, the team’s orthopedic surgeon, that the junior quarterback will undergo surgery on his injured hip in Houston Monday.

For the past 24 hours our medical team has consulted with multiple orthopedic experts across the country, who specialize in hip injuries and surgeries. Based on that research, Tua is being flown to Houston tonight to be evaluated and is scheduled to have hip surgery Monday. As previously stated, we anticipate a full recovery. The main focus has been, and will remain, on Tua, his family, and making sure we are providing them the best medical care possible.

It’s long been expected that Tagovailoa would forego his remaining year of collegiate eligibility and make himself available for the 2020 NFL Draft. At this point, it’s unclear how the injury will impact Tagovailoa’s decision.

Ed Orgeron did not stick to sports in Louisiana governor race

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There were two major events on Saturday in the state of Louisiana: LSU’s closer than expected win at Ole Miss and the hotly contested gubernatorial race that saw incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards win reelection.

And yes, those events are in order of importance to most.

It seems there’s quite the sports angle to the latter too and it not surprisingly involves the former. You can start on Wednesday where Edwards, calling himself ‘John B.’ from Amite, called into Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron’s weekly radio show ahead of the polls opening over the weekend.

“It is an easier state to govern when the Saints and LSU are winning,” Edwards also told the New York Times. “People are just in a better mood.”

While we will leave the political analysis of Edwards’ victory to others, it’s worth noting that the result was also a personal win for Orgeron, who endorsed the Democrat back in the spring and has enjoyed a good relationship with those in and around the statehouse ever since taking over the program as head coach.  It is pretty rare for a head coach to ever wander into political waters nowadays (especially in a non-presidential election cycle) it seems that’s not the case for the Louisiana-loving Cajun in charge of No. 1 LSU.

Also a quick kudos to the governor himself, who said earlier in the week on Orgeron’s radio show that the Tigers shouldn’t overlook the Rebels in Oxford. Given the fight that Matt Luke’s team put up, that was certainly spot on in big sandwich game after beating Alabama and taking on Texas A&M.

45,161 fans see Ithaca beat SUNY Cortland to set D3 attendance record at MetLife Stadium

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MetLife Stadium has been home to some awful NFL football this season but this past Saturday fans in the Tri-State region were at least treated to a far more interesting product on the field..

As we noted back in early October, this year’s Battle for the Cortaga Jug was going to be extra special because it was going to take place in the Meadowlands as Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland attempted to set a new Division III record for attendance. According to the Ithaca Journal, the pair did just that with 45,161 fans showed up to the game as the Bombers (that’s Ithaca) won their third straight Jug, 32-20.

“The electricity was unreal,” Cortland senior running back Zach Tripodi told the paper, “… When I scored, I don’t think I’ve ever felt something like that. You really felt the crowd.”

The final tally broke the previous D3 mark of 37,355 (from a 2017 matchup between St. Thomas and St. John’s at Minneapolis’ Target Field) by a considerable margin.

For what it’s worth, the D3 game at MetLife also had a bigger crowd than the ones that watched some of the FBS programs in New York, including the 16,286 down in Durham, N.C. that saw Syracuse thump Duke, the 8,450 that saw Buffalo lose at Kent State or the 25,747 in West Point that saw Army beat Virginia Military Institute.

Good football, it seems, is hard to come by in the Empire State but fans will come out for quality play no matter what level.

Louisville AD dons a bird mask, breaks out Pappy van Winkle to celebrate bowl berth

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For some teams, reaching a bowl game — even those obscure dot com-sponsored ones — is quite meaningful. Such is the case at Louisville as they have embarked on one of the better turnarounds in the country this season under new head coach Scott Satterfield. 

Following up a 2-10 disaster at the hands of Bobby Petrino last year, the new staff has revitalized the program and secured bowl eligibility on Saturday by beating N.C. State 34-20. That’s a cause worth celebrating around the city and Cardinals AD Vince Tyra certainly did not short himself on that front after the sixth victory of 2019 by donning a rather comical mask in the locker room and breaking out some very expensive whiskey to share with the head coach.

Tyra and Satterfield may indeed be the only ones to drink Pappy out of a Gatorade cup but it probably tasted even sweeter than it normally does given the accomplishment it’s celebrating. While some fans may scoff at reaching six wins in a season, the jubilation in Louisville is a good reminder that benchmarks like that have plenty of meaning for programs who sat at home in disarray last year.