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.

Jerry Kill joins Virginia Tech support staff

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Jerry Kill stepped down as Minnesota’s head coach in the middle of the 2015 season, but he’s remained active as ever in “retirement.”

He spent 2016 as an assistant AD at Kansas State, returned to coaching as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers in 2017, but, after the same epileptic seizures that chased him out of coaching followed him to Piscataway, Kill stepped down after just one season. He was quickly scooped up as the athletics director at Southern Illinois, but now Kill is returning again to coaching — sort of.

Virginia Tech on Monday announced Kill as the new assistant to the head coach for Justin Fuente. In this newly-created role, Kill will use his experience to assist Fuente with “a myriad of duties.”

“Jerry Kill will serve as a tremendous resource for our football program,” Fuente said. “Coach Kill possesses over three decades of expertise and will be great addition to our staff. In addition to over 20 years of experience as collegiate and high school head coach, he’s served as a coordinator on both sides of the ball. He can dissect the game from virtually every angle and will be able to provide his unique perspective on everything from recruiting, to personnel and facilities. ”

“While it was a difficult decision to leave so many wonderful friends and colleagues at Southern Illinois, I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Coach Fuente and his staff at Virginia Tech,” Kill said. “I’ve long appreciated and admired Justin as a coach and teacher of the game. I respect his penchant for identifying talent and helping young men reach their potential. He has assembled a fabulous coaching staff and roster of talented players at Virginia Tech. I can’t wait to help the Hokies in any way I can.”

Kill will join the Virginia Tech staff effective immediately. He went 152-99 as a head coach at five different schools from 1994-2015.

 

Pac-12 admits refs botched Arizona State-Michigan State ending

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No. 24 Arizona State beat Michigan State 10-7 on Saturday, a win that was preserved by a 12-men-on-the-field penalty that wiped away a game-tying field goal for the Spartans. Matt Coghlin‘s second attempt, this one from 47 yards, sailed wide right, allowing the Sun Devils to hold on for the win.

But it turns out there should have been a second penalty called.

The Pac-12 has announced its officials missed a penalty on Arizona State on Coghlin’s second, missed attempt.

“An Arizona State defensive player took a running start and leapt over the kicking team’s line in an attempt to block the kick. In the process, he leapt into the frame of the body of an opponent. The penalty would have been 15 yards from the previous spot and an automatic first down.

In this case, it would have been administered as half the distance to the goal and Michigan State would have been provided one untimed down.”

That penalty would have moved the Spartans up to the Arizona State 14-yard line, giving Coghlin a third attempt from just 31 yards out.

The Pac-12 provided no word on what, if any, internal accountability the officiating crew that missed such a crucial penalty will face.

 

Chip Kelly won’t make QB change despite UCLA offensive woes

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Chip Kelly revolutionized college football back when he was at Oregon, becoming so successful that not one but three NFL teams tried or succeeded in hiring him.

Kelly’s return to the sidelines in the college game however… could be going better. UCLA was blown out of the water on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl by No. 5 Oklahoma and the Bruins offense is actually among the worst in all of FBS.

They’re dead last in yards per play, second to last in total offense and No. 127 in scoring offense. Oh and sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is No. 99 nationally in passer rating.

Despite those numbers, it appears Kelly isn’t contemplating a new face behind center as the team moves into Pac-12 play.

“We didn’t,” Kelly said when asked by the LA Times whether he thought of making a change at quarterback on Saturday. “…we felt confident in Dorian.”

To be fair, Thompson-Robinson did seem a little improved against the Sooners than he did in his first two starts of 2019 against Cincinnati and San Diego State. But those numbers speak for themselves with road trips to Washington State and Arizona coming up for the 0-3 side from Westwood.

Pony Up! SMU off to best start since 1984 at 3-0

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TCU may have moved into the top 25 of the AP Poll this week after dispatching Purdue on Saturday but upcoming opponent SMU is off to an equally hot start coming into Week 4 after topping Texas State.

In fact, it’s a historic one down in Dallas.

As the school noted recently, the 3-0 start to the 2019 campaign is the Mustangs’ best since… 1984. That’s just after the Pony Express days on the Hilltop and right before the program got hammered by the NCAA for major violations.

Sonny Dykes’ tenure got off to a rough start after going 5-7 last season but the team looks much improved thanks in part to the play of Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele.

We’ll see if the two can keep things rolling against the rival Horned Frogs but the AAC might just have another intriguing team in the mix after such a hot start by SMU.