No. 2 Baylor continues to roll as QB Russell scores 6 TDs

2 Comments

Can we just fast forward to the end of the season when Baylor and TCU square off? No. 2 Baylor (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) once again left no doubt who the better team on the field was Saturday afternoon, jumping on West Virginia (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) early and pulling away in the second half of a 62-38 victory. West Virginia dropped to 0-3 in Big 12 play as a result.

Baylor quarterback Seth Russell passed for 380 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for a game-high 160 yards and a touchdown in the win. When Russell was throwing, he was doing so primarily to Corey Coleman, who made some school history in the process. Coleman put together 199 receiving yards and three touchdowns to tie and then set the school record for the most touchdown receptions in a single season. His first touchdown of the day tied the previous record of 14 touchdowns in a season that was set by Kendall Wright in 2011. Coleman’s second touchdown set the new record at 15, and the third pushed that record to 16. Just remember that Baylor still has six games to play this season, not counting any potential postseason games. Coleman could end the year with 30 touchdowns.

Art Briles has done well in putting together an offensive system capable of rewriting the record books on any given week, and he should be credited for that. Through six games it may be fair to argue Baylor is one of the top teams in the country, although it is also fair to point out Baylor has yet to truly be challenged and they have yet to show what they can do in a true moment of adversity. That’s not Baylor’s fault, for the most part. The Bears just go out and play whoever lines up against them, and they take care of business each and every time.

Next up for Baylor is Iowa State, who have the misfortune of playing TCU this week before making the trip to Waco next week. Baylor is set to play TCU in Fort Worth on November 27, and will end the season at home against the Texas Longhorns. As far as the Big 12 is concerned, it all seems to be coming down to that November 27 matchup at TCU. As long as Baylor and TCU continue to win games, there could very well be a playoff spot on the line as well. If that’s the case, the Big 12 will not be shut out of the biggest postseason party this year.

West Virginia is now skating on thin ice when it comes to the postseason possibilities. After starting the year 3-0, West Virginia has dropped three straight conference games and must still win three to become bowl eligible. The good news is West Virginia’s schedule becomes much more manageable after playing TCU in two weeks on a Thursday night. Regardless, the pressure is pretty much on now for Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers.

WR Weston Bridges is fourth Michigan State player to enter portal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the offseason, Weston Bridges changed positions.  Midway through the 2019 season, it appears Bridges is now set to change schools.

On his personal Twitter account Monday afternoon, Bridges indicated that he has decided to take his leave of Michigan State and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere.  It has subsequently been confirmed that the wide receiver is headed into the NCAA transfer database.

A three-star member of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class, Bridges was rated as the No. 31 running back in the country and the No. 24 player at any position in the state of Ohio.  During the spring this year, Bridges moved from running back to receiver.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Bridges carried the ball 16 times for 53 yards last season.  He was suspended for a late-September game because of unspecified violations of team rules.

Bridges is the fourth MSU football player to enter the portal since the 2019 season kicked off, joining linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle (HERE) as well as a pair of running backs in Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE).

Louisville’s season-opening QB starter to undergo year-ending surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jawon Pass began the 2019 season as Louisville’s starter under center.  After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, the redshirt junior will end it on the sidelines.

Pass suffered what turned out to be diagnosed as a case of turf toe in the season-opening loss to Notre Dame.  It wasn’t severe enough, however, to keep the starting quarterback out of the Week 2 win over Eastern Kentucky.

The past four games, though, Pass has been sidelined because of the injury.  Tuesday, it was confirmed by the football program that, as some have speculated, Pass will undergo surgery and, as a result, miss the remainder of the 2019 season.

With Pass sidelined, Malik Cunningham had started all four games in his place.  The redshirt sophomore, though, has been dealing with his own injuries, including a knee issue, that at least temporarily knocked him out of a pair of games.

True freshman Evan Conley replaced Cunningham both times, and was even named as the ACC’s Quarterback and Rookie of the Week for his performance in the upset of Wake Forest this past weekend.

For the season, Cunningham has completed 44-of-66 passes (66.7 percent) for 820 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception.  Conley is at a 64.9 completion percentage on his 37 attempts, throwing for 422 yards, four touchdowns and a pick.  Cunningham is the Cardinals third-leading rusher with 226 yards, while Conley is fifth with 84.

As of today, head coach Scott Satterfield has not named a starter for this weekend’s game against No. 3 Clemson.

USC’s leading rusher set for knee surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Vavae Malepeai tolerated the pain as long as he could, until he couldn’t.

A knee injury sidelined Malepeai for most of USC’s summer camp.  Even as he had played — and played well — in all six games, the issue lingered on into the regular season; this weekend, the pause button was hit on Malepeai’s year as Clay Helton confirmed that the running back will undergo surgery to repair the damage to his knee.

No timetable for a return was given.

“Vavae is a warrior,” the head coach said according to the Los Angeles Times. “[He was] dealing with a sore knee and really fighting through it for his team. It’s just gotten to the point where it’s gotten too sore, so we’re going to go ahead and take care of it now.”

Malepeai’s 406 yards rushing and four touchdowns currently lead the Trojans.

With Malepeai out for the foreseeable future, Markese Stepp and Stephen Carr will see their opportunities in the running game increase.  Stepp is second on the team with 241 yards rushing, Carr third at 233.  Both players have a pair of touchdowns each on the ground.

Mike Leach banned Wazzu players from social media

Getty Images
2 Comments

With this development, just how Washington’s State’s “fat, dumb, happy and entitled” football players will communicate with their “fat little girlfriends” is the great unknown.

After starting the 2019 season 3-0, dropped two straight games heading into the bye — the first an embarrassing collapse against UCLA and then a 25-point beating on the road against then-No. 19 Utah.  Following the loss to the Utes, Tracy Claeys stepped down as Wazzu’s defensive coordinator.

Leading into this past weekend’s game against Arizona State, the Pac-12 Network confirmed, Mike Leach banned his players from using social media late last month because of the distractions such activities bring.

“I think we entertain too many distractions,” the head coach explained to the network, by way of the Yakima Herald, “and if I had it to do over again, I would’ve done it when we started camp. But no, I think we entertain too many distractions. I think we’re a little too distracted right now, but I think there is a team-wide determination to be less distracted.”

The social media ban wasn’t an immediate elixir for what ails Wazzu, however, as they fell to No. 18 Arizona State 38-34 in Week 7.  The Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held leads of 31-24 (early in the fourth quarter) and 34-31 (late in the fourth quarter) before allowing the game-winning touchdown with less than 40 seconds left on the clock.

With the loss, Wazzu now sits at 0-3 in Pac-12 play.