Associated Press

No. 6 LSU tops No. 8 Florida, becomes SEC’s lone unbeaten


Even when he has big play offensive talent like Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre in his employ, you just know, in a big night game on his personal buffet line known as Tiger Stadium, Les Miles was going to pull it out with a trick play. With the game knotted at 28-28 and 10:40 showing on the clock, LSU lined up for what appeared to be a 30-yard field goal on a 4th-and-13. But instead of placing the pigskin on its end, holder Brad Kragthorpe cocked and fired to kicker Trent Domingue, who bobbled and eventually caught the ball, then outran the Florida defense for what proved to be a game-winning 16-yard touchdown run, pushing No. 6 LSU past No. 8 Florida, 35-28 Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

The win pushed LSU to 7-0 (4-0 SEC) on the season, and, coupled with Texas A&M’s loss to Alabama earlier in the day, left the Bayou Bengals standing as the SEC’s final undefeated team.

Domingue’s touchdown was LSU’s only points of the second half, fending off a rally that saw Florida fight back from a 28-14 halftime deficit and nearly tie the game again at 35-35.

LSU earned that halftime edge through big plays on the ground from Fournette and multiple connections from Brandon Harris to Dupree. Fournette carried 15 times for 100 yards and touchdowns from six and two yards out, and Harris found Dupree four times for 115 yards and two scores, including a 50-yarder with just 15 seconds left before the half.

Florida battled back with a two-yard Kelvin Taylor plunge, capping a 10-play, 66-yard drive that consumed more than five minutes, and a 72-yard punt return by Antonio Calloway with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Florida opened the scoring on a four-yard pass from Treon Harris, earning his first of many starts in place of suspended signal caller Will Grier, to tight end Jake McGee on fourth-and-goal from the four at the 10:13 mark of the third quarter. Harris also hit McGee for a 19-yard score to pull the Gators within 21-14 with 1:35 left in the first half.

Florida had an opportunity to tie the game with seven minutes remaining as Harris initially nailed Calloway with what appeared to be a 35-yard touchdown pass, but Calloway was unable to hang on after a hit from an LSU defender. That dropped proved to be Florida’s final chance.

For the game, Harris completed 17-of-32 throws for 271 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions while also adding 20 rushing yards.

Fournette continued his Heisman campaign by piling up 180 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries to go with one reception for 15 yards. Brandon Harris played perhaps his best game of the year in completing 13-of-19 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions

LSU out-rushed Florida 221-55 on the night, pushing Miles’s mark to 61-0 at LSU while rushing for at least 100 yards while holding his opponent below the century mark.

LSU hosts Western Kentucky next week and then takes the following weekend off before an all-important trip to Alabama on Nov. 7. Florida, meanwhile, still controls its own destiny in the SEC East, and will take next week off before a trip to Jacksonville to face Georgia on Oct. 31. A win there all but wraps up a trip to Atlanta for Jim McElwain‘s Gators where, perhaps, they’ll get another shot at these Tigers.

Bret Bielema reportedly interviewing for Colorado job

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Bret Bielema is interviewing for the Colorado head coaching position, according to reports Monday from NFL Network and ESPN.

Bielema tried to get in on the Michigan State job that, obviously, went to Mel Tucker, so now he’s in the running for the job Tucker left.

The former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach joined Bill Belichick‘s witness protection program after his 2017 Arkansas firing, working for a year as “consultant to the head coach” in New England. He was promoted to defensive line coach and reportedly told friends he was in the running to become the defensive coordinator after Greg Schiano stepped down, but Belichick wound up giving that job to himself.

He wound up following Joe Judge from Foxboro to the New York Giants, but now has apparently decided he’d rather be back in college than work as a position coach at the NFL level.

Bielema went 68-24 at Wisconsin before his 29-34 flameout at Arkansas. His teams famously stuck to a ground-and-pound philosophy that worked like peanut butter and jelly in Madison but peanut butter and salsa in Fayetteville. So, should Colorado be as interested in Bielema as he apparently is in them, his offensive philosophy would figure to be question one in the interview.

Mel Tucker reels in 3-star RB who delayed signing after Dantonio retirement

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Mel Tucker secured his first signee over the weekend, which is impressive since he didn’t take the job until after the 2020 signing periods.

Jordon Simmons, a 3-star running back from Powder Springs, Ga., committed to Michigan State back in October but did not sign in the early period or the late period.

After Mark Dantonio‘s retirement the night before the February signing period, Simmons announced he would not sign with the Spartans the following day.

“Due to the unforeseen retirement of Coach Dantonio and after discussing things with my family, I have decided to delay my signing with Michigan State University until further notice,” he tweeted the night of Dantonio’s announcement. “I love everything that Michigan State has to offer and I appreciate the love and support that the fan base has shown me. However, with the uncertainty of the MSU program I have decided to take some time to weight out my options and think about where I will spend the next 4 years.”

After taking a couple weeks to consider his options and get to know his new head coach, Simmons inked with the Spartans once and for all.

The Simmons saga shows that, should players obtain a free release to play elsewhere if their head coach leaves in between the time they sign scholarship papers and their freshman seasons, most of those players would still wind up at their original school simply because they’d be out of options elsewhere.

Central Michigan CB Kyron McKinnie-Harper facing multiple charges, including pair of felonies

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Central Michigan football is the latest FBS program to face an off-field issue invoicing one of its players.

Friday, Jim McElwain announced that Kyron McKinnie-Harper had been indefinitely suspended from the Central Michigan football team for violating unspecified team rules. The school’s student newspaper subsequently reported that a warrant was issued for McKinnie-Harper’s arrest Feb. 13.

Per court records, McKinnie-Harper is facing one count of using a computer to commit a crime, one count of unauthorized computer access, one count of computer fraud and three counts of larceny by conversion. One of the larceny counts and the computer access charge are felonies. The others are misdemeanors.

“According to court records, police are looking at his Oct. 27 online activities,,” the paper wrote. No further details of what led to the charges has been detailed.

As for what type of prison time the cornerback could be facing if convicted? From the report:

McKinnie-Harper is charged with one felony larceny count of more than $1,000, less than $20,000. Conviction could result in 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. He also faces two misdemeanor larceny counts of $200, less than $1,000. A conviction is punishable by 1 year in jail and/or fines of up to $2,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. Using a computer to commit a crime is a felony that could result in 4-to-10 years in prison.

As a true freshman, McKinnie-Harper emerged as a starting corner the last half of the 2019 season. An unspecified injury kept the defensive back out of the bowl game in which Central Michigan football played following the 2019 campaign.

“The coach would not elaborate on the injury and McKinnie-Harper did not travel with the team, though other injured teammates did go to Albuquerque,” wrote.

In his first season with Central Michigan football, McKinnie-Harper led the Chips in passes defensed with 10 and forced fumbles with two.

Nebraska WR Darien Chase cites struggles with mental health, depression in entering transfer portal

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Nebraska football added five wide receivers as part of its 2020 recruiting class. Not surprisingly, that group has seen a potential shakeup.

Utilizing his personal Twitter account, Darien Chase has taken the first step in leaving Nebraska football by announcing his entry into the NCAA transfer database. In the post, Chase revealed that he has “struggled with mental health and depression” for years and needs to transfer in order to be closer to family as he deals with his issues.

“I’ve lost a lot of family members and I have struggled with mental health and depression for the past 6 or 7 years and these events put me in a place I can never fall to again, and it is the best decision for me and my family for me to transfer closer to home,” the receiver wrote. “This decision has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make because it has nothing to do with the program or football, and there is truly no place like Nebraska, and I’ll always love GBR and all the love I’ve gotten just in the past year.”

Chase was a three-star 2019 signee. He was the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Washington.

Prior to committing to, then signing with Nebraska football, Chase had received scholarship offers from, among others, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah and Boise State. He took official visits to the latter two schools.

As a true freshman, Chase played in four games. That will allow him to take a redshirt for the 2019 season.

In that limited action, Chase caught one pass for 13 yards.

In addition to adding a handful of players at his position, Chase also saw offensive coordinator and receivers coach Troy Walters, who was his primary recruiter, leave the Nebraska football program last month.