Whew Pig Sooie! Arkansas tops Auburn in fourth overtime, 54-46

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It looked as though Arkansas (3-4, 2-2 SEC) had a win over Auburn (4-3, 1-3 SEC) all but locked up, but a late Tigers field goal led to the teams having to settle the score in overtime. Four overtimes, in fact. After matching touchdown for touchdown through the first three overtime sessions, Arkansas took a 54-46 lead on a Brandon Allen touchdown pass to Drew Morgan on the first play of the fourth overtime. After a successful two-point conversion, Auburn’s offense finally ran out of luck and came up empty to go home with a loss.

Auburn’s final overtime possession saw the Tigers try for the end zone on two straight plays on second and third down despite needing nine yards for a first down. A fourth down pass fell incomplete over the middle.

Arkansas took a 14-0 lead in the first half, but Auburn put together a late 95-yard touchdown drive capped by a short run by Peyton Barber to get on the scoreboard. Auburn then tied the game up on the opening possession of the second half when Jason Smith ran for a nine-yard score at the end of a 75-yard drive. Momentum was officially in the hands of Auburn, but there was still a lot of football to be played.

Arkansas regained the lead later in the third quarter, but not without some concern for a teammate. Rawleigh Williams was carted off the field and taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention after taking a big hit to his upper body. Doctors appeared to be focusing on the neck of Williams, but he was conscious and had mobility in his appendages on the sideline as he was taken out of the stadium. After a pause in gameplay, Arkansas handed the ball to Alex Collins, who finished off the drive with a go-ahead touchdown, his first score of the game to give the Razorbacks a 21-14 lead.

In the fourth quarter Auburn once again put together a masterful scoring drive, this one starting from their seven-yard line. A mix of runs by Barber and passes from Sean White moved the Tigers to the Arkansas seven-yard line, but the Razorbacks stood firm at the one-yard line on a third down run by Barber. Still with plenty of time to play, Gus Malzahn took a calculated risk knowing Arkansas can run the clock as well as any team can. Going for a touchdown on the one-yard line was a must, and it paid off. Jeremy Johnson got the call and he pushed across the goal line for a game-tying score.

With the win, Arkansas manages to keep some slim postseason hopes alive. A loss would have meant Arkansas would have to win four of the final five games of the year. Still on the schedule for Arkansas are games with Ole Miss, LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri. Picking up three wins in that stretch would be difficult (Arkansas also hosts University of Tennessee-Martin, which should be an assumed win). Arkansas still faces an uphill climb, but it is a bit more manageable now than it would have been with a loss.

Auburn continues to slide and is starting to lose its margin for error to get to the postseason. Auburn must still win two games but has games against Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, Idaho and Alabama remaining. That could be a brutal stretch to end the season, but picking up two wins along the way is still very much attainable for the Tigers.

Wisconsin launches early Heisman campaign for RB Jonathan Taylor

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The Heisman Trophy has generally been synonymous with the best quarterback on one of the best teams in recent years but there have been a few running backs who have broken through to win the most prestigious award in all of college football.

Hoping to become the next tailback to break the signal-callers’ grip on the stiff arm? That would be Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who appears to have a budding campaign for the trophy that was launched by the school on Thursday:

Herschel Walker. Ron Dayne. Ricky Williams. Adrian Peterson. LaDainian Tomlinson. Dominant running backs. Legendary names. Unrivaled production … until now,” one tagline reads. “There’s a new kid on the block and he’s “Bringing Running Back,” back into the spotlight, just like those that came before him. And his name is Jonathan Taylor.”

The website goes through all of the notable stats that Taylor has piled up in just two seasons in Madison and while it doesn’t explicitly say everything is designed to raise the junior’s awareness ahead of Big Ten Media Days and the upcoming 2019 campaign, it does note that his fellow Wisconsin Doak Walker Award winners have all been finalists in New York at some point in their career.

i.e. hint, hint media this guy is pretty good.

And nobody is debating that after he has set numerous records during his first two years on campus. Key to actually making it to New York though might be how Taylor’s team does around him. If the Badgers can get back to being in contention for the Big Ten title once again in 2019, chances are high that the tailback’s play will play a bigger part in getting him the attention he deserves than a website and a hashtag.

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy headlines 2019 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

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Media Day season is also Watch List season and the latest to surface for the 2019 campaign comes out of Tallahassee in the form of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver, includes the defending winner in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and fellow semifinalist Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State, as well as a number of other talented pass-catchers from around the country.

Here’s the full list, which is a good general overview of the best wide receivers and tight ends for the upcoming season even if a few names can gripe about being left off:

Lynn Bowden, Jr. (Kentucky)

Rico Bussey, Jr. (North Texas)

Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma)

Damonte Coxie (Memphis)

Gabriel Davis (UCF)

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan)

Aaron Fuller (Washington)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

KJ Hamler (Penn State)

Adrian Hardy (Louisiana Tech)

Damon Hazelton (Virginia Tech)

Tee Higgins (Clemson)

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State)

Justin Jefferson (LSU)

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Ty Lee (Middle Tennessee State)

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt)

McLane Mannix (Texas Tech)

Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State)

Riley Miller (Ball State)

Denzel Mims (Baylor)

Darnell Mooney (Tulane)

Rondale Moore (Purdue)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

K.J. Osborn (Miami)

Dezmon Patmon (Washington State)

Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

Michael Pittman, Jr. (USC)

James Proche (SMU)

Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Jared Rice (Fresno State)

Sean Riley (Syracuse)

Reggie Roberson, Jr. (SMU)

Justyn Ross (Clemson)

Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Colorado)

JD Spielman (Nebraska)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)

Marquez Stevenson (Houston)

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State)

Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)

JoJo Ward (Hawaii)

Quez Watkins (Southern Miss)

Ryan Day isn’t going to name Justin Fields as Ohio State’s starting QB just yet

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Almost as soon as Justin Fields’ waiver to play right away in 2019 was approved, the Georgia transfer was pegged as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.

Ryan Day, however, is picking up this whole being a head coach at media day thing pretty good because the new leader of the Buckeyes offense declined to anoint Fields as the starter despite ample evidence that he’s the guy for the job.

“It’s an interesting situation. Whoever is playing in that first game will be the first time. Justin and Gunnar (Hoak) are going to compete like heck to go win the job,” Day said from the podium at Big Ten Media Days on Thursday. “At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to who can play the game.”

Hoak, who grad transferred over from Kentucky, was a key pickup for the program in the offseason not just to provide some competition for Fields but to provide much-needed depth after a host of quarterbacks left for other schools. While he has experience playing in five games last year with the Wildcats, there’s a gap in terms of natural talent between him and Fields.

Day seems likely to stick to his timetable of naming the starter a few weeks into camp but it still seems pretty clear as to who eventually will take over for Dwayne Haskins under center for the scarlet and gray.

Still though, you have to hand it to the rookie for going full on coach-speak when it came to his signal-caller at his very first media day in charge.

Big Ten’s Jim Delany upset with College Football Playoff Selection Committee

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Thursday marked the final Big Ten Media Days press conference for outgoing commissioner Jim Delany.

While his appearance was fairly low-key all things considered, the longtime college athletics stalwart didn’t hold back when it came to discussing his league and the College Football Playoff, lobbing some critical comments towards the Selection Committee in particular.

“I wish we had a little more continuity. I wish they would demonstrate as well as state the stronger commitment to strength of schedule,” Delany said. “We should be playing comparable schedules and if we’re not, there should be somewhat to differentiate that.”

The Big Ten has missed out on the playoff the past two seasons and saw its champion be skipped over in another year for a divisional runner-up.

Delany also voiced support for something suggested by Big 12 counterpart Bob Bowlsby to require all teams to play at least 10 Power Five opponents in a season, helping even out the difference between eight and nine conference slates.

“I’ve been disappointed, quite honestly, about the strength of schedule,” he added. “We’re not going to change. There may be pressure to change, but I think that’s short-selling our fans, our players, our TV partners. I’m hoping that the committee catches up with the intent of the founders.”