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No. 8 Cowboys stave off Cyclones’ upset bid, remain unbeaten

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For a solid 50 minutes or more of the Oklahoma State-Iowa State game, it looked as if one-half of a Big 12 playoff nightmare scenario would play out.  In the end, though, the conference that’s seemingly on a collision course with being left without a seat at the big boy postseason table avoided said scenario — at least for now.

Trailing the Cyclones by 17 points in the first half and 10 late in the third quarter and on into the fourth, the Cowboys were able to dig deep and mount a comeback, scoring a touchdown late to grab a 35-31 win in Ames.  It was the second time this season that OSU overcame a 17-point deficit, the first coming against Texas Tech.

It also exorcised some demons for the Cowboys after their national championship hopes were dashed in 2011 by the Cyclones in a double-overtime loss.  For a far greater period of time than the conference would’ve liked, though, it appeared they were headed for history repeating itself.

Trailing 31-21 entering the fourth quarter, a J.W Walsh 16-yard touchdown run with just over 11 minutes remaining cut the lead to three.  Eight minutes later, a Walsh touchdown pass gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game at 35-31.

OSU’s defense stepped up on the ensuing possession, holding ISU on fourth and short to hand the ball back to the offense and all but officially thwart the upset bid; an OSU interception of a Joel Lanning with 1:38 remaining officially thwarted it.

With the win, OSU improved to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in conference play.  No. 6 Baylor, which plays No. 12 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1) later tonight, is the only other conference unbeaten at 8-0 and 5-0.  The Cowboys get the Bears and Sooners to close out the season, a stretch that will decide whether the conference will be shutout again or earn its first College Football Playoff berth.

Police investigating death of FCS player as a suicide

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Sadly, there’s more tragic news involving a college football player on which to report.

According to multiple media outlets, University of Montana Grizzly football player Andrew Harris was found dead at his residence in Missoula Tuesday.  The Missoulian writes that “police are investigating the scene as a suicide.”

Harris was just 22 years old.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Andrew’s family and friends at this difficult time,” university president Seth Bodnar said in a statement sent out to the Missoulian. “The entire UM family mourns his loss and our hearts go out to all who knew him.”

A redshirt junior, Harris was a defensive lineman who played in 11 games during his time with the Griz.  Our thoughts, prayers and condolences going out to all of those impacted by Harris’ passing.

And for those in the reading audience: The phone number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.  Please, pick up the phone and call that number if you ever get to the point where you feel like you just can’t go on.  Or call somebody, anybody.

South Carolina’s third-leading rusher enters NCAA transfer database

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Another day, another trip into the infamous portal.

The latest to put his name onto the free-agent market is Ty’Son Williams, who a South Carolina official has confirmed is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.  If Williams follows through with the move — he can always remove his name from the database and return — it would be the running back’s second transfer as he came to USC in August of 2016 after beginning his collegiate playing career at North Carolina.

As Williams would be leaving as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school if he ultimately decides to leave.

Williams was third on the Gamecocks with 328 yards rushing in 2018, while his four rushing touchdowns tied for the team lead.  The year before, his first on the field at USC after sitting out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, he was second on the team in yards (471) and yards per carry (5.0).

A four-star member of UNC’s 2016 recruiting class, Williams was rated as the No. 21 running back in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of South Carolina.

Four-star 2018 WR Marquez Ezzard leaves Miami

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As Miami continues to collect players with steep FBS experience, they’ve also lost a touted member of last year’s recruiting class.

In a press release sent out late Wednesday morning, Miami announced that Marquez Ezzard has decided to leave Manny Diaz‘s football program.  No specific reason for the unexpected departure was given.

That said, the speculation is that a pair of wideout developments — Jeff Thomas did an about-face and returned to Miami after signing with Illinois, Buffalo grad transfer K.J. Osborn was added earlier this month — played a significant role in the decision.

“Marquez and I talked, and we decided that it was in his best interests to pursue opportunities at another school,” the first-year head coach said in a statement. “We wish him all the best in his future plans.”

Ezzard was a four-star 2018 signee who played in three games as a true freshman, catching two passes for 24 yards.

Medically retired in August, Torrence Brown to transfer from Penn State to Southern Miss

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So much for that.

In August of last year, Torrence Brown announced that, “[d]ue to multiple injuries and surgeries, my career at Penn State has come to an end.” The defensive end spent the 2018 season as a student assistant coach for the Nittany Lions, seemingly kickstarting a career in coaching.

While that may ultimately be his employment lot in life, it’s been put on hold as Brown confirmed Tuesday via Twitter that he has decided to transfer to Southern Miss to continue his collegiate playing career.  The lineman was actually committed to the Golden Eagles before flipping to the Nittany Lions in February of 2014.

Brown started four of 14 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2016 and then started the first three games the following year before going down with a season-ending knee injury.

Because of NCAA bylaws, a player who medically retires while at one school is not permitted to play at that same school if he opts to restart his playing career.  He can, though, transfer and continue it elsewhere.

In January of 2016, Adam Breneman ended his playing career at Penn State and medically retired because of chronic knee issues; seven months later, the tight end resurfaced and continued his playing career at UMass.