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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.

Injury will sideline Cal’s Cameron Goode for remainder of the year

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Unfortunately, Cal’s worst injury fears have been realized yet again.

In the Bears’ season-opening win over North Carolina, Cameron Goode sustained what’s only been described as an unspecified lower-leg injury.  The redshirt sophomore linebacker did not play in the past two games because of the injury and won’t play again this season, Justin Wilcox confirmed Wednesday.

“I really feel for him because he puts a lot into football,” the head coach said. “He’ll go through that window of not being able to play this year. It’s a pretty short window, then he’ll start working on what’s next.”

It’s expected Goode will be fully recovered by the start of spring practice.

This marks the second-straight season his year has ended prematurely because of injury.  Last year, he started the first nine games before being sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Goode had returned an interception for a touchdown in the opener before going down with the leg injury.  He also returned a pick for a score last season in the win over Ole Miss.

Recently-retired Minnesota RT Nick Connelly loses three-month battle with cancer

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There’s incredibly sad news coming out of the Minnesota football program Thursday afternoon.

In an absolutely heartbreaking missive posted to Twitter, Chuck Connelly, the father of former Minnesota offensive lineman Nick Connelly, revealed that his son lost his three-month battle with cancer Wednesday.  Or, as the elder Connelly put it, “[o]n Wednesday Sept. 19, 2018 Heaven needed a right tackle and Nick Connelly got the call.”

Connelly was just 22 years old.

The younger Connelly was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in June of this year.  A very rare form of cancer — WebMD states just that just 1,200 cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, with nearly 60 percent of those coming in patients over the age of 40 — and is recognized as the fastest growing human tumor.

In late October of last year, Connelly, who had started the first five games of the 2017 season at right tackle for the Gophers, announced that he was retiring from football because of the effects of multiple concussions.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Connelly’s family, friends and former teammates for their loss.

Western Kentucky losing RB Marquez Trigg to transfer

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Another day, another FBS player has made an in-season move away from their now-former program.

Marquez Trigg wrote on his personal Twitter account this week that he has decided to transfer from Western Kentucky. “I will graduate in December and transfer to pursue other opportunities for my 5th year of college football,” the running back wrote.

While the redshirt junior gave no specific reason for the departure, a steep drop in opportunities this season likely played a significant role.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2015, Trigg ran for 465 yards combined in 2016 (298) and 2017 (167) on 122 carries. This season, his nine carries in three games netted him just 12 yards.

Trigg totaled four rushing touchdowns during his time with the Hilltoppers, two each during the last two seasons. He also caught 12 passes for 59 yards out of the backfield last season.

Urban Meyer confirms surgery for Nick Bosa

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With a key road trip to Happy Valley looming, this isn’t the news Ohio State or its fans wanted to hear.

During his return to his weekly radio show Thursday, Urban Meyer confirmed that Nick Bosa underwent surgery because of what the head coach described as a “core muscle injury.” The standout defensive end suffered the injury, believed to be either a groin or abdominal issue, in the Week 3 win over TCU.

The brother of Joey Bosa had already been ruled out of the Week 4 game against Tulane, and there’s no timeline for a return.

While Bosa, one of the top defensive linemen in the nation and a likely Top Five pick in the 2019 NFL draft, won’t be missed this weekend, the same can’t be said for No. 4 OSU’s Week 5 matchup against No. 10 Penn State.

As far as replacing Bosa in the short-term, the Columbus Dispatch wrote that, per Meyer, “Jonathon Cooper and Chase Young are expected to start at defensive end on Saturday against Tulane.” The head coach also “mentioned freshmen Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday as players who could see increased action” because Bosa is sidelined.