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No. 10 Baylor snaps No. 6 OK State’s 12-game winning streak behind 3rd string QB

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No. 10 Baylor sent No. 6 Oklahoma State careening from the ranks of the unbeatens, ending the Pokes 12-game winning streak with a 45-35 win Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. And now, if they hope to claim their third straight Big 12 championship, Baylor gets to turn around and root for these Pokes next week.

Baylor led 14-0 just over three minutes in and 24-14 at the half thanks to the rocket arm of freshman Jarrett Stidham and lightning legs of Corey ColemanK.D. Cannon and Jay Lee, as Stidham hit 12-of-21 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game at halftime with an ankle injury. Third-string quarterback (and former wide receiver) Chris Johnson played the entire second half and picked up where Stidham left off, ending his first two drives with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Lee and a 71-yarder to Cannon, pushing the lead back to a comfortable 38-14 with 6:24 to go in the third quarter.

Oklahoma State eventually found its footing on defense and pulled within 38-28 with five minutes remaining, but Johnson pushed the Bears 30 yards in seven plays, capping the march with a four-yard touchdown run, to put the game away with 2:10 remaining.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5 sophomore who had not recorded a statistic this season, completed 5-of-10 throws for 138 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

But it was Baylor’s massive edge in the trenches that won them this game. The Bears out-rushed Oklahoma State 303-8. Yes, you read that correctly. Chris Carson led Oklahoma State’s ground efforts with 20 yards on six carries. Six different Bears topped that number, led by Shock Linwood‘s 91 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Johnny Jefferson added 62 yards, Devin Chaffin 60 and Johnson trotted for 42 yards on six carries.

Mason Rudolph completed 27-of-50 passes for 430 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions but was sacked six times. He was credited with seven carries for minus-38 yards on the night.

Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) shoots back to the top of the Big 12 standings, needing Oklahoma State to beat Oklahoma next week in Stillwater to secure a Big 12 championship. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) can win a share of the title with a win over Oklahoma next week, but the Pokes would need a Baylor loss to TCU to win the league outright.

Both teams, however, are still on the outside looking in of the College Football Playoff picture – and will remain that way unless Armageddon breaks out between now and Selection Sunday.

Illinois lands former USC WR Josh Imatorbhebhe

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The Los Angeles-to-Champaign pipeline is alive and well.

After landing wide receiver Trevon Sidney and defensive end Oluwole Betiku, Jr., the Fighting Illini have added wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, he announced Monday.

“Transitions are never easy, but the support has definitely helped lighten the load,” Imatorbhebhe, No. 17 above, wrote in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “Without further ado I’m pleased to announce my commitment to…

THE University of Illinois; with a plan to get my Masters (sic) in Strategic Brand Communications.”

A former 4-star recruit in the class of 2016 out of Suwanee, Ga., Imatorbehbhe redshirted in his first year on campus, then caught just two passes in his two seasons on the active roster, with his 2018 season slowed by an ankle injury.

Imatorbehbhe will have two seasons to play immediately for the Illini.

Trevor Lawrence once again says he has no desire to skip bowl games to protect NFL stock

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The trend of college football players with the NFL coming into view has become a growing one the last few seasons, but Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence says you won’t have to worry about missing him in a postseason bowl game.

“Sitting out bowl games and stuff, that’ll never be me,” Lawrence said in an interview with ESPN. “You won’t have to worry about writing those stories.”

This quote is nothing new from Lawrence. In March, Lawrence stressed a similar stance with regard to sitting out of college football bowl games to protect NFL draft stock.

From The Athletic‘s Grace Raynor in March:

Asked specifically if he would consider sitting out in an effort to protect his health for an NFL future, the Georgia native answered with two resounding “No’s.” That’s not in the cards, he says.

“Everyone’s talking about that, but I don’t really care about that,” Lawrence said Monday evening in his first public interview since the College Football Playoff.

“It’s definitely not coming from me, all that stuff, so (I’ll) just kind of ignore it. Just keep working.

Of course, there is something that needs to be pointed out here. A large majority of the players choosing to skip bowl games aren’t playing in the College Football Playoff and a national championship. While New Years Six bowl games are high in prestige even if not in the playoff rotation, they simply are not the same as playing in the playoff with a national title in sight.

Lawrence has played for and won the national championship in his freshman season and probably has two more seasons that could see Clemson continue to compete for a playoff spot. If Clemson is in the playoff the next two (or three years), the chances Lawrence skips a bowl game are reduced significantly.

Maybe Lawrence is just confident in Clemson’s ability to make the playoff the next couple of seasons. He’s not wrong though, right?

Syracuse seeing spike in football season ticket sales

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Dino Babers had Syracuse enjoying a 10-win season for the first time since 2001 last season. Fans of the Orange have had their enthusiasm for the football program rejuvenated and it shows in the season ticket sales this offseason.

According to a report from Syracuse.com, Syracuse has recorded 4,500 more season ticket sales this year than the school saw all of last year. To date, as of Friday, Syracuse has sold 6,800 season tickets for the 2019 season as the total inches closer and closet to a possible school record (8,000).

On top of the increased season ticket sales, Syracuse is also seeing a great retention rate through season ticket renewals. Syracuse has seen over 90 percent of season ticket holders renew their ticket packages for the 2019 season.

Syracuse ended the 2018 season ranked No. 15 in the final AP poll. IT is the highest Syracuse has ended a season in the AP Top 25 since the 2001 season (No. 14). Babers also ended Syracuse’s bowl drought in style by coaching Syracuse to a Camping World Victory in Syracuse’s first bowl game since 2013.

Syracuse opens the 2019 season on the road at Liberty on Aug. 31.

Auburn four-star linebacker Richard Jibunor enters transfer portal

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The transfer portal never takes a day off in college football. Auburn linebacker Richard Jibunor is one of the latest players to add his name to the list. Matt Zenitz of Al.com reported the transfer portal news, via Twitter.

Coincidentally enough, Auburn received a commitment from a four-star linebacker yesterday (Cameron Riley), but you can make your own guess as to whether those two developments were related in any way. Regardless, Auburn is still potentially about to lose a linebacker off the roster.

A player is free to make contact with any other football program looking to recruit him once his name is officially added to the NCAA’s transfer portal. But adding a name to the portal doesn’t necessarily mean this is the end of the line for Jibunor at Auburn, because a player can always take their name out of the portal and decide to stay with their current program. However, Auburn also has the option of dropping Jibunor from his scholarship now that he is in the transfer portal.

Jibunor was a four-star recruit in Auburn’s Class of 2018. As a true freshman last season, Jibunor appeared in 10 games and recorded eight tackles and two sacks. He also forced a fumble for the Tigers defense. The Athens, Georgia native chose Auburn, who seemingly had the lead in his recruiting for a while. He committed to the Tiger sin Nov. 2017 after two previous unofficial visits earlier in the 2017 season.

Jibunor will have to sit out the 2019 season if he transfers to another FBS program unless there is a waiver approval in the works with the NCAA offices. There is no suggestion at this time that is an option in play. Jibunor still has a redshirt to burn, so he will still have three years of eligibility to use beginning in 2020.