Western Kentucky earned one of the spots in the Conference USA championship game on Black Friday. A day later, they learned who will be their competition on the other sidelines next weekend.
Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech came into their game Saturday tied atop the West division standings at 6-1, effectively turning the contest into a play-in game. Thanks to a huge day from quarterback Nick Mullens, the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 24-10 halftime and really poured it on in the fourth quarter in rolling to a 58-24 win over the Bulldogs.
Mullens passed for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the win. It was Ito Smith, though, who put the final nails in the Bulldogs’ coffin as the USM back ran for three fourth-quarter touchdowns to turn the game into a rout.
With the win, Southern Miss will move on to face Western Kentucky in the conference championship game next Saturday afternoon in Bowling Green. The Hilltoppers finished a perfect 8-0 in conference play to the Golden Eagles’ 7-1, giving WKU the home-field advantage.
Southern Miss will be playing in its first Conference USA title game and third overall. WKU is in just its second season in Conference USA, and will be playing for its first conference title.
The division title also continues the quietly astounding turnaround head coach Todd Monken has fashioned in Hattiesburg. In Monken’s first year, coming off a winless 2012 season, the Eagles went 1-11 and followed it up with a 3-9 2014 campaign. With two games remaining in 2015, Monken has his team sitting at 9-3, easily the team’s best record since going 12-2 in Larry Fedora‘s last season in 2011.
Eastern Kentucky wide receiver Cameron Catron was shot in the early morning hours of Sunday following a dispute outside a bar.
According to WKYT-TV, Catron and an unidentified man were fighting outside the Two Keys Tavern in Lexington, Ky., when the other man ran to his vehicle, returned with a gun and shot Catron. It is not known where he was shot.
The suspect, described as wearing a blue shirt with dreadlocked hair culminating in frosted tips, is still at large.
“He’s one of the biggest hearted guys I know. Whoever done that to him was just really in a bad place right now,” teammate Gunner Slone told the station.
A Belfry, Ky., native, Catron was a redshirt freshman in 2018; he appeared in two games on special teams.
Catron has already undergone two surgeries to remove the bullet and repair internal damage. A social media post by his mother indicated he is out of ICU and able to walk a short distance.
Breon Dixon has yet to really make a mark in college football, but his closet has become well stocked. A 4-star prospect out of Suwanee, Ga., Dixon signed with Ole Miss and enrolled in January of 2017, but left quickly thereafter.
Given a waiver to play immediately as part of the Hugh Freeze explosion, Dixon was enrolled at Nebraska within 365 days of originally enrolling at Ole Miss. He appeared in four games on special teams for the Huskers this season, but by this spring he was no longer a Cornhusker, either.
In May, the Omaha World-Herald contacted Iowa Western Community College head coach Scott Strohmeier, who said Dixon would become a Reiver. Now, Dixon has confirmed that himself.
He is expected to enroll in classes in July and compete for IWCC this fall, with the expectation he’ll look for another four-year university in the winter. Strohmeier told the World-Herald he didn’t expect Dixon to re-enroll at Nebraska, meaning the player could be looking for a fourth school in as many years come 2020.
It appears Darius Slade has found himself yet another college football home.
In early February, it was confirmed that Slade had taken the first step in moving on from Arizona State by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database. A little over four months later, it’s now being reported that the defensive end is enrolled at South Florida.
For what it’s worth, a USF official declined to confirm Slade’s addition to the roster and the lineman isn’t yet listed on the football program’s online roster.
Slade, who originally began his collegiate career at Ohio State before transferring and landing at ASU prior to the start of the 2017 season, played in 10 games in 2018 after sitting out the previous year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
As a graduate transfer, Slade would be eligible to play for the Bulls immediately in 2019.
On the same day we noted an addition to Marshall’s roster, there’s been a development regarding one of the football program’s personnel subtractions earlier this offseason.
Utilizing his personal Twitter account, Ty Tyler (pictured, No. 1) announced that he is “honored and overwhelmed to announce I am committed to [the] University of Louisville.” Earlier this offseason, the defensive lineman opted to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database after four years with the Thundering Herd.
As Tyler will be coming to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the school in 2019. The upcoming season will serve as the lineman’s final year of eligibility.
This past season, Tyler led the Thundering Herd with eight sacks and tied for second on the team with nine tackles for loss. He leaves Huntington having been credited with 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 35 career games, 20 of which were starts.