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San Jose State takes inaugural Cure Bowl over Georgia State

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San Jose State claimed the inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl in a 27-16 decision over Georgia State Saturday night at a mostly-empty Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.

The Spartans (6-7), who came in at 5-7 and earned their right to play in the postseason thanks to an impressive APR score, led nearly the entire way. After a scoreless opening frame, San Jose State got on the board on a 19-yard Austin Lopez chip shot with 11:05 to play in the first half. After forcing a three-and-out, star running back Tyler Ervin took the ensuing punt 85 yards for a touchdown to push the lead to 10-0.

Georgia State (6-7) immediately responded with a five-play, 87-yard touchdown march punctuated by a 38-yard scoring strike from Nick Arbuckle to Donovan Harden.

Another Lopez field goal nudged the Spartans’ lead to 13-7 in the third quarter, but Georgia State briefly grabbed the lead thanks to a safety at the 12:44 mark of the fourth quarter and, after a 24-yard kickoff return following the safety, a four-play, 36-yard touchdown march, ended on a 19-yard pass from Arbuckle to Todd Boyd, giving the Panthers a 16-13 edge with 10:46 to play.

San Jose State immediately struck back with a three-play touchdown drive of their own, capped by a 42-yard keeper by quarterback Kenny Potter.

A 29-yard kickoff return gave Georgia State the ball at the 40, but 1st-and-10 at the 40 quickly became 4th-and-1 at the 49. After taking a timeout to think it over, head coach Trent Miles elected to throw it deep, and Arbuckle overshot an open Penny Hart streaking toward the end zone.

San Jose State methodically strolled 49 yards in 11 plays and more than five minutes, with the capper coming on a one-yard toss from Potter to tight end Josh Oliver with 2:40 to play.

Potter completed 10-of-19 throws for 89 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Ervin carried the day with 30 rushes for 132 yards in addition to his punt return score. Ervin’s 132 yards were enough to put him at 1,601 on the season, breaking San Jose State’s single-season rushing record.

The game proved to be a perfect swan song for San Jose State’s outgoing defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who announced Friday that today’s game would be the last in a 41-year coaching career. His defense held Arbuckle, the nation’s sixth-leading passer at nearly 347 yards per game, to just 208 yards on 14-of-29 passing with two scores and one end-of-game interception. San Jose State also held six Panthers rushers to 23 yards on 20 carries.

The win gives Ron Caragher his first bowl victory in three seasons as San Jose State’s head coach and just the seventh in program history.

Georgia State was denied its first bowl win in program history — unlike Sun Belt bunkmate Appalachian State — but 2015 will still be viewed as a success for a program that came into the fall looking for its first FBS win of any kind.

WATCH: Colorado mascot Chip takes groin shot from t-shirt gun

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Yep, if you saw “Colorado mascot Chip takes groin shot from t-shirt gun,” you absolutely read it correctly.

Ralphie is Colorado’s much-beloved live animal mascot.  Chip, on the other hand, is Colorado’s equally beloved costumed human mascot.  And it was the latter who, during this past weekend’s win over FCS New Hampshire, took a direct hit very near no man’s land when a t-shirt gun he was operating somehow malfunctioned and backfired.

Not surprisingly after that turn of events, Chip was carted off the field for further examination, but not before giving a thumbs-up to the crowd on his way out of the stadium.

The good news is that, one, Chip is good to go and, two, Colorado is on a bye this weekend anyway, so any lingering aftereffects of the shot to the beanbag brothers should subside by game-time.

Adrian Martinez ‘looks better and better every day’ for Nebraska vs. Michigan

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As Nebraska looks to reverse its worst start to a season in over six decades, they appear likely to have the triggerman of their offense back under center in the Big House this weekend.  Possibly.

Adrian Martinez suffered a mildly controversial leg injury in their season-opening loss to Colorado and didn’t play in last weekend’s humbling loss to Troy.  With a trip to Ann Arbor to face No. 19 Michigan on tap this Saturday, Martinez had been deemed a game-time decision earlier this week, although it appears more and more likely as kickoff gets closer that the true freshman quarterback will take the field for the Cornhuskers against the Wolverines.

Maybe.

“He’s making progress,” offensive coordinator Troy Walters said Wednesday by way of Rivals.com. “He looks better and better every day, so we’ll see come Saturday what his status is, how he’s feeling. We’re going to make the best decision with the team in mind and our future in mind, so we’ll see where that goes. But he’s making progress each day…

“We want to make sure he’s healthy. We want to make sure he’s close to 100 percent. We’re going up against a good defense. They fly around and they’re physical, so we’re not going to put him in any harm or any danger. He’s got be able to make all the throws and make all the runs and things of that nature, so we’ll take our time and make sure that he’s healthy and he gives us the best chance to win.”

Prior to being injured against the Buffaloes, and in his first career start at the collegiate level, Martinez connected on 15-of-20 passes for 187 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing 15 times for a game-high 117 yards and two more touchdowns.  His replacement, walk-on Andrew Bunch, threw a pair of interceptions in his first career start in the 24-19 home loss to Troy the following week.

Martinez is the only scholarship quarterback currently on NU’s roster available to play this season.

FCS was landing spot for Michigan State transfer Darien Tipps-Clemons

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky
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Unbeknownst to many, one of the handful of Michigan State transfers this past offseason had already quietly found a home.

As noted by mlive.com, Darien Tipps-Clemons is now playing his collegiate football for Eastern Kentucky. As the Colonels play at the FCS level, the linebacker was eligible to play immediately this season.

Tipps-Clemons has played in all three games in 2018 for the Colonels, and has been credited, per the team’s official website, with three tackles, one quarterback hit and one blocked kick.

In late February of this year, Tipps-Clemons announced via Twitter that he had decided to transfer from Michigan State.

A three-star member of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class, Tipps-Clemons was rated as the No. 45 player at any position in the state of Ohio. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Including this season, Tipps-Clemons will have three years of eligibility he can use.

TE Jalen Harris to leave Auburn as graduate transfer, will use new rule to redshirt this season after playing

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Auburn tight end Jalen Harris is going from catching passes for the Tigers one week to transferring the next.

In a tweet he posted on Wednesday afternoon, the senior announced he was leaving the team as a graduate transfer but would remain on the Plains this semester as he finished classes.

Harris, who is from down the road in Montgomery, has played on special teams for the Tigers but hasn’t been too involved in the offense in his natural position. He has caught just four passes in three seasons at Auburn, including one in last year’s Iron Bowl against rival Alabama and a 12 yard reception this past week in a loss to LSU.

Far more notable for Harris’ career on the field is this move off it. He’s one of the first players to publicly take full advantage of the new redshirt rule (which allows a player to maintain a year of eligibility while playing in up to four games) and will also wind up leaving the team mid-year to be a graduate transfer as well.

The 6-4, 250 pound Harris was considered by 247Sports as a three-star prospect coming out of high school with offers from a number of SEC programs and others like Nebraska, Louisville and Miami as well.