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Ducks taking Horned Frogs on early trip to woodshed


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before this postseason: Team A is waxing Team B in the X Bowl.

Continuing what’s been the dominant theme of the 2015-16 bowl cycle, Oregon is having little issue whatsoever thus far in taking care of business against TCU, jumping out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead en rout route a 31-0 halftime lead in the Alamo Bowl.  By just about any statistical measure, this one has been about as close as the current score would indicate.

The Ducks rolled up 360 yards of first-half offense, while the Horned Frogs were limited to just 142.  UO out-first downed TCU 18-5 as well.

The Horned Frogs ran just eight offensive plays in Duck territory, and punted on five of their seven possessions.  Their deepest penetration was to the Duck 30-yard line on a drive that ended on downs; their only other drive, other than the one to run out the final :32 of the half, came to a halt on an interception.

A microcosm of TCU’s first-half struggles?  Their special teams appeared to have provided a spark with five minutes left in the half by blocking a Duck punt deep in UO’s territory… only to see the Ducks recover it and legally advance it for a first down to keep the drive alive.

Vernon Adams Jr. continued to show why many an observer felt that, if he had been healthy the entire season, Oregon could’ve very well been involved in the playoffs instead of stuck in a mid-tier bowl.  The FCS graduate transfer completed 13-of-19 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown in the first two quarters.  The Ducks had three players rush for 40 or more yards in the half — Royce Freeman (72), Tony Brooks-James (50), Taj Griffin (40) — as part of a rushing attack that accounted for 163 yards and a 5.8 yards per carry average.

Freeman also accounted for two of the Ducks’ three rushing touchdowns.

Arguably the only negative in the first half was Adams being knocked out of the game late in the second quarter following a hard, but legal, hit.  Adams was taken off the field under his own power and into the locker room, with his return in the second half unknown as of this posting.

This was expected to be one of the better — and more competitive — bowl games, but the arrest and suspension of star TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, as well as injuries to two starting offensive lineman and leading receiver, changed the complexion of the contest entirely.

Lott IMPACT Trophy announces semifinalists

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You know we are getting close to award season in college football because it seems this week has been filled with announcements about semifinalists for every award possible. Welcome to the party, Lott IMPACT Trophy. A total of nine semifinalists were announced by the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to the best defensive player with a focus on success on and off the field, integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.

The nine semifinalists for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy are:

  • Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
  • Cole Christiansen, LB, Army
  • Jordan Fuller, DB, Ohio State
  • Brandon Jones, DB, Texas
  • Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
  • Chris Orr, LB, Wisconsin
  • Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
  • Curtis Weaver, DL, Boise State
  • Evan Weaver, LB, Cal

Linebacker remains a strong position for the Lott IMPACT Trophy this season, with five of the nine semifinalists playing a linebacker position.

This year’s recipient of the Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced on Dec. 15 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. This list of nine semifinalists will be trimmed down to four finalists prior to the announcement.

Kentucky’s Josh Allen took home the award last season.

Class of 2019 four-star Baylor commit says he’s heading to Utah

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Former Baylor quarterback Peyton Powell has a new football home in the Pac-12. Powell announced on Thursday he is heading to Utah to join the Utes program.

“It’s time for me to clear the air and I WILL be doing that at THE University of Utah,” Powell said in a statement share don his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.

Powell came to Baylor with the hopes of being able to compete and play quarterback for the Bears. That opportunity was one of the reasons Baylor ended up winning his commitment out of high school, while many schools hoping to sign the four-star athlete could find ways to use his athleticism at different positions. Powell, a member of the Baylor Class of 2019, has not played this season and will have four years of eligibility remaining. NCAA rules would force Powell to sit out the 2010 season before being ruled eligible to play, but he may be given a chance to play right away considering he did not play during his freshman year at Baylor.

Arizona continues shaking up coaching staff with reported firing of defensive line coach

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As a year of disappointing results comes down the final stretch for the Arizona Wildcats, changes are already in the air for Kevin Sumlin and the program. On Thursday, Arizona continued to go through the process of overhauling its defensive coaching staff with the firing of defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei.

News of the coaching change was first reported by Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority. According to that same report, defensive analyst Greg Patrick will be moved into the position of defensive line coach, at least for the remainder of the current season.

Arizona ranks 73rd nationally in rushing defense, 113th in sacks, and 119th in tackles for a loss. These are all stats most commonly used to evaluate the performance of the defensive line, and the results this late in the season just simply aren’t good any way you look at it.

A month ago, Arizona parted ways with defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing. Uiagalelei is the third defensive coach to be removed from the staff during the 2019 season.

Jonathan Taylor, Chuba Hubbard among semifinalists for Doak Walker Award

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Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is attempting to do something that has only been done twice before by winning the Doak Walker Award in back-to-back seasons. Taylor was one of the 10 semifinalists revealed by the Doak Walker Award on Thursday, putting last year’s top running back one step closer to pulling off the rare feat on the college football award circuit.

Taylor will have some stiff competition for the award this season. Among the other semifinalists for the award include Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s rushing leader with 1,726 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns (Taylor has 1,463 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in the same number of games as Hubbard).

Darren McFadden of Arkansas is the most recent player to win the Doak  Walker Award in back-to-back seasons, doing so in 2006 and 2007. The only other player to win the award in consecutive seasons, and the only other two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award, is Ricky Williams of Texas. Williams won the award in 1997 and 1998. Taylor joined former Wisconsin running backs Melvin Gordon (2014), Montee Ball (2012) and Ron Dayne (1999) to move Wisconsin into first place for most all-time Doak Walker Award winners. Texas also has four awards won, but by three players (Ricky Williams twice, Cedric Benson in 2004 and D’Onta Foreman in 2016).

The other semi-finalists for the Doak Walker Award this year include LeVante Bellamy of Western Michigan (21 touchdowns leads the nation), AJ Dillon of Boston College, JK Dobbins of Ohio State, Clyde Edwards-Helaire of LSU, Travis Etienne of Clemson, Kenneth Gainwell of Memphis, Xavier Jones of SMU, Zack Moss of Utah.