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No. 17 Tennessee races past Virginia Tech in Battle at Bristol

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It took a full game, an overtime and an extra quarter, but Tennessee finally arrived to the 2016 college football season. And now that they’re here… look out.

After a sloppy first quarter resulted in a 14-0 deficit, the 17th-ranked Volunteers raced past Virginia Tech for a 45-24 win in at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Vols’ first three possessions lasted 10 plays — that’s one above the minimum, avoiding turnovers — while Virginia Tech mounted drives of 59, 62 and 77 yards, the last one largely a 69-yard Travon McMillan scoring jaunt. But, backed into their own territory, Virginia Tech botched a shotgun snap exchange and Tennessee recovered at the Hokies’ 5-yard line.

One play later, Tennessee cut the deficit to 14-7 on Josh Dobbs‘ first touchdown pass of the day. Four snaps after that, the Vols had shot 90 yards in four plays — largely on the strength of a 40-yard Dobbs dash and an on-the-money 38-yard scoring heave to Josh Malone — to tie the game. Another Virginia Tech fumble led to a short field goal drive, and Tennessee closed a blitzkrieg second quarter by moving 58 yards in nine plays to set up a 5-yard Dobbs touchdown run, turning a 14-0 hole to start the second quarter into a 24-14 lead at its close.

Dobbs’ third touchdown pass of the day, this one to Alvin Kamara, nudged the lead to 31-14 midway through the third quarter, and Virginia Tech at last stopped the bleeding with a Joey Slye 26-yard field goal on their next possession.

Any glimmer of Hokie hope evaporated with another lost fumble that turned into another Vols touchdown drive, and that pattern repeated itself one more time to push the lead to 45-17. Virginia Tech added a cosmetic score to close the scoring with 3:28 remaining.

Dobbs closed the night hitting 10-of-19 passing with three touchdowns and an interception while rushing 14 times for 106 yards and two more scores; Jalen Hurd added 22 carries for 99 yards.

Virginia Tech posted nice numbers offensively — 214 passing yards for Jerod Evans, 127 on the ground by McMillan — but five lost fumbles negated much of that progress.

Tua Tagovailoa reportedly out for the season with dislocated hip

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And the bad news keeps on coming for Alabama in general and its star quarterback in particular.

Tua Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury toward the end of the first half of the Mississippi State game, still in the game despite Alabama leading 35-7.  The junior quarterback, reportedly screaming in pain, was carted off the field and, after being examined inside Davis Wade Stadium, taken away via ambulance for further evaluation.

Tagovailoa was subsequently taken back to Birmingham via helicopter to undergo a series of CAT scans and MRIs to determine the exact extent and nature of the injury.  According to one report, the injury is serious and similar to the one that ended Bo Jackson‘s football career.

According to another, Tagiovailoa has been diagnosed with a dislocated hip and will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2019 season, including the postseason.

If the injury is as serious as it seems, the Crimson Tide will turn over its playoff fate, at least under center, to redshirt sophomore Mac Jones.

Iowa State leading No. 19 Texas at the break

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Iowa State holds a 10-7 lead over No. 19 Texas at the half in Ames, and the game has played out exactly as the score indicates.

The Cyclones zipped down the field on their first possession, moving 59 yards in eight breezy plays, as Brock Purdy found tight end Charlie Kolar wide open in the back of the end zone for a 2-yard score to open the scoring. The Cyclones then closed their half with a 35-yard Connor Assalley field goal with 47 ticks left before halftime.

In between, Iowa State went three-and-out twice, turned it over on downs at the Texas 31 and threw an interception.

Texas has simply not been able to get the ball going, and they’ve hardly tried to throw the ball down field. The ‘Horns went three-and-out on four of their first six possessions, and one of the other two ended in disaster. After D'Shawn Jamison intercepted Purdy at the Iowa State 39, Texas picked up one first down but could not get another. Facing a fourth-and-2 at ISU’s 21, Sam Ehlinger kept it and was stuffed for a loss of a yard. The Longhorns did not throw the ball on any of their six plays in the drive.

Ehlinger went 4-of-7 for 26 yards while Texas rushed a combined 17 times for just 33 yards over UT’s first six tries. After taking over at its own 25, down 10-0 with 47 seconds left in the first half, Ehlinger hit Devin Duvernay for 17 yards, Brennan Eagles for 33, Duvernay again for 11, Eagles again for a 14-yard touchdown.

After gaining just 59 yards on their first 24 snaps, Texas suddenly moved 75 yards in five plays to make it a game again.

Iowa State will receive to open the second half.

Report: Tua Tagovailoa’s injury serious, similar to one that ended Bo Jackson’s career

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This isn’t good.  At all.

The biggest story of Week 12 by far is the health of Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a hip injury toward the end of the first half of the Mississippi State as Alabama was up 35-7.  The junior quarterback was carted off the field and, after being examined inside Davis Wade Stadium, was taken away via ambulance for further evaluation.

According to al.com, Tagovailoa is being taken back to Birmingham via helicopter to undergo a series of CAT scans and MRIs to determine the exact extent and nature of the injury.  One report from Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, though, is ominous, to say the least.

For those unfamiliar, Jackson, a College Football Hall of Famer at Auburn, suffered a severe hip injury in an AFC playoff game in January of 1991 and never played another down of football.

It should be noted that there has been no official word on Tagovailoa’s status from the football program.  Thus far, UA has declined to go into any detail as they still await an update on the injury, which could come as early as later on today

No. 16 Notre Dame all over No. 21 Navy through one half

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When the Navy offense works, the clock bleeds, the ball ticks forward and life becomes living hell for the opponent. When it doesn’t, it can get ugly for the Midshipmen.

It’s been ugly through one half in South Bend.

No. 16 Notre Dame holds a 38-3 lead over No. 21 Navy at the half. The Fighting Irish scored all six times they touched the ball in the half, as Ian Book went a practice-like 11-of-14 for 209 yards with four touchdowns, three of them coming to Chase Claypool. Claypool caught six passes for 97 yards and scores of 47, seven and three yards.

Navy hasn’t been able to get the running game going — they run for just 131 yards on 33 carries — but three fumbles by quarterback Malcolm Perry have proven catastrophic, ending Navy scoring threats and leading directly to three Irish touchdowns. The Middies finally sustained a drive with a minute to play in the half, moving 72 yards in nine snaps to set up a 27-yard Bijan Nichols field goal as time expired.

Navy will receive to open the second half.