AP

No. 3 Michigan holds off Indiana, sets up showdown at Ohio State

3 Comments

Much like their rivals to the south, Michigan didn’t exactly dominate inferior competition in this penultimate Saturday, but the No. 3 Wolverines did enough to pull away for a 20-10 win over Indiana in Ann Arbor.

Playing without starting quarterback Wilton Speight, who dressed and warmed up, the Wolverines offense struggled to get much going outside of De'Veon Smith rushes. Thankfully for the maize and blue, though, Smith was at his best: 22 carries for 160 yards and two third quarter touchdowns that provided the margin in the game.

Trailing 10-6 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter, Smith bobbed and weaved for a 34-yard touchdown dash to give the Wolverines the lead. After the Wolverines’ defense forced a punt inside Indiana territory, Smith, playing his final game at Michigan Stadium, raced 39 yards for an insurance touchdown with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

John O’Korn earned the start — his first since playing for Houston in 2014 — and completed only 7-of-16 passes for 59 yards on the day. Some of that was due to the elements — snow flurries blanketed the Big House turf for the entire game, and graduated into a driving snowstorm in the fourth quarter — but much of it was just that O’Korn struggled to throw the ball.

But where the Michigan offense struggled, its defense and special teams picked up the slack. Indiana (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten) completed 13-of-27 passes for only 180 yards and managed only 80 rushing yards on 35 attempts. The Wolverines also blocked a punt, their sixth blocked kick of the season.

The win pushes Michigan to 10-1 on the season — clinching the program’s first back-to-back 10-win campaigns since 2003-04 — and keeps the club in the driver’s seat to play in its first Big Ten title game. All they’ll have to do is win in Columbus for the first time since 2000.

Mark Richt suffers heart attack, says he’s ‘doing fine’

Getty Images
1 Comment

From the outside, it seems as if Mark Richt is the most relaxed, stress-free person in the entire college football universe. In 18 seasons as the head coach at Georgia and Miami, Richt had an inner peace and perspective that never seemed to let the stresses of the job get to him in the way it did most other coaches or people in similar high-stakes gigs.

Now, he’s very much living that retired multi-millionaire life.

That’s why it was so surprising when Richt announced Monday he suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.

“I am assuming word travels fast,” he tweeted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

While Monday’s news was obviously frightening, it’s comforting to know Richt survived and will hopefully be around to eat many, many more cheese balls on the beach.

 

‘GameDay’ making maiden voyage to South Dakota State

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Football Championship Subdivision recently made a coordinated, nationwide push for ESPN’s “College GameDay” to pay its brand of football more attention. That push has quickly paid off.

ESPN announced Sunday that “GameDay” will make its first ever visit to Brookings, S.D., as No. 3 South Dakota State hosts No. 1 North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are 6-1 this season, losing only to FBS No. 17 Minnesota 28-21 to open the season and then running off six straight victories by an average of 24.3 points. North Dakota State is 7-0 on the season with four victories over FCS top-20 opponents.

South Dakota State should send flowers to Wisconsin, who lost to Illinois ahead of their visit to No. 3 Ohio State, to Michigan, who lost to Penn State before hosting No. 8 Notre Dame, and to ESPN for their recent visit to Baton Rouge, making a return visit for No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU seem too redundant.

“GameDay” last visited an FCS site on Oct. 14, 2017, as No. 1 James Madison hosted Villanova.

Saturday will mark North Dakota State’s third “GameDay” appearance, passing Harvard for the most among FCS teams. The Bison won both of their previous appearances, a 51-0 drubbing of Delaware State on Sept. 21, 2013, and a 58-0 blowout of Incarnate Word on Sept. 13, 2014.

South Carolina dismisses DB Jamel Cook after domestic violence arrest

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Because of an off-field issue, South Carolina’s depth in the secondary has been pared a bit.

Friday, Jamel Cook was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree domestic violence.  Other than he was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or return to the location of the alleged incident, details surrounding the arrest and charge have not yet been divulged.

Early Sunday, the Gamecocks confirmed that Cook had been indefinitely suspended for violating unspecified team rules.  Later that day, Will Muschamp announced that the redshirt junior has been dismissed from his football program.

“[That’s] all I’m going to say about that,” Coach Gump added.

Cook was originally a four-star member of the Left Coast USC’s 2016 signing class, rated as the No. 17 player at any position in the state of Florida.  He played in three games in two years for the Trojans before transferring to the Gamecocks following the 2017 season.  Because of NCAA transfer rules, the defensive back was forced to sit out the 2018 season.

This year, Cook had appeared in one game prior to his off-field issues.

As teammates flew, DB ejected for punching Louisville player forced to ride managers’ bus back to Clemson

Getty Images
15 Comments

That’ll teach him.  They hope.

In the third quarter of Clemson’s 35-point win over Louisville Saturday night, Tigers cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. was involved in a punt-return kerfuffle with Cardinals defensive back Trenell Troutman that ended with Booth, after he had taken him to the ground, punching Troutman.  The fracas resulted in Booth being ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Following the game, head coach Dabo Swinney apologized to his UofL counterpart, Scott Satterfield, for what he described as unacceptable, disappointing behavior.

Sunday, Swinney stated that the punishment phase for Booth commenced almost immediately, and commenced in a very unique way.

“He had a long bus ride home last night and plenty of time to think about it,” Swinney said, confirming that Booth rode the managers’ bus back to Clemson instead of flying home with the rest of his teammates.

For those keeping score at home, it’s a roughly seven-hour drive from Louisville to Clemson via an automobile, and likely longer if you’re taking a bus.  Taking a plane, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour and a half.

In addition to the bus ride, Swinney also stated that Booth will be subject to additional, unspecified in-house sanctions.