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Alabama leading Florida State through one half in Atlanta

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Through one half in Atlanta, Florida State-Alabama is exactly the game we thought it would be: a track meet/boxing match combination where each team struggles to maintain offense against the other. A game where Alabama has been slightly better than Florida State, as the Tide holds a 10-7 advantage at the break.

Alabama opened the scoring with a 35-yard Andy Pappanastos field goal, but Florida State immediately responded with its best drive of the night, an 11-play, 90-yard march that ended on a 3-yard fade from Deondre Francois to Auden Tate, giving the Seminoles a 7-3 lead at the 13:41 mark of the second quarter.

Alabama rebounded with a long drive of its own, moving 85 yards in only five snaps, closing on a 53-yard rainbow from Jalen Hurts to Calvin Ridley.

Each team also had its share of missed opportunities. Florida State’s first possession ended on a turnover on downs at the Alabama 34 when Francois didn’t see a wide open receiver streaking down the middle of the field. Alabama’s first touch concluded with a 42-yard missed field goal.

Hurts has completed 7-of-12 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown with seven carries for 43 yards. Damien Harris leads all runners with 47 yards on five carries, though 34 came on one rush — the first play of the game. Alabama’s final three possessions after the touchdown drive all ended in 3-and-outs.

The ‘Noles had a chance to tie the game just before the half, but Ricky Aguayo‘s 37-yard field goal try was blocked. Jimbo Fisher and company will have a gripe after the game, as Alabama got away with what appeared to be a textbook pass interference penalty on Alabama’s Tony Brown inside the Tide end zone that went uncalled. Francois has completed 14-of-22 passes for 161 yards and a score, but FSU has mustered only 24 yards on 13 carries.

Florida State will receive to open the second half.

Warde Manuel essentially claims ‘SCOREBOARD!’ in latest Michigan-Michigan State salvo

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The most recent public pissing match between a pair of in-state rivals shows no sign of abating anytime soon.  At all.

To recap:

In response to that statement, U-M athletic director Warde Manuel released his own statement Monday night.  In it, Manuel began by writing about a pregame conversation with his MSU counterpart, Bill Beekman, that he preferred to keep private.  To end it, Manual not-so-discreetly declared “SCOREBOARD!” on his rivals.

“It is a great rivalry between two Michigan Universities, and the focus should remain on the game, the way it’s played and,” wait for it… “the final result.”

Well played, Mr. Manuel.  Well played.

I had a conversation on the field with Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman prior to the game regarding the situation that occurred during pregame warmups. My preference is to keep that conversation and any further discussions between us. I will work with our staff and the conference to see how this situation can be prevented from happening in the future. It is a great rivalry between two Michigan Universities, and the focus should remain on the game, the way it’s played, and the final result.

Report: TCU WR/KR KaVontae Turpin also also arrested in March

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TCU wide receiver/kickoff returner KaVontae Turpin was suspended Monday after he was arrested for allegedly dragging his girlfriend across a parking lot and slamming to the ground at an apartment complex in Fort Worth on Saturday night.

“Texas Christian University is aware that one of its students was recently arrested for a reported domestic situation,” the university said in a statement. “The university takes these types of reports very seriously and is continuing to gather information to determine next steps. TCU expects its students to behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law.”

But it appears that isn’t all.

According to 

Turpin failed to appear at a July 16 pre-trial hearing and is now subject to a bench warrant by the Las Cruces Magistrate Court.

If convicted, Turpin would face up to six months in prison for battery of a household member. He entered not guilty please to battery of a household member and criminal damage to the property of a household member under $1,000.

Michigan State releases statement on field altercation vs. Michigan

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Now more than two days after it happened, the (don’t call it a -gate, don’t call it a -gate) field altercation before the Michigan-Michigan State game on Saturday continues to live.

Jim Harbaugh addressed the controversy on Monday, this time taking a personal shot across the bow at Mark Dantonio. “I’ll go one step further and use Coach Dantonio’s words from a few years back,” Harbaugh said. “‘It’s not a product of the team, but their program.’ Again, that’s using his words. That could’ve been an unfortunate deal. I’m proud of our guys for keeping their cool.”

To recap: During the Spartans’ traditional arm-in-arm walk across the field before the game, Michigan players came away accusing Michigan State of clotheslining defensive lineman Lawrence Marshall and ripping the headphones out of defensive back Lavert Hill‘s ears.

Which led to linebacker Devin Bush tearing up the Spartans’ midfield logo.

On Monday, Michigan State released a statement that basically amounts to: Yeah, but you shouldn’t have been standing there.

According to the Spartans, Michigan State released a pre-game schedule of events, which both teams agreed upon ahead of Saturday and which is part of the norm for every Spartans home game. According to said schedule, Michigan State opens up the field more than two hours before the game, with the understanding the field will be cleared before Michigan State conducts its Spartan Walk.

And that’s where Michigan State’s explanation of events pretty much ends.

So, yeah. There’s no disputing of Michigan’s account, just that they shouldn’t have been standing there.

Michigan won the game, 21-7.

Jalen Hurts undergoes procedure for sprained ankle suffered vs. Tennessee

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Jalen Hurts suffered a high ankle sprain during No. 1 Alabama’s 58-21 destruction of Tennessee on Saturday, head coach Nick Saban revealed on Monday.

Alabama is off this week, and it’s not believed he will have to miss the Tide’s Nov. 3 game with No. 4 LSU (8 p.m. ET, CBS).

“They did a minor procedure to try to help the healing,” Saban said, via AL.com. “I think he will be out for one week, probably this bye week and he will probably be ready to start working again next week.”

Hurts sprained his ankle during his 21-yard touchdown run during the third quarter of Saturday’s game. He remained in the game until he was replaced by third-string quarterback Mac Jones in the fourth quarter.

Hurts finished the game 2-of-3 passing for 21 yards and an interception (which was returned for Tennessee’s third and final touchdown) and rushed twice for 24 yards, including the 21-yard touchdown.

The junior from the Houston area has appeared in all eight games this season for Alabama. He’s 39-of-53 passing for 589 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 28 times for 136 yards and an additional touchdown.