It’s been nearly two decades since Auburn won in Baton Rouge and the visiting Tigers are making sure they reverse their fortune early on in their annual meeting with LSU on Saturday afternoon, jumping out to a 23-14 halftime lead and not really looking back.
Gus Malzahn’s crew scored on their first four drives of the game, knocking home a long field goal to kick off the scoring and then really seizing control when quarterback Jarrett Stidham found a wide open Will Hastings for a 49 yard touchdown. The Auburn signal-caller finished the half with an impressive 159 yards on just seven completions on a day where there was no much resistance from the LSU defense.
That wasn’t all the Tigers from Alabama were able to do on offense however, as Kerryon Johnson scored his FBS-leading 13th rushing touchdown of the season and was already up to 116 yards on the ground as well. In short, not much could go wrong when Auburn had the ball.
The same could not be said for their opposite numbers. LSU failed to get much of anything going until the second quarter when they busted open a jet sweep that went for 70 yards by Russell Gage. The receiver added a touchdown just before the end of the half on an incredible diving effort while teammate Stephen Sullivan scored off a jet sweep on 4th and goal two drives prior for the team’s only points.
It’s been a point of emphasis this week to note that Auburn hasn’t won at Death Valley since 1999 and let’s just say that the best opportunity the team has had for a victory is certainly looking like it after a half of play on Saturday afternoon.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.