Associated Press

No. 2 Alabama cruises to seventh straight defeat of No. 19 LSU


It wasn’t dominant and it wasn’t pretty, but it was a 2-touchdown win over a top-20 opponent in which the home team was never seriously threatened. Such is life in this series after No. 2 Alabama scored its seventh straight win over No. 19 LSU in a 24-10 final in Tuscaloosa.

The streak, which began after LSU won at Bryant-Denny Stadium in that 9-6 overtime “Game of the Century, has seen Alabama win by an average score of 23-10 in a series that used to be as competitive as any in college football.

Alabama opened the scoring on a 4-yard toss from Jalen Hurts to Irv SmithJr., then pushed the lead to 14 on a 9-yard burst by Bo Scarborough. LSU finally dented the scoreboard with a 21-yard Connor Culp field goal with 8:38 to go in the first half, ending LSU’s scoreless streak against the Crimson Tide at 90 minutes and 40 seconds, dating back to the fourth quarter of its 30-16 loss in Tuscaloosa in 2015.

Hurts effectively put the game away for good with a 3-yard rush at the 2:55 mark to go in the third quarter. LSU immediately responded thanks to backup running back Darrel Williams, who broke free for a 54-yard run and then punched in a 2-yard touchdown to pull the Bayou Bengals within 21-10.

But Andy Pappanastos pushed the lead to 14 on Alabama’s next drive with a 40-yard field goal at the 13:25 mark of the fourth quarter, and LSU never threatened again.

Danny Etling hit 12-of-26 passes for 137 yards and an interception that led to Alabama’s second touchdown. He was replaced by Myles Brennan, who completed 3-of-5 throws for 18 yards. Williams led all runners with 83 yards on seven carries, and Derrius Guice added 71 yards on 19 carries. Though the Tigers did lose 34 yards in sacks, LSU (6-3, 3-2 SEC) still managed to out-rush Alabama, 151-119. Hurts led the Tide with 44 yards on 14 carries while hitting 11-of-24 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. LSU also won the first downs battle, 16-14, and possessed the ball for more than eight minutes more than Alabama.

The ho-hum win will either serve as a wake-up call or a warning sign for Alabama as the schedule picks up from here. The Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) will visit No. 16 Mississippi State next week before closing with a trip to No. 14 Auburn and, presumably, a date with No. 1 Georgia, who clinched the SEC East on Saturday, in Atlanta.

Report: Baylor LB DeMarco Artis, WR Rajah Preciado leave team

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Baylor linebacker DeMarco Artis and wide receiver Rajah Preciado have left the team, according to a report from SicEm365The site reports that the pair leave the program on good terms; both players are still on the online roster as well as the paper roster that was distributed at Big 12 media days on Monday.

Artis was a rising sophomore from Sanford, Fla. He appeared in six games as a true freshman in 2017, recording one tackle and one hurry.

Preciado was a junior from College Station, Texas. Appearing in 18 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons, Preciado did not record a catch but posted 14 career tackles and returned one kickoff for 10 yards.



Former Ohio State defensive MVP Mike Kudla passes away

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Former Ohio State defensive end Mike Kudla passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from his high school alma mater, Highland High School in Medina, Ohio. Kudla was 34.

Kudla signed with Ohio State in 2002 and immediately helped the Buckeyes to their first national championship since 1968. He would go on to become one of the top 15 sack artists in Ohio State history, a First Team All-Big Ten performer and Ohio State’s defensive MVP in 2005. He recorded 41 tackles, 11.5 TFLs and 9.5 sacks.

Kudla worked in business after football and eventually returned to Ohio State in 2012 as managing director of development for the Fisher College of Business. At the time of his death, Kudla worked as the owner of Core Plex, which “built medical facilities all over the country.”

“Despite his success on and off the football field, Mike remained humble and was extremely generous with his time and resources,” Highland school district director of communications Dawn Marzano wrote in the Facebook post. “He was always willing to share his experience and mentor youth. He was loved and respected by many and will be missed terribly.”

Lincoln Riley suggests there is a competition for QB that nobody should believe

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It’s a standard procedure for a head coach to suggest there is an open competition for any number of positions on a football team, but nobody seems to be buying the idea there is a competition at Oklahoma to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. And when one of the players supposedly in the running for the job has a lucrative baseball career on the table, the idea is a little more comical.

Kyler Murray was drafted by the Oakland A’s with the No. 9 overall pick in the recent amateur MLB amateur draft. His contract with the A’s guarantees him $5 million and still allows for him to play one more year of football, which Murray has stated is his plan at Oklahoma. Still, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley addressed the quarterback situation at Big 12 media days on Monday and suggested Murray will have to win the job against redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall.

“Kyler’s not the quarterback yet,” Riley said when asked how the offense will change with Riley at the position following the departure of No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Mayfield to Cleveland. “There’s a really good competition going on and Kyler’s gonna have to fight like crazy to win this job.”

Sure. OK. Whatever you say, Riley.

It is worth noting Murray appeared in seven games for the Sooners last season with 18-of-21 for 359 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in backup duty for Mayfield. Kendall redshirted last season and was named one of the team’s Offensive Scout Team Players of the Year. Kendall did make appearances in two games in 2016 in a back-up role. While Kendall may have a bright future in Norman, few are willing to accept Oklahoma is welcoming back Murray to potentially be a back-up quarterback when he could jump right into his pro baseball career right now.

But this could just be nothing more than the latest example of a coach simply setting the tone for the offseason and holding the bar high for even the most talented of players on the roster. Riley may be blowing smoke, but it could also pay off in the long run of the 2018 season.

Tennessee DL Ryan Thaxton suspended, charged with domestic assault

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Tennessee defensive lineman Ryan Thaxton has been suspended by the football program after being arrested and charged for an alleged domestic assault of his girlfriend. The incident leading to the arrest and charge occurred over the weekend.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Thaxton was arrested Sunday night and charged with domestic assault and false imprisonment. According to police records, Thaxton is accused of pushing his girlfriend to his dorm room while she refused to follow him. It is reported Thaxton than carried the unidentified woman to his dorm room and blocked the door so she could not leave as an argument continued inside the room.

“We are aware of the incident,” a statement from Tennessee read. “The student-athlete has been suspended from all team activities while law enforcement and the university investigates.”

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is scheduled to address the media at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.