No. 5 Wisconsin (11-0, 8-0) moved one step closer to an undefeated regular season thanks to a strong second-half showing against No. 24 Michigan (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten). The Badgers struggled to get much of anything going on offense in the first half, but the plays seemed to come together in the second half en route to a 24-10 victory in Madison on Saturday afternoon. The Badgers scored 21-unanswered points to overcome a 10-7 deficit in the third quarter.
Michigan was on the wrong end of a controversial instant replay in the first half, but even if the correct call had been made in the review it would not have been enough to score the upset. The Badgers wore down Michigan in the second half and found some passing plays to use to their advantage off the arm of Alex Hornibrook. Hornibrook completed just nine passes out of 19 attempts with one going for a touchdown and another deep ball providing a spark along the way. The recipe for a win, of course, remained running the ball. Freshman sensation Jonathan Taylor ripped off 132 yards on 19 carries to power Wisconsin’s offense.
Michigan starting quarterback Brandon Peters was carted off in the third quarter with an apparent head injury. He did not return, and John O’Korn was tasked with taking over the offense for the remainder of the game. Had Peters not been injured, it may not have mattered. Wisconsin’s defense was still making plays when they needed and not allowing Michigan to seize control for extended periods of time.
The win keeps Wisconsin knocking on the door to the College Football Playoff. If the Badgers win their next two games, they will stand an excellent chance of getting to the playoff for the first time in school history. Wisconsin will wrap up the regular season on the road next week with the annual rivalry game with Minnesota. The Gophers were getting thumped by Northwestern and will need a long-overdue win against Wisconsin in order to become bowl-eligible. Wisconsin has not lost to Minnesota since 2003. After that, it will be a date in the Big Ten Championship Game against the champion of the East Division, which will more than likely be the team Michigan plays next week.
Michigan will be home in Ann Arbor for their rivalry game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes will need the win in order to remain on the playoff radar heading into the Big Ten championship game. Jim Harbaugh has not beaten Urban Meyer yet.
One member of the Clemson football program has been dealt a very significant blow. Whether it’s a blow that costs him the remainder of his career remains to be seen.
Justyn Ross was very limited as Clemson worked its way through spring football practice that was ultimately scuttled because of the coronavirus pandemic. In lieu of an official explanation from the program, rumors of the seriousness of Ross’ health issues have been bouncing off the vast expanses of the Internet.
In mid-March, Dabo Swinney attempted to clear the air, saying that the standout wide receiver is “perfectly fine” even as he’s dealing with what’s being described as “stinger symptoms.” Late last month, however, it was reported that Ross will undergo surgery in June. A Clemson football official subsequently confirmed that a medical procedure is in the offing.
Monday, Swinney confirmed that Ross will undergo surgery this month. In doing so, Swinney also confirmed that the receiver will miss the entire 2020 season. And, it’s an issue that could end his playing career.
Ross was the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama in the Class of 2018, and he has more than lived up to the recruiting hype.
His first two seasons with the Clemson football program, Ross has totaled 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns on 112 receptions. This past season, caught 66 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns.
In four career College Football Playoff games, Ross has a statline of 23-424-3. for the Tigers
SMU is once again on the positive side of the football transfer portal.
Earlier this offseason, Chris Naggar entered the NCAA transfer database. This weekend, 247Sports.com indicated that the kicking specialist has transferred into the SMU football program.
As of yet, neither the player nor the school has confirmed the development.
Naggar would be heading to the Mustangs as a graduate transfer. The upcoming season would serve as his final year of eligibility.
Naggar joined the Texas Longhorns as part of its Class of 2016. His first three years in Austin, the Arlington, Tex., native didn’t see the field.
This past season, Naggar appeared in seven games for the Longhorns. He punted the ball 25 times in 2019, averaging 39.3 yards per punt. He also kicked off three times in his seven appearances.
This offseason, SMU has added a pair of Power Five transfers to its football roster. Stanford offensive lineman Mike Williams joined the AAC team in February. Arkansas wide receiver TQ Jackson did the same three months later. Additionally, starting linebacker Richard Moore was granted a sixth season of eligibility.
The Mustangs are coming off a 10-3 campaign, the program’s most wins since the pre-death penalty season of 1984. In December, SMU announced it had reached an agreement on a contract extension with head football coach Sonny Dykes.
A tragedy that struck the Indiana football program has drawn a response from its head coach.
It was reported Monday that Chris Beaty “was one of two men shot and killed in separate incidents over the weekend as violence erupted in Downtown Indianapolis.” The 38-year-old Beaty was shot multiple times shortly before midnight local time Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Beaty was a defensive lineman for the Indiana Hoosiers football team from 2000-04.
Monday afternoon, Tom Allen addressed the tragic development.
“I am at a loss for words. The news of the passing of Chris Beaty is just devastating. Since I returned home to coach at Indiana, Chris embraced me, encouraged me and supported me! His passion for life and Indiana Football energized me every time we were together. He was one of our first alumni that displayed his unwavering support for what we are building here at Indiana and how we are building it. I am so heartbroken for his family and he will be deeply missed by all those that were blessed to call him a friend! LEO”
Despite being away from the Indiana football program for nearly two decades, Beaty remained close to it.
HoosierHuddle.com wrote that “Beaty was still actively involved with IU football. He tweeted on April 26th a screenshot of head coach Tom Allen, Mark Deal and several other Indiana football alumni. He thanked Allen for checking in with the former players and said that IU football was in good hands.”
Included was a tweet from Beaty’s personal Twitter account.
In Pat Dye, Auburn has lost one of its most storied head coaches.
Last month, Dye was hospitalized for kidney-related issues. During that hospital stay, Dye tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, his son, NFL agent Pat Dye Jr., stated that “[w]e fully anticipate his release from the hospital in the next few days once his kidney function is stable.
Sadly, 247Sports.com is now reporting that Dye died on Monday at 80. A cause of death has not been released.
The website wrote that “Dye, who was moved to Bethany House in Auburn following a stay at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, listened to phone calls on Monday morning from family, friends and former players on Monday morning.”
A Georgia native, Dye played his college football at the University of Georgia. He began his coaching career as linebackers coach at Alabama from 1965-73. From there he became the head coach at East Carolina from 1974-79, then at Wyoming for one season in 1980.
Most famously, though, Pat Dye spent a dozen seasons as the head coach at Auburn. From 1981-92, Dye went 99-39-4 with the Tigers. Included in that was a 6-6 record in the Iron Bowl. And a national championship in 1983.
Under a cloud of NCAA controversy, it was announced on the eve of the 1992 Alabama game that Dye would be resigning at season’s end. There was also the Condoleeza Rice playoff committee flap.
All told, though, Dye went 153-62-5 as a head coach. In 2005, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.