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Second half comeback powers Kansas State to Cactus Bowl victory over UCLA

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If this is the end of the Bill Snyder era (Part II) at Kansas State, at least the ol’ Wizard went out in memorable fashion.

The Wildcats (8-5) used a wild two-minute stretch in the third quarter to power a second half comeback at the Cactus Bowl on Tuesday to beat UCLA 35-17 and complete a flourishing kick to the 2017 season under the team’s venerable head coach.

Snyder, who is one of the best in the business in terms of making adjustments at halftime, proved his coaching acumen is still pretty sharp against a Bruins squad (6-7) that was banged up, without starting quarterback Josh Rosen and operating under an interim coaching staff. KSU took their first drive of the second half 74 yards to the end zone and included a fourth-and-inches run right at the goal line to cap it off. Safety Denzel Goolsby forced a fumble out of the hands of Bolo Olorunfunmi on UCLA very next offensive snap, setting his offense back up just outside the red zone.

They converted that into a touchdown and were off to the races for a bit of postseason revenge against the Bruins for a somewhat controversial Alamo Bowl three years ago — twisting the knife a bit with a 15-play, 98 yard drive to ice the game in the final frame.

Skylar Thompson started at quarterback but proved to be ineffective and eventually gave way to Alex Delton, who immediately took off running 68 yards for a touchdown on his first touch. The latter finished the game with 158 yards and three scores on the ground while adding another 52 through the air as the spark that seemed to get the Wildcats going and help really open things up.

Running back Alex Barnes chipped in with 117 yards and a touchdown, doing most of his damage after Delton took over signal-caller duties. Fullback Winston Dimel, who could be playing his final game with the team with his father taking the UTEP head coaching job, didn’t go out on quite the high note he would have wanted statistically and appeared to aggravate an existing shoulder injury in the third quarter as well.

Though new coach Chip Kelly was looking on from a suite, his new UCLA team didn’t exactly prove themselves to be up to the moment after looking pretty solid in the first half. Devon Modster, starting under center in place of Rosen, flashed early in throwing a pair of 50+ yard touchdowns during the second quarter but trailed off after that. He finished the game with 257 yards and added another 19 with his legs for what was still a pretty solid audition for the new staff.

It was nearly enough to stop one of the best teams in the country during the second half of the 2017 season, as Kansas State closed strong with wins in five of their last six to finish a very trying campaign on a high note. While the emotion of the effort from Chase Field in Phoenix was nice to celebrate for Wildcats fans, their attention will likely now be wondering about their head coach.

Snyder has said no decision has been made as to his plans in 2018 with the team but if Tuesday night was it for his career in the Little Apple, it was a heck of a way to go out for the man nicknamed The Wizard. And if it isn’t the end, it will make for a fine way to run into the offseason after running right over UCLA out in the desert.

Kellen Mond and Texas A&M teasing classic uniform look for Aggies?

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Texas A&M has had a number of uniforms over the years, mostly with slight variations from one another during the course of the season. And while there have been some really good looks and some truly awful ones, it never hurts any program to go back to the basics. And unless Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond and athletics director Ross Bjork are just pulling our chains, it seems the Aggies could be bringing back a classic design this upcoming season.

The fire was lit on the wild speculation when Mond retweeted a message on Twitter from the Barstool Sports Texas A&M account reflecting on the classic uniform design of the Aggies.

When someone else on Twitter directed this response from Mond to Bjork, Bjork seemed to play along.

The hope is Texas A&M will make their main home uniform look closer to the look used in the 1990s, with a slightly larger “Texas A&M” block lettering across the front of the jersey and the removal of the bezel numbering. And, of course, making sure there are no stripes on the shoulders. The throwback look did make a return to the Aggies last season, so hopefully those designs get promoted to more regular use whenever college football is played in College Station.

Sometimes less is more. In the case of Texas A&M football uniforms, that should be the guiding principle in the design process.

Toledo head coach Jason Candle treats first responders to free lunches

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Times are tough for local businesses around the country right now, which is why Toledo head coach Jason Candle chose to do some goodwill in his local community.

After hearing about the economic struggles of Ed Beczynski, a local restaurant owner who has provided catered meals for Toledo football, Candle stepped in to help him out while providing some free meals for police and firefighters in Toledo. Candle bought lunch from Buczynski’s deli for the Toledo Police department and four local fire stations in Toledo.

“First and foremost, I wanted to help the people out on the frontlines,” Candle said in a phone interview last week, according to Yahoo! Sports. “But I really wanted to use it as a way to spark other people to get involved, too. These are tough times, uncertain times. I thought it was a way to try and make a small difference.”

The act certainly inspired others to do the same. Beczynski says orders have been flying in since Candle’s act of kindness, both for standard food orders and for similar orders to provide to first responders and those in the medical field fighting the coronavirus pandemic firsthand.

FAU TE John Raine enters transfer portal

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One of FAU’s top receiving targets from 2019 could be on the move. Owls tight end John Raine has reportedly entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal database. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN was among the first to report the transfer portal update, via Twitter.

As a graduate transfer, Raines will be eligible to play this fall for whatever team he ends up joining. Last season, Raines caught 38 passes for 343 yards and six touchdowns, the second-most touchdown receptions on the team last fall.

FAU will certainly be a program in transition in 2020 with a new head coach and coaching staff. FAU is now losing four of its top five receivers from last season due to graduation or transfer. One of those leading receivers from last season was tight end Harrison Bryant, who is considered among the top tight end prospects in the NFL draft. No other tight ends caught a pass for the Owls in 2019.

 

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on April 5, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2018

THE HEADLINE: Bear Bryant’s great-grandson commits to play for Alabama
THE SYNOPSIS: Paul Tyson was rated as a four-star 2019 recruit on the 247Sports.com composite.  The Alabama coaching legend’s kin took a redshirt for his true freshman season after appearing in one game.  He’ll be a part of the competition to replace Tua Tagovailoa under center.  If when prep work for the 2020 campaign restarts, of course.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Ohio State committee approves two-year extension for Urban Meyer
THE SYNOPSIS: The extension would’ve kept Meyer in Columbus through the 2022 season.  Instead, eight months later, Meyer announced he was retiring at the end of the 2018 season.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Penn State trustee who was “running out of sympathy” for “so-called victims” of Jerry Sandusky not seeking second term
THE SYNOPSIS: For once, the shipdit made the right call.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Ex-Oklahoma football player accused of pimping out former Sooner cheerleader
THE SYNOPSIS: There’s a headline you don’t see every day.  Lawrence Moore was a 2013 signee.  The cornerback played in two games as a true freshman for Oklahoma before leaving the program.  Micah Madison Parker was a member of OU’s cheerleading squad during Moore’s lone season with the Sooners.

2015

THE HEADLINE: UGA’s three-man QB battle whittled down to two?
THE SYNOPSIS: Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Jacob Park entered the spring as part of the under-center competition.  Exiting, it was down to Bauta and Ramsey.  In the end, neither started the opener.  That honor instead went to Greyson Lambert, who transferred in from Virginia in June.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Updated: Bobby Petrino placed on administrative leave
THE SYNOPSIS: Earlier in the day, the then-Arkansas head coach claimed he was alone on his motorcycle when he wrecked earlier in the month.  As it turned out, a female who wasn’t his wife was on the bike with him.  Jessica Dorrell became the student-athlete development coordinator for football the previous month.  Five days later, Petrino, who admitted to an affair with Dorrell, was fired.

2012

THE HEADLINE: USC it is: top ’13 QB tabs Trojans over Sooners, Tide, Huskies
THE SYNOPSIS: Max Browne chose USC over Oklahoma, Alabama and home-state Washington.  Redshirting as a true freshman, Browne spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons as Cody Kessler’s primary backup. After winning the starting job in 2016, Browne lost his job to Sam Darnold following a 1-2 start.  A few months later, Browne transferred to Pitt.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Big Ten ‘super conference’ talk gaining momentum?
THE SYNOPSIS: The rumor du jour was that the Big Ten would move to 16 teams.  11 teams at the time, the Midwestern conference would instead add just three additional schools.  Nebraska in 2011, and Maryland and Rutgers in 2014.