Herm Edwards heard all the naysayers about his hire at Arizona State. So did the rest of his football team.
All had a nice laugh Saturday night about those doom-and-gloom predictions while celebrating a surprisingly entertaining 16-13 upset of No. 15 Michigan State that gave the Pac-12 a badly needed marquee non-conference win in the process.
Not surprisingly, quarterback Manny Wilkins led the way offensively for ASU as he threw for 380 yards, a touchdown and an interception. While he was hit-or-miss with his downfield passing most of the night, he came up with some big plays down the stretch and was the team’s leading rusher on the night as well. Kyle Williams was his favorite target early but as the game wore on it was star wideout N'Keal Harry who started to gradually take over as the clock started to wind down and finished with 89 yards and a leaping touchdown catch.
Though it wasn’t an official stat, Harry also drew numerous pass interference penalties and was the focus of the Spartans defense from the opening kickoff.
The outcome spoiled the homecoming of Phoenix native Brian Lewerke, who was MSU’s only source of offense because they couldn’t really run the football at all. The quarterback finished with a solid 314 yards with a touchdown but threw an early interception in the end zone and didn’t get an opportunity to lead a game-winning drive like he did last week.
Mark Dantonio’s defense played fairly well all night but allowed 13 points in the fourth quarter and gave up a few big plays that led to ASU’s game-winning field goal at the gun. The loss is a big blow to a team that was a dark horse to make the College Football Playoff considering how many starters returned from last season’s 10-win team and the fact that a brutal Big Ten slate awaits over the coming months. The inability to finish will certainly be brought up on the long flight back to East Lansing as a season filled with such promise has so far fallen short after two lackluster performances in 2018.
If there’s one silver lining for the green and white, at least they’re not completely out of the hunt for hardware with a number of opportunities to get top 25 wins ahead but they’ll be in no position to do so if they don’t play better than they have been.
As for Edwards, the victory might just make his team the favorite in the suddenly wide-open Pac-12 South this year. The Sun Devils have a feisty defense with an active front-seven, a veteran quarterback who has knocked off his share of top 15 teams and a host of playmakers like Neal who are electrifying in space.
Suddenly all those laughing at ASU for making the outside the box hire of Edwards are now very much taking Arizona State seriously. As well they should after knocking off a team like Michigan State.
Eastern Kentucky wide receiver Cameron Catron was shot in the early morning hours of Sunday following a dispute outside a bar.
According to WKYT-TV, Catron and an unidentified man were fighting outside the Two Keys Tavern in Lexington, Ky., when the other man ran to his vehicle, returned with a gun and shot Catron. It is not known where he was shot.
The suspect, described as wearing a blue shirt with dreadlocked hair culminating in frosted tips, is still at large.
“He’s one of the biggest hearted guys I know. Whoever done that to him was just really in a bad place right now,” teammate Gunner Slone told the station.
A Belfry, Ky., native, Catron was a redshirt freshman in 2018; he appeared in two games on special teams.
Catron has already undergone two surgeries to remove the bullet and repair internal damage. A social media post by his mother indicated he is out of ICU and able to walk a short distance.
Breon Dixon has yet to really make a mark in college football, but his closet has become well stocked. A 4-star prospect out of Suwanee, Ga., Dixon signed with Ole Miss and enrolled in January of 2017, but left quickly thereafter.
Given a waiver to play immediately as part of the Hugh Freeze explosion, Dixon was enrolled at Nebraska within 365 days of originally enrolling at Ole Miss. He appeared in four games on special teams for the Huskers this season, but by this spring he was no longer a Cornhusker, either.
In May, the Omaha World-Herald contacted Iowa Western Community College head coach Scott Strohmeier, who said Dixon would become a Reiver. Now, Dixon has confirmed that himself.
He is expected to enroll in classes in July and compete for IWCC this fall, with the expectation he’ll look for another four-year university in the winter. Strohmeier told the World-Herald he didn’t expect Dixon to re-enroll at Nebraska, meaning the player could be looking for a fourth school in as many years come 2020.
It appears Darius Slade has found himself yet another college football home.
In early February, it was confirmed that Slade had taken the first step in moving on from Arizona State by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database. A little over four months later, it’s now being reported that the defensive end is enrolled at South Florida.
For what it’s worth, a USF official declined to confirm Slade’s addition to the roster and the lineman isn’t yet listed on the football program’s online roster.
Slade, who originally began his collegiate career at Ohio State before transferring and landing at ASU prior to the start of the 2017 season, played in 10 games in 2018 after sitting out the previous year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
As a graduate transfer, Slade would be eligible to play for the Bulls immediately in 2019.
On the same day we noted an addition to Marshall’s roster, there’s been a development regarding one of the football program’s personnel subtractions earlier this offseason.
Utilizing his personal Twitter account, Ty Tyler (pictured, No. 1) announced that he is “honored and overwhelmed to announce I am committed to [the] University of Louisville.” Earlier this offseason, the defensive lineman opted to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database after four years with the Thundering Herd.
As Tyler will be coming to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the school in 2019. The upcoming season will serve as the lineman’s final year of eligibility.
This past season, Tyler led the Thundering Herd with eight sacks and tied for second on the team with nine tackles for loss. He leaves Huntington having been credited with 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 35 career games, 20 of which were starts.