One of the big surprises of the young college football season so far has been the play of LSU, which has two of the best wins of any team after beating Miami at AT&T Stadium to open the year and knocking off Auburn at Jordan-Hare this past weekend.
Key to the success of the Tigers? Look no further than perhaps the smallest guy on the roster in graduate transfer kicker Cole Tracy. His 42-yarder as the clock hit zero beat their SEC West rivals and he had plenty of clutch kicks against the Hurricanes as well. Well, SEC fans being SEC fans, the success of the kicker is not going unrewarded… for his old school. It seems many Tigers fans are sending money back to tiny Assumption College, a Division II program in Massachusetts.
Per USA Today:
A couple of the initial gifts were for $54, apparently because of Tracy’s 54-yard field goal against Miami in the season opener. And yes, as you’d expect, a few of the gifts that have come in after Tracy’s 42-yard field goal to beat Auburn were for $42. A few were for $42.36 — 42 for the field goal, 36 for Tracy’s LSU jersey number.
(Vice president for institutional advancement Tim) Stanton says at Tracy’s request, the gifts made in Tracy’s name will go to support Assumption’s football program. And while we’re talking about names, during an interview Saturday night with USA TODAY Sports, Stanton joked about naming a goalpost for Tracy. Except he apparently wasn’t joking.
“We don’t know where this is gonna end,” Stanton said. “If this continues and gets to a higher amount, there will probably be some kind of naming opportunity. If it really reached some significant levels — this might sound ludicrous, but like $1 million — we’d name the field after him.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, some 141 gifts have been made totally nearly $7,000 per USA Today’s George Schroeder.
While it seems like reaching seven-figures might be a stretch, if Tracy keeps kicking like he has been and helps knock off teams like Georgia or Alabama, never say never. After all, SEC fandom knows no bounds.
Things were chippy prior to the annual Michigan-Michigan State rivalry game Saturday afternoon… they stayed chippy throughout the Wolverines’ huge win in East Lansing… and the coaches from both sides continued chirping on into their respective postgame press conferences.
Jim Harbaugh ripped the Spartans’ “bush league” pregame tactics as the U-M head coach claimed that MSU players “clotheslined a couple of our guys” and ripped off the headphones of another player. Harbaugh also specifically mentioned his counterpart on the opposing sideline, and it wasn’t an especially flattering mention.
“Total bush league and apparently Coach [Mark] Dantonio was five yards behind it all smiling,” Harbaugh said. “I think it’s bush league, that’s my impression of it.”
The MSU head coach’s response to being described as bush league? From the Detroit Free Press:
That’s BS,” Dantonio said. “You guys get your cameras out. I’m not gonna go to that. Go ahead, next question.”
A few seconds later, Dantonio said, unprompted: “Bush league? Mmmhmm.
Dantonio is now 8-4 all-time against the Wolverines, while Harbaugh evened his record at 2-2 against the Spartans.
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm knows his team cannot afford to settle for field goals if the Boilermakers are going to upset No. 2 Ohio State tonight. So with a 7-3 lead late in the first half and a fourth down from the Ohio State 13-yard line, Brohm opted to try a fake field goal in an attempt to tack on a few more points just before halftime. Fortunately for Brohm, that worked out to perfection, and now Purdue holds a 14-3 lead on the Buckeyes at halftime as result.
Holder Joe Schopper took the snap and promptly got up and ran to the left side of the field, needing four yards to pick up a first down for Purdue. Schopper had the room but needed to throw his body into a defender just enough to make sure he picked up the first down. Against Ohio State’s special teams unit, he did just that.
Had Purdue gone into halftime with a 10-3 lead, there may not be a Boilermaker fan in the state of Indiana that would have passed up on that scenario if it was an option before the game started. And the possibility of still having to settle for a field goal could still have become a reality if not for the first-and-goal pass from David Blough to Rondale Moore, who scooted into the end zone to cushion the Purdue lead.
Purdue’s late-half touchdown drive came immediately after Ohio State kicker Blake Haubeil missed on a 35-yard field goal to try cutting Purdue’s lead to one. So go ahead and consider this a 10-point swing that Brohm was not content to let slip by him.
We’ll see if Brohm has to dig into a bag of tricks in the second half.
Gardner Minshew threw an interception on No. 25 Washington State’s first drive of the game against No. 12 Oregon, leading many in the frenzied crowd at Martin Stadium to wonder if the team had Coug’d it before they even could get going. As it turns out, there was nowhere to go but up on a wild day-turned-night on the Palouse.
Wazzu wound up getting back on track in a big way, bouncing back to the tune of a 27-0 lead at halftime and a growing national profile in the process as they look to take control of the Pac-12 North.
Minshew, the mustache-sporting grad transfer behind center, finished the half with 231 yards and three touchdowns on 36 attempts — one of which was a dime to Easop Winston just before the end of the second quarter that officially signaled upset alert. As is typical of Mike Leach’s Air Raid, the ball was spread around quite a bit to the tune of nine different receivers with a catch, including two tailbacks in James Williams and Max Borghi with six apiece.
The Cougars even got the ground game going, with Williams managing to break out of at least six tackles for a 24 yard scamper to the end zone that included him tight rope-walking along the sideline before diving past the pylon.
As a result of all that, Oregon QB Justin Herbert hardly looked like the guy many were touting as the top draft pick in the spring as he failed to develop much consistency on any of the team’s drives and finished just 4-of-11 for 36 yards in the half. Running back CJ Verdell did have 17 yards rushing but it was other wise four straight three-and-outs for the offense to open the game and go into the locker room in search of answers.
This game is far from other when you factor in both #Pac12AfterDark vibes and Leach’s penchant for throwing the ball at all costs so there’s still plenty of intrigue going on in Pullman. After a rough start though, the Cougars have to be feeling good about the direction the team is taking as their Pac-12 rivals suddenly find themselves in a deep hole with quite the fight on their hands.
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has been responsible for almost all the points scored thus far at Tiger Stadium. Problem for the No. 22 Bulldogs is, most of them have been for the other team.
Fitzgerald’s second pass of the game, on the opening possession of the game, was intercepted by LSU’s Michael Divinity, Jr., who returned it 31 yards to the Mississippi State 3. Nick Brossette punched in a 1-yard score on 3rd-and-goal to put LSU up 7-0 two and a half minutes into the game.
Fitzgerald responded by leading the Bulldogs on a 7-play, 73-yard drive, but his 3rd-and-goal run from the 2 was stuffed and Mississippi State settled for a 19-yard Jace Christmann field goal.
LSU’s next seven possessions went three-and-out, with one exception: a 4-play drive that ended in a Joe Burrow interception inside the Mississippi State end zone, which Cameron Dantzler mistakenly brought out, only to step out at his own 1.
LSU’s first seven drives, including the 3-yard touchdown march, covered 22 yards over 15 plays. Their final possession was more successful, a 13-play, 62-yard drive that ended in a 25-yard Cole Tracy field goal as time expired, sending the No. 5 Tigers to the locker room with a 10-3 lead.
Fitzgerald dominated the ball for the Bulldogs. His legs have been effective, carrying 15 times for 102 yards, but his arm has not. He’s completed 3-of-9 passes for 14 yards with two interceptions.
LSU will receive to open the second half.