Associated Press

No. 18 Texas survives K-State, sets up showdown vs. No. 6 OU

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The dominant storyline to emerge from Kansas State’s 35-6 loss to No. 12 West Virginia was Bill Snyder‘s insertion of Alex Delton for Skylar Thompson at quarterback without telling the rest of his staff or Thompson. Delton started Saturday’s game, and one has to wonder what would’ve happened if he didn’t.

No. 18 Texas used scores in all three phases to take a 19-0 halftime lead, but a second half replacement of Delton for Thompson breathed life into K-State. The Wildcats took the field in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead, but the Longhorns got the stop they needed and held on for a 19-14 win.

Texas (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) accepted the ball to open the game and ended it scoreless after Sam Ehlinger missed a wide open Devin Duvernay for what would have been a 55-yard touchdown pass, but D'Shawn Jamison bailed out his quarterback by returning a punt 90 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring at the 5:25 mark of the first quarter.

The Texas offense got on the board with an 11-play, 89-yard drive, keyed by a 21-yard throwback from running back Tre Watson to Ehlinger to set UT up with a 1st-and-goal at the K-State 4. Ehlinger found Collin Johnson one play later to put the visitors up 14-0 57 seconds into the second frame.

Texas’s defense got into the action on the ensuing drive when Charles Omenihu sacked Alex Delton in the end zone for a safety. After the safety, Texas went 53 yards over 13 plays to set up a 28-yard Cameron Dicker field goal.

Kansas State (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) had a great opportunity to get on the board just before the end of the half with a 1st-and-goal from the Texas 6, but three straight Delton runs got them to the 2 and a fourth down pass inside the end zone was dropped, leaving the Wildcats scoreless at the break.

The Wildcats accepted the ball to open the second half and, with Delton out after hitting just 3-of-7 passes for 14 yards, Thompson immediately led them 82 yards in 10 plays, covering the final seven himself to put K-State on the board.

After a punt and a missed Dicker field goal, Kansas State moved 70 yards in 10 plays — converting two third downs and a fourth-and-goal, as Alex Barnes leaped into the end zone to pull K-State within 19-14 with 9:55 to play.

Texas moved into K-State territory on the ensuing possession, but Ehlinger threw wide of Collin Johnson on 3rd-and-7, and the Wildcats took the field at their own 20 with 7:12 to work with knowing a score would hand them the lead. After Barnes ran for four yards on first down, Thompson threw incomplete to Dalton Schoen on second down and his third down pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage by Breckyn Hager.

After a punt, Texas then took over at its own 20 with 6:31 to play and, leaning on Ehlinger and Ingram (15 touches for 95 yards), expired the remainder of the clock. A 12-yard Ehlinger rush on 2nd-and-6 with 2:20 remaining allowed Texas to kneel out the clock. The sophomore closed the day hitting 29-of-36 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown while rushing eight times for 26 yards.

The win sets up a showdown with No. 6 Oklahoma next week in Dallas. This will be the first time Texas heads to Dallas with one or fewer losses since 2012.

WVU wideout Dillon Spalding transfers to James Madison, will play against old team in Week 1

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In the NFL, you’ll often see teams sign a player who was just cut off another team the week or two before they wind up playing that opponent. We could sort of have a college football version of that scenario in the case of wide receiver Dillon Spalding.

The former West Virginia redshirt freshman announced on Twitter that he had committed to James Madison and would be transferring to join the team in 2019. The team’s opponent in Week 1? None other than the Mountaineers in Morgantown.

Of course any knowledge Spalding might bring with him is limited given that both JMU and WVU have new coaching staffs in place this year. The former three-star recruit is moving a little closer to his Lorton, Va. hometown and will have all four years of eligibility remaining between redshirting last season due to an injury and the drop down to the FCS level.

The Dukes have added a solid amount of FBS talent recently for new coach Curt Cignetti. In addition to Spalding, former Penn State wide receiver Brandon Polk joined the program this offseason and both will catch passes from ex-Pitt QB Ben DiNucci.

Wildcats see attendance spike after allowing beer and wine sales at Arizona Stadium in 2018

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Arizona posted a disappointing 5-7 campaign in Kevin Sumlin’s first season in Tucson but Arizona fans still came out and enjoyed themselves thanks, in part, to the school allowing beer and alcohol sales for the first time.

As the Arizona Daily Star reports, attendance for the Wildcats home football games actually ticked up last year an average of 2,804 people while incidents of ejections at the stadium did the same — though were below historic averages.

“We’ve been very pleased with the rollout across the board in Arizona Stadium and McKale,” athletic director Dave Heeke said. “This was really focused around a number of things that we’ve done in the area of fan amenities and food service, and beverage selection was a key component.”

Some 43 people were kicked out of seven home games at UA, which is double the 21 from 2017 but well below the numbers the school reported for seasons when they played in-state rival Arizona State. It seems that Territorial Cup contest was the biggest indicator of above-average ejections in a year though game-by-game data was not given.

“I really haven’t noticed an increase in any type of criminal behavior due to beer and wine sales,” UAPD spokesman Sgt. Sean Shields told the paper. “Obviously from year to year the ejections and different numbers change and they fluctuate, but it’s very hard to pinpoint the reason why those happen.”

The amount of revenue generated by beer and alcohol sales wasn’t detailed by the school but Heeke noted it covered the additional costs on game days and the profit overall wasn’t hugely significant. Still, it seems the atmosphere at Arizona Stadium was still enough to lure fans into their seats despite plenty of late starts and a football team that was largely up-and-down in 2018.

Ex-FAU defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro joins Kansas staff in off-the-field role

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Not many people can say they worked for the very different styles of head coaches Lane Kiffin and Les Miles back-to-back but Tony Pecoraro certainly can.

The recently let go Florida Atlantic defensive coordinator has apparently landed a new gig in Lawrence as a senior defensive analyst, primarily serving under Jayhawks DC D.J. Eliott.

Pecoraro took over the Owls defense in 2018 after spending the previous two seasons running things on that side of the ball for Southern Miss. Things didn’t quite work out in Boca however as FAU couldn’t get off the field like they did in Kiffin’s first year and allowed 31.8 points per game.

The veteran coordinator, who has Power Five assistant experience from a stint at Florida State, was replaced at FAU by longtime Oklahoma State DC Glenn Spencer back in December.

Wisconsin unlikely to join trend of selling beer and alcohol at football games anytime soon

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Wisconsin fans are known to hold more than their own when it comes to enjoying an adult beverage or two before, during and after Badgers football games but they apparently will have to keep waiting for the opportunity to buy a cold one at Camp Randall on game days.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, a decision on whether or not to allow beer/alcohol sales in the general seating sections of the stadium rests with school chancellor Rebecca Blank and that she is not inclined to change the status quo on such prohibition anytime soon.

“The university believes that there is already an atmosphere of energy and excitement around Badger game days,” a school statement to the paper read. “The addition of alcohol to general seating areas isn’t needed to improve that experience and could detract from it for our students and fans.”

Just in the last two months, Indiana, Rutgers and Illinois have turned on the taps for football games in 2019. That will result in fully half of Big Ten schools allowing such sales in general seating areas as a result this season and it’s turned into yet another lucrative revenue stream for those that have too.

Wisconsin appears resistant to the idea however, doing so in the face of declining attendance for games too. While it is certainly too early to remark ‘never say never’ when it comes to the Badgers, it’s pretty clear this trend isn’t making its way to Madison anytime soon.