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No. 13 LSU claims another top-10 upset victim, this time No. 2 Georgia

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No. 13 LSU claimed upsets of (at the time) No. 8 Miami and No. 7 Auburn, but neither of those teams are ranked in those spots now and surely the trend would end Saturday, when No. 2 Georgia came to Baton Rouge for the first time since 2008.

But the Tigers were the tougher and more prepared team, shutting down the Bulldogs’ explosive attack for a 36-16 win.

The Tigers opened the scoring with a 33-yard Cole Tracy field goal, and Georgia appeared ready to try for the equalizer on the ensuing drive, but Kirby Smart called a fake field goal on a 4th-and-9 from the LSU 14. The play never had a chance, and the LSU defense held.

LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) immediately took advantage, dinking and dunking down the field until Clyde Edwards-Helaire broke free on a 3rd-and-1 for a 47-yard gain to set up a 1st-and-goal. Burrow plunged in on a 1-yard keeper on 4th-and-goal, staking LSU to a 10-0 lead at the 13:34 mark of the second quarter.

After forcing a three-and-out, Burrow hit a wide open Justin Jefferson for a 50-yard gain on LSU’s next play after the touchdown. The drive stalled, but Tracy’s 33-yard boot pushed the lead to 13.

Another Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) three-and-out lead to another long LSU drive, this one a 15-play, 50-yard push set up Tracy for his third boot of the half, a 39-yarder at the 5:09 mark of the first half.

Georgia accepted the ball to open the second half and moved 52 yards in 12 plays, but Fromm was sacked on a 3rd-and-9, setting up a 40-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal to get the Bulldogs on the board.

The Bulldogs forced a punt on LSU’s first drive, but another Fromm mistake — this time an interception deep in his own end to Kristian Fulton — gave the Tigers the ball at the Georgia 23, and a fourth Tracy field goal erased Georgia’s progress 12 minutes into the third quarter.

Trailing 19-3, Georgia inserted freshman quarterback Justin Fields, whose presence sparked the first good drive of the day — seven plays, 75 yards and a 10-yard Elijah Holyfield touchdown. Georgia’s 2-point try failed, but the Bulldogs were within 19-9 with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

The teams traded three-and-outs, and LSU put the game away with its running game and a 36-yard pass to Jefferson. Burrow’s second 1-yard scoring run of the day pushed the Tigers up 26-9 with 9:31 remaining, and a fourth Tracy field goal pushed the lead to 20.

The Bulldogs again knifed 75 yards in five plays, scoring on a 27-yard strike from Fromm to Riley Ridley, but LSU answered yet again. On a first down from his own 37, Burrow took off for a career-long 59-yard run to the Georgia 4, and Nick Brossette added the capper one snap later.

Fromm threw all 34 passes for Georgia, hitting 16 of them for 209 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Holyfield and D’Andre Swift combined to rush 19 times for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Burrow, meanwhile, hit 15-of-30 passes for 200 yards while rushing 13 times for 66 yards and two scores. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led all runners with 126 yards on 15 carries, while Brossette added 44 yards and two scores on 10 carries.

LSU students will go to class on Saturday to make up for national title game

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LSU students who got to skip class for the national title game (and the ensuing celebrations…) were hit with a dose of reality returning to Baton Rouge on Friday.

According to an announcement from the university, classes that were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday for the championship game have been rescheduled. As a result, students will have to go to class on Saturday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 8.

So yes, Saturdays in the fall have resulted in a few Saturdays of work in the spring.

The school had received a bit of criticism when it was announced that classes were cancelled on the dates surrounding the championship game. While the practice has happened elsewhere, the nature of the game being less than an hour from campus in New Orleans certainly made things unique for the Tigers and their large fan base.

While some students no doubt had hoped that the classes at the time were indeed cancelled, it turns out they were in fact just being rescheduled. Going to school on a Saturday probably isn’t what many had in mind when signing up for the spring semester but there’s probably not a soul in purple and gold will take issue with the change given that it comes as a result of hoisting the ultimate football trophy on Monday night in the Big Easy.

Virginia safety Chris Moore enters transfer portal

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The transfer portal has claimed another name.

As first noted by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Virginia safety Chris Moore has entered his name into the database as he explores a move out of Charlottesville.

Moore started five of his nine appearances for the Cavaliers in 2019 and wound up recording 42 tackles. While he was in line to become one of the key members in the secondary going forward, a prior  suspension for violating team rules back in November may have wound up playing a role in his departure and standing with the team.

The safety had previously missed all of the 2018 season with an injury as well.

Moore was originally a three-star recruit out of Ashburn, Va. in 2016 and, assuming the redshirt senior has a degree, likely has a season remaining as a grad transfer.

DL Jay Tufele, WR Tyler Vaughns skipping draft to stay at USC

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Clay Helton has a lot of issues to deal with at the moment. Having a talented USC football team is not one of them.

The Trojans received a rare bit of good news on Thursday evening as two key players announced they were skipping the 2020 NFL Draft. In back-to-back announcements, defensive lineman Jay Tufele and wideout Tyler Vaughns confirmed they would remain in Los Angeles for the 2020 season.

Tufele is one of USC’s best defensive players. He recorded 42 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season as a redshirt sophomore despite dealing with a handful of injuries. With leading sacker Drake Jackson also back, there’s a nice tandem up front for whoever the team hires as defensive coordinator to work with going forward.

Vaughns returning also makes a dangerous receiving corps that much deeper. Michael Pittman Jr. was lost to graduation but the next three top wideouts are set to be back in 2020. Add in a group of solid tailbacks and both J.T. Daniels and Kedon Slovis at QB and USC will once again have one of the top offenses in the Pac-12.

Whether it will all help save Helton’s job again remains to be seen. If nothing else though, there’s at least there’s some positive news for the cardinal and gold this offseason with Tufele and Vaughns back in the fold going forward.

Nebraska and OC Troy Walters “mutually agreed to part ways”

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A year after significantly falling short of expectations, an offseason of change has commenced at Nebraska.

In one of the first big moves since Scott Frost took over at his alma mater, the Cornhuskers and offensive coordinator Troy Walters announced on Friday that they had ‘mutually agreed to part ways.’

“Troy has been a valued member of our coaching staff for the past four years,” Frost said in a statement. “Troy is a good mentor for his players, provides great energy on and off the field, and carries himself with a presence off the field that will be missed. I want to thank him for his work on our coaching staff, and wish him and his family all the best going forward.”

The duo first came together when Frost was hired at UCF and led a number of prolific offenses, including the undefeated 2017 team for the Knights. Walters was a finalist for the Broyles Award that same season though has not called plays for either team.

Walters had a distinguished career as a player at Stanford that included All-American honors and a Biletnikoff Award in 1999. He spent several years in the NFL before going into coaching during stops at Texas A&M, N.C. State and Colorado.

The departure of Walters could interestingly lead to a reunion between Frost and a familiar name in Mark Helfrich. The latter was head coach at Oregon when Frost was elevated to offensive coordinator for the Ducks and is in search of a job after being let go by the Chicago Bears from a similar role.