On a day full of chaos across college football, No. 1 Alabama had no issues taking care of business against Missouri on Saturday night in a 39-10 victory. Even the Crimson Tide’s sometimes questionable defense had a good outing against a potential first round quarterback too.
But not even the return of ‘Dixieland Delight’ to Bryant Denny Stadium could make up for the stunned silence in Tuscaloosa when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (265 yards, three touchdowns) went down with a knee injury on a first down scramble in the third quarter of the game and spent nearly 20 minutes in the team’s injury tent. Concern was ratcheted up another few notches when his parents made a visit to the tent to check in on him and again when the sophomore emerged with a heavier knee brace on and a minor limp.
Given the 20 point margin, it’s understandable that the signal-caller did not return to the game — and was officially listed as questionable after emerging back on the sideline — but the entire episode was enough on a day full of wild results to show why even the best team in the country can be at least a little vulnerable in this crazy sport of college football.
Tagovailoa wasn’t the only Tide starter to make the trip to the medical tent or locker room either. Receiver Henry Ruggs III missed the bulk of the third quarter after an injury but did return while fellow wideout Devonta Smith suffered a hamstring pull in the first half and was not seen the rest of the night.
Those absences were the story of the game even on an overall off night for Alabama’s offense. When he was in, Tagovailoa threw 10 incompletions (as many as he did in the previous three weeks combined) and the team squandered several opportunities inside the red zone that Nick Saban seemed visibly mad about. Damien Harris had 62 yards rushing (one score) and Najee Harris chipped in with another 57 on the ground while backup QB Jalen Hurts accounted for 137 total yards — including his first reception of the season in the first quarter.
The Crimson Tide being who they are though, were picked up by their defense several times as that unit recorded four sacks and managed to get a safety as well. They held potential first round quarterback Drew Lock to only 142 yards passing with one touchdown throw and two picks. The Tigers managed only 69 yards rushing too in a game that they had a few chances to make interesting but never did.
On a day where numerous top 25 teams faltered in a big way, most of the state of Alabama will likely breathe a sigh of relief that the Tide got the win and that the injuries to key players didn’t look too terrible all things considered. Saban wanted something to nitpick after an incredible start to the year and after the victory against Mizzou, he will have no problem coming up with things to work on going into the Third Saturday in October.
Even as the Rutgers football program adds transfers, Greg Schiano‘s new squad is losing them through the same process.
Friday evening, wide receiver Mohamed Jabbie announced on Twitter that he has decided to transfer from the Rutgers football team. Just a few hours later, teammate and offensive lineman Michael Maietti (pictured) used the same social-media platform to announce a similar decision.
Both Jabbie and Maietti will be leaving the Scarlet Knights as graduate transfers. The loss of the latter, though, will likely leave the biggest mark.
The past three seasons, Maietti has started 33 games at center for the Scarlet Knights. The New Jersey native earned Academic All-Big Ten honors each of the last three seasons.
Appearing in 27 games, Jabbie started 12 of those contests.
This past season, Jabbie set career-highs in catches (14), receiving yards (149) and receiving touchdowns (one). He will apparently finish his Rutgers football career with 182 yards and a touchdown on 18 receptions.
Thanks to a Nebraska football player, we won’t have to go through an entire day without a portal post. Hurray?
Late this past week, Tony Butler announced in a very classy, heartfelt post on Twitter that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database. The move would serve as the first step in a departure from the Nebraska football program.
The cornerback could also return to the Nebraska football team if he so desires.
That said, Butler would be leaving the Cornhuskers as a graduate transfer. The 2020 season will be his final year of collegiate eligibility.
“In 2016, I came here as an 18-year-old kid lost and looking for a home. Nebraska, you became my home and brought me in with open arms,” Butler wrote. “This place became very special. …
“Nebraska, you have done an incredible job at helping a lost boy become a man. My family and I are forever grateful for this opportunity.”
A three-star 2016 signee, Butler was rated as the No. 22 player regardless of position in the state of Ohio. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.
The past three seasons, Butler played in 27 games. Four of those appearances came in 2019, which was likely the trigger for the decision to transfer. Most of the games played came on special teams.
Butler is the third player to leave the Nebraska football program in a week.
Linebacker Pernell Jefferson, a three-star 2016 signee, entered the portal Wednesday. Days before that, offensive lineman John Raridon decided to retire from football to pursue a career in architecture.
The Florida Gators football program is the latest to benefit from Ye Olde Transfer Portal.
In late November, Justin Shorter took the initial step in transferring from Penn State by entering the NCAA database. Two months to the day later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career as part of the Florida Gators football team.
As of yet, UF has not announced Shorter’s addition to the roster.
A five-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, Shorter was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 8 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only defensive end Micah Parsons was rated higher than Shorter in Franklin’s class that year.
Limited to four games as a true freshman in large part because of injuries, Shorter caught three passes for 20 yards in 2018. In 11 games this season, Shorter caught 12 passes for 137 yards.
Barring the unexpected, Shorter will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws. He would then have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2021.
As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.
Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event. The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.
Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters. The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.
In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.