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A year after setting QB rushing record, Khalil Tate’s arm gets Arizona past reeling Colorado

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One year after his legs decimated Colorado, it was Khalil Tate‘s right arm that did the Buffaloes in this time around.

Thanks in very large part to a 26-point second quarter, Arizona moved to within a game of bowl eligibility in Kevin Sumlin‘s first year in the desert with a 42-34 win over reeling Colorado. Three of the Wildcats’ five scores in the second-quarter explosion — they added two field goals as well — came on touchdown passes from Tate.  All three of the scoring tosses went to different receivers.

On October 7 of last year, Tate ran for 327 yards — on 14 carries!!! — in a 45-42 win over the Buffs, setting the FBS single-game rushing record for a quarterback.  This season, Tate passed for 340 yards and threw five touchdowns for good measure; the former total is a career-high, while the latter matches his career best.  Both of those standards were set in a Week 3 win over FCS Southern Utah earlier this season.

Tate did all of his damage through the air last night on just 22 pass attempts (17 completions).

Despite the scoring barrage by the Wildcats late in the first half, the game was close throughout the second as the Wildcats entered the fourth quarter trailing by just a single point.  However, Tate’s fifth touchdown pass of the game, a 57-yarder to Cedric Peterson, put UA up for good at 42-34.  The Buffs had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion as they drove to the Wildcats’ 18-yard line with just over seven minutes left, but Steven Montez pass on third and 10 was picked off by Troy Young.

The Wildcats then bled the remainder of the game clock with a 10-play drive that featured a pair of third-down conversions.

In the loss, Montez passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns.  It was the junior’s second straight 300-yard effort and fifth total on the season.

For the Buffs, the loss continues an absolute freefall.  After beginning the year 5-0 and climbing to 19th in the Associated Press Top 25, Colorado has now lost four straight, with all of those losses coming in Pac-12 play.  UA needs to win one of its last three games — No. 8 Washington State, No. 15 Utah, at Cal — to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2017 and just the second time since 2007.

Two-game suspensions for Louisiana Tech’s starting QB, star WR

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Suffice to say, Louisiana Tech’s offense will be at less than full strength when it takes the field in Week 12 later on today.

Thursday night, the Tech football program announced that three players, junior wide receiver Adrian Hardy, senior outside linebacker James Jackson and quarterback J’Mar Smith, have been suspended for Friday night’s game against Marshall.  Hardy and Smith will also be suspended for next Saturday’s road game against UAB.

Per the school, all three players were slapped with their respective suspensions because of violations of unspecified athletic department policies.

“This matter is being handled internally,” the program said in a statement. “Neither [head football coach Skip] Holtz nor athletic department officials will address this further.”

Smith is in his third season as Tech’s starting quarterback and has thrown for 2,483 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2019.  Smith will be replaced in the starting lineup by Aaron Allen, who has thrown nine passes this year and will be making the first start of his collegiate career.

Hardy leads the Bulldogs in receiving yards with 482 and is second in receptions with 39.

Tech is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak that has them sitting atop the West Division of Conference USA at a perfect 5-0.  Their only loss came in the season opener against No. 19 Texas.

Report: Florida State no longer considers Bob Stoops a candidate

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It appears you can put this particular piece of drama to bed.

In the days after Willie Taggart was fired as Florida State’s head coach, Bob Stoops‘ name was connected to the opening through various levels of speculation.  At one point, FSU’s athletic director, David Coburn, publicly stated that the current head coach and general manager of the XFL’s Dallas franchise is a candidate for the job; Stoops subsequently stated that “the rumors/reports of him being a candidate for the Florida State job opening are not accurate.”

Nearly two weeks later, and citing two sources familiar with the search, the Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that “Florida State has been in contact with representatives of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and does not consider him a candidate for its vacant football coach position.”

With the former Oklahoma coach out of the running — if he was even in the running in the first place — FSU could turn its attention to current FBS head coaches such as Memphis’ Mike Norvell, Penn State’s James Franklin and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.  Interim head coach Odell Haggins is also drawing support from current Seminole football players to take over the job permanently.

Coburn has long maintained that the university is on track to have a replacement in place before the end of November.

Nick Saban says he suspended unnamed Alabama player for Miss. St. game for not going to class

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Let the sleuthing and/or Internet message-board speculating commence in earnest.

Thursday night on his weekly radio show, Nick Saban revealed that he had suspended one of his Alabama football players for this Saturday’s game against Mississippi State in Starkville.  The head coach even gave a specific reason for the suspension — the player didn’t go to class.

What Saban didn’t do?  Divulge the name of the player who has been suspended.

Alabama will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season last weekend against a Mississippi State squad that the Crimson Tide has beaten the last 11 times they have played, with the Bulldogs’ last win coming in 2007.  That, of course, was Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa.

Robert Mathis, Erik Williams part of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020

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A handful of the greatest Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) players — and an administrator and coach as well — are set to be honored for their collegiate gridiron exploits.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday revealed six individuals who will be a part of its Class of 2020. Four of the inductees are former players — Earl “Air” Harvey (North Carolina Central), James Hunter (Grambling State), Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M) and Erik Williams (Central State).

Joe Taylor, a former coach at FAMU, Hampton, Howard and Virginia Union,  ex-MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas will be officially inducted next February.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we congratulate the Class of 2020,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “Everyone that has vote to determine the next class understands how difficult it is to only choose six. The Class of 2020 is a great representation of the talent that has come from Historically Black Colleges & Universities.”

Williams, a third-round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, spent most of his professional career with the Dallas Cowboys, earning first-team All-Pro honors three times as an offensive tackle as well as being a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.

The year after setting an FCS record with 20 sacks, Mathis was selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his 14 seasons with the Colts, Mathis was named to the Pro Bowl five teams and owns a Super Bowl ring as well.