Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Tulane wins first bowl game since 2002 with victory over Louisiana in AutoNation Cure Bowl

1 Comment

Tulane (7-6) opened the 2018-2019 bowl season in college football by recording the first bowl victory for the school since 2002. Tulane defeated Louisiana (7-7) in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando on Saturday afternoon, 41-24.

Tulane had a 24-10 lead at halftime but started to feel pressure from Louisiana as the Ragin Cajuns battled back in the second half, cutting the Tulane lead to 27-24 early in the fourth quarter. But just when it seemed as though Tulane may let one slip through their fingers, a pair of fourth-down gambles paid off in a big way. On 4th-and-7 from the Louisiana 30-yard line, Willie Fritz decided to go for a first down and was rewarded with Justin McMillan completing a 15-yard pass to keep the drive going. A few plays later, Darius Bradwell scored a four-yard touchdown to give Tulane a two-score lead. After the defense came through with a quick series, Tulane once again faced a 4th-and-7 that worked out for the best. McMillan put the game away with just over three minutes to play on a keeper for a 16-yard touchdown run to extend Tulane’s lead to a 17-point margin on a fourth and seven.

One last offensive gasp by Louisiana came to an end with an interception in the endzone by Chris Joyce.

Despite a pair of turnovers, Tulane was called for just one five-yard penalty in the game and the Green Wave out-gained Louisiana 483-258. Bradwell rushed for a game-high 150 yards with two scores and McMillan combined for a pair of touchdowns in the win. The defense was a big factor in the first half, allowing just over 100 yards of offense before halftime despite giving up 75 yards on the first drive of the game. Louisiana scored a touchdown on the game’s opening possession but then struggled to move the ball against the Tulane defense until the second half.

Prior to Saturday’s win in the Cure Bowl, Tulane’s last bowl victory came in the 2002 Hawaii Bowl. This was the second bowl victory for Fritz, who previously won his only bowl game coached at Georgia Southern before coming to Tulane. Fritz is 2-0 in bowl games.

Tulane will head into 2019 season looking to take another step forward as a program as Fritz enters his fourth year on the job. The Green Wave have improved their win total each year with Fritz as the head coach as Tulane continues to try building itself into a contender in the AAC. The 2019 season will begin on Aug. 31, 2019 at home against FIU, followed by a road trip to Auburn the following week. Tulane will get home games in conference play against Houston and UCF and will make road trips to Memphis, Navy, and Temple as part of the conference schedule.

Louisiana will get to open their 2019 season in New Orleans with a matchup against Mississippi State on Aug. 31, 2019. The Ragin’ Cajuns also get home games against Liberty and Texas Southern in non-conference play and will get some big Sun Belt games at home against Appalachian State, Troy and rival ULM. Louisiana will travel to Arkansas State and Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt schedule next fall as well, with conference dates to be announced.

Mother of former Michigan OL James Hudson takes issue with Jim Harbaugh’s mental health comments

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jim Harbaugh‘s statement during Big Ten media days saying he’d support granting a one-time waiver for all players to transfer and play immediately figures to win him many fans in the pro-player camp. But a comment Harbaugh made did not win him any fans in a household of a player that tried to transfer and play immediately but was denied.

“And the other piece that bothers me about it is, the youngster that says ‘this is a mental health issue, I’m suffering from depression.’ Or that’s a reason to get eligible,” Harbaugh said, via the Detroit Free Press. And once that’s known that ‘hey, say this or say that’ to get eligible. The problem I see in that is you’re going to have guys that are ‘OK, yeah, I’m depressed.’

On Friday, Glenda Hudson criticized Harbaugh for not practicing what he preached. Hudson is the mother of former Michigan lineman James Hudson, whose waiver to play immediately at Cincinnati was denied because, according to him, he and/or Michigan did not provide proper documentation for the mental health issues that Hudson says forced him to leave Ann Arbor.

“Not just as a mom but as a professional that deals with mental health, this is why people don’t come out and say these things, because people don’t believe them,” Hudson told WTOL-TV. “So it upsets me because there are lots of athletes that suffer with depression I’m sure that don’t say things. But, again, hearing these type of things, they won’t. They will not do it in the future because you get, ‘Oh, he’s lying.’ You get blamed for feeling the way that you feel.”

For what it’s worth, Harbaugh seemed to hear the click-bait headlines being written and backtracked his comments during a radio interview.

“And can I add, please don’t write a bunch of letters,” he said. “I care very deeply about mental health. I’m not saying everybody’s lying about that. Just saying ‘OK, this is America. You started at this school, you didn’t like it and for whatever the reason is, you’re freely allowed to transfer to any other school like any other human being would have a right to do.’ That’s really the bottom line.”

In Harbaugh’s defense, he was not involved in the NCAA’s decision to deny Hudson’s eligibility request.

Former four-star Clemson DB enters transfer portal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A couple of weeks or so before kicking off summer camp, the defending national champion’s depth in the secondary has taken a bit of a hit.

Exiting spring practice, Kyler McMichael was listed as A.J. Terrell‘s back up at one of Clemson’s cornerback slots. However, as first reported by 247Sports.com, McMichael’s name is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.

It’s at this point in the program where we’re compelled to remind readers that McMichael can pull his name from the portal and remain with the Tigers, although entering is, more times than not, the first step toward a transfer. Taking a seat in the portal also affords other programs the opportunity to contact the defensive back without receiving permission from Clemson.

Should McMichael ultimately opt to leave the Tigers, it’s highly likely that he’d have to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules if he lands at another FBS program.

A four-star member of Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class, McMichael was rated as the No. 8 corner in the country; the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 56 prospect overall on 247Sports.com’s composite board. He was the highest-rated defensive back in the Tigers’ class that year.

McMichael picked Clemson over offers from, among others, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

As a true freshman, McMichael played in 12 games. During that action, he was credited with a pair of tackles in just over 100 snaps.

Oh, SHI? Cue Clay Davis because Rutgers announces new football naming rights deal for what will now be known as SHI Stadium

Getty Images
3 Comments

Cue Clay Davis because the birthplace of college football has a new name and fans probably can’t wait to make fun of it.

Rutgers announced on Friday that they have agreed to a new stadium naming rights deal with SHI International Corp. that will see the Scarlet Knights’ home rebranded over the next seven years into SHI Stadium. The venue was officially known as HighPoint.com Stadium last year but the naming rights deal with what most know as High Point Solutions expired this offseason.

“As the State University of New Jersey, we are thrilled to partner with SHI,” Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said in a statement. “Headquartered right here in Somerset, SHI proudly embraces its strong Rutgers ties. As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of college football here at the Birthplace, we are delighted to partner with a company that shares in our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. This partnership will positively impact athletics, the university and the New Jersey community.”

Terms were not announced by the school but “a person familiar with the contract told NJ Advance Media it’s a 7-year deal starting at $1.25 million and increasing by $100,000 annually to $1.85 million in 2025-26.” At a total of nearly $10 million over the lifetime of the contract, that isn’t quite what other Power Five programs have fetched but a still significant bump over the previous $600,000 a year the school got.

The Scarlet Knights previously played at Rutgers Stadium up until 2011. The first football game at the newly renamed stadium will happen on Aug. 30 against UMass.

Rimington Trophy watch list is out for 2019 and it includes 80 FBS centers

Getty Images
1 Comment

Are you a starting center for 2019? Good, because chances are high you made the Rimington Trophy watch list.

The Rimington Trophy Committee released their annual pre-season watch list for the award given to the nation’s best center and remarkably, 80 of the 130 FBS teams were represented on the list. While watch lists are always notable for their length and being sometimes too broad, it kind of feels like everybody who is in line to start was granted a place on this year’s edition.

Among the notable names were Clemson’s Sean Pollard, Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz, Michigan State’s Matt Allen, Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey, Notre Dame’s Jarrett Patterson, Stanford’s Drew Dalman, Washington’s Nick Harris and LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry III.

You can find the full list of centers nominated here.

The winner of the award will be announced in early December along with a host of other college football honors. The winner will then be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 18, 2020.