It may not have gone quite according to plan for Memphis, but a win over an SEC opponent is a good way to start the season regardless of how it happens. Memphis (1-0) used a good defensive effort and some gutsy play-calling in the fourth quarter to send Ole Miss (0-1) back home with a loss as the Tigers celebrated a 15-10 victory in the Liberty Bowl Saturday afternoon.
After taking a 13-0 lead into halftime, the Tigers stalled in the second half. The opening drive of the second half ended at the Ole Miss 28-yard line with Brady White having a pass intercepted. The mistake didn’t cost Memphis as Ole Miss turned the ball over on downs, but Memphis was forced to punt on the next possession and the Rebels got on the board with a field goal after that. Then, a questionable decision to go for it on 4th & 1 with a pass play cost Memphis. White’s pass was good for a three-yard loss, giving Ole Miss the ball at their 45-yard line. Ole Miss took advantage of the great field position by pulling within three points with a touchdown run by Scottie Phillips from the one-yard line at the end of a 10-play drive.
Memphis typically brings an offense capable of fireworks in any given week, but they were nowhere to be found in this matchup. Fortunately, for Mike Norvell and his program, the defense came to play. Ole Miss managed just one third-down conversion on 10 attempts and the Rebels were limited to just 173 yards. Memphis was not without their list of issues though, including penalties. Memphis was flagged for 10 penalties for 75 yards. The Tigers will very well get the offense on track in the coming weeks, however, but if the defense continues to play this way then Memphis may be a stronger candidate for the AAC championship and perhaps a spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup than predicted.
Ole Miss jumps into SEC play next week with a home game against Arkansas. Memphis will take on Southern.
After a run on bringing in assistants from Boone, Eli Drinkwitz has gotten about the business of retention in Columbia.
In a press release, Missouri confirmed that Drinkwitz has decided to retain Brick Haley as part of his first coaching staff with the football program. Haley wil continue on as the Tigers’ defensive line coach, and will carry the title of assistant head coach as well.
“In my short time of being around Brick I know him to be a man of high character who gets the most out of his players,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge with the defensive line is exactly what we’re looking for to motivate young men.”
Haley has spent the past three seasons with the Tigers. Prior to that, he was the line coach at Texas (2015-16), LSU (2009-14) and Mississippi State (2004-06) at the collegiate level.
From 2007-08, Haley was the line coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue at Mizzou and I’m excited to work with Coach Drink and his staff,” said Haley. “Our family loves Mizzou and being part of the Columbia community, so we’re thrilled to keep stakes in the ground here and I’m looking forward to getting to work on doing great things.”
It seems Alex Hornibrook‘s college career is complete.
Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins said on Saturday that Hornibrook is no longer with the Seminoles as the club prepares for the Sun Bowl
He will join (former) teammate Cam Akers in that regard.
A graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Hornibrook appeared in five games this season. His peak as a Seminole came on Sept. 28, when he completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. For the year, Hornibrook hit 84-of-122 throws for 986 yards with seven scores versus two picks.
In three years at Wisconsin, Hornibrook threw for 5,438 yards and 47 touchdowns.
SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., will return for his senior season in 2020, he announced earlier this week.
Roberson did so through a statement that at first read as if he would leave the Hilltop. “In the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that I am able to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL draft. I want to thank Coach Dykes for giving me the opportunity to come to SMU, and play the game I love in my hometown in front of my family and friends,” it began.
However, like a a classic Roberson open field move, he quickly changed directions and sprinted toward opportunity. “I have decided to come back and play my senior year at SMU. There is a lot of unfinished business that I left on the field that I need to take care of next season.”
A native of DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas, Roberson was one of SMU’s top players before he was lost to a foot injury in October. He caught 11 passes for 180 yards in the Ponies’ opening week win over Arkansas State and hauled in eight passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 drubbing of Temple on Oct. 19.
For the year, Roberson caught 43 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns over seven-plus games. Spread over a 13-game season, he was on pace to end the year in the neighborhood of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Roberson originally signed with West Virginia out of high school.
It’s become A Thing ever since Christian McCaffrey bailed on Stanford for that Sun Bowl: Draft eligible players announcing whether or not their prep for the next level begins for or after their team’s upcoming bowl game.
For Utah running back Zack Moss, that will begin after the Alamo Bowl.
“I just wanted to play with my guys,” Moss told KSL Sports. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back was to play with these guys and I definitely want to finish it off. I am healthy enough to play and that’s exactly what I want to do.
“I love this team, I love the program, coaching, fans and community, so why not give everyone one last game.”
Moss’s teammate Jaylon Johnson previously announced he will skip the game.
The senior will look to polish off a career in which he’s carried for 4,010 yards and 38 touchdowns.
No. 11 Utah will close the career of Moss and backfield mate Tyler Huntley opposite Texas on Dec. 31 (7:30 p.m., ESPN).