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Field goal as time expires lifts Illinois to stunning upset of No. 6 Wisconsin

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So much for that.

No. 4 Ohio State easily took care of business Friday night in Evanston, taking Northwestern to the woodshed in a 52-3 shellacking of the Wildcats. A day later, heavily-favored and sixth-ranked Wisconsin was set to face Illinois, with Badgers expected to take care of its business in helping to set up a titanic UW-OSU matchup in Columbus in Week 9.

Somebody, though, forgot to give the Illini that script as, down 20-7 late in the third quarter, the Illini went on a 17-point run to secure a huge 24-23 upset of the previously-unbeaten Badgers in Champaign.  The game-winning points came off the right leg of James McCourt, who connected from 39 yards out as time expired.

Entering the game, UW was listed as 31-point favorites; exiting it, UI claimed its first win over a team ranked in the Top 10 since knocking off No. 1 Ohio State in 2007.

The Badgers, who were first nationally in scoring defense at 4.8 points per game prior to Week 8, allowed their first first-half touchdown of the season on Michigan transfer Brandon Peters‘ 48-yard hookup with Donny Navarro with less than six minutes left in the second quarter.

The Fighting Illini’s second touchdown of the day, a Reggie Corbin 43-yard run, cut the lead to 20-14 with under a minute left in the third quarter.  Following a Jonathan Taylor fumble midway through the fourth, Peters’ second touchdown pass of the day, from 29 yards out to USC transfer Josh Imatorbhebhe, pulled the Illini to within two at 23-21.

Yet another Badger giveaway, this one a Jack Coan interception, gave the Illini possession of the ball at their own 47-yard line with 2:32 left in the contest. Eight plays and 32 yards later, the stage was set for McCourt’s late-game heroics.

Lost amidst the loss and his fumble was Taylor making some history.

Taylor came in four yards shy of 5,000 rushing yards in his career. Any suspense related to the running back hitting that mark Saturday afternoon was quickly erased as Taylor ripped off a 16-yard run on UW’s first play from scrimmage to eclipse that the 5k plateau.

In hitting that mark, Taylor became just the fourth FBS back to reach 5,000 yards prior to the end of their junior season. The first three were Georgia’s Herschel Walker (5,596 yards at the end of his third year), Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (5,091*) and Oregon’s LaMichael James (5,082).

More impressively, Taylor became the quickest ever to reach 5,000 yards.

For this game, Taylor finished with 132 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.  It was the 28th 100-yard game of Taylor’s career, six (in seven games) this season.

(*I don’t care that the NCAA asininely doesn’t go back and retroactively add bowl stats, which they have officially counted since 2002.)

(Writer’s note: this post will be updated, as needed, over the next hour or so.)

Nick Saban will reportedly add Shiloh Keo as an Alabama football staffer

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The sport may have hit the pause button, but The Process for the Alabama football program continues.

According to Matt Zenitz of al.com, Nick Saban is expected to add Shiloh Keo to his extended Alabama football staff. No specific job description for Keo was given, with Zenitz writing that he will work “in a support staff capacity.”

Thus far, Alabama has not addressed any new additions to Saban’s football staff.

The 32-year-old Keo played his college football at Idaho from 2006-10. The Idaho native earned first-team Freshman All-American honors that first season with the Vandals. A four-year starter — he took a redshirt in 2008 because of injury — the defensive back was first-team All-WAC (remember that conference?) as a redshirt junior and second-team honors as a fifth-year senior.

The Houston Texans selected Keo in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Keo played six seasons for four different teams. In addition to the Texans, Keo spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

Alabama is set to open the 2020 college football season against USC Sept. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. It will be the 14th season under Saban. The Crimson Tide will also be coming off missing the College Football Playoff for the first time since the system to determine a national champion was instituted for the 2014 season.

Ohio State athletic luminaries Ryan Day, Chris Holtmann, Gene Smith to donate $175,000 to COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

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Ad Ohio State sports luminaries to the growing list of individuals doing what they can financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, Ohio State announced that three current OSU athletics families — second-year head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina; men’s head basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his wife, Lori; and athletic director Gene Smith and his wife, Sheila — are teaming up to donate a combined $35,000 a month between April and August to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Between the three families, a total of $175,000 will be donated over the next six months.

From the school’s release:

The fund will help the food bank acquire and distribute food and supplies to existing families in need while also addressing the increased demand from families recently impacted by the health crisis.

For every dollar donated, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is able to secure $9 worth of groceries. That means the $175,000 donation from the Smiths, Days and Holtmanns will result in more than $1.5 million worth of groceries for Ohioans in need. The three families are hoping their donation inspires other members of Buckeye Nation to contribute, as well.

“So many people in our community are struggling to feed their families right now,” Smith said. “Our families wanted to do something to support those who need help. By contributing to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, we know we can make a significant impact.”

Matt Habash, president and CEO of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, says the donation will go a long way in helping the food bank meet the surging need for assistance.

“We understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that it will take months for many of our struggling neighbors to recover,” Habash said. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of these amazing families to be on this journey with us.”

The amount of food the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has distributed since March 23 is 14% more than the same period last year, a difference that will climb even higher in the coming weeks, Habash said. The food bank provides enough food for 150,000 meals a day across its 20-county service area, but that number has increased significantly in just the past three weeks.

“We keep reading about the thousands of central Ohioans who are losing their jobs, and it’s just devastating,” Nina Day said. “Ryan and I hope that our family can help ease the burden a bit for other families in our community. We hope, too, that by our example other members of Buckeye Nation might join us in making donations to feed others.

Colorado new home for Arizona transfer TE Jake Peters

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Arizona’s personnel loss will be a gain for Colorado football.

Way back in early November, Jake Peters announced on his Twitter machine that, “[a]fter speaking with my family and the coaching staff it is in my best interest to enter into the Transfer Portal.” On the same social media vehicle this week, the tight end announced he will be transferring into the Colorado football program.

Peters said his decision came after having “a great conversation” with new Colorado football head coach Karl Dorrell.

At this point, Peters would have to sit out the 2020 season with the Buffaloes. That would then leave him with two years of eligibility beginning in 2021. Of course, there’s also the possibility that the NCAA could alter it’s transfer rules, allowing a one-time waiver for immediate eligibility for all student-athletes.

If that were to happen before the 2020 season kicks off, Peters would have three years of eligibility he could use with Colorado football.

Coming out of high school in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Peters was a three-star member of the Wildcats’ 2018 recruiting class. Peters played in a total of two games while at Arizona, one each during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Medically disqualified by UCF, TE Jonathon MacCollister enters transfer portal

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After being sidelined by UCF football, Jonathon MacCollister has decided to continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.

On his Instagram account in January, MacCollister indicated that the UCF football doctors had medically disqualified him from playing for the Knights. The tight end had previously dealt with multiple concussions.

MacCollister, though, didn’t appear to agree with the determination.

“The medical staff has to decide to medically disqualify me from playing football, because of the ‘concussions’ they said I received,” he wrote on Instagram in mid-January. “I have two options. Stay here and finish school as a student or I can transfer somewhere to continue chasing my dream.”

In the end, MacCollister has chosen the latter option. According to 247Sports.com, the redshirt junior is headed to the NCAA transfer database. A UCF football official has confirmed that MacCollister is indeed listed in the portal.

It’s believed that MacCollister will be leaving UCF football as a graduate transfer. If he can get medically cleared by another school, MacCollister would be eligible to play immediately in 2020. He would also have another year of eligibility to use in 2021.

MacCollister actually began his collegiate career at Notre Dame. A three-star 2017 2017 signee, the Florida native was rated as the No. 44 strongside defensive end in the country. He transferred from Notre Dame into the UCF football program following his true freshman season.

After appearing in one game in 2018, MacCollister appeared in six this past season. He caught one pass for four yards. That lone catch, though, was a touchdown.

UCF is coming off its third-straight double-digit win season. One of those wins was a record-setting Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl win over Marshall.