If there have been two issues with the young tenure of Mario Cristobal at Oregon, it’s been winning on the road and closing out games in the second half.
On Saturday afternoon in Seattle against their bitter rivals, the No. 12 Ducks accomplished both in a thrilling 35-31 victory over No. 25 Washington that has huge national and conference implications down the road.
Not surprisingly, QB Justin Herbert came up big in the passing game and finished with 280 yards and four touchdown passes to pace a 14-point second half comeback. Jaylon Redd caught two of those scoring passes on nifty plays out of the backfield while freshman Mycah Pittman came up huge on a fourth down call to score from 36 out. Cyrus Habibi-Likio notched 81 yards and a touchdown on the ground, finding a little success despite how tough it was to run the football against a talented front seven for the Huskies.
Speaking of defense, it was an uncharacteristic effort from the Ducks on that side of the ball after being exemplary all season long. The group allowed more points than their last five games combined and gave up four touchdowns on the day after having allowed just four all year coming into the contest. Some injuries to a few starters may have played a role but the group stiffened down the stretch to prevent a UW comeback of their own on the final drive.
Much of the success Washington was able to find came via the long ball from signal-caller Jacob Eason, who looked like a top NFL prospect himself in throwing for 289 yards and three TD’s. However he took the only sack of the game in the final few seconds to end the upset bid and trailed off a bit as things wore on. Salvon Ahmed did rush for 140 yards and a trip to the end zone but it was otherwise an offensive effort powered by Eason and his young receiving corps.
The end result is that the Huskies remain a puzzling case of high preseason expectations falling flat on their face once again with their third conference loss of 2019 already and a disappointing 5-3 record before we’re even to Halloween. There’s little question that Chris Petersen has a talented team but putting it all together for four quarters remains an issue no matter if they’re playing a rival or not.
The flip side to the result is that Oregon is all but assured of the Pac-12 North title this season given that they’re two games up in the league standings and have tie-breakers over everybody in the division sans Washington State (0-3 coming into the day) and in-state foe Oregon State. They remain the conference’s lone hope to make the College Football Playoff given that they have just one loss and efforts like Saturday afternoon’s might go a long ways in convincing others that there’s something different — and special — about this team this season.
A Tennessee football player would be the latest to trigger a reset of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker. If it were still a thing, of course.
Multiple media outlets reported overnight that Tim Jordan was arrested Saturday on multiple charges. The Vols running back is facing one count each of carrying a concealed firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. The firearm charge is a third-degree felony. The other two are misdemeanors.
According to the Knoxville News, the Tennessee football player was seen speeding and swerving into the bicycle lane. From the News:
The officers stopped the vehicle and reported smelling “a strong odor of cannabis emanating from inside.” Jordan, 20, was behind the wheel, and a 17-year-old male was in the passenger seat. Both seemed “extremely nervous,” the warrant reads.
Jordan told the officers he was carrying a gun in his back pocket without a concealed carry permit, according to the warrant. The handgun, a Ruger LCP pistol, was found in his back pocket, loaded and unholstered.
Inside the vehicle the detectives reported finding a small bag containing about 9.25 grams of marijuana, as well as a scale and several small plastic bags.
Thus far, the Tennessee football program has not commented on the development.
Jordan was a four-star member of the Class of 2017 for the Volunteers.
The past three seasons, Jordan has appeared in 36 of UT’s 37 games. This past season, Jordan’s 428 yards were third on the Vols. The year before, he was second on the team with 522 yards on the ground.
All told, Jordan has rushed for 1002 yards and four touchdowns during his time in Knoxville. The Florida native has also added 26 receptions for another 227 yards coming out of the backfield.
Florida has officially added immediate help to its football roster. From an in-state rival, no less.
In December, it was confirmed that Lorenzo Lingard had entered the NCAA transfer database. In early January, Lingard announced on Twitter that he is transferring to Florida and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Gators. A couple of days later, Florida confirmed the running back’s addition to the football roster.
It was thought that Lingard will have to sit out the 2020 season. However, Lingard confirmed late this past week that he has been granted a waiver from the NCAA. That will allow the back to play immediately for the Gators in 2020. He’ll also have two additional years of eligibility that he can use starting in 2021 as well.
Lingard made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.
“Approved to play this year,” the back wrote. “Best birthday gift ever.”
A five-star member of The U’s 2018 recruiting class, Lorenzo Lingard was rated as the No. 2 running back in the country. He was also the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Florida and the No. 25 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. The back was the highest-rated signee in the class that year for the Hurricanes.
A knee injury essentially cost Lingard the last half of his true freshman season. This past year, he appeared in just two games.
During his brief time at Miami, Lingard ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. All of that production came in 2018.
Florida and Miami are not scheduled to play at any point the next three seasons. They will, though, renew the in-state rivalry in 2024.
The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.
In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.
So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on May 31, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.
(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section. Mailbag, maybe?)
THE HEADLINE: Poppin’ bottles: SEC opens the taps by approving revised alcohol policy for conference stadiums
THE SYNOPSIS: More than half of the 14 conference schools have embraced the concept of alcohol and football on fall afternoons.
THE HEADLINE: Jimbo Fisher still hasn’t signed his 10-year, $75 million contract with Texas A&M
THE SYNOPSIS: This was one of the more odd storylines of the 2018 offseason. Or any offseason, really. Three months later pen was put to the contract. The 10-year, $75 million contract.
THE HEADLINE: Lee Corso inks extension to remain part of ESPN’s College GameDay show
THE SYNOPSIS: A college football institution. Still.
THE HEADLINE: 2014 Oklahoma State signee now facing five felonies
THE SYNOPSIS: Devon Thomas was, not surprisingly, removed from the roster.
THE HEADLINE: A&M president: Texas is ‘not relevant to us anymore’
THE SYNOPSIS: What I hear when both sides talk about renewing the rivalry? “Blah. Blah. Blah-freaking-blah.“
As Chad Lunsford continues to build the Georgia Southern football team, he’s been afforded some additional security.
Friday, Georgia Southern announced a one-year contract extension for its head football coach. Lunsford is now signed through 2024.
“My family and I would like to thank Dr. Marrero, Jared Benko and the Athletic Foundation for this contract extension,” Lunsford said in a statement. “Georgia Southern is a special place and we are very proud to be a small part of such an awesome program. We will continue to work hard to help our student-athletes to grow as GS Men. Our program is on the rise and we are excited about the commitment shown to us as well as our commitment to give back to the University and the Athletic Department.”
In October of 2017, Tyson Summers was fired as the Georgia Southern football coach. Lunsford replaced him on an interim basis. A month later, Lunsford was named the permanent replacement.
GSU went 2-10 that 2017 season. In the two years since, the Eagles have gone 17-9. Included in that was a 10-win 2018 season. During that campaign, the program claimed its first-ever bowl win as an FBS program.
“Chad Lunsford’s management of our football program, from developing young men of character to coaching them on the field, has been exceptional,” said athletic director Jared Benko. “He is a leader that is committed to doing things the right way. Chad represents our institution and state with great pride – both on and off the field. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program.”