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Pony Express keeps chugging as No. 19 SMU thumps Temple

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They’re (still) partying like it’s 1982 in Dallas, as No. 19 SMU rolled past Temple 45-21 to move to 7-0 for the first time in 37 years.

Shane Buechele threw for career highs of 457 yards and six touchdowns, with most of the damage coming to Reggie Roberson, Jr., as the pair hooked up seven times for 250 yards and three touchdowns. The first score came on a 33-yarder on the game’s opening drive, giving the Mustangs a lead they would not relinquish.

The pair’s longest connection effectively put the game away — a 75-yard bomb that gave SMU a 17-0 lead with 7:15 to go in the second quarter.

Temple managed to pull within 10 three times — 17-7, 24-14 and 31-21 — but each time Buechele answered with touchdown passes. The first came on a 10-yarder to James Proche with 20 seconds left in the first half, the second a 10-yard strike to Kyle Granson at the 8:22 mark of the third quarter, and the third a 60-yard connection to Roberson, putting SMU up 38-21 with 11:54 left in the game.

Buechele’s sixth and final touchdown was a 5-yard toss to running back Xavier Jones, who led all runners with 37 yards on 18 carries.

Temple (5-2, 2-1 American) had a chance to make a game of it in the first half, but a handful of crucial drops halted the Owls’ offense while the Mustangs managed to separate for good. SMU’s biggest advantage of the day was in simple possession of the ball: Temple ran 69 plays on the day, while SMU (7-0, 3-0 American) snapped it 108 times. SMU out-gained Temple 655-273 and held the advantage in first downs 34-15.

While SMU is 7-0 for the first time in nearly 40 years, the Mustangs have already matched their most wins in a season since 2011 and are two wins shy of the program’s high-water mark post-death penalty.

World of college football reacts to tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, 13-year-old daughter in helicopter crash

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As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.

Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event.  The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.

Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.

Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters.  The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.

In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.

 

Georgia state rep. proposes pay-for-play legislation with a twist that will make no one happy

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Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.

Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.

The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.

Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.

According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.

Read for yourself below.

To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?

In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.

Trey Holtz set to join father Skip’s staff at Louisiana Tech

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Coaching is the family business for the Holtz family, and now two of them will work under the same roof.

As first reported by Bleed Tech Blue, Louis Leo Holtz, Jr., better known as Skip Holtz, has hired Louis Leo Holtz III, better known as Trey Holtz. The younger Holtz will serve as Louisiana Tech’s wide receivers coach.

Trey Holtz played his college ball at Texas under Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. A reserve quarterback, Holtz appeared in 23 games as a holder in 2015-16.

He then moved into the family business at Ohio State, where he worked as a graduate assistant for the past three years. Holtz worked with the Buckeyes’ running backs and tight ends, but will now coach receivers for his father’s staff. He replaces Todd Fitch, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt.

For the Holtz family, Skip hiring Trey is an act of history repeating itself. After serving as a GA at Florida State and Colorado State, Skip’s first full-time job came on his father Lou Holtz‘s staff as Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach in 1990. Skip was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1992 and became Connecticut’s head coach in 1994.

Two workers injured by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation

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Two workers were injured Saturday by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The workers were laboring on a manlift when a pair of beams fell and struck the lift, trapping the workers, who were not named.

Firefighters responded around 5 p.m. Saturday to extract the workers, who were “seriously injured,” according to AL.com. After they were extracted, the workers were transported to DCH Regional Medical Center. Their condition was not known as of press time.

The workers were working on a $92.5 million phase of renovation to Bryant-Denny Stadium, announced in last fall. Crimson Tide AD Greg Byrne said in September that construction would be expedited to meet an aggressive schedule.

“We realized this is an aggressive construction schedule we are going to be talking about. However, our contractors are confident. They have expressed they will deliver this on time,” he said at the time.