Stuck in a brutal defensive battle involving a pair of backup quarterbacks, BYU decided to throw caution to the wind and out-Boise No. 14 Boise State on Saturday night. Using some incredible trick plays to break open a close game, the Cougars notched their second huge upset of the 2019 season by knocking off the Broncos 28-25 and shaking up the Group of Five in the process.
The trickeration came fast and furious for Kalani Sitake’s squad as part of a 21 point outburst after returning from the locker room at halftime. On top of converting several fourth downs in the third quarter, BYU managed to toss it deep over the middle for a 27 yard touchdown to Matt Bushman and then went back to the tight end on the next series with a wild reverse flea-flicker for a 39 yard score that might as well have been taken directly from Bryan Harsin’s playbook.
It was all part of a way to create some offense while having redshirt freshman (walk-on) quarterback Baylor Romney make his first career start under center. The signal-caller came up big in the second half and finished the game with 221 yards and two touchdowns despite facing star pass rusher Curtis Weaver and one of the better defenses in the country. Sione Finau added 89 yards and a long touchdown run to help take the pressure off the youngster he was sharing the backfield with it was otherwise a sputtering effort on that side of the ball with so many new faces in the lineup.
BSU wasn’t trotting out their strongest 11 either as Chase Cord made his first start (doubling as the first since tearing his ACL last season) in place of injured QB Hank Bachmeier. Starting tailback Robert Mahone also left early in the first half with a leg injury. The Broncos turned to freshman George Holani on the ground (97 yards) but mostly relied on Cord’s arm (185 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) and playmaking ability down the stretch to make things interesting deep into the fourth quarter.
In the end however, it wasn’t enough as Boise State suffered their first loss of the season in improbable fashion. While they remain in control of their destiny when it comes to the Mountain West title, their status as the highest ranked Group of Five team is likely to change as Week 8 turns into Week 9. Undefeated SMU is likely to take the mantle and the lone loss the Broncos have also opens the door for others from the AAC like Memphis and Cincinnati, to say nothing of undefeated Sun Belt side No. 24 Appalachian State.
Those are conversations to be had by the CFP Selection Committee on another day however and do nothing for BYU’s present or future. The Cougars continue to be one of college football’s most puzzling teams either way, adding this upset of Boise State to their earlier one on the same field against USC and losses at Toledo and USF the past few weeks.
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.
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.
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.
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.