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Justin Herbert wraps up Autzen Stadium career with ho-hum Civil War win over Oregon State

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Eugene native Justin Herbert didn’t have the finest performance in his final game at Autzen Stadium but the hometown kid still notched his third straight Civil War win and ended the in-state rival’s season all the same as No. 14 Oregon topped Oregon State 24-10.

The lackluster margin was reflective of a rather dull and uninspiring game, something neither side has been a part of much lately but nevertheless was what they turned in on Saturday afternoon. Herbert was just 18-of-30 for 174 yards and a touchdown pass as the Ducks’ offense never seemed to find much of a rhythm in either phase. They did run for 191 yards behind that mammoth offensive line (Travis Dye with 91, C.J. Verdell with 50) but converted just three times on third down and fumbled away a ball in the end zone that would have sealed the result much earlier than the final few minutes.

Luckily for the already crowned Pac-12 North champs, their defense and special teams more than made up for the performance. Mykael Wright returned a kickoff 98 yards to the house in the first quarter while OSU was similarly dreadful in converting third downs or moving the chains against a unit that was flying all over the place.

Safety Brady Breeze was the real hero though, scooping up a Jamar Jefferson (81 yards and a TD otherwise) fumble off the turf after the Beavers tailback tried to hurdle a defender but wound up losing control of the ball. That play was emblematic of an OSU offense that showed a few flashes but couldn’t get over the hump to really threaten to take the lead.

QB Tristan Gebbia made the start at quarterback in place of an injured Jake Luton and threw for 243 yards on 40 attempts, the bulk of the action going to top target Isaiah Hodgins to the tune of eight receptions for 85 yards.

It wasn’t enough in the end however, as Oregon moved to 11-1 in the last dozen games against the folks from Corvallis. The Ducks will now turn their attention to either Utah or USC in the Pac-12 title game next Friday night and take comfort in closing out the home schedule undefeated behind their local kid under center.

Auburn’s Derrick Brown named Lott IMPACT Trophy winner

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Finally, one of the top defensive players in the nation has been recognized with a significant hardware win.

Sunday night, it was announced that Auburn’s Derrick Brown has been named as the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy.  This award, named for one of the game’s all-time greats, highlights a player’s performance on the field as well as off of it.

Not only does this award honor defensive excellence on the field but the player who most represents the qualities of the honor’s namesake, former USC All-American Ronnie Lott, off of it — Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Brown is the first-ever player from Auburn to win the award.  The defensive tackle is also the second-straight player from the SEC to claim it, with Kentucky’s Josh Allen serving as the 2018 winner.

In addition to Brown, the other finalists for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy were Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Cal linebacker Evan Weaver.

Mizzou confirms Eli Drinkwitz will retain Brick Haley

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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.”

Alex Hornibrook no longer with Florida State

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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 WR Reggie Roberson, Jr., to return for senior season

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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.