High scores have been a staple of the Territorial Cup for pretty much a decade but points were at a premium in this year’s edition as Arizona State used a big third quarter run to secure a 24-14 win over rival Arizona and keep the sport’s oldest rivalry trophy in Tempe for a third straight season.
Leading the way was none other than veteran tailback Eno Benjamin, who did most of his damage coming out of the halftime break in notching 168 yards and two touchdown runs. The breakout came after a fairly quiet first half in which his biggest highlight was otherwise blocking a defender all the way, quite literally, onto a bench on the sidelines.
Freshman QB Jayden Daniels was thankful for the efforts of his tailback on an otherwise average night passing, following up his heroics against Oregon to post only 104 yards through the air. Wideout Brandon Aiyuk had a quiet night as well with just five catches for 67 yards.
The disappointing result in the game capped off a similarly disappointing season for the Wildcats. Khalil Tate got the start at quarterback and posted some good numbers (228 yards, 2 TD passing, 78 yards rushing) that were otherwise spoiled by a trio of mistakes (three interceptions). Jamarye Joiner was a nice highlight at least for UA with seven catches for 140 yards and both of the team’s trips to the end zone.
Still, 4-8 in Kevin Sumlin’s second season in Tucson with a pair of losses to the school up the road isn’t exactly what fans had in mind when the former Texas A&M coach was hired and will likely result in a lengthy offseason of soul-searching and plenty of changes before a hot seat-fueled 2020 rolls around.
That is not the case for Herm Edwards and company, who have continued to show progress with an extremely young team. Though the Sun Devils didn’t wind up putting up the kinds of offensive performances we’re used to seeing in this game, that doesn’t matter in the end given that they, well, played to win it no matter what the path was to a victory. That will surely bring a smile to their coach’s face over the coming weeks as the Territorial Cup remains in ASU hands once again.
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.
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.”
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 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.