It’s been a meandering decade for Texas football but at least the program ended it on a high note.
The Longhorns pulled out their best defensive performance of the year despite a rash of injuries and a huge amount of staff turnover to rout No. 11 Utah on Tuesday night, ending 2019 with a 38-10 Alamo Bowl win.
While UT’s offense has typically carried the team this year, it was the other side of the ball that rose up to deliver a standout performance when most counted them out of the game well before kickoff. Playing just down the road from the 40 Acres, sophomore linebacker Joseph Ossai was borderline unblockable in the game with nine tackles (six for loss) and three sacks in a career outing. Defensive ends Malcolm Roach and Ta’Quon Graham also got in on the action with a sack each to go with an impressive night coming off the edge.
Their ability to keep the Utes from moving the ball much took the pressure off Sam Ehlinger and company for once — not that it mattered much as the ‘Horns were their usual self in making big plays. The quarterback wound up with yet another big stat line by throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns (one interception) while chipping in with 73 yards on the ground and another score.
Hauling in most of Ehlinger’s passes was none other than top wideout Devin Duvernay, who closed out his time in burnt orange with a terrific all-around effort. He completed a pass for six yards, ran a reverse and caught three passes for an ever efficient 92 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Keaontay Ingram topped the century mark on the ground and scored a touchdown to really twist the knife in the result.
While everything came up Texas in the game, the same could not be said of the folks from out West. Despite coming within a game of making the College Football Playoff, the Utes were throughly whipped from start to finish. The senior backfield duo of QB Tyler Huntley (126 yards, 1 TD) and RB Zach Moss (57 yards rushing) were bottled up completely and end their career on a sour note with two straight blowout losses to end the season.
What really made things tough is that head coach Kyle Whittingham had sported one of the best bowl winning percentages of anybody but instead saw his team barely show up. They also keep a rather unfathomable streak alive as the Pac-12 title game loser (dating back to 2011) has never won their bowl game after falling in the conference championship game. It was still a very good 11 win season for Utah but the ending definitely spoiled the campaign a bit.
That’s not the case for Tom Herman, who was once again money as an underdog. The staff shuffling and numerous injuries had many worrying that a once promising 2019 would end on a thud after such an up-and-down season but that wasn’t the case in San Antonio. Texas may not be back as they proclaimed last year in the Sugar Bowl but they will certainly remember the Alamo (Bowl) as they head into 2020 with some momentum following a big win right down the road from campus.
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.
It’s been quite the past few days for Dabo Swinney.
Appearing on a Zoom conference call last Friday, Swinney was decidedly optimistic that the upcoming college football season would be played as scheduled, stating emphatically that he has “zero doubt.” The Clemson head coach was widely panned for said optimism.
On the same call, Swinney acknowledged that he and his family had recently traveled to Florida via a private plane. He also stated that the family was contemplating an Easter flight even amidst the coronavirus pandemic. For that, the Clemson head coach was blistered on most fronts.
Appearing on SiriusXM Monday, an unapologetic Swinney addressed the criticism head-on. From TigerNet.com:
I am not surprised. Listen, there are so many blessings to having this job that I have and I have worked my whole life to get to this point. The blessings are unlimited as far as the job I have and the things I get to do. But there are a lot of negatives that come with this job, too, and one of those is criticism and that is something that I’ve just accepted. It doesn’t matter what I say or what anybody says there is going to be criticism. It doesn’t surprise me at all. You know, I could say the sky is blue and somebody would be as mad as anything. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years. I don’t get affected by that. I just speak my heart.
“I just answered the question the other day. That is the other thing. You answer questions and you try to be honest and transparent and you answer questions, and then you get blasted because somebody might not agree with your answer or something like that. But I am not out blasting somebody else because they have a different opinion than me. It just comes with the territory. That is just the way it is.
Your serve, critics.