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No. 7 Oklahoma survives another bonkers shootout with Texas Tech

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No. 7 Oklahoma travelled to Lubbock on Saturday night in what was essentially the two-year anniversary of their historic 2016 meeting. As college football aficionados would tell you, that contest between Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes — who coincidentally play each other on Sunday in the NFL — was perhaps the epitome of Big 12 football in recent years and has only grown in legend thanks to the incredible box score and numerous NCAA records it produced.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the Sooners and Red Raiders combined for yet another wild shootout late into the West Texas night that Lincoln Riley’s crew barely escaped from with a 51-46 win that kept the visitors in the thick of the Big 12 and College Football Playoff races.

It appeared that Oklahoma would be in for a fight right from the get-go as Kyler Murray tossed interceptions on the first two drives of the game (both to Vaughnte Dorsey). Tech turned both of those turnovers into touchdowns the other way and then things started ping-ponging back and forth as the two combined for scores on eight of the next nine drives.

Murray did eventually settle down and was his usual self after the early bad throws, winding up with 360 yards and three touchdowns — many on some absolute bombs down the field or off a scramble or two. Though he didn’t do enough to gain any ground on Tua Tagovailoa in the Heisman Trophy race, the first round MLB draft pick was still dazzling with the ball in his hands and added a further 100 yards rushing and one more score on the ground.

He was far from the only one to put up numbers however. Tailback Trey Sermon rushed for a career high 206 yard and three touchdowns, bullying just about every level of the Red Raiders defense. Lee Morris was a 101 yard receiver on just four catches (two of them TD’s) while five others managed at least 30 yards through the air. It was that kind of night as the offense hit 683 total yards and nearly averaged double-digits with each play they ran.

It was also a game filled with some utterly only-in-college-football-moments for Texas Tech.

Starting quarterback Alan Bowman was 21/27 in the first half for 227 yards and two touchdowns but remarkably was hit in the head by a football during halftime warmups (really) and failed to return to the game. That turned things over to backup Jett Duffey, who added another two touchdowns to go with 139 yards.

Wideout Antoine Wesley somehow didn’t find the end zone (four others did, obviously) but did haul in 12 catches for 199 yards. While it’s hard to fathom, the team only converted 3-of-13 third downs despite all that firepower.

Tech did have a chance to make things even more interesting late when they were going for two to tie things up at 42-all. In a trick play on the conversion try, former Oregon State WR (now a receiver in Lubbock) Seth Collins floated up an interception that Robert Barnes came down with, eventually weaving his way over 100 yards for two points the other way. That proved to be the deciding score even though both teams scored one more time before things were all said and done.

The victory by Oklahoma may do them no favors when it comes to the Playoff Selection Committee but Riley and company probably won’t complain about moving to 8-1 overall and remaining in first place in the Big 12. That’s not a bad spot to be in with Bedlam next week against rival Oklahoma State and a looming trip to West Virginia still out there at the end of the month.

If nothing else though, be sure to break out your calendar and circle every time the Sooners head to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech. At this point, it’s become appointment viewing for all fans.

Texas Tech dismisses WR Quan Shorts following arrest

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Texas Tech’s task of replacing four of their top five receivers from last season appears as though it will be an even bigger uphill batter than first thought.

Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced on Thursday evening that wide receiver Quan Shorts has been dismissed from the team and that the school would not be commenting further on the matter. It turns out there’s a good reason for that even if it still is a bit vague at the moment.

Per Lubbock Avalanche-Journal beat writer Don Williams, Shorts was booked into the county jail this afternoon so it took less than two hours for the program to formally cut ties.

The redshirt junior from Humble, Texas made three starts last year and has played in 18 games the past two seasons. He had just nine catches in 2017 but two of them went for touchdowns and he was expected to be a potential starter given how wide open the depth chart was looking for nearly every skill position spot on offense.

While the Red Raiders’ depth at receiver is no doubt hampered by this news, the team did add former Oregon State QB/WR Seth Collins in April and he could be in for an increased workload given this bit of news out Lubbock. Either way, a very large season looms for Kingsbury at his alma mater in 2018 and the exodus out of town (by a variety of players for a variety of reasons) isn’t a super encouraging sign as we hit mid-June.

Report: Departing Oregon State WR Seth Collins facing assault charge

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Earlier today we noted that Seth Collins would be, for a second time, leaving Oregon State. As it turns out, there’s little more going on off the field than was originally known.

According to The Oregonian, Collins was arraigned in court Thursday on one count of fourth-degree assault.  The arraignment came the same day as OSU confirmed that the wide receiver had asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship.

The alleged incident that led to the charge occurred in early October at a Corvallis apartment complex and allegedly caused physical injury to the 19-year-old alleged victim, Makaela Martinez.  From the newspapers report:

Lt. Dan Duncan of the Corvallis Police Department said Martinez reported the incident at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. Duncan said that Martinez had a “swollen and cut” lip, according to the police report, and said that she had been struck in the face.

[Collin’s attorney Jennifer] Nash said Collins did not know Martinez. She said an altercation started at the party due to an unnamed intoxicated male who was “out of control.” Nash said Collins was not intoxicated and got involved in the altercation, for which Martinez was a bystander.

“(Collins) was trying to help someone else and this situation happened,” Nash said.

A university source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident, said Collins took Martinez’s phone as she recorded the incident on video. Martinez is not enrolled at Oregon State, according to the school’s online directory.

At the time of Collins’ release, he was under suspension by the football program because of the incident, and had been for nearly a month.  Collins missed the first three games of the 2017 season because of a finger injury and returned to play the next three, then was sidelined indefinitely in early October because of what the football program described at the time as a health-related issue.

“OSU athletic department spokesman Steve Fenk said the timing of Collins’ [health-related] absence and the date of the alleged assault were coincidental,” The Oregonian wrote.

The transferring Collins has one year of collegiate eligibility, which he intends to use at another football program, although this off-field incident could cause him some damage in that endeavor. “The filing of charges against him in this manner could have a huge impact on his future,” his attorney said.

Beavers QB Seth Collins has ‘setback’ stretching; status for Utes uncertain

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Children, have at a couple of words in the headline while the adults discuss the real issue.  Or what could be a real issue for Oregon State.

In a disappointing 2-5 first season under Gary Andersen, Seth Collins has been one of the few bright spots for the western OSU.  In his first season as the starting quarterback, the true freshman has struggled at times in the passing game — completed 52 percent of his passes, six touchdowns vs. four interceptions — but leads the Beavers in rushing yards (536) and rushing touchdowns (five).

With a game against Utah in Salt Lake City in the offing, Collins’ status for the game is up in the air.  Why? Gina Mizell of The Oregonian explains that “Collins did not practice Thursday due to an undisclosed injury ‘setback’ sustained during stretching.”

OK then.

“I have no idea,” Andersen said when asked about Collins’ availability for Saturday. “He left the field even before stretch was over with, and (I) haven’t seen him since. We’ll have to get updates from (Dr. Doug Aukerman) as we move forward. I’m always optimistic.”

If Collins is unable to go, Nick Mitchell would start in his stead. Mitchell is a redshirt freshman who has thrown 24 passes this season, all of which came last week in the loss to Colorado. He completed nine of those passes for 122 yards and an interception

Stanford in a dogfight, up four on Oregon State in Corvallis

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Over the last decade or so, USC has struggled against Oregon State in Corvallis.  USC played Stanford last week.  Perhaps some of the Trojans’ Corvallis anti-magic rubbed off on the Cardinal?

Regardless, 21st-ranked Stanford is in the midst of a slugfest with unranked Oregon State, with the former leading the latter 21-17 after 30 minutes of play.  While the Cardinal never trailed, the Beavers were never down by more than seven points either.

In fact, the two teams took turns trading touchdowns for most of the half, with Stanford opening the scoring five minutes into the contest only to see OSU tie it right back up seven minutes later.  Kevin Hogan, who started at quarterback despite a serious ankle injury the previous weekend, tossed a 42-yard touchdown pass late in the opening stanza to regain the lead.

Two minutes later, though, the Beavers opened the second-quarter scoring on a Ryan Nall five-yard touchdown run.  With three minutes left in the opening half, Remound Wright bounced off the right side of his offensive line — literally — on a two-yard run for his second touchdown of the game and a 21-14 lead.  A Garrett Owens’ 24-yard field goal with :22 left cut the lead to 21-17

On a heavily-taped ankle, Hogan has passed for 101 yards, the one touchdown and an interception.  Christian McCaffrey, as has been the case all season, has done everything but score, accounting for 126 first-half all-purpose yards — 88 rushing, 38 receiving.

Freshman Seth Collins has thrown for 107 yards and ran for another 26.