John Taylor

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Oklahoma kicker Calum Sutherland arrested for being drunk in public


Oklahoma may be off this weekend, but at least one member of the Sooners is still making headlines.

According to The Oklahoman, Calum Sutherland was arrested early Saturday morning by Cleveland County (Okla.) Sheriff’s Department officers on a public intoxication charge.  The kicker was booked into the country jail at 4:46 local time.

No details of what led to the arrest have been released.  Additionally, the football program has yet to publicly comment on the off-field development.

The 19-year-old sophomore walk-on is in his first season as Oklahoma’s primary kicker after beating out Gabe Brkic for the starting job vacated by Austin Seibert, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.  In three games this season, Sutherland has connected on all 23 extra-point attempts and two of his four field-goal tries.  Both of those makes came in the Week 3 drubbing of UCLA.

No. 5 OU returns to the field in Week 5 as it hosts Texas Tech in Norman in the Big 12 opener for both schools.

Five teams exit Week 4 having not trailed at any point this season

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Entering Week 4, there were nine FBS schools that hadn’t trailed at all this season.  Exiting it, that number has been pared down to five.

Those remaining?  No. 2 Alabama (Tua Tagovailoa broke AJ McCarron‘s record for most games with four-plus touchdown passes in a career with nine as the Crimson Tide rolled over Southern Miss), No. 5 Oklahoma (on a bye), No. 13 Wisconsin (beat No. 11 Michigan as a favorite, so might as well have been on a bye), Baylor (had no issue with winless Rice as the Bears improved to 3-0) and Navy (on a bye this weekend and has only played two games this season).

Those who fell from that rarified air?

  • No. 3 Georgia: Went down 7-0 to No. 7 Notre Dame in Athens, then went on to a hard-fought six-point win over the Fighting Irish.
  • No. 6 Ohio State: Inexplicably, OSU was trailing Miami (Ohio) 5-0 midway through the first quarter before they went on a 76-point run to secure the non-conference win.  Nine of the Buckeyes’ 10 touchdowns, incidentally, were scored by their quarterbacks, including six (four passing, two rushing) by Justin Fields — and all six of those came in the second quarter.
  • No. 15 UCF: The only one of this group to actually lose, UCF fell behind Pitt 21-0 before reclaiming the lead in the middle of the third quarter, only to cough up said lead as the Panthers scored what turned out to be a game-winning touchdown with less than a minute remaining.
  • Appalachian State: Down 7-0 to North Carolina early in the first quarter, but that would be the only time ASU trailed in the game as the Sun Belt Conference program picked up its first win over a Power Five school since… Michigan in 2007.

Wondering about why Clemson hasn’t even been mentioned?  The No. 1 team in the country was down 3-0 on Texas A&M in its Week 2 win over the Aggies, so there’s that.

Anthony Gordon’s nine TD passes not enough as UCLA erases 32-point deficit, stuns Wazzu in 67-63 come-from-behind win

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Gardner Minshew was the talk of the NFL last week but, as he returned to Pullman for the first time, the quarterback watched as one of his records fell in one of the wildest #Pac12AfterDark affairs you’ve ever seen, an epic 67-63 UCLA win over his alma mater Washington State.

First, as to the record: Anthony Gordon, in his fourth career start, tossed his seventh touchdown on the night to give No. 18 Washington State a 49-17 lead over UCLA with 6:52 left in the third quarter; with 10:08 left in the fourth quarter, Gordon hit Easop Winston from 33 yards out for his eighth touchdown pass of the night.

That eighth passing touchdown broke the Wazzu record of seven set by Minshew in 2018.  Gordon went on to add a ninth scoring toss to pad his newly-minted record.

A funny thing happened between those seventh and eighth touchdown passes, though, as the Bruins scored four straight touchdowns of their own and, with a two-point conversion mixed in, cut what was once a 32-point lead down to three at 49-46; immediately after Gordon’s eighth touchdown pass, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson‘s three-yard touchdown run with just over eight minutes remaining in the game cut Wazzu’s lead back to three at 56-53; with 7:31 remaining, Kyle Phillips returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown to give the Bruins their first lead of the game at 60-56.

Gordon’s ninth touchdown of the night — the FBS record single-game record is 11 by Houston’s David Klingler in 1990 — came with 6:11 left and gave the Cougars the lead back at 63-60.  With a chance to tie the game with under three minutes remaining, the Bruins eschewed what would’ve been a 35-yard field goal attempt and came up short on a 4th & 5 to hand the ball back to the Cougars.

But wait, the Bruins weren’t done.

With 2:27 left in the fourth, and following a replay booth review, UCLA got the ball back on a Cougars fumble at the WSU 26-yard line.  Four plays later, Thompson-Robinson’s fifth touchdown pass of the game, this one from 15 yards out to Demetric Felton, put the Bruins up 67-63 with 1:07 remaining.

On Wazzu’s first play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession, Gordon’s fumble was recovered by the Bruins to seal the win.

In addition to his nine touchdown passes, Gordon threw for 570 yards.  This was Gordon’s fourth career start, all coming this season; he’s thrown for at least 400 in each one of those.

Thompson-Robinson also threw for a career-high 507 yards while accounting for seven total touchdowns — five passing, two rushing.

Chad Morris falls to 2-12 vs. FBS schools as Arkansas’ head coach

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To say that Chad Morris‘ time in Fayetteville hasn’t gone as planned would be an understatement of mammoth proportions.

Hired away from SMU in December of 2017, Morris went 2-10 in his first season as the head coach at Arkansas.  At that point, there were already grumblings that UA had made a hiring gaffe and should cut bait after one year.

That didn’t happen, of course, and Morris “rewarded” that confidence with a 2-1 start to the 2019 campaign.  Unfortunately, those feel-good vibes are a thing of the past as San Jose State, a three-touchdown underdog coming in, looked every bit the part of the better team in every phase of the game as the Spartans got past the Razorbacks 31-24 Saturday night.

In Fayetteville, no less.

Along with the embarrassing 44-17 loss to North Texas last season, Arkansas has now suffered losses to Group of Five schools in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1995-96.

As if that weren’t distressing enough for Hog Nation, Morris is now 4-12 overall at Arkansas.  Even worse?  Two of those wins have come against FCS programs, meaning Morris sports a 2-12 record against FBS competition.

Moving forward, as Morris attempts to salvage something out of this season as well as hold onto his job, he’ll likely have a decision to make at quarterback.

Ben Hicks, a graduate transfer from SMU, began the season as Arkansas’ starter before being benched in favor of Nick Starkel, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M.  Saturday night, Starkel tossed five interceptions to help aid greatly in the losing cause.

To add current insult to future potential injury, Arkansas has the following games left on its 2019 schedule:

  • vs. No. 17 Texas A&M
  • at Kentucky
  • vs. No. 8 Auburn
  • at No. 2 Alabama
  • vs. Mississippi State
  • vs. Western Kentucky
  • at No. 4 LSU
  • vs. Missouri

Good luck making it to Year 3, Coach Morris.

SMU upsets No. 25 TCU, claims Iron Skillet for first time since 2011

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The Iron Skillet is heading back to Dallas for the first time in nearly a decade as one of the surprise stories of the early portion of the 2019 season has continued its unexpected winning ways — and at the expense of a rival for good measure.

The media had SMU pegged as the fourth-best team in the AAC South in its preseason poll; in his college football bible, Phil Steele had the Mustangs in third place in the division.  Saturday afternoon, however, SMU showed it should be a force to contend with in the conference race as it jumped out to a 31-17 halftime lead on No. 25 TCU and then held on for a 41-38 win over the Horned Frogs.

The win gives SMU, an eight-point underdog entering the game, possession of the Iron Skillet for the first time since 2011 and just the third time since 1998.

The 4-0 start is the program’s first since the Pony Express days of 1984; a win next week would match the 5-0 start of the ’83 squad.  Barring something unforeseen, the Mustangs will be ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since the 1986 season when the new poll is released Sunday afternoon.

Former Texas quarterback Shane Buechele passed for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win.