A lingering issue involving Bryce Dixon has officially further depleted USC’s tight end position.
In a very brief missive posted to its official football website, the Trojans announced that “Dixon is no longer enrolled at the University of Southern California.” No reason for the separation was given.
However, it appears that it is an issue that dates back to late last year lingered on into the spring.
Bryce Dixon was going to be most-talented tight end on #USC roster next season. No more following incident that involved female student
Walk-on Connor Spears is also available, while four-star 2015 signeeTyler Petite will join the Trojans in time for summer camp.
The 6-4, 240-pound Dixon, though, was easily USC’s most talented returning tight end. Last season as a true freshman, Dixon caught 14 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns, the latter total of which was tied for second on the team. He ended the year on a high as he grabbed a season-high four receptions for 44 yards in the Holiday Bowl win over Nebraska.
‘Student-conduct issue’ again sidelines USC TE Bryce Dixon
Already waif thin at the tight end position, USC has seen that group take yet another, potentially significant blow.
While the initial reports that Bryce Dixonhad been dismissed proved incorrect, head coach Steve Sarkisian did confirm that the true sophomore was not a participant in the first day of spring practice Tuesday because of what was only described as an unspecified student-conduct issue. The Los Angeles Times wrote that “Sarkisian declined to say more about it, citing privacy laws and instruction from the university’s general counsel.”
A source close to the situation told me not to draw any conclusions just yet, that it’s a fluid situation and that Dixon has to go through a process. (The latter sounded an awful lot like the Josh Shaw deal from last year.) That same source could not estimate how long Dixon would be away from the team.
Thanks to the expired eligibility of starter Randall Telfer, Dixon, who was suspended for the Cal game last year because of an unspecified student-conduct issue, is one of two scholarship tight ends currently on the Trojans roster. The other, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, was academically ineligible for the entire 2014 season and his status for the upcoming season has yet to be determined, even though he is currently participating in spring practice.
Walk-on Connor Spears is also available this spring, while four-star 2015 signeeTyler Petite will join the Trojans in time for summer camp.
The 6-4, 240-pound Dixon, though, is easily USC’s most talented returning tight end. Last season as a true freshman, Dixon caught 14 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns, the latter total of which was tied for second on the team. He ended the year on a high as he grabbed a season-high four receptions for 44 yards in the Holiday Bowl win over Nebraska.
A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…
-12.8 — Negative pass efficiency rating for Cole Stoudt in Clemson’s 22-point loss to Georgia Tech. Stoudt, playing in place of the injured Deshaun Watson, completed 3-of-11 passes for 19 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. Two of those picks were returned for touchdowns by the Yellow Jackets.
.628 — Winning percentage of visiting teams in Pac-12 road games (27-16) this season.
.869 — Nebraska’s winning percentage in home games since 1990 (146-22), the top mark in the country. Florida State is next up at .856 (121-20-1).
0 — Number of both points and punts for San Jose State in its loss to Hawaii. The Spartans’ 11 drives ended on downs three times; with missed field goals three times; with turnovers three times; and the end of the half/game twice.
1 — Number of touchdowns scored by USC seniors this season, which came Thursday night in the win over Cal on tight end Randall Telfer‘s 15-yard scoring catch.
4 — Receptions East Carolina’s Justin Hardy needs to surpass Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles‘ FBS record of 349 career catches. Hardy, with 346 receptions, has three regular season games plus a bowl game to eclipse Broyles’ mark set from 2007-11.
4-26 — South Carolina’s record vs. Florida from 1911-2009. Since then, the Gamecocks own a 4-1 mark against the Gators.
5 — Wins vs. teams ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for Alabama’s Nick Saban, breaking the tie for most all-time he had been in with Jimmy Johnson, Jack Mollenkopf, Joe Paterno and Lou Holtz.
13 — Consecutive road games won by Ohio State, the longest such streak in the country. Missouri has won nine in a row on the road.
14 — Interceptions thrown this season by Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg on 373 attempts, one year after tossing 10 in 392 attempts. Additionally, the true sophomore has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in three straight games.
17 — Consecutive road losses for Hawaii prior to the win over San Jose State Saturday night. That streak had been the longest in the country.
17 — Consecutive SEC losses for Arkansas before the win over LSU. Prior to that, the Razorbacks’ last conference win was Oct. 13, 2012, against Kentucky.
32.1 — Percentage of 28 passes completed by Dane Evans in Tulsa’s 31-7 loss to UCF Friday night, the lowest of his career. Evans also tossed three interceptions and totaled just 69 passing yards in accumulating a career-low pass efficiency rating of 43.2.
34-0 — Oklahoma’s regular season record the game after a loss since 2004. The last time the Sooners lost back-to-back regular season games was in 1999, Bob Stoops‘ first year in Norman. Those losses were to Notre Dame by four and to Texas by 10.
42 — Days between Georgia’s fourth home game of the season at Sanford Stadium (Oct. 4 vs. Vanderbilt) and its fifth (Nov. 15 vs. Auburn).
50 — Career starts for Michigan State defensive end Marcus Rush, setting a school record for a player at any position.
53 — Consecutive games for Iowa without a missed or blocked extra point, the longest streak of any school in the nation.
92 — Consecutive games in which Stanford has scored at least 10 points, the longest current streak in the country.
190.9 — Rushing yards per game Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon is averaging this season, which is more than 82 FBS teams average per contest.
214 — Yards receiving for Nelson Agholor in USC’s win over Cal Thursday night. That gives Agholor back-to-back 200-yard receiving games (220 vs. Washington State), the first time a Trojan has ever turned that trick.
+221.4 — The differential between rushing yards gained vs. rushing yards allowed by Wisconsin entering Week 12, the best mark in the country by far (Navy’s +174.3). That differential will only increase exponentially as UW outgained Nebraska 581-118 on the ground.
277 — Rushing yards for Navy quarterbackKeenan Reynolds in the win over Georgia Southern. Incidentally, those two teams combined for 769 yards rushing and just 144 passing.
307 — Rushing yards for Indiana’s Tevin Coleman in the 45-23 loss to Rutgers. In. A. Loss.
316.8 — Pass efficiency rating for Zach Terrell in Western Michigan’s 51-7 win over Eastern Michigan. Terrell only misfired on two of his 19 passes, throwing for 357 yards and four touchdowns.
345 — Rushing yards for Western Kentucky’s Leon Allen, making him the third player to top the 300-yard mark in Week 12. Prior to Week 12, no FBS player had rushed for more than 300 yards in a single game this year.
424 — Passing yards for Blake Frohnapfel in UMass’ 24-10 win over Ball State Wednesday night. Frohnapfel, who didn’t throw a touchdown pass in the contest oddly enough, has now thrown for more than 400 yards three times this season, including a 589-yard effort in late September. This was the first game, however, the Minutemen won during one of the senior’s 400-yard games.
436 — Career-high passing yards for Gunner Kiel as Cincinnati became bowl-eligible with a Thursday night win over East Carolina.
472 — Career-high passing yards for Pete Thomas in Louisiana-Monroe’s loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. His previous career-high was 387 in 2011 when he was at Colorado State.
483 — Rushing yards for Pittsburgh’s James Connor the past two games, 220 in Week 12 and 263 in Week 10. Oddly enough, the Panthers lost both games.
628 — Rushing yards for North Carolina’s Marquise Williams, setting the school’s single-season record for a quarterback previously set by Jim Lalanne in 1940 (541).
670 — Rushing yards for Melvin Gordon on 34 carries spanning two career games against Nebraska, a ridiculous 19.7 yards per carry.
1941 — Last year Temple beat Penn State on the gridiron. Since then, the Owls are 0-38-1, including Saturday’s setback to the Nittany Lions.
1950 — Last football meeting between Maryland and Michigan State prior to Saturday night’s encounter.
1960 — Prior to Saturday’s game against UTSA, Southern Miss’ last game in the city of San Antonio. The Eagles, though, suffered their first loss in the city, dropping their all-time record there to 4-1.
1999 — Last year both Oklahoma and Texas were unranked in the Associated Press poll before Week 12 of the 2014 season.
John Mackey Award announces 33-member midseason Watch List
The John Mackey Award released its 33-name midseason Watch List on Monday and, considering the state of the position in college football, this may very well be the only 33 names that meet its criteria.
We all remember the Jace Amaro fiasco last year, where the Texas Tech tight end was first deemed not eligible for the award, then granted eligibility, only to be snubbed from the finalist list despite ranking sixth nationally with 106 catches, while North Carolina’s Eric Ebron ranked second among tight ends at 62. Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins took home the 2013 trophy.
Wake Forest’s Cam Serigne leads all tight ends with 29 catches for 282 yards and one touchdown. He ranks 78th nationally among all pass-catchers, and stands as the only tight end in the top 100.
Here is the full list, presented in alphabetical order:
– Rory Anderson – South Carolina – Kennard Backman – UAB – E.J. Bibbs – Iowa State – Gerald Christian – Louisville – Evan Engram – Ole Miss – Billy Freeman – San Jose State – David Grinnage – N.C. State – Connor Hamlett – Oregon State – Mitchell Henry – Western Kentucky – Jeff Heuerman – Ohio State – Bucky Hodges – Virginia Tech – Austin Hooper – Stanford – O.J. Howard – Alabama – Jesse James – Penn State – Malcolm Johnson – Missisippi State – Ben Koyack – Notre Dame – Tyler Kroft – Rutgers – Jimmay Mundine – Kansas – Nick O’Leary – Florida State – Casey Pierce – Kent State – Joel Ruiz – Georgia State – Tyreese Russell – Eastern Michigan – Wes Saxton – South Alabama – Cam Serigne – Wake Forest – Jean Sifrin – Massachusetts – Justin Sinz – Purdue – Jonnu Smith – Florida International – Randall Telfer – USC – Eric Tomlinson – UTEP – C.J. Uzomah – Auburn – Clive Walford – Miami (Fla.) – Alex Welch – Miami (Ohio) – Maxx Williams – Minnesota
Semifinalists will be announced Nov. 17, finalists a week after that, and the winner will be revealed at ESPN’s college football awards show on Dec. 11.
USC’s Cope-Fitzpatrick, potential TE starter, academically ineligible
Just one practice in, and USC’s offense has suffered what could become a rather significant blow — and it had nothing to do with an injury.
Rather, head coach Steve Sarkisian announced Monday night that Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick has been declared academically ineligible. As a result, Cope-Fitzpatrick will not play at all this upcoming season.
The move leaves the Trojans with just two scholarship players at the position: senior Randall Telfer and four-star 2014 signee Bryce Dixon. Telfer dealt with knee issuesthroughout last season, issues that bled into the offseason and on into summer camp.
Because of the question marks surrounding Telfer’s knees, Cope-Fitzpatrick, who had just one catch last season, was being looked upon as a potential starter.