If Skip Holtz‘s ears were burning on Monday, he knows why.
Following his team’s hot, cramp-filled 45-38 win over No. 12 Texas on Saturday, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron told the local media on Monday that the Tigers arrived in Austin prepared to supply their own air conditioning because their hosts would be no help. And that’s not all, Orgeron said he knew that because someone at Louisiana Tech experienced the same thing the prior Saturday and tipped their southern neighbors off.
This claim, though, was news to Louisiana Tech’s head coach.
Holtz is not calling Orgeron a liar — he specifically worded his answer so as to avoid doing that — but think about it. If you’re contained in a room with 100-plus other bodies on a hot night… isn’t the type of thing you’d remember.
Either way, Texas said it heard no complaints from Louisiana Tech, any prior opponents or from LSU, until Orgeron got in front of his home microphones.
Grambling safety Danquarian Fields had to undergo emergency surgery on Saturday night to avoid losing his right leg after he was injured making a tackle for the Tigers. The injury occurred when Fields and a host of his teammates were attempting to tackle Louisiana Tech running back Israel Tucker and Fields’s leg gave way.
“He does have feeling and has a pulse in his leg. They had to do that to save the leg because there was no blood flow,” Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs told the Monroe (La.) News Star. “So, it could’ve been that type of situation. But he’s stable. He’ll be in ICU for a couple of days just so they can monitor him. He was doing OK. At 3 o’clock this morning, they brought him out of surgery, let him recover and we got to see him, me and his mom, Benita Young. He’s not OK, but he’ll be OK.”
To stimulate blood flow, doctors had to take a vein graft from Fields’s groin and insert in in the back of his right leg.
“He’s a tough kid, mentally tough, but how is he going to recover mentally after seeing it and hearing about it. Only time will tell,” Fobbs said. “They don’t know how fast he’ll recover pulse-wise. We’re just glad he didn’t lose his leg and we’re glad he’ll have use of his leg and return all the way back to normal. But he’s got a lot of serious work ahead in order to get there.”
Fields is a senior from Arcadia, La. He will miss the remainder of the season.
No. 10 Texas’ opponent on Saturday night was Louisiana Tech but the minds of many in Austin probably were looking ahead to the matchup against No. 6 LSU in the same stadium next week. For just a little bit early on, it seemed like the Longhorns were too.
Eventually though, Tom Herman’s team shook off a relatively slow start and dispatched the Bulldogs 45-14 to turn the page on their season opener and move onto a week full of cleaning up little issues before the big showdown.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger did look sharp in his first action since declaring that UT was indeed “back,” throwing for 276 yards and four touchdowns in about three quarters worth of work. He had a fairly light load carrying the ball as one would expect in a game against an overmatched CUSA team and rushed just eight times for 34 yards before giving way to backup Casey Thompson.
10 different receivers wound up catching a pass, highlighted by two scores from Brennan Eagles and one touchdown apiece from Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson. The rushing attack was limited given the number of injuries in the backfield but Keaontay Ingram shook off his training camp injury to rush for 78 yards and a trip to the end zone.
LaTech was able to move the ball on their trip to the state capital though, putting up 413 yards of total offense and looked feisty until the final minutes. QB J’Mar Smith threw for 331 of those yards and tossed a pair of touchdowns against one interception. Given that the Bulldogs couldn’t really run the football effectively, it wasn’t a bad outing against a team ranked in the top 10 on the road.
The eyes of Texas — and the nation — will, however, be looking ahead to next week after LSU breezed past Georgia Southern 55-4 earlier in the night over in Baton Rouge. The old regional rivals both took care of business as expected even if the Longhorns needed a little bit more time to get going to open their highly anticipated 2019 campaign.
One probably can’t blame Texas for looking ahead to their mega-matchup with LSU next week in Austin but Tom Herman is unlikely to be a fan of his team’s rather sluggish early start to the 2019 season against Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.
The Longhorns did not seem to be in any danger of pulling a Tennessee in the matchup against the CUSA program but did not exactly scream being a top 10 program either in easing into their 24-0 lead heading into halftime.
That’s not to say UT didn’t have their moments through the first two quarters, just that they were far from as sharp as they should have been given the level of competition. QB Sam Ehlinger was efficient however in throwing for 173 yards and three touchdowns, including one apiece to top targets Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson. The signal-caller also rushed for 31 yards but was helped out by tailback Keaontay Ingram, who looked pretty healthy in racking up 52 yards on the ground.
Though Texas’ defense gave up nearly five yards per play in the half, they also had their moments in recovering a fumble, pulling down an interception, notching a sack and forcing several third down stops.
The Bulldogs may not have gotten on the scoreboard but they certainly were playing fearless against one of the Big 12 favorites. Quarterback J’Mar Smith threw for 139 yards (one pick) and was the focal point of the LaTech offense despite not having much room to operate. He kept the changes moving with several third down conversions however and spread the ball around to six different receivers by the break.
We’ll see how the rest of this one plays out but it doesn’t seem like Herman and company are truly rounding into form just yet to kick off their 2019. The good news is they have a second half to correct that and truly put the pedal to the metal down on Saturday night.
The non-conference scheduling wheel in college continues to roll.
It has been a particularly busy month for Arkansas in terms of lining up future opponents. Hot on the heels of confirming another home-and-home series with Oklahoma State deep into the future, the Razorbacks announced on Thursday that they have agreed to a 2-for-1 series with old, old rival Tulsa over the next decade.
The Razorbacks will host the Golden Hurricane in Fayetteville on Nov. 21, 2026 and Sept. 1, 2029. The return trip to Tulsa is set for Sept. 4, 2027.
The regional rivals were old foes back in the day and have met 73 times over the years. Arkansas won 23-0 last season in their most recent meeting and will make their first trip to Northwest Oklahoma since 1952 when that 2027 date rolls around.
The Golden Hurricane also had some additional scheduling news from earlier in the week when they announced a home-and-home with ex-CUSA foe Louisiana Tech. The old conference rivals will meet in Ruston on Sept. 21, 2024 and then play a return game the following year on Sept. 27, 2025 at Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.