College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • WSU assistant AD resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, September 19, 2018

    Washington State assistant athletic director Jason Gesser resigned Tuesday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual advances.

    • Gesser, 39, was a quarterback for the Cougars from 1999-2002. He was placed on administrative leave Monday after Alyssa Bodeau, 27, said she filed an official complaint against Gesser with the school's Office for Equal Opportunity, according to the (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review.

      He had been working in a fundraising capacity for the athletic department.

      "I am deeply saddened that recent circumstances in my private life have created a distraction for the department and university," Gesser wrote in a statement Tuesday. "While I certainly never intended to hurt anyone, I believe it is best for all involved for me to move on. ...

      "I apologize ... for creating a situation that reflected negatively on WSU in any way."

      University president Kirk Schulz and athletic director Pat Chun co-signed a statement that acknowledged the school's acceptance of Gesser's resignation. Adding of Bodeau's complaint, they wrote, "We sincerely appreciate the courage it takes for individuals to come forward with concerns of this nature. We take the allegations extremely seriously, and the Office for Equal Opportunity intends to continue its investigation."

      Bodeau wrote in a statement to the Seattle Times on Tuesday, "I'm extremely happy to see that Jason has resigned his position of influence and power at WSU. It's a relief to know that no other young women will be subjected to Mr. Gesser's actions and abuse of power. I pray he gets the help he needs and that his family can move forward."

      Bodeau was a former babysitter for Gesser's children. She said she was emboldened to speak up about her encounter with Gesser, which she said happened in June 2015, after news accounts surfaced last week about other women having made similar accusations against him.

      The earlier allegations were reported by Washington State's student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen. The report said that numerous women, including student interns and Gesser's coworkers, had made the allegations, but that the Office for Equal Opportunity investigated in 2017 and cleared him of wrongdoing.

      Late last week, Gesser, perhaps best remembered for leading the Cougars to the Rose Bowl in 2003, called the earlier allegations a "non-story."

      "When other girls came forward, it changed the game," Bodeau said. "When I saw that it was a pattern, that's when I decided, 'I'm not going to stay quiet.' If it doesn't stop now ... other girls will be in danger."

      Gesser wrote Tuesday, "To the young woman that I made feel uncomfortable, I respectfully have a different recollection of the situation you've described, but acknowledge that I should never have been in the situation in the first place, and I apologize. I truly never meant to cause you harm.

      "This is a very difficult time for me and my family, and I truly appreciate our friends, including the incredible colleagues and alumni I have met through my time at WSU. With this personal matter being made so public, it is taking a toll on my family in this close-knit community.

      "I appreciate your understanding for the impact this has on them."

      Bodeau added in a message to others who might have been harassed, "Staying silent is no longer an option. If my story resonates with you, come forward. Bring it to light so that we all -- as a community -- can begin the healing process."

      --Field Level Media

  • No. 10 Penn State looking to dodge Illinois
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    A huge showdown looms on the horizon for No. 10 Penn State but everyone associated with the Nittany Lions insists they aren't looking ahead.

    • Of course, a loss at Illinois would certainly take a lot of luster off Ohio State's visit to Happy Valley on Sept. 29.

      The Nittany Lions will keep their blinders on Friday night as they look to improve to 4-0 when they open Big Ten play against the Fighting Illini at Champaign, Ill.

      Penn State has won its first three games by an average of 35 points but isn't counting on an easy time against Illinois (2-1).

      "We're just focusing on ourselves," senior running back Mark Allen said at a press conference. "If we continue to focus on ourselves, each game will care for itself. This week we have Illinois, we're going to focus on ourselves in practice, continue to work hard, execute in practice. And Big Ten play will be Big Ten play. Every game matters to us."

      The Nittany Lions have been thriving behind quarterback Trace McSorley (six rushing touchdowns, five passing) and a pass rush that has 13 sacks. Penn State has won its past two games -- over Pittsburgh and Kent State -- by a cumulative 114-16 score.

      Junior defensive end Shareef Miller has a team-best three sacks, which accounts for half of his team-leading six tackles for loss.

      Illinois coach Lovie Smith is aware of the Nittany Lions' prowess and sees the matchup as an opportunity for his team.

      "These are the kind of games, where we are with our program, we look forward to this challenge," Smith said at a press conference. "When you play an opponent like this, you want to play them at home. We're going to show up excited about seeing exactly how much improvement we can make and how we come back from adversity."

      The Illini are looking to rebound from a discouraging 25-19 loss to South Florida. Illinois led 19-7 entering the fourth quarter before giving up 18 unanswered points.

      Senior linebacker Del'Shawn Phillips pinpointed the defense's problem.

      "Focus. Got to focus until the clock hits zero," Phillips said. "No matter how much we're up or how much we're down, stay focused. Lock in on what we need to do, lock in on our technique to execute and finish every play."

      Phillips (24 tackles) is tied for the team lead of two interceptions with freshman cornerback Jartavius Martin. Sophomore linebacker Jake Hansen leads with 26 stops and six tackles for loss for a unit allowing 21 points per game.

      Who will start at quarterback has yet to be determined.

      Senior AJ Bush missed the South Florida game due to a hamstring injury and true freshman M.J. Rivers stepped in and completed 20 of 29 passes for 168 yards.

      The Illini will get five players back from three-game suspensions for violating team rules. Back are three starters -- sophomore tight end Lou Dorsey, sophomore cornerback Nate Hobbs and sophomore safety Bennett Williams -- as well as sophomore receiver Carmoni Green and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Deon Pate.

      "They've got some guys that they're expecting back," Penn State coach James Franklin said at a press conference. "So we'll plan accordingly, but again we can only do so much based on what we see on tape. We'll adjust to what we find out on Friday."

      The Nittany Lions lead the series 18-5.

      --Field Level Media

  • College football notebook: Stanford’s Love to face Oregon
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    Stanford star running back Bryce Love will return for Saturday's game at Oregon, Cardinal coach David Shaw said Tuesday on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference.

    • Love missed the game last Saturday game against UC Davis with an undisclosed injury. He apparently was injured in the fourth quarter of the Sept. 8 game against Southern California.

      "Bryce is great," Shaw said as the No. 7 Cardinal and No. 20 Ducks are 3-0 heading into the showdown in Eugene, Ore. "He's ready to go and fired up for this weekend."

      Love, a senior, entered the season as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate but has just 165 rushing yards. He was held to 29 yards by San Diego State in the season opener and followed up with 136 against USC.

      --Miami sophomore tight end Brian Polendey has been lost for the season due to an injury to his right knee, the school announced.

      Polendey will undergo surgery to repair the damage. The type of injury suffered wasn't revealed.

      Polendey missed last Saturday's game with Toledo. He caught one pass for 14 yards this season.

      --After getting an unexpected weekend off, No. 16 UCF (2-0) will return to the field when it hosts Florida Atlantic (2-1) on Friday night.

      The kickoff for the ESPN game at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando is at 7 p.m. ET.

      The Knights have not played since shutting out South Carolina State 38-0 at home in the season's second weekend to stretch their winning streak to 15 games. Their scheduled game at North Carolina last week was canceled because of the impending threat of Hurricane Florence.

      --Field Level Media

  • No. 16 UCF anxious for action vs. Kiffin, Fla. Atlantic
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    After getting an unexpected weekend off, No. 16 UCF will get back on the field this week by hosting Florida Atlantic Friday night.

    • Kickoff before ESPN cameras at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando is at 7 p.m. ET.

      The Knights (2-0) have not played since shutting out South Carolina State 38-0 at home in the season's second weekend to stretch their winning streak to 15 games. Their scheduled game at North Carolina last week was canceled because of the impending threat of Hurricane Florence.

      While the Knights were idle, Florida Atlantic was topping Bethune-Cookman 49-38, the second win for the Owls (2-1) since a 63-14 beatdown at Oklahoma in their opener.

      "I'm sure they were glad that game was canceled," Owls coach Lane Kiffin said. "Ours worked out well from the standpoint of being able to play a lot of backups and gain some experience for them. I'm glad we had it."

      Actually, Knights coach Josh Heupel was not exactly thrilled with the extra open date. His staff and team already had begun preparations for the Owls before getting word of the cancellation from North Carolina.

      "It's tough because of when you find out the information," Heupel said. "You have to fast forward and move on to the next week's prep. It gave some of the guys that maybe have had a few nicks a few more days to get healthy.

      "That's the biggest advantage is that guys get a couple more days to rebound and get ready for the following week."

      Still, the Knights are looking forward to their second appearance on national television in a weeknight game. They opened on a Thursday night with a 56-17 trouncing of Connecticut to get a jump on American Athletic Conference play.

      "Any time you get to play on national television, it's big," quarterback McKenzie Milton said. "But I don't think we look at it as different from any other game. It's just the way we approach our work.

      "We're going to get FAU's best shot, but they're going to get ours as well."

      Milton had a big game in the UConn win (346 yards passing, five touchdowns) but threw three interceptions against South Carolina State. That doesn't lessen Kiffin's opinion of the junior.

      "This obviously is a tough guy to contain and a tough offense," Kiffin said. "They are second in the country in offense or something like that. They go up extremely fast and he is a really special player and they are really good all around him.

      "I told the staff, after watching these guys, both sides, I feel like we are playing a SEC team -- height, weight, speed, the size of the guys and stuff is like playing a SEC opponent."

      --Field Level Media

  • Miami loses TE Polendey to season-ending knee injury
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    Miami sophomore tight end Brian Polendey has been lost for the season due to an injury to his right knee, the school announced Tuesday.

    • Polendey will undergo surgery to repair the damage. The type of injury suffered wasn't revealed.

      Polendey missed last Saturday's game with Toledo. He caught one pass for 14 yards this season.

      The Hurricanes previously lost junior tight end Michael Irvin II due to an MCL tear in his right knee.

      Miami has just two healthy scholarship tight ends -- true freshmen Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory. Jordan has seven receptions for 52 yards and two touchdowns and Mallory's lone catch was a 2-yard score.

      --Field Level Media

  • Stanford RB Love to play against Oregon
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    Stanford star running back Bryce Love will return for Saturday's game at Oregon, Cardinal coach David Shaw said Tuesday on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference.

    • Love missed the game last Saturday game against UC Davis with an undisclosed injury. He apparently was injured in the fourth quarter of the Sept. 8 game against Southern California.

      "Bryce is great," Shaw said. "He's ready to go and fired up for this weekend."

      The No. 7 Cardinal and No. 20 Ducks both have 3-0 records heading into the showdown in Eugene.

      Love, a senior, entered the season as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate but has just 165 rushing yards. He was held to 29 yards by San Diego State in the season opener and followed up with 136 against USC.

      "The game against USC was a physical game and he took a lot of shots," Shaw said of Love. "It was good to get him a chance to recover."

      Love rushed for 2,118 yards last season and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

      --Field Level Media

  • QB Hockman commits to N.C. State
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    Quarterback Bailey Hockman, who announced this summer he was transferring from Florida State, will play football at North Carolina State.

    • He made the announcement on Twitter.

      "It has been a long road to make it here, but I am blessed to say I am COMMITTED to NC State, can't wait to be apart [sic] of what is going on in Raleigh! Go pack!!!"

      Hockman was competing for the starting job at Florida State this summer with redshirt junior Deondre Francois. When coach Willie Taggart released the depth chart in late August, Francois was on top with Hockman and sophomore James Blackman listed as the No. 2 quarterbacks. Hockman announced his decision to transfer on Aug. 31 and enrolled at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.

      He plans to graduate from the community college in December, then move on to NC State. A redshirt at Florida State last season, he will have three years of eligibility remaining.

      Hockman, from Powder Springs, Ga., committed to Georgia on June 15, 2015, then decommitted seven months later. Eventually, he chose Florida State, which was coached by Jimbo Fisher at the time.

      According to the 247Sports composite, he was a four-star recruit and the No. 11 pro-style quarterback in the nation in the Class of 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • New accuser targets ex-Cougars QB Gesser
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    An additional accusation of inappropriate sexual advances targeting former Washington State University quarterback Jason Gesser, now an employee in the school's athletic department, has led to him being placed on administrative leave.

    • Alyssa Bodeau, 27, said she filed an official complaint against Gesser with the school's Office for Equal Opportunity on Monday, according to The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash.

      Bodeau said she was emboldened to speak up about her encounter with Gesser, which she said happened in June 2015, after news accounts surfaced last week about other women having made similar accusations against him.

      The earlier allegations were reported by Washington State's student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen. The report said that numerous women, including student interns and Gesser's coworkers, had made the allegations, but that the Office for Equal Opportunity investigated in 2017 and cleared him of wrongdoing.

      "This is new information and a different set of events than previously reported," said Kimberly Anderson, executive director of the Officer for Equal Opportunity. "In accordance with standard WSU practice ... Mr. Gesser was placed on home assignment pending a full investigation into the allegations."

      Late last week, Gesser, perhaps best remembered for leading the Cougars to the Rose Bowl in 2003, called the earlier allegations a "non-story." The Spokesman-Review said Gesser did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on Monday. Gesser has been working as an assistant athletic director for the Cougar Athletic Fund.

      "When other girls came forward, it changed the game," said Bodeau. "When I saw that it was a pattern, that's when I decided, ‘I'm not going to stay quiet.' If it doesn't stop now ... other girls will be in danger."

      --Field Level Media

  • College football notebook: OSU's Meyer returns, apologizes
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Ohio State coach Urban Meyer resumed his full-time duties Monday morning, marking the end of his three-game suspension.

    • And for the first time since an investigation began into his handling over domestic violence allegations tied to former assistant coach Zach Smith, Meyer spoke extensively with the media about the situation and moving forward.

      Meyer started by apologizing for comments he made at Big Ten Media Days in July, when he denied knowing about allegations of domestic violence in the Smiths' relationship. He added, "And one of the things I look back now -- I probably should've fired him."

      --Arkansas will start junior quarterback Ty Storey when it visits No. 9 Auburn on Saturday, Razorbacks coach Chad Morris announced. The change comes after sophomore Cole Kelley threw four interceptions in last Saturday's 44-17 loss against North Texas.

      "Ty Storey will start for us, and as we take this thing forward, we look forward to this challenge," Morris said at a press conference. "The message is that we want to settle on someone."

      Storey didn't even play in the setback against the Mean Green as Morris instead used true freshmen Connor Noland and John Jones with the game out of reach. Noland and Jones each threw one interception as Arkansas tossed six overall. Storey passed for 297 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in 30 pass attempts over the previous two games.

      --Florida sophomore running back Malik Davis broke his left foot Saturday against Colorado State and will miss "extended time," Gators coach Dan Mullen said.

      Davis rushed 13 times for 61 yards and caught three passes for 33 yards during the Gators' first three games. He was injured midway through the second quarter of Florida's 48-10 win against the Rams.

      Davis jumped out to a strong start in 2017. He rushed for 526 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 6.7 yards per carry through seven games before tearing a ligament in his right knee against Georgia on Oct. 28. He missed the rest of the season.

      --Willie Taggart asked Florida State fans for patience and reiterated his belief in the team despite the Seminoles' 1-2 start in his first year as head coach.

      "Our fans have every right to have high expectations of our program," Taggart said while reading a statement to open his weekly press conference. "And I can assure you that no one has higher expectations than I do."

      Taggart has come under fire as his team lost its first two FBS games, to Virginia Tech and Syracuse, by a combined score of 54-10, including Saturday's 30-7 loss to the Orange. The Seminoles beat Samford 36-26 in between those contests after trailing 13-0 in the first quarter and 26-21 in the fourth.

      --Ohio State standout junior defensive end Nick Bosa will miss Saturday's game against Tulane after being injured against TCU.

      Meyer said Bosa was receiving further tests on an abdominal and groin issue. Bosa left the Buckeyes' 40-28 win over TCU on Saturday night early in the third quarter.

      Through the first three games of the season, Bosa had four sacks, six tackles for loss, 14 total tackles, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a forced fumble that led to a touchdown.

      --Louisville promoted redshirt freshman quarterback Malik Cunningham to the starting role and demoted sophomore Jawon Pass, Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino announced.

      Cunningham replaced Pass in the second quarter Saturday during a 20-17 win over Western Kentucky. He guided two fourth-quarter scoring drives to help the Cardinals (2-1) rally to the victory. He rushed for 129 yards on 21 carries and was 10 of 18 passing for 88 yards against the Hilltoppers.

      Pass was the opening-game starter as Louisville attempted to replace former star Lamar Jackson, who is now with the Baltimore Ravens. Pass never found his groove and completed 50 percent of his passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Arkansas promotes Storey to starting QB
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Arkansas will start junior quarterback Ty Storey when it visits No. 9 Auburn on Saturday, Razorbacks coach Chad Morris announced Monday.

    • The change comes after sophomore Cole Kelley threw four interceptions in last Saturday's 44-17 loss against North Texas.

      "Ty Storey will start for us, and as we take this thing forward, we look forward to this challenge," Morris said at a press conference. "The message is that we want to settle on someone. We came into the game last week with the intent to settle with Cole, and that's why we went with him in the second half. I wanted to see if we could work through some things."

      Storey didn't even play in the setback against the Mean Green as Morris instead used true freshmen Connor Noland and John Jones with the game out of reach. Noland and Jones each threw one interception as Arkansas tossed six overall.

      Storey passed for 297 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in 30 pass attempts over the first two games.

      "I think Ty is a professional," Morris said. "He is a competitor and as all of them do, they all want to play."

      Kelley has thrown for 379 yards and three touchdowns. He didn't throw an interception in the first two games.

      Arkansas (1-2) won its opener against Eastern Illinois before suffering back-to-back losses to Colorado State and North Texas.

      --Field Level Media

  • Gators lose RB Davis to broken foot
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Florida sophomore running back Malik Davis suffered a broken left foot Saturday against Colorado State and will miss "extended time," Gators coach Dan Mullen said Monday.

    • Davis rushed 13 times for 61 yards and caught three passes for 33 yards during the Gators' first three games. He was injured midway through the second quarter of Florida's 48-10 win against the Rams.

      Davis jumped out to a strong start in 2017. He rushed for 526 yards and two touchdowns and averaged 6.7 yards per carry through seven games before tearing a ligament in his right knee against Georgia on Oct. 28. He missed the rest of the season.

      The Gators did get some positive injury news Monday. Mullen said junior linebacker David Reese, who led the team with 102 tackles last season, will return after missing three games with an ankle injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • FSU's Taggart asks for patience at 1-2
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Willie Taggart asked Florida State fans for patience and reiterated his belief in his team on Monday, despite the Seminoles' 1-2 start in Taggart's first year as head coach.

    • "Our fans have every right to have high expectations of our program," Taggart said while reading a statement to open his weekly press conference. "And I can assure you that no one has higher expectations than I do. We have a proud history and tradition of football at FSU and it is on our shoulders to carry on the torch, and our fans, students, alumni, former players deserve a team that plays better than what we have so far this season.

      "Our program has some tremendous young men who are determined to get it fixed and who are committed to turning this around and a group of coaches who are looking at everything, including ourselves."

      Taggart has come under fire as his team lost its first two FBS games, to Virginia Tech and Syracuse, by a combined score of 54-10, including Saturday's 30-7 loss to the Orange. The Seminoles beat Samford 36-26 in between those contests after trailing 13-0 in the first quarter and 26-21 in the fourth.

      Fans have been vocal on social media with their displeasure for Taggart, including a GoFundMe page a fan set up to buy the coach out of his contract. Taggart told reporters Monday he and his staff have cautioned players against the highs and lows of social media.

      "I handle that by not being on [social media]," he said. "That's pretty simple for me. And you understand when you don't play well people are going to say negative things. That's part of it. If you don't want them to say negative things then we have to play better. So with our players, the same way. We tell them the same thing.

      "...We're not playing the way we're supposed to, so [fans] have every right to be upset. And we got to change that."

      The Seminoles' offense has been particularly poor, ranking No. 126 in the country in efficiency while battling numerous offensive line issues. Starting right tackle Landon Dickerson is out indefinitely with an ankle issue, and replacement Derrick Kelly will miss Saturday's game against Northern Illinois with a leg injury.

      But Taggart reiterated his belief that the team will overcome its woes.

      "I am confident that we will get it done," he said. "But all the words and coaching clichés and insistence that we must do better won't help us play better. That comes in the form of coaching. That is why we coach. It is on me and our assistants to get this right, and we will. I believe in this team. I believe this team will get it done."

      Taggart left Oregon to join Florida State in December, after Jimbo Fisher left the Seminoles for Texas A&M. He has a career record of 48-52 but drew credit for his rebuilding of Western Kentucky (2010-12) and South Florida (2013-2016) before taking over the Ducks in 2017.

      Before finishing 7-6 last year, the Seminoles had won at least 10 games in five straight seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cunningham promoted to Louisville starting QB
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Louisville promoted redshirt freshman quarterback Malik Cunningham to the starting role and demoted sophomore Jawon Pass, Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino announced Monday.

    • Cunningham replaced Pass in the second quarter of Saturday's 20-17 win over Western Kentucky. He guided two fourth-quarter scoring drives to help the Cardinals (2-1) rally to the victory.

      Cunningham rushed for 129 yards on 21 carries and was 10-of-18 passing for 88 yards against the Hilltoppers.

      "I have to do what I think is best for the team and I think this is best," Petrino said at a press conference.

      Pass was the opening-game starter as Louisville attempted to replace former star Lamar Jackson, who's now with the Baltimore Ravens. He never found his groove and completed 50 percent of his passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

      Cunningham has completed 64 percent of his throws for 163 yards and one touchdown. He leads the team with 183 rushing yards and has scored once on the ground.

      "It's hard for (Pass)," Petrino said. "It's not at all what he expected and not how we expected things to go. He played well against Alabama (in the season opener) but we just haven't been driving the ball and getting it into end zone."

      --Field Level Media

  • QB's father blasts UCLA coach Kelly
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Another father of a high-profile UCLA athlete is questioning decisions made by a coach.

    • First, it was LaVar Ball, who didn't like the way basketball coach Steve Alford handled his sons, Lonzo and LiAngelo. Now, it's the father of freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson who is criticizing first-year football coach Chip Kelly.

      The Bruins are off to an 0-3 start for the first time since 1971, losing home games to Cincinnati and Fresno State, as well a road game to Oklahoma.

      Michael Robinson blasted Kelly via Twitter Sunday night under the handle @DoriansDAD, responding to Bruin Report.

      "It is all about the coaching, lousy coaching and play calling... Coaching that is so bad that it demands closed practices... Million dollar coach who bares [sic] no responsibility... Just random observations from a frustrated dad!"

      Responding to a tweet that included a photo of Kelly facing Thompson-Robinson after an interception, Robinson wrote: "Look, coach Kelly, if you wish to call him this is 4 and 26 for his last offensively called football games... Dorian has only played in 3 of the last 30 games... Can you say duped!"

      Thompson-Robinson was a highly coveted recruit in the Class of 2018, a four-star prospect ranked by the 247sports composite as the nation's No. 2 dual-threat quarterback. From powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, he chose UCLA over Michigan. He has started the past two games because of an injury to starter Wilton Speight and has passed for 522 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on the season.

      UCLA declined to comment.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ohio State DE Bosa out against Tulane
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Ohio State standout junior defensive end Nick Bosa will miss Saturday's game against Tulane after being injured against TCU, coach Urban Meyer announced Monday.

    • "He will not play this week," Meyer said during his news conference. "He's receiving further tests on an abdominal and groin issue."

      Bosa left the 40-28 win over TCU on Saturday night early in the third quarter.

      Through the first three games of the season, Bosa had four sacks, six tackles for loss, 14 total tackles, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a forced fumble that led to a touchdown.

      The No. 4 Buckeyes (3-0) are more than a five-touchdown favorite over Tulane (1-2), so Ohio State probably can afford for Bosa to take the week off. And while Meyer didn't put a timeline on his return, the Buckeyes undoubtedly would want Bosa in the lineup on Sept. 29 when they travel to Penn State for a key Big Ten meeting.

      He is the second sidelined Bosa brother. His older brother, Joey, is a defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers and is unlikely to be back on the field before October, according to ESPN. Joey Bosa has a left foot injury that has caused him to miss the first two games of the NFL season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ohio State's Meyer: 'There was zero intent to mislead'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, September 17, 2018

    Ohio State coach Urban Meyer resumed his full-time duties Monday morning, marking the end of his three-game suspension. And for the first time since an investigation began into his handling over domestic violence allegations tied to former assistant coach Zach Smith, Meyer spoke extensively with the media about the situation and moving forward.

    • In a wide-ranging news conference that lasted 55 minutes, Meyer talked about what he did and didn't know about the relationship between Smith and his ex-wife Courtney, about the difficult times coaches have dealing with off-field issues and about where he stands with Ohio State.

      Meyer started the news conference by apologizing for comments he made at Big Ten Media Days in July, when he denied knowing about allegations of domestic violence in the Smiths' relationship.

      "I want to be really clear that there was zero intent to mislead," he said.

      He discussed his time working with Smith and spoke of the strong reference checks about Smith when Meyer decided to hire him at Ohio State in 2012. When Meyer coached in Florida, Smith was a graduate assistant there, and Meyer had a strong relationship with his grandfather, late Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce.

      He said that when he heard of domestic violence accusations in 2015, he told Smith he would be fired on the spot if they were true. But no charges were filed, and Meyer said law enforcement assured him the couple's issues were related to a messy divorce and not domestic violence.

      "My mistake was not asking enough questions" and instead relying on law enforcement, he said.

      Through the Smith situation, Meyer said he has learned he needs help dealing with handling off-field issues, adding they have become increasingly more complex as his coaching career has gone on. He said he needs to learn just how far he should go to help a troubled employee

      Meyer said a constant refrain in his program is how women should be treated and he regrets Zach Smith's family had to suffer in any way.

      "I'm very sorry. No two children and a wife should have to go through this," he said.

      Meyer, who was raised in Ohio, said he regrets the hits Ohio State's reputation -- as well as his own -- have taken throughout this ordeal. His relationship with university president Michael Drake and athletic director Gene Smith is strong, he said, as is his passion for the school.

      "My love is unwavering for Ohio State, even more so now."

      Regarding other issues that surfaced in the university's investigation that led to his suspension, he said he never ordered text messages to be deleted from his phone, and this his wife did not share with him what she knew about domestic violence allegations in 2015. As far as reports of a foggy memory, he said he took "some pretty heavy meds" for a prior medical condition but that his coaching wasn't affected.

      "I'm very healthy. I've had cyst issues and one surgery" and takes medication," the 54-year-old Meyer said.

      He thanked co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day, who led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 record as acting head coach, and expressed his pride in the players.

      "I knew coach Day was a difference-maker when we hired him. His professionalism and what he's done is phenomenal," Meyer said.

      Early Monday, before the news conference, Meyer released a statement on Twitter.

      "I should have done a better job, and I'll always regret that I didn't," Meyer said about his handling of Smith. "My time away from the program in August gave me a chance to reflect and it gave me a chance to learn a great deal from these events. I want to be clear, I do not -- never have and never will -- condone domestic abuse."

      Meyer said in his statement this has been an eye opener for him.

      "What I've learned from this experience will make me a better manager and a better leader. I'm working to ensure I do a better job.

      "As I resume handling all my regular duties as Ohio State's Head Football Coach, I am mindful of the privilege I have been given and all the responsibilities that go with it. I commit to discharging them well as we move forward."

      --Field Level Media

  • LSU rises to No. 6 in Top 25 poll
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, September 16, 2018

    LSU's second big early-season victory has prompted the Tigers to rise to No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday.

    • LSU moved up six spots after defeating SEC rival Auburn 22-21 on Saturday. Earlier, the Tigers opened the season with a 33-17 victory over Miami.

      LSU is one of four SEC teams in the top 10 and six in the Top 25.

      Alabama remains atop the poll, while fellow SEC member Georgia is now No. 2 after leaping Clemson. The Crimson Tide received 58 first-place votes. Clemson received the other three.

      Auburn (No. 9), Mississippi State (14th) and Texas A&M (22nd) are the other SEC teams in the Top 25. The Aggies are a new entrant in the poll.

      Ohio State (No. 4) and Oklahoma (No. 5) round out the top five.

      Taking a dive was Wisconsin, which suffered a 24-21 loss to BYU. The Badgers fell from sixth to No. 18, while BYU broke into the poll for the first time this season at No. 25.

      Stanford rose two spots to seventh, and Notre Dame remained eighth.

      Washington and Penn State are tied for 10th. West Virginia is 12th and Virginia Tech is 13th.

      Oklahoma State moved up nine spots to No. 15 after a romp over Boise State, which is no longer ranked.

      Central Florida is the highest-ranked team from a non-power conference. The Golden Knights are 16th.

      TCU dropped two spots to 17th after falling to Ohio State.

      Michigan is 19th, followed by Oregon and Miami.

      Boston College (No. 23) cracked the poll for the first time since 2008, while Michigan State is 24th.

      USC and Arizona State joined Boise State in falling out of the rankings. The Trojans were routed by Texas, and Arizona State lost to San Diego State.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Suspended LSU WR Davis arrested again
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, September 16, 2018

    Suspended LSU wide receiver Drake Davis was arrested for two counts of battery on a dating partner on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

    • Davis was suspended indefinitely after an Aug. 17 arrest on four counts of second-degree battery for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend.

      Saturday's arrest stems from an alleged Aug. 26 encounter with the same woman, who says she was pushed into a couch during an argument, cutting and bruising her leg, and also received a black eye after being with Davis until as late as 2 a.m.

      Davis had been ordered by a judge to obey a 10 p.m. curfew after the Aug. 17 arrest.

      According to the original arrest warrant, LSU Police were informed of the accusations against Davis by a school official. They corroborated the story with the woman, who told police the pair had recently ended a relationship.

      The alleged abuse dates back to May 2017, when she says Davis punched her in the stomach. She says a second assault in May 2017 left her with a broken rib.

      There was also an alleged attack in June 2017, when she says Davis came to her apartment after a text dispute and punched her in the stomach, grabbed her throat and ripped an earring from her ear.

      The warrant also says the woman shared photographic evidence and threatening text messages with police.

      Davis played all 13 games and had three catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Top 25 roundup: No. 12 LSU stuns No. 7 Auburn
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 15, 2018

    Cole Tracy kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 12 LSU a 22-21 victory on the road over No. 7 Auburn on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

    • LSU (3-0, 1-0 SEC) trailed 21-10 before beginning its rally.

      Derrick Dillon's first reception of the season was a memorable one -- he caught a Joe Burrow pass over the middle, hit the sideline and outran Jeremiah Dinson for a 71-yard touchdown. A failed two-point conversion left Auburn (2-1, 0-1) holding a 21-19 lead with 8:18 left to play in the fourth quarter, but LSU suddenly had new life.

      Tracy's game-winning field goal capped a 14-play, 52-yard drive.

      BYU 24, No. 6 Wisconsin 21

      Skyler Southam booted a 45-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes left in regulation, and the Cougars rushed for 191 yards to knock off the Badgers in Madison, Wis.

      Wisconsin fifth-year senior kicker Rafael Gaglianone, a Lou Groza Award preseason candidate, missed a potential tying 42-yard field goal attempt with 41 seconds left. The Badgers (2-1) suffered their first nonconference home loss since 2003 -- the fifth longest streak by an FBS team in the modern era.

      The Cougars (2-1) avenged last season's 40-6 home loss to the Badgers. Running back Squally Canada overcome a first-quarter injury to carry the ball 11 times for 118 yards and score two touchdowns.

      No. 1 Alabama 62, Ole Miss 7

      The Crimson Tide gained 418 yards against an overwhelmed Rebels defense in the first half on the easy road to victory in Oxford, Miss.

      Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1 SEC) took the opening kickoff, and on the first play from scrimmage, Rebels quarterback Jordan Ta'amu connected with D.K. Metcalf for a 75-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 11 seconds into the game. From there on, it was all Alabama (3-0, 1-0).

      The Tide answered quickly, driving 72 yards on three plays in just 70 seconds. Tua Tagovailoa completed 11 of 15 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and Alabama scored seven touchdowns on its nine possessions of the half. Jalen Hurts replaced Tagovailoa in the second quarter and threw touchdown passes of 22 and 13 yards.

      No. 2 Clemson 38, Georgia Southern 7

      Sophomore running back Travis Etienne rushed for a career-high 162 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers ran past the Eagles 38-7 in a nonconference game at Clemson, S.C.

      The game was the only one played in South Carolina due to Hurricane Florence. It was originally set for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff but was moved up to noon to allow fans to return home safely.

      Clemson is off to a 3-0 start for a fourth straight season and for the seventh time in the last eight years. Georgia Southern slipped to 2-1. The victory was Clemson's 46th in the last 50 games, dating to 2014.

      No. 3 Georgia 49, Middle Tennessee 7

      The Bulldogs exploded for 42 first-half points and eased to a victory over the Blue Raiders at Athens, Ga.

      Quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Justin Fields shared the offensive spotlight and combined for a successful afternoon. Fromm completed 10 of 12 passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns, while Fields connected on 6 of 8 attempts for 71 yards and a touchdown. The freshman also collected his first rushing score on a 15-yard run before turning the game over to freshman walk-on Matthew Downing to start the fourth.

      Five different receivers found the end zone for the Bulldogs (3-0). Tyler Simmons, Jeremiah Holloman and Jayson Stanley tallied their first collegiate scores against the Blue Raiders (1-2).

      No. 4 Ohio State 40, No. 15 TCU 28

      Dwayne Haskins passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to cap a second-half comeback as the Buckeyes overcame the Horned Frogs at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

      Ohio State (3-0) trailed 21-13 after TCU's Darius Anderson scored on a 16-yard run at 10:43 of the third quarter, but a defensive score, a blocked punt and Haskins' arm and legs keyed a 20-point spurt in about four minutes.

      The Horned Frogs (2-1) pulled to within 33-28 at 1:06 of the third on a 51-yard catch by TreVontae Hights, but Haskins ran for a 5-yard TD early in the fourth to make it 40-28. Haskins was 24 of 38 for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Texas native J.K. Dobbins ran for 121 yards on 18 attempts for the Buckeyes.

      No. 5 Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 27

      Marquise Brown had nine catches for 191 yards and a score, but the Sooners had to hold on over the Cyclones at Ames, Iowa.

      The Cyclones (0-2, 0-1 Big 12) scored three times in the second half to cut the deficit to seven, but each time, the Sooners (3-0, 1-0) answered with a score of their own to keep control of the game. Without running back Rodney Anderson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury a week earlier, the Sooners relied on both running back Trey Sermon and quarterback Kyler Murray, who combined for 151 yards.

      Zeb Noland was excellent in replacing starting quarterback Kyle Kempt, helping the Cyclones climb back into the game after falling behind 24-10 at halftime. Noland finished 25 of 36 for 360 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Hakeem Butler added 174 yards and two touchdowns on five catches.

      No. 8 Notre Dame 22, Vanderbilt 17

      Dual-threat quarterback Brandon Wimbush rushed for a touchdown and had 206 total yards, and the Fighting Irish held on for a win over the Commodores at South Bend, Ind.

      Wimbush passed for 122 yards while rushing for 84 yards and a score. Tight end Nic Weishar added a touchdown reception for Notre Dame, which improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2015.

      Quarterback Kyle Shurmur passed for 326 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Vanderbilt (2-1). The Commodores had a chance to take the lead late but committed a turnover on downs with 1:07 to go. Wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb could not hang on to the ball at the Fighting Irish 10-yard line.

      No. 9 Stanford 30, UC Davis 10

      K.J. Costello overcame a horrid start as the Cardinal wore down the Aggies in a nonconference contest at Stanford, Calif.

      Costello threw two first-quarter interceptions, the first setting up the Aggies in field-goal range, before firing two touchdown passes to JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Stanford (3-0) played without standout running back Bryce Love, who apparently is dealing with an undisclosed injury sustained a week earlier against Southern California.

      The FCS Aggies (2-1) gave the Cardinal fits at times, but they didn't have the firepower to keep up. UC Davis put up 56 passes in the game.

      No. 10 Washington 21, Utah 7

      Senior Myles Gaskin rushed for 143 yards and one touchdown as the Huskies got by the Utes in the Pac-12 opener for both teams at Salt Lake City.

      Senior quarterback Jake Browning passed for one touchdown and rushed for another as Washington (2-1, 1-0) improved to 11-1 all time against Utah (2-1, 0-1). Browning completed 14 of 24 passes for 155 yards, including a scoring pass to sophomore receiver Ty Jones.

      Junior running back Zack Moss rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown for Utah. Junior quarterback Tyler Huntley was 20-of-38 passing for 138 yards and one interception for the Utes, who committed three turnovers and were outgained 327-261.

      No. 11 Penn State 63, Kent State 10

      Senior quarterback Trace McSorley matched his career best of three rushing touchdowns and also passed for two scores to lead the Nittany Lions to a trouncing of the Golden Flashes (1-2) at University Park, Pa.

      McSorley completed 11 of 22 passes for 229 yards and one interception and rushed for 54 yards as Penn State (3-0) won its 16th consecutive home game. Senior receiver DeAndre Thompkins caught four passes for 101 yards and one touchdown, and junior wideout Brandon Polk also caught a scoring pass.

      Redshirt freshman backup quarterback Sean Clifford helped cap the rout with a school-record 95-yard touchdown pass to freshman wideout Daniel George with 6:55 remaining.

      No. 16 Mississippi State 56, Louisiana 10

      Senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald matched his career best of four rushing touchdowns and also passed for two as the Bulldogs rolled to an easy victory over the Ragin' Cajuns at Starkville, Miss.

      Fitzgerald completed 14 of 21 passes for 243 yards and rushed for 107 as Mississippi State (3-0) scored on its first seven possessions while dominating the contest. Senior Aeris Williams rushed for 101 yards and one score, and junior receivers Stephen Guidry and Keith Mixon had touchdown receptions.

      Senior quarterback Andre Nunez was 21-of-29 passing for 224 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Ragin' Cajuns (1-1). He threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to junior wideout Ja'Marcus Bradley.

      No. 24 Oklahoma State 44, No. 17 Boise State 21

      The Cowboys rode big plays offensively, defensively and on special teams all day long to dismantle the Broncos at Stillwater, Okla.

      The Cowboys (3-0) blocked two punts deep in Boise State (2-1) territory and turned them both into touchdowns, while their defense harassed Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien much of the day.

      Meanwhile, Oklahoma State's Taylor Cornelius led the offense to scores on six consecutive possessions at one point, beginning in the second quarter. He completed 15 of 26 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown and ran 16 times for 41 yards and two more scores.

      No. 19 Michigan 45, SMU 20

      Shea Patterson threw three touchdown passes to Donovan Peoples-Jones, and the Wolverines topped the winless Mustangs at Ann Arbor, Mich.

      Patterson completed 14 of 18 passes for 237 yards for the Wolverines (2-1). Peoples-Jones caught four passes for 90 yards.

      SMU quarterback Ben Hicks was 7 of 16 for 113 yards and a touchdown and didn't play most of the second half. Replacement William Brown passed for two scores, while James Proche caught 11 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns for the Mustangs (0-3).

      No. 20 Oregon 35, San Jose State 22

      Justin Herbert threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks defeated the Spartans at Eugene, Ore.

      Herbert completed 16 of 34 passes, and running back CJ Verdell had five catches for 85 yards. Verdell also ran for 42 yards on 15 carries for the Ducks (3-0).

      Quarterback Josh Love was 15 of 31 for 238 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for San Jose State (0-3). Bailey Gaither had six catches for 90 yards.

      No. 21 Miami 49, Toledo 24

      Senior quarterback Malik Rosier rushed for a single-game career-high three touchdowns and passed for two more as the Hurricanes overcame the stubborn Rockets at Toledo, Ohio.

      Rosier was 13 of 23 passing for 205 yards, but his 37-yard run early in the fourth quarter put the Hurricanes (2-1) up 42-24, effectively squashing the upset hopes of the Rockets (1-1).

      Cornerback Trajan Bandy's interception on the ensuing series set up fullback Trayone Gray's plunge for Miami's final touchdown with just under nine minutes left. Miami receiver Jeff Thomas had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown and made a key block on Rosier's long touchdown run.

      Texas 37, No. 22 Southern California 14

      Sam Ehlinger passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 35 yards and another score as the Longhorns rolled over the Trojans before a stadium-record crowd of 103,507 in Austin.

      Ehlinger's scoring plays all came during the second and third quarters, when the Longhorns (2-1) rang up 34 unanswered points to erase an early deficit and walk away from USC (1-2). He hit on 15 of his 33 throws without an interception and did more than enough damage with his legs as well, using his knack for escaping danger to pick up big first downs on five different occasions.

      USC's freshman quarterback JT Daniels passed for 322 yards without a touchdown and was intercepted once but was constantly harassed by the Texas rush and sacked three times. The Trojans gained minus-5 yards on 16 carries on the ground.

      San Diego State 28, No. 23 Arizona State 21

      Juwan Washington rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown, and Chase Jasmin ran for 112 yards and a score as the Aztecs survived a late scare to upset the Sun Devils at San Diego.

      The Aztecs (2-1) had 311 yards rushing, 192 in the second half, and took a 28-14 lead with four minutes remaining only to survive when Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins' long pass into the end zone was batted down as time expired.

      Wilkins completed 31 of 46 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another score for the Sun Devils (2-1), who did not have a first down in the second half until fewer than four minutes remained.

      --Field Level Media

  • Malzahn pledges $2M to Auburn for complex
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, September 15, 2018

    Gus Malzahn has a good thing going at Auburn and he's willing to put his own money into making sure it stays that way.

    • The Auburn coach and his wife are donating $2 million toward a new football operations building to replace the existing one, built in 1989, according to ESPN.

      "I love Auburn and am excited about our future," Malzahn said, per ESPN.

      First-year Auburn athletic director Allen Greene proposed a plan for a new football-only complex in a meeting with the school's board of trustees on Thursday.

      Malzahn, in his sixth year at Auburn, signed a seven-year, $49 million contract this summer.

      --Field Level Media

  • Southern Miss reinstates QB Griggs
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 14, 2018

    Southern Mississippi quarterback Kwadra Griggs was reinstated to the football team on Friday, the university announced.

    • The senior was indefinitely suspended on Aug. 11, pending resolution of a student conduct matter.

      Griggs hasn't practiced with the team or been part of team activities since that date.

      Griggs passed for 1,879 yards and 16 touchdowns against two interceptions in 10 games (seven starts) last season as the team finished 8-5.

      Southern Miss isn't playing Saturday after its road game against Appalachian State was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. It hasn't yet been determined if the game will be made up later this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • LSU's Orgeron could secure footing with win at Auburn
    By Field Level Media / Friday, September 14, 2018

    Honeymoons are supposed to be memorable, even when there are some unexpected twists and turns.

    • Coming into the 2018 season, it seemed as if second-year LSU coach Ed Orgeron was pretty comfortable in a carefree zone. The Tigers bounced back from a humbling home loss to Troy last September to finish the regular season 9-3 before a loss to Notre Dame in a back-and-forth Citrus Bowl.

      Granted, the aftertaste of that Troy defeat didn't completely fade away. But rolling up six wins in the last seven games after that forgettable day seemed to at least nudge Orgeron onto cozier ground with an LSU fan base that has gotten so accustomed to high-level success.

      Then this season began and the Tigers stunned an awful lot of folks by not just beating eighth-ranked Miami, but thumping the Hurricanes convincingly, 33-17.

      Orgeron's poll numbers (hey, everybody else is using them!) began trending pretty well after what was arguably the Tigers' biggest non-conference victory since they rolled past then-No. 3 Oregon 40-27 in the 2011 season opener.

      All of which brings LSU and its gravelly voiced, full-on Cajun coach to the latest crossroads -- and maybe as important a juncture as any in his short tenure.

      After surging 14 spots in the polls after the Miami rout and now ranked No. 12, the Tigers (2-0) will face a test Saturday into their Southeastern Conference opener, a showdown at seventh-ranked Auburn (2-0).

      Under any circumstances, the two SEC West rivals colliding carries a lot of meaning. For the purple-clad Tigers and Orgeron in particular, this one feels a little bigger than usual.

      The next challenge that the "can Orgeron really be the guy" crowd in the LSU fan base wants to see is right there, front and center on Saturday. Auburn is a team with legitimate national-championship aspirations, a statement that not that long ago was true for LSU heading into every season.

      No matter how you slice it, LSU has slipped a bit from the national elite merry-go-round, which is one big reason why Les Miles was fired and Orgeron landed in the driver's seat in 2016 -- coincidentally, right after a controversial loss at Auburn.

      Reclaiming a spot at the powerhouse table is going to require more than the one noteworthy victory that LSU has already notched this season. Most likely, the Tigers need at least a few more of them, and with an as-usual, tough-as-nails schedule ahead, LSU can't afford to let these kinds of big chances escape.

      Big chance No. 2 and the first in the SEC this season is coming against a program the Tigers have taken care of for the most part in recent years. LSU has won eight of the past 11 meetings with Auburn, although the three setbacks all came at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

      At first blush, the matchup sets up as a tossup, despite the lukewarm confidence from most national pundits. LSU looms as one of the best in the SEC this season, while Auburn is poised for big things offensively with a veteran quarterback, Jarrett Stidham.

      Flip that around, and the pedestrian-so-far LSU offense (last in the SEC at 315.5 yards per game) has to find a way to click more consistently against an Auburn defense that held steady against then-No. 6 Washington in a season-opening victory.

      Jumping into league play is a chance for LSU to get a more definitive gauge of what the offense could and should be capable of, and that's where the spotlight will shine brightest on Saturday.

      Remember, Orgeron made a not-so-subtle change at offensive coordinator in the offseason from Matt Canada to Steve Ensminger. The Tigers also lured graduate transfer Joe Burrow from Ohio State to churn up competition at the quarterback spot and he won the starting job.

      The residual effect of Burrow's emergence was that two quarterbacks who had been in the system for one to three years abruptly transferred, leaving only one scholarship in a backup role, highly touted sophomore Brennan Myles.

      So this LSU offense is more what Orgeron wanted with the veteran Ensminger and the transfer signal-caller at the controls, and the natural expectation is that the Tigers will show more sizzle.

      That hasn't been the case in two games so far, which has been OK because of some big plays in the running game and because the defense has been opportunistically solid.

      The Tigers need to carve out a different level of offensive execution against Auburn and the rest of the SEC if they intend to begin climbing back to the top of the league.

      Burrow has shown a handful of hopeful flashes in the first two games, and senior running back Nick Brossette seems ready to fill the shoes of the who's who of bell cows the Tigers have leaned on for years. What LSU has to unearth is more imagination and some unexpected wrinkles -- passes on first downs, misdirection with a speedy set of receivers (a staple early last season under Canada), some deep-throw gambles.

      If that process begins Saturday, the Tigers' chances of nabbing what would be the biggest victory under Orgeron increase.

      And that honeymoon would get stretched out a little bit longer.

      --By Randy Rosetta, Field Level Media

  • No. 5 Oklahoma seeking revenge in visit to Iowa State
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, September 13, 2018

    Kyle Kempt played the role of hero last year when Iowa State knocked off then-No. 3 Oklahoma, throwing for three touchdowns, including the game-winner with just more than two minutes remaining.

    • Saturday, when the now No. 5 Sooners travel to face the Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium, Kempt is questionable after suffering a knee injury in last week's loss to Iowa.

      Kempt did return to practice Wednesday, but his availability to face the Sooners remains up in the air.

      "He's out there. He's moving around. He's throwing the ball," Iowa State receivers coach Bryan Gasser told reporters. "I don't necessarily know what his status is, but he was out there doing things."

      If Kempt can't go, the Cyclones will turn to redshirt sophomore Zeb Noland. Noland has one career start, beating Baylor last season when Kempt was hurt.

      For Oklahoma, it's the third consecutive game it enters the week not knowing who the opponent's quarterback will be. In the opener against Florida Atlantic, Owls coach Lane Kiffin kept his quarterback decision a secret until just before the game when he started Chris Robison. A week ago, UCLA starter Wilton Speight worked out some during the week, but freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson ultimately got the nod.

      A year ago, the Sooners had no film on Kempt to prepare.

      "You'd rather see them, but then the advantage for us is that it's a guy that hasn't played a ton either," OU coach Lincoln Riley said. "It kinda goes both ways. You're gonna have to be ready to adjust."

      Oklahoma's offense had to do plenty of adjusting this week as it prepares to move on without running back Rodney Anderson. Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury on the final play of the first quarter against UCLA.

      In his place, sophomore Trey Sermon and senior Marcelias Sutton figure to carry the load, with freshman T.J. Pledger being the third option and potentially redshirt freshman Kennedy Brooks getting chances as well.

      "It's going to be based on performance, kind of like we were last year for a large part of the season," Riley said. "If all those guys are performing well but nobody is really totally outplaying the others, I'm sure we'll play a bunch of those guys. If we get a guy that gets hot or starts playing at a high level, we'll certainly feed him more reps."

      Last year, Sermon and Sutton had chances early -- Sermon in particular came up big in a win at Ohio State -- before Anderson took over as the clear No. 1.

      Now, they'll get another chance to prove they can carry the load as the Sooners visit a place Oklahoma hasn't lost at since 1960.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas A&M LB Hines out for season
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, September 12, 2018

    Texas A&M sophomore linebacker Anthony Hines III will miss the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury, coach Jimbo Fisher said on Wednesday.

    • Hines, who played last season as a true freshman, missed the Aggies' 2018 opener against Northwestern State but returned to practice last week and reinjured himself in Saturday's home loss to Clemson.

      Hines will be eligible to redshirt under the new NCAA rule that allows a player to compete in up to four games in a season and still redshirt.

      Junior Larry Pryor and sophomore Buddy Johnson are listed as Hines' backups on Texas A&M's depth chart.

      --Field Level Media

  • No. 20 Ducks yet to be tested as San Jose State visits
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, September 12, 2018

    Oregon's toughest days so far this season have come in practice.

    • The 20th-ranked Ducks have blown out Bowling Green and Portland State by a combined score of 120-38. Another lopsided victory appears on the horizon Saturday, when Oregon (2-0) hosts San Jose State (0-2).

      "I feel like we know who we are, we just haven't been tested," first-year Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said. "I'm not going to sit up here and throw you a curveball. The only way we could test ourselves up to this point -- and I fully respect both teams we played, but we just had a personnel advantage -- our tests have to come every day in practice and they do. We go good-on-good every single day and we have to keep doing that because it is the only way to find out."

      Oregon originally had Texas A&M on the schedule last week, but the Aggies pulled out of the home-and-home series four years ago. The Ducks replaced Texas A&M with Portland State, an FCS foe that went winless last season.

      Oregon opened the year with a 58-24 win over Bowling Green before defeating Portland State 62-14. San Jose State arrives at Autzen Stadium after opening with a 44-38 home loss to UC Davis, an FCS team, followed by a 31-0 loss at Washington State.

      "What happens in our world is that you lose a couple games and the outside world tries to tear you apart," San Jose State coach Brent Brennan said. "For us, it is all about sticking together. We are in the second year of building a football program and there are a lot of hard days. We cannot be pulled apart if we are to move forward."

      Oregon ranks fourth in the nation by averaging 60 points per game after exceeding 50 points in the first two games for the second time in school history.

      Quarterback Justin Herbert has only been needed for about three quarters in each of the first two games. The junior has completed 30 of 47 passes for 531 yards and nine touchdowns.

      Twelve different receivers have caught at least one pass, and six have a touchdown catch. Four running backs have at least one touchdown on the year.

      "As much as we spread the ball around, you have to be unselfish to be part of this locker room," Cristobal said.

      The Ducks limited Portland State to 224 yards of offense, but 118 came on two pass plays. The Vikings either punted or were stopped on fourth down during nine of their 11 possessions.

      "We came out and attacked and played fast and hard," Oregon linebacker Justin Hollins said. "We were not settling for anything but our best."

      --Field Level Media