- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday20 mins ago
Russell Athletic Bowl Oklahoma (8-4) vs. Clemson (9-3) Orlando, Fla. Dec. 29, 2014
It's dejå vu all over again for Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight.
Last year, Knight became the darling of the 2013 bowl season with his performance against Alabama. As the Sooners upset the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, Knight was 32-44 passing for 348 yards, four touchdowns and a lone interception.
It was Knight's best performance of his young career and came as he was wrangling the starting quarterback job away from Blake Bell, who moved to tight end in 2014. Oh, and it also set up some unrealistic expectations for Knight's 2014 season.
And they were expectations that he unsurprisingly didn't fill. Before he suffered an incredibly frightening neck injury against Baylor, Knight was in the midst of a productive yet not spectacular campaign. While his stats didn't look horrible -- his one really bad game came against TCU -- there seemed to be frequent moments of longing from Oklahoma fans. Knight was playing well, but he could also play better.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday48 mins ago
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Texas A&M (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5) Memphis, Tenn. Dec. 29, 2014
Do you like offense? If you do, you are obligated to watch this game if you're off work or record it if you're going to be away from a television. If there was ever a bowl game this season that promises points, the Liberty Bowl is it.
Of course, that paragraph means we could very likely see a 14-13 finish, but we're betting against it. Each team has scored 20 or fewer points just twice this season. For Texas A&M, it was the embarrassing shutout at Alabama and a 23-17 loss to LSU in the last game of the regular season. West Virginia's two worst offensive efforts came at Texas and against Kansas State.
The Mountaineers enter at No. 9 in the country in passing yards. Texas A&M is No. 12. The respective defenses are basically the same, at least in the yardage category. Texas A&M is ranked No. 62 in passing defense, a half-yard better (225.5) than No. 63 West Virginia.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will reportedly be the next coach of the Michigan Wolverines.
According to CSN Bay Area, Harbaugh has agreed to be Michigan's coach.
Confirmed: Harbaugh to Michigan! Press Conference Tues in Ann Arbor
Harbaugh's move to Michigan was first tweeted by John U. Bacon on Saturday night. Bacon, a professor at Michigan, is the author of "Fourth and Long," a book about college football.
I just got off the phone with more sources tonight. It's done. Jim Harbaugh is coming to Michigan - and his friends are flying in Monday.
How do I know this? From his friends who are flying in.
Michigan officials were in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend to meet with Harbaugh in the hopes of securing his services as the Wolverines' next head coach. The 49ers play the Arizona cardinals on Sunday.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday10 hrs ago
A Holiday Bowl game that saw over 1,000 yards of total offense came down to a clutch defensive play by USC safety Leon McQuay.
After trailing 45-27 late in the third quarter, Nebraska battled back and cut USC’s lead to 45-42 and had the ball at the Trojans’ 31-yard line with under three minutes to go. Instead of attempting a game-tying field goal, Nebraska dialed up a sweep play on 4th-and-3 to speedy wideout De’Mornay Pierson-El.
McQuay sniffed the play out, following Pierson-El as he motioned from right to left and received a pitch, and then delivered a big hit to force a turnover on downs and ultimately seal a 45-42 USC win.
Before McQuay’s big play, there wasn’t much defense on either side. The teams combined for 1,040 yards of offense (525 for Nebraska, 515 for USC) and 50 first downs.
It was a back-and-forth affair early on. USC freshman Adoree’ Jackson returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score early in the first, but the Huskers led 17-10 after one via two Tommy Armstrong touchdown passes – one to Kenny Bell (7 catches, 71 yards) and one to Pierson-El (8 catches, 102 yards) – and a Drew Brown 34-yard field goal.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday12 hrs ago
Part of the lead up to any bowl game is a slew of press conferences and photo opportunities with the head coaches from the two teams.
With the Texas Bowl between Arkansas and Texas coming on Monday, Arkansas’ Bret Bielema and Texas’ Charlie Strong appeared to pose for your everyday, run of the mill handshake photo. However, Bielema decided to make this one interesting.
See that? With his left hand, Bielema went with the Texas “Hook ‘Em Horns” sign, but he did it upside down. The “Horns Down” is considered disrespectful, so Bielema’s little gesture predictably caused a bit of an uproar.
Bielema told an Arkansas sports talk host that he did not do the “horns down,” leading some to believe that the picture was altered.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday12 hrs ago
Could the Kyle Whittingham era be coming to an end at Utah?
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune's Gordon Monson, Whittingham is currently at odds with Utah athletic director Chris Hill. Monson's column, published Saturday night, comes after offensive coordinator Dave Christensen reportedly left to be Texas A&M's offensive line coach and run game coordinator and defensive coordinator and associate head coach Kalani Sitake left to take the same position at Oregon State.
After months of magma buildup, a volcanic blast is sheering the top off of Utah football, spewing rocks a mile high, triggering mudslides, leveling forests, choking off life as we know it there.
Sending Kyle Whittingham packing as the Utes’ head coach.
That’s right: He’s walking away.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday12 hrs ago
Many Nebraska players voiced their displeasure after head coach Bo Pelini was fired in late November by athletic director Shawn Eichorst. In their first game since Pelini was let go, a few Huskers’ players decided to honor Pelini during the Holiday Bowl against USC.
Senior offensive lineman Jake Cotton has “BO” on the back of his helmet instead of his usual No. 68.
Nebraska senior offensive lineman Jake Cotton has "BO" on his helmet in place of his jersey number. pic.twitter.com/1jSoaedXji
Additionally, wide receiver Kenny Bell wrote “Pelini” on his wrist tape, and defensive back Joshua Kalu wrote “Bo Bo Bo” on his towel.
Kenny Bell with Bo's name on wrist tape. pic.twitter.com/aAa52QqBh5
Kalu with "BO" on towel (h/t Coleman Mullins) pic.twitter.com/3fmgEyJuSY
That’s a nice tribute for Pelini, who recently accepted the head-coaching job at FCS Youngstown State.
The Huskers went on to lose to USC, 45-42.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday13 hrs ago
After gaining 59 total yards since the conclusion of the first quarter, it didn’t look good for Penn State when Boston College took a 21-7 lead with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter of the Pinstripe Bowl.
And then the Penn State offense woke up.
Behind the arm of sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg, a slew of young receivers and senior kicker Sam Ficken, Penn State came all the way back and knocked off the Eagles 31-30 in overtime.
Following that Boston College touchdown, which came on a 40-yard run by quarterback Tyler Murphy, Hackenberg quickly led the Nittany Lions down the field on a six-play, 63-yard drive that culminated with a bit of luck.
On a third-and-two from the Boston College seven-yard line, Hackenberg looked to Geno Lewis on a slant route and the ball was thrown behind Lewis and should have been intercepted by Boston College’s Justin Simmons. Instead, the ball deflected up in the air and into the waiting arms of Lewis (7 catches, 82 yards) for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter, cutting BC’s lead to 21-14.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday14 hrs ago
South Carolina managed to salvage a winning campaign out of an otherwise dismal season with a 24-21 win against Miami in the Independence Bowl.
The Gamecocks now have had seven consecutive winning seasons and three consecutive bowl wins.
After falling behind 6-0 early in second quarter, South Carolina responded with 17 points and never looked back. The South Carolina defense, which has struggled most of the season, forced two turnovers, including a key fumble in the fourth quarter that the Gamecocks’ offense turned into the game-sealing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
That Duke Johnson fumble, which was recovered by Gerald Dixon, gave the Gamecocks the ball on the Miami 29-yard line. South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson found Pharoh Cooper who made a spectacular 25-yard catch and Thompson ran the ball in from the 2-yard line on the next play.
The score gave South Carolina a 24-14 lead, and even though Miami responded with a touchdown, it wasn’t enough.
Cooper finished the game with nine catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. It was his second-highest single-game yardage total of the season.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday16 hrs ago
For the third consecutive season, Duke failed to earn the bowl win that has eluded the program for the past 53 years.
A late Kweishi Brown interception on quarterback Anthony Boone ended Duke’s hope of a late win as the Blue Devils fell to Arizona State 36-31 in the Sun Bowl.
Prior to that interception, Boone had led his team back from a 30-17 deficit in the fourth quarter and the Blue Devils briefly had taken a 31-30 lead with 5:03 remaining.
However, on the kickoff, Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage ran the ball back 96 yards to set up Demario Richard, who scored the game-winning touchdown off an option pass by quarterback Taylor Kelly.
It was Richard’s fourth touchdown of the day, which tied a Sun Bowl record.
Early, Arizona State looked like it was going to run away with the game taking a 20-3 lead midway through the second quarter. But a touchdown pass from Boone to Shaquille Powell and a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jamison Crowder cut the Sun Devils’ lead to just three at halftime.