- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday35 mins ago
Western Michigan’s Darius Phillips nearly brought the opening kickoff back for a touchdown Friday night against Michigan State, but was stopped after a 70-yard gain.
Phillips succeeded on his second try later in the first quarter and had his head coach run stride for stride with him down the sideline.
See that guy in the gold shirt running as Phillips sprints up the sideline? That’s Broncos head coach P.J. Fleck encouraging Phillips on his way to a 100-yard touchdown.
Look at Coach Fleck go!!! Coulda housed that one himself up the sideline. pic.twitter.com/M3LTdyk0fB
Fleck, who is in his third season at WMU, showed he still has pretty good wheels like he did back in his playing days at Northern Illinois, where he was a star wide receiver. Fleck also spent a few seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, so the guy is a great athlete.
After going 1-11 in his first season at WMU, Fleck led the Broncos to a huge turnaround in 2014, when they went 8-5 and made a bowl game.
- Athlon Sports at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
Each college football season starts off with less of a bang and more of a slow burn, with ranked teams rarely playing each other and few surprises. The only matchup between two ranked teams this weekend is when No. 3 Alabama faces No. 20 Wisconsin at Cowboys Stadium in the Advocare Classic (formerly the Cowboys Classic). This is just one of many efforts over the past four decades to bring a “bowl game” feel to the beginning of the college football season.
The first and longest-running of these efforts was the Kickoff Classic, which launched in 1983 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, when defending national champion Penn State faced No. 1 Nebraska and was trounced 44-6. This occurred during the era of 11-game seasons, but the NCAA allowed teams to play a 12th game if they played in a Kickoff Classic-type game, whose legion would grow to include the Pigskin Classic, the Eddie Robinson Classic and the John Thompson Foundation Classic.
In 2002, the NCAA outlawed 12th games, thus bringing these traditions to an end. Ironically, the NCAA added a 12th game to the college football season in 2005 and since then a new breed of “Kickoff” games have emerged.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
Marcus Mariota hasn’t been gone from Oregon for long, but the program already plans to honor the Heisman Trophy winner.
Oregon announced Thursday that it is planning a new “sports science center” named after Mariota. The facility, which would be named the “Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Complex,” was presented to the university’s board of trustees on Thursday. According to the program, construction on the new facility would begin in January 2016 if the board approves the idea at a meeting next week.
If approved, the new facility would add an estimated 29,000 square feet to the Casanova Center, Oregon’s football facility. A gift from Nike founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny, the project would also “refurbish the equipment room while transforming the existing locker room and storage space into a state-of-the-art sports science facility.”
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
Elijah Holyfield, afour-star running back, committed to Georgia on Friday, and he did so in style.
In addition to the usual – pulling out a Bulldogs hat – Holyfield also brought out two actual bulldogs in a ceremony at his school, Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Ga. Rivals.com’s Woody Wommack was on the scene to capture the cool moment.
Holyfield, the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, told Rivals that he wanted his announcement to be “different than everybody else.”
“My coach came to me and said he found some dogs that I could use and I said, ‘Why not?’” Holyfield said.
Fittingly, the two dogs are named “Chubb” and “Girly” after current Georgia running back Nick Chubb and former UGA back Todd Gurley, who was picked in the first round by the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL draft.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
Arizona may get star linebacker Scooby Wright back before the season ends.
According to CBS Sports, the team doesn't expect Wright's left knee injury to be season ending per "preliminary reports." Fox Sports reports that Wright will have more exams on his knee over the weekend.
Wright was scheduled to have an MRI on Friday afternoon. He left Arizona's game early on Thursday evening and was seen with a crutch on the sideline during the second half of the Wildcats' 42-32 win over UTSA.
Wright's father had said Thursday night that the injury was "not major."
I'll add this: Scooby Wright's dad said before the MRI that the injury was "not major," although that leaves a lot to interpret.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
Arkansas Tech coach Raymond Monica said the idea of scoring a touchdown on his team's first defensive play Thursday night "subtly" crossed his mind, but knew the odds of it happening were quite low.
The Wonder Boys lined up with 10 defenders on the first play against Southern Nazarene in tribute to Zemaric Holt, a defensive lineman who drowned in July.
Southern Nazarene countered Arkansas Tech's shorthanded alignment with a jet sweep that had a pitch back to a receiver coming across the field. The pitch went awry and the ball fluttered towards Southern Nazarene's end zone.
That moment, Monica said, was in slow motion. So it must have felt like forever as the ball rolled into the end zone and ATU's Nick Akins picked it up for a touchdown.
It was a crazy moment of happenstance. Or, if you believe in a higher power, perhaps a bit of divine intervention.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday7 hrs ago
Virginia Tech won't be the only team wearing decals to honor the two victims of the WDBJ-7 shooting Monday night.
Ohio State, its opponent, has asked to wear the decals as well.
“Ohio State expressed a desire to show its solidarity with Virginia Tech in remembering the vibrant lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward,” Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement. “Coach [Frank] Beamer and I both agreed it was a wonderful gesture on the part of [OSU athletic director] Gene Smith, [OSU coach] Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. We hope fans of both teams join us in hopefully providing some solace to the friends, families and co-workers who continue to miss Alison and Adam."
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday7 hrs ago
Thursday’s daily fantasy lineup didn’t do as well as I would have liked, though I did hear some people did finish in the money. I finished about a point out. I got some great performances out of my quarterback and receivers, but I definitely didn’t get enough production from my running backs and the lack of touchdowns doomed me in the end.
But it was only the first day and there’s a whole Saturday full of games to rectify my poor Thursday. So let’s find some winners.
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee ($10,000) On Thursday I went for a bargain quarterback and it paid off. This time, I’m picking the best guy off the board.
Dobbs is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback (you’ll learn that I favor these guys), so there’s a lot upside with the high price point. Dobbs played in six games a year ago, had eight rushing touchdowns and nine passing. He’s going to be a lot more comfortable now that he’s had some time in Butch Jones’ system and he’s more familiar with his playmakers. And going against Bowling Green defense that lost seven starters from a group that allowed 33.5 points per game a year ago is definitely a plus. Dobbs is worth the high price.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday8 hrs ago
Christian Taylor, the Angelo State defensive back who was killed in an alleged burglary in Fort Worth, Texas, in August, had a synthic drug that can cause hallucinations in his system at the time of his death.
Taylor, 19, was shot by an officer in training who was responding to the burglary call at a car dealership on August 7. Taylor was unarmed.
The autopsy characterized the illegal psychedelic found in Taylor’s blood, NBOMe, as a drug that’s known to “cause distorted perceptions, agitation and hallucinations” and one that has been “associated with random and bizarre behavior in users.” The autopsy report likened some of the drug’s effects to those of LSD. Taylor’s autopsy also indicated recent use of marijuana.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday9 hrs ago
Western Kentucky helped seal its victory against Vanderbilt with a stop on a two-point conversion with just over 30 second remaining in the fourth quarter Thursday night.
The Commodores had just scored a touchdown to cut WKU's lead to 14-12. A two-point conversion would have likely sent the game into overtime. But Western Kentucky read the play beautifully and stuffed Vanderbilt at the one-yard-line. According to WKU linebacker Nick Holt, the team had an idea of what Vanderbilt was going to run to get the game tied.
LB Nick Holt on Vandy's two-point try: "They ran the exact play that offensive coordinator has ran for years for two-point conversions."
The offensive coordinator Holt references is former Wisconsin assistant Andy Ludwig, who was hired as Vanderbilt's offensive coordinator in January. He was previously Wisconsin's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons.