- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday3 hrs ago
Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong will not return to school for his final season of eligibility. Instead, the redshirt junior announced through the university on Monday that he will enter the 2015 NFL draft.
Heading into Saturday’s Sun Bowl against Duke, Strong has 75 catches for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Sun Devils this season, earning first-team All-Pac 12 honors. Last year, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Strong caught 75 passes for 1,122 yards and seven touchdowns.
A native of Philadelphia, Strong transferred to Arizona State before the 2013 season after spending two years at Pierce College, a junior college in Los Angeles.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
If the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl wanted to set the bar high for its future contests, it may have outdone itself.
The first bowl game for Miami Beach and the Marlins stadium went to double overtime before Memphis claimed a 55-48 win.
The win gave Memphis it’s first 10-win season since 1938. The program had combined to win 10 games during the past four seasons.
Unfortunately, the end of the game was marred by a bench-clearing brawl that included as much violence as the game had offense, still it was a contest for the ages and easily the best game of the early bowl season.
Memphis had a 38-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter and BYU looked all but out of it as it struggled to generate any consistent offense. The Tigers rallied from a 28-24 halftime deficit to take control of the game.
However, in the fourth quarter, three big mistakes by Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch and Memphis' special teams led to 17 points and BYU headed into the waning minutes of the game with a seven-point lead.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
The inaugural Miami Beach Bowl was wildly entertaining on the field, but it had an ugly ending.
Memphis sealed a 55-48 win over BYU in double overtime when DaShaughn Terry intercepted Christian Stewart in the end zone. As Memphis players flooded the field in celebration, a huge brawl broke out on the field.
The fight appeared to start when BYU lineman Tejan Koroma (No. 56) pushed Memphis’ Martin Ifedi (Mo. 97). Koroma then turns around and Ifedi retaliates with a two-handed blow to Koroma’s head.
From there, all hell broke loose with dozens of players on each side getting involved.
Memphis lineman Chase Johnson even used his helmet as a weapon.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday5 hrs ago
Marcus Lattimore’s career was cut short by a gruesome knee injury, but that doesn’t mean his time around football has ended.
According to The State, Lattimore, South Carolina’s all-time leader in touchdowns, will return to the Gamecocks as an “ambassador to the football program.” He’ll also be re-enrolling in classes in order to receive his degree.
Lattimore was injured during his junior season at South Carolina and declared himself eligible for the NFL draft a few months later. He was selected in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers, but was never able to fully rehabilitate the knee to the point where he could play football competitively.
He announced his retirement on Nov. 5 and now he will enroll in January for South Carolina’s spring semester in efforts to complete his degree in public health.
“It’s the first step,” Lattimore said of returning to school. “I plan to finish up school and most likely be done with it next January (2016).”
As of now, Lattimore is unsure what his exact title and duties will be with the program.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday6 hrs ago
Colorado State is reportedly hiring another SEC offensive coordinator to be its head coach.
According to Terry Frei of the Denver Post, the Rams are “closing in on a deal” to name Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo their next head coach. Bobo would replace Jim McElwain, the former Alabama offensive coordinator who was hired by Florida last month after three seasons at CSU.
The 40-year-old Bobo was a quarterback at Georgia from 1993-1997 and coached at his alma mater for all but one year since. His one year away from UGA was spent as the quarterbacks coach at Jacksonville State in 2000. After that season, Bobo returned to Georgia in 2001 where he served as quarterbacks coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2006.
According to Frei, Bobo went through final interviews on Sunday and could be formally introduced on Tuesday if he and CSU come to an agreement on Monday.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday10 hrs ago
At the end of a team meeting, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones told his players that he’d be giving out a few gifts to players who had great showings during bowl practice.
The first player Jones called up, walk-on tight end Alex Ellis, received a gift all walk-ons dream of: a scholarship.
It was a very emotional moment for Ellis, who is in his fourth year with the program.
“I’ve been dreaming about this every day of my life,” Ellis said, fighting tears.
After not seeing the field during his first three seasons with the program, Ellis, a 6-foot-4, 238-pound redshirt junior from Del Mar, Del., appeared in all 12 games for the Volunteers this year and even made his first career start against Kentucky on Nov. 15.
Ellis registered six catches for 115 yards on the season, including a 31-yard touchdown on a fake field goal against Missouri on Nov. 22.
After going 6-6 this season, the Vols will play Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 2.
For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday10 hrs ago
A few days before the inaugural Bahamas Bowl on Christmas Eve, the players and coaches from Western Kentucky and Central Michigan got a chance to take in what the tropical paradise has to offer.
After taking in the sights, a few players from each team got in the water and got up close and personal with some dolphins. The players were admittedly nervous, but with the dolphin trainers close by, they quickly got more comfortable.
One player in particular, Central Michigan tight end Deon Butler, looks like he had a really good time with his new dolphin friend.
We already got a glimpse earlier this month of how excited the CMU players were to play in the Bahamas. This brings that all to fruition.
The game, played at Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau – the capital city of the Bahamas – will kick off at noon on Wednesday. Both teams are 7-5.
For more Western Kentucky news, InsideHilltopperSports.com.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday10 hrs ago
In his final collegiate game, Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato will ditch his familiar No. 12 jersey.
Instead, according to the Herald-Dispatch, Cato will wear No. 31 when the Thundering Herd takes on Northern Illinois in Tuesday’s Boca Raton Bowl. He’ll wear the new number to honor a teammate, junior linebacker Evan McKelvey. McKelvey suffered an ACL injury on Oct. 4 against Old Dominion and several of his teammates have worn his No. 31 throughout the season. Cato will be the first offensive player to do so.
“We want Evan to know that we’re behind him for the whole season and support him, no matter what,” Cato said Saturday. “The defense has done a great job of wearing it all year. I just thought it was the perfect time for me to wear it.”
A teammate wore McKelvey’s number in every game since he went down except one – the team’s 67-66 overtime loss to Western Kentucky, Marshall’s only loss of the season. McKelvey said that it “means a lot” that his teammates wear his jersey number.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday12 hrs ago
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Navy (7-5) vs. San Diego State (7-5) San Diego, Calif. Dec 23, 2014
From a local interest standpoint, the folks at the Poinsettia Bowl couldn't have done much better. Heck, do they think they could have done any better?
Navy first agreed to go to the Poinsettia Bowl. From then, the bowl knew who it wanted: the team that plays its home games at Qualcomm Stadium.
“Navy and San Diego State are a natural tie-in for a local game,” Poinsettia Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski told the San Deigo Union-Tribune after the matchup was finalized. “It’s almost like having two home teams.
“We don’t know if we’ll have the opportunity to do this again, so it was something we felt like we just had to do.”
Both teams enter on winning streaks. After losing to Boise State on Nov. 15, San Diego State beat Air Force and San Jose State to get above .500. Navy's last loss was to Notre Dame on Nov. 1. Since then, the Midshipmen have beaten Georgia Southern, South Alabama and Army.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday12 hrs ago
Boca Raton Bowl Marshall (12-1) vs. Northern Illinois (11-2) Boca Raton, Fla. Dec 23, 2014
It’s a welcomed sight to see two of the best Group of Five teams facing off in a bowl game.
Tuesday’s Boca Raton Bowl matchup between Conference USA champions Marshall (12-1) and Northern Illinois (11-2), the MAC champs, is also the only non-New Year’s bowl game to feature two conference champions, so we should be in for a treat.
The fact is, both teams could have been representing the Group of Five on New Year’s Day, Marshall especially. The Thundering Herd’s quest for an undefeated season fell short in a 67-66 overtime loss to Western Kentucky in the regular season finale, allowing Mountain West champions Boise State to leapfrog them in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Marshall’s route was a lot clearer, but the Huskies played themselves into consideration for a New Year’s bowl by winning seven straight games, including a dominant 51-17 MAC championship win over Bowling Green. If Boise lost its own conference title game, NIU could very well have jumped both Boise and Marshall.