NCAA Football

Despite Gurley's Status, Is Georgia a Lock to Win SEC East?

No Todd Gurley, no problem. The Georgia Bulldogs dominated the Missouri Tigers right from the start en route to a 34-0 road victory in Week 7.

Gurley's replacement, freshman Nick Chubb, filled in more than adequately, rushing for 143 yards on the ground with a score. He also caught four passes for 31 yards against Missouri. 

After the dominant performance, Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Michael Felder debate just how far the Bulldogs can go this season. 

Is Georgia guaranteed to win the SEC East with or without Gurley? Watch the video and let us know! 

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Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant Catches Ball While Lying on Back vs. WVU

The Texas Tech Red Raiders were facing a third down late in a tie game on Saturday when wide receiver Jakeem Grant made probably the most impressive catch of his life.

With less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter against West Virginia, Davis Webb threw up a prayer to Grant. The wide receiver began to fall over, but he was somehow able to catch the ball after falling on his back.

The play moved the chains, but the Red Raiders couldn't take the lead before the end of regulation. The Mountaineers drove down the field and kicked a field goal as time expired to take the 37-34 win.

[Vine, h/t Twitter]

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Watch Georgia RB Brendan Douglas Do Full Flip for Filthy TD

In the absence of Todd Gurley, two Georgia running backs stepped up during Saturday's big win over Missouri. Brendan Douglas was one of the backs picking up the slack. Watch his incredible leaping touchdown that helped propel the Bulldogs to a crucial victory.

Is this one of the best plays we will see today?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Jameis Winston vs. Syracuse: Stats, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

After a ho-hum performance last week, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston got back on track with a solid showing on the road against ACC rival Syracuse in a 38-20 win. The Seminoles dominated on offense with 482 yards and were good enough on defense in the red zone to keep their undefeated season intact. 

There was some uncertainty about how Winston would respond in this game after ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported the 2013 Heisman winner will "face a disciplinary hearing into charges about whether he sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012."

If that was on Winston's mind, you would never know it during the game. He had one of his best games of the season, going 16-of-19 with 181 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to give the Seminoles a 24-6 lead. That trend would continue into the second half. Here's his full stat line from the victory:

In addition to the efficiency which he operated, Winston's performance was notable because he moved ahead of fellow Heisman winner Charlie Ward on the school's all-time passing touchdown list, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN College Football's official Twitter feed provided highlights of Winston's 21-yard touchdown pass to Nick O'Leary that moved him ahead of Ward:

Winston currently has 51 passing touchdowns, trailing Chris Weinke on Florida State's all-time touchdown list by 28. Unless he returns to school for his junior season, it's unlikely the controversial quarterback will end his Seminole career in the top spot. 

The win was also notable because Winston tied former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy's record of 19 consecutive victories, per ESPN's College Gameday:

Of all the passes Winston threw on Saturday, his best might have been on Florida State's first drive of the second half. He marched them down the field by going 6-of-7 then finished things off with a beautiful touch pass in the back of the end zone to Jesus Wilson. Brendan Sonnone of The Orlando Sentinel raved about the pass:

It was a beautiful pass from Winston and catch by Wilson, but it was helped out by the fact that Syracuse's secondary looked confused and was playing out of position a lot. Winston more or less just lobbed the ball into a spot where no one was looking even though there were four guys around the area. 

Another reason for Winston's success against Syracuse, as noted by Ben Jones of Rivals, was how conservative the offensive play calling was:

Jones does give Winston credit for making a handful of terrific throws in the game, but more than half of his completions (18) went for 10 yards or less. A lot of the success came as the result of Florida State players breaking tackles and making plays in the open field. 

Credit Winston for putting his receivers and running backs in a position to turn up field and make plays, but you want to see something a little more dynamic from a quarterback with his ability. Given his erratic play this season—Winston did have five interceptions in four games coming into this week—you can't blame Fisher for taking a conservative approach. 

With Notre Dame coming to Tallahassee next week, Winston and Florida State have to get a lot better in a hurry in order to keep this 20-game winning streak dating back to last season going. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 

 

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fact: The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 1-17 all-time against opponents ranked in the AP Top-2.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN Stats & Info

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Texas vs. Oklahoma: Score and Twitter Reaction from 2014 Red River Showdown

Despite some sloppy play on both sides of the ball, No. 11 Oklahoma defeated rival Texas 31-26 in Saturday's Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

The Sooners were outgained 482 yards to just 232 offensively, but they were able to bounce back from last week's upset loss to TCU and improve to 5-1 due largely to scoring contributions from the defense and special teams.

According to CBS Sports' Eye on College Football, the win continued Oklahoma's recent dominance over the Longhorns:

The game was certainly a statistical oddity, which prompted Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News to put it in a category all its own:

Texas entered the game as a big underdog with a record of 2-3 against the 4-1 Sooners, but Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong felt confident that his players would be up to the task, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is a special rivalry. We know how big it is. Don't have to say much to the players this week. Don't have to worry about them being down. They know what's at stake here. Last year going into this game everyone was kind of throwing dirt on them, and they were able to bounce back and go win it.

Strong's feeling was confirmed early in Saturday's game as Texas outplayed its chief rival in the first half. Oklahoma widened the margin during the second half, but the Longhorns refused to go quietly. In the end, though, their comeback bid fell just short.

The Sooners very nearly took the lead early with a defensive score off what was called a fumble by Longhorns running back Malcolm Brown. Although it was an extremely close call, the officials overturned it, which Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman agreed with:

Texas rebounded to drive down the field and hit a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. That advantage was extremely short-lived, however, as Oklahoma sophomore running back Alex Ross returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.

According to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, Texas' coverage unit was no match for Ross' blazing speed:

Following a Michael Hunnicutt field goal early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 10-3, the Sooners found pay dirt once again.

Despite Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes making some impressive plays in the passing game, he put his team in a very difficult position by throwing a 43-yard pick-six to Sooners cornerback Zack Sanchez, as seen in this video courtesy of ESPN College Football:

Swoopes appeared to stare his receiver down on the play, and Sanchez was able to recognize it. As pointed out by Alex Brown of Optimum Scouting, it was extension of the excellent form that Sanchez has displayed all season long:

With the Longhorns trailing 17-3 despite playing spectacular defense against quarterback Trevor Knight and Oklahoma, Swoopes finally went to work on lessening the deficit. He did precisely that with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the half as he found senior receiver John Harris for a 38-yard touchdown.

The throw was a perfect one into a tight window by Swoopes, and it drew praise from David Ubben of Fox Sports Southwest:

Texas would then tack on another field goal with 48 seconds left as Nick Rose connected from 20 yards out. The Longhorns headed into the locker room trailing 17-13 despite the fact that they outgained Oklahoma 278-29 in total offense.

According to ESPN College GameDay, the Sooners offense did little to help the cause during the opening half:

Knight completed just four of his six passes for 21 yards, while the running game sputtered to the tune of eight yards on eight carries. With that in mind, Oklahoma supporters had to be thrilled to hold a lead at the half.

On Oklahoma's first play from scrimmage in the second half, junior wide receiver Sterling Shepard took a jet sweep 31 yards, which topped the Sooners' offensive production for the entire first half, per Bob Przybylo of Scout.com:

OK was still forced to punt the ball away, though, as consistency continued to elude it. That was true for Texas for much of the third quarter as well, with both teams struggling to sustain drives.

That finally changed for the Sooners late in the frame as Knight orchestrated a quick-strike, five-play drive that culminated in a 24-yard touchdown pass to Shepard. According to John E. Hoover of the Tulsa World, Oklahoma's signal-caller was finally able to get in a groove with a perfect drive:

The Sooners extended their previously tenuous lead to 24-13, which put pressure on Swoopes and the Texas offense to recapture some of the magic it had late in the first half.

That score seemed to galvanize the Oklahoma offense, and it resulted in another touchdown just two minutes into the fourth quarter. Freshman running back Samaje Perine scampered for 13 yards, and the Sooners finally managed to regain some of their scoring potency, according to Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman:

Texas managed to keep the game from getting too far out of hand by answering on the next drive. Swoopes found Harris for their second touchdown link-up of the day from six yards out, and the score tightened to 31-20 in favor of Oklahoma.

After an Oklahoma three-and-out, Texas managed to make things even more interesting. Jaxon Shipley's 31-yard punt return set the Longhorns up nicely, and Swoopes put an exclamation point on the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run.

Per Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman, it seemed like the sophomore signal-caller was starting to come of age:

Swoopes couldn't repeat the feat on a two-point conversion attempt, though, which meant that Texas trailed 31-26 with just under five minutes left.

Oklahoma then engineered an eight-play drive that chewed up four minutes and 39 seconds off the clock. Texas got the ball back with 18 seconds left, but there wasn't enough time to march all the way down the field.

While Oklahoma wasn't overly impressive in the victory, a win was absolutely necessary in order to keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive. It seems likely that one or more one-loss teams will be in contention at the end of the season, and the Sooners are still among that group.

With that said, Oklahoma has to get much better in short order, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Two of the Sooners' next three games are against No. 17 Kansas State and No. 5 Baylor, which means that the level of competition is increasing in a big way.

Oklahoma can beat anyone if Knight plays like he did against Alabama last season, but it may not be able to top either Kansas State or Baylor if he repeats Saturday's performance.

As for the Longhorns, they are now 2-4 and find themselves in a battle to become bowl eligible. Texas showed some flashes that suggest it can get to that point, but it will have to improve its consistency and limit mistakes such as the pick-six thrown by Swoopes.

The Longhorns displayed signs of progress, but it is still quite clear that Strong's team has a long way to go before it is once again among college football's elites.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Georgia vs. Missouri: How Tigers' Loss Will Shake Up Week 8 Rankings

The No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs overcame the loss of Todd Gurley Saturday on the road with an emphatic 34-0 win over the No. 23 Missouri Tigers to take charge in the SEC East and set off a wide-ranging chain reaction of events in the upcoming Week 8 college football rankings.

With the win, Mark Richt's team moves to 5-1, while the Tigers pick up loss No. 2 on the year and head to unranked land once more. This both welcomes newcomers into the bottom of the polls and puts the newly formed Top 10 into jeopardy one week removed from the most chaotic week of play in recent memory.

College GameDay provided a look at the historically dominant performance:

For reference, here is a look at how The Associated Press Top 25 stood before Saturday's early SEC East encounter:

The encounter was ugly from the start. Georgia had few issues moving the ball without Gurely, going 7-of-11 on third downs in the first half and jumping out to a 20-0 advantage. Conversely, the Tigers had no answer for the Georgia defense in that same span, going 0-of-5 on third down and seeing Maty Mauk toss two interceptions en route to his unit totaling just 76 total yards.

The Missouri offense did not cross midfield until there was about two minutes left in the first half. Shortly after, Mauk fumbled the ball away. ESPN Stats & Info put things into perspective:

By day's end, Mauk threw four interceptions, while his offense never converted a third-down attempt, and the Bulldogs racked up 373 total yards to Missouri's 147. Freshman tailback Nick Chubb was the hero thanks to his 38 carries for 143 yards and a score.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports put it best:

In short, the Bulldogs came in with heads held high, despite the loss of arguably the nation's best player, and they held true to much of their pregame talk.

"We feel great about what we're doing," said wideout Chris Conley, via ESPN.com. "We feel good that we're getting better each week. In order to get back (to the SEC championship game) we have to get better each week and that starts in practice."

For Missouri, the second loss of the season—the other being that strange collapse against Indiana a few weeks back—once again removes the Tigers from the realm of the ranked. This time, there is no potential upset of a ranked opponent in the cards, either, with the upcoming slate reading showdowns with unranked teams such as Florida, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. 

Keep in mind that Missouri's exit from the polls yet again invites teams that received votes last week but did not make the cut, such as USC, Marshall and Clemson, a chance to crack the Top 25 with wins.

How the outcome of Saturday's affair impacts the top half of the rankings is more interesting.

The Bulldogs are assured a jump in the rankings thanks to a win over a ranked opponent, but more interesting is how the rest of Saturday's slate will help Richt's team.

A showdown between No. 9 TCU and No. 5 Baylor will produce a bump for the Bulldogs, as will an encounter between No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 Mississippi State. Upset-watch games, such as No. 12 Oregon at No. 18 UCLA, No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 14 Texas A&M and USC at No. 10 Arizona, may also create some additional upward trajectory.

A crushing three-point road loss to then-ranked No. 24 South Carolina near the start of September looms as large as ever for the Bulldogs, but as the team charges ahead with one of the nation's top ground games and defenses, it continues to diminish in impact.

A return to the Top 10 for Georgia seems likely, as the long list of one-loss team continues to grow, but few deserve a spot ahead of the Bulldogs.

 

Stats and information via ESPN.com, unless otherwise specified. AP poll via The Associated Press.

 

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Georgia vs. Missouri: Score and Twitter Reaction

Georgia went out on the road without superstar running back Todd Gurley and still managed to score an impressive 34-0 victory over the No. 23-ranked Missouri Tigers.

Nick Chubb picked up a vast majority of the backfield work for the Bulldogs. The powerful freshman racked up 42 touches for 174 yards and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Hutson Mason was also effective, completing 22-of-28 passes for 156 yards and two total touchdowns.

It's a key win for Georgia in the SEC East race. The No. 13 team in the nation moved to 3-1 in conference play and should jump up a few spots in the rankings this coming week. The Tigers, conversely, fell to 1-1 in conference play and will likely slide out of the rankings.

Gurley missed the game after receiving an indefinite suspension earlier this week while the school investigates a potential compliance violation.

Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated reports it's unclear if the running back, who was previously viewed as a Heisman Trophy favorite, will return this season. He also provided some background information on the details Georgia received about the situation:

SI.com has learned that a person confirmed to Georgia's compliance office this week that he paid Gurley $400 to sign 80 items on campus in Athens, Ga., one day this past spring. The person claimed to have a photo and video of Gurley signing the items, but neither the photo nor the video showed money changing hands.

After Georgia announced the suspension, Zach Klein of WSB in Atlanta passed along a statement from Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt. It was brief, but he made clear the main focus was still this week's game:

His team apparently received the message loud and clear, as the Bulldogs were the far more effective team in the early going. They also got some help from Missouri, which failed to take advantage of a few chances and made some crucial mistakes.

Georgia had two early fumbles: one on a punt return by Isaiah McKenzie just 90 seconds into the game; the second on the ensuing drive by receiver Chris Conley after an eight-yard reception. The Bulldogs were able to recover them both, however, and eventually turned the possession into a field goal.

After failing to recover either of those fumbles, the mistakes started for Missouri. Two straight offensive drives ended in interceptions by Maty Mauk. The only silver lining for the Tigers was that the defense stood tall on a short field, limiting Georgia to a combined three points on those two drives.

Tanya Sichynsky of TheAtlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted the strong defensive work by the Bulldogs to set up the second field goal:

The problem for Missouri was that it struggled mightily to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball. It finished the first half with just 76 total yards and six first downs.

In turn, the defense that kept the Tigers in the game early started to wear down. The Bulldogs were able to take advantage in the second quarter.

The combination of Chubb and Mason led a 13-play, 71-yard drive that ate up nearly five minutes of clock early in the second. It finished with Mason keeping the ball on a read option and scampering 11 yards to the end zone to make it 13-0.

CBS Sports' Eye on College Football applauded the read by the senior:

Following another three-and-out drive by the Missouri offense, the Bulldogs started moving the ball with relative ease once again.

This time it was a 10-play, 65-yard effort by the offense that ended with an outstanding pitch-and-catch connection between Mason and Michael Bennett in the corner of the end zone. The nine-yard strike pushed the score to 20-0.

Georgia has a feeling everybody will get a chance to see that score again:

The first half ended with a play that summed up the opening 30 minutes for Missouri.

Mauk delivered his best throw of the half to Wesley Leftwich. He had somehow gotten behind the Georgia secondary despite there being less than 10 seconds left and 62 yards to go. Alas, he dropped what would have been a sure touchdown. As it turned out, a holding call would have wiped out the would-be score anyway.

After the break, it looked like the Tigers were ready to start mounting a rally. They made a quick defensive stop then moved the ball 32 yards in two plays to get into Georgia territory.

Another mistake stopped the drive in its tracks, though. Mauk targeted Jimmie Hunt on a slant, but the receiver couldn't reel it in, causing the ball to deflect into the hands of Quincy Mauger. It was his second interception of the day and the team's third.

Gabe DeArmond of Rivals joked Mauger had enough "catches" to qualify as Missouri's leading receiver at the time:

It was more of the same after that turnover. Missouri's defense kept the game within striking distance, but the offense couldn't capitalize.

Midway through the third quarter, the Tigers drove from their own 16 into Georgia territory. However, Mauk tried to do too much after being forced to scramble out of the pocket. He threw across his body and Dominick Sanders picked off the pass for Mauk's fourth interception of the day.

Just like in the first half, the Bulldogs took advantage of that turnover. Nine plays, 50 yards and five minutes later, sophomore ball-carrier Brendan Douglas got to the outside and scored from 15 yards out to push the lead to 27-0.

Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee passed along a Vine of the leaping, twisting score:

Chubb was rewarded for all of his hard work on the next drive. He carried the ball on seven of the 10 plays as Georgia started to milk the clock. The final touch saw him go nine yards into the end zone for his third career rushing touchdown.

It even earned him a shout-out from musician Charlie Daniels:

That score, which came midway through the fourth quarter, eliminated any lingering comeback thoughts for Missouri. Mauk's final line of 97 passing yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions says it all about the Tigers' offensive showing.

Looking ahead, Missouri must obviously focus on cutting down on its mistakes. The defense played well enough for extended stretches to win this game, but the offense simply didn't perform at the same level. It faces a tough road test against Florida next week.

The Bulldogs' outlook gets much brighter both because of the result and the manner in which they dominated the game. The situation surrounding Gurley will probably continue to dominate the headlines, but Mason and Chubb showed the offense can still shine without him.

Georgia plays its second straight road game next week as it travels to face Arkansas. A clash with the No. 2-ranked Auburn Tigers looms in the middle of November.

 

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Melvin Gordon vs. Illinois: Stats, Heisman Impact and Twitter Reaction

Running back Melvin Gordon came up huge in Week 7, carrying 27 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns during the Wisconsin Badgers' 38-28 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini. The ball-carrier has been the team's biggest bright spot this season and continues to warrant consideration as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

Entering Saturday's contest, Gordon was already on pace for Heisman-like numbers, carrying 105 times for 871 yards—an impressive average of 8.3 yards per rush—and nine touchdowns. It didn't take him long at all to expand greatly on those numbers against the Fighting Illini.

On Wisconsin's first drive of the game, the offense was already leaning heavily on Gordon—and rightfully so—as the running back carried a total of five times for 42 yards, capping off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown scamper. Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports tweeted his reaction:

After two Illinois touchdown drives, the Badgers suddenly found themselves behind by a score. Well, it didn't take Gordon long to make up the difference. He carried five more times on the drive, finishing it off with a six-yard touchdown plunge—his second of the day.

Later in the second quarter, it only took two plays for Wisconsin to reach the end zone again. Kenzel Doe kicked the drive off with a 34-yard sprint, and Gordon took it from there, ripping off a 30-yard touchdown run to reach paydirt for the third time in the first half.

ESPN College Football tweeted the ball-carrier's stats at the half:

ESPN Stats & Info noted Gordon's increased workload on the day:

Adding to the running back's accolades, Eye on College Football tweeted a very impressive milestone eclipsed during the first half of action on Saturday:

Gordon continued his torrid pace midway through the third quarter. After Corey Clement ripped off a 51-yard run, it was Gordon's turn to get back in the mix. After rushing for eight yards to convert a 4th-and-1, he pushed the Badgers deep into Illinois' territory, finishing the drive with a strong one-yard touchdown plunge.

Following the conclusion of the third quarter, ESPN College Football summed up Gordon's day with this tweet:

So, with a big four-touchdown performance in the books on Saturday, how exactly does Gordon stack up against all other FBS running backs? Dane Brugler of CBS Sports tweeted the ball-carrier's outstanding numbers and standing in a very important category:

Gordon's ability to run between the tackles, cut on a dime, utilize great burst out of the backfield and showcase solid straight-line speed in the open field makes him one of the most dangerous running backs in the nation. The clinic he put on against Illinois on Saturday further solidified that notion.

Aside from an uncharacteristic performance against Western Illinois this season—which certainly looks like an outlier at this point—Gordon hasn't rushed for less than 140 yards and hasn't been held out of the end zone in any other contest. Now that's Heisman worthy.

Before Saturday's action, Fox Sports Live tweeted analyst Matt Leinart's Heisman rankings:

Following this performance, it could be conceived that Leinart—as well as other analysts—will be considering moving Gordon up his list in short order. After all, Jesse Temple of Fox Sports Wisconsin is already alluding toward a trip to New York:

No. 21 Nebraska is the lone ranked team remaining on the Badgers' schedule this season. Favorable second-half matchups should allow for continued big showings from this talented running back. By the end of the season, we should expect Gordon to be fully entrenched in all Heisman discussions.

Wisconsin hasn't been able to proudly display the coveted trophy since Ron Dayne's impressive 1999 season, but Gordon is absolutely on pace to end that drought.

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Georgia's Brendan Douglas Flips into End Zone on Touchdown vs. Missouri

There were a lot of questions about whether or not the Georgia Bulldogs could take down a Top 25 opponent without Todd Gurley, but those questions were answered Saturday.

In the third quarter of Georgia's game against the Missouri Tigers, running back Brendan Douglas jumped for the pylon, but he ended up flipping into the end zone. Fortunately, he was able to get right back up after landing.

Dawg Post's Dean Legge provided a picture of Douglas in midair.

[Vine]

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Texas LB Steve Edmond Fails on High-5, Smacks Teammate in Face

Not even the celebrations can go right for the Texas Longhorns in their game against the Oklahoma Sooners.

During the first quarter of Saturday's Red River Rivalry game, Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond was pumped up and went to celebrate with his teammates on the sideline. Unfortunately, Edmond was so psyched, he didn't even wait for his teammate to see he was going for the high-five and ended up slapping him in the face.

[Vine, h/t Twitter]

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UT Chattanooga vs. Tennessee Live Blog: Instant Analysis and Reactions

The University of Tennessee Volunteers (2-3) face off with in-state rivals UT Chattanooga (3-2) at 4 p.m. ET in Neyland Stadium.

The Vols are coming off a loss to Florida that saw Tennessee lead late before the Gators came back to win.

UT Chattanooga routed the Virginia Military Institute last week 55-7, but it enters this game as a 25.5-point underdog.

Check back around 3:30 p.m. ET for the beginning of live coverage.

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Chattanooga vs. Tennessee: Live Score and Highlights

Welcome to the Chattanooga Mocs vs. Tennessee Volunteers live blog.

We're about 30 minutes away from kickoff at Neyland Stadium. 

The Vols are coming off three straight losses and desperately need a win today and a chance to tune-up the offense. 

Can Tennessee put the game away early and rest the starters/get backups the reps they need, or will Chattanooga stick around well into the second half? 

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North Carolina vs. Notre Dame: Live Score and Highlights

North Carolina 7, Notre Dame 0—Middle of the 1st Quarter

Notre Dame faces its second ACC opponent of the 2014 season as the North Carolina Tar Heels come to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish.  Notre Dame—5-0 and ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press poll—is still seeking to convince many of its College Football Playoff doubters.

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TCU vs. Baylor: Live Score and Highlights

TCU 7, Baylor 0—1st Quarter

The Horned Frogs struck first with a long touchdown from Trevone Boykin, and Baylor trails for the first time all season.

Baylor and quarterback Bryce Petty will look to get the machine rolling again after a tough win over Texas, while the Horned Frogs will try to avoid a letdown off their season-changing upset of Oklahoma.

You catch the game on ABC, with highlights and analysis being posted to this page throughout. Check out the box score at NCAA.com, and be sure to stick around after the game to see game grades for both teams' positional units.

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Oregon vs. UCLA: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon 0, UCLA 0 ; Mid 1st Quarter

A massive Pac-12 clash takes place Saturday afternoon, as the No. 12 Oregon Ducks fly south to take on the No. 18 UCLA Bruins in Pasadena, California. 

The game will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET. It can be seen on Fox. 

Odds Shark has the Ducks as a slim one-point favorite. A full box score can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com. 

Bleacher Report appreciates you tuning in with us today. Stick around for score updates, analysis, social media and much more!

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Oregon vs. UCLA: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon 8, UCLA 0 ; Late 1st Quarter A massive Pac-12 clash takes place Saturday afternoon, as the No. 12 Oregon Ducks fly south to take on the No. 18 UCLA Bruins in Pasadena, California...

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Oregon Ducks Unveil White and Green Uniforms for Game vs. UCLA

The Oregon Ducks are trying to get back on track with a big matchup against the No. 18 UCLA Bruins, and as always, they're going to dress to impress.

For Saturday's game, the Ducks will be wearing these white and green uniforms. It's not often that the Ducks wear white jerseys, but they can go ahead and keep wearing them for away games if they look like this.

[Instagram]

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Auburn vs. Mississippi State: Live Score and Highlights

Mississippi State 7, Auburn 0—Early 1st Quarter

The No. 3 Mississippi State Bulldogs are attempting to continue their breakout season as the second-ranked Auburn Tigers have invaded StarkVegas for a Southeastern Conference clash.

CBS is carrying the matchup. Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Important Takeaways from Latest News Reports of the Jameis Winston Investigation

For Jameis Winston and Florida State, Friday was a rather interesting day.

While FSU and its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback made final preparations for Saturday's game at Syracuse, a trio of stories from major national news organizations came out alleging wrongdoing in the handling of the sexual assault allegations that were made against Winston by a Florida State student.

First came a Fox Sports report from Kevin Vaughan stating that FSU attempted to hinder the investigation in the case.

Florida State responded to the report with a news release declaring that “the continual drumbeat of misinformation about the University's actions causes harm to our students, faculty, alumni, supporters and the FSU community as a whole” and then proceeded to set out its timeline for how the allegations and the case was handled.

Then, a New York Times piece by Mike McIntire and Walt Bogdanich dropped that stated how the Winston case was just a symptom of a larger problem: Tallahassee police consistently and systematically protected Florida State football players in criminal matters that included domestic violence and motor vehicle theft.

Finally, Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com wrote a piece highlighting the fact that Florida State had notified Winston that he will face a disciplinary hearing regarding the sexual assault charges and that he could be charged with up to four violations of FSU’s student conduct code, two of which deal with sexual conduct.

Here’s a look at what we’ve learned from the new reports on the Winston investigation.

 

Fox Sports report 

Friday afternoon, Vaughan, a Fox Sports reporter and legal analyst, released a lengthy story that referenced multiple documents, claiming that Tallahassee police and Florida State officials actively worked to hamper the investigation and coverage of the allegations against Winston.

According to the story, state attorney Willie Meggs claims that FSU “apparently turned copies of the police report over to Winston’s attorney days before his office even knew the allegation existed.

“Then he starts preparing a defense before we even know there's a case,” Meggs told Fox Sports.

Fox Sports showed that on Nov. 8, 2013, the Tallahassee Police Department forwarded reports of the sexual assault allegation that had taken place 11 months earlier to the Florida State campus police. It then sent the report to FSU senior associate athletic director for internal operations Monk Bonasorte.

The story states that “sometime in the next two days” the report made its way to Winston’s lawyer, but it offers no concrete proof when or if it happened.

Fox Sports also quoted an email noting that TMZ.com had contacted the FSU campus police department seeking information on the case and that deputy chief Maj. Jim Russell had responded to it as a “rumor,” one he was “happy to dispel.”

On Nov. 13, Winston’s lawyer sat down with a pair of FSU teammates who were present on the night of the allegations: Chris Casher and Ronald Darby. They prepared notarized statements that remarked how the sexual encounter between Winston and his accuser appeared “consensual.”

Meggs told Fox Sports that there was “a whole litany of things that we would have done (differently) and called the investigation “a bass-ackwards way of doing things.” He said the fact that Winston’s lawyer knew about the case before he did was a “handicap” in the case.

Much of the information in the Fox Sports report was not new: An April New York Times report by Bogdanich laid out the timeline and also stated that Casher and Darby had spoken with Winston’s lawyer before they talked with police.

 

New York Times report 

The Times, meanwhile, dropped another very interesting article on Friday afternoon. 

It examined nine criminal cases involving Florida State players over an 18-month period and determined that police have consistently “soft-pedaled” allegations of wrongdoing.

“From criminal mischief and motor-vehicle theft to domestic violence, arrests have been avoided, investigations have stalled and players have escaped serious consequences,” the Times wrote.

It noted a 911 call that stated an FSU player was beating a woman outside their apartment while she tried to leave, claiming the man was “punching” the woman and “grabbing the little baby around the arm.”

The Times found that the complaint was not as thoroughly investigated as domestic violence cases normally are, but the officers did notify Sgt. David McCranie that the man was a Florida State football player. The case was downgraded to a “domestic disturbance” and McCranie signed off on the case, which was considered “unfounded.”

The Times also noted a number of BB gun incidents and battles that involved Florida State players. One, in November 2012, took place from an SUV and injured bystanders. No charges were filed because a suspect could not be identified.

Later that month, 13 FSU players (including Winston and Casher) were involved in a BB gun shootout that shattered windows at an apartment complex that caused $4,200 in damage to 13 windows. The case was investigated as a felony, but no charges were filed after the players paid for the damages.

In June 2013, three FSU football players (Dalvin Cook, Trey Marshall and Jesus Wilson) were involved in a previously unreported BB gun battle that “looked like a drug deal gone bad,” according to a bystander. They damaged tenants’ cars and eventually required the Tallahassee Police Department to use a police helicopter to search for suspects.

TPD investigator Scott Cherry told the state attorney’s office that three suspects were FSU football players and wrote that “the issue would have to be round-tabled with the division chiefs” before proceeding.

The crime was tabled for over two months before the Times inquired in September. The suspects were charged on Oct. 2 with a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.

One of the suspects, Wilson, was charged in June with operating a stolen motor scooter. He claimed he had borrowed it from a student named “Drew” but didn’t know the owner’s last name. This was not true, according to the scooter’s owner.

The Times said the case “languished for weeks” and that the TPD had filed an internal affairs inquiry into the fact that a citizen might have been asked not to file charges in a potential felony.

“It didn’t seem like they were pursuing the case much and were waiting to see if I would just forget about it or let it be,” the student told the Times.

In July, Wilson was charged with grand theft auto after admitting he’d taken the scooter with the keys in the ignition. He pleaded no contest and served 30 days on a sheriff’s work detail. He paid $1,000 restitution to the owner and has been reinstated to the team.

While much of the information released Friday had been disseminated elsewhere, an overarching sentiment remains: This is not good for Florida State or Winston, and the story that refuses to go away. 

 

ESPN.com Student Conduct Hearing report 

Later Friday, ESPN.com reported that Winston had been notified via letter that he’ll face a disciplinary hearing regarding the sexual assault charges that were made against him as part of FSU’s Title IX investigation into the case.

Winston could be charged with up to four violations of FSU’s student conduct code, two of which deal with sexual conduct.

Per FSU student conduct policy, ESPN.com reported, Winston has five business days to schedule an informational hearing that would inform him of his rights and the student conduct hearing. After that, FSU officials will determine whether he will face charges in the case.

Winston has been told that three outside individuals are willing to hear the case. He and his accuser will both have a chance to “strike,” or remove, one of the individuals from hearing the case.

FSU spokesperson Browning Brooks told Schlabach that an independent hearing officer is allowed under FSU rules.

To ensure an absolutely fair and impartial process, and to avoid any conflict created by the ongoing federal investigation and threatened civil litigation, the University will appoint an independent hearing officer to investigate and make findings regarding this matter. The use of an outside hearing officer is allowed under FSU procedures. Out of fairness to the students involved, we are exercising this option to remove any doubt about the integrity of the eventual outcome.

Winston played as normal at Syracuse. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told ESPN’s Quint Kessenich on College GameDay that Winston’s status is “an issue that’s been ongoing for a while. We’re here to play a game, that’s what we’re concerned about.”

 

Florida State University response 

Florida State did not respond specifically to any of the stories but laid out its own timeline as “we expect other stories to appear.”

It said that following the original complaint, it did not file a report with the university’s Title IX administrator (considered a necessary step) because Winston and his teammates described the incident independently as consensual.

When news of the investigation broke in November 2013, FSU said that it “took steps to protect the complainant’s privacy and safety,” advising her of news stories, putting her contact information on lockdown and persuading the FSU student newspaper not to publish her name.

It then also conducted a Title IX investigation and reviewed “voluminous documents connected to the case,” but says it was told by the accuser’s attorney "to cease all contact with her client."

The investigation was originally shelved in February 2014 but reopened in August, and FSU says it is “committed to investigating this matter in accordance with our Title IX obligations” and is cooperating with the U.S. Department of Education investigation in the matter.

It added that “we have begun enhancing our training and examining our policies while putting into place concrete changes” into how it handles sexual assault charges by "strengthening" its response to such charges.

“We did not want you to confuse our silence with idleness, a lack of caring or, as some have alleged, an institutional conspiracy to protect a star athlete,” the statement concluded. “We hope what we've shared with you establishes otherwise.”

It is unclear what discipline would await Winston if he was found culpable in FSU's Title IX investigation, but nearly two years after it occurred and 11 months after the star quarterback was cleared of criminal charges in the matter, the case and Florida State's involvement continue to make news.

Winston's eligibility for a team fighting for a berth in the initial College Football Playoff has to be a concern for Fisher and the Seminoles, and more importantly, FSU's national reputation has taken a major hit. While the university is taking steps to repair its image, how effective it will be both locally and nationally remains to be seen. 

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