NCAA Football News

Baylor vs. Oklahoma State: Live Score and Highlights

Baylor 24, Oklahoma State 14—Halftime

The No. 10 Baylor Bears are attempting to ruin the perfect season of the sixth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater.

Fox is broadcasting the conference matchup. Bleacher Report is providing scoring updates, highlights and analysis.

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Tennessee vs. Missouri: Live Score and Highlights

It's not quite the Ice Bowl, but Tennessee and Missouri will battle Saturday night in what is expected to be bitter-cold conditions at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri.

That may make what was never going to be a beacon of offensive fortitude anyway even more of an ugly, grind-it-out slugfest. That type of game seems to favor the Tigers, who've won three consecutive games against the Volunteers since joining the SEC.

Keep it right here for all your live-blogging action.


Tennessee 19, Missouri 0 3rd Quarter

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Mississippi State vs. Arkansas: Live Score and Highlights

Mississippi State and Arkansas are facing off in Fayetteville in a SEC West clash.

Stay tuned for live updates from Fayetteville. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech: Game Grades, Analysis for Tar Heels and Hokies

If Frank Beamer had to go out with a loss, there probably wasn't a more exciting loss possible. Just when you thought UNC was going to roll away with this game, Beamerball came roaring back one last time at Lane Stadium, and the Hokies came back from a 14-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

But a lackluster offense only yielded four yards and three points in overtime, and North Carolina came away with the 30-27 win and the Coastal Division title in the process.

Here is the box score from Saturday's game, via

Tar Heels Pass Offense

One of the things that make Marquise Williams such a threat is his ability to beat you with his arm and his feet. He didn't find a great deal of consistent success against the Hokies, completing just half of his throws (13-of-26) for 205 yards and one touchdown.

That lone touchdown, however, came in overtime and won the game for the Tar Heels.

The star in the receiving game was Brandon Fritts, but as if to highlight the Tar Heels' often middling passing attack, he led the team with just 63 yards.

We're going to give some credit to the Virginia Tech defense in a bit, but for now, Williams and company will need to work on their efficiency before facing off against Clemson in the ACC title game.


Tar Heels Run Offense

Williams was just a hop, skip and jump away from the all-time UNC record for rushing yards by a quarterback, but he went up against a tough Tech defense.

The Hokies limited Williams to 74 yards on 18 carries. He also found the end zone once on the ground, but it was the three fumbles that really made this game close. Coming into this game, Williams had lost just two fumbles all season. When he walked out of Lane Stadium, he had five on the year.

Luckily for the Tar Heels, Elijah Wood made his presence felt, rattling off 17 runs for 115 yards and two scores.


Tar Heels Pass Defense

It's difficult to say that giving up 273 yards and two touchdowns is a successful day for a passing defense, but for the better part of three quarters, UNC seemed to have the Hokies' number in the passing game.

Virginia Tech relied on some great field position and late heroics to send this game into overtime, and we're definitely not going to reward the Tar Heels for that, but we're also not going to ignore the three quarters of solid defense displayed by UNC.

We're also going to hand out a few bonus points to Des Lawrence and M.J. Stewart for their pivotal interceptions. Without those two takeaways, this game would have had a very different result.


Tar Heels Run Defense

If you spend your week in practice defending against Williams' running ability and Hood's power and speed, you're probably going to develop into a solid run defense. That's exactly what UNC showed against Virginia Tech.

UNC limited the Hokies to 130 yards on 47 carries, for an average of less than 2.8 yards per rush. That's good no matter who you're playing.

The UNC front seven was plugging holes all afternoon, and the Hokies were never able to establish their typical ball-possession game. Third-and-long was the rule of the day, and UNC's run-stifling defensive line forced Virginia Tech into six punts.


Tar Heels Special Teams

It's usually a good day when your special teams units don't make headlines. UNC's Nick Weiler connected on his only field-goal attempt of the day, and Joey Mangili averaged just over 40 yards on his eight punts.

The return game never really got into the act Saturday, as UNC was credited with zero kick returns and four punt returns that combined for minus-four yards.


Tar Heels Coaching

For the most part, we are strong believers in coaches making the calls and players needing to execute those calls. But every once in a while, a coach makes some decisions that simply leave us scratching our heads.

For Larry Fedora's part, we were left wondering why UNC called a timeout after the Tar Heels were stopped short on third down with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter and the score tied. Why not just let the clock run out?

OK, so it didn't cause any major disasters as the punt went off without a hitch and Virginia Tech took a knee to send the game to overtime. But why risk it? Did Fedora not watch the end of the Michigan-Michigan State game? Did he not know he was playing a team coached by Beamer?

Anyway, it's hard to penalize a winning coach too much, but UNC can't afford these little chinks in the armor if it wants to impress the thus far unimpressed College Football Playoff committee.


Hokies Pass Offense

Michael Brewer finished with 273 yards on 20-of-35 passing with two touchdowns. But he also tossed a pair of interceptions, and as is usually the case, those turnovers proved costly down the stretch.

Virginia Tech had a difficult time getting much momentum going (outside of the last five minutes of the fourth quarter), and Brewer never really found a string of completions to build that momentum.

In fact, Tech had just one drive that lasted 10 plays; none was longer than that.

Isaiah Ford had a career day, hauling in eight receptions for 155 yards and a crucial touchdown with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game.

Unfortunately, as overtime began, Virginia Tech reverted to its old ways of inconsistency and settled for four yards and a field goal in what ended up being a losing effort.


Hokies Run Offense

The Hokies struggled with running the ball against UNC. The Tar Heels simply schemed too well against the Hokies for Tech to find much room on the ground. That forced the Hokies into passing situations, and UNC was able to dictate the play-calling for much of the game.

Travon McMillian, as expected, got the lion's share of the carries but only notched 3.8 yards per rush on his 21 attempts (80 yards).

Virginia Tech was unable to find any big plays in the ground game, and the team's longest run was an 18-yard scamper by Sam Rogers. Take that and McMillian's long of 10 away, and the Hokies averaged less than 2.3 yards per carry.


Hokies Pass Defense

If you're a Virginia Tech fan, you have to be pleased with the effort put forth by the defense, particularly in defending the pass.

Williams never really looked comfortable in the pocket, and although Corey Marshall was the only Hokie credited with a sack, it forced a critical fumble—and it was far from the only time Tech hit Williams in the backfield.

As the game wore on, a lack of offensive production doomed the Hokies. The defense stood tall about as long as one could expect without much support from the offense, and it was the pass defense that eventually gave up UNC's game-winning touchdown in overtime.

Still, the VT secondary performed well enough to earn some respect.


Hokies Run Defense

The front of the Virginia Tech defense was just as stout as the back end. The defense even managed a critical goal-line stand in the second half that held UNC to a field goal rather than a touchdown we were all sure was coming.

Of course, that goal-line stand might not have been necessary were it not for Dadi Nicolas slapping referee Ron Cherry while Cherry was announcing a penalty against him.

It didn't look accidental at the time, as Nicholas was clearly heard yelling at Cherry through Cherry's mic, and the replays didn't do anything to convince us that it was accidental. We'll probably hear from the ACC on this one.


Hokies Special Teams

It's hard to look at a missed field goal in the first half as a game-defining moment at the time, but add three more Virginia Tech points to the score at the end of the fourth quarter and Beamer's sendoff would have had a different feel to it.

Yes, Joey Slye did make two of his three field-goal attempts, but that early miss is sticking out in our minds after the fact.


Hokies Coaching

It's Beamer. It was his final game at Lane Stadium as head coach. Yes, the Hokies lost, but Virginia Tech truly won having him as its leader for the last 29 years.

We could go into the ins and out of this game or discuss what Beamer should or shouldn't have done in any given situation. We can second-guess the knee at the end of the fourth quarter instead of trying to pull out the miracle when Tech had all of the momentum.

But we're not going to do that.

Instead, we're going to simply leave you with this: In a game where negative headlines are becoming all too commonplace, Beamer spent 35 years as a college football head coach doing all the right things. He's not only a winner of eight conference champions (one Ohio Valley, three Big East and four ACC), he's not only a coach who finished 21 of his 35 seasons with a team ranked in a final Top 25 poll, he's not only a man with (currently) 277 wins to his credit, but he's a man who made a difference off the field at Virginia Tech.

Beamer ran his program with class and dignity, and he also extended that class and dignity to Virginia Tech at large. The school, Blacksburg and college football as a whole are better places because he was around.

Although his coaching days are over, we hope he sticks around for a long time to come.

Unless otherwise noted, quotes or references to quotes were obtained firsthand by the writer.

Follow Bleacher Report's National College Football Featured Columnist David Luther on Twitter.

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Michigan Has Much to Improve on Before Challenging Ohio State

If you would have told Michigan fans that they'd be 9-2 with a shot the Big Ten East title entering the Ohio State game before Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach began, they'd have taken that bargain. But anyone who watched the Wolverines' 28-16 win over Penn State Saturday knows Michigan has plenty of flaws to fix before thinking about taking down the Buckeyes. 

The defending national champions stand between the Wolverines and a surprising Big Ten East title in Harbaugh’s first season, and Michigan is certainly capable of ruining Ohio State's College Football Playoff dreams. But between now and Saturday, the Wolverines must improve significantly. 

Michigan led the Nittany Lions throughout the second half, but was never really secure. Three times Saturday, Penn State got inside the Michigan 10-yard line only to be held to a field goal. In a 12-point game, that’s gigantic.

The Wolverines outgained Penn State 343-207, but it felt much closer. Senior quarterback Jake Rudock outperformed heralded PSU passer Christian Hackenberg, completing 25-of-38 passes for 256 yards while Hackenberg was 13-of-37 for 137 yards.

But Michigan’s run game was largely nonexistent, compiling 87 yards on 30 carries with De’Veon Smith being the leading rusher with 39 yards on 13 carries. The Wolverines need much better balance against the Buckeyes’ nasty defense; they’ve been average on the ground this season, entering Saturday ranked No. 67 nationally in rush offense.

They also need much better discipline. Michigan piled up an eye-popping 13 penalties for 117 yards Saturday, which won’t fly against a more talented Ohio State team. The Wolverines have shown they can hang with elite teams, but mistakes (like Michigan State’s final-play blocked punt touchdown for a stunning victory) have clearly hurt them.

That goes for the turnover battle as well. The Wolverines committed two turnovers to Penn State’s one, continuing a season-long trend. They entered the game ranked No. 96 nationally in turnover margin.

Rudock in particular must be more careful with the ball. He now has 16 touchdowns against nine interceptions this season, but Saturday marked only the third time (albeit the third consecutive time) he’s thrown for more touchdowns than interceptions against a Big Ten foe.

Michigan’s margin for error against Ohio State will be razor-thin, and Harbaugh’s bunch can’t afford critical mistakes from Rudock’s arm.

Finally, Michigan’s run defense has been outstanding (103.2 yards per game, No. 7 nationally entering Saturday), but containing Ohio State standout back Ezekiel Elliott will be crucial. Michigan held Penn State’s Saquon Barkley to 68 yards on 15 carries, but that did include a 56-yard run.

Coupled with a 48-41 double overtime win at Indiana (which saw Jordan Howard gash the Wolverines for 238 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries), Harbaugh has serious reasons for concern over the last two games, particularly on the ground.

Does Michigan have a chance at ruining the Buckeyes’ season? Absolutely. But there’s a lot to clean up in seven days.

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Clemson OT Daniel Stone Proposes to GF Before Kickoff on Senior Day

Clemson offensive tackle Daniel Stone was getting ready to take the field at Memorial Stadium for the final time in his career as a Tiger, but he had one last thing to do: pop the question.

Stone ran over to his girlfriend, who was standing on the sideline for the team's Senior Day game against Wake Forest. Then he dropped to one knee.

Cue the awes.

[YouTube, h/t For The Win]

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Wisconsin Cheerleaders Pelted with Snowballs Thrown by Their Own Fans

Madison, Wisconsin, didn't get the same eight to nine inches of snowfall that blanketed Iowa's Kinnick Stadium, but there apparently was enough for fans in the stands at Camp Randall Stadium to wad up some snowballs to their own cheerleaders.

Yep. Wisconsin cheerleaders had to be escorted off the field during Saturday's game against Northwestern after being pelted by a shower of snowballs.

The UW-Madison Police Department issued a warning to fans via Twitter, saying if any student was caught throwing any snowballs at the field they would be "cited and ejected":


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Do the Florida Gators Stand a Chance Against the Rival Florida State Seminoles?

2015 has already been an excellent season for the Florida Gators, no matter the measure.

Saturday, the Gators looked positively mortal, pushed to overtime by 2-9 Florida Atlantic before pulling out a 20-14 overtime victory in Gainesville.

Was it ugly? Sure. But for a program that lost to FCS Georgia Southern in the Swamp two short years ago, it was a thing of beauty.

"They took it to us," Florida coach Jim McElwain told SEC Network’s Laura Rutledge in a postgame interview on SEC Network. "We’ve got to get a lot better, and we have a week to get better to our next game. They probably deserved to win, but our guys are finding a way to win, and that’s really important."

McElwain became the first UF coach ever to win 10 games in his first season with the Gators. Florida is 10-1 and has already clinched the SEC East.

But the season isn’t complete. Far from it. To continue toward a truly special campaign, Florida must conquer perhaps its biggest nemesis: Florida State. The Gators still have hopes of making the College Football Playoff, but it won’t happen without defeating the Seminoles next Saturday in Gainesville.

Does Florida have a chance of beating the Seminoles and taking Sunshine State supremacy from their grasp? Absolutely.

Florida State hasn’t slipped much from a three-year run that saw Jimbo Fisher’s program collect three ACC titles, a BCS National Championship and qualify for the College Football Playoff in 2014. But the Seminoles have certainly slipped enough to be vulnerable against the Gators, especially on the road.

If Florida competes with FSU, it will do so with defense. The talented unit, led by All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, has propped up an offense that has struggled following quarterback Will Grier’s Oct. 12 NCAA suspension for a positive test for performance-enhancing drug use.

Following a 35-28 loss to LSU in the first post-Grier game Oct. 17, Florida’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 14 points to any opponent. The Gators allowed a combined 10 points to Georgia and Vanderbilt, a huge factor in the SEC East victories.

They entered Saturday No. 5 nationally in total defense, allowing 280 yards per game and 4.44 yards per play. The Gators were ninth nationally in rush defense and No. 10 in pass defense, as well as fourth nationally in scoring defense (allowing 14.5 points per game).

Florida State’s offense has looked more active recently, averaging 39.5 points per game in wins over N.C. State and Syracuse. But on Nov. 7 the Seminoles struggled against Clemson’s talented defense, which was ranked No. 7 nationally in total defense entering Saturday. FSU got a 75-yard touchdown on the game’s second play thanks to Dalvin Cook but managed just two field goals the rest of the way.

The key to stopping Florida State is stopping Cook, who entered Saturday with 1,369 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns despite being less than 100 percent for much of the season with hamstring and ankle injuries.

Florida’s run defense has been tough but has allowed four 100-yard rushers in 11 games. LSU’s Leonard Fournette went for 180, Tennessee teammates Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd went for 136 and 102, respectively, and Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb went for 118 yards.

Post-Jameis Winston, Florida State has vacillated between Everett Golson and Sean Maguire at quarterback but has settled on Maguire, who threw for 348 yards against Syracuse but has been inconsistent at best.

If Florida’s front seven can contain Cook, that’s great news for Hargreaves and the secondary. The Gators defense has shown the ability to cause havoc against opposing quarterbacks, as Antonio Morrison showed by forcing a fumble that Taven Bryan picked up for a 48-yard return, setting up a key touchdown early in the second half vs. Florida Atlantic.

Sophomore quarterback Treon Harris is a liability against Florida State’s improving defense. Since Grier’s suspension, he has only two 200-yard passing games and has six passing touchdowns against four interceptions. Saturday, he was stripped on a scramble, which FAU turned into a defensive touchdown. 

But if Florida can avoid crucial offensive mistakes and get continued solid running from Kelvin Taylor, the Gators can compete with the Seminoles. Last fall, a dead-man-walking team in Will Muschamp’s final game as head coach pushed an unbeaten FSU to the wire before falling, 24-19, so this team will have a chance to emerge victorious next week.

Florida has only one win over Florida State in its last five tries, a 37-26 victory in 2012. But McElwain and Co. have a good chance to improve that record and head into Dec. 5's SEC title game at the Georgia Dome the new kings of the Sunshine State.

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Michigan vs. Penn State: Game Grades, Analysis for Wolverines and Nittany Lions

The 12th-ranked Michigan Wolverines controlled the Penn State Nittany Lions en route to a 28-16 victory on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State tallied 70 yards on its opening drive but managed just 138 over the final 11 possessions. Michigan scored a touchdown in each quarter.

Pass Offense: Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh and Jake Butt each recorded between 66 and 69 receiving yards, helping quarterback Jake Rudock become the first player in program history to throw for more than 250 yards in three straight games, per Chad Shepard of UM. Darboh and Butt scored one touchdown apiece.

Run Offense: Once again, the Michigan offensive line struggled in the running game. Average is an improvement over 2014, but it's still not good. De'Veon Smith managed 39 yards on 13 carries, though he and Sione Houma both notched one-yard touchdown runs.

Pass Defense: The secondary wasn't perfect, evidenced by the 25-yard touchdown and pair of pass-interference penalties. However, the Wolverines held Christian Hackenberg to a 41.9 completion percentage and sacked him five times.

Run Defense: When Saquon Barkley's first carry went 56 yards, Michigan fans may have worried the freshman running back was bound to duplicate Jordan Howard's 238-yard day last week. Following that long run, though, the defense surrendered just 14 yards on 21 attempts.

Special Teams: Despite a blocked punt, Michigan won the game on special teams. Chesson recovered a muffed punt, and the takeaway turned into Houma's touchdown. Jourdan Lewis' 55-yard kick return set up Smith's game-sealing score.

Coaching: Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin constantly dialed up pressure, and the Wolverines disrupted Hackenberg in the pocket throughout the day. But the coaching staff must address the penalty problem, as Michigan had a season-worst 14 flags.

Pass Offense: In what was perhaps the final home game of Hackenberg's college career, he finished 13-of-31 for 138 yards and one touchdown. The junior tossed a couple of NFL-caliber passes but mostly looked erratic and uncomfortable.

Run Offense: Barkley managed 68 yards, which ordinarily would be decent against the Michigan defense. Unfortunately, his 14 carries after the 56-yard scamper brought a meager 12 yards. Penn State failed to reach 100 rushing yards for the fourth time this season.

Pass Defense: Although Carl Nassib started the game, he exited early and didn't return. The Nittany Lions, who have one of the nation's most imposing pass-rushing units, managed two sacks but regularly failed to disrupt Rudock with the senior, Nassib, standing on the sideline.

Run Defense: Penn State basically shut down the Wolverines' running game, limiting Michigan to 87 yards on 30 carries. However, Saturday marked the first time Michigan didn't top the 100-yard mark in a game that it still managed to win.

Special Teams: DeAndre Thompkins muffed a punt, which led to what ultimately became the deciding score. Tyler Davis connected on a trio of field goals, while Daniel Pasquariello averaged an unimpressive 37.3 yards per punt.

Coaching: The Nittany Lions ventured inside the Michigan 10-yard line three times but came away with a field goal on each possessions. The inability to finish drives with touchdowns cost Penn State the victory and is a reflection on the coaching staff—and that's not good.


Follow Bleacher Report college football writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.

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FAU vs. Florida: Game Grades, Analysis for the Gators

The Florida Gators were taken to the brink by a two-win Florida Atlantic team Saturday afternoon at the Swamp, needing overtime and a defensive stand post-blocked extra point to survive a 20-14 scare.

As if a nine-point output in a narrow win against Vanderbilt and a 24-point game over a South Carolina team that lost to The Citadel this weekend weren't enough warning signs, the Gators offense was atrocious yet again. 

The Gators mustered just 252 yards of offense against the nation's 92nd-ranked defense, averaged just 4.1 yards per play, turned it over twice and went two for 13 on third-down conversions. Time after time, the UF defense put its teammates in position to make plays, but quarterback Treon Harris and crew couldn't take advantage.

Still, with the game on the line, Florida got away with some tight defense in the end zone and made two plays in overtime to come away victorious in a late downpour in Gainesville.

Let's take a look at some game grades for the Gators in what should be a forgettable game. If you want to head back and revisit a fun live blog, head here.


Passing Offense

The suspension of quarterback Will Grier for using performance-enhancing drugs was a huge hit for the Gators offensively. Though they've won 10 games, the offense simply isn't there.

Harris made a couple of big plays Saturday, tossing two touchdowns, but he also struggled to consistently move the ball downfield and find targets. He also turned the ball over twice. Harris wound up 8-of-17 for 122 yards, threw a pick and also fumbled. It was a forgettable performance, and the offense is stagnant with him under center.

This team needs Grier, and it won't get him back until the seventh game in 2016.


Rushing Offense

Kelvin Taylor wound up with 98 yards on 25 carries and scored a touchdown, so this poor grade is definitely not his fault. He ran with drive and purpose all game, much of the time willing himself to positive yardage despite zero push from the UF offensive line. Even on his touchdown run, two FAU defenders had him lassoed in the backfield, but he simply drove through and made the score.

Since a big win over Georgia, the Gators offensive line has struggled, and they had their worst effort against the Owls. Taylor had a valiant effort, but he alone couldn't save the running game.


Passing Defense

Jalen Tabor was a force throughout the game, and a couple of handsy plays by the Gators in the end zone didn't get called, so, on paper, that winds up being chalked up to good defense. Florida was without star corner Vernon Hargreaves III for most of the game, but the team still got the job done.

Even so, FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson's 148 passing yards all seemed big. He made some plays, but he didn't make enough. The Gators got one interception when Tabor ripped the ball away from an FAU receiver, and made another big play when safety Keanu Neal stuffed Johnson in the hole and forced a fumble that UF recovered.

Big plays were the name of the game.


Rushing Defense

On one of FAU's scoring drives, the Owls ran the ball at will through the Gators defense, but that was far from a consistent thing. The Gators are blessed with one of the best defensive lines in the nation, and they lived up to that billing for most of the day. They were consistently blowing up plays in the backfield, and they didn't allow anything big in the run game. All in all, it was a stellar day for UF against the run. The defense did its job all day.

Afterward, Tabor got in a little jab at Florida State just in time for next week's rivalry game, according to Gator Country's Nick de la Torre:

The Gators are going to have to play much better and prove it on the field.


Special Teams

Antonio Callaway's 52-yard punt return and elite punter Johnny Townsend's strong performance weren't enough to bring up this grade thanks to Austin Hardin's struggles in the kicking game.

Hardin missed field goals of 33 and 34 yards that could have put the game out of reach in regulation. Then, after UF scored the go-ahead touchdown in overtime, Hardin's extra point was blocked by FAU star defensive end Trey Hendrickson. Head coach Jim McElwain shared his thoughts on Hardin's struggles after the game, per Gator Country's Nick de la Torre:

Those plays almost made it a disastrous day for Florida, so, yes, Townsend was massive in the field-position game all day, but the other kicker nearly led to a UF embarrassment.



McElwain must not have any confidence in backup quarterback Josh Grady, because if he did, he would have pulled Harris at some point in the game.

The Gators are in a really bad spot at the signal-caller position right now, and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier's play-calling was hamstrung all day because of it. But Florida didn't do anything to try to get out of that funk. The defense was strong, yes, but anytime you nearly lose to a 2-9 FAU team when you're the eighth-ranked team in the nation, it's a poor coaching job.

No matter how much McElwain preached all week about responding with a resounding performance against a bunch of Owls with chips on their shoulder, Florida played awful. 


All stats gathered from and unless otherwise noted. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee lead writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

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South Carolina's Loss to Citadel Shows Gamecocks Could Be in for Rough Future

For 60 minutes inside Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday afternoon, South Carolina put on a show. 

A horror show.

The Gamecocks fell 23-22 to The Citadel out of the FCS, dropped to 3-8 on the season and made it abundantly clear to the college football world that the man who will permanently take over for former head coach Steve Spurrier—who retired in October—has a nearly impossible task.

Interim head coach Shawn Elliott was straightforward on what went wrong for the Gamecocks, according to David Cloninger of the State:

Take nothing away from The Citadel. The Bulldogs are a solid FCS team out of the Southern Conference and have a lot going for them at that level.

But they simply man-handled the Gamecocks at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and that is not something that a new coach can fix overnight.

Not even if that coach is named "Nick Saban," "Urban Meyer" or "Vince Lombardi."

The new coach's first job is to get bigger and better players up front. If that means hitting the junior college ranks hard, working to flip committed players or convincing current players to bulk up and change positions, do it.

The Gamecocks' 2016 class currently has just one lineman on either side of the ball with four or more stars—defensive end Jordan Smith. What's more, he's one of only two commits who have that designation in the entire 15-player class.

That's before the recruiting attrition that is inevitable once the new staff is in place.

It's one thing to be shocked by a triple-option team, since, aside from Georgia Tech and the service academies, Power Five schools typically don't see much of that. But Carolina's offensive line got absolutely mauled, which was a big reason the Gamecocks managed just 72 rushing yards as a team.  

The only other 4-star player in the 2016 class is dual-threat quarterback Brandon McIlwain, and he's an absolutely critical piece of the puzzle, regardless of who takes over. 

South Carolina clearly has a quarterback problem. Perry Orth threw for 367 yards in the loss, but he aired it out all afternoon without the help of a running threat and benefited from a couple of long catch-and-runs from star wide receiver Pharoh Cooper.

Could McIlwain be the guy?

Maybe, but as SB Nation's recruiting page pointed out on Twitter, he's keeping his options open.

This comes on the heels of another one of South Carolina's highest-rated prospects—4-star wide receiver Bryan Edwards—decommitting earlier in November.

South Carolina has no skill players outside of Cooper—who's eligible for the draft after this season. It is severely lacking in the trenches, and it has no running back that it trusts in the future and no direction due to Spurrier's sudden resignation.

The future looks bleak for the Gamecocks, and whoever takes over in 2016 will have his work cut out for him. 

In the landscape of coaching vacancies this offseason, South Carolina is included in a pool of open jobs that includes Virginia Tech, Miami, Missouri, Maryland and potentially others. They all have positives and obvious negatives, and potential candidates will likely judge all of them based on feel and fit more than anything else.

The Gamecocks have a proud fanbase, good facilities and a down division going for them. But from a talent, recruiting-base and momentum perspective, it's hard to consider the program overly attractive.

South Carolina has to get this hire right and be patient because the eventual new head coach has an uphill climb to get back into contention.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics are courtesy of

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Florida Atlantic vs. Florida: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

The Florida Gators continue to survive and advance, though their 20-14 overtime victory over Florida Atlantic was too close for comfort. 

The Gators, which entered the week ranked eighth in the College Football Playoff standings and is now 10-1 overall, have been flirting with disaster lately.

They held on for a 9-7 win against Vanderbilt two weeks ago and led by just three in the fourth quarter before knocking off South Carolina 24-14 last week, but those are at least SEC foes with some history against Florida. 

Florida Atlantic came into Saturday with a 2-8 record (2-5 in Conference USA), the second-worst mark in the C-USA East Division. The Owls' wins came against 2-8 Charlotte and 5-6 Florida International. 

ESPN Stats and Info put in perspective how unexpected a loss by Florida would have been in this situation:

Florida Atlantic took the momentum midway through the fourth quarter. After Owls receiver Kalib Woods' third-quarter touchdown catch, Florida was leading 14-7 and had the ball at its own 16-yard line trying to run out the clock. 

That's when defensive end Trey Hendrickson strip-sacked quarterback Treon Harris, and defensive back Ocie Rose recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game, shown by ESPN on Twitter:

CBS Sports summed up perfectly what every Gators fan was thinking:

The two teams exchanged blows over the final eight minutes before going to overtime. Harris threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee to give the Gators a 20-14 lead, but Austin Hardin, who had already missed two field goals, had his extra-point attempt blocked.   

However, the Gators defense wouldn't let the kicking gaffes sink the team. Florida defensive back Brian Poole broke up Florida Atlantic quarterback Jaquez Johnson's fourth-down attempt in the end zone to preserve the win, shown here by the Gators' official Twitter:

Florida's biggest problem down the stretch has been at quarterback. Will Grier's year-long suspension has left a huge void no one has replaced. The freshman was having a terrific year with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions, completing 65.8 percent of his attempts.

Harris, who finished Saturday 8-of-17 for 122 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, has been leading Florida head coach Jim McElwain's offense since the Oct. 17 game against LSU. The Gators did fare well against the Tigers in a 35-28 loss but have scored just 80 points in the four games since. 

Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel noted how difficult things were for Harris in the fourth quarter:'s Edward Aschoff wondered why McElwain was not looking to make a QB change:

The saving grace for Florida during this offensive lull has been running back Kelvin Taylor. He did his part once again, racking up 98 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. His yards-per-attempt average isn't great, but when opposing defenses don't respect the pass, it's hard to find many holes to hit. 

Taylor's touchdown run did put him in some nice and familiar company, per the SEC Network:

On a positive note, while not exactly the way he would have wanted it, McElwain did become the first Florida head coach to win 10 games in his inaugural season with the program, per ESPN Stats & Info

According to's Darren Rovell, Florida Atlantic was paid $1 million by the University of Florida for this game. Fortunately for the Gators, that money spent didn't turn into a disaster and end their playoff hopes. 

Florida has been getting by on the strength of its defense. It's dangerous to play with fire, but the end results have gone the Gators' way. That's all that matters at this stage of the season. 


Postgame Reaction

McElwain was not happy with his team's performance after the game, though he did try to put a positive spin on things, per Alligator Army on Twitter:

Expanding on those thoughts, McElwain gave credit to Florida Atlantic for its play in the game, per

The Florida head coach joked that there may have been some extra concessions sold as a result of the close call, per Saturday Down South:

Looking ahead to next week's in-state showdown with Florida State, per Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post, McElwain noted the Seminoles may feel confident when looking at the tape from this game:

On the losing side, Florida Atlantic head coach Charlie Partridge was also putting a positive spin on the defeat, per Graham Hall of

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Michigan vs. Penn State: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

No. 12 Michigan (9-2, 6-1) kept its Big Ten championship hopes alive Saturday with a hard-fought 28-16 victory over Penn State (7-4, 4-3) at Beaver Stadium. 

The biggest difference was the Nittany Lions' inability to take advantage of their red-zone opportunities. Three times they drove inside the Wolverines' 10-yard line, and they came away with just nine points. It's hard to pull off an upset with that lack of efficiency in key situations.

Here's the quarter-by-quarter scoring recap for the Big Ten clash:

One thing Michigan senior quarterback Jake Rudock has learned during his collegiate career, which started at Iowa before he joined the Wolverines, is the importance of finishing strong. He knows any previous success otherwise fades away, as noted by Nick Baumgardner of

"Throughout my entire time in college, you find out what teams are made of in November," Rudock said. "We've got an opportunity to go do something special."

Facing a Penn State squad that was playing its final home contest of the campaign after battling Northwestern tough in its last game created a tricky test for the Maize and Blue.

If there was any doubt about that on the Michigan sideline, it got erased quickly as the Nittany Lions drove down the field with relative ease on the game's opening drive. The Wolverines defense did step up inside the 10, however, to hold the home side to a field goal.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and head coach James Franklin had a discussion on the sideline after Penn State ran it three straight times from just inside the 10. Justin Higdon of Draft Breakdown took a guess about the topic of the conversation:

Michigan responded immediately with a touchdown to grab the lead. Rudock delivered a strike to Jehu Chesson for 39 yards on third down to keep the drive alive and then found Jake Butt from 26 yards out for the score.

Gil Brandt of noted the Michigan quarterback's draft stock is beginning to rise given his improved play down the stretch:

Penn State jumped back out in front late in the second quarter. A blocked punt set the Nittany Lions with terrific field position at the Michigan 43, and they capitalized. Hackenberg completed four of his six throws on the drive, including a 25-yard hook up with Saeed Blacknall for the TD.

Joe Juliano of the Philadelphia Inquirer credited the sophomore wideout with making a nice play on the ball after his defender, Jabrill Peppers, got turned around:

The only downside about the quick score was it left two minutes on the clock for Michigan. The Wolverines needed just 70 seconds to cover 70 yards as Rudock continued to impress with his control of the offense.

Once again, a key throw on third down kept the drive moving. This time, he found Amara Darboh down the sideline for a highlight-reel grab, as ESPN College Football showcased:

Four plays later, Michigan found the end zone as Rudock and Darboh linked up again for the 11-yard touchdown before the half. Todd McShay of ESPN applauded to call on the scoring play:

The Wolverines stretched their lead to 11 in the third after DeAndre Thompkins muffed a punt inside his own 10 that got recovered by Michigan. Three plays later, Sione Houma powered in from one yard out to make it 21-10.

Audrey Snyder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette summed up the setback for Penn State:

The Nittany Lions clawed back within five by midway through the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of Tyler Davis field goals. In each instance, however, they got the ball inside the 10 and failed to come away with a touchdown.

That allowed Michigan to regain firm control of the contest with a late touchdown run from De'Veon Smith. Penn State couldn't make another rally as its final drive ended with a quick four-and-out. The Wolverines ran out the clock from there to secure the victory.

Michigan Athletics celebrated the win:

Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press pointed out it now becomes a waiting game for the Wolverines as they wait on the result from Ohio State vs. Michigan State:

Looking ahead, up next for Michigan is its annual rivalry meeting with Ohio State. Given the potential implications for both teams in the Big Ten and College Football Playoff races, it's probably the most important clash between the sides since they were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in 2006.

Penn State will finish the regular season with its third straight game against a ranked opponent when it takes on Michigan State next week. Exactly how much that game means to the Spartans will be determined later Saturday when they face off with the Buckeyes.

So there's still a lot to figure out in the Big Ten East, and these teams will play a key role in deciding which team wins the coveted division title.


Postgame Reaction

Franklin confirmed his group didn't play a clean enough game to beat an opponent of Michigan's caliber, per Onward State:

Zach Shaw of Michigan Daily passed along Rudock's thoughts on next week's marquee matchup:

Ultimately, Michigan didn't play a perfect game, but the defense rose to the occasion when necessary to get the win. That's the only thing that truly matters in the end, especially at this stage of the season. Now the Wolverines can focus on making the necessary improvements before facing the Buckeyes.


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Daily Fantasy College Football Week 12: Draftkings Last-Minute Picks and Advice

Week 12 of the college football season is already upon us! 

With conference races and College Football Playoff rankings heating up, there's still plenty of intrigue left on the schedule. 

When trying to make those last-minute selections, there are a number of things to take into account. The current form of the player's team is key. If selecting a receiver, one would hope his quarterback is currently playing well.

In regards to a running back, are there any injuries along its team's offensive line? In addition, the competition of the opposing team is always something to consider when making any sort of selection. 

As such, here are a few last-minute picks. These players will all be available in the later portions of the day.


RB Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego St. - $7,900

SDSU's leading back is facing a very favorable matchup this weekend, going up against a 3-7 UNLV team.

On the year, Pumphrey has rushed for 1,171 yards and 12 touchdowns. He's had six games in a row with at least 120 yards and is usually good for two or three receptions per game as well. There's no question Pumphrey's quickness and pure speed make him equally dangerous both running and catching the football.

A Las Vegas native, he'll be going back home to play in front of his friends and family. Don't be surprised if he puts on a show against a team that has lost four of its past five games. 


QB Tanner Lee, Tulane - $5,800

When looking at Lee's statistics throughout the year, they're less than impressive. 

He's accrued 1,536 yards through the air to go along with 10 touchdown tosses. These aren't gaudy numbers by any stretch, and it isn't often when one would select a quarterback coming from a 3-7 team. However, this is a case of looking at the opposition and how Lee could take advantage. 

Tulane's opponent this weekend is SMU. The Mustangs currently sit at 1-9 and have yet to win a game in conference play. They've lost eight games in a row and have only relinquished a point total less than 38 once this season. 

Couple that with the fact Lee is coming off of one of his best games of the season with 252 passing yards and two touchdowns against Army and this should be a tasty matchup.


WR Austin Hooper, Stanford - $4,200

Due to his paltry salary, Hooper looks like a potential steal in Stanford's contest versus Cal.

The tight end is one of the best in the country at his position. Stanford has a propensity to target its tight ends, especially in red-zone situations and on crossing routes across the middle of the field. 

Its opponent, Cal, also has had its struggles defending in the passing game. Although Stanford isn't an offensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination, there's no love lost between these two rivals. It wouldn't be a surprise to see head coach David Shaw keep his foot on the proverbial gas pedal. 

This in turn would equal more opportunities for Hooper to make an impact catching the football. DraftKings lists Hooper as a wide receiver, as the site does with all tight ends, but that doesn't diminish his appeal.


WR Kolby Listenbee, TCU - $5,200

With star wide receiver Josh Doctson out, Listenbee could assume the role as TCU's top receiver going forward.

On the year, he's second on the team in receiving yards (495) and is fourth in receptions. With Doctson commanding such a large chunk of the production within the group, there will be plenty of opportunity for multiple TCU receivers to get more targets. 

Averaging a team-high 20.6 yards per reception, Listenbee may be able to garner more chances in terms of stretching the field deep. He's most certainly a player with a high fantasy ceiling this week. 


QB Kenny Potter, SJSU - $5,700

San Jose State's signal-caller is coming off a game in which he threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 116 yards on 19 carries.

A true dual-threat option, Potter could put up big-time production on both fronts—in terms of running and throwing the football.

This week, SJSU faces a 2-9 Hawaii program struggling to maintain consistency. After starting the season 2-1, the Rainbow Warriors have dropped eight in a row. They've also given up an average of 47 points in their last three games. 

Potter should be able to have a quality game from a statistical standpoint and could be a big bargain when looking at his reasonable cost. 


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Charleston Southern vs. Alabama: Live Score and Highlights

Alabama 49, Charleson Southern 0- Late 2nd quarter

Alabama is set to host Charleston Southern on the SEC Network at 4 p.m. ET. Keep it locked here for live updates, highlights and analysis throughout the game. 


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Jim Harbaugh Angrily Rips His Jacket off over Pass Interference Call

An angry Jim Harbaugh is intimidating. An angry Jim Harbaugh who rips his jacket off because he's steaming with passion? Try terrifying.

The Michigan coach got so heated over a pass interference penalty that he ripped his jacket off mid-sideline fit.

The call went against Wolverines safety Jabrill Peppers, who exchanged some shoves with a Penn State wide receiver.

[Vine, Twitter, h/t SB Nation]

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Clemson Tigers: Live Score and Highlights

Clemson 30, Wake Forest 7, Mid-3rd Quarter

The Clemson Tigers and Wake Forest Demon Deacons are set to square off, and it's a game that Clemson needs to play well in. After a couple of semi-sloppy defensive performances against the N.C. State Wolfpack and Syracuse Orange, the Tigers have the chance to prove their critics wrong with a dominating win versus the Demon Deacons. 

Wake Forest is an underrated team that can not be overlooked, though. The Demon Deacons have improved this season, and their defense has played well enough to keep them in a few games. It's the offense that has not clicked for head coach Dave Clawson and company, and Wake Forest will have to find a way to put up points to stay in this game. 

The Tigers have a rivalry game with South Carolina on the horizon and an ACC Championship Game to look forward to in the near future, but head coach Dabo Swinney can't allow his guys to overlook this matchup. 

You can watch the game at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, but stay right here for live updates and analysis. 

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USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks: Live Score and Highlights

USC Trojans - 21

Oregon Ducks - 38

3:00 3rd Quarter


With both the Oregon Ducks and USC Trojans sitting at 5-2 in Pac-12 play, these squads are alive and well in the race for a berth in the conference title game. 

A victory today will likely be a requirement for both teams to stay in that hunt. So despite some disappointment on both sides this season, this game holds a high level of significance for both teams. Expect a hard-fought game from start to finish. 

Stay plugged in below for continued updates. 

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Michigan State Spartans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes: Live Score and Highlights

Ohio State 14, Michigan State 7 —Early 4th quarter

Game action is now underway between No. 3 Ohio State (10-0) and No. 9 Michigan State (9-1). ABC is televising the matchup nationally from Columbus, Ohio.

We are watching the game, providing live analysis as the action unfolds:

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LSU Tigers vs. Ole Miss Rebels: Live Score and Highlights

Ole Miss 24, LSU 17 — 3rd Quarter

Welcome to Bleacher Report's live coverage of this Magnolia Bowl showdown between No. 15 LSU and No. 22 Ole Miss, which is televised on CBS.

Stay right here for updates and analysis in the second half, and join the conversation in the comments below.

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