NCAA Football News

Texas A&M Mascot Saved from Getting Hit by Player Thanks to Great Block

The Texas A&M Aggies had a comfortable 38-3 lead at halftime over the SMU Mustangs. However, they were almost unable to protect their mascot/highest-ranking cadet, Reveille VIII, on the sideline.

After Aggies defender Nick Harvey pushed SMU's Der’rikk Thompson near the corner of the end zone, the receiver began losing control straight toward the dog. Fortunately, one of the cadets was able to make a great block to keep her safe.

[Vine, h/t College Spun]

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Amari Cooper vs. Florida: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Florida apparently omitted Amari Cooper in its scouting report ahead of Saturday's game against SEC rival Alabama.

The Crimson Tide wideout benefited from a massive miscommunication problem in the Gators secondary, hauling down what was a 79-yard touchdown reception that tied the game at 14-14 with 4:12 in the first quarter. It's one of the more comical breakdowns you'll see all year.

There wasn't another Florida defender within 10 yards as Blake Sims' pass floated in over the top of the defense and landed into the hands of Cooper. He jogged into the end zone (via CBS Sports):

Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel had some advice for Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin:

Cooper had an impressive stat line through the first two quarters. Most guys would kill to have numbers like this after four quarters, let alone one half of play.

His stats are actually a bit disappointing considering where he stood in the first quarter:

What receiver can't record nearly 800 yards and five touchdowns in a game? Cooper was on pace to do that based on his first-quarter performance:

He and head coach Nick Saban will certainly settle with his actual first-half output. With those 175 yards, Cooper increased his streak of 100-plus-yard games to six, which is the highest active streak in the country, per SportsCenter:

The junior now has 18 career receiving touchdowns as well, which ties him with Dennis Homan for the all-time lead at Alabama, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Although the NFL draft is months away, some are already looking ahead to Cooper's pro prospects. Hall of Fame wideout and current NFL analyst Cris Carter sees the Tide star as a potential top-five pick:

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah thinks Cooper plays a lot like Jordy Nelson, which is high praise indeed:

Clearly, Florida will need to do something else to knock off the No. 3 Crimson Tide. The Gators are down 21-14 going into halftime, and a big reason for that is Cooper.

In order to claw their way back in the second half, the Gators will have to neutralize Cooper and the Alabama passing attack.

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Michigan DL Willie Henry Gets Interception for Touchdown vs. Utah

The Michigan Wolverines were down 10-3 at home on Saturday against the Utah Utes, but they were able to tie things up thanks to this play.

In the second quarter, Kendal Thompson's pass was intercepted by Michigan defensive lineman Willie Henry, who returned the pass seven yards for the game-tying touchdown.

[Twitter]

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Blake Sims vs. Florida: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

If there was any lingering doubt as to who the starting quarterback for the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide was, Blake Sims emphatically squashed it Saturday thanks to an epic performance against the Florida Gators. 

After falling behind early to a very game Gators squad, Sims continued to roll right along and had himself an eye-popping stat line before the proceedings even entered the second quarter:

As FoxSports.com's Stewart Mandel pointed out, Sims was doing his best to keep his team in the game early in the first frame:

He did just that with a 79-yard touchdown strike to wideout Amari Cooper, which brought up some alarming possibilities, as illustrated by Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press:

Thanks to a great effort from Sims and some timely miscues from the Gators secondary, the game was tied up at 14 heading into the second quarter.

As far as Sims goes, it is another business-like performance thus far, as he has a great chance to surpass his game-high two-touchdown mark this season before halftime. Even better, he has yet to get it going on the ground. 

Should it all come together, college football may have a dark-horse Heisman contender on its hands. 

 

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Mississippi State vs. LSU: Live Score and Highlights

Mississippi State will do battle against LSU in Death Valley. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.

The Bulldogs are off to a 3-0 start and have scored at least 35 points in each of their wins. They are going up against an LSU team that has not lost to the Bulldogs since 1999. 

Be sure to come back to this live blog when the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates, highlights and analysis.

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Oregon Ducks Unveil Mach Speed Jerseys for Game vs. Washington State

The Oregon Ducks continue to unveil terrific-looking jerseys before their games, and they certainly didn't disappoint Saturday.

Before their game against Washington State, the Ducks unveiled these black Nike Mach Speed jerseys on their Twitter account. The black uniforms feature yellow and silver accents along with a yellow helmet.

[Twitter]

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Utah's Kaelin Clay Does Heisman Pose After Scoring Touchdown in the Big House

After scoring a punt return touchdown in the Big House, it seems fitting to pay tribute to Desmond Howard regardless of which team you play for. 

After Utah Utes return man Kaelin Clay took a punt 66 yards for a score, he pulled out the Heisman pose that Howard used after an incredible return in 1991 against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Considering it was against his old school, I don't think Howard was too happy about Clay's celebration.

[Vine, YouTube, h/t Twitter]

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Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech: Game Grades and Analysis for the Hokies

Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech did battle in Blacksburg on Saturday afternoon, and the Yellow Jackets came out top in the final seconds 27-24. The final box score can be found here thanks to NCAA.com.

The Hokies started the game well, leading 16-10 going into the fourth quarter. But costly mistakes on offense and defense played a major role in their collapse, and they have now dropped two consecutive home games.

Can they bounce back and get back in the ACC Coastal race? Here are some game grades and analysis for the Hokies.

Pass Offense: Michael Brewer looked as sharp as any quarterback in college football in the first half as he went 10-of-13 for 207 yards. But the second half was a different story, as he threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Brewer made bad decisions in crucial situations, and that’s something he can’t do moving forward if the Hokies want to win the division. He will need to grow up in a hurry because the schedule is not going to get easier.

Run Offense: The run offense was not a factor all game long because the Hokies had a hard time running between the tackles. Marshawn Williams did have a rushing touchdown, as did Brewer. But the running game was inconsistent due to the Georgia Tech front seven attacking the line of scrimmage. The Hokies ended the day with 127 yards on 33 carries for 3.8 yards per carry.

Pass Defense: When it comes to Georgia Tech, passing is not a strength. So the defense for Virginia Tech did a nice job of getting after Justin Thomas and forcing him to make inaccurate throws. But he was able to make key throws when it mattered the most because the secondary had communication issues, which led to receivers being wide open. Chase Williams was all over the field for the Hokies, but he did not make the plays he needed to make to help the Hokies win.

Run Defense: Stopping the Georgia Tech rushing attack is not easy, so the only thing the Hokies could hope for was to slow it down. For the most part, the defense did a good job of containing the triple option. However, Virginia Tech had no answer for Thomas, as he rushed for 165 yards. The Jackets finished with 250 yards on the ground, which is 50 yards lower than their season average. Williams was a big reason why Tech could not run wild on the Hokies, as he tallied 17 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Special Teams: Beamer ball did not come into play as the special teams did not really contribute. The Hokies allowed Georgia Tech to block a field goal and gave up a game-winning field goal with two seconds left in the fourth quarter. They also had no impact plays in the return game; one good play was called back due to a holding penalty. The one good thing about the special teams was Joey Slye giving the Hokies nine of their 24 points with three field goals.

Coaching: Frank Beamer and his coaching staff did a nice job of preparing for the option attack of the Yellow Jackets, but they did not make the proper adjustments in the second half. They should have established the run and not put pressure on Brewer to win the game with his arm. This game—more than any game they’ve played so far—will be a lesson for the Hokies to control the clock better and protect the football. Had they done both of those things, Georgia Tech would not have come back to win.

 

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Utah's Brian Blechen Levels Michigan's Devin Funchess with Massive Hit

The Utah Utes are trying to stay undefeated early in the season, but they're in a tough game against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday.

Senior defensive back Brian Blechen came ready to play early, however, coming up with this massive hit on Devin Funchess to force and incompletion in the first quarter.

[Vine, h/t Twitter]

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Eastern Michigan Center Gets Leveled by Defenders After Forgetting to Snap Ball

Centers embarrassing themselves when snapping the ball is all the rage in football nowadays.

It's not completely clear what happens, but it looks as if center Dwayne Brown loses control of the ball while attempting to snap it and then picks up the ball. Naturally, he gets leveled from both sides moments later. 

Eastern Michigan ended up losing to Michigan State 73-14. 

[via SB Nation]

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Wisconsin Sets Modern Era Big Ten Record for Most Rushing Yards in a Game

Somewhere right now, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has a huge smile plastered across his face, as his program just set the modern era Big Ten rushing record with 644 yards against Bowling Green in a 68-17 win Saturday. The former head coach was at the helm of many great Wisconsin teams, but none achieved what the current group of Badgers did against the Falcons.

It takes a perfect storm for such a mark to be reached, and that's exactly what occurred in Madison. One of the best running backs in the country, Melvin Gordon, had 253 yards and five touchdowns on just 13 carries. Head coach Gary Andersen was pleased to say the least (via Genaro C. Armas of The Associated Press):

The unselfishness of Melvin Gordon ... as we've gone through the first part of the season has been incredible. I'm so proud of the way he's handled it. And today was his day.

Once you let that sink in, consider that quarterback Tanner McEvoy and backup running back Corey Clement combined for another 269 yards and three scores on the ground.

It was one of the most dominant rushing performances in the history of college football, but the standings will simply show Wisconsin at 2-1. The game itself was never in doubt, and the Badgers will now look ahead to playing USF next week and a conference slate after that that can be described as lacking many challenges.

It's hard to see Wisconsin stumbling the rest of the way, at least until Nebraska comes calling Nov. 15.

The only Wisconsin player to average fewer than six yards per carry in the win over the Falcons was George Rushing, a freshman wide receiver who had two carries for eight yards.

As a team, the Badgers averaged 10.7 yards per carry. It even set the school record for total yards with 758 (via SportsCenter). That's going to get it done against anybody. Against Bowling Green, it set a Big Ten rushing record that may not get broken for a very long time.

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Alabama's Kenyan Drake Scores on 87-Yard TD Catch on 1st Offensive Play

This is pretty much the definition of blown coverage.

On the first offensive play for the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Florida Gators, running back Kenyan Drake was able to burn a Florida linebacker.

CBS announcer Gary Danielson's reaction summed it up perfectly, simply saying "ahh jeez" as soon as Blake Sims got the pass off.

No one was able to catch up to Drake, who was credited with an 87-yard touchdown catch to give the Crimson Tide an early 7-0 lead. You can see another angle of the play below.

[Vine]

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Wisconsin Football: Is Melvin Gordon Still a Threat in Heisman Race?

Melvin Gordon is everything you could want in a running back. The Wisconsin junior has breakaway speed to go along with the power to shed tacklers and gain yards after contact.

But a solid outing against LSU was marred by the Badgers losing the game, and Gordon followed it up with a 38-yard dud against Western Illinois. ESPN's Heisman Watch following Week 3 did not include Gordon among the top 10 candidates.

The designation of top running back in the country is a special one, and with Georgia's Todd Gurley and Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah in the mix, there may not be a clear-cut answer. But Gordon certainly belongs in the discussion, especially after his 13-carry, 253-yard effort in the Badgers' 68-17 win over Bowling Green on Saturday.

That's nearly 20 yards per carry if quick math isn't your strong suit. If football isn't either, let's just say that's a mind-boggling statistic, even against a mid-major team like the Falcons.

Gordon hit paydirt five times in the victory, giving him six rushing touchdowns on the year. It was a incredible performance the likes of which hasn't been seen in quite some time.

The shifty back must have seen his name disparaged or ignored over the past two weeks, given the way he came out and played on Saturday. After the game, Gordon told reporters that he used such doubts as fuel.

"I was motivated," the junior ball-carrier said. "I heard a lot of people doubting me saying 'I can't do this, I can't do that.' That definitely motivated me to get out there and do what I needed to do."

Like several other top Heisman candidates at this point in the season, Gordon is the focal point for opposing defenses. In other words, he's one of those players you have to create an entire game plan around.

If that alone doesn't put him in the discussion, well, what does?

As Josh Norris of NBC Sports noted, Gordon hasn't exactly been seeing wide-open grass to run on:

To become the first rusher to win the Heisman since Alabama's Mark Ingram in 2009, Gordon will have to bull his way past Oregon's Marcus Mariota, perhaps the top quarterback in the country. Texas A&M's Kenny Hill and Notre Dame's Everett Golson are two other signal-callers who could prove formidable in the Heisman race, but the toughest tests lie ahead on each team's respective schedule.

Another absolute certainty when it comes to the Heisman Trophy is the winner having a highlight reel worthy of the history books. Mariota did his part against Michigan State with several miraculous third-down escapes, and his touchdown dive against Wyoming was yet another play that left you shaking your head.

Those "wow" plays don't generally come against mid-majors, but Gordon also bucked the trend with several of his runs against Bowling Green. Of note was this 50-yard scamper in which he burst through the line, outran all but one player and then shoved off the last defender with a stiff-arm.

The most impressive aspect of the run wasn't necessarily the stiff-arm itself or the speed, but the fact that Gordon made the move in rhythm and without slowing down.

One final unwritten rule of the Heisman Trophy in its current form is that the winner plays for a great team, and generally one in the hunt for a major bowl at the end of the season, if not a national title. The Badgers' schedule sets up perfectly for just that.

Nebraska is the only ranked team remaining on the slate, and the Cornhuskers must travel to Madison. If Wisconsin can stay focused throughout the remainder of the season, there's a good chance it'll reach Indianapolis and square off against Michigan State with a chance to potentially make the four-team playoff. Shredding the Spartans' defense would also be an impressive statement from Gordon in his final bid for the Heisman.

Is Melvin Gordon still a threat to win the Heisman? By putting up monster numbers each week, dazzling us with highlight-reel plays and leading the Badgers to a strong finish, he will remain at the forefront of trophy talks.

So far, so good.

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Virginia Tech QB Michael Brewer Recovers Fumble, Runs in Go-Ahead Touchdown

The Virginia Tech Hokies were playing in a close game late on Saturday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but this huge play from their quarterback helped them take the lead.

Down 17-16 in the fourth quarter, Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer was able to scoop up a fumble and run it into the end zone from 21 yards out. You can see another angle of the play below, via The Big Lead.

After a successful two-point conversion, the Hokies were up 24-17.

[Vine]

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Troy vs. Georgia: Game Grades, Analysis for the Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs got back on track with a resounding 66-0 victory over the Troy Trojans on Saturday.  Thanks to an early lead, the Dawgs were able to play a lot of young players and try a few things out.

Georgia ran the ball well and threw it efficiently on offense.  Defensively, secondary struggles remained a factor, but a few forced turnovers kept Troy off the scoreboard.  Notably, the special teams units rebounded nicely from last week's nightmare against South Carolina.

Here are position group game grades and analysis for both halves. 

 

Georgia Bulldogs Grade Analysis

Passing Offense

Hutson Mason threw the ball well, but the most encouraging sign of the day in the passing game was the performance by his backup, Brice Ramsey, and several young receivers.  The future of this Georgia passing attack is very bright.  Young receivers Kenneth Towns, Shakenneth Williams and tight end Jeb Blazevich all made impressive receptions.  Even Faton Bauta, the third-team quarterback, was impressive late in the game.

 

Rushing Offense

Georgia ran the ball at will in the first half.  Todd Gurley was lightly used but still racked up over 70 yards on just six carries, and Sony Michel turned seven carries into three touchdowns and 138 first-half yards.  The ground attack was equally potent in the second half when Isaiah McKenzie and Brendan Douglas got involved.  Surpassing the 350-yard mark as a team is a solid accomplishment, regardless of the opponent.

 

Pass Defense

Yet again, Georgia's pass defense left much to be desired—especially early.  In the first half, four different Troy receivers hauled in passes in excess of 18 yards.  Any time Georgia failed to disrupt the passer, long completions were a possibility.  

The performance against the pass improved slightly in the last half of the game, but Troy still had a number of big plays through the air.  Several young Bulldogs, most notably Rico Johnson and Tramel Terry, looked strong in the secondary.

 

Run Defense

Goergia's run defense was stellar throughout the day. Troy committed to establishing the run early but failed to do so.  As a result, the Trojan offense became either one-dimensional or ineffective. 

 

Special Teams

Kicker Marshall Morgan got back on track in the first half with a field goal, and return specialist Isaiah McKenzie ran a punt back for a score.  Later in the game, Reggie Davis put together a highlight of his own on a punt return, though he did not score.  Fantastic showing by the special teams units.

 

Coaching

The best coaching done by this Georgia staff came in substitutions.  The Bulldog coaches did a nice job of getting young guys playing time early and often and keeping stars like Todd Gurley away from unnecessary wear and tear.  Any criticisms of the coaching after a 66-0 victory are misplaced.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of NCAA.com.

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Iowa's Damond Powell Gets 62 Yards on Sick 1-Handed Catch vs. Pitt

Iowa Hawkeyes receiver Damond Powell was definitely able to make up for the drop that led to an interception earlier against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

In the third quarter of Saturday's game, Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard found Powell deep for a 62-yard gain thanks to a beautiful one-handed catch from the senior receiver.

[Vine, h/t Twitter]

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Melvin Gordon vs. Bowling Green: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had a disappointing performance against Western Illinois in Week 2, but it's safe to say he bounced back with his absolutely dominant performance against Bowling Green on Saturday.

The junior halfback posted four touchdowns in the first half, three of them in the second quarter. He ripped through the Bowling Green defense with incredible ease. His biggest string of highlight-worthy moves in the first half came on a fantastic 50-yard touchdown run.

Take a look at the play, courtesy of ESPN:

He topped that play with a 69-yard scoring run early in the third quarter. Here is a look at Gordon's stats so far in this contest:

Gordon's first-half fumble provided much-needed evidence that he is indeed a mere mortal, but that fact will likely be overlooked in the wake of this game. His yards-per-carry average against Bowling Green is certifiably absurd and ample justification for the reaction from football observers on Twitter.

Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith noted that Gordon set a record during this contest:

Sportswriter Ivan Carter recalled the halcyon days of Ron Dayne's Wisconsin career while watching Gordon wreak havoc against Bowling Green:

Gordon's performance rendered useless the descriptive powers of Fox Sports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple:

The Badgers have yet to establish a passing game this season, so expect them to continue to rely heavily on Gordon throughout the season, much to the delight of their fans.

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Virginia vs. BYU: Live Score and Highlights

The BYU Cougars (3-0) and Virginia Cavaliers (2-1) are set to kick off inside LaVell Edwards Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Cougars will look to improve to 4-0, while the Cavaliers will look to get a big win on the road.

Quarterback Taysom Hill has been impressive so far this season, leading the Cougars in both passing and rushing. He and the rest of this BYU team will look to get revenge on Virginia, who won last season's matchup.

Virginia head coach Mike London has been on the hot seat, so a win could really help him gain momentum moving forward. The Cavaliers played UCLA to a close game and are coming off a big win over Louisville.

Virginia is an improved team this season, so it could also be a solid win for BYU to add to its resume.

Stay tuned with us for updates and analysis throughout this game.

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SMU vs. Texas A&M: Live Score and Highlights

Texas A&M 0, SMU 0 ; Early First Quarter

An interesting in-state game takes place this afternoon, as the SMU Mustangs (0-2) host the No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. 

The game can be seen on either ABC or ESPN2 (depending on your region). The contest will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET. 

According to Odds Shark, the Aggies are favored by 28. 

A full box score of today's game can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com

 

Bleacher Report appreciates you tuning in with us today. Stay here for scoring updates, social media, analysis and much more! 

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Utah vs. Michigan: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan 0, Utah 0 (Kickoff at 3:30 p.m.)

Michigan and Utah are minutes away from taking the field at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. 

Keep your browser locked to this live blog for the latest updates, commentary and analysis. 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

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