NCAA Football News

Blake Sims Injury: Updates on Alabama QB's Shoulder and Return

All was going according to plan for Alabama in the second half against Florida until Blake Sims was forced to exit the game.

According to John Zenor of The Associated Press, Sims was favoring his right shoulder before making way for Jacob Coker:

Sporting News' Matt Hayes reports that Sims has returned:

The injury was at least serious enough for Sims to get looked at in the locker room, per Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel:

Mandel noted Sims returned to the sideline shortly thereafter: 

At the time of Sims' departure, the Crimson Tide held a 28-21 lead over the Gators and were close to increasing their lead further.

The senior signal-caller has gone 21-of-30 for 402 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He's also got 12 yards rushing on the day.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oklahoma vs. West Virginia: Live Score and Highlights

Oklahoma 31 West Virginia 27 - Late 3rd Quarter

The No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners visit the West Virginia Mountaineers in a pivotal Big 12 matchup. Both teams look to open up 1-0 in conference play. 

Fox will be showing the match, while Bleacher Report is here to provide live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Feel free to leave your thoughts on all the action in the comments section below.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt: Live Score and Highlights

No. 14 South Carolina finally heads out on the road for the first time this year as it travels to Nashville, Tennessee, Saturday night to face the Vanderbilt Commodores. 

At 2-1 (1-1 in SEC play), the Gamecocks couldn't have a more enticing matchup for their road opener. The Commodores are 1-2, with their lone victory coming last week over Massachusetts. 

Despite being embarrassed by Texas A&M in the season opener, South Carolina has rebounded with two straight wins over East Carolina and Georgia. While the defense remains a work in progress, the offense, led by running back Mike Davis, is starting to come around. 

According to GoGamecocks.com, Davis is probable for tonight's game, as he's battled an ankle injury throughout the season. 

The Gamecocks are 19-4 all time vs. Vandy and have won the last five meetings. 

Tonight's game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, and you can watch live on the SEC Network with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer on the call. 

Make sure to stay right here with us at Bleacher Report for news, notes, scoring updates and analysis for tonight's game. Also, you can follow the live box score at NCAA.com.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Should Frank Beamer Be on the Hot Seat After Virginia Tech's 2nd Straight Loss?

It's a question that has been asked several times over the past few seasons, and folks in Blacksburg must be sick of it. No, Virginia Teach head coach Frank Beamer does not belong on the hot seat, although he may be eyeing it from the next room over.

The Hokies lost their second straight contest on Saturday—this time a 27-24 defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech where they squandered a late lead and practically handed the Yellow Jackets the game thanks to quarterback Michael Brewer's third interception. Last week, East Carolina walked into Beamer's workplace and left with a win.

Questions will fly around the college football world about whether Beamer ought to be on the proverbial hot seat of coaching, and if you've paid much attention to the Hokies so far in 2014, the answer is no.

That no, however, comes with a caveat: If Beamer doesn't succeed in developing his quarterback, he may end up there and might even find himself in danger of losing his job entirely.

The last great season by a signal-caller on Virginia Tech came in 2010, when Tyrod Taylor had 24 touchdown passes with just five interceptions to go along with 659 rushing yards and another five scores.

Logan Thomas' career got off to a promising start as a sophomore when he threw for more than 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2011, but he would fail to hit those numbers again.

In fact, his interceptions went up, while his completion percentage went down. This season, we've seen flashes of greatness from Brewer, and since he's a first-year starter, you have to be more lenient with the mistakes that will inevitably come.

Even still, throwing five interceptions through four games isn't going to cut it. A 2-2 start isn't going to cut it either—not with both defeats coming at Lane Stadium, which has lost every bit of aura and intimidation it previously had.

All of this points toward a coaching staff that should be subject to criticism, and it'll get a fair share of it this week to be sure. But nobody loves the Hokies like Beamer, and hardly anybody walks into The Shoe in Columbus and leaves with a victory over the Buckeyes as his team did on September 6.

This isn't a sinking ship with violinists out on the deck playing a farewell song. But there are holes that must be patched up, and it would be unwise to have the man in charge for the past 27 years walk the plank.

In 2010, the Hokies opened up the season with losses to Boise State and mighty James Madison of the FCS. They followed up the brutal start with 11 straight wins before succumbing to Andrew Luck and Stanford in the Orange Bowl.

A 2-2 start with a victory over Ohio State should be looked at as another slow start to the season with promising signs and a chance to do some damage in the ACC. East Carolina is not a bad football team, and neither is Georgia Tech.

The Pirates played South Carolina tough on the road, and the Yellow Jackets are 4-0. The problem is that Virginia Tech has talent and shouldn't be satisfied with merely being decent. The Hokies should be winning home games against East Carolina and Georgia Tech, and they should be figuring out ways to move the ball more effectively.

That could mean a switch at quarterback, something Beamer commented on briefly following the latest loss:

Perhaps the change will come via the ground game, where freshmen Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams form a duo that could become something special.

At the end of the first half against Georgia Tech, the Hokies had the ball with enough time on the clock to get into field-goal range. You figured that with Brewer's questionable decision-making, the run game would be the star act on the drive.

Yet the ball was put in Brewer's hands, and twice he had throws that could have been intercepted. He's clearly not ready to be slinging the ball all over the place, so why not develop a game plan that eases him into the offense more?

Start with simple throws before taking riskier shots down the field.

It's that kind of series that puts doubt into the solid foundation built by Beamer over the years. That foundation consists largely of strong play on special teams and solid defense. In fact, Virginia Tech hasn't allowed more than 23 points per game in the past six seasons. That side of the ball looks fine, even with the Yellow Jackets marching down the field for the game-winning field goal.

To get back to winning ACC championships and into the national championship conversation, Coach Beamer must get more creative on offense and see that his teams get better throughout the season, specifically at the quarterback position.

If that happens, any sort of hot-seat talk will die down quickly. But if Brewer can't improve as the season wears on, the blame will naturally fall on Beamer.

As the head coach, that's the way it's always going to be, and if he's to maintain the position he's held for so long, changes must be made.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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. 

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages