NCAA Football News

Cal vs. UCLA: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

The UCLA Bruins kept their Pac-12 championship hopes alive with a convincing 40-24 win in Thursday’s Week 8 opener over the No. 20 California Bears, losers of two straight.

The win didn’t come without a bite from the injury bug. Already dealing with a slew of attrition, the Bruins lost leading rusher Paul Perkins (knee), leading tackler Isaako Savaiinaea (leg) and the game’s leading receiver, Devin Fuller (neck). ESPN.com's Ted Miller pointed out the team's unfortunate luck this year:

None of the three who left returned to the game Thursday, and five players left with injuries during the Bruins’ Week 7 loss to the No. 10 Stanford Cardinal. UCLA is still alive in the Pac-12 South and may have to limp its way to the conference title game, as ESPN.com's Travis Haney noted:

The Bruins' fate largely rests on freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, who was marvelous in Thursday’s win, completing a school record 34 passes on 47 attempts for a career-high 399 yards and three touchdowns. Bruins wide receiver Thomas Duarte also had career highs of 10 catches for 141 yards. 

Rosen outdueled highly touted Cal quarterback Jared Goff, who finished 32-of-53 for 295 yards with three touchdowns, extending his school record to 73. Rosen's performance impressed the Los Angeles Times' Eric Sondheimer:

The Bruins accounted for just one turnover—a fumble by running back Soso Jamabo well after the game had been decided—against a Cal defense that led the nation with 21 takeaways entering Week 8.

UCLA jumped out to a 23-3 lead before Cal finally reached the end zone on a one-yard fade from Goff to wide receiver Kenny Lawler with 51 seconds remaining in the first half. ESPN College Football shared the replay:

The Bruins marched downfield and extended their lead to 26-10 as time expired in the half on a school-record 60-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn—one of four that the senior booted in the win. Yahoo Sports' Dr. Saturday provided a replay:

UCLA fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 following a 56-35 loss to Stanford in Week 7 but will likely return to the rankings following Thursday’s win. 

The Bruins will need help to reach the conference title game, and they’re running out of time. With five games remaining, UCLA sits in a three-way tie for second in the Pac-12 South with the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils at 2-2 in conference play. The Bruins hold the tiebreaker against Arizona but lost in Week 5 to Arizona State.

The No. 3 Utah Utes sit atop the division undefeated but will play UCLA in Week 12. The Bruins need to win out and have Utah and Arizona State each lose at least one other game to reach their fourth conference title game in six years.

Nonetheless, Rosen spoke with conviction following the Bruins’ loss to Stanford and believes the Bruins will face the Cardinal again for the conference crown.

“It’s frustrating,” Rosen told Joey Kaufman of the Orange County Register. “I really wanted to beat this team. I really wanted to make a statement. But we’ll face them again in the Pac-12 Championship Game.”

Cal also needs help in the Pac-12 North at 2-2 in the conference and two games behind Stanford, which it will play in Week 12. The Bears are capable of running the table until then, with games against USC, Oregon and Oregon State ahead, but they will need drastically improved play from their defense, which is allowing 26.7 points per game.

Postgame reaction

Things got chippy after the final whistle when the teams scrummed at midfield in the latest edition of this in-state conference rivalry:

ESPN broadcasters told Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter that no punches were thrown and that the skirmish never escalated to an all-out brawl.

As for the in-game contact, Bruins head coach Jim Mora was not optimistic about the alarming number of injuries that continue to dwindle the depth chart:

Given the sustained slew of injuries, Bleacher Report’s Bryan Fischer doesn’t like the Bruins’ chances of returning to the Pac-12 championship game.

On a positive note, Mora had high praise for Rosen, who has emerged as one of the game’s great young quarterbacks with seemingly limitless upside.

Meanwhile, Cal is also in trouble after losing its second straight. Third-year head coach Sonny Dykes is still seeking an elusive win against the Bears’ major rivals.

If they still hope to compete for the Pac-12 title, they’ll need a major boost on defense. As ESPN Stats & Info indicates, Thursday’s loss was Cal’s 24th in a row when scoring fewer than 30 points. Goff continues to be great, but he can’t do it alone.

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Temple vs. East Carolina: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

The Temple Owls secured their best start in history Thursday with a 24-14 road victory against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.   

The 10-point victory didn't come easy, as Temple trailed most of the game. They led 3-0 in the first quarter, but quarterback P.J. Walker and the offense were quiet most of the night. Trailing 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter, the junior came up big when it mattered most.   

Walker, facing a 2nd-and-24 from his own 15-yard line with 5:22 to go in the game, found wide receiver Robby Anderson streaking across the field. He hit him in stride around the Temple 33, and Anderson took it down to the ECU 34-yard line.

Even though it wasn't a score, it was probably the most important of the game. If they didn't complete that pass, the Owls were looking at 3rd-and-24 inside their own red zone and possibly punting down four.

Four plays after the big gain, Walker found Anderson again, this time for a 23-yard touchdown that proved to be the game-winner.

The Owls scored 10 points fewer than their season average of 34 points per game, but Walker finished 19-of-35 for 250 yards and the one touchdown. Running back Jahad Thomas rushed for 66 yards and two scores, his second coming with 2:18 left in the game following the Owls' second punt of the night.

ECU took a 14-10 lead with 18 seconds remaining in the first half, when junior quarterback Blake Kemp found Quay Walls in the end zone from seven yards out. The Pirates held that same lead until Anderson's score then fell apart in the final six minutes.

The victory should keep the Owls, who were ranked No. 22 coming into the game, in the Associated Press Top 25 poll next week. It has been 36 years since Temple was ranked, and in case you aren't sure exactly how long ago that is, ESPN CollegeFootball reminded everyone.

This was certainly a game to celebrate, and Temple did just that:

The Owls move to 4-0 in the and are the only in the conference's East Division. The Pirates could have moved into a first-place tie with a victory but instead are now 2-2 in the conference and in second place in the East.

Now, as Philadelphia-based AP reporter Dan Gelston described, the Owls have a pretty big game next week.

However, just because you in a big game, doesn't mean you are going to win it. Sports Illustrated's doesn't seem to have much faith in the underdog Owls.

If the Owls can get past the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Temple has winnable games at 1-5 SMU and 3-3 South Florida before the No. 18 undefeated . Then they would need to finish off 3-4 UConn at home the next week and then win the AAC on Dec. 5 to finish undefeated.

That is a ton of work still ahead of them, but if they can finish unscathed, the Owls will have made a great case to in a January .

Postgame Reaction

Temple head coach Matt Rhule wasn't exactly thrilled with the way his team played, but he was glad to leave Greenville with a win, per Joseph Santoliquito of CBS Philly.

“We overcame shooting ourselves in the foot, but I couldn’t be prouder of our team,” Rhule said. “We didn’t look like a very good football team at times tonight, but I couldn’t be prouder."

It didn't look good for a while, but during crunch time, the Owls showed they were the better team.

"For us to fight, hang in and come back, they showed a lot of heart and character," Rhule said. "We just have to get better at some things.”

It wasn't just the coach talking about the Owls after the game. 

Someone who probably didn't enjoy talking about the game was ECU's quarterback Kemp, who threw for 272 yards in the game, but was not happy to see this one slip away, per ECU's official athletics' site.

"We expected to win the game," Kemp said. "It's frustrating to see the game end like that."

It was certainly not pretty for the Pirates, who, in the final six minutes had two punts blocked, and gave up 14 points. 

Head coach Ruffin McNeil told ECU's official athletic's site he felt like the Priates gave the game away.

We stopped ourselves with the penalties. We can't have (nine) penalties, turnovers and the blocked punt. Temple did a lot of tonight, and we didn't. We didn't do the things we know we've got to do to win the game.

It no doubt felt like it was one that got away for some, but The New Bern Sun Journals' Jordan Honeycutt, think the Pirates can finish the season strong.

 If Temple finishes strong, it could mean big things for the Owls this season, but could it mean Rhule might move on to greener pastures?

For now the Owls can bask in the glory of their best start in season history, but they better not get too comfortable, because in three weeks the undefeated Memphis Tigers, who knocked off Ole Miss last weekend, come to town for what could be one of the biggest regular season games in Temple history.

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Can Leonte Carroo and a Surging Rutgers Team Spoil Ohio State's Playoff Run?

The race for the College Football Playoff is past the midway point, and No. 1 Ohio State (7-0) seems to be hitting its stride after a dominant 38-10 victory over Penn State last Saturday.

After the offense struggled through an early-season slump, J.T. Barrett has emerged as the starting quarterback and has the Buckeyes trending up.

Ohio State is on the brink of hitting the home stretch of its regular season, where games against Michigan State and Michigan loom large. But a prime-time date with Rutgers is set for this Saturday, and the surging Scarlet Knights have a chance to derail the Buckeyes' playoff run.

Just a few short weeks ago, that seemed so improbable.

Rutgers got off to a rough start this season, as head coach Kyle Flood found himself in hot water when allegations arose that he tried to negotiate a grade change with a university professor to alter the eligibility for one of his players. Those allegations led to a three-game suspension and a $50,000 fine for Flood.

Things were deteriorating on the field in a similar fashion as the Scarlet Knights started the season 2-2, with their wins coming against FCS opponent Norfolk State and basement-dwelling Kansas.

The struggles were compounded by a suspension to All-Big Ten wideout Leonte Carroo, who missed two games after an arrest on simple assault charges in mid-September.

But since Carroo returned to the field, Rutgers has looked like a different—and much more dangerous—team.

The shift started under the lights in Piscataway, New Jersey, when the Scarlet Knights hosted No. 4 Michigan State two weeks ago. Carroo was unstoppable as he hauled in seven receptions for 134 yards and three touchdowns, helping Rutgers knot up the game at 24 late in the fourth quarter.

The defense collapsed during Michigan State's second-last drive, allowing the Spartans to escape with a 31-24 win.

It would have been easy to let that deflating loss linger, and it looked to be happening last Saturday against Indiana, which built a 25-point lead with less than 18 minutes to go.

But Carroo sparked a rally with a 43-yard touchdown catch, his third of the afternoon, and the Scarlet Knight's scored the game's final 28 points to secure a stunning 55-52 win.

"We're relentless," quarterback Chris Laviano said, via ESPN.com." We'll never give up and we have a lot of fight in this team."

Will Rutgers put up a worthy fight against Ohio State, which enters Saturday's contest as a massive 21.5-point favorite, according to Odds Shark?

That's dependent upon the health of Carroo, who tweaked his ankle and has been limited in practice all week. The star pass-catcher is making progress every day, though, and Flood won't forecast his availability, saying he's a "game-time decision," according to Dan Duggan of NJ.com.

But the Buckeyes are preparing like they'll see the dangerous wideout, and cornerback Eli Apple is up for the challenge.

“As a defense, whatever you have to do to stop [Carroo], that’s what we’re going to have to do,” Apple said, according to Tim Shoemaker of Eleven Warriors. “It doesn’t really matter to me, I’ll do whatever the coaches tell me to do and I have great confidence in our abilities and I feel like we have a good game plan."

If the Buckeyes don't execute that game plan effectively, Rutgers has the ability to give Ohio State a big scare this Saturday.

 

David Regimbal is the Ohio State football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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Paul Perkins Injury: Updates on UCLA RB's Knee and Return

The UCLA Bruins still have Pac-12 title hopes in a daunting South Division, but that will be more difficult if running back Paul Perkins misses extensive time with the knee injury he suffered Thursday.

Continue for updates.

Perkins Ruled Out for Game Thursday, Oct. 22

Perkins was off to an impressive start against the California Golden Bears with 73 rushing yards on his first 11 carries, but Dane Brugler of CBS Sports noted the playmaker went to the ground and clutched his left knee in the first half. While Perkins walked off the field under his own power without help, Daily Cal Sports confirmed he was out for the remainder of the game.

The fact the running back walked off without any help seemed encouraging, but head coach Jim Mora said the injuries UCLA suffered during Thursday's game were "not good," per Dan Wolken of USA Today

A potential long-term injury to Perkins would be the latest blow for a UCLA team that has already lost star linebacker Myles Jack, defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes and cornerback Fabian Moreau for the season, among others.

Perkins has 754 rushing yards, 125 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on the season and turned heads against BYU with 219 rushing yards in a comeback victory.

Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi handled the rushing duties after the starter left the game. Jamabo is a freshman who didn’t have more than nine carries in a single game coming into Thursday’s contest, and Olorunfunmi—who is also a freshman—didn’t have more than eight carries in a game this year before Thursday.

Both are high-upside youngsters who are physical enough to pick up tough yardage (Olorunfunmi is 220 pounds, and Jamabo is 210 pounds), but the Bruins need their rushing leader back if they hope to fulfill their goals for the rest of the season. 

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Massive Brawl Breaks out During Junior College Football Game in Mississippi

Football is a violent, intense sport. It shouldn’t get this violent, though.

During a junior college contest between East Mississippi Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College on Thursday night, a wild brawl broke out and forced referees to end the game.

East Mississippi had a 48-0 lead when the contest was called.

Scott Walters, a writer for the Commercial Dispatch, broke it down:

[h/t SB Nation]

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Shirtless Warrior Drills Field Goal While Performing Backflip at UCLA Game

If you woke up this morning expecting to see this, you’re lying.

During a timeout in the first half of UCLA’s showdown with California on Thursday night at the Rose Bowl, a shirtless warrior with flowing hair booted a ball through the uprights.

This legendary fella, who is actually a Cirque du Soleil performer, threw in some sort of backflip on his follow-through for good measure.

Don’t question it. Just enjoy it.

[Twitter]

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Cal vs. UCLA: Live Score and Highlights

UCLA 17, Cal 3 - Early Second Quarter

Stay tuned for breaking news, commentary and analysis throughout the game, as the No. 22 Golden Bears visit Los Angeles aiming to knock off the Bruins on ESPN. 

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Daily Fantasy College Football Week 8: DraftKings Optimum Lineup, Matchup Guide

As we inexplicably speed past the halfway mark of the 2015 college football regular season, more and more standout players are forging their way into "stud" territory. 

At this point in the year, the expected production level will likely match the result. There isn't a lot of deviation at this point. When selecting a fantasy roster, the player's opponent is arguably the biggest determiner as to whether you should select him. 

As is the case with DraftKings, fantasy players are allowed two quarterbacks, two running backs, three receivers and two flex players. All nine players must equal no more than $50,000. 

 

Optimum Lineup for Week 8

QB: Maxwell Smith (SDSU, $4,900), Brett Rypien (Boise State, $6,500)

RB: Zack Langer (Tulsa, $5,900), Stanley "Boom" Williams (Kentucky, $5,500) 

WR: Jordan Payton (UCLA, $5,800), Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss, $6,100), Demarcus Ayers (Houston, $6,200)

Flex: De'Runnya Wilson (Mississippi State, $5,500), Vic Enwere (Cal, $3,600) 

Budget: $50,000

Used: $50,000

 

QB Analysis

A Kentucky transfer, Smith has been a breath of fresh air for the San Diego State offense. 

The Aztecs are on a three-game winning streak, in large part due to Smith's effectiveness as a passer. He doesn't turn the ball over, as evidenced by throwing only two interceptions thus far.

In the last two weeks, he has completed more than 70 percent of his passes. With Utah State coming to town, one can expect the Aggies to put up plenty of points. As such, this could provide Smith with more opportunities in the passing game. 

Rypien has been effective since taking over the starting job for the Broncos. On the year, he's thrown seven touchdowns to only four interceptions. He's also completing passes at a 63.6 percent clip. 

This weekend, Boise State will host a struggling 1-6 Wyoming team. Rypien has already demonstrated the ability to feast on cupcakes this season (Virginia, Hawaii). There's no reason why he can't do the same to the Cowboys. 

 

RB Analysis

Tulsa running back Zack Langer has rushed for at least one touchdown in every game this year. The bruising tailback has accrued 596 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. 

He won't necessarily be a home run threat to break a long run, but he appears to be good for at least one score. Langer rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown earlier this year against Oklahoma. 

Kentucky back Stanley "Boom" Williams is running to the tune of a 7.2 yards-per-carry average. In some respects, he's the antithesis of Langer. 

While he's not going to be a grind-it-out type of running back, his slashing style works perfectly with the upstart Wildcats offense. Williams is at his best when he can utilize his speed in space. On the year, he's rushed for 456 yards on only 63 carries.

He's also coming off one of his better games of the season, running for 113 yards and two touchdowns versus Auburn. 

 

WR Analysis

Treadwell's money total is curiously low, considering he leads the SEC in catches (49) and receiving yards (654). He's unquestionably Chad Kelly's favorite target and more often than not impacts the game in a big way. 

Against a sometimes-shaky Texas A&M team this weekend, Treadwell should accumulate big numbers. Don't be surprised if this contest ends up being a shootout down in Oxford, Mississippi. 

Like Treadwell, Payton is UCLA's top receiver in both yards and receptions. Josh Rosen had his second-best game statistically last week versus Stanford and appears to be hitting his stride as a passer. 

With Cal allowing a considerable amount of passing yards per contest, Payton could be in line for a big day. 

Ayers and the explosive Houston offense are salivating at the thought of playing an 0-7 UCF team this weekend. The diminutive receiver (5'10", 178 lbs) out of Texas is lightning-quick, has legitimate deep-threat speed and is without a doubt the most dynamic skill player on Houston's roster.

Ayers has double the amount of catches (46) as the next-best statistical output on the roster. He should be good for at least one touchdown in this expected blowout. 

 

Flex Analysis

Wilson has caught four touchdowns in the past four games, including two last week in the win over Louisiana Tech. 

With his combination of size and speed, he's a terror on any jump-ball scenario down the sidelines. Signal-caller Dak Prescott makes him an obvious focal point of the offense. Wilson leads the team in receiving yards (433) and touchdown catches (five). 

Wilson's smallish money total also makes him an attractive play this week. 

Enwere is a big wild card this week. Cal is playing UCLA, which has been absolutely horrid against the run in 2015. The Bruins gave up 310 yards on the ground last week in the loss to Stanford.

Since the injury to Eddie Vanderdoes, Jim Mora's team hasn't displayed the ability to play even adequately against any sort of effective rushing attack. 

The big back (6'1", 230 lbs) out of Texas has been sharing time with Daniel Lasco. He has been injured for the majority of the year but will try to give it a go against the Bruins. If Lasco gets nicked in the game (which is a distinct possibility), Enwere would assume the role as the lead back. Regardless, he might be the goal-line option as a means to keep Lasco healthy. 

Costing only $3,600, he could be a huge steal in Week 8 play. 

Enter the DraftKings $1.25 M Play-Action contest this weekend. Use promo code BLEACHER REPORT when you sign up. 

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Predicting Where 'College GameDay' Should Go for Rest of 2015 Season

ESPN's College GameDay remains the gold standard of college football pregame shows, and where it goes each week is almost as big a deal as the game it's there to preview.

The decision to send the show to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to highlight the FCS rivalry between the Richmond Spiders and the James Madison Dukes continues the trend the last few years of making an occasional foray away off the beaten path to highlight lesser-known schools. In 2014 the show went to North Dakota State and Harvard, and this season's trips to Salt Lake City and Tucson have added to the normal rotation of ACC and SEC schools.

Where will GameDay end up the rest of this season? Some weeks have several great potential locales, and it's likely going to come down to how the teams are playing right before then to determine where it goes.

We've weighed in with our predictions for the rest of the year, along with a list of the other possible candidates each week.

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