NCAA Football News

Baylor WR Corey Coleman Deserves More Heisman Attention

Through the first half of the college football season, the recent quarterback dominance of the Heisman Trophy looked to be in huge jeopardy thanks to the standout play of several star running backs.

But the early Week 7 action showed it's beyond time for a certain wide receiver—Baylor's Corey Coleman—to be considered as a serious contender to pull the upset over the signal-callers.

Coleman recorded 10 receptions for 199 and three touchdowns Saturday in No. 2 Baylor's home rout of Big 12 foe West Virginia, which handed the Bears their only loss of 2014.

The junior wide receiver's three scores gave him an incredible 16 touchdowns for 2015, breaking the school's single-season record set by Kendall Wright in 2011. 

Wright set that record in 13 games. It took Coleman less than six full games to break it this season.

Coleman's record-breaking performance Saturday against the Mountaineers was his best performance in a season filled with outstanding ones.

He's had at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in each of Baylor's six wins this season, and he's had multiple touchdowns in all but the season opener against FCS foe Lamar.

Entering Saturday, Coleman had more receiving touchdowns than 103 FBS teams had passing touchdowns in 2015. With three scores against West Virginia, that number could rise after this weekend.

If he keeps up his current pace—almost three scores per game—Coleman would easily pass the FBS all-time record of 27 receiving touchdowns in a single season, which was set by Louisiana Tech's Troy Edwards in 1998.

Baylor is also guaranteed at least a 13th game this year thanks to its six-win record, and a spot in the national title game would give Coleman an extra chance to pad his touchdown totals even more.

And when he's not scoring touchdowns, Coleman is still making highlight-reel plays like this one.

It's going to take a special effort and maybe even some additional help for anyone to catch LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who is the runaway favorite to win the Heisman, according to Odds Shark.

But Coleman opened Week 7 with the ninth-best odds to take home the stiff-arming trophy. The way he's playing right now, he looks destined to be a finalist.

In fact, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen thinks Coleman is even better than Fournette.

While Coleman might not pass the dominant Fournette in the race for the Heisman, he at least needs to be higher up in the conversation.

Last season, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper was one of the final three in New York City for the Heisman ceremony.

And while Cooper played a much bigger role in Alabama's offense compared to Coleman's role in the point-a-minute Baylor attack—Cooper averaged close to nine receptions last season—Coleman already has as many touchdowns in six games as Cooper had in 14 a year ago.

Coleman is also averaging seven more yards per catch than Cooper had in 2014.

So while 2015 is looking more and more like the "Year of the Running Back," the top playmaker in the nation's top offense is already breaking school records less than halfway through the season—and he's on pace to have the best scoring season for a wide receiver in major college football history.

Forget Baylor's easier start to the 2015 season or the fact Coleman plays in Art Briles' big-play scheme.

Those record-breaking numbers alone are more than enough to push Coleman higher up in the Heisman conversation.

 

Unless otherwise noted, statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com.

Justin Ferguson is a college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.

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Ole Miss vs. Memphis: Game Grades, Analysis for the Rebels

Despite a strong start, No. 13 Ole Miss couldn't get anything going in Memphis, falling to the Tigers, 37-24.

Head coach Hugh Freeze will catch a ton of heat for this one, and rightfully so. His team took its foot off the gas pedal after going up 14-0, allowing Memphis to find its groove en route to a 31-0 run that blew the game wide open.

Chad Kelly's raw numbers (372 yards, two touchdowns) look fine, but this offense did little to help the banged-up defense in this one. The Rebels were one-dimensional and refused to get after a Memphis defense that played far above its head at home.

It doesn't get any easier from here. The Rebels still have to play top-10 Texas A&M and LSU before the end of the season.

 

Grade Analysis for the Rebels

Passing Offense

Kelly wasn't bad. His second interception came in garbage time, and he figured out how to move the ball in the second half. 

The problem was that this offense stopped going to Laquon Treadwell once it got the big lead. The coaches and Kelly corrected this in the second half, but only after the Tigers had pulled ahead. Treadwell's day could have been much bigger than the 14 catches and 144 yards he put up.

 

Rushing Offense

The Rebels don't have a running back they trust between the tackles and it's killing them. Kelly is taking far too many big hits trying to generate a ground game, and this team has no plan when it gets into the red zone.

It would also help if this team could get some push up front. Without Laremy Tunsil cleaning up the left side, this offensive line has become a complete liability. The Rebels can't get him back soon enough.

 

Passing Defense

Banged up or not, the Land Sharks haven't been the same this season. Paxton Lynch picked apart this secondary all day, and his receivers were routinely beating coverage with ease. Aside from a couple of sacks, this group did little to make him uncomfortable.

 

Rushing Defense

The way Lynch was playing, the Tigers didn't need much on the ground. When they did, Jarvis Cooper continuously barreled through arm tackles to pick up chunks of yardage. Without Robert Nkemdiche, the front seven had little impact on this one.

 

Special Teams

Cody Wunderlich made his short field goal, and Will Gleeson had an average day punting the ball. Neither team got anything going in the return game.

 

Coaching

Freeze can beat Alabama, but that's about all he's shown this season. He went away from what was working early, got Nkemdiche hurt over a silly short-yardage situation and gifted the Tigers a touchdown with a dumb fourth-down call deep in his own territory. Overall, it was difficult to see what the gameplan was.

This is twice since the Alabama game that Freeze's team has been seemingly blindsided by a good team on the road. It happened in the blowout at Florida, and he never felt the need to put Memphis away early in this one. As a result, the Rebels are 5-2 with four losable games left on the schedule.

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Ole Miss vs. Memphis: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Any hope Ole Miss had of reaching the College Football Playoff this year likely ended Saturday, as the Rebels were upset by Memphis 37-24. 

The turning point in the game seemed to come when Mississippi star defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche left the field after taking a huge hit while playing offense, via ESPN's official Twitter:

Nkemdiche suffered a concussion, per ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough, and did not return. As for why Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze was using Nkemdiche in a spot like that, Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee provided an answer:

Ole Miss held a 14-7 lead at that point and was moving the ball against the Tigers defense, but once Nkemdiche was out, the tide turned. 

Not surprisingly, as noted by Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal, Freeze's use of Nkemdiche is not likely to be received well:

While it's true this isn't the first time Freeze has used Nkemdiche as a runner—the junior had two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown coming into Saturday—leaving your best defensive weapon in a spot to take additional hits is not smart. 

It's especially problematic for Nkemdiche because he has the potential to be one of the first picks in April's draft, so any injury he sustains, let alone a concussion, could hurt his draft stock. 

Another problem for Mississippi, per ESPN's Brett McMurphy, has been an inability to win away from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium:

Going back further than that, according to ESPN's Kate Tamba Howard, this is Ole Miss' first loss against an unranked nonconference opponent since 1976. 

Memphis, which came into the game unranked with a 5-0 record, responded with 24 unanswered points that included scores on four straight possessions from the second quarter through the third quarter with Nkemdiche on the sidelines.

About the only "negative" for Memphis, per ESPN's Scott Van Pelt, is the increasing likelihood that head coach Justin Fuente leaves the program after this season:

Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch kicked the offense into gear. With virtually no running game to help, the standout junior finished the game 39-of-53 with 384 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Of course, Lynch has slowly moved into the national quarterback conversation. He's started to draw some NFL draft buzz, which Dane Brugler of CBS Sports wrote is only going to increase after Saturday:

Memphis certainly belongs in the conversation for a spot in the Top 25 polls next week. The American Athletic Conference suddenly looks very formidable, with three undefeated teams (Temple, Houston) and time to boost their respective resumes. 

The Rebels were able to make things interesting late, cutting their deficit to seven points late in the third quarter, but ultimately, their inability to slow down Lynch was too much to overcome. The Tigers were able to get two fourth-quarter field goals to seal the win.

One bright spot for Mississippi was Laquon Treadwell, who continues to dazzle in 2015. The star wide receiver had a career-high 14 catches for 144 yards and one touchdown. 

If those numbers aren't enough, Treadwell also showed off his skills as a passer with this 68-yard score to Quincy Adeboyejo, via Ole Miss Football:

Sallee pointed out a scenario in which this Ole Miss loss turns into a nightmare for the entire SEC:

The health of Nkemdiche will be the Rebels' big story moving forward. While there is no such thing as a good loss, in this case, the Rebels did pick the right time to drop a game.

Mississippi doesn't lose any ground in the SEC West, still owns a tiebreaker over Alabama thanks to its head-to-head win and has a huge showdown with Texas A&M at home next Saturday. 

 

Postgame Reaction

Fuente was glowing about his team and the Memphis fans after this monumental win for the program, via Memphis Tiger Network:

Tigers wide receiver Moze Frazier, who had eight catches for 83 yards and one touchdown, added that this is something everyone on the team has been building toward, via Memphis Tiger Network:

The early deficit could have sunk Memphis, which was looking to establish itself as a legitimate Top 25 team, but Lynch admitted the team never lost confidence, via ESPN.com.

"We got down early and there were a couple of long faces on the sideline, but we knew we had to keep plugging away," Lynch said. "We knew early in the game we were moving the ball on them."

While all the focus in an upset like this tends to focus on the losing team, Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly did give Memphis kudos for its play, per ESPN.com

"You've got to give all the credit to Memphis," Kelly said. "They played hard. They played to the whistle and knew what they were doing."

The AP and coaches poll voters will certainly have to give the Tigers their due now while also figuring out how much to punish Ole Miss for two losses in three games. 

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Baylor WR Corey Coleman Sets School Single-Season TD Record in Just 6 Games

The Baylor Bears played just their sixth game of the season on Saturday, but junior receiver Corey Coleman has already set the school's single-season touchdown record.

In other words, he's a monster.

Coleman tied the single-season record (14) in the first quarter against West Virginia and then broke it with an 11-yard touchdown catch (above) in the second quarter.

He wasn't finished, however. Coleman continued his big day by making a defender miss on his way to touchdown No. 16:

The 5'11" wideout has at least one touchdown in every game this season and is on a streak of five straight games with multiple touchdown catches.

If he continues at this pace, Coleman's record will be tough for any Bear to break in the future.

[Twitter]

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

The Texas A&M Aggies and Alabama Crimson Tide are ready to face each other at 3:30 ET on CBS. Follow along here for live updates, highlights and analysis throughout the game. 

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Michigan State vs. Michigan: Live Score and Highlights

The No. 7 Michigan State Spartans will enter the Big House looking to upset the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines in a Big Ten battle on Saturday.

Despite holding a 6-0 record, Michigan State is a 7.5-point underdog, per Odds Shark. The Spartans managed a 31-24 victory at Rutgers last weekend.

Michigan (5-1) has registered three consecutive shutouts, including a 38-0 dismantling of then-undefeated Northwestern. The defense enters the showdown allowing the fewest points and second-fewest yards per game in the nation.

ESPN will broadcast the tilt, which is set for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Bleacher Report will provide scoring updates, highlights and analysis.

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments.

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Florida State RB Dalvin Cook Makes Louisville Defense Look Bad on 54-Yard TD Run

The Louisville Cardinals defense learned Saturday that Florida State running back Dalvin Cook doesn't go down easily.

On the opening drive of the second half, Cook took a handoff on 1st-and-10 from the Seminoles 46-yard line. The sophomore running back managed to get the edge, and then he just embarrassed the Cardinals defense.

Cook was met by five Louisville defenders within a five-yard span after having already picked up 10 yards. That four-man advantage may seem like the defense would have no problem tackling the ball-carrier, but the 5'11", 202-pound running back powered through the tackle attempts.

Thirty yards later, Cook was in the end zone celebrating a 54-yard touchdown.

The touchdown and the ensuing extra point gave Florida State a 13-7 lead less than two minutes into the third quarter.

[Twitter]

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Bucknell Safety Shows off Hops, Athleticism on Wild 1-Handed INT vs. Army

After seeing this play, the Bucknell coaching staff may want to try to get safety Connor Golden on the field on offense—because the sophomore defensive back has some crazy athleticism and can make spectacular catches.

Midway through the second quarter of Saturday's game against Army, Golden made a great play to come up with an interception. The 6-foot safety reached way up and brought the ball within his grasp with one hand.

The athleticism was incredibly impressive, but also give credit to Golden for concentrating and finishing the play.

[Vine]

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308-Pound Texas Tech OL Le'Raven Clark Scores on Tricky 2-Point Conversion

It's not a big man touchdown, but it's close enough.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders broke out a trick play in the second quarter to take a two-touchdown lead over the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. Not only was the play a little unusual, but it was Texas Tech offensive lineman Le'Raven Clark who took the snap.

Red Raiders long snapper David Brenner snapped the ball across the field to Clark, who had a wall of blockers in front of him. With the combination of the blockers and the 308-pound lineman, it was nearly impossible for the Jayhawks to make a stop.

Texas Tech used the two-point conversion to extend its lead to 14-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.

[Tech Gameday]

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Robert Nkemdiche Injury: Updates on Ole Miss Star's Concussion and Return

Ole Miss star defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche suffered a concussion during Saturday's game against Memphis and has been ruled out, per ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough.

Continue for updates.

Nkemdiche Injured While Playing Offense Saturday, Oct. 17

B/R's Barrett Sallee noted why Ole Miss felt the need to use its star defensive player on offense:

Plenty of hype has followed Nkemdiche since he arrived in Oxford as a 247Sports 5-star recruit. Although his stats to date aren't stupendous, the junior has made a tremendous impact on the Rebels defense.

On that note, Jon Solomon of CBS Sports notes the Rebels coaching staff isn't doing much to help the draft stock of Nkemdiche by using him in a role that's not his specialty. 

Nkemdiche is having the best season of his college career, as his 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks coming into Saturday nearly equaled his previous bests in those categories (eight tackles for loss, two sacks). 

The Rebels have high hopes in 2015 even after a blowout loss against Florida, and Nkemdiche's presence on the defensive line is essential to reaching those heights. 

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Oklahoma vs. Kansas State: Live Score and Highlights

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: ABC/WatchESPN

Both the Kansas State Wildcats and the Oklahoma Sooners are looking to regain footing in the Big 12 after disappointing losses a week ago. 

The Wildcats let an upset of TCU slip through their fingers, while the Sooners fell victim in the Red River Rivalry game. 

Stay locked in for continued updates on this highly anticipated Big 12 matchup. 

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Steve Spurrier's 'College GameDay' Appearance Further Proof He's Perfect for TV

For Steve Spurrier, appearing on ESPN’s College GameDay Saturday morning was the natural way to end a momentous week.

And it would make perfect sense if, sometime soon, it was the way that most of us begin our college football Saturdays.

Five days after resigning as South Carolina’s head coach, Spurrier joined ESPN’s very popular pre-game show for an extended visit and served as the “celebrity” picker in Ann Arbor, Michigan before Michigan-Michigan State.

Spurrier was as comfortable on the set as most of us are in an old pair of jeans or a favorite pair of running shoes. It would be no surprise if he played a prominent role on GameDay or elsewhere in the college football TV universe in the very near future.

“I think I’ve planned for this day for the last several years,” Spurrier told host Rece Davis. “(South Carolina) wasn’t doing very well, 2-4, and I thought it was my fault a bit. When it starts going bad, and you’ve done it for a while, it’s the best thing to move out and prepare for life after coaching.”

Spurrier said he felt it was the right move to retire immediately, rather than announce and wait until season’s end, because interim coach Shawn Elliott “adds fire and passion to the team and could do a better job than I could.”

He fit in seamlessly with Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard and looked more like a regular than someone dropping in for a guest visit. Spurrier even stuck around and made picks on the day’s games. When he picked host Michigan over the visiting Spartans, he said, “I want to walk out of here today, so I’m picking the Michigan Wolverines.”

While ESPN has shown no inclination toward change, there could be an opportunity for college football’s most quotable coach very soon. While Corso and his headgear picks remain immensely popular and he has done an excellent job of recovering from a stroke suffered in 2009, he is 80 years old.

If Corso decides it’s time to step away on his own terms, Spurrier should be ESPN and College GameDay producer Lee Fitting’s first call to replace him. Imagine the jabs he could fire off with the knowledge he’ll never have to face another coach in a recruiting battle. It’d be great.

Or he could join the SEC Network’s “SEC Nation” show, which mirrors GameDay’s format by traveling to a different SEC campus each week.

If TV is what Spurrier wants for his retirement, he’ll certainly have his choice of offers. Saturday’s appearance only reinforced that notion.

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Ole Miss Punter Goes Airborne After Being Hit by Memphis Player

Punters are people too!

Someone should tell that to the Memphis Tigers football team, because this hit is straight up rude. Ole Miss punter Will Gleeson will be feeling this one tomorrow.

[Twitter]

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fact: Since 1959, Michigan head coaches are a combined 0-6 in their first game against Michigan State

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

Source: ESPN Stats & Info

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LSU Fans Grill Whole Alligators Ahead of Game Against Florida Gators

No. 6 LSU is taking on No. 8 Florida in a highly anticipated matchup between two top-10 teams in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

As expected, LSU fans are out in full force, tailgating before the showdown at 7 p.m. ET. A group of Tigers fans decided to take things to next level and eat their opponents. 

Literally. Well, somewhat.  

These fans are cooking up whole alligators. 

Well done. 

[Twitter]

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Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell Throws Touchdown Pass vs. Memphis

What can't Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell do? Seriously.

Last week he was impersonating Odell Beckham Jr., and this week he's impersonating your favorite QB.

This kid is going to be a problem if he keeps doing things like this.

[Vine]

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DIII Wide Receiver Makes Acrobatic 'Ninja Catch' at Practice

Athletes are amazing, especially at a young age.

California Lutheran University wide receiver Ricky Johnson garnered 1,061 all-purpose yards last year, which lead the team. But as impressive as he is during games, he can also pull off some sweet moves in his spare time, like this "ninja catch" he shows off in this Instagram video.

We see you, Mr. Johnson. 

[Instagram]

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