Feed aggregator

Ole Miss vs. Auburn: Game Grades, Analysis for Rebels and Tigers

It wasn't pretty, but the No. 19 Ole Miss Rebels escaped Jordan-Hare Stadium with a 27-19 victory over the Auburn Tigers on Saturday.

Auburn had a chance to launch a Hail Mary near midfield as time expired, but Ole Miss put enough pressure on strong-armed Jeremy Johnson and affected a throw that fell 25 yards short of the end zone.

Pass Offense: Chad Kelly shredded Auburn for 381 yards and two scores, throwing one bad interception and another pick that wasn't his fault. Damore'ea Stringfellow carried the receivers during the first half, but top NFL prospect Laquon Treadwell finished with seven receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Run Offense: The Rebels didn't have many explosive plays, but Jaylen Walton led the Rebels with 78 yards. Kelly picked up three first downs on the ground, while Akeem Judd tallied 54 yards, including a gorgeous 25-yard touchdown run.

Pass Defense: Although Auburn only completed 13 passes in 32 attempts, Ole Miss often surrendered chunk yardage. A breakdown in coverage led to Ricardo Louis' 47-yard score, and four receptions gained 40 yards or more. Tony Conner is dearly missed in the secondary.

Run Defense: Of all the offensive and defensive units, the run-stoppers were the Rebels' best group. Ole Miss limited the Tigers to an average gain fractionally above three yards. Additionally, Auburn had just eight yards on six red-zone carries.

Special Teams: Gary Wunderlich handled his responsibilities well, connecting on a pair of field goals and a trio of extra points. Will Gleeson's first punt was poorly executed, though it nearly resulted in a turnover. He recorded 40.8 yards per punt.

Coaching: According to Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Dan Werner called "80 percent" of the plays. Werner did an admirable job overall. Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack had a decent day, but the coverage errors must be addressed.

Pass Offense: Starting quarterback Sean White was a game-time decision, and the knee injury evidently limited him. Nevertheless, the freshman capitalized on some gifted opportunities, ended with 258 yards on 12-of-28 passing and threw his first career touchdown pass in college.

Run Offense: Whether it was due to 37 carries last week or an odd game plan, Peyton Barber wasn't a big part of the offense and managed just 17 yards. While Jovon Robinson returned from injury and posted a career-high 91 yards, the inability to run in the red zone certainly hurt Auburn.

Pass Defense: Kris Frost made an excellent diving interception, Cassanova McKinzy registered a sack and Carl Lawson disrupted Kelly on multiple occasions. However, Lawson and the Tigers failed to finish a few sacks that could've ended drives.

Run Defense: Excluding Judd's 25-yard scamper for a touchdown, Auburn put together a respectable day against the run. The Tigers ceded an even four yards per carry and nine first downs, both of which were the third-lowest marks of the season.

Special Teams: Some people might think it's bad luck to say a kicker is automatic, so let's compromise: Daniel Carlson, one of the best kickers in Auburn history, was automatic on Saturday. He drilled four field goals, also burying his fourth attempt of 50 or longer. Kevin Phillips added 45.6 yards per punt.

Coaching: Red-zone and money-down woes are a reflection on the coaching staff, and the Tigers were horrendous at both against Ole Miss. Three red-zone trips resulted in field goals, while Auburn was a combined 2-of-17 on third and fourth down. Gus Malzahn needs playmakers, and Will Muschamp needs a secondary.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Why Ole Miss Rebels Are Difficult Contender to Trust

Another week, another step closer to Ole Miss winning out, playing for the SEC title and potentially blocking the SEC from a College Football Playoff berth.

The Rebels (7-2, 4-1 SEC) survived a scare from Auburn in a 27-19 road win on the Plains.

Any road win in the SEC is a good win, but make no mistake, there were enough red flags for the Rebels in this game to fill the city of Oxford.

As Dan Wolken of USA Today noted on Twitter, head coach Hugh Freeze's play-calling was quite suspect.

This was an Auburn team that boasted a quarterback in Sean White who was a game-time decision after being knocked around last week in the four-overtime loss to Arkansas, was clearly slowed by a knee injury, suffered from perhaps the worst play-calling of head coach Gus Malzahn's career and has a defense like a sieve.

Despite that, Auburn had a chance at the end to potentially tie it up if Jeremy Johnson's Hail Mary connected and the Tigers converted the two-point conversion.

Why?

Standard Ole Miss football, which makes the Rebels difficult to trust.

Freeze's crew managed just 156 rushing yards against an Auburn defense that came into the game allowing 199.86 yards per game on the ground. It couldn't convert on several key 3rd- and 4th-and short yardage situations and struggled with an Auburn defensive line that, while better thanks to the return of "Buck" Carl Lawson, hardly strikes fear in the hearts of opposing offensive linemen.

As Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com noted on Twitter, that's the reason Freeze has been forced to get creative in short-yardage situations and put players like defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and offensive lineman Jeremy Liggins in at running back throughout the year.

That futility is par for the course for Ole Miss. 

It came in averaging 3.43 yards per rush against conference opponents, and that's after it ripped off 4.51 per carry last week in the win over Texas A&M.

Is Ole Miss really going to win out against Arkansas, LSU and Mississippi State?

Not if it can't run the football, and certainly not if it hands the ball over as consistently as it has thus far. 

Quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns but also tossed two interceptions, bringing his total to 12 on the year—the most in the conference.

Ole Miss is one-dimensional, and it makes consistent mistakes within that one dimension.

Kelly has thrown nine touchdowns and eight picks versus conference opponents, hasn't had a game without a pick since the win over Alabama in Week 3 and, while explosive, is far too mistake-prone.

Despite those issues, Ole Miss seems to find a way. That's commendable and what quality teams should do. 

But Freeze's crew is living dangerously this year, and those Rebels have to get better in those two areas if they are going to play in their first-ever SEC Championship Game.

 

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

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Bigger Mistake for Nebraska: Firing Bo Pelini, or Hiring Mike Riley?

When Nebraska fired Bo Pelini following the 2014 season, NU athletic director Shawn Eichorst told reporters that “we weren’t good enough in the games that mattered.”

As Mike Riley’s first season as head coach hits the home stretch, the Cornhuskers simply aren’t good enough, period. An ugly 55-45 loss to Purdue dropped Nebraska to 3-6, and NU must win its last three games to avoid missing a bowl for the third time since 1969. Given that Top 10 foes Iowa and Michigan State are on the docket, spending Christmas at home is a real possibility.

While Nebraska wanted to take its program to a nationally elite level, the Huskers may have dealt themselves a serious blow by hiring Riley away from Oregon State. Eleven years ago, Nebraska fell into a funk after firing Frank Solich, Tom Osborne’s successor, despite a 58-19 record over six seasons, including a trio of seasons with at least 10 wins.

Since then, Nebraska has only three 10-win seasons and no national titles or BCS-level bowl berths, and firing Pelini seems to have only deepened that funk. Pelini was 66-27 at Nebraska and won at least nine games in each of his seven seasons (a streak that is tied with Oregon for second-longest in the FBS), with a pair of 10-win seasons.

Following his firing, emotional Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. tweeted that Pelini’s firing was "the biggest mistake" Nebraska ever made, which looks prophetic:

Pelini’s teams struggled against good teams (Nebraska was 8-17 against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 under his watch) and lost 10 games by 20 points or more, including an embarrassing 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the 2012 Big Ten title game.

Pelini’s volatile temper and sideline outbursts were negatives, and Deadspin leaked a recording(Warning: NSFW) of him ripping Nebraska fans before his weekly radio show when the Huskers struggled in September 2013. But there’s no mistaking his consistency—something that has been sorely missing under Riley’s watch.

When Nebraska hired Riley away from Oregon State, the move was hailed as a culture change. Riley is one of the nicest coaches in college football and is widely respected by news media. But he is 62 years old, hardly young by modern standards, and brought a 93-80 record from 14 combined years at Oregon State (1997-98 and 2003-14).

However, he had only one nine-win season and a pair of losing seasons in his final six seasons at Oregon State. Under Riley’s watch, the Huskers have simply been unable to close. BYU’s game-winning Hail Mary in the season opener set the tone for a year of frustrating defeats.

Before Saturday, each of Nebraska’s five losses have come by five points or less, including a 36-33 overtime loss at Miami and a 23-21 loss at Wisconsin that saw the Badgers kick the game-winning field goal with four seconds left.

Losing to Purdue was just the latest indignity.

The Boilermakers entered 1-6, with their only win over FCS foe Indiana State, and had largely been non-competitive. Injuries to key offensive cogs like quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. and wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El hurt, but there’s no excusing building a 42-16 hole against the Boilers or giving up 55 points to a team that had scored 41 points combined in losses to Michigan State, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Firing Riley after one season would be harsh, and Nebraska has historically shown significant patience with its coaches. (Even Bill Callahan got four seasons.) But it’s clear that the Huskers have taken a significant step back in their first post-Pelini season. If this was the best they could do, firing him was a big mistake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Texas Tech's Jakeem Grant Weaves Through Oklahoma State Defense for 90-Yard Gain

After his team got pinned at its own 3-yard line by an Oklahoma State punt, Texas Tech receiver Jakeem Grant turned a short catch into a big gain with some incredible vision.

On a 1st-and-10 early in the first quarter, Grant caught a pass at the Red Raiders' 5-yard line and went to work. He made a defender miss almost immediately with a nice move before reversing course and running up the opposite sideline. With the help of some nice blocks by teammates, the 5'7" receiver managed to weave through the Cowboys defense and go back across the field, where he had a ton of open space.

Grant was not able to finish the play with a touchdown, as he was eventually brought down at the Oklahoma State 7-yard line. It's hard to blame him if he just ran out of gas. Not only did he run 90 yards down the field, but he also ran quite a bit from sideline to sideline.

Texas Tech scored a touchdown a couple of plays later to take a 14-0 lead just more than five minutes into the game.

About six minutes of game time later, Grant gave the Red Raiders a 24-7 lead with a 100-yard kickoff return:

Two plays, 190 yards. Not a bad quarter.

[Yahoo Dr. Saturday]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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

No. 19 Ole Miss scored an important SEC road victory over Auburn, 27-19, at Jordan–Hare Stadium on Saturday.

The Rebels (7-2, 4-1) recovered from a sluggish start to put up 558 total yards of offense. Star receiver Laquon Treadwell led the charge with seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Ricardo Louis had four grabs for 137 yards and a score in a losing effort for the Tigers (4-4, 1-4).

Here's a look at the quarter-by-quarter scoring recap:

Although Auburn was off to a rocky start in conference play, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze fully expected to receive the Tigers' best shot, per Wesley Sinor of AL.com noted.

"Knowing Gus [Malzahn] like I know him, they'll be ready to go," Freeze said. "They'll have a great plan, and they'll be hungry for success at home. There's nothing like returning home in front of your people to help give you that boost of energy that you may need.

"I expect we're going to see the best Auburn team of the entire year."

It didn't take long for the Tigers to prove Freeze correct. Auburn came out flying on the defensive side of the ball, which made life difficult on Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly and Co.

The Tigers scored the game's first touchdown early in the second quarter after the sides traded field goals in the opening 15 minutes.

Sean White, who was battling an injury, made two key throws on the scoring drive. First, he connected with Roc Thomas for 23 yards, and then, on third down near midfield, he found Louis wide open for a 47-yard touchdown.

It marked the first touchdown of the freshman's collegiate career. John Zenor of the Associated Press noted the importance of getting that monkey off his back:

Ole Miss managed to level the score about four minutes before halftime after Malzahn decided to go for it on fourth down from his own 49-yard line. White's pass bounced off the hands of Marcus Davis, which gave the Rebels the ball in terrific position.

Six plays later, they were in the end zone. Kelly kept the drive alive with a fourth-down completion to Evan Engram. Two plays later, Akeem Judd scampered 25 yards to pay dirt.

ESPN passed along video of the touchdown:

Ole Miss' Gary Wunderlich and Auburn's Daniel Carlson again traded field goals in the third quarter.

But then the Rebels jumped ahead with a touchdown. Kelly found Derrick Jones between two Tigers with a nice deep ball, and the wideout did the rest, juking both defensive backs to complete the score from 45 yards out.

Jones' first touchdown of the year led Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee to comment on the state of the Mississippi offense:

Auburn clawed back within one point three minutes into the final quarter after two more field goals by Carlson. His fourth and last of the day came following Kelly's second interception. The quarterback has done a lot right this season, but his propensity to turn the ball over remains an issue.

Kelly responded in a major way, though. He led the Rebels on a six-play, 75-yard drive that took less than two minutes and put them up 27-19.

Treadwell notched a 33-yard reception early in the drive and then made an over-the-shoulder grab for a touchdown from 21 yards out.

ESPN showcased the scoring play:

Auburn couldn't rally again as it was forced to punt and then turned the ball over on downs with three minutes remaining.

Ole Miss Football provided a note about a first-time feat for the program:

Chris Fowler of ESPN explained the importance of the Rebels' win and lamented some missed opportunities by the Tigers:

Freeze expected to take Auburn's best shot, and for the most, part he got it. His team responded with a strong effort in the second half. The victory keeps Ole Miss in the mix for the SEC West crown with a Nov. 21 showdown against LSU looming. The Rebels can't overlook Arkansas next week, however.

The Tigers put up a serious fight for all four quarters. They just couldn't come up with the necessary plays in the final 10 minutes in order to pull off the upset. Next up is a clash with Texas A&M, and they still have a chance to shake up the SEC when they face Alabama on the last Saturday of the regular season.

 

Postgame Reaction

Freeze discussed the critical victory with ESPN:

Malzahn is still confident in his roster despite a .500 record. He said it comes down to getting over the hump, per Matthew Stevens of the Montgomery Advertiser:

Ultimately, it wasn't Ole Miss' best performance of the campaign, and it will need to play better down the stretch to win the division. That said, the Rebels earned a road victory to keep their season alive for at least another week.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Syracuse vs. Florida State: Game Grades, Analysis for the Seminoles

Despite a slow start in the first half, the Florida State Seminoles were able to, without Everett Golson and Dalvin Cook nonetheless, rout the Syracuse Orange 45-21, with the third Syracuse score coming on a late, meaningless punt return. 

Sean Maguire put himself into a serious conversation as to who should actually be the starting quarterback for the Seminoles in his 2015 debut start, while freshman running back Jacques Patrick impressively filled in for Cook. 

With that, let's check out the game grades for the Seminoles, who bounced back nicely from the heartbreaking Georgia Tech loss.

 

Rush Offense: A- 

Jacques Patrick racked up 162 yards and three touchdowns, while Johnathan Vickers added 64 on eight late carries. The Seminoles relied primarily on their aerial assault, but Patrick made a statement in his coming out party in Cook's absence. Once Cook, as well as Mario Pender, return from injury, expect those two plus Patrick to form a formidable three-headed monster in Tallahassee. 

 

Pass Offense: A 

Sean Maguire may very well have stolen the starting job from Everett Golson, as the Notre Dame transfer sat out with concussion issues. Maguire was 23-of-25 passing for 348 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He was great and probably better than Golson has been this season. Maguire became the first FSU quarterback to throw for 300 yards in a half since Chris Weinke and is the only ACC quarterback to do so all season. 

 

Rush Defense: B 

The Orange did rack up 173 rushing yards, but that's essentially because they had no luck at all in the pass game. Still, the Seminoles allowed 4.1 yards per carry and allowed both of Syracuse's offensive touchdowns on the ground. 

 

Pass Defense: A 

Eric Dungey never quite got going, as the FSU secondary forced him into 11-of-24 passing for just 120 yards with no scores or picks. Florida State's ability to limit the big play over the top has been a staple of Jimbo Fisher's program. 

 

Special Teams: C 

After having one of the biggest special teams blunders in program history last week, there were still some kinks this week. The Seminoles gave up a punt return touchdown and Roberto Aguayo missed a field goal. Perhaps the brightest star this week was punter Cason Beatty, who somewhat surprisingly was required to boot the ball six times. He averaged 46.5 yards per punt, had one go 64 yards and didn't have any catastrophes. 

 

Coaching: A 

Syracuse is by no means a juggernaut in the ACC. But FSU was shaken to its core last week, and rather than wilting, they responded with fury. That takes good leadership, which Fisher showed on Saturday. Should FSU be able to upset Clemson down the road, the Seminoles could still have a shot at making some noise for a College Football Playoff berth, and that will largely be thanks to Fisher's efforts. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M: Game Grades, Analysis for Gamecocks and Aggies

Texas A&M ended its two-game losing streak in a gutsy fashion, overcoming a first-half deficit to take down the South Carolina Gamecocks at home 35-28. 

The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense, so don't expect very favorable grades defensively for either unit. Take a look below for grades and analysis of both teams.

 

Texas A&M Game Grades

Pass Offense: The starting debut of Kyler Murray provided more than Aggies fans could have asked for. He went 20-for-28 through the air for 223 yards and a score, showcasing his big arm to complement his running abilities. Most importantly, he didn't turn the ball over.

TexAgs.com noted what the team thought of Murray's play:

Run Offense: We saw firsthand just how dangerous the Aggies can be on the ground with Murray at the helm. He ran for more than 150 yards, adding to Texas A&M's 321 ground yards. Tra Carson also surpassed the century mark with 122 yards, one of three Aggies to score on the ground.

Pass Defense: The Aggies couldn't help but give up timely third-down conversions to South Carolina quarterback Perry Orth early on but stiffened up when it mattered most. They held the Gamecocks to under 200 yards passing and forced two interceptions that helped seal the deal.

Run Defense: Texas A&M's run defense problems cropped up again. Brandon Wilds rushed 17 times for 128 yards and a score to help the Gamecocks surpass 250 rushing yards, but Orth was held to negative yardage in the second half after more than 80 rushing yards in the first.

Special Teams: Punter Drew Kaser didn't have his best day, but the stats don't show it after a booming 71-yard punt. Kicker Taylor Bertolet shanked a 25-yard field goal on the game's opening drive, which forced the Aggies to be more aggressive on fourth-down situations from there on.

Coaching: The offensive coaches put Murray in a great spot to succeed and deserve a lot of credit for his great debut. The same can't be said on defense, but that had more to do with personnel issues than John Chavis' play-calling.

 

South Carolina Game Grades

Pass Offense: Perry Orth gave the Gamecocks a much-needed dimension through the air early on but couldn't make the plays when it mattered most. He had two late interceptions, one of which resulted in an Aggies touchdown and the other sealing the loss.

Run Offense: Wilds ran wild (I couldn't resist) on the ground with 128 yards to help the Gamecocks surpass 250 yards on the ground. His success established their offense in a big way early on. It eventually dried up as the Aggies put more bodies in the box.

Even amid the loss, head coach Shawn Elliott couldn't deny his team made some strides, per David Cloninger of The State:

Pass Defense: South Carolina's secondary improved throughout the game but started behind the eight-ball by allowing Murray to settle in through the air. They couldn't make big plays in the second half when it was needed.

Run Defense: The Gamecocks defense was gashed on the ground, giving up 321 rushing yards. A&M's quarterback surpassed the 150-yard plateau. Need I say more?

Special Teams: Punter Sean Kelly pinned the Aggies inside their 20 three times, but six punts was way too much against a team like Texas A&M. Otherwise, South Carolina's special teams unit had no impact on the game.

Coaching: Brilliant play-calling on offense allowed the Gamecocks to find their mojo early on, but the defense couldn't find an answer for Murray. That has to go down to the coaches, who failed to dial up any real pressure for Murray all game long.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Faton Bauta Announced as Georgia's Starting QB vs. Florida

Georgia rolls into Week 9 with a new look. Before the Bulldogs' game against No. 11 Florida on Saturday afternoon, junior quarterback Faton Bauta was announced as the starter on the scoreboard at EverBank Field, according to the Athens Banner-Herald's Marc Weiszer:

In a game that will decide the top spot in the SEC East, Georgia looks like it is through with the inconsistencies of normal starter Greyson Lambert for now. Lambert has had five games in which he's thrown for under 200 yards and three games without a touchdown. 

Bauta last attempted a pass in a Georgia uniform last season, going 4-of-5 for 48 yards in three games. This season, he has seen action only as the holder for extra points, according to ESPN.com

If he can manage to orchestrate a win and nab first place in the SEC East, then Georgia fans should expect to see plenty more of him throughout the remainder of the season. 

 

Stats courtesy of ESPN.com

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Keenan Reynolds Ties Montee Ball's NCAA Record for Most Rushing Touchdowns

Navy senior quarterback Keenan Reynolds has moved into the history books after scoring his 77th career rushing touchdown Saturday against South Florida. 

According to ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg, Reynolds tied the FBS mark set by former Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in 2012. 

Per the American Athletic Conference's official Twitter, this is what Reynolds' record-tying score looked like:

As impressive as Reynolds' mark is, the touchdown came at a critical moment on a 4th-and-goal with Navy up by five points and less than two minutes to play. It sealed the victory for Navy, moving the Midshipmen's record to 6-1 and making them bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season. 

Under head coach Ken Niumatalolo, Navy has become one of the nation's premier rushing programs. Reynolds is a vital part of that success, running for over 1,100 yards and 54 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons. He finished Saturday's game with 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

Reynolds isn't asked to do much in the passing game, finishing with 16 yards in the air against South Florida, so being able to create plays with his legs is essential to the team's success.

Now, the fourth-year star is able to take a moment in the spotlight and can celebrate breaking Ball's record as soon as next week in a huge AAC showdown against 16th-ranked Memphis.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida State Marching Band Takes the Field on Halloween as Zombies

With the Florida State Seminoles hosting the Syracuse Orange on Halloween, it only made sense for the Florida State marching band to get in the spirit...and dress up as zombies.

It's just what you do on Halloween, right?

The band's halftime show featured Michael Jackson's "Thriller":

[Twitter, YouTube; h/t SB Nation]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche Shows off Strength, Overpowers Auburn OL into QB

Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche didn't record a sack on this play, but he certainly deserves credit for one.

On a 3rd-and-12 in the third quarter of Saturday's game against Auburn, Nkemdiche went up against left guard Alex Kozan. It was no contest.

The 6'4", 296-pound Nkemdiche powered his way through the line of scrimmage, pushing the 6'4", 300-pound Kozan all the way back to the quarterback. It was Joey Bosa-esque.

Auburn's pass fell incomplete, leading to a punt. Hopefully, the Tigers learn from this and double-team Nkemdiche the rest of the game.

[Vine]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Stanford vs. Washington State: Live Score and Highlights

The Stanford Cardinal and the Washington State Cougars are getting ready to square off at Martin Stadium on Saturday night. The game will kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.

The Cardinal come into the game on a six-game winning streak and are led by running back Christian McCaffrey, who has 953 rushing yards, 284 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns. Quarterback Kevin Hogan is also having a strong season, with a passing efficiency rating of 200, the highest in the Pac-12.

Washington State has won its last three games, including a 45-42 victory over Arizona last week. The Cougars are led by quarterback Luke Falk, who has thrown for 2,885 yards, 24 touchdowns and four interceptions this season.

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Stanford vs. Washington State: Live Score and Highlights

The Stanford Cardinal and the Washington State Cougars are getting ready to square off at Martin Stadium on Saturday night. The game will kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

BYU Cougars Players Win Halloween by Recreating 'Remember the Titans' Crew

These BYU Cougars football players won Halloween 2015, and it's not even up for debate.

For their Halloween costumes, the Cougars players dressed up as the Remember The Titans crew. Among the players involved: offensive lineman Jaterrius Gulley (who dressed up as Blue Stanton), wideout Devon Blackmon (Julius Campbell), receiver Nick Kurtz (Alan Bosley), defensive back Micah Simon (Jerry "Rev" Harris), offensive lineman Ryker Mathews (Louie Lastik) and wideout Mitch Mathews (Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass).

One word to describe the look: perfect.

This isn't the first time BYU players have gone as characters from a beloved movie for Halloween. Last year, Cougars players channeled their inner Sandlot:

Can't wait to see what the Cougars have in store for next year.

[Mitch Mathews, Twitter]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Clemson vs. NC State: Live Score and Highlights

North Carolina State 20, Clemson 19, Late 2nd Quarter 

The third-ranked Clemson Tigers will attempt to quiet any upset hopes the North Carolina State Wolfpack have, as the two teams square off at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN. The Tigers will look to improve to 8-0 and set up a showdown with Florida State next Saturday, but NC State is not to be overlooked.

The Wolfpack upset the then-seventh-ranked Tigers 37-13 in 2011 by forcing four turnovers, and this game was fairly close (26-14) the last time these two teams met in Carter-Finley Stadium.

The Clemson offense, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, was clicking early and often a week ago in a 58-0 rout of Miami, but it faces a NC State defense that is tied for 11th in the nation in scoring defense.

Keep it locked right here for live updates and analysis before and throughout today's game.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC vs. Cal: Live Score and Highlights

USC 17, Cal 7. Currently in the Third Quarter.

The USC Trojans are in Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears, with both teams looking for a big win. 

Stay here for live reactions and updates on this Golden State showdown. Feel free to join the discussion in the comments section.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC vs. Cal: Live Score and Highlights

The USC Trojans will travel to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears at 3 p.m. ET on Fox with both teams looking for a big win. The Trojans and interim Clay Helton are coming off a 42-24 thrashing of a then top-five Utah squad...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Seminoles WR Travis Rudolph Catches Deep Ball, Makes Defense Miss for 75-Yard TD

Just moments after the Syracuse Orange took a 7-0 lead on Saturday, Florida State Seminoles receiver Travis Rudolph got his team even with a great catch-and-run.

On the first play from scrimmage after the Orange score, Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire took a shot downfield to Rudolph, who had managed to get behind the defense. Not only did the sophomore wideout make the catch, but he also terrorized the Syracuse defense all the way to the end zone.

The 75-yard touchdown tied the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter.

[Twitter]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

JT Barrett Arrest Gives Cardale Jones Last Shot as Ohio State's Starting QB

COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State's 49-7 win over Rutgers last weekend, Urban Meyer admitted he was finally feeling at ease when it came to his quarterback situation, thanks to J.T. Barrett's 324-yard, five-touchdown shredding of the Scarlet Knights.

"It really does," Meyer answered in his postgame press conference when asked if the performance gave him a better sense of comfort with what had been a season-long quarterback competition between Barrett and Cardale Jones. "I don't want to admit that, but it does."

As it turns out, Meyer's peace of mind would last less than a week.

Because while Barrett seemed to have established himself as the Buckeyes' undisputed starting quarterback for the stretch run of their national championship defense, it will be Jones in the starting lineup when Ohio State returns to action Nov. 7 following this weekend's bye. Barrett, meanwhile, will be suspended for the Buckeyes' matchup with Minnesota, after a Friday night citation for operating a vehicle while impaired resulted in a one-game suspension for the redshirt sophomore signal-caller, per an Ohio State release.

With that, another chapter in the book of the Buckeyes' nearly year-long quarterback conundrum begins, as Jones prepares for the 11th—and perhaps most unlikely—start of his college career.

It may be an uphill climb, but at the very least, Barrett's suspension has cracked the door open for Jones to regain his status as Ohio State's full-time starting quarterback. In seven starts this season, the redshirt junior failed to solidify himself as just that, initially yielding red-zone opportunities to Barrett before finding himself on the bench for last weekend's trip to Piscataway, New Jersey.

After winning three postseason games at the end of last year before bypassing on entering the NFL draft, Jones' benching appeared to leave his future—both immediate and long-term—in doubt.

But with at least one more start ahead, Jones could very well rectify what's otherwise been a forgettable encore to last winter's national championship run. Because while Barrett may have established himself as the best fit in Meyer's spread offense, it would be tough to justify turning back to the currently suspended signal-caller should Jones put together a big performance against the Golden Gophers, given the circumstances that resulted in his return to the starting lineup.

This is especially true considering that while on a media tour earlier this week to promote his new leadership book, Above The Line, Meyer appeared to take a strong stance on discipline in an appearance on Fox News. Asked on The O'Reilly Factor about former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's theft of crab legs, the fourth-year Buckeyes head coach indicated he wouldn't have been willing to put up with Winston's behavior.

"It would have been hard to let that go," Meyer said.

Meyer's comment drew criticism from some in the media, given his well-documented history with player discipline at Florida. But it also could have been written off as a meaningless answer with little thought behind it in the midst of a long day of press for the three-time national champion coach.

After Barrett's citation, however, all eyes now turn toward Meyer and his handling of his once-again star player's subsequent punishment. Questions have already arose as to whether Barrett missing just one game for the Buckeyes is the result of a technicality with this weekend's bye or Ohio State doling out a more lenient than usual suspension.

But regardless of when Barrett finds himself eligible to return to the field—Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith insisted to ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg that the school's policy will allow him to do so having missed just one game—Jones now finds himself in a position to make it a moot point. While he may not be as spectacular as he was last winter, Jones has been steady through the first eight weeks of the 2015 season, throwing for 1,266 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 63.2 percent of his passes.

Perhaps most importantly, despite his in-season benching in favor of Barrett a week ago, Jones remains undefeated as the Buckeyes' starting quarterback.

"His mentality is great. He's very positive, he's working. He's still a rookie too," Meyer said of Jones following last weekend's win over the Scarlet Knights. "He's 10-0 as a starter. I just want to see those guys continue to get better and better and better, and they are."

Jones would likely have to outperform expectations and return to his postseason form in order for Meyer to once again make him Ohio State's full-time starter upon Barrett's return. With season-defining games against Michigan State and Michigan still ahead in the coming weeks, Jones will need to prove that he gives the Buckeyes a better chance to beat the Big Ten's best teams, which may seem unlikely given how well Barrett had been playing heading into the bye week.

But with Barrett out of the lineup for at least one week, that opening is now there. And with the public pressure mounting against Meyer when it comes to player discipline, it's now up to Jones to seize the unexpected opportunity.

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten lead writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod.

Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com. Odds provided by Odds Shark. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Best Signs from ESPN's 'College GameDay' from Week 9 in Philadelphia

ESPN's College GameDay is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this week for a Top 25 showdown between No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 21 Temple.

Owls fans were ready for their moment in the spotlight. 

Oh, so was one Fighting Irish fan:

Here's the best of the rest:

[Twitter]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages