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Louisiana Tech vs. Auburn: Game Grades, Analysis for the Tigers

The Auburn Tigers battled their way to a 45-17 victory on Saturday over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, improving to 4-0 as a daunting conference slate awaits Gus Malzahn's team.

A 28-point difference was not indicative of the offensive struggles Auburn encountered, but the Tigers still put together a superb showing.


Pass Offense

While Nick Marshall threw just three passes during the second quarter, two resulted in touchdowns. The senior went 10-of-17 overall, tallying 166 yards and connecting with his receivers in the end zone three times.

Wide receiver Quan Bray had the best performance, snaring three passes for 91 yards and two scores. Sammie Coates had a quiet day, but Duke Williams and C.J. Uzomah both added a touchdown grab.


Run Offense 

Auburn didn't need to pass much because the ground game was so effective. Marshall sliced his way through the Louisiana Tech defense with the read-option attack, amassing 105 yards on just 13 attempts.

Cameron Artis-Payne continued his strong season, bullying his way to 116 yards and one touchdown. The Tigers will rely on him during SEC action.


Pass Defense

Right away, Auburn's front seven established itself as a difference-making unit. The Tigers batted down three balls on the first two drives, and lineman Montravius Adams even snagged an interception and almost returned it for a touchdown.

Louisiana Tech receiver Trent Taylor had success in the slot, catching eight passes for 80 yards. Auburn needs to tighten up that area but gave a solid collective performance against quarterback Cody Sokol.


Run Defense

The Bulldogs' star running back Kenneth Dixon entered the game with a 100-yard-plus average, but the Tigers limited him to 29 yards on 14 carries.

Although Jarred Craft ripped off a long run, Louisiana Tech trudged its way to 3.2 yards per attempt. Building off this success will be crucial since the likes of LSU, Georgia and Alabama await.


Special Teams

Daniel Carlson converted all six extra points and nailed a 25-yard field goal, but he pushed an attempt from 41 wide right. Additionally, he averaged 38.5 per punt.

Bray took a punt back 76 yards to seal the game, yet he wasn't the only effective returner: Marcus Davis averaged 15.5, too.



Gus Malzahn's offense is not completely clicking yet, but he and coordinator Rhett Lashlee always put the streaky Marshall in a good position to succeed. When Auburn started to control the line of scrimmage during the second quarter, the offense focused on running the ball—and it excelled.

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson had his unit well-prepared for a balanced Louisiana Tech attack. The Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage, disrupted runs and pressured Sokol throughout the victory.


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

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

It wasn’t pretty, but the outcome sure was if you’re a Florida State fan. The No. 1 Seminoles rallied from a 17-point deficit Saturday night and earned a 56-41 win at North Carolina State for the program’s 20th consecutive victory.

Carter-Finley Stadium had been a house of horrors for the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) over the years, but in beating the Wolfpack (4-1, 0-1), they kept their national title chances intact.

As far as grades are concerned, I was tough on Florida State's pass defense, which had too many busted plays and allowed Jacoby Brissett to have a coming-out party on national television. Conversely, I was critical of the FSU running game but thought that it did a remarkable job in the second half of bouncing back and looking like a strong unit for the first time this season.

Complete grades and analysis are listed below. 


Pass Offense

I would have given Jameis Winston an A-plus, but he made two big mistakes on both of his interceptions that could have wound up costing FSU the game—in particular, his turnover late in the contest when the Seminoles had secured the victory.

But it is hard to find many faults in Winston’s game. After his one-game suspension, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner was up to his old tricks, putting passes in perfect spots for his receivers to make plays, effectively running the offense and orchestrating another victory.

Winston finished the night with 365 yards and four touchdowns. He has never lost a college game, and no matter how the rest of this season plays out, FSU is never out of the game when Winston is running the show.


Run Offense

FSU’s rushing attack has been a sore spot through the first three games of the season, but that wasn’t the case in the second half on Saturday night.

After managing just 16 yards on 12 carries in the first two quarters, FSU exploded on the ground in the second half. Karlos Williams led the effort with a career-best three touchdown runs to go along with his 126 yards, while Dalvin Cook added 45 yards.

As a team, FSU ran for a season-high 168 yards. For a team that needs its running game to get going, the second half was a good first step in regaining the explosive form of a typical Jimbo Fisher offense. 


Pass Defense

Florida State led the entire country in interceptions a season ago, but this year the ‘Noles haven’t had the same luck when it comes to generating takeaways through the air.

FSU was unable to stop Brissett from slinging the football all over the field, as the former University of Florida quarterback threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns.

The Seminoles have one of the best secondaries in the nation but didn’t play like it Saturday night.


Rush Defense

Outside of a long Brissett scramble at the end of the first half, Florida State did an excellent job of corralling a very good Wolfpack running game.

Despite playing without nose guard Nile Lawrence-Stample and perhaps college football’s best run-game defensive end in Mario Edwards Jr., the Seminoles weren’t beaten on the ground. FSU did a good job of limiting any big NC State plays on the ground all night.

Take away Brissett’s 36-yard scramble, and the Wolfpack’s 161 rushing yards dwindle to 125 yards on the night—a very manageable number for this type of game.


Special Teams

Roberto Aguayo was once again perfect on extra points, and Cason Beatty wasn’t terrible punting the football, but Florida State gets a C-minus on special teams because of some poor decisions and lack of production in the return game.

Kermit Whitfield managed just 18.7 yards per return on kickoffs, while Bobo Wilson did have one 34-yard return. Most surprising, though, was Greene’s mental errors returning punts. On one return he called fair catch and then tried to return the ball, which drew a flag; then he muffed a punt in the second half that led to an NC State score just three plays later.

Greene is FSU’s best wide receiver, but he is lucky those two plays didn’t haunt the ‘Noles more than they did.



Like they did a week ago against Clemson, Fisher and his staff did a masterful job of making halftime adjustments and correcting the issues that were plaguing the team.

This victory was Fisher’s first in three tries at Carter-Finley Stadium, and his improvement as a head coach and game manager since the 17-16 loss at NC State in 2012 is staggering.


Brandon Mellor is a Florida State writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics courtesy of Seminoles.com. All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow @BrandonMellor on Twitter.

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Illinois vs. Nebraska: Live Score and Highlights

Nebraska 31, Illinois 14—HALFTIME

For the first time in three seasons, Nebraska has emerged from the out-of-conference part of its schedule unscathed.  After Penn State's loss earlier today, the Cornhuskers are now the only remaining undefeated Big Ten program.  Can they keep the momentum going tonight against Illinois?

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Check out Auburn QB Nick Marshall Evade Sack, Throw 44-Yd Jaw-Dropping Touchdown

Nick Marshall is one of the most elusive players in college football. Watch this insane Houdini act the Auburn Tigers quarterback pulls on Louisiana Tech. 

Is Nick Marshall the most electric QB in college football?

Watch the video and let us know.

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Jameis Winston vs. NC State: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Returning from his one-game suspension, Jameis Winston saved the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles from suffering a stunning upset to North Carolina State. In a close call, Winston helped Florida State overcome an early deficit to earn a 56-41 victory.

After missing last week's overtime victory over Clemson for yelling a vulgar obscenity on campus, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner had a strong yet inconsistent day for the Seminoles. He needed every yard and score from his gaudy box score to fend off the hungry Wolfpack.

The News & Observer's Ethan Hyman snapped a shot of Winston passionately returning to the field for Saturday's game.

The Seminoles suffered a rocky start, but Winston wasn't the prime culprit. He ended the first quarter with 111 yards and a touchdown, but the defense allowed 24 first-quarter points to NC State. Florida State surrendered 520 yards throughout the day, putting its No. 1 slot in jeopardy despite producing a victory.

Perhaps the near upset should not come as a major surprise, considering NC State's string of success in the ACC rivalry game, per College GameDay.

Early on, opposing quarterback Jacoby Brissett stole the show, matching wits with the Heisman winner with 166 passing yards and two touchdowns during the opening half. Bleacher Report's Brandon Mellor marveled at the unheralded signal-caller maximizing Saturday's spotlight.

Winston began the second half unceremoniously, throwing an interception off his back foot. Pack Pride delivered video of the play on Twitter.

The New Orleans Advocate's Nick Underhill chastised him for the poor play.

Late in the third quarter, he redeemed himself by firing two touchdowns within three minutes of each other, benefiting from a NC State turnover for a short field the second time around. Rashad Greene snatched the second score, which Winston fired into a small space.

Given the ball back again, Winston almost surrendered his third turnover of the day, throwing a deep ball into tight coverage. FSU fans exhaled, while NC State lamented that it amounted to no more than an incomplete pass.

Just when an 11-point lead looked safe after Brissett's second fumble, Winston gave the ball right back, again to Jerod Fernandez. FanSided gave us a look at this one.

As Jimbo Fisher screamed at his quarterback on the sideline, TheBigLead.com's Jason McIntyre criticized him on Twitter. 

NC State pounced on the turnover and cut the lead to eight. A key sack put the squad in golden position to get the ball back, but Winston scrambled for a 20-yard gain on 3rd-and-long. Karlos Williams sealed the deal with a late touchdown.

The Seminoles remain undefeated, but will they remain on top of the college football mountain? While FSU trailed, ESPN's Dari Nowkhah stated that a comeback should not save its No. 1 standing.

Will he stand by that opinion after FSU escaped with a win? More importantly, how will the voters feel?

Despite all the points FSU surrendered, Winston played well on the winning end of a shootout. NFL Philosophy evaluated his strong field presence. 

That was one of few kind comments directed Winston's way on Twitter. As noted by NFL.com Chase Goodbread, Winston's actions combined with the desire to see David take down Goliath made NC State the protagonist.

Then again, nobody is questioning his on-field ability. Instead, character issues in light of everything off the field will concern NFL teams. Speaking on The Dan Patrick Show, former head coach Tony Dungy said he wouldn't use a high pick on Winston, via NBC on Yahoo Sports. "As of now, I wouldn't. I'd have to do a lot of research and go in and talk to him," Dungy said. "But you don't want the face of your franchise and the guy you're going to take with one of the top five picks to have all those off-the-field issues. You just don't."

During a tumultuous season, Winston has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 991 yards, seven passing touchdowns and four interceptions. Last week's suspension derailed his chances of winning the Heisman in back-to-back years, but his strong game on Saturday keeps alive Florida State's chances of another championship run.

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Jacoby Brissett vs. FSU: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

North Carolina State junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett may not have been a household name entering Saturday's clash against No. 1 Florida State, but after a remarkable performance in a 56-41 loss to the nation's top team, that will change.

Brissett's brilliant showing yielded this stat line:

The 6'4", 231-pound signal-caller didn't take long to make his presence felt against the Seminoles. After his first pass of the game to David Grinnage went for 21 yards, he evaded a pass-rusher and let one loose down the middle of the field, hitting Bo Hines in stride en route to a 51-yard touchdown.

Here's a great look at the play, via Pack Pride:

After just two passes, perhaps the Florida Gators began to feel the effects of the quarterback's departure—Brissett spent two years there before transferring to North Carolina State. Kevin Brockway of GatorSports.com seemed to think so:

Later in the first quarter, Brissett went back to work. After a 45-yard completion to Grinnage brought the Wolfpack within striking distance, the quarterback showed his ability to shed would-be tacklers once more, evading two defenders and hitting Johnathan Alston for an eight-yard touchdown.

Here's a look at Brissett's ridiculous strength and mobility:

ESPN ACC tweeted an interesting comparison following the play:

Through the first half, Brissett's numbers were very impressive. In fact, he was faring better than Florida State's Jameis Winston to that point. Here's a look at their side-by-side stats, via 120 Sports:

With his team clinging to a three-point lead early in the third quarter, Brissett performed his best magic trick of the day. North Carolina State's offensive line crumbled, allowing the quarterback to be swarmed by defenders. Somehow, someway, he managed to get a pass off to Matt Dayes while sitting atop a fallen pass-rusher. The play went for eight yards.

Seeing is believing for this one. Take a look at his heads-up play, courtesy of The Score:

ESPN ACC's tweet following that play pretty much summed up how every single onlooker felt in that moment:

Later in the drive—which included a Brissett 19-yard scramble out of a collapsing pocket—the Wolfpack offense faced a 1st-and-goal on the Seminoles' 10-yard line. Brissett delivered a perfect strike to Dayes, capping off one of the most brilliantly engineered drives we've seen from any quarterback this season.

SportsCenter tweeted Brissett's updated stats following the score:

Finding himself under continuous pressure, Brissett was sacked and stripped of the football late in the third quarter. This allowed the Seminoles to take their first lead of the game. Later, utilizing quick, underneath throws, Brissett orchestrated a methodical drive deep into Florida State territory yet again. However, the rush got to him one more time, forcing another fumble which was recovered by the Seminoles.

Although, after a Winston interception, Brissett was given another chance. A 13-yard completion to Alston kicked things off, but the quarterback was briefly injured after a five-yard scamper on second down. After an incomplete pass by backup quarterback Garrett Leatham on third down, the team settled for a field goal.

Unfortunately for Brissett and the Wolfpack, Florida State was effective enough on the ensuing drive to kill most of the clock—and the Wolfpack's hopes of an upset—with a solid running game that produced another Seminoles touchdown.

Despite the loss, the future looks bright for Brissett. He was already performing well heading into Saturday's contest, completing 69.7 percent of his passes this season for 1,005 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception for a rating of 166.7. Now, Brissett proved he can produce against difficult opposition.

ESPN ACC tweeted one final comment upon the game's conclusion: 

After his brilliant performance in the national spotlight, we'll be hearing his name more often.

Looking at the Wolfpack's remaining schedule, games at Clemson and Louisville will be challenging; however, considering the way Brissett has been playing, there's no denying the possibility of this team winning out. If that turns out to be the case, we may also hear his name mentioned in Heisman discussions.

With seven games left on North Carolina State's slate this season, we can expect this human highlight reel to provide plenty more fireworks.

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Arkansas vs. Texas A&M: Score and Twitter Reaction

Texas A&M came back from down 14 points in the fourth quarter to earn a 35-28 overtime win over Arkansas in a neutral game at AT&T Stadium.

After a rough start to the day, Kenny Hill came through with 386 passing yards and four touchdowns, including three long scores in the fourth quarter and overtime. 

The Aggies were expecting an easier time against the only unranked team in the SEC West, but a furious comeback and 523 yards of offense were enough to secure the win. This gave the Razorabacks their 14th conference loss in a row with the last win coming on Oct. 13, 2012. 

Alex Collins had a strong effort in defeat with 132 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Quarterback Brandon Allen finished with 199 passing yards and a touchdown in the loss.

ESPN's Paul Finebaum looks ahead for Arkansas:

With former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in attendance, this game had all the signs of a high-scoring battle in the early going. Texas A&M scored on the first drive after a big kickoff return by Trey Williams. It took only four plays before Brandon Williams was able to get into the end zone on a 13-yard run.

Arkansas answered right back, though, with Collins and Jamaal Williams doing work on the ground before tying the game up at 7-7.

The two sides continued to trade shots over the next few drives as the score doubled to 14-14, including a 50-yard touchdown run by Collins.

However, the defense picked up from there as Arkansas did an amazing job limiting the big-time Texas A&M offense. Jon Solomon of CBS Sports provides a look at some interesting stats at the half:

Benjamin Allbright of Yahoo Sports discussed the surprising numbers between a Heisman candidate and a game manager:

Of course, the biggest play of the first half came on a fake punt on fourth-and-10, which punter Sam Irwin-Hill took all the way for a 51-yard touchdown.

This gave the Razorbacks a 21-14 lead at the half, although head coach Bret Bielema was not satisfied:

His team apparently was not either because Arkansas kept playing well. In the third quarter, the squad was able to take a two-touchdown lead when Allen connected with a wide-open A.J. Derby for a 44-yard touchdown on a well-designed play-action pass.

Jim Harris of ESPN WPS liked what he saw from the fake:

With Texas A&M continuing to struggle offensively, ESPN SEC made this statement:

This ended up being a bit premature as the Aggies were able to cut the deficit in half on an 87-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Edward Pope. As you can see in the replay below, the defender fell down to allow an easy score:


Later in the fourth quarter, Texas A&M was able to tie the game on another long pass to Josh Reynolds, who made up for a number of bad drops with a 59-yard score with just over two minutes remaining.

The game ended up going into overtime, which was just fine for the Aggies. They scored on the first play in the extra session with Hill throwing a strike to Malcome Kennedy for a 25-yard touchdown, putting the pressure on Arkansas:

On the next possession, the Razorbacks were stopped on fourth down as Texas A&M were able to secure the difficult win. 

The Aggies came into the day hoping to keep proving they are worthy of a spot in the College Football Playoff at the end of the season. With a 4-0 record and a win at South Carolina already on the resume, they had as good of a resume as anyone.

While they were able to add to the win column on Saturday, the overall struggles had to be concerning. The team remains in the playoff hunt, but they cannot afford too many more poor performances.

Things do not get any easier for Texas A&M either with a road contest at Mississippi State next Saturday.

Meanwhile, Arkansas helped again prove why the SEC is so tough. The team is now 0-2 in conference, but it is good enough to create a challenge for every team it faces this year.

After next week's bye, the squad will host Alabama as it tries to find a way to complete an upset.

Either way, fans were once again reminded that anything can happen in this sport.


Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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FSU vs. NC State: Score and Twitter Reaction

Florida State's run toward a second consecutive national championship is still in play, after the Seminoles came back from a 17-point first-quarter deficit to defeat North Carolina State. The thrilling back-and-forth contest ended with a final score of 56-41.

Quarterback Jameis Winston tossed four touchdowns for the 'Noles, while Karlos Williams overcame a slow start to finish with three rushing touchdowns.

Here is a quarter-by-quarter look at the score from the ACC contest:

The Seminoles have everything: a national title-winning buzz-saw defense, a mammoth offensive line, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Winston and a fantastic coach in Jimbo Fisher. NC State simply ignored the sterling pedigree and put up 24 points in the first quarter, a novel event in Florida State's long and storied history, per ESPN Stats & Info:

NC State opened the scoring with a 54-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacoby Brissett to wideout Bo Hines.

Winston—back in action after a one-game suspension that forced him to sit out the Seminoles' tightrope win over Clemson—quickly pulled the 'Noles back, firing a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jesus Wilson to tie the game at 7-7.

ESPN's Jared Shanker noted the bizarre series of events before the play, which included a first-down catch nullified by an NC State timeout call:

Fans on Twitter had a good bit of fun with Wilson's name:

The Wolfpack responded, putting together a 13-play drive that ended in a three-yard scoring run from halfback Shadrach Thornton.

The Seminoles' troubles continued on the ensuing possession. A fearsome NC State pass rush got the best of the Florida State offensive line, and defensive tackle T.Y. McGill hit Winston from behind and forced a fumble that the defense recovered, leading to an NC State field goal.

The upset-alert meter hit Wolfpack Red when Brissett made one of the plays of the year, scrambling to his right, shedding a pair of would-be tacklers and then floating a pass to wide receiver Johnathan Alston in the end zone just before he fell out of bounds.

The powers that be at SportsCenter were justifiably excited:

Brissett used to play for Florida, who would be happy to have a quarterback of his caliber this season, as Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman noted: 

The atmosphere at Carter-Finley Stadium was electric, but Florida State showed its No. 1 ranking wasn't based on reputation alone with a fantastic start to the second quarter. Winston executed a wonderful drive that ended in a Karlos Williams touchdown run, and then FSU's defense forced a three-and-out. Winston took advantage of some very favorable field position, tossing a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Green.

The rapidly improved performance caused Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel to wonder if Florida State was simply repeating a slow start from last season:

The Wolfpack offense fizzled as the second quarter dragged on, but the defense held tough and prevented the 'Noles from scoring the rest of the way. Both teams struggled to establish a sound running game. Williams finished with just 41 yards at the half, while Thornton put up only 37 yards of his own on the ground for the home team.

Winston started off the second half with a costly mistake, firing a pass over the middle that freshman linebacker Jerod Fernandez did well to intercept.

Brissett took over the ensuing drive, marching the Wolfpack down the field. He drew rave reviews for flipping a pass to running back Matt Dayes while getting dragged to the turf by two 'Noles defenders, then scrambled for first downs on consecutive plays to take his team deep into enemy territory. Brissett finished off the drive with a missile strike to Dayes in front of the end zone to give the Wolfpack some much-needed breathing room.

ESPN's ACC Twitter account recognized Brissett's magic on the drive:

Winston refused to wilt under the pressure, showing off a preternatural ability to shrug off mistakes by calmly and efficiently commandeering the 'Noles on a nine-play, 81-yard scoring drive, which was finished off with a peach of a run by backup tailback Dalvin Cook. 

It stands to reason that few teams can go toe-to-toe, tit-for-tat with the Seminoles. Something had to give way for the Wolfpack to complete the upset, and it turned out to be turnovers. FSU wideout Rashad Greene fumbled on a punt return that the Wolfpack's Malcolm Means pounced on, allowing the upset-minded hosts to take a 38-28 lead on another bruising Thornton touchdown run.

ESPN U couldn't help but dig up this gem to capture the excitement of Wolfpack fans:

The resiliency of Winston was astounding, and his teammates rewarded his brave play. He tossed touchdown passes—to Wilson and Greene, respectively—on either side of a costly Brissett fumble in the third quarter, putting the 'Noles in front 42-38 for their first lead of the afternoon. The full head of steam built up in that 24-point first quarter had slowly dissipated over the course of the contest.

ESPN ACC noted the silence overtaking the stadium:

Florida State took a 49-38 lead early in the fourth quarter on a Williams touchdown run, and the Wolfpack's hopes of a famous win looked to be in serious jeopardy after a 14-play drive ended with a lost Brissett fumble. 

The day was not yet won for Florida State, as Fernandez came up with his second interception of the day, which led to an NC State field goal and gave the team some life heading into the final minutes of play. Take a look at the play, courtesy of Pack Pride:

Williams snuffed out that hope on the Seminoles' ensuing possession, ripping off big chunks of yardage and capping the drive with a 12-yard scoring run to create the final score of 56-41.

Florida State doesn't have a signature, dominant win as of yet on the season, but as long as it avoids a mark in the loss column, it appears destined to head to the College Football Playoff. Winston's leadership and ability to put together long drives in the face of immense pressure make him one of college football's best players.

Winston himself remained supremely confident, via Aaron Beard of The Associated Press. "When's the last time the offense and defense actually clicked on the same note? I don't know. We've got so much potential. We've got so much to look for. I'm telling you, that's the most exciting part."

It's the Wolfpack's first loss of the season, but the fight they showed in this game makes them considerable threats in the ACC going forward. As long as they recover from this disappointing loss, the Wolfpack look like a team capable of finishing the season as one of the Top 25 teams in the nation.

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Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher Chews Out Jameis Winston After Interception

Considering Florida State's Jameis Winston is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher has high standards for his quarterback. When the star player makes a mistake, the coach isn't afraid to chew him out.

With an 11-point lead midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday's game against NC State, Winston threw an interception on 2nd-and-14 from his own 23-yard line. 

The interception set the Wolfpack up with great field position as they tried to get back in the game.

Once the quarterback returned to the sideline after throwing the interception, Fisher let Winston have it.

NC State managed to get a field goal on its ensuing possession to chip Florida State's lead down to eight, so Winston's mistake ended up costing the Seminoles.

[FanSided, gifdsports]

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Texas A&M's Kenny Hill Connects with Edward Pope for 86-Yard TD Against Arkansas

Texas A&M needed Kenny Hill to make a big play in the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks, and the Aggies quarterback stepped up for his team.

On a 2nd-and-9 from his own 13-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Hill threw a beautiful deep ball to receiver Edward Pope. With the defender on the ground after tripping up, Pope was able to run into the end zone without any trouble.

The 86-yard touchdown cut the Razorbacks' lead to 28-21.

[CBS Sports]

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UMass Video Board Collapses During Game vs. Bowling Green

Saturday's showdown between the Massachusetts Minutemen and the Bowling Green Falcons was interrupted when the video board collapsed during the third quarter.

You can hear the crowd react, although there's no video of the actual fall.

[The Big Lead]

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NC State's Jacoby Brissett Completes Pass While Getting Tackled

North Carolina State's Jacoby Brissett is doing everything he can to help the Wolfpack upset the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles.

In the first quarter, the N.C. State quarterback miraculously avoided multiple sacks on a play and got the ball to his receiver for a touchdown. That wasn't the only unbelievable play the junior made in the game.

On a play in the second half, Brissett managed to complete a pass while getting tackled.

That angle doesn't do this crazy play justice. Check out this angle:

The Seminoles apparently need to do something different to stop Brissett.


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Georgia Football: Defensive Front Key to Bulldogs Surviving Tough Stretch Ahead

Though it wasn’t always pretty, the Georgia Bulldogs defensive front made just enough plays to secure victory against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday.  And for a team desperately in need of an identity outside of running back Todd Gurley, such performances will be crucial as the Dawgs continue conference play.

While the box score once again was highlighted by a stellar effort from Gurley, who racked up over 200 yards rushing and two touchdowns, it was big plays by Georgia’s front seven that saved the Bulldogs from a near-upset.

In what has quickly become a pattern for the Bulldogs defense, Georgia coordinator Jeremy Pruitt dialed up pressure early and often and was successful in blowing up plays in the Volunteer backfield.  And while pressure usually disrupts opposing offenses, the Bulldogs defense seems to succeed only when its front seven applying as much heat as possible. 

Put bluntly, when Georgia’s defensive front gets a push, the unit is as impressive as any in the conference.  When it doesn’t, the results are disastrous.  There is no middle ground.

That's because the Georgia secondary continues to struggle mightily when opposing quarterbacks get time to throw the ball.  To be sure, it is difficult to cover when passers are not getting rushed, but even shorter routes across the middle of the field are consistently available to opposing signal-callers.  When the pocket breaks down, however, everyone benefits.  Even linebackers downfield in coverage can defend much more proficiently when the quarterback has to hurry his throws.

And the conflicting identities of this unit are not confined to defending the pass.  At times, Georgia seems perfectly content to give up chunks of yardage on the ground.  A few weeks ago, South Carolina’s Brandon Wilds buried Georgia’s comeback attempt with a host of clock-eating, chain-moving runs.  On Saturday, Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd had similar success at times.

As the Bulldogs move further into a brutal stretch of seven consecutive games against SEC opposition, Pruitt must find a way to keep the defensive front’s switch toggled to the on position.  The unit can ill afford to merely show flashes.  And in theory, Georgia has the personnel to be consistently dominant up front. 

Inside linebackers Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson are well-established, sure tacklers in the middle of the field.  Their backups, Reggie Carter and Tim Kimbrough have acquitted themselves tremendously well both against the run and the pass.

Outside 'backers Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd are disruptive pass-rushers and true freshman linebacker Lorenzo Carter is already proving to be the stud that so many hoped for when he committed to Georgia on signing day in February. 

Additionally, Ray Drew and Josh Dawson showed on Saturday that they can foil the best laid plans of quarterbacks and sound ground attacks.

But all of these elements need to gel so that consistency replaces the occasional big plays as this defense’s calling card.  After all, as good as this front seven can be, it also has a tendency to lose its way at costly times.

Tennessee drove 83 yards for a touchdown in under 60 seconds as the first half came to a close.  Hurd broke two long runs and Justin Worley completed two long passes as the Georgia defensive line and linebackers played conservatively.  Some of that was likely schematic, but some of it was surely a reflection of effort and diligence—or lack thereof. 

And, frustratingly, that drive was not an anomaly.

Georgia opened the season with a brutal two-game stretch, and for all the Bulldogs’ struggles, the team is fortunate in some ways to be 3-1.  But the next six games against conference foes could break the Bulldogs if the defensive front doesn’t continue to step up.

To be clear, games like Saturday’s certainly give cause for optimism.  Georgia caused havoc in the Tennessee backfield. And that made the difference. 

If that happens more often, it could make the Dawgs contenders in the SEC and beyond.


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.

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Missouri vs. South Carolina: Live Score and Highlights

Missouri 7, South Carolina 0—Early 1st Quarter

We are underway in Columbia as the the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks host SEC East rival Missouri.  

You can watch live on ESPN, but make sure to stay right here with us at Bleacher Report for live scoring updates and analysis throughout the game. 

You can find the complete box score at NCAA.com

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Arkansas' Sam Irwin-Hill Takes Fake Punt 51 Yards to the House Against Texas A&M

Arkansas decided to take a chance on a 4th-and-10 late in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Texas A&M, and the Razorbacks were rewarded in a big way for making the gutsy call.

From their own 49-yard line, the Razorbacks called for a fake punt. Thanks to great blocking from his teammates, Arkansas punter Sam Irwin-Hill didn't have much trouble getting into the end zone.

The fake punt allowed Arkansas to take a 21-14 lead over the No. 6-ranked Aggies right before halftime.

[Instagram, h/t The Big Lead]

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Stanford's Ty Montgomery Runs over Washington Defense on His Way to 17-Yard TD

On Saturday, the Washington defense learned Stanford receiver Ty Montgomery doesn't go down easily.

The 6'2", 220-pound wideout caught a pass on 3rd-and-2 that was good enough for a first down, but he wasn't satisfied with just moving the chains. Montgomery ran over several Huskies defenders—while managing to stay inbounds—as he made his way into the end zone.

Montgomery's 17-yard touchdown gave Stanford a 10-0 lead over Washington early in the second quarter.

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Notre Dame vs. Syracuse: Live Score and Highlights

Notre Dame and Syracuse will go head-to-head in the third edition of New York’s College Classic at MetLife Stadium. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. EDT, and it will air on ABC.

Notre Dame is coming off a bye week, and it is looking to remain undefeated. Syracuse is looking to bounce back after losing to Maryland last week.

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

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Cincinnati vs. Ohio State: Live Score and Highlights

Ohio State 30, Cincinnati 14 — Late 2nd quarter

Game action is now underway between No. 22 Ohio State (2-1) and Cincinnati (2-0). The Big Ten Network is televising the matchup from Columbus.

We are watching the game, providing live analysis as the action unfolds:

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NC State's Jacoby Brissett Avoids Sacks, Throws TD Against Florida State

Everything is going NC State's way Saturday as the Wolfpack try to upset No. 1 Florida State.

On a 3rd-and-6 from the Seminoles' 8-yard line, Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett did a great job of avoiding a sack. He was able to keep the play alive long enough to find receiver Johnathan Alston in traffic in the end zone for a touchdown.

Here's a better look at Brissett's effort:

The wild touchdown gave N.C. State a 24-7 lead over Florida State with just more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

[SB Nation, @_MarcusD_Instagram]

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Hutson Mason Needs to Improve If Georgia Wants to Win SEC East

In a game that was sloppy, ugly and disjointed, Georgia found a way.

The Bulldogs topped the Tennessee Volunteers, 35-32, on Saturday afternoon in Athens in a game that was littered with four combined turnovers, 14 combined penalties and some of the most curious play-calling in college football in 2014.

Two of those turnovers came in the form of interceptions by Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason, who finished the day 16-of-25 for 147 yards, one touchdown, those two picks and one rushing touchdown.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo clearly was trying to get Mason into a groove, and with eight and sometimes nine Vols in the box to stop running back Todd Gurley, there were passing lanes wide open for Mason to exploit.

He couldn't, much to the displeasure of head coach Mark Richt:

His downfield passes lacked zip and his touch wasn't there, despite Gurley forcing the Vols to take some risks in the secondary and Bobo giving Mason plenty of chances to get settled.

Meanwhile, on the other sideline, Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley battled constant pressure and an elbow injury to light up Georgia's defense to the tune of 264 passing yards, three touchdowns and no picks.

Somebody has to win the East, despite the fact that the division looks more like a punchline than a power.

If it's going to be Georgia, Mason has to make major strides because things aren't going to get any easier. It took a while, but eventually Gurley took over in the second half once the running back rotation took a back seat and Bobo remembered that the Heisman Trophy candidate still wears red and black. 

Mason has been used as a game manager for the most part during the season, and while that's a pretty solid plan with No. 3 in the backfield, Georgia is going to need Mason to keep opposing defenses honest at times. Georgia's lack of consistency in its own secondary is going to force the Bulldogs into shootouts more times than not in SEC play.

Every team in the SEC East has flaws, and Georgia's—like the rest of the division—are glaring and plentiful. Quarterback is one of them. If the Bulldogs are going to emerge as the a contender in the division, Mason has to improve significantly. 

It would go a long way toward taking pressure off of Gurley and the inexperience and inconsistency in its own secondary. 

Receivers Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell could be back from injury soon. When combined with healthy wideouts Michael Bennett and Chris Conley, there are plenty of options outside with more coming.

Mason hasn't done anything to suggest that it will matter.

Teams will continue to load the box and force him to beat them through the air, and until he proves he's up for the challenge, it will continue to be the "Todd Gurley Show."

That is, of course, if Bobo remembers he's still on the team.


Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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