Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:48 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
San Diego State may be a new member of the Big East, but its football team just got a huge dose of Pac-12 talent. Former Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz, former USC wide receiver Brice Butler, and former USC tailback Dillon Baxter all finalized their transfers to SDSU on Wednesday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, and may begin participating in off-season activities with the football team immediately.
Katz and Butler took advantage of the NCAA's transfer exemption for graduate students, as both got their degrees at their schools with eligibility remaining, and are taking their talents to SDSU for one final year without needing to sit out. Baxter's route to the Aztecs is more traditional, as he's still an undergraduate with two years of eligibility left but has to wait until 2013 to start playing ball.
Katz has a strong arm and showed flashes of promise at Oregon State in 2010, but he was beaten out for the starting role in 2011 by freshman Sean Mannion and didn't see action in the Beavers' last 10 games. He will not face a great deal of competition for the SDSU job, as rising junior Adam Dingwall is the only returning SDSU quarterback with any passes attempted in 2011; he went 0-1.
Butler was a four-star, Army All-American recruit for Pete Carroll at USC, but his playing time decreased significantly once Lane Kiffin took over and Robert Woods, Ronald Johnson, and Marqise Lee emerged as the showcase receivers for the Trojans. Butler adds much-needed depth to a wide receiver corps that only returns two players who gained more than 50 yards or three catches last season, and he will likely be a serious contender for a starting spot.
Baxter, meanwhile, was a five-star running back prospect and played as a true freshman for USC in 2010, but Kiffin buried Baxter on the depth chart this season before dismissing him from the team for the season in October so Baxter could "focus on his academics," as Kiffin said in a statement. Baxter was a YouTube sensation in high school, but aside from one absurd spring practice touchdown, he has yet to translate it into big-time success on the collegiate level. Unfortunately for SDSU, Baxter's year of ineligibility means there's still a void at running back, as Third-Team All-American sophomore RB Ronnie Hillman has declared for the NFL draft after rushing for 1711 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2011 and being named a Doak Walker Award finalist.
San Diego State begins its spring football session on February 21, and it opens its season in 2012 at Washington on September 1.
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Posted on: November 28, 2010 1:57 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
1. The Ducks are who we thought they were. It's just not accurate to say we learned anything new about Oregon in their 48-29 Friday night win over Arizona . We knew already they were as dominant a second-half team as any in the country (save maybe their likely BCS title game foils at Auburn ), and that's how they played. We knew already with weapons like LaMichael James, Darron Thomas and even the ever-more-terrifying Josh Huff , the Ducks could put up nearly 50 points without even being particularly sharp in the first half, and that's what they did. We knew that playing in the comfort zone of Autzen Stadium, they were going to win and win comfortably when all was said and done, and in the end the Wildcats feel by nearly three touchdowns. (We also knew their defense could have the occasional
In short, we knew that Oregon was the 2010 Pac-10 champion and almost certainly on their way to the BCS championship game, and that's what we still know. If there was anything surprising about their dismantling of the Wildcats, it was the realization that by this point of the season, Oregon's championship-caliber excellence isn't even surprising any more.
2. And yeah, you can forget about them choking away that title berth in the Civil War. Mike Riley will almost certainly have his Oregon State team ready to play a competitive game against their archrivals at home in Corvallis, but it's hard to imagine that he has the horses to actually finish off the hypothetical shocker of the season, not when two of the Beavers' previous three results are a home loss to Washington State and today's hideous 38-0 whitewashing at the hands of Stanford . The Cardinal are legitimately playing as well as any team in the country right now, but still; fewer than 300 total yards an zero points doesn't exactly portend the kind of offensive explosion that will be necessary to stay with the Ducks.
3. USC is ready for its season to be over. The Oregon State result sandwiched between the aforementioned losses to Wazzu and Stanford? An inexplicable-looking 36-7 demolition of the Trojans that this space immediately chalked up to USC's longtime tendency to break into football hives upon crossing the Oregon border. But after watching USC's listless, often yawn-inducing performance in a 20-16 loss to a Notre Dame team that at times seemed determined to give the game away -- Irish quarterback Tommy Rees threw three interceptions, more than one of the highly charitable variety -- it may be time to wonder if Lane Kiffin is still able to get through to a team with nothing to play for other than pride.
Now, true, the Trojans still would have pulled out the victory if Ronald Johnson hadn't dropped a certain game-winning reception late, and the absence of Matt Barkley (coupled with a shaky-looking first start from Mitch Mustain , who averaged less than 5 yards an attempt and failed to throw a touchdown pass) no doubt didn't help USC's cause in the least, either. But for a team playing its oldest and arguably biggest rival, the spark needed to really get the Trojan blood pumping (and the crowd involved) seemed curiously absent. Maybe it was the rain. But maybe it's just Week 12 of a season whose self-described bowl game took place a month ago.
4. The end to one team's bowl streak is just the start of someone else's. Or so it would appear after Washington edged Cal 16-13 to pull within a game of bowl eligibility at 5-6, with only the feeble specter of Washington State (surely not due for two major upsets this season) standing in the way of the Huskies' first postseason appearance since 2002. Steve Sarkisian 's second season in charge hasn't always lived up to the outsized expectations of the preseason, but at least he can point towards some concrete progress.
Unfortunately for Jeff Tedford , unless you count the upcoming long-since-overdue renovations to the Bears' Memorial Stadium, "concrete progress" seems further away than ever. Kevin Riley 's career-ending injury a few weeks back appears to have been a fatal dagger for Cal's bowl hopes, which finally dissolved in the loss and resulting final record of 5-7. The record is the worst of Tedford's nine-year Cal tenure, with the Bears missing the postseason for the first time since -- whaddya know -- 2002. Tedford's not in any kind of trouble just yet (don't forget that Cal was hands-down the worst program in the Pac-10 when he took over), but the heady mid-aughts days when the Bears were serious Rose Bowl and BCS contenders have never seemed further away than they did on Saturday.
5. Rick Neuheisel had better have something more up his sleeve this offseason than just canning Norm Chow. Because when you give up 55 points to Arizona State 's backup quarterback , your offensive coordinator is pretty obviously not the only thing wrong with your football team.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 5:22 pm
Posted by the College Football Blog staff
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Mike Pouncey would screw up a baker's dozen worth of snaps in one game? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
The Michigan State Spartans lose Kirk Cousins to an injury during the first quarter of their game against Northern Colorado. His replacement, freshman Andrew Maxwell is dealt the same fate early in the second quarter and the Spartans go into the half trailing 21-10. After quarterback-turned-WR-turned-back-i
Temple upsets Penn State in Happy Valley. There's really no excuse for this happening; even with Temple starting out 3-0 and PSU looking average with true freshman Robert Bolden at QB, Penn State is still highly favored in this contest. But the Temple front seven (led by returning MAC Defensive Player of the Year DE Adrian Robinson) gives the Nittany Lions' enough fits that Temple goes into halftime leading by 10, Bolden gets benched, Kevin Newsome performs worse in relief, and the Owls shock Happy Valley, 27-20. -- Adam Jacobi
Marcus Lattimore is held to less than 70 yards rushing by the Auburn defense. Lattimore only ran for 57 yards against Southern Miss, but when the Gamecocks have really needed yards this season, they turn to number 21. He will likely get at least 18 carries, and the Tigers did give up 140 yards to Clemson's Andre Ellington, but look for the defensive line to step up and shut down Lattimore at home in primetime. -- Chip Patterson
Mike Leach makes it through the entire broadcast of the Houston - Tulane game without some reference to "symptoms of concussion" followed by awkward silence that lasts as long as an equipment shed is wide. -- Chip Patterson
With his team trailing 24-21 late in the fourth quarter against Arkansas, Nick Saban calls a timeout as his team is marching down the field looking for the go-ahead touchdown. "I've had an epiphany, gentleman. I'm not here to win football games, I'm here to make you all better men and better human beings. Sometimes being the bigger man means letting the other man have his moment in the spotlight." Saban then forces Greg McElroy to kneel four straight times to end the game. -- Tom Fornelli
Boise State sets the post-WW2 single-game record for most team yardage (pre-WW2 may be a touch out of reach) in their victory over Oregon State, 94-0. Kellen Moore and the rest of the Broncos' starters play every snap, even after Oregon State puts in their second stringers in the 4th quarter. Following the game, Chris Peterson then throws his headset at the press box and yells, "Are you not entertained?!" Boise does not budge in the polls. --Adam Jacobi
During the third quarter of a listless win at Washington State, USC head coach Lane Kiffin will disappear from the sideline for several minutes, and television cameras will catch him talking on his cell phone. He will claim to have been speaking with old college friends since the game was "boring," but anonymous sources with knowledge of Kiffin's cell phone records will later tell reporters that Kiffin was trying to negotiate a deal to rejoin Pete Carroll in Seattle as an assistant with the Seattle Seahawks. The deal falls through when Kiffin asks for $17.5 million a year. -- Adam Jacobi
Oregon State takes Boise State to overtime on the legendary Smurf Turf. In overtime, Chris Peterson calls a trick play that finishes with Kellen Moore crossing into the end zone to win the game. Upon crossing the goal line, Moore rushes over to the cheerleaders and drops to one knee... where he proposes to Buster Bronco. The horse says "neigh." -- Chip Patterson
With the USC Trojans up 14-0 on Washington State in the first quarter, Matt Barkley finds Ronald Johnson for a 67-yard touchdown to make the score 20-0. Lane Kiffin then decides to just kick the extra point. -- Tom Fornelli
Tags: Aaron Bates, Adrian Robinson, Alabama, Andre Ellington, Andrew Maxwell, Auburn, Auburn, Boise State, Chris Peterson, Clemson, Don Treadwill, Greg McElroy, Houston, Insane Predictions, Keith Nichol, Kellen Moore, Kevin Newsome, Kirk Cousins, Lane Kiffin, Marcus Lattimore, Matt Barkley, Michigan State, Mike Leach, Mike Pouncey, Nick Saban, Northern Colorado, Oregon State, Penn State, Pete Carroll, Robert Bolden, Ronald Johnson, South Carolina, Temple, Tulane, USC, Washington State
Posted on: September 18, 2010 4:45 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
With only a few minutes gone in the second quarter, the Minnesota Golden Gophers found themselves at USC's 42-yard line with a 4th and 2. The correct decision is to go for it in that scenario; Minnesota is not going to win this football game by completely shutting down the USC offense (as we'll see shortly), so any opportunity to maintain possession of the ball in USC territory would be enormously beneficial for Minnesota.
But since Tim Brewster is the head coach of Minnesota, Minnesota punted the ball anyway. And since Dan Orseske is Minnesota's punter, the punt only went to the 22-yard line, and the Trojans found themselves just 20 yards further away from the end zone than if Minnesota QB Adam Weber had spiked the ball on 4th down.
Sure enough, USC needed just two plays from scrimmage to get back to their own 42, both plays aided by poor tackling by Minnesota. Then, as if to drive the "this punt was stupid because Minnesota needs to at least try to score" point home with a railroad stake, USC QB Matt Barkley hit Ronald Johnson for a 57-yard touchdown to give USC their first lead of the game on the very next snap. Three plays. One touchdown. 13-7.
Outraged that Minnesota's errors in judgment were receiving all the attention of the day, Lane Kiffin had his charges attempt a two-point conversion--one that involved the questionably athletic Mitch Mustain trying to run the football--and it's 13-7 USC.