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Louisville Dominant in Petrino’s Return

Louisville Dominant in Petrino’s Return

iStockphoto(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — The Louisville Cardinals (1-0) defense held Miami to 1-for-13 on three downs, helping lead the team to a 31-13 win over the Hurricanes on Monday in their season opener.

It was also the first victory for head coach Bobby Petrino in his return to Louisville.

“I thought it would be a real battle and we would have to work extremely hard,” said Petrino. “Obviously, we made some mistakes on offense and on special teams. I thought the defense really did a great job all night long, especially on third down.”

The Cardinals opened the scoring in the first quarter when Will Gardner hit Charles Standberry on a two yard touchdown pass. The Hurricanes countered with 10 straight points before Louisville regained the lead just prior to halftime when Corvin Lamb went 97 yards on a kickoff return.

Coming out of the locker room it was all Louisville as they scored 17 straight points after Miami closed the gap to 14-13 just four minutes into the third.

The game also saw a pair of quarterbacks making their first career starts. Gardner was 20-for-28 passing for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman Brad Kaaya did not fare as well for Miami (0-1), tossing a pair of interceptions and going just 17-for-29 in his debut.

“We did not do a good enough job protecting a first-start quarterback. Period,” said Hurricanes coach Al Golden.

Louisville opened their tenure in the Atlantic Coast Conference, dominating a mainstay program in the ACC. Petrino led the Cardinals to a 41-9 record from 2003-06 as head coach. 

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(13) Tigers Rally to Beat (14) Wisconsin

(13) Tigers Rally to Beat (14) Wisconsin

ThinkStock(HOUSTON, Texas) — Wisconsin held a 24-7 lead over No. 13 Louisiana State University (LSU) just two and a half minutes into the third quarter. When the final whistle blew, the 14th-ranked Badgers found themselves on the wrong end of a 28-24 comeback win by the Tigers who scored 21 straight points.

“We played sloppy, we did everything to the latest possible time before we decided to play best,” LSU coach Les Miles said.

Corey Clement’s two-yard touchdown run in the third made it a 24-7 Wisconsin lead before LSU turned it around. A pair of Colby Delahoussaye field goals cut the deficit to 11 at the end of three quarters but the Tigers still struggled to find the end zone.

They finally broke through three minutes into the fourth as Anthony Jennings found John Diarse for a 36-yard strike. Jennings then connected with Trey Quinn for a two-point conversion that made it a 24-21 Wisconsin lead.

LSU’s Jalen Mills then picked off a pass from Tanner McEvoy on the ensuing possession. Three plays later, Kenny Hilliard busted through the line for a 28-yard touchdown run to complete the comeback. Another interception by McEvoy sealed the deal for the Badgers who gained just 65 yards in the fourth quarter.

“They battled. They hung in there,” Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. “I thought both teams fought like crazy. They made one more play than we did and won the game in the end.”

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(1) Florida State Survives Scare From Oklahoma State

(1) Florida State Survives Scare From Oklahoma State

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — The defending national champions got their first scare of the year in their season opener, holding off Oklahoma State 37-31 on Saturday. The Florida State Seminoles (1-0) had led 17-0 in the second half but the Cowboys (0-1) closed the gap to 27-24 late and had a chance to take the lead.

“We all preached it, but I do think they felt the pressure of being No. 1. I do,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Now I think we can relax and go play football.”

Sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for one as well. The reigning Heisman trophy winner also threw a pair of interceptions that helped keep Oklahoma State hanging around. 

The Cowboys J.W. Walsh scampered 24 yards for a touchdown, making it a three-point game, before ultimately leading a drive back into Seminoles territory. However, Walsh fumbled when he was flipped into the air by Florida State’s P.J. Williams. Winston then connected with Rashad Green for a 50-yard scoring pass, sealing the deal.

 

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Michigan State Cruises to Season Opening Win

Michigan State Cruises to Season Opening Win

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) — A 64-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Tony Lippett opened the scoring for Michigan State football in 2014. It also started a brief injury scare as Cook needed to be helped off the field following a hit to his leg.

That scare did not last long as Cook returned to throw three touchdowns in helping the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans to a 45-7 win over Jacksonville State. The junior completed his first nine passes of the game and finished the day going 12-for-13 for 285 yards before sitting out the second half.

The defending Big Ten Champions led 38-0 at halftime before resting the majority of their starters. The Gamecocks, considered a top team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), didn’t get on the board until the Max Shortell found Markis Merrill for a nine-yard strike.

“I was proud of our kids on how we finished the game,” said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. “We dug a hole early, and you can’t do that against a team like Michigan State. They’ve got a team that’s going to make a run at a national championship. I really believe that.”

The Spartans will have a much tougher task next week when they take on the No. 3 Oregon Ducks. 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/29/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/29/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (70-64) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (65-70)

New York Mets 4 (63-72) – Philadelphia Phillies 1 (61-73)

Baltimore Orioles 9 (77-56) – Minnesota Twins 1 (59-75)

New York Yankees 6 (70-63) – Toronto Blue Jays 3 (67-67)

Atlanta Braves 5 (71-64) – Miami Marlins 2 (65-68)

Boston Red Sox 8 (59-75) – Tampa Bay Rays 4 (65-70)

Chicago Cubs 7 (60-74) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (71-62)

Texas Rangers 13 (53-81) – Houston Astros 6 (57-79)

Detroit Tigers 7 (73-60) – Chicago White Sox 1 (60-74)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (56-78) – Colorado Rockies 2 (53-81)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4 (81-53) – Oakland Athletics 0 (78-56)

Washington Nationals 8 (76-57) – Seattle Mariners 3 (72-61)

San Francisco Giants 13 (72-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 2 (73-61)

San Diego Padres 3 (63-70) – Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (76-59) 12 Innings

Top 25 College Football: Michigan State 45 (1-0) – Jacksonville State 7 (0-1)

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Who Needs Johnny? A&M Destroys SC in First Game Without Manziel

Who Needs Johnny? A&M Destroys SC in First Game Without Manziel

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Texas A&M’s life without quarterback Johnny Manziel started off well: the 21st-ranked Aggies destroyed 9th-ranked South Carolina 52-28 Thursday.

Not only did A&M thrive without Manziel, his replacement at quarterback, Kenny Hill, broke Manziel’s single-game passing record by throwing for 511 yards, completing 44-of-60 passes and three touchdowns.

Texas A&M (1-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) was never in trouble as it mounted a 31-14 lead by halftime and scored touchdowns on seven of its first 11 offensive possessions.

Dylan Thompson completed 20-of-40 passes for 366 yards, four touchdowns and an interception for South Carolina (0-1, 0-1 SEC), which had its 18-game home win streak snapped.

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USC RB Anthony Brown Quits, Calls Sarkisian a Racist

USC RB Anthony Brown Quits, Calls Sarkisian a Racist

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — USC running back Anthony Brown announced on Thursday that he is qutting the team after calling head coach Steve Sarkisian a racist.

 “Sark treated me like a slave in his Office…Can’t play for a racist MAN!!!!! #Fighton,” Brown posted on Instagram. He posted a similar message on Facebook.

Brown took down the posts shortly thereafter.

The senior running back had been sidelined most of training camp with an elbow injury. He had six starts and 43 tackles during his USC career.

“As far as what [Brown] said on Twitter, I think it’s ridiculous,” Sarkisian said. “Any of you guys that know me and if you ask anybody in our building, any of our players — feel free to — that’s about the furthest thing from the truth. Quite honestly, I’m shocked.”

Sarkisian has no history of being a racist and called Brown’s announcement surprising.

“Anthony decided not to play football anymore,” Sarkisian said. “We obviously tried to encourage him not to quit. We thought he could be an asset to our team, especially when healthy. We really tried to make it a point to accommodate the position change he wanted. He wanted to move to running back and we did so.

“He unfortunately got injured in training camp and was working his way back and decided he didn’t want to play anymore. It’s a bit unfortunate because we could have used him. We think he could have helped us.”

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USC CB Josh Shaw Admits He Made Up Injury Story

USC CB Josh Shaw Admits He Made Up Injury Story

Banana Stock(LOS ANGELES) — Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw told school officials that he lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend, according to a statement released by the school. He has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities by the university.

Shaw claimed he was injured after leaping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, who was struggling in the pool.

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement.  “He let us all down.  As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.

“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized.  Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable.  Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program.  I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”

USC did not release details on how Shaw injured himself.

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Oklahoma Transfer Green-Beckham Cannot Play in 2014

Oklahoma Transfer Green-Beckham Cannot Play in 2014

JP Wilson/Replay Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham must sit out the 2014 season because his waiver request to play for Oklahoma after transferring from Missouri was denied by the NCAA.

“The University accepts that decision and will continue to provide the appropriate assistance to Dorial, just as it does with other students, in helping him grow personally from the many opportunities available to him at OU,” the school said in a statement.

The 6-foot-6, 225 pound Green-Beckham had a stellar sophomore season in 2013 with Missouri, catching 59 balls for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns. But after several off-the-field incidents, Missouri dismissed Green-Beckham in April. Green-Beckham then transferred to Oklahoma in July.

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Ohio State’s Miller Re-Injures Shoulder

Ohio State’s Miller Re-Injures Shoulder

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ohio State football fans had cause to be excited about the upcoming 2014 season. That excitement has been put on hold after it was revealed quarterback Braxton Miller re-injured his right shoulder during practice Monday.

According to a source, Miller sustained a non-contact injury and was helped off the field by medical staff. Earlier in the day, the senior declared himself 100 percent cleared to play. Miller underwent offseason shoulder surgery, a minor procedure, in February and was slowly being eased back into football.

The Buckeyes were picked fifth in the preseason AP poll, while Miller was projected to be a Heisman trophy finalist. In his last full season in MLB, Miller threw for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for 12 more.

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Brian Kelly ‘In Shock’ over Investigation

Brian Kelly ‘In Shock’ over Investigation

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(SOUTH BEND, Ind. ) — Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed the academic fraud investigation under way that involves four of his players on Saturday.

Notre Dame suspended DaVaris Daniels, KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, and Kendall Moore following the news on Friday.

According to ABC’s Ron Claiborne, suspensions would not just affect the four players but the entire football program, which just two years ago went undefeated in the regular season and to the national championship game.

“I knew coming to Notre Dame, and one of the reasons why I wanted to come here, was there are some core values as one of the preeminent Catholic institutions that you just can’t compromise on, and that’s integrity,” Kelly said. “And if you see that something is going on that’s not right — and obviously through this investigation they found this out — it’s important that it’s addressed. And so I applaud the university for doing that.”

Notre Dame now says it will voluntarily forfeit all of the games it won with the four players on the field if ultimately they are found to have cheated.

“Now, along the way, I’ve lost a starting quarterback and some key players. But I came here because I wanted to be associated with a university that had those standards,” Kelly continued.  “And I’m disappointed, I’m saddened in a way for these young men, because they’re good kids. They made some bad decisions along the way — and I’m not throwing these four in that category yet, obviously. But we can talk about Everett [Golson], certainly, in that situation.”

“As it relates to the recruitment of the young men here, I think we’ve brought in the right young men. I think we continue to have to do a better job educating them. We have to do a better job of providing them the resources. Look, this is never a one-sided issue. We have to internally look at providing our student-athletes all of the resources necessary that if, in fact, they took shortcuts, that they don’t. And we have to look hard at that. And that’s something that will ensue over this issue.”

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ASU Offensive Lineman Chip Sarafin Announces He’s Gay

ASU Offensive Lineman Chip Sarafin Announces He’s Gay

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) — Arizona State offensive lineman Chip Sarafin told Compete Magazine that he is gay.

Sarafin becomes the first openly gay player in Division I football and told the magazine that former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, who is currently fighting for a roster spot on the St. Louis Rams, inspired him to no longer hide his sexuality.

“It was really personal to me and it benefited my peace of mind greatly,” Sarafin told the mag — a Tempe, Arizona-based LGBT sports publication — of revealing his sexual orientation to teammates this past spring.

Sam, who continues to impress his teammates and head coach Jeff Fisher, sent his own message to Sarafin.

“Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014,” Sam tweeted on Wednesday.

ASU head coach Todd Graham also had positive words for his player. “We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual’s commitment to the Sun Devil Way,” he said in a statement. “Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master’s student. His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete. Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.”

Sarafin has spent most of his time as a reserve offensive lineman and has yet to play in a game.

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Everett Golson Takes Back Notre Dame’s Starting QB Job

Everett Golson Takes Back Notre Dame’s Starting QB Job

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(SOUTH BEND, Ind.) — After missing all off last season due to suspension, Everett Golson is Notre Dame’s starting quarterback once again.

Golson, who in 2012 led the Fighting Irish to the BCS national title game, beat out redshirt freshman Malik Zaire to reclaim the job.

The decision was announced Wednesday by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

“Generally when you look at making that decision, I’m using from January through right now as the basis of that decision, so winter workouts, how he handled himself with the team, our workouts, his spring practice and then his leadership in the summer and in camp here,” Kelly said. “I think he’s put himself in a position to get that opportunity to be our starter against Rice.”

Golson, 21, was suspended for the 2013 season for what he called “poor academic judgement.”

In 2012, the 6-foot, 200-pound Golson completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,405 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 298 yards and six touchdowns.

Golson and Notre Dame start their season August 30 at home versus Rice.

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BREAKING: Judge Rules Against NCAA

BREAKING: Judge Rules Against NCAA

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a landmark decision on Friday, a federal judge has ruled in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, and 19 others, saying the NCAA can not stop college football or men’s basketball players from selling the rights to their names and likenesses.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled against the NCAA in a lawsuit that claimed college athletics’ governing body was in violation of the nation’s antitrust laws. 

“The Court finds that the challenged NCAA rules unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by NCAA Division I schools,” Wilken wrote in her 99-page decision. 

Wilken went on to say that the NCAA’s defense “do not justify this restraint and could be achieved through less restrictive means”.

There was one minor victory for the NCAA. Wilken did say that a cap could be put on just hoe much money is paid to athletes, putting the limit at $5,000 a year for big school football and basketball players.

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Longhorns Dismiss Four More Football Players

Longhorns Dismiss Four More Football Players

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — There’s a new sheriff in Austin and Charlie Strong is making his presence known. The first year head coach has already kicked at least six players off his team since taking over the Longhorns, adding four more to the list on Friday.

Safety Josh Turner, running back Jalen Overstreet, defensive back Chevoski Collins and senior running back Joe Bergeron have all been dismissed from the team according to multiple sources. Turner, Overstreet, and Collins were all dismissed for violating team rules while the reason for Bergeron’s dismissal is not yet known. The University has not made mention of any suspensions or dismissals.

A projected starter, Turner has played 37 games with five starts in his Longhorns career. Overstreet ran for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2013 as a freshman after switching to running back from the quarterback position. Collins was a redshirt player last season and listed as a backup safety while Bergeron had faced academic issues in the spring. 

Fullback Chet Moss and defensive back Leroy Scott were also kicked off the team back in the spring for a violation of team rules. A source close to the Longhorns said has many as five more players could face disciplinary action for similar infractions. Strong has also suspended receivers Kendall Sanders and Montreal Meander after the two were arrested on sexual assault charges Thursday night.

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Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

BananaStock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) –  Nate Craig, the No. 1 wide receiver and No. 6 player overall in the ESPN Junior 300, verbally committed to play football for the University of Auburn on Monday night.

Craig chose the Tigers over USC, Ohio State, and Alabama.

“I just thought Auburn was the best fit for me,” Craig said. “I got to go up there this weekend and spend some time with coach [Dameyune] Craig and coach [Gus] Malzahn and that just sealed the deal for me.”

“I was at Alabama for the whole week, but just building a relationship with the Auburn coaches and coach Craig was a big impact on my recruitment and did a great job. With coach Malzahn I got to spend some time with him and then I sat down with my mom and decided to make a decision,” he continued.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Craig caught 37 passes for 502 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore for Tampa Catholic High School this past season. 

Auburn now has three commits for the class of 2016.

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First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Big 12 Football will make another bit of history when the college football season kicks off this fall. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Monday that the first female referee in league history has been assigned to work one of its games.

Bowlsby said Catherine “Cat” Conti will be on the field during Kansas’ home opener on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State. Conti had previously worked as an official with the Southland Conference.

The league commissioner noted that Conti has paid her dues and earned a chance to be on the field. Bowlsby also explained that Walt Anderson, Big 12 officiating supervisor, assigned Conti to the game because, “she is just a darned good official.”

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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) — During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that “cheating pays” in intercollegiate athletics.

“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year,” said Bowlsby. “It’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.

“We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits,” explained the commissioner. “I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated.”

While slamming college sports’ governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.

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Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(HOOVER, Ala.) — Despite not even reaching the national championship game last year, SEC media members selected Alabama as the preseason favorite to win the conference this college football season.

The poll was revealed on Thursday, the final of four SEC media days. It showed what was a surprise to no one: Alabama vs. Auburn for the conference title.

The Crimson Tide (154) earned more votes than every other Southeastern Conference school combined. Auburn (75), South Carolina (32), Georgia (19), and LSU (9) rounded out the top 5.

“Arguably, they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team,” said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. “If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”

Alabama also led the conference with nine players named to the preseason first-team. Wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon were the top two vote-getters among all players.

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Will Muschamp Not a Fan of Current SEC Schedule

Will Muschamp Not a Fan of Current SEC Schedule

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(DESTIN, Fla.) — Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp lit a spark on the first day of the Southeastern Conference’s annual spring meetings on Tuesday.

Muschamp isn’t a fan of the way the current schedule is with his team having to play teams in the Football Championship Subdivision.

He would rather have a 12-game schedule that features eight league teams, in-state rival Florida State and three more teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision.

“We’re probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents,” Muschamp said.  

The college football playoffs begin next season and Muschamp would rather see the Gators play the best possible teams.

“I think our fan base wants to see better opponents,” he added.

Even with Muschamp unhappy, Florida’s athletic director, Jeremy Foley, isn’t ready to give up on playing the lower-division teams.

“I understand what Will’s saying,” Foley said. “In a perfect world, you play all D-I schools. But also you have to have 12 opponents.”

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