Dell Sports – College Football News

Appalachian St. boots last-second FG to beat No. 14 Coastal Carolina

Appalachian St. boots last-second FG to beat No. 14 Coastal Carolina

Chase Brice threw two touchdown passes and Chandler Staton kicked a game-winning field goal from 24 yards away on the last play as host Appalachian State knocked off No. 14 Coastal Carolina 30-27 on Wednesday night in Boone, N.C.Coastal Carolina (6-1, 2-1 Sun Belt Conference) had won 18 consecutive regular-season games, yet it won't be the East Division's representative in the league championship game unless Appalachian State (5-2, 2-1) loses again.Appalachian State's only previous victory against a ranked Football Bowl Championship opponent came in 2007 at Michigan. This latest result came with a postgame storming of the field by the fans.Brice completed 18 of 28 passes for 347 yards without an interception. Malik Williams compiled 206 receiving yards and a score on 10 catches for the Mountaineers.Appalachian State running back Camerun Peoples, who missed the team's past two games because of an ankle injury, ran for two touchdowns. Teammate Nate Noel racked up 82 of the Mountaineers' 228 rushing yards.Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall completed 15 of 23 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown, and Jaivon Heiligh made six receptions for 103 yards. The Chanticleers were limited to 55 rushing yards. They punted on their last three possessions.Brice's 28-yard pass play to Corey Sutton allowed the Mountaineers to take their first lead at 21-20 early in the third quarter.On the next possession, a 1-yard run by Shermari Jones gave the lead back to Coastal Carolina.
Illinois LB Jake Hansen (knee) to miss rest of season

Illinois LB Jake Hansen (knee) to miss rest of season

Senior linebacker Jake Hansen's career at Illinois is over following knee surgery.The NCAA's active career leader with 12 forced fumbles made the announcement Wednesday on Twitter."It pains me to say that I will not play another game as an Illinois football player," Hansen wrote, in part."... I will look back at my time here with no regrets and will continue to cherish every moment I enjoyed here. With that said I look forward to pursuing my life long dream of playing in the NFL!"
No. 8 Oklahoma State faces Iowa State as unbeaten underdog

No. 8 Oklahoma State faces Iowa State as unbeaten underdog

No. 8 Oklahoma State is undefeated and has passed every test to date. But the Cowboys nevertheless are seven-point underdogs heading into Saturday afternoon's game at Iowa State.The spread might be more of an indictment on the style of football the Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) have played more than anything else. Four of their six wins have been decided by eight or points or less, including last week's 32-24 victory at Texas.Still, the Cyclones (4-2, 2-1), fresh off a 33-20 win at Kansas State, are starting to round into the form that caused AP voters to place them No. 7 in the preseason."This will be a big challenge for us," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "Statistically, arguably, whatever comment you want to make, (this is) the best defense we have played or could potentially play based on what people say. They've been good for a number of years; they're starting to come around, in my opinion."Iowa State is giving up league lows in points per game (16.3) and yards per game (251.3). Defensive end Will McDonald has forced three fumbles and recorded 5 1/2 sacks. Fellow defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike has four sacks, and linebacker Mike Rose is the top tackler on the team, averaging 7.2 per game.And after a slow start to the season, running back Breece Hall has sprung to life with four straight 100-yard performances, including last week's season-high 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Clemson finds itself as rare underdog against No. 23 Pitt

Clemson finds itself as rare underdog against No. 23 Pitt

When Clemson plays at Pittsburgh for the first time in program history on Saturday, it will do so as an underdog in an Atlantic Coast Conference game for the first time since the 2016 season.While Pitt (5-1, 2-0 ACC) has risen to No. 23 in the polls, unranked Clemson (4-2, 3-1), in turn, already has lost two regular-season games for the first time since 2014.Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi, however, isn't buying the perception that the Tigers are a mere shell of their former self."They're obviously a great football team," Narduzzi said. "I know they're not tops in the country right now, but they are talented."They're one of the top scoring defenses in the country. They're playing fantastic. (Defensive coordinator Brent) Venables has really got them going on defense."Narduzzi is correct on that count. The Tigers are allowing a mere 12.5 points per game, which ranks second nationally, and have allowed only two rushing touchdowns this season.While Clemson's defensive prowess isn't in question, the Tigers' offense has struggled mightily.Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who stood out in his two starts a year ago, is completing just 55.7 percent of his passes and Clemson's replacements at running back and wide receiver for Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers, respectively, have been injury-plagued and have yet to establish themselves as consistent threats.Uiagalelei has four touchdown passes and three interceptions this season. His efficiency rating of 106.9 ranks last in the ACC."The offense is missing Trevor Lawrence," Narduzzi said. "But they've still got tons of players on the field who scare the heck out of you."Clemson's offense stands in stark contrast to Pitt. The Panthers rank third nationally in scoring at 48.3 points per game, with quarterback Kenny Pickett the catalyst.Pickett has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC, if not the nation. The fifth-year player ranks third nationally in passing efficiency and has 21 touchdown passes against one interception.
5-star DL Mykel Williams flips commitment from USC to Georgia

5-star DL Mykel Williams flips commitment from USC to Georgia

Five-star defensive lineman Mykel Williams flipped his commitment Wednesday from Southern California to Georgia.Williams verbally committed to the Trojans on June 15, but the Bulldogs continued to pursue the local product from Columbus, Ga. He made two recent visits to Athens and told 247Sports that it felt like the place for him."The relationships I have with coach Dell McGee, coach Tray Scott and how coach Kirby Smart made it feel like home to me," Williams told Dawgs247 of his decision to shift his commitment. "Georgia was consistent in their recruitment of me. They did not back off when I committed to USC in the summer. That showed me how much they wanted me at the University of Georgia."
Ex-Washington State coach Nick Rolovich to sue over firing

Ex-Washington State coach Nick Rolovich to sue over firing

Former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich will pursue legal action against the university for illegal termination, in part because of "discriminatory and vindictive behavior" by athletic director Pat Chun, his attorney said Wednesday.Washington State fired Rolovich and four assistant coaches Monday after they failed to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee's mandate that required all state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Rolovich was the state's highest-paid employee at $3.2 million per year.Rolovich, 42, had filed a request for a religious exemption to the mandate that all employees in the state become vaccinated by Oct. 19, but his request -- reviewed anonymously -- was denied.Chun on Monday said Rolovich's firing is for cause separation, meaning the university does not plan to pay him."It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture and more specifically on Chun that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized and ultimately fired from his job merely for being devout in his Catholic faith," Brian Fahling, who represents Rolovich, said in a statement obtained by ESPN and Yahoo.
Minnesota's goal: Contain Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa

Minnesota's goal: Contain Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa

Maryland pulled off a memorable comeback when it met Minnesota on the gridiron last Oct. 30. With spectators prohibited due to the pandemic, Terrapins fans couldn't storm the field in celebration -- so the players did it themselves.This year, the Golden Gophers will be the home team and look to dole out some revenge for the 45-44 overtime loss when they host Maryland in Minneapolis on Saturday.Minnesota (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) hasn't lost since its Week 4 upset defeat to Bowling Green. The Gophers beat now-ranked Purdue on the road and Nebraska at home by a touchdown apiece.They catch Maryland (4-2, 1-2) at a good time. The Terrapins lost consecutive blowouts to ranked opponents Iowa and Ohio State, though they enter Saturday's game off a bye week.Many of the principal players from last year's showdown are back in place, including quarterbacks Tanner Morgan for Minnesota and Taulia Tagovailoa for Maryland. When the Terrapins trailed the Gophers by 17 entering the fourth quarter last time out, Tagovailoa guided them on three straight scoring drives to force overtime.Tagovailoa ran in a 2-yard touchdown for the first points of OT. Minnesota responded with a touchdown of its own, but kicker Brock Walker missed the extra point, handing Maryland the one-point win."They (Maryland) want to be as balanced as they possibly could be, but everything revolves around the quarterback," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. "Last year, he absolutely hurt us. He hurt us in every way possible -- with his arm, with his legs. And he's a creator. He's one of the best creators in our league."
Vanderbilt, Mississippi State meet in clash of improving teams

Vanderbilt, Mississippi State meet in clash of improving teams

Coaches of Mississippi State and Vanderbilt said they believe the play of their teams is improving. And both teams hope to take another step in the process when they meet Saturday in a Southeastern Conference game in Nashville, Tenn.Proof of improvements for Mississippi State: The Bulldogs (3-3, 1-2 SEC) are the only team other than No. 1 Georgia to have multiple wins against teams in the current AP Top 25. They have defeated No. 18 North Carolina State and No. 17 Texas A&M."I'm pleased we have improved at times," Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said, "but we have to accelerate that process and do it more."The Bulldogs were reminded of how much growth remains for them to become an SEC contender when they were routed by then-No. 5 Alabama 49-9 at home last week."It's easy to say that Alabama is really good, and that is true," Leach said. "But my problem is we didn't play as well as we can and that has to be solved."Mississippi State is a good measuring stick for the Commodores in coach Clark Lea's first season. Vanderbilt has lost the past four meetings with the Bulldogs by a combined score of 107-34.The Commodores (2-5, 0-3) were on the verge of ending a 15-game SEC losing streak last Saturday. Joseph Bulovas kicked a 28-yard field goal to extend their lead over host South Carolina to 20-14 with 1:36 left.But quarterback Zeb Noland came off the Gamecocks bench to direct a 75-yard drive, throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Legette with 37 seconds remaining to give South Carolina a 21-20 victory.
Vanderbilt, Mississippi State meet in clash of improving teams

Vanderbilt, Mississippi State meet in clash of improving teams

Coaches of Mississippi State and Vanderbilt said they believe the play of their teams is improving. And both teams hope to take another step in the process when they meet Saturday in a Southeastern Conference game in Nashville, Tenn.Proof of improvements for Mississippi State: The Bulldogs (3-3, 1-2 SEC) are the only team other than No. 1 Georgia to have multiple wins against teams in the current AP Top 25. They have defeated No. 18 North Carolina State and No. 17 Texas A&M."I'm pleased we have improved at times," Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said, "but we have to accelerate that process and do it more."The Bulldogs were reminded of how much growth remains for them to become an SEC contender when they were routed by then-No. 5 Alabama 49-9 at home last week."It's easy to say that Alabama is really good, and that is true," Leach said. "But my problem is we didn't play as well as we can and that has to be solved."Mississippi State is a good measuring stick for the Commodores in coach Clark Lea's first season. Vanderbilt has lost the past four meetings with the Bulldogs by a combined score of 107-34.The Commodores (2-5, 0-3) were on the verge of ending a 15-game SEC losing streak last Saturday. Joseph Bulovas kicked a 28-yard field goal to extend their lead over host South Carolina to 20-14 with 1:36 left.But quarterback Zeb Noland came off the Gamecocks bench to direct a 75-yard drive, throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Legette with 37 seconds remaining to give South Carolina a 21-20 victory.
Houston, in quest of sixth straight win, meets East Carolina

Houston, in quest of sixth straight win, meets East Carolina

Houston will look to remain atop the American Athletic Conference standings and extend its winning streak to six games when it hosts East Carolina on Saturday.Houston is coming off a bye after a 40-22 win over Tulane on Oct. 7. Quarterback Clayton Tune completed 23 of 26 pass attempts for 288 yards and three touchdowns to rally his team from a five-point, third-quarter deficit by scoring the game's final 23 points."I don't know if we've ever had a break this long," Houston coach Dana Holgorsen told reporters of the 16 days between games. "Everybody was back and ready to roll. Guys seemed ready to get back to work and motivated and ready to go."The Cougars (5-1, 3-0 AAC) are among three teams undefeated in American Athletic Conference play, along with No. 2 Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0) and No. 21 SMU (6-0, 2-0). Houston hosts SMU on Oct. 30, but it doesn't face Cincinnati during the regular season, meaning the teams could only meet in the conference title game.Houston has outscored its past five opponents 202-59 since a season-opening, 38-21 loss at Texas Tech in a nonconference game. The Cougars are averaging 37.2 points per game. The defense for East Carolina (3-3, 1-1) is allowing an average of 28 points per game.Tune has thrown for 1,258 yards with 10 touchdowns against six interceptions, while Nathaniel Dell's 35 receptions are at least double the total of any of his teammates, and his 477 yards are more than twice of any other Houston receiver. Alton McCaskill has emerged as the team's top ground threat with a team-high 86 carries and 403 yards. He's scored eight of the Cougars' 14 rushing touchdowns.Defensively, Houston has 24 sacks on the season, as its defensive line of Logan Hall (four sacks), Derek Parish (3.5) and D'Anthony Jones (3.5) consistently have gotten their hands on the quarterback.East Carolina coach Mike Houston is aware of their prolific totals and likely spent the bye week preparing for the Cougars' defense.
Kansas State hopes to shake off slump at Texas Tech

Kansas State hopes to shake off slump at Texas Tech

Struggling to escape a three-game losing streak, Kansas State travels to Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday to face Texas Tech.Wildcats coach Chris Klieman sees a lot of similarities between the teams."They have a veteran quarterback and a lot of good skill players," Klieman said. "They've run into some teams that have been able to rush the football and they've had to play catch-up."Kansas State (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) opened the season playing from in front against Stanford, Southern Illinois and Nevada. The Wildcats won all three.However, in three consecutive Big 12 losses to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Iowa State, the Wildcats fell behind early and played catch-up the whole game."We need to play from ahead more so than from behind," Klieman said. "That's probably not suited best for us. When we play ahead, we have the ability to dictate some of the tempo and pace. When we're playing from behind, we have to be more aggressive on defense, which causes some bigger plays."Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson is 44 of 64 for 526 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in two games since returning from a knee injury. However, he needs the running game to be efficient to open up the passing lanes. Running back Deuce Vaughn (543 rushing yards, five touchdowns) provides the balance when the situation allows.Texas Tech coach Matt Wells is not buying the fact that Kansas State is struggling."K-State has beat us (five) years in a row," Wells said. "They're tough; they're physical. I have a lot of respect for Chris Klieman. I think Skylar Thompson is gritty and tough. He has a lot of moxie."Deuce Vaughn is one of the best in the country, and they've got some guys in the special teams that keep you up at night."
No. 24 UTSA will test first Top 25 ranking at La. Tech

No. 24 UTSA will test first Top 25 ranking at La. Tech

In winning its first seven games, including road victories over Illinois and Memphis, Texas-San Antonio demonstrated the resilience and toughness of a Top 25 team.Now that the Roadrunners are ranked for the first time in program history, at No. 24, can they live up to the billing? That's the question they must answer Saturday night when they visit Ruston, La., for a Conference USA matchup with Louisiana Tech.UTSA (7-0, 3-0 CUSA) certainly looked the part of a ranked squad last week, blanking Rice 45-0 in what second-year coach Jeff Traylor called its most complete game."It was by far the best game we have played in all three phases," he said. "This was a big game with a lot of pressure on those kids. Those kids understand the pressure. They came out and played as good as I have seen them play."This is the 11th year of the Roadrunners' program, which was started in 2011 under former Miami coach Larry Coker. He went 26-32 in five years and was replaced by Frank Wilson, who posted a 19-29 mark from 2016 to 2019 and took the school to its first bowl game.Traylor came aboard in December 2019 after serving as running backs coach at Arkansas and posted a 7-5 mark last year, guiding the program to its second bowl appearance. A third bowl game is all but assured now."It is crazy," Traylor said of the 7-0 start. "I am proud for my kids. They deserve it. Usually when you have good kids who are good players, good things happen."The offense is led by quarterback Frank Harris, who has completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 1,600 yards, with a 14-3 touchdown-interception ratio. Sincere McCormick has rushed for 778 yards and six touchdowns, while Joshua Cephus, Zakhari Franklin and De'Corian Clark have combined for 113 receptions.UTSA's defense has forced 14 turnovers and allowed opponents to rush for just 81.9 yards per game. The leaders have been Rashad Wisdom (45 tackles), Clarence Hicks (7 1/2 tackles for loss, 3 1/2 sacks) and Trevor Harmanson (29 tackles).
No. 18 NC State eyes revenge against struggling Miami

No. 18 NC State eyes revenge against struggling Miami

Maybe this time it will be different for North Carolina State.The 18th-ranked Wolfpack (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), winners of four consecutive games, will visit the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday night.NC State has lost the past three meetings, including a 44-41 defeat in Raleigh last year. Miami trailed by 10 points early in the fourth quarter of that contest.The Hurricanes (2-4, 0-2) are struggling badly this season. Miami's defense has more holes than Pebble Beach, and the offense is without star quarterback D'Eriq King, who is sidelined for the year due to a shoulder injury.Miami has lost six straight games against Power 5 opponents, but NC State is just a 3-point favorite."I can't control the lack of respect we seem to get," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. "Our team recognizes that people don't think we're good."Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary is completing 67.3 percent of his passes and has thrown for 15 touchdowns while getting intercepted just twice.NC State's 1-2 running back punch of Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. has scored eight total touchdowns. Knight leads the team with 503 rushing yards and a 6.1 average.Miami's defense, which has had trouble stopping the run, does not match up well with NC State's big and physical wide receivers, either, including 6-foot-3, 215-pounders Devin Carter and Emeka Emezie. Thayer Thomas, who is 6 feet and 195 pounds, is also a tough out.Emezie leads the Wolfpack in receptions (34) and yards (377). Carter is second on the team in yards per catch (17.2), and Thomas leads in TD receptions (four).Meanwhile, with King out, Miami has turned to second-year freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.
No. 22 San Diego State attempts to ground Air Force

No. 22 San Diego State attempts to ground Air Force

A major reason for San Diego State's undefeated start this season is its defense's strong ability to stop the run.That aspect of the 22nd-ranked Aztecs' game will be put to a serious test on Saturday, when they try to keep surging host Air Force from recording a fifth consecutive victory in a Mountain West Conference contest in Colorado Springs, Colo.San Diego State (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) enters this week's slate of action as one of 11 unbeaten teams in the FBS, but the Aztecs needed double overtime to win 19-13 at San Jose State last weekend. While the offense struggled to score at least 28 points for the first time this season, the Aztecs' defense, which allows an average of 16, remained stout.They did allow a season-high 117 rushing yards to the Spartans, but they still lead the nation giving up just 61.2 yards on the ground per contest. Now, San Diego State faces a potentially greater challenge against Air Force (6-1, 3-1 Mountain West), which has lost eight straight in this series but leads the nation with a triple-option rushing attack that averages a national-leading 336.4 yards.Running back Brad Roberts enters the week ranked fifth in the nation with 818 rushing yards and has scored eight touchdowns."We just have to keep working," San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said. "We're excited at where we are at. Air Force is very dominant at the line of scrimmage. They take care of the football. ...This is definitely our biggest challenge of the year."In addition to the challenge San Diego State faces on the defensive side of the ball, it will have a new starting quarterback Saturday. Lucas Johnson, who began his collegiate career at Georgia Tech, has thrown for 234 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception. After coming on late at San Jose State, Johnson takes over for the struggling Jordan Brookshire (47.7 completion percentage, 560 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) under center this time.Johnson likely faces a stern task against an Air Force defense that has allowed 48 points and an average of 259.8 yards during the squad's four-game winning streak. The Falcons gave up just 78 rushing yards during last weekend's 24-17 win at Boise State.
After upsetting Iowa, No. 25 Purdue takes on Wisconsin

After upsetting Iowa, No. 25 Purdue takes on Wisconsin

No. 25 Purdue will look to ride the momentum of last week's win over then-No. 2 Iowa when it hosts unranked Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette, Ind.The Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) are coming off a 24-7 road victory over the Hawkeyes. Wideout David Bell had a career-high 240 receiving yards in the win, and quarterback Aidan O'Connell threw for 375 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a score.The win gave Purdue its first Top 25 ranking in 14 years."That's great for our program and great for our fans," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. "When it comes to us coaches and players, we have to understand that it's a one-game season. While last week's win was a big win, it counts as just one, and we've got to move on."We've got to figure out ways to be consistent and get better and execute at a high level and raise the bar. There's plenty of challenges ahead because we know we have a great schedule, and for us, it's really just Wisconsin right now."The Badgers (3-3, 1-2) will go for their third win in a row after posting back-to-back victories over Illinois and Army. Wisconsin allowed a total of 14 points in the two contests.Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen is aiming for his third 100-yard rushing game in a row. He carried the ball 18 times for 131 yards and a touchdown against Illinois on Oct. 9, and he followed that up with 16 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown last week against Army."Certainly, I feel we've got a really good defense," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. "And I think we're starting to put together some games where you can run the ball. But you're going to need to be a little bit more consistent in throwing it. ..."But I appreciate the resiliency of the group, and the guys just keep playing. We've got to improve in certain areas, certainly. But I think there is some stuff to build on that we've got to continue. And if that can become who we are the rest of the year, it would be good."
Florida State tries to run win streak to three vs. UMass

Florida State tries to run win streak to three vs. UMass

Florida State is coming off back-to-back victories following an 0-4 start to head coach Mike Norvell's second season.However, Norvell assured anyone listening that the 2-4 Seminoles, who will face rivals such as Clemson, Miami and Florida down the stretch, are not looking past their next opponent.Florida State will host UMass (1-5) on Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee with both teams coming off bye weeks.The Minutemen, who snapped a 16-game losing streak two weeks ago, are coached by former Seminoles offensive coordinator Walt Bell."I can promise you we're not going to look past anybody," Norvell said with his team favored by 35 points over the Minutemen early in the week. "My focus is 100 percent on our football team, where we are and this week."The Seminoles are coming off an impressive 35-25 victory at North Carolina on Oct. 9. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis accounted for all five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and combined for 266 yards from scrimmage. The Seminoles' running game has amassed more than 200 yards in five of the first six games.Bell, who has gone 2-20 during his tenure with UMass, spent one season (2018) at Florida State under then-Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart.
Wazzu, moving on without Nick Rolovich, faces BYU

Wazzu, moving on without Nick Rolovich, faces BYU

Back in May, Washington State defensive coordinator Jake Dickert tweeted a photo of himself receiving his second COVID-19 shot.He said he did so to inspire WSU players to do the same."At the time, it was a rallying cry," Dickert said. "We didn't know if there would be fans in the stadium, you know? I was trying to be supportive and use my voice and my outreach because I knew I was trying to do something for the players."Perhaps that's why Washington State athletic director Pat Chun chose Dickert to be the interim head coach, starting Saturday with a nonconference game against visiting BYU. Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistants were fired Monday for failing to follow Gov. Jay Inslee's mandate that all state employees be vaccinated.The assistants were defensive tackles coach Ricky Logo, cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator John Richardson, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann and offensive line coach Mark Weber."It's problematic," Chun said of the short-handed coaching staff. "We've been working on contingency plans."Heading into the Cougars vs. Cougars matchup, Washington State (4-3) has won three consecutive games, including a 34-31 victory against Stanford last week on Max Borghi's 2-yard touchdown run with 1:30 remaining. Washington State players doused Rolovich with Gatorade after the game, likely sensing it might be his finale.Sophomore quarterback Jayden de Laura, who threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinal, tweeted that players "strongly disagreed" with the firing of Rolovich but that "we are a band of brothers who play and sacrifice for each other, no matter who the head coach is."
USC looks to break recent run of futility at No. 13 Irish

USC looks to break recent run of futility at No. 13 Irish

No. 13 Notre Dame and Southern California saw their longstanding rivalry take a one-season break due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.The schools had met in every season since World War II before the hiatus, and they get back on the same field Saturday when the Trojans visit the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind.USC (3-3) has lost four straight road games in the series, its longest skid since dropping seven straight in South Bend from 1983-95.The Trojans could use a big victory during a season that has been overshadowed by the firing of Clay Helton after a loss to Stanford in Week 2.Donte Williams is serving as interim coach while athletic director Mike Bohn works on making a hire to lead the program.Even so, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly sees the Trojans' talent and he's not feeling at ease."USC is going through a coaching change. We understand that, but this team plays extremely well against Notre Dame," Kelly said. "It's a rivalry game, and they've played very well on the road. I'm sure that's because they can get away from the distractions that they're dealing with on a day-to-day basis."So, we expect to get the best version of USC, which will be a very good football team."Trojans running back Vavae Malepeai made it clear his team plans to go into South Bend and come out with a victory."There's a lot of history behind this game," Malepeai said. "We're putting it on our shoulders to make sure we get that job done."Both teams are coming off a bye. Notre Dame (5-1) beat Virginia Tech 32-29 in its most recent game while the Trojans lost 42-26 to Utah.The Fighting Irish's lone blemish this season was a 24-13 loss to then-No. 7 Cincinnati on Oct. 2.Kelly said that Jack Coan would be the starting quarterback against USC but that Tyler Buchner also would see action.Coan began the season with 366 yards and four touchdowns against Florida State but has seen his yardage drop in all of the ensuing games. He threw for 108 yards against Virginia Tech while splitting time with Buchner (113 yards).
No. 10 Oregon sticks with QB Anthony Brown for game at UCLA

No. 10 Oregon sticks with QB Anthony Brown for game at UCLA

The Oregon Ducks look to stay in the top 10 when they travel to Pasadena, Calif., to oppose UCLA on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl.The 10th-ranked Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) have played back-to-back tight games, a 31-24 overtime loss to Stanford on Oct. 2 and a 24-17 win over California on Oct. 15 that came down to a fourth-and-goal defensive stand. Oregon is the only team in the conference with one overall loss.Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is back to calling plays after needing surgery while the Ducks played at Stanford three weeks ago, and he is cleared to travel with the team to Pasadena.Moorhead expressed support for starting quarterback Anthony Brown, who heard the boos and chants for backup Ty Thompson as the Ducks struggled on offense for a good portion of last week's game."I think 'AB' is doing a solid job in his role," Moorhead told Ducks Digest. "He's not Marcus Mariota, he's not Dennis Dixon (former Oregon quarterbacks who made the NFL), he's not any of those guys, but he's got to understand who he is and what he does well and how it's going to contribute to our offensive and team success."You can nitpick and talk about stats and completion percentage and all that stuff, but I'll go into a game with AB as my quarterback and believe in his abilities and what he's going to do."Oregon is one of just two teams in the nation, along with Coastal Carolina, to rush for at least 180 yards in every game this season. The Ducks have been strong in the fourth quarter of games, outscoring opponents 72-31. They have scored points on 10 of 16 fourth-quarter drives and forced five turnovers in the fourth quarter to go with three turnovers on downs.UCLA (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) looks for another win against a North Division opponent after defeating Washington 24-17 in Seattle last week. The Bruins, led by former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, racked up 420 yards of total offense to 267 for the Huskies.Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a hand in three touchdowns, throwing for two and running for one while totaling 270 scrimmage yards.
No. 7 Penn State, Illinois seek rebound wins off byes

No. 7 Penn State, Illinois seek rebound wins off byes

No. 7 Penn State is coming off a painful loss to Iowa, and a huge matchup with No. 5 Ohio State awaits next weekend.In between, the Nittany Lions (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) have to make sure they don't look past Illinois (2-5, 1-3) on Saturday when the conference rivals meet in University Park, Pa.In a matchup of top-five teams at the time, Penn State led Iowa 17-3 before quarterback Sean Clifford was injured -- and it all fell apart from there in a 23-20 defeat. That was on Oct. 9, so the Nittany Lions have had two weeks to regroup and get ready for the Fighting Illini.Clifford has had two weeks to get healthy, too, of course. But it appears as if that won't be enough time for the veteran quarterback to heal his undisclosed injury."Sean has shown his toughness physically and mentally over the years," Penn State coach James Franklin said. "(He is) doing everything he possibly can to put him in the best position to get back as soon as possible, whenever that may be. We'll see, but it won't be because of a lack of effort on his part. He's going to do everything that he's supposed to do from the recommendations of the doctors and trainers."In Clifford's place, Franklin likely will opt to give playing time to both Ta'Quan Roberson and Christian Veilleux. Roberson struggled in place of Clifford vs. Iowa, hitting 7 of 21 passes for 34 yards, with two interceptions.As a redshirt sophomore, Roberson should -- at least according to Franklin -- be able to separate himself from Veilleux, a freshman. But that has not been the case."If it's close, it really shouldn't be," Franklin said. "The guy who's been in the program for a long time and the guy who's been getting the most reps should be able to widen that gap, and right now it's somewhat close."Whoever is under center for Penn State certainly will be looking toward dynamic wideout Jahan Dotson, who had a career-high 189 receiving yards and two long touchdowns last season in a 56-21 win over Illinois. This season, he leads the Nittany Lions in receptions (43), receiving yards (494) and TD catches (six).