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Saturday Scoreboard - Week 13

 

 Rivalry game litter this week's schedule and, as always, we'll keep you updated on anything you need to know throughout college football. 

Notre Dame 22, USC 13. Notre Dame is going to the BCS National Championship. Repeat: Notre Dame is going to the BCS National Championship. Brian Kelly's team led throughout, posting a field goal on its opening drive and taking a 10-0 lead through one quarter. Bob Diaco's defense held redshirt freshman quarterback Max Wittek in check, surrendering just 186 yards and a touchdown while claiming two interceptions. Everett Golson once again went on the road and played mistake-free football, completing 15-of-26 passes for 217 yards and rushing nine times for 47 yards. USC had no answer for Theo Riddick up the middle as the senior running back popped off run after run in compiling 146 yards and Notre Dame's only touchdown on 20 carries. The most enduring image from the win will be Notre Dame's game-clinching goal line stand with two minutes to play in which it held USC out of the end zone despite committing pass interference penalties in the end zone on back-to-back plays. With its 12-0 record intact, Notre Dame will meet the winner of Saturday's Alabama-Georgia game in Miami in 45 days for the national championship. 

 

South Carolina 27, Clemson 17. Once again the battle of the Palmetto State goes to the garnet and black. Sophomore Dylan Thompson stepped into the starting quarterback role and threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns and all-everything Jadeveon Clowney sacked Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd four times. Boyd started the game hot, leading a 16-play drive that resulted in a field goal and hitting DeAndre Hopkins for a 43-yard touchdown in the third quarter. But Clowney and co. put the clamps on Boyd, and for the third straight year he turned in subpar numbers against South Carolina: 11-of-24 passing for 183 yards with the aforementioned TD and 2 INTs to go with 17 rushes for 26 yards and a score. The most curious aspect of the game came when Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney elected to punt when trailing by 10 with three minutes left. The punt effectively ended the game as Clemson did not regain possession until South Carolina had expired all but 23 seconds of the game clock. 

 

Stanford 35, UCLA 17. Is any team in college football playing better than Stanford right now? UCLA will have six days to find pinpoinr weaknesses in this team, and they might need all six days just to find one. The Cardinal turned 7-7 game into a 35-10 lead in a little over 15 minutes of game action in the second and third quarters. UCLA added another touchdown but, with a rematch imminent, the squads declared a cease fire in the fourth quarter as the battle moves to Palo Alto on Friday. Kevin Hogan threw for 160 yards and a touchdown and Stepfan Taylor rushed for 142 yards and two scores for the Cardinal. 

 

Ole Miss 41, Mississippi State 24. Hugh Freeze has without a doubt improved Ole Miss in his first season in Oxford, and now with the Rebels' first Egg Bowl win since 2008 and first bowl trip since 2009, he has something to show for it. Bo Wallace threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions and the Rebels owned a 233-30 advantage on the ground. Ole Miss put together a dominant 15 minutes as, from the 10:08 mark of the third quarter to the 11:44 mark of the fourth quarter, it turned a 17-17 tie into a 41-17 blowout. Mississippi State closes the regular season at 8-4 but with just one victory over a winning team, 45-3 over Middle Tennessee on Oct. 20. 

Oklahoma 51, Oklahoma State 48 (overtime). Bedlam lived up to its name as Brennan Clay raced in from 18 yards out to give Oklahoma a win in the first-ever Sooner State installment to go to extra sessions. Oklahoma outgained the Cowboys by 128 yards, owned a 44-23 first downs advantage but Oklahoma State led almost throughout. The Sooners tied the game at 17, 24, 38 and 45 but its only lead was the final score. On a day when he became the Big 12's all-time leading passer, Landry Jones set school records with 46 completions on 71 attempts, which amounted to 500 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Oklahoma now must turn their horns up and root for Texas to beat Kansas State next week, as a Wildcats loss and OU win over TCU will give the Sooners the Big 12 title. 

 

Florida 37, Florida State 26. The Sunshine State rivals staged a series of momentum swings unlike any other today in Tallahassee. Florida scored the game's first 13 points before Florida State rattled off 20 straight, only to see Florida score 24 straight points to take the lead for good. The Gators won as they did all season, by claiming a 5-1 edge in turnovers and riding running back Mike Gillislee to the tune of 24 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns. The win locks Florida into an 11-1 regular season and, if Notre Dame loses to USC tonight, the Gators could slide into the coveted BCS No. 2 spot. 

 

Alabama 49, Auburn 0. And to think, just two years ago these teams one of college football's instant classics on Auburn's march to a national championship. These programs now could not be further apart as Alabama takes dead aim at its third national title in four seasons, while Auburn reconciles its first-ever 0-8 SEC record. The only relevant statistic to glean from this game is that Alabama scored as many touchdowns as Auburn had first downs. Alabama will now prepare for a date with Georgia in a national semifinal in Atlanta while Auburn moves into a welcomed off-season. 

 

Oregon 48, Oregon State 24. Now THAT'S the Oregon offense we're all familiar with. The Ducks got their customary 430 rushing yards, 198 from Kenjon Barner, 122 from De'Anthony Thomas and 85 from Marcus Mariota, to finish their regular season at 11-1. The best unit today for Oregon was actually Nick Aliotti's defense as the Ducks forced six turnovers and limited Oregon State to 82 rushing yards. Chip Kelly's team now must send their hearts to Los Angeles, as wins by UCLA and USC are needed to keep their conference and national title hopes alive. 

Baylor 52, Texas Tech 45 (overtime). We've said all year on this site that entertaining things happen when the Big 12's middle class gets together and this game was Exhibit A. The Bears and Red Raiders combined for 13 touchdowns, 1,241 yards of total offense and 59 first downs. But, as is so often the case in shootouts like this, it's not the plethora of offensive plays but a handful of defensive stops that prove to be the difference and Baylor forced four Texas Tech turnovers, including Eddie Lackey's 55-yard interception return 15 seconds into the fourth quarter. An unlikely two-game winning streak has Art Briles' team bowl eligible for the third straight year with one game still to go. Tommy Tuberville's team, however, has run out of steam for the second straight year. Today's loss was Texas Tech's fourth in five tries, and the Red Raiders are now 1-7 in November over the past two seasons. 

Connecticut 23, Louisville 20 (triple overtime). Thursday's Big East championship showdown certainly lost its luster today after Rutgers' early loss and now Connecticut's upset of Louisville. The Cardinals were shut out through three quarters and needed a six-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to DeVante Parker with 21 seconds left to force overtime. The teams traded scores through the first two overtimes, and the Connecticut defense finally broke serve when it intercepted Bridgewater at the goal line on 3rd and goal. The Huskies then rushed three times to the Louisville 13-yard line and, on 2nd and 8, called for Chad Christen's game-winning 30-yard field goal. 

 

SMU 35, Tulsa 27. Tulsa's comeback bid came as came up one yard short. Trailing 35-6 in the third quarter, Golden Hurricane quarterback Cody Green caught fire by hitting touchdown passes to Willie Carter and Keyarris Garrett and ripped off a 57-yard run to set up an Alex Singleton one-yard plunge to bring Tulsa back within 35-27. After an eight-play drive in which SMU consumed 4:19, Tulsa marched from its six-yard line to the SMU 35, but Green's Hail Mary to Jordan James traveled just 34 yards and the Mustangs held on for the win. The win costs Tulsa nothing but a perfect Conference USA record, and allows June Jones' team to reach its fourth straight bowl game. 

Ohio State 26, Michigan 21. This game appeared headed toward the 80-point barrier as the teams traded one big play after another throughout a first half in which Michigan claimed a 21-20 lead. However, The Game turned into an old fashioned, Big Ten land battle in the second half as Luke Fickell's defense did not allow Michigan to cross midfield. The Wolverines' second half drives ended as follows: turnover on downs, fumble, punt, punt, fumble and interception. Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges could not create a rhythm between senior quarterback Denard Robinson, who ran for 122 yards and a touchdown, but also had a costly fumble, and junior quarterback Devin Gardner, who looked like a player making his third start in completing 11-of-20 passes for 171 yards with one TD and one INT to go with seven rushes for minus-28 yards and a score. Give Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison credit, however, as Ohio State ran 32 plays in Michigan territory in the second half only to come away with two field goals. In concluding his season at 12-0, Urban Meyer can now focus on recruiting and pray for chaos at the top of the polls to allow the Buckeyes a shot at an AP national title.

 

Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10. For a game that was 42-3 through three quarters, I can safely proclaim that this contest was closer than the final score appeared. The Yellow Jackets outgained Georgia, achieved 24 first downs, ran for 306 yards but had five trips inside Bulldogs territory come up empty. The empitome of Georgia Tech's day came at the end of its opening drive, as Robert Godhigh rushed to the Bulldogs' one-yard line but had the ball ripped from his hands by Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo, who then returned it to midfield. To be fair, the Georgia offense completely had its way with the Georgia Tech defense as quarterback Aaron Murray hit 14-of-17 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and running back tandem Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall rushed 19 times for 163 yards and four scores. Mark Richt's team now heads to the SEC Championship not only playing for the league title, but also for a spot in the BCS National Championship. 

 

Pittsburgh 27, Rutgers 6. What a strange day for Kyle Flood's Rutgers team. Mere days after accepting an invitation to the Big Ten, the Scarlet Knights lose by three touchdowns to a 4-6 team bound for the ACC. The Panthers pounced on Rutgers with a 21-0 second quarter, including two touchdowns within a span of 2:10. Rutgers never got anything going on the ground with 23 total carries for just 49 yards on the day. Say this for Pittsburgh, they've definitely improved throughout Paul Chryst's first year. After losing 31-17 to Youngstown State in the opener, the Panthers knocked off their second top 20 team and nearly beat No. 1 Notre Dame. Pittsburgh now must win at South Florida next Saturday to reach a bowl game. 




Arkansas statement on the release of John L. Smith

Arkansas officially dismissed interim head coach John L. Smith on Saturday morning, following a 20-13 loss to LSU on Friday. Smith stepped into an awkward situation on a 10-month contract and, after inheriting a preseason top 10 team, led the Razorbacks to a 4-8 season.

Here is what Arkansas AD Jeff Long's statement: 

"With our 2012 football season concluded, I met earlier today with Coach John L. Smith to inform him we would be making a change in leadership within our football program.  I have great respect for Coach Smith and I thank him for the sincere commitment he has shown our program. He made a difficult decision in uncertain times to return from his alma mater to guide the young men in our football program, and I will always be grateful for his efforts.

"I would also like to express my gratitude to our assistant football coaching staff, and our support staff. They have shown remarkable professionalism and a true commitment to the student-athletes in our program.  They demonstrated great character in maintaining their commitment to our program."

Here is what Long said about finding the Hogs' new head coach.

"Last April, when I appointed Coach Smith for the 2012 season, I indicated I thought this would provide us the opportunity to take the time necessary to identify the right coach for the future and to do so in a time that would allow us to attract quality candidates. Our new coach will be an individual who shares the passion for success our fans do and who is willing to work relentlessly to achieve our goals.  It will be someone who embraces the expectations of winning a national championship and succeeding in the classroom with discipline, honesty and integrity. The leader of our student-athletes will continuously stress academic accountability and the value of earning a degree from the University of Arkansas. Our new coach will embrace what this program means not just to the university, but to the entire state of Arkansas and will share the vision for the future success of Razorback Football."

Smith provided this statement on Saturday's news.

"I am very grateful to Chancellor (David) Gearhart and Jeff Long for the opportunity they gave me to return to the University of Arkansas and coach this football team. I have enjoyed guiding this group and I am extremely proud of how everyone in our program stuck together and showed tremendous character by competing throughout the season. Everyone on our staff has my appreciation as they all believed in our goals and stayed committed to the development of these young men. 

"I would like to thank the Razorback fans for demonstrating their support for these student-athletes and this coaching staff during a challenging time. I enjoyed every day of this experience and this profession has been and will continue to be rewarding to me. During my time here, it has been incredible to be a part of helping this program grow and I wish everyone involved nothing but success in the future."

 




Saturday TV - Rivalry games galore

It's that time of year, rivalry games all day long...on every channel. Great day for football.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

Colgate at Wagner - 12 - ESPN3

Georgia Tech at Georgia - 12 - ESPN

Rutgers at Pitt - 12 - ESPN2

Michigan at Ohio State - 12 - ABC

Connecticut at Louisville - 12 - Big East Network

Illinois at Northwestern - 12 - BTN

Virginia at Virginia Tech - 12 - ESPNU

Indiana at Purdue - 12 - Big Ten Network

Tulsa at Southern Methodist - 12 - FX

Kentucky at Tennessee - 12:21 - SEC Network

Miami (FL) at Duke - 12:30 - ACC Network

North Texas at Western Kentucky - 1 - ESPN3

Coastal Carolina at Bethune Cookman - 2 - ESPN3

Grambling vs Southern - 2:30 - NBC

Baylor at Texas Tech - 2:30 - FOX

Oregon at Oregon State - 3 - Pac 12 Network

Boston College at North Carolina -  3 - ESPN3

Maryland at North Carolina - 3 - ESPN3

Idaho at Utah State - 3 - ESPN3

Eastern Illinois at South Dakota State - 3 - ESPN3

Villanova at Stony Brook - 3 - ESPN3

Auburn at Alabama - 3:30 - CBS

Florida at Florida State - 3:30 - ABC

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma - 3:30 - ESPN

Michigan State at Minnesota - 3:30 - BTN

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest - 3:30 - ESPNU

BYU at New Mexico State - 3:30 - ESPN3

Wisconsin at Penn State - 3:30 - ESPN2

Air Force at Fresno State - 3:30 - NBCSN

Troy at Middle Tennessee - 3:30 - ESPN3

South Alabama at Louisiana-Lafayette - 5 - ESPN3

Stanford at UCLA - 6:30 - FOX

Missouri at Texas A&M - 7 - ESPN2

South Carolina at Clemson - 7 - ESPN

Mississippi State at Ole Miss - 7 - ESPNU

Notre Dame at USC - 8 - ABC

Louisiana Tech at San Jose State - 10:30 - ESPN2

High School:

No games




Friday Scoreboard - Week 13

The college football weekend opens with an appetizer offering on Friday before the main course on Saturday. As always, we'll keep you updated with everything you need to know throughout the day.

Washington State 31, Washington 28 (overtime). Mike Leach got his first signature win, and first Pac-12 win of any kind, in snapping Washington State's three-game Apple Cup losing streak in what will surely go down as the game of the day and possibly the weekend. The Huskies built a 28-10 lead through three quarters only to see the Cougars get two short Carl Winston scoring plunges, a two-point conversion and a pair of Andrew Furney field goals to pull off the upset. Washington had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Travis Coons' 35-yard field goal missed as time expired. Huskies quarterback Keith Price was intercepted on the first play of overtime, and the Washington State offense marched 16 yards to set up Furney's 27-yard game-winner. 

West Virginia 31, Iowa State 24. To earn win No. 6, Dana Holgorsen's team had to win in a way unlike the previous five. Playing in similar conditions that plagued the Nebraska-Iowa game, the Mountaineers pounded inside with the combination of Shawne Alston and Andrew Buie running for 153 yards on 23 carries. Tavon Austin continued his box score filling ways, rushing 14 times for 74 yards, catching six passes for a team-leading 99 yards and a score, returning two kickoffs for 46 yards and one punt for 42 yards. In his first career start, Sam Richardson threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns and led the Cyclones with 119 rushing yards, but the Mountaineers defense made a late stop it so often couldn't throughout its five-game losing streak, stripping Jeff Woody at the 7-yard line on first and goal with 3:55 to play in the game, which allowed the WVU offense to run the remaining clock out. 

LSU 20, Arkansas 13. LSU was outgained by more than 150 yards, achieved eight less first downs than Arkansas, and won. Les Miles is as Les Miles does. The Tigers got perhaps the catch of the year when Jarvis Landry snagged a one-handed 22-yard scoring strike from Zach Mettenberger, and Michael Ford returned a kickoff 90 yards to set up another LSU score. Hogs quarterback Tyler Wilson threw for 359 yards but couldn't connect from 18 yards out as time expired. The win keeps LSU's BCS and faint SEC championship hopes alive, needing an Alabama loss and Texas A&M win to reach Atlanta for the second year in a row. 

 

Nebraska 13, Iowa 7. With the way the wind was blowing at Kinnick Stadium, it's best to think of this game as if it was played in an invisible snowstorm. Neither team accomplished much of anything through the air as Nebraska's Taylor Martinez went 8-of-14 for 63 yards, slightly outplaying Iowa's James Vandenberg as he connected on just 11-of-24 passes for 92 yards and two interceptions. Vandenberg's second pick came at the Iowa 40-yard line with 2:11 to play, bringing an abrupt end to what would be Iowa's final possession. Senior Rex Burkhead returned to action for the first time in a month, leading the Huskers with 69 yards and the team's only touchdown. The win sends Bo Pelini's team to Indianapolis for a rematch with Wisconsin with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. 

 

Syracuse 38, Temple 20. Syracuse's Big East swan song comes up orange as Doug Marrone's team ran off the game's final 21 points to win its last Big East game ever. The Orange finished the regular season with five wins in their last six outings and, though they'll need help, a share of the Big East championship is not out of the question.

Kent State 28, Ohio 6. Eight sacks, five forced fumbles, an interception and two defensive touchdowns means Kent State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock's group is on the fast track to winning the FootballScoop Defensive Staff of the Week. Both of the Golden Flashes' defensive scores came in the midst of a 21-point explosion in the game's first nine minutes. Darrell Hazell's team cruised to victory after that as Ohio netted just two field goals. Kent State now enters next week's MAC Championship at 11-1, and Darrell Hazell has to be the front-runner for MAC Coach of the Year. 




What We're Watching - Rivalry Week

Here's hoping all of our readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday spending time with family and reflecting on everything they are thankful for in their lives. Here's something I am thankful for - a full slate of great college football rivalry games because, holy cow, we've got some good ones tomorrow. Let's get right to it.

Michigan at Ohio State (12 p.m. ET, ABC): Brady Hoke snapped the Maize and Blue's six-game losing streak to Ohio State last season, and now he faces off with Urban Meyer for the first time. Both coaches have brought a renewed intensity to this storied rivalry. Could we be on the cusp on another Ten Year War? That's probably premature, but Chapter 1 starts tomorrow. Michigan has historically struggled with dual-threat quarterbacks and, if that's the case tomorrow, Braxton Miller could put Greg Mattison's defense in for a long day. On the other sideline, Devin Gardner makes his first start against Ohio State, hoping to build off last week's six touchdown performance versus Iowa. 

Georgia Tech at Georgia (12 p.m. ET, ESPN): Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate enters its 107th installment with both teams already claiming their respective division championship. This is a series Georgia has dominated historically, Georgia Tech has just a dozen wins since 1964, and recently, as the Bulldogs have won 10 of the last 11 meetings. Senior quarterback Aaron Murray enters his final home game playing the best football of his career. The Tampa native has connected on 57-of-80 passes (71 percent) for 922 yards (11.5 ypa) for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three outings. Paul Johnson's offense rolls into Athens equally hot, rambling for 1,080 yards and 15 touchdowns on 195 carries (5.54 ypc) through its three-game winning streak.

Oregon at Oregon State (3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network): Chip Kelly's needs to win and then root for UCLA to keep its Pac-12 and national championship hopes alive. The Ducks have won in their last two trips to Reser Stadium and look to keep that streak alive after seeing its school-record 13-game winning streak snapped on Saturday. Mike Riley's team can be described as Stanford-lite, even down to its upset loss at Washington. The Beavers trail just Stanford in Pac-12 rushing defense statistics, but Oregon State does not make the same volume of plays behind the line of scrimmage as Stanford. 

Florida at Florida State (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): Florida State won last year's meeting at The Swamp 21-7 in a game that set offensive football back 100 years - the teams combined for 279 yards, 18 first downs and 4-of-30 on third down. Again: combined. This year's game won't be quite that sluggish, but neither defense will give its counterpart room to breathe. Each of these units rank in the country's top six in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing efficiency defense. And, if you didn't already now, both defensive coordinators are nominated for the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year award. The biggest gap between the squads comes at quarterback. Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel, who ranks seventh nationally with 21 TDs and 6 INTs, squares off against Jeff Driskel, who leads the country's 63rd most efficient passing offense.

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): From 2000-02, Oklahoma State lost to Oklahoma 12-7, won 16-13 and won 38-28. Following a 47-41 loss in 2010 and a 44-10 drubbing in 2011, a win Saturday matches that streak for the Cowboys, but Mike Gundy has his program in a much different place than a decade ago, when OSU was a heavy underdog in each game. This time around, the Cowboys are working on a 30-6 record and looking for a share of their third straight conference title. Oklahoma is 30-7 since 2010 and also in the hunt for its second Big 12 title in three years. That's why The Oklahoman writer Berry Tramel says Bedlam is better than it's ever been

Stanford at UCLA (6:30 p.m. ET, FOX): The challenge for David Shaw and Jim L. Mora this week was pulling their respective players heads out of the clouds after their potentially program-changing wins last week. The Bruins have already clinched the Pac-12 South, while Stanford can win the Pac-12 North, and thus a rematch with UCLA, by winning on Saturday. UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, the nation's fifth-leading rusher, enters Saturday on a run of 160-plus yard performances in three of his last four games. He will need to keep that streak alive against a Stanford defense that allows just north of 70 rushing yards and 2.37 yards per carry. Shaw's insertion of Kevin Hogan into the starting quarterback spot has paid dividends, as the freshman has completed nearly 75 percent of his passes and accounted for eight touchdowns against three interceptions. 

South Carolina at Clemson (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Mandrallius Robinson and Willie T. Smith of the Greenville News this week had a worthwhile piece about how Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney have taken the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry to heights previously unseen by de-emphasizing the rivalry within their respective programs. The Gamecocks have owned the last three meetings, winning by a combined score of 97-37. Chad Morris' offense has put together a fantastic season under the radar, ranking in FBS's top 10 of four offensive categories and riding a streak of 10 straight games with at least 37 points, but he has to solve a Gamecocks defense that has stuffed Clemson for three straight years. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has gone just 21-of-47 for 156 yards (3.31 ypa) with one touchdown and one interception in his career against South Carolina, and the Tigers have run for just 179 yards 76 carries (2.36 ypc) during the three-game skid.  

Notre Dame at USC (8 p.m. ET, ABC): He would never admit it, but no team will play with more pressure on its shoulders than Brian Kelly's Notre Dame squad Saturday night in Los Angeles. Kelly's team is 60 minutes away from taking a nation of Fighting Irish fans back to the promised land after wandering in the desert for two solid decades. Notre Dame has by far played its best football away from South Bend, winning its five games by an average of 25 points while owning an 8-3 turnover advantage. Redshirt freshman Max Wittek makes his first career start for the Trojans, and he will no doubt target all-purpose maven Marqise Lee early and often. Notre Dame will play its first game as a BCS No. 1 one week after another program lost its BCS No. 1 debut by committing three turnovers in a road upset. In an unprecedented role reversal, an unranked team that was ranked No. 1 in preseason will host the No. 1-ranked team that was unranked in preseason.




Golden: "I worry about everything"

Last week, the University of Miami announced a self imposed bowl ban that will keep Miami from playing in the post season for the second straight year.

Asked if the bowl ban and ongoing NCAA investigation is something that he is worried about, head coach Al Golden responded by saying "I worry about everything."

Golden notes that sentiment goes beyond just his players...it includes everyone that touches the program, and each individual that has invested their time and energy into accomplishing their team goals.

"I worry about all the kids that sit in a room and the staff, our strength staff, our training staff, everybody. When we go on that field, there are usually 240 people on that field. So there are a lot of people involved, a lot of lives involved. But I can see what we're becoming and what we want to do with the program." Golden explained.

"That vision pulls me a little bit stronger than some of these things that try and tear us apart. I think we're here for the right reasons, which is why you have a tendency to dig in and fight as opposed to flight."

Golden notes in an Associated Press article that how they respond to the ban and investigation this weekend against a much improved Duke squad will likely define this team.

"We can complain all we want but we can't change it. But the challenge for our team is we're going to be defined by how we respond to this. And the first test of that is Saturday against Duke. We can say whatever we want. We can say we have a great attitude, we're working hard, we're focused, but the test is Saturday at 12:30."

If Miami can get to the 30 point mark tomorrow, watch out. In all six of their wins this season, Miami has scored at least 30 points, and are 16-2 when scoring 30 or more in their past 18 games. Also, the Hurricanes have converted their last 18 consecutive red zone trips into points (13 of them being touchdowns).

One thing is for sure, Golden has a young team that has played pretty well. Their starting offense and defense have a combined 11 starters that are either freshman or sophomores (redshirts included). The success of the young players has shown that Golden and his staff have been able to recruit very well regardless of the NCAA cloud that has been hanging over the program.

The U still has a lot to sell. They've got a beautiful campus in a great location, a football program that should return to prominence sooner rather than later, a recruiting pipeline that coaches from every state wish that they had direct access to, and a coaching staff that are committed to the university and care tremendously about the individuals that they bring into the program. With that formula already in place, it's only a matter of time before the program is competing at the level that Golden and his staff expect.

 




Leach to radio host: "If your opinion mattered, you'd be invited to staff meetings"

Mike Leach joined ESPN 710AM in Seattle on Wednesday, and wasn't a fan of the questions that were being lobbed his direction.

The question that set the following events in motion came after the hosts of the Kevin Calabro show asked Leach if he felt that his players were "unified in their effort and support" of him and if they'd be "willing to run through a wall for him" after a disappointing season thus far.

"I don't know if that is really the entire thing," Leach responded. "I think that you continue to teach and improve and stuff like that. From the beginning here I think you've had an agenda, but what I would say is that in this business, that we're not unified just because you've tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill about everything that has gone on over here and just haven't accepted the dynamic of change certainly doesn't mean that we haven't had players that are playing extremely hard and overachieving."

"In that stack of articles that you have sitting there, I'm sure that you can probably find a dozen other teams that are playing with 15 freshman, and then I'd also like to know how those guys are doing. Now those guys are running through the wall, and the fact that you happen to be dissatisfied doesn't mean a great deal to me or this team here."

The host, obviously not happy with the 2-9 record the Cougs had put together, then tried to explain that he didn't have an agenda, and was just trying to state his opinion on the state of the program.

"If your opinion really mattered to me, you'd probably be invited to some of the staff meetings around here, and unless that invitation has been lost in the mail, I don't guess you were." Leach explained.

Then Leach mentions siccing an owl on a the hosts dog. Only Leach can somehow fit that kind of nugget into a (somewhat) heated radio conversation.

Skip to the 9:50 mark of the clip to catch the good stuff.

More audio at MyNorthwest.com

 




Friday TV - Ten post turkey day games

The weekend gets off to an early start with ten college football games on tonight, including multiple in-state rivalry games..

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

Ohio at Kent State - 11am - ESPNU

Syracuse at Temple - 11am - ESPN2

Nebraska at Iowa - 12 - ABC

Marshall at East Carolina - 2 - CBSSN

LSU at Arkansas - 2:30 - CBS

Utah at Colorado - 3 - FX

Washington at Washington State - 3:30 - FOX

West Virginia at Iowa State - 3:30 - ABC

South Florida at Cincinnati - 7 - ESPN

Arizona State at Arizona - 10 - ESPN

High School:

No games