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Butch Jones: "If we weren't mentally ready, we wouldn't be singing"

What a weekend both on and off the field for Butch Jones and the Cincinnati Bearcats. After moving their “home” game against Virginia Tech to FedEx Field just outside of Washington DC, the Bearcats went into Hokie territory and came away with an improbable 27-24 victory. 

Trailing by four with 1:43 left in the 4th, the Bearcats started at their own 15 and quickly drove into Virginia Tech territory. With just 13 seconds left in the game, QB Munchie Legaux connected with Damon Julian for an incredible diving 39-yard touchdown pass to win it for Cincinnati as they improved to 3-0. 

The game was played in the Washington Redskins’ stadium just outside of DC, a chance for Coach Jones and his staff to showcase the Bearcats program in a recruiting hotbed. Add to the fact that the University pocketed an estimated $3 million for moving their home game, leaving with a W makes it all the more sweeter. 

We included a video below from Coach Jones’ blog, which has some great footage of the game winning touchdown and the rowdy locker room celebration which ensued afterwards. We also get a glimpse into his post game address to his team, where he confidently tells his players “if we keep training and you keep believing in the way we play football, we can’t be beat.” 

One of the best moments in the winning locker room is from Cincinnati interim President Dr. Santa Ono, who addressed the team and informed them of a little friendly wager he made before the season with Jones.  Dr. Ono had pledged to his head coach that if the Bearcats were to win 10 games in a row, he would shave his head. The Bearcats are 7 more wins away from that haircut but the UC President went on to tell the players “I want to lose my hair.” Time will tell if President Ono will sport a new haircut to another BCS bowl game for the Bearcats this season.




Cutcliffe explains his "best program in the country" comment

Last week, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe raised some eyebrows when he proclaimed that he thought Duke had the best program in the country. For a team that hasn’t played in a bowl game in 17 seasons, it was a lofty statement.  Cutcliffe made sure to clarify that he didn’t mean the Blue Devils were the best team, but his statement speaks volumes about the success of Duke Football since he arrived in Durham. 

In his first four seasons at Duke, Cutcliffe’s teams have won more games than Duke did from 1999 until his arrival in 2008. After defeating Wake Forest on Saturday, Duke improved to 4-1, their best start since 1994, and just two wins away from that elusive bowl berth. Quite a turnaround for a “basketball school”. “Our program is pretty salty, pretty solid,” Cutcliffe said. “It’s probably ahead of the teams we’ve had to this point. But the team is not far behind now.”

The road to six wins and a bowl won’t be easy, with tough matchups against North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami on the horizon, but after falling just short of a bowl berth last season, the Blue Devils are determined to get over the hump and play in the postseason. Asked how he motivates his players despite the long bowl drought, Cutcliffe said “It’s never fun to be on a bad end of a streak. It should motivate people, naturally.”

As the football team in enjoying some much needed success on the field, the work that Cutcliffe and his staff have put in are now paying dividends off the field. Although Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium is considered one of the most historic stadiums in the country, sitting in the shadows of the famed basketball arena Cameron Indoor, it is also one of the most run down and unappealing BCS conference stadiums in the country. This weekend it was announced that for the first time since opening in 1929, Wallace Wade will undergo major renovations, which will include removing the running track that surrounds the field, closing in the open endzone, adding over 10,000 new seats, and building a new press box and luxury suites.

Part of a $100 million athletic facilities upgrade, Duke football facilities will be getting a major facelift, and it is all thanks to the upgrade David Cutcliffe and his staff made to the football program, the best program in the country in his opinion.




Tuesday TV - No games

No games on tonight, but we'll have a triple header of college football featuring USC and Utah and a NFL game on Thursday.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College: 

No games

High School:

No games




Wild finish to a high school game

Wichita Independent (KS) took on Chaparral (KS) last Friday in a classic shootout that came down to a fourth down call, and a heads up play.

Chaparral goes up with 19 seconds left in the game and Wichita Independent runs this screen pass from their own 19 yard line on 4th and 7.

The running back (who accounted for 400 all purpose yards in the game) makes a few guys miss on the screen and looks like he's got a good shot to take it the distance. But he eventually gets caught and as he's going down he pitches it back to one of the offensive lineman that had led the way on the screen, and the lineman breaks a tackle as he goes in for the game winner.

Lineman's hustle rewarded with a "Fat Guy" touchdown for the win!!! Every lineman's dream. 




Video: Inside MTSU's win over Georgia Tech

Middle Tennessee got a good program win over Georgia Tech Saturday, putting up nearly 50 points before it was all said and done (49-28). 

Before they took the field, head coach Rick Stockstill reminded the team, "You've got a great opportunity. That's what it is. It ain't a challenge...it's an opportunity."

The Blue Raider offense went out and racked up more rushing and passing yards than the Yellow Jackets. Starting running back Benny Cunningham racked up 217 yards on 27 carries for 5 touchdowns (an 8 yards per carry average). The defense was successful containing the option offense (only two runs of over 20 yards, and only one pass of 20+), and pressuring the quarterback all day.

"I think that winning this game was probably harder and means more than the win we had at Maryland, because of the type of season that Georgia Tech is having and the type of seasons that they've had." Stockstill explained after the game.

"This one means a lot more to me because of the type of offense that Georgia Tech runs and how hard you have to be able to play to win the type of game like this."

Hear more of Coach Stockstill's thoughts and get a good look inside their big win in the clip. 

Also, here's a good look inside Middle Tennesee's locker room and equipment room, including numerous new upgrades.




50+ pass attempts without a TD for two NFL QB's

This past week of NFL action saw two NFL quarterbacks attempt 50 or more passes without throwing for a touchdown. Since 1960, that feat has happened only 47 other times, and last week marks only the second time that two quarterbacks did it in the same week.

Matthew Stafford (Detroit) went 30 for 51 for 319 and no touchdowns yesterday and on Thursday Brandon Weeden (Cleveland) went 25-52 for 320 yards without a touchdown throw.

That adds up to 103 passing attempts between two NFL quarterbacks (an established starter and a rookie, both first round picks) without a touchdown.The last time that two quarterbacks had 50 pass attempts without a touchdown was 1996 with Drew Bledsoe (Patriots) and Dave Brown (Giants) in losing efforts.

When you look back the last ten times a quarterback has thrown the ball 50+ times without a touchdown, Brett Favre's name is in the record book on four different occasions.




Video: Why you never give up following a sudden change

Tabor College (KS) and Ottawa University (KS) squared off on Saturday in NAIA action complete with a wild finish.

In the clip below, Ottawa has just thrown an interception on their own three yard line, and Tabor is lined up to punch in an insurance touchdown to add to their 21-18 lead with a minute and a half left in the game.

As you can see, it didn't quite work out that way. Ottawa returns a fumble that squirts deep into the end zone and they return the ball over a hundred yards for the game winning touchdown. 




Louisville wins third straight game by single digits

Louisville won their third straight game by single digits this past weekend against Southern Miss (21-17) to advance to 5-0 heading into their bye week before conference play starts.

The Cardinals trailed for most of the rain soaked game (down by 11 at one point) before getting the lead for good in the final six minutes. The two teams combined for just three turnovers despite the sloppy conditions.

Southern Miss found a way to stay in the game despite completing only two passes for 25 yards. Think about that, Southern Miss nearly beat Louisville despite only completing two passes the entire game (and they had a chance to win the game at the end).

Three different Southern Miss players finished with double digit carries. 

Louisville will use their bye week to prepare next weekends match up with Pitt who is currently 2-2 and 0-1 in conference play. Cincinnati, Connecticut, and Rutgers are the only teams currently above .500 that remain on the Cardinals schedule.

Southern Miss is off to a very rough start at 0-4 in Ellis Johnson's first season as head coach. They host Boise State this weekend and then travel to Central Florida. Challenging times in Hattiesburg.