Archive | November, 2014

Miss State loses Egg Bowl and shot at the College Football Playoffs

Miss State loses Egg Bowl and shot at the College Football Playoffs

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

mullen miss st

Mississippi State (10-2, 6-2 SEC) fell to Ole Miss (9-3, 5-3) 31-17 on the road Saturday, dropping the Egg Bowl for only the second time in Dan Mullen’s six years and finishing second in the SEC West.

“It’s obviously a devastating loss,” Mullen said, as MSU’s playoff hopes were dashed. “There’s plenty of blame to go around.”

Of note to Mullen, the Bulldog defense gave up 532 yards to UM, including 327 passing yards, an average of 23.4 yards per completion.

Offensively, MSU struggled to get going in the first half and found rhythm too late in the second half, ultimately totaling 445 yards, despite only scoring 17.

“I felt bad for the seniors,” junior quarterback Dak Prescott said. “I feel like I let them down and we all let each other down.”

Said senior defensive tackle Kaleb Eulls, “it was pretty hard.”

Despite the loss, MSU did have bright spots on offense as sophomore receivers De’Runnya Wilson and Fred Ross both topped 100 yards. Wilson caught eight passes for 117 yards and a score, while Ross chipped in 103 yards on six catches.

Fellow sophomore Ashton Shumpert had a breakout performance as the running back averaged 6.8 yards per carry as he got the ball often down the stretch, gaining 68 yards on 10 carries.

Prescott quietly completed 22-of-37 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 48 yards and a score, accounting for 330 total yards in the contest.
MSU will now await to hear where it will go for its bowl game, which extend its already school-record streak to five consecutive years of advancing to the postseason.

“It was a great season,” Eulls said. “Great run.”

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Nick Saban 2014 Iron Bowl Postgame Press Conference Video

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Nick Saban 2014 Iron Bowl Postgame Press Conference Video

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

Bama

Alabama won a wild 2014 Iron Bowl and had to rally in the second half to get the win. Amari Cooper was the star of the Crimson Tide offense with 224 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Bama QB Blake Simms threw for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns but put the team in a hole by throwing three interceptions early.

Nick Marshall put up some lofty stats as well with 456 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Sammie Coates blistered the Alabama secondary for 206 yards and 2 TDs.

Opening statement:

“First of all, that was a tremendous college football game on both sides. I’m really proud of the way our guys competed in the game. We didn’t play very well in the first half and didn’t start out well in the second half, but we just kept grinding. We started making some plays on offense and got the momentum of the game back. We started playing better on defense in the third and fourth quarters and came out with what was a tremendous come-from-behind win for our team. The thing you have to say about this team – somebody asked me how would you characterize this team – I would say that they do a great job from a competitive character standpoint of always making plays in the game when they need to make them. They seem to always be able to be resilient enough to play through adversity, which we certainly did today. It was great for our seniors in their last game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was really important to me that they have a great memory from their last game here. A lot of guys that are seniors contributed out there and down the stretch even. It makes you proud, and I’m sure our players are extremely happy to win the (SEC) West and have an opportunity to go to the SEC Championship Game.

“There were a lot of things that we need to do better as a team. You could say that in a lot of ways we didn’t play our best football, especially in the first half, but you have to give their players a lot of credit for making really good plays as well. I’m really, really proud of our team and proud of the character they showed in the second half. I just told the players at halftime, ‘We have 30 minutes. A lot of you guys have a lot of goals and aspirations. This is a gut-check as to what kind of heart you have, what kind of character you have and what kind of competitor you are in how you go out and play the second half of this game. I believe in you, I think we can win and I think we will win if everybody makes a commitment to doing their best in the second half.’ I was really pleased with the way the players responded and how they came out and played. Even though we turned it over the second play of the second half and they went down and scored, it just made the comeback that much better for our players, in terms of how they competed through adversity.”

On the fourth down conversion in the third quarter:

“I don’t think it was do-or-die. I thought we could play field position. One of the things that comes into my mind when we make those kind of decisions is if we were playing really, really well on defense, I probably wouldn’t have made that decision. But the fact is I thought we needed to score to change the momentum of the game – you have to take some chances. That was one that paid off for us, and I think it did change the game. I think it was a really big play for us.”

On Amari Cooper’s play tonight:

“We didn’t throw the ball downfield very much in the first half. The one time we did was a touchdown. I kept saying to (offensive coordinator) Lane (Kiffin) we’ve made a lot of explosive plays throwing the ball down the field, let’s take some shots on these guys and see if they can cover us deep. They (were) certainly doing that to us and we were not having much success. I think a couple of the big plays really changed the momentum of the game. Coop has been great for us all year. He certainly had a great game today. The guy played through a lot of injuries today. He was really kind of hurt, and he did a great job competing out there. He had 13 catches for (224) yards and made some extremely big plays in the game. I think we have other guys that are capable that we need to get involved offensively in terms of what they can do. DeAndrew White, Christion Jones, 13 (ArDarius Stewart) did a good job for us last week, hopefully we’ll get him back this week.”

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UTEP tops MTSU 24-21

UTEP tops MTSU 24-21

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

MTSU logo

Middle Tennessee and UTEP played like two teams battling for an automatic bowl berth in the regular-season finale for both teams at the Sun Bowl Saturday night.

In the end, an untimely turnover in the waning minutes left Middle Tennessee (6-6, 5-3) playing the waiting game following a 24-21 setback against the Miners (7-5, 5-3).

C-USA has five automatic bowl tie-ins and five league members with seven wins. Three additional teams are bowl eligible with six wins. MT and UTEP were virtually playing for one of the automatic spots.

Trailing 24-21 with less than two minutes remaining, MT appeared to be driving toward a game-tying or winning score; however, disaster struck on a second-and-goal play from the 7 with 1:31 remaining. Quarterback Austin Grammer’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Jameel Erving to thwart the scoring attempt.

The final quarter was filled with twists and turn as the lead was exchanged between the two teams.

MT rushed for 259 yards and had 358 yards total offense. Grammer led the ground attack with 106 yards on 12 carries. Shane Tucker added 101 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.

Grammer was 9-of-16 for 99 yards passing with one interception.

Aaron Jones led UTEP’s ground attack with 147 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown.

After a tight first half that saw MT grab a 14-10 lead at intermission ball control and time of possession was a prevalent theme in the third quarter. Both teams had long, time-consuming drives to open the second half but UTEP’s ended with points and MT’s did not.

The Blue Raiders received the ball to open the third quarter and drove 57 yards to the UTEP 18 before the drive stalled and Cody Clark’s field goal attempt was short.

UTEP began its opening drive of the second half at its 18 with 8:51 remaining. It put together an impressive 13-play drive and regained the lead when Aaron Jones scored from the 7 to put his team in front, 17-14, with 1:05 remaining in the fame.

Grammer’s dual-threat ability has benefitted the Blue Raiders this season and that was the case once again at UTEP. Facing third-and-5 from the 47 on the ensuing drive, Grammer rushed 37 yards to the 10 to keep the drive alive. He capped the nine-play, 71-yard drive with a 3-yard scamper. Clark’s extra point put the Blue Raiders ahead 21-17 with 11:44 remaining.

The Miners would not go quietly. Quarterback Jameill Showers capped a 12-play drive with a 5-yard rushing touchdown to shift the lead back in their favor, 24-21, with 6:19 remaining.

It proved to be the winning margin.

Defense for both teams played well and controlled the first half.

MT owned a 14-10 lead at intermission following Tucker’s second touchdown of the half. Tucker capped a six-play drive with a 1-yard plunge. Cody Clark’s point after gave the Blue Raiders a 14-10 lead with 3:34 remaining in the half.

The Blue Raiders jumped out in front 7-0 when Tucker capped a short scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown less than four minutes into the game.

UTEP came back with 10 unanswered points. The Miners got a 34-yard field goal from Jay Mattox to pull to within 7-3 with 5:53 remaining in the first quarter. UTEP extended the lead to 10-7 when quarterback Jameill Showers found Aaron Jones for a 72-yard touchdown on a big third-down conversion with 14:06 remaining in the half.

The score remained 10-7 until late in the half when Parker hit paydirt for the second time.

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Bradshaw has a career night in win over Ohio

Bradshaw has a career night in win over Ohio

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

belmont-bruins

Belmont University men’s basketball junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) scored a Belmont NCAA Division I era 42 points, including the game-winning basket with 0.2 seconds remaining, as the Bruins defeated Ohio, 83-81, Saturday night.

In a highly-entertaining, back-and-forth contest, Bradshaw scored from all angles, going 14-for-22 from the field, and 8-for-12 from three-point distance.

Belmont led by 11 points early, but Ohio got great shooting from Javares Willis and Stevie Taylor to battle back.

Trailing 79-78 late, sophomore Nick Smith (Bentonville, Ark.) drilled a baseline three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to put Belmont back ahead.

After a defensive stop, senior Holden Mobley (Nashville, Tenn.) made one of two free throws with 17 seconds left before Willis scored a driving layin to tie the game at 81 with seven seconds left.

Bradshaw proceeded to make a floating bank shot with 0.2 to win it.

Belmont is 6-1 and will host MTSU on Tuesday at the Curb Center..

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Lady Skyhawks coast to 84-74 win over Evansville

Lady Skyhawks coast to 84-74 win over Evansville

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

utm

The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team never trailed while snapping a brief three-game losing streak behind a complete team effort in a 84-74 victory over Evansville, notching head coach Kevin McMillan’s 100th career victory at the helm of the Skyhawks.

The Skyhawks (2-4) placed four players in double figures for the second consecutive game while dominating on boards and shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor and knocking down a season-best 14 three-pointers. Career nights from both sophomores Jessy Ward and Tiara Caldwell proved to be enough to defend the Elam Center in a non-conference bout.

Ward tallied a career high 25 points in the victory, knocking down seven three-pointers on the evening. Caldwell tallied her first career double-double with 12 points and a career best 14 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. The duo was joined in double figures by Ashia Jones (15) and Katie Schubert (10).

“We’ll obviously take every win we can get and I thought we played a good Evansville team and had a good team performance,” said McMillan. “I thought Jessy Ward was great for us down the stretch. We needed someone to make some big shots for us and she did. Caldwell had a big night with her 14 rebounds, which was huge for us on the inside. We are inching along, but we’re getting there.”

Evansville (1-4) saw career nights from a pair of shooters as well. Sara Dickey led the Purple Aces with a new career high with 28 points while Ladd notched 25 points in the loss. The Purple Aces shot 55.6 percent from the floor during the game while Sasha Robinson led the team with eight rebounds in addition to her eight points.

The Skyhawks opened the game on a 9-4 run after Ward knocked down a pair of three-pointers while Schubert notched a trifecta of her own. The run would continue with a 15-8 advantage at the first media timeout. The home squad would knock down five of seven three-pointers during the span, led with three by Ward.

Evansville would open the following few minutes on a 7-0 run behind five points from Dickey. The game would be tied at 15 at the 14:48 mark after Kenyia Johnson scored a fast break layup following a Skyhawk turnover. UTM would rally with a 5-2 run of their own to hold a 22-17 advantage with 11:39 to play in the first.

The Skyhawks would continue on their previous run, extending it out to 13-0 over the course of four minutes, forcing Evansville to call a timeout with just under 10 minutes to play. During the run, the Skyhawks would tally another pair of three-pointer behind the hot shooting of Ward and Haley Howard, leading 30-17.

The Purple Aces would look to get back in the game over the next four minutes, outscoring the home team 10-6 during the span. Dickey and Ladd would take over the game for the visitors as Ladd knocked down a pair of three-pointers and Dickey tallied four points.

UT Martin would take a 46-32 lead into the halftime break. Finishing the first half on a brief 6-3 lead, the Skyhawks were led in scoring by Ward with 11 points while five players scored six points or more in the opening half. Evansville was led in scoring by Dickey with 18 points in the opening period.

Both teams would come out of the half with nine points in the opening five minutes. Evansville would get points from Robinson, Dickey and Ladd while four Skyhawks scored during the span. The Skyhawks would hold a 55-41 lead at the 14:56 mark of the second half.

The Purple Aces would put together a substantial run to get back in the ballgame. Stringing together a 28-14 run, Evansville would end up tying the contest at the 6:37 mark with a three-pointer from Dickey to knot the game at 69-69. During the run, Ladd would score 15 points for the Purple Aces.

Ward’s fifth trifecta of the game gave the Skyhawks the lead back after a brief tie, putting the home squad back on top with at 72-69. A jumper by Schubert would put the Skyhawks up by five before Khristian Hart would knock down a three-pointer to trim the margin to two points going into the final media timeout.

The two point margin would be as close as Evansville would get in the final minutes as the Skyhawks finished the game on a 10-2 in the game’s five four minutes of play. Ward would tally eight of her career high 25 points down the stretch to hold onto the 84-74 victory – snapping a three game losing streak.

UT Martin will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 4 when the Skyhawks travel to Southeastern Conference foe Alabama.

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EKU Ladies fall to North Florida

EKU Ladies fall to North Florida

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

eku

Junior forward Shelly Harper notched her first double-double of the season, but it was not enough as a cold-shooting Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team fell to North Florida, 62-45, on Saturday in the UNCW Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Classic at Trask Coliseum.

Harper went for 10 points and a career-high 13 boards to pick up her third-career double-double. It was her second straight game with double-digit rebounds.

Sophomore Michaela Hunter was the only other Colonel in double figures, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.

Junior Shameekia Murray added eight points, while junior Jasmine Henshaw contributed six points and six boards.

EKU (2-3) shot 28.3 percent (17-of-60) from the field and a season-low 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from three-point range.

The Ospreys, meanwhile, connected on 9-of-18 three-pointers (50 percent).

UNF’s Destinee Smith led all players in the game with 19 points.

Eastern took an early 4-3 lead when Henshaw converted a layup less than two minutes into the game; however, UNF responded with a 20-3 run and captured a 23-7 lead when Kadesia Johnson completed a three-point play at the 10:10 mark of the first half.

EKU pulled to within eight, 36-28, on a layup by Harper to open the second half, but UNF responded with a bucket of its own on the ensuing possession, and the Ospreys led by double digits the rest of the game.

The Colonels return to action on Tuesday when they host Asbury in their home opener at 7:00 p.m.

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Lady Tigers come up short in OT

Lady Tigers come up short in OT

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

TSU

The Tennessee State women’s basketball team dropped its first game in the Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic to Norfolk State, 65-58, in overtime on Saturday.

Chelsea Hudson led TSU (1-4) with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting (46.1 percent) and tallied a game-high 11 rebounds.

Kayla Robberts poured in 23 points for Norfolk State (1-4) and secured a team-best eight boards.

Jemilah Leonard canned a three at the 12:47 mark, ending a seven-minute drought to start the game. The hoop ignited a 9-0 run – which Leonard capped with a jumper – and gave TSU an, 11-10, lead.

The Spartans built a five-point advantage later in the half, but two Rachel Allen triples in a two-minute span put the Lady Tigers within one with 3:07 to go in the half.

Each side had just one point during the final three minutes of the first half and NSU went into the break clinging to a, 23-22, lead.

The Lady Tigers crushed the Spartans on the glass during the opening 20 minutes, 23-14, but 12 TSU turnovers led to the gap on the scoreboard.

Hudson converted an old-fashioned three-point play 25 seconds into the second period and Briana Morrow had one, too, a minute later. Hudson then converted an easy lay-in to give the Lady Tigers a, 30-23, lead.

The Spartans fought back with a 12-3 run later in the half and went up by four with a jumper at the 8:58 mark. TSU was 1-for-6 (16.7 percent) during the stretch while NSU made 4-of-8.

The Lady Tigers were down two with 1:40 left in the game when Hudson nailed a layup to tie the game at 52. Hudson was fouled on the play, but missed the ensuing free throw.

NSU canned a three on the next trip down the floor, but Imani Davis answered right back with a three of her own with 36 seconds left to tie the game again at 55.

The Spartans were called for an offensive foul on their next possession, but the refs called Allen for one on TSU’s next chance, forcing overtime.

Jayda Johnson had the first hoop in the extra period, but the Lady Tigers could only muster one more point from there, and fell by seven.

TSU shot 56 percent from the charity stripe (9-of-16) and NSU had more chances (22) and eight more makes (17).

Tennessee State will close out the Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic against Youngstown State tomorrow at 2 p.m.

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Raiders fall to Creighton

Raiders fall to Creighton

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

MTSU2

Middle Tennessee (3-3) finished off play at the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic with a 57-47 loss to No. 23 Creighton (6-1) on Saturday night.

It was the tale of two halves as the Blue Raiders recovered from a 21 point deficit in the first half to finish the game within 10 points with 39.1 percent shooting and out-rebounding the Bluejays 29-24.

MT started a new group featuring DJ Jones, Marcus Tarrance, Joshua Phillips, Jacquez Rozier and Reggie Upshaw; the team has started four different groups in its first six games.

The starting line-up brought a high-intensity defense to get off to a 4-3 lead in the first five minutes before the Bluejays turned a quick 7-0 run to go up 10-4.

Creighton was able to capitalize on MT’s first-half mistakes as they picked up seven points off turnovers and out-scored the Blue Raiders in the paint 12-4.

The Blue Raiders shooting started strong but tinkered off in the half as they finished the half 6-of-23 from the field for 26.1 percent, while Creighton shot a steady 60.9 percent. The Bluejays had four players record a three-point basket in the first half as they went 4-of-7 with their bench picking up 16 of their first-half points.

The Blue Raiders used an 8-0 run to gain momentum in the opening minutes of the second half to bring the score back within 13 points with the help of a three-pointer and a floating jumper from Jaqawn Raymond.

MT held Creighton scoreless from the field for 15 minutes and 21 seconds as the defense continued to find a rhythm. The Blue Raiders managed to force the Bluejays to go 3-of-14 from the field in the second half to help them wedge their way back into the game.

Middle Tennessee picked up the pace, shooting 26.1 percent better in the second half of the game.

The Blue Raiders were able to keep battling as they brought it within 10 points with 7:31 remaining in the game off of a powerful dunk by Raymond as Giddy Potts set him up on a fast break.

“We had an inability to make shots, normal college shots,” Head Coach Kermit Davis said. “The second half I was really proud of our team and I think we got it within a workable number despite a couple turnovers but found about seven or eight guys that will play the way we want to play.”

The BlueJays’ Isaiah Zierdan hit a crippling three-pointer before the final media timeout as he was fouled on the shot by Tarrance. The made free-throw extended Creighton’s lead by 13 points to make it 50-37.

MT continued to fight as it narrowed the lead to single digits, snagging 12 points off turnovers in the second half and increasing its points in the paint output by 16 points from the first half.

Middle Tennessee’s bench performed well again as it finished with 20 points with Raymond leading the team with nine points. The Blue Raider bench has recorded 40% of the team’s points this season.

Starters, Rozier and Phillips combined for 11 of the team’s rebounds, while Jones recorded eight points and three rebounds in his first career start for the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee will return to the hardwood with a short road trip to Belmont on Tuesday, December 2nd for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
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Indiana State rallies to beat EKU in Playoffs

Indiana State rallies to beat EKU in Playoffs

Posted on 29 November 2014 by Allen

eku

In the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs, No. 21 Indiana State scored the final 36 points on the way to a 36-16 win over No. 16 Eastern Kentucky Saturday afternoon at Roy Kidd Stadium.

The Sycamores (8-5) advance to play No. 8 seed Chattanooga next Saturday, Dec. 6 in the round of 16. Meanwhile, EKU concludes its season with a 9-4 overall record.

Things looked promising early for the Colonels as the home team scored on the first four possessions to take a 16-0 lead. Eastern notched three field goals and one touchdown on those drives. However, on two of those field goal drives, EKU moved the ball inside the Indiana State five-yard line, but could not score a touchdown.

Indiana State cut the deficit to 16-7 when quarterback Mike Perish found Robert Tonyan in the back of the end zone with two seconds remaining in the first half. The Sycamores converted a 4th-and-2 play at the Eastern 10-yard line earlier in that drive behind Buck Logan’s six-yard rush.

The Sycamores scored on their first three possessions of the second half to take control of the game. Perish found Kyani Harris for a 57-yard touchdown strike to give the visitors their first lead of the game, 17-16. On Indiana State’s ensuing possession, Perish hit Gary Owens down the near sidelines for a 38-yard scoring pass to make the score, 24-16.

Indiana State put the exclamation point on its first FCS playoff win since 1983 when Mark Sewall returned an interception 48 yards to pay dirt a minute later to extend the cushion to 31-16.

After being held to 145 yards of offense in the first half, Indiana State piled up 311 offensive yards in the final 30 minutes. On the other hand, EKU’s offense was stifled to just 123 yards of offense following intermission.

ISU’s Perish completed 41-of-57 passes for a season-high 407 yards and three touchdowns. Sewall led the defense with eight stops and an interception.

For Eastern, junior running back Dy’Shawn Mobley netted 96 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Senior kicker Andrew Lloyd converted all three field goal attempts – 21, 31 and 20 yards. Junior defensive back Stanley Absanon recorded two interceptions and five tackles.

This was the first meeting between the two teams since 2000. EKU is 6-2 all-time against the Sycamores and had won six straight versus Indiana State.

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UGA loses in OT to Georgia Tech 30-24

UGA loses in OT to Georgia Tech 30-24

Posted on 29 November 2014 by Allen

UGA logo

UGA logo

In the first overtime game in the history of Sanford Stadium, the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs fell 30-24 to in-state rival and 16th-ranked Georgia Tech in front of 92,746 fans and a nationally televised SEC Network audience at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, November 29. The Bulldogs end their regular season with a 9-3 record, while Georgia Tech improves to 10-2 on the season.

Nick Chubb, who finished with 129 yards on 25 carries, once again led the Bulldogs offensively. It was it seventh-straight 100-yard rushing game. Hutson Mason finished with 194 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 18-for-28 passing. His top target was Malcolm Mitchell, who finished with 56 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Chris Conley did good work for the Bulldogs late in the game, finishing with 45 yards on three catches.

The Bulldog defense was led by Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera, who each finished with 19 tackles, including six solo stops. Damian Swann added 10 tackles. Lorenzo Carter and Leonard Floyd each had one tackle for loss. Swann came up with two fumble recoveries, including a goal line recovery that was returned for a school-record 99 yards and a score.

Georgia got on the board in a hurry, scoring on its opening drive. Chubb was the star of the drive, catching a 24-yard pass before rushing for 28 yards to set up 2nd-and-Goal at the Georgia Tech four. Two plays later, the Bulldogs went for it on 4th-and-Goal from the one. Chubb got the call and crossed the goal line for the score. Marshall Morgan connected on the extra point to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.

On Georgia’s third drive of the game, Chubb broke off a 65-yard run that got the Bulldogs down to the Georgia Tech one-yard line. Two plays later the ball was fumbled and recovered by the Jackets. The defense stepped up and force Georgia Tech to punt.

Georgia Tech looked to get on the board at the start of the second quarter, marching all the way down to the Georgia 20. As Tech tried for a 37-yard field goal, Ray Drew came leaping over the middle and blocked the kick. Swann picked up the ball and returned it for six yards. Georgia looked to take advantage of the blocked kick, but a fumble into the end zone resulted in a touchback for Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets drove the length of the field on the ensuing possession. A 7-yard touchdown pass to Darren Waller that tied the game at 7-7 capped off the drive. Highlighting the scoring drive was a 25-yard rush by Synjyn Days.

Georgia Tech got the ball to start the second half and drove all the way to the Georgia seven. With the Yellow Jackets looking to score, Swann ripped the ball from Justin Thomas’ arm and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown that put the Bulldogs up 14-7 after the PAT. The 99-yard return set a new Georgia record as the longest fumble return in school history.

The Bulldogs looked to add to its lead with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. Morgan lined up for a 49-yard attempt but the kick was blocked, resulting in Tech getting the ball at its own 37-yard line. It was the second blocked kick of the game. Georgia Tech turned the blocked kick into seven points, driving 63 yards on eight plays that tied the game up at 14-14.

The Bulldogs put together a 15-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in the Bulldogs taking a 17-14 lead after Morgan connected on a 19-yard field goal with 11:19 left to play. After the drive appeared to stall, Georgia lined up to attempt a field goal. Instead of the kick, holder Collin Barber pitched the ball over his head and Morgan took the ball 28 yards to the Georgia Tech three for the first down. He completed the drive six plays later with a short field goal.

Georgia Tech responded with a touchdown drive that went 80 yards in 13 plays that allowed the Yellow Jackets to take a 21-17 lead with just over four minutes left on the clock.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Yellow Jackets executed a perfect pooch kick, recovering at the Georgia 27. The Yellow Jackets picked up 10 yards before Thomas was sacked for a loss of 14 yards. During the play, Quincy Mauger stripped Thomas of the ball for a fumble that was recovered by Herrera at the Georgia 31.

The fumble recovery gave Georgia another chance. Mason started the drive with a pair of passes to Conley for a pickup of 20 yards. Sony Michel picked up another 10 yards that put Georgia at the Tech 21. Mason and Conley hooked up for another big gain, setting the Bulldogs up with 1st-and-Goal at the Georgia Tech five-yard line. Facing 4th-and-Goal with 22 seconds on the clock after a pair of incomplete passes and a short gain, Mason found Mitchell in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown pass that gave Georgia a 24-21 lead with 18 seconds left in the game.

The dramatics continued as Georgia Tech got a 16-yard kickoff return, coupled with gain of 21 yards on the first play of the drive. As time expired, kicker Harrison Butker was good from 53 yards, tying the game at 24-24 and sending it into overtime.

Georgia won the toss and elected to start on defense. Georgia Tech got the ball on the 25-yard line and worked its way into the end zone for the score. As Butker came on to kick the extra point, Ray Drew came up with a block that made it a 30-24 game. It was the third blocked kick of the game.

In Georgia’s overtime possession, Chubb got the call on the first two plays, picking up five yards. Mason connected with Conley on third down for a gain of 10 yards, giving the Bulldogs a fresh set of downs inside the 10. With Georgia looking for the winning touchdown, Mason’s pass was intercepted by D.J. White, which sealed Georgia Tech’s 30-24 win.

Georgia will await its bowl fate, as the destination announcement is set for Dec. 7.

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Qualls leads Hogs past North Texas

Qualls leads Hogs past North Texas

Posted on 29 November 2014 by Allen

Qualls Arkansas

Junior Michael Qualls scored a career-high 22 points and senior Rashad Madden filled up the stat sheet to lead No. 25 Arkansas to a 89-73 win over North Texas on Friday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Three days removed from its first game as a ranked team since 2007, which resulted in a road win at SMU, Arkansas improved to 5-0 with its 18th straight home win over a non-conference opponent. North Texas now stands at 4-2.

Qualls’ career-high night started with two three-pointers in the opening two minutes of the game, as he finished 7-of-13 from the floor with a quartet of trifectas. With sophomore Bobby Portis in foul trouble, Qualls took control on the boards with a game-high nine rebounds, playing a big part in Arkansas’ 47-34 edge on the glass that included 21 offensive rebounds.

Entering the game fourth in the SEC in assists, Madden passed out a game-high seven helpers during Arkansas’ 21-assist night that featured just six turnovers. Madden added a season-high 15 points and hauled in five rebounds with no turnovers over his 26 minutes. Madden scored or had a hand in 32 points, including 21 in the first half.

Holding a one-point lead, 59-58, with just over nine minutes left, Arkansas limited North Texas to points in just two of its next 11 possessions while finally finding its rhythm on the offensive end to unleash a 22-5 run that provided the difference. Six different Razorbacks scored during the run.

Junior Anthlon Bell was the third Razorback in double figures with 15 points, adding to his SEC-leading three-point total with four trifectas. Classmate Jacorey Williams continued to provide a huge spark off the bench with nine points and finished his 22 minutes with a +22 plus/minus rating. Sophomore Moses Kingsley also added nine points and eight rebounds off the pine in 21 minutes.

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Breaking Down Indiana State at EKU

Breaking Down Indiana State at EKU

Posted on 28 November 2014 by Allen

eku

NCAA Division I Football Championship – First Round
#21 Indiana State Sycamores (7-5, 4-4 MVFC) at #16 Eastern Kentucky Colonels (9-3, 6-2 OVC)
Saturday, Nov. 29 * 12:00 p.m. CT
Roy Kidd Stadium (20,000) * Richmond, Ky.
TV:. ESPN3
Series Record: Eastern Kentucky leads 5-1
Last Meeting: Eastern Kentucky won 34-10 (9/9/02)
Indiana State Last Week: L, 34-20 at Western Illinois
Eastern Kentucky Last Week: L, 52-3 at Florida

GAME NOTES: A pair of nationally-ranked teams who earned at-large berths and who also own a victory over a FBS opponent in 2014 will meet in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship on Saturday in Richmond. The game is also a matchup of teams who force turnovers at a high rate, as Eastern Kentucky ranks second nationally in turnovers gained (31) while Indiana State is ninth in that category (27). The two teams have played six times but not since the 2002 season. Indiana State claimed victory in the first-ever matchup between the programs in 1929, but since then EKU has won five in a row, including a perfect 3-0 record at home.

SCOUTING INDIANA STATE: Despite a loss the final weekend of the regular season, Indiana State’s strong schedule and key FBS victory early in the season helped the Sycamores earn one of the last at-large berths for the playoffs. It marks the first playoff appearance for Indiana State since the 1984 season; the Sycamores are one of a record five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams in the field. ISU, who was 1-11 overall in 2013, won seven overall games for just the third time in 29 seasons as a member of the MVFC (it hasn’t won eight games in a season since 1984). The team is making its third overall FCS Playoff appearance (1983, 1984, 2014); Indiana State is 1-2 all-time in those appearances. In the non-conference ISU knocked off FBS opponent Ball State 27-20 in the third week of the season and also topped nationally-ranked foe and Big South Champion Liberty. During MVFC play the team knocked off No. 10 Northern Iowa; overall the Sycamores played seven nationally-ranked teams during the regular season.

Quarterback Mike Perish has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,957 yards and 17 touchdowns; he ranks 11th nationally in passing yards/game (268.8). Perish had 340 passing yards and three touchdowns in his team’s win over Liberty and also threw three touchdowns in the upset of Ball State.

Junior defense end Connor Underwood is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award and already owns the school career sacks record (27) as a junior. Underwood ranks eighth nationally in tackles-for-loss (1/8/game) and 13th in sacks (0.92/game). Indiana State ranks third nationally in turnover margin (+1.0/game) and ninth in total turnovers gained (27). The team is ranked No. 21 in the FCS Coaches Top 25 and No. 25 in the Sports Network Top 25.

SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY: Eastern Kentucky is making its 21st all-time NCAA Division I Football Championship appearance and first since the 2011 season. The Colonels are 16-18 all-time in the playoffs and won the 1979 and 1982 National Championships. EKU is 11-5 all-time at home in the playoffs, but has only played only one home playoff game since the end of the 1994 season (losing on a last second field goal to James Madison in 2011); the Colonels are looking to snap a six-game playoff losing streak and pick up its first playoff victory since 1994. This season the Colonels started 6-0 (the program’s best start since 1990) and topped FBS Miami (Ohio) early in the season (its first win over a FBS team since 1985). The team’s nine overall wins are the most in seven years under head coach Dean Hood and most since the team won nine in 2007.

EKU has been ranked since the third week of the season and climbed as high as No. 12 in the national Top 25 polls; the Colonels are No. 16 in this week’s Sports Network poll and No. 18 in the FCS Coaches Top 25.

A big part of the team’s success has been Kentucky transfer Dy’Shawn Mobley, the 2014 OVC Offensive Player of the Year, who ranks 13th nationally in rushing yards/game (116.3) and fifth in rushing touchdowns (19 – tied for third-most in OVC single-season history). Mobley has helped the Colonels rank 16th nationally as a team in rushing offense (229.4 yards/game) and 29th in scoring offense (32.4 points/game).

The quarterback combination of Jared McClain and Bennie Coney have combined for 2,118 passing yards and 12 touchdowns as well as 689 rushing yards and eight rushing scores. Defensively Brandon Stanley leads the team with 109 tackles and four interceptions while Tyrelle Johnson has added 75 tackles.

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Lady Vols upset by UTC

Lady Vols upset by UTC

Posted on 27 November 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

A furious second-half comeback fell just short as #4 Tennessee was beaten at Chattanooga for the second consecutive time, 67-63, on Wednesday night. The Lady Vols (4-1), rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to tie the game on four occasions late in the second half, but UTC (4-2) made four free throws in the final minute to secure the win.

Junior Jasmine Jones returned to action and led the dramatic comeback. She scored 16 of her career-high 19 points in the second half. Jones grabbed eight rebounds, the most of any player in the game.

Senior Ariel Massengale was the only other scorer in double-figures for the Lady Vols with 11 points. The Lady Vols were limited to just 37.7 percent from the floor.

Chattanooga’s Keiana Gilbert led all scorers with a career-high 27 points. Destiny Bramblett added 12 points.

Alicia Payne put UTC ahead, 64-63 with 52.3 seconds remaining as she made the second of two free-throw attempts. Jasmine Joyner also made the second of a pair of foul shots with 14.8 remaining, that put the Mocs up 65-63.

Jones had a chance to tie the game for Tennessee, but her shot wouldn’t drop with five seconds left. Ka’Vonne Towns made both of her free throws with 2.7 seconds left to seal the victory for Chattanooga.

The game was tied at 57, 59, 61 and 63 setting the stage for the Mocs to claim the win.

The Lady Vols chipped away through the second half before Jones finally tied the game at 57 on a jumper with 4:31 left in the game. Tennessee cut their deficit to one possession on a jumper by Massengale with 8:10 on the clock at 54-51, but UTC continued to hold the lead for the next few minutes before Jones’ back-to-back filed goals tied the game for the first time.

The Lady Vols trailed by 16 at the half, 37-21, as the Lady Mocs shot 58.3 percent from the floor in the first half as compared the Tennessee’s 31.0. The Mocs also outrebounded the Lady Vols, 19-12 as they controlled the half throughout. Gilbert had 14 to lead all scorers in the first half. Massengale as Tennessee’s top scorer with five points in the first 20 minutes.

Playing at Chattanooga has been a challenge for the Lady Vols. In Holly Warlick’s debut as Tennessee’s head coach in 2012, she suffered an 80-71 defeat at McKenzie Arena.

Tennessee was eyeing their largest comeback since rallying from a 33-13 deficit at Rutgers in 2009, but they were not able to pull of the rally. Last season, the Lady Vols came back from 15-point deficits on two occasions to win.

Tennessee returns to action at #6 Texas on Sunday, Nov. 30. That game tips at 6:30 p.m. ET and airs on Fox Sports Net and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.

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Lady Bulldogs remain undefeated with win over Colgate

Lady Bulldogs remain undefeated with win over Colgate

Posted on 27 November 2014 by Allen

UGA logo

UGA logo

The Georgia Lady Bulldogs defeated Colgate 66-35 on Wednesday night in Stegeman Coliseum, giving head coach Andy Landers his 849th victory in 36 seasons at the University of Georgia.

Landers is on the verge of becoming just the seventh college basketball coach – men’s or women’s – to post 850 wins at a single Division I institution. The coaches who have reached that milestone already are Pat Summit (Tennessee), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Mike Kryzewski (Duke), Geno Auriemma (Connecticut), Dean Smith (North Carolina) and Adolph Rupp (Kentucky).

“We played hard. I think the first thing we have to do is give Colgate some credit,” Landers said. “They were gritty. I thought they played us well. I thought we played hard defensively, and we were very good. I thought we could have rebounded the ball a little better. Offensively, we executed. We hit some shots and missed some shots that we should have hit, but for the most part we executed well offensively.”

Georgia continued its perfect 6-0 start to the season thanks to a team-best 16 points from Shacobia Barbee and 10 from Merritt Hempe. Both also grabbed five boards, and Barbee recorded a season-best five assists. Krista Donald led the team in rebounds with seven.

The Lady Bulldogs built a 6-point lead before Colgate narrowed the score to 14-13 midway through the first stanza. The score remained close until Donald sunk a layup at the 6:13 mark to spark a Georgia run. The Lady Bulldogs used steals from Hempe and Tiaria Griffin to fuel the 11-2 scoring drive and hold a 32-19 advantage at the half.

Georgia opened the second period with an 11-0 run to increase its lead to more than 20 points. The Lady Bulldogs recorded 18 bench points and 15 points-off-turnovers in the second half to take command of the game and seal the Georgia win.

Georgia shot 38 percent from the field, 18 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free throw line. The Lady Bulldogs earned 35 points-off-turnovers, taking advantage of Colgate’s 28 miscues. In comparison, Georgia allowed only three Colgate points off of eight Lady Bulldog turnovers.

The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Tennessee Tech on Saturday, where Landers will go for his 850th win against his alma mater. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ?

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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