January 04, 2008

The Kansas Jayhawks Are Your 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl Champions!!

MIAMI, Fla. - In a game that saw a role reversal of sorts, the Kansas Jayhawks silenced the critics as they triumphed over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl by a score of 24-21.

Virginia Tech is known for their stout defense and outstanding special teams, but tonight it was the Jayhawks turn to show off in those two areas. Kansas recorded three interceptions on defense, but were even better on special teams converting on a fake punt pass as well as blocking a crucial field goal.

"Our special teams were overlooked," said Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino. "From the outside, the media just didn't pick up on the type of success that we've had on special teams."

Coming into the game all of the talk was about Kansas' offense versus Virginia Tech's defense, but that wasn't the case when the players took the field as the Jayhawks defense, behind Orange Bowl MVP Aqib Talib, wreaked havoc on both Hokie signal callers. Talib made the biggest play of the game in the first quarter as he intercepted Tyrod Taylor's pass and returned it 60 yards for the game's opening score.

We saw a lot of outs on film," said Talib, "and Coach had us in the call where I was able to jump any route. So I just kind of slowed down in my back‑pedal and he ran the out; and the quarterback was a little late on the throw and he threw me the ball."

The one bright spot for Virginia Tech was its rushing attack as Branden Ore had only his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season accumulating 116 yards on 23 carries, but because of the fourth quarter deficit the Hokies had to go away from their ground attack and put in the air, playing right into the Jayhawks hands.

The Hokies gave some hope to the fans when they cut the Kansas lead to only three points with three minutes remaining, but the Jayhawks recovered the onside kick and a couple first downs later, they had the victory.

Jayhawks quarterback Todd Reesing needed only two words to describe Kansas' remarkable run this season and almost flawless record of 12-1. "It's ecstasy."

January 03, 2008

Virginia Tech Gets Another Shot

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth-and-one at the Tech 22-yard line, Kansas decided to go for it, but was unsuccessful as the Hokies batted the ball out of the air, giving themselves another opportunity to try and put together a scoring drive as Tech still trails 24-14 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.

Huge Mistake by Tech Gives KU 24-14 Lead

MIAMI, Fla. - Tech's defense had been outstanding in the second half, but it was the offense that turned the ball over on a Sean Glennon interception resulting in an easy one-play touchdown drive as KU quarterback Todd Reesing ran it in from two yards out to give the Jayhawks a 24-14 lead with a little under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Another Three-and-Out for Kansas

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech's defense has continued their strong second half performance as they forced another three-and-out from the Jayhawks offense. All of the momentum is on Virginia Tech's side, so we'll just have to wait and see if Tech can turn that into points and possibly their first lead of the game on this next possession.

Trick Play Helps Jayhawks, But Hokies Defense Stands Strong

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth down at midfield, KU coach Mark Mangino out-Beamered Tech coach Frank Beamer as the Jayhawks went for a fake punt pass which was successfully converted. On the very next play, KU quarterback Todd Reesing threw a bullet to receiver Dexton Fields putting the ball at the Tech one-yard line. However, penalties killed the Jayhawks as they garnered a personal foul penalty and then a holding penatly on back-to-back plays giving them a second and goal all the way back at the Tech 29.

Reesing then threw a perfect pass, but right to a Virginia Tech defender as the Hokies seem to have figured out this potent Jayhawks offense here in the second half. The Jayhawks still hold a slim 17-14 lead, though, as the third quarter has come to an end with Virginia Tech driving.

Crazy Play Results in Huge Gain for Hokies But Kansas Responds with Blocked Field Goal

MIAMI, Fla. - After Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon threw a prayer up to Eddie Royal causing the ball to bounce around, Virginia Tech tight end Greg Boone took the ball off of the bodies of Royal and two Kansas defenders resulting in an unprecedented catch and another huge play for the Hokies early on in the second half.

However, the Jayhawks special teams came up with a huge play as they blocked the short field goal attempt by Jud Dunlevy to maintain their 17-14 lead.

Momentum Has Definitely Shifted the Hokies Way

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech defensive tackle Carlton Powell slammed Todd Reesing to the ground for a sack and Vince Hall nailed running back Jake Sharp well short of the first on third down as the Hokies seem like a completely different team after the second half whistle. We'll have to see what adjustments Mangino and the Jayhawks now try to make as the Hokies look like the more confident team out there now.

Hokies Come Out Strong in Second Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After the Hokies defense stood strong and forced a punt, Eddie Royal pitched the punt return to Justin Harper and on the reverse, Harper returned it 84 yards for the touchdown as Virginia Tech closed the gap to 17-14 and sent all the momentum to the boys in the orange and maroon. Let's see if this is the spark that gets the Hokies up and playing like their true selves. Kansas and quarterback Todd Ressing need to respond now as the crowd which is heavily favored towards the Hokies is starting to get louder and louder.

Hokies Get on the Scoreboard Right Before Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went up 17-0 on a Todd Reesing touchdown pass, the Hokies drove down the field and running back Branden Ore capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run to cut the Jayhawks lead to 17-7 with under two minutes left in the second quarter. The Jayhawks ran the clock out and now hold the 10-point advantage as both teams head into the locker room for halftime.

Both offenses seem to be a step faster than the defenses, but Kansas has two interceptions resulting in two scores while Tech has yet to force a turnover; thus the advantage for the Jayhawks on the scoreboard as we enter halftime.

Kansas ' Defense, Not Virginia Tech, Looks Strong Early On

MIAMI, Fla. - After intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon on the first play of the second quarter, the Kansas Jayhawks worked their way into field goal range and Scott Webb converted a 32-yard field goal to give Kansas a 10-0 lead.

Kansas Dodges Bullet

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went on top 7-0 in the Orange Bowl, Virginia Tech drove down the field behind quarterback Sean Glennon, but Jud Dunlevy missed a 48-yard field goal which the Jayhawks returned back to their own 39-yard line.

Kansas Strikes First

MIAMI, Fla. - Kansas All-American Aqib Talib made the first huge play of the game intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor and returning it for a touchdown to put the Jayhawks up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Virginia Tech Fans Are Out in Force

MIAMI, Fla. - The Orange Bowl has just kicked off and you can definitely tell that the Hokies outnumber the Jayhawks in terms of fans. A huge storyline coming into this game was whether or not Virginia Tech middle linebacker Vince Hall would play after sustaining a knee injury in a team event. Well, on the first Kansas possession Hall made his name known making tackle after tackle and showing no ill effects from the knee injury that made him questionable to play in the game.

Over for a while already, now it's official

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Sooner fans will be wondering why it has to end like this year after year after. But the feel-good story of Wednesday night's Fiesta Bowl game has to be interim coach Bill Stewart.

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January 02, 2008

Now it's a shootout

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Don't blink. You might miss a Sam Bradford touchdown pass. Or, more likely, you'll miss another coast-to-coast jaunt from the Mountaineer of your choice.

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The big question

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Oklahoma just scored. The Sooners went on an 80-yard march. Went for two, missed. West Virginia leads 20-15 and it appears clear, the more capable team is finally coming forward. Just maybe, OU will pull this game out. But it will mean ending all the steps backward.

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Fiesta Bowl halftime report

GLENDALE, Ariz. — While attending media scarf down frozen goodies and hot dogs (nothing but the best at the BCS bowls), one has to wonder what kind of tact Bob Stoops is taking in the halftime locker room with his Sooners, who just played their worst half of football this season, at least among halves in which Sam Bradford went the distance behind center.

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It's picking up

GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Fiesta appears to be waking up from its siesta. Still, West Virginia can do this all night long.

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Slogging along

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Updates across the board ...

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Sooners fortunate to only trail 6-0

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Pat McAfee just kicked his second field goal and that's the good news for Oklahoma.

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Sooner losses more than previously known

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Although it had been reporter Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly had sustained a thigh bruise not long after the Sooners had arrived in Arizona, it wasn't thought to be serious. Well, think again.

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Welcome to the dome with the hole in the top

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Soon the only game on today's college football schedule will kick off. Oklahoma and West Virginia, No. 3 and No. 11, meet at the Fiesta Bowl inside University of Phoenix Stadium. And for a game that might seem to be of little consequence beyond the season's final polls - assuming LSU and Ohio State don't play a 3-0 overtime snorefest thus opening the door for an Associated Press national champion other than the Tigers and Buckeyes - one gets the feeling it has real significance to both teams. Perhaps historical significance to both teams.

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January 01, 2008

Missouri, Temple Roll Arkansas in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Missouri and tailback Tony Temple showed Arkansas why it deserved its No. 1 ranking for a week this season, routing the Razorbacks 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

Arkansas shocked LSU to end its regular season, but it couldn't stop these Tigers - or Temple.

"To be honest with you, I'm a little bit blindsided by the way we played," Arkansas interim coach Reggie Herring said.

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Fumbling All Around

DALLAS - Fumbles are abounding at the Cotton Bowl, sealing the victory for Missouri against Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

The Tigers lead 31-7 with 10 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the game.

The fumbling started after Arkansas defensive end Adrian Davis intercepted a pass from Chase Daniel. But Daniel chased down Davis and forced a fumble, which the Tigers recovered.

But on the ensuing drive, Missouri tailback Derrick Washington gave it back to Arkansas.

Then the Razorbacks returned the favor. Missouri linebacker Luke Lambert forced a fumble from Arkansas wide receiver Andrew Davis.

The turnovers ballooned for Arkansas. After it forced Missouri to punt, Arkansas muffed the punt, and the Tigers recovered in the red zone.

Jeff Wolfert kicked a 32-yard field goal after the MU offense stalled.

No Shutout for Missouri in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Arkansas is finally on the board.

Darren McFadden scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Razorbacks trail Missouri 28-7 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Casey Dick will have to make some plays if Arkansas hopes to make a comeback against the Tigers.

No Shutout for Missouri in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Arkansas is finally on the board.

Darren McFadden scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Razorbacks trail Missouri 28-7 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Casey Dick will have to make some plays if Arkansas hopes to make a comeback against the Tigers.

Defense Strikes for Missouri

DALLAS - After Arkansas and Missouri traded fumbles, the Tigers' defense broke the Cotton Bowl open.

Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick was attempting a pass to fullback Peyton Hillis. But linebacker Sean Weatherspoon tipped the ball, and safety William Moore returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

Missouri leads 28-0 midway through the third quarter.

Tony Temple Continues to Dominate

DALLAS - With tailback Tony Temple leading the way, Missouri scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. The Tigers lead Arkansas 21-0.

Arkansas tried an onside kick, but the Tigers recovered on the Razorbacks' 48 yard-line. On the six-play drive, Temple had three carries for 24 yards and scored on a 4-yard run. He now has 16 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

Arkansas Shut Out at the Half

DALLAS - In a game that was supposed to be a shootout, Missouri held Arkansas scoreless in the first half.

The Tigers lead the Razorbacks 14-0. The Razorbacks had chances to score, but Alex Tejada missed two field goals, from 36 and 37 yards.

To catch Missouri, the Razorbacks have to be less predictable on first down. They are rushing on almost every first down. Darren McFadden has been contained so far. He has 13 carries for 56 yards. Felix Jones has run seven times for 36 yards. Arkansas needs to try more play-action passes and screens to throw off Missouri's defense.

For Missouri, it needs to continue to run - believe it or not. Tailback Tony Temple, not quarterback Chase Daniel, was the star of the first half. Temple rushed for 159 yards and two touchdown on 13 carries. Daniel was only 8-of-13 for 78 yards.

The Tigers' special teams will to improve, however. Punter Adam Crossett had a measly 29-yard punt in the second quarter, and Arkansas has sprung several long kickoff returns.

Tony Temple the Star

DALLAS - Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel did not throw a single pass on the the Tigers' latest touchdown drive.

The Tigers lead Arkansas 14-0.

Tailback Tony Temple led the rushing attack on the six-play, 82-yard drive. He had 22-yard and 38-yard runs before his 4-yard touchdown.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden has 12 carries for 47 yards.

Wake Up, Offense

DALLAS - The offenses are still trying to wake up at the Cotton Bowl.

Missouri still leads 7-0 midway through the second quarter.

Arkansas has not scored on its first four drives. There was an odd sequence at the end of their third drive. The Razorbacks faced fourth-and-4 on Missouri's 35-yard line. On a fake punt, Reggie Fish picked up a first down on an end-around. But after the play, the referee announced Arkansas had called a timeout. The Razorbacks were stuffed on the ensuing play.

The star running back so far is Missouri's Tony Temple, who has 81 yards on seven carries. Darren McFadden has 44 yards on 11 carries for the Razorbacks.

Missouri Strikes First

DALLAS - Tony Temple, not Darren McFadden, scored the Cotton Bowl's first rushing touchdown.

Temple's 22-yard run capped off a six-play, 73-yard drive late in the first quarter. Missouri leads 7-0.

Arkansas opened the game with a drive into the red zone. But Missouri stuffed McFadden on third-and-4, and Alex Tejada missed a 36-yard field goal.

Will the Defenses Show Up Today at the Cotton Bowl?

DALLAS - Will Arkansas run wild in the Cotton Bowl? Or will Missouri Chase down the Razorbacks?

While Arkansas is trying to persevere through the turmoil of the past month with a victory in the Cotton Bowl, Missouri is attempting to rebound from its disappointing loss in the Big 12 Conference Championship to Oklahoma.

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December 31, 2007

They're Cowboys and they're winners of the Insight Bowl

TEMPE, Ariz. -- For all Oklahoma State has experienced this year - an upset loss to Troy, a press conference tirade for the ages and another heartbreaking loss to Texas - it can take solace in how it ended.

The Cowboys (7-6) handedly defeated the Indiana Hooisers (7-6), 49-33, on the final of day 2007 in the Insight Bowl.

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Cowboys counting down at Insight Bowl

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Oklahoma State has all but sealed a victory in the 2007 Insight Bowl with 10 minutes remaining.

The Cowboys hold a 42-17 advantage over the Indiana Hoosiers, who have had little go their way.

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Okie State Dokie

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It's been all Oklahoma State during the first two quarters of the 2007 Insight Bowl.

Heading into the locker room, the Cowboys not only hold a 35-10 lead, but know it came with relative ease.

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Cowboys cruising in one-sided shootout

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Oklahoma State has had no use for punter Matt Fodge yet, having scored each of its possessions.

The Cowboys answered Indiana's opening-drive field goal with four straight touchdowns to take a commanding 28-3 lead.

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Opening-drive scores at Insight Bowl

TEMPE, Ariz. -- No surprise: both Indiana and Oklahoma State scored on their opening drives.

Indiana had to settle for a field goal after Oklahoma State used a third-down blitz to halt the Hooisers' drive. The Cowboys drove 67 yards in six plays and about two minutes for a Dantrell Savage touchdown.

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Insight into the Insight Bowl

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Even if one of the country's biggest new year parties wasn't sitting blocks away from Sun Devil Stadium, there would be plenty fireworks onhand for this evening's Insight Bowl between Indiana and Oklahoma State.

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And the Season Ends

SHREVEPORT, La. - If there is any word that Alabama coach Nick Saban uses more than any other, its the term "finish."

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Tide Finishes

SHREVEPORT, La. — Alabama’s 30-24 victory over Colorado in Sunday’s Independence Bowl couldn’t have been scripted any better for the Crimson Tide.

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December 30, 2007

Back the Other Way

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, Colorado just got the ball back with 8:39 remaining and down 27-17.

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Coming down the wire

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, Alabama now stands 87 yards from a 17 point lead.

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Dive! Dive!

SHREVEPORT, La. - Football should take its cue from Hockey.

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Turning of the Tide?

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, after that touchdown at the end of the first half, Colorado probably hoped it could take the ball and score on Alabama at the start of the second.

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You Can't Trust a Buffalo

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, credit the Buffaloes for stopping Alabama on its last drive of the half.

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Oh those turnovers

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, nothing like a John Parker Wilson interception to make a game a little more interesting.

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Flippin with the Tide

SHREVEPORT, La. - It's a party Louisiana style -- if you're Alabama.

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Quick Start for the Tide

SHREVEPORT, La. - Well, this looks the the Alabama of six games ago.

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That Dizon guy?

SHREVEPORT, La. - Before the game, I to hear Jordon Dizon's name on every Alabama offensive play.

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Pull the kid!

SHREVEPORT, La. - Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins might be testing his father and Buffaloes head coach Dan's patience early.

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Colorado's band

SHREVEPORT, La. - Gotta give Colorado an A+ for gameday presentation.

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December 29, 2007

PSU-A&M: Penn State wins the battle of the Alamodome

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- One of the major flaws of the bowl post-season system is that when you have two teams take five weeks off, then play a relatively meaningless contest, odds are pretty decent that you'll get a stinker of a game.

The 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl was anything but a stinker.

In front of a mostly-hostile Alamodome-record crowd, Penn State dug out of a 14-0 hole, then withstood two long Texas A&M drives to pull off a 24-17 classic in Joe Paterno's 500th game.

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PSU-A&M: Another epic drive comes up empty


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Trailing 24-17, Texas A&M took the ball at their own one yard line, drove all the way to the Penn State two, rolled the dice on 4th-and-1, but came up snake eyes.

WIth under eight minutes remaining, Penn State leads 24-17.

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PSU-A&M: Penn State answers, pronto

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- That didn't take long.

Penn State quickly busted up the tie game with a 38-yard TD run by freshman Evan Royster.

At the end of three quarters, the Nittany Lions lead A&M 24-17.

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PSU-A&M: A&M bears down, ties it up


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- A&M just finished an epic drive (well as epic as a FG drive can be) and tied the game on a 38-yard FG by Matt Szymanski.

With about four minutes left in the third, Penn State and A&M are deadlocked at 17.

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PSU-A&M: Halftime History Lesson and Stats


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- At halftime, Penn State leads Texas A&M 17-14, and there are about 25 high school bands on the field right now, so this seems like a good time to toss out some randomness.

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PSU-A&M: Everything's normal for Penn State

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Penn State's modus operandi for this season has been to start slow, then unleash with fury. The Coming into the game, the Lions' cumulative 1st quarter scoreboard read 72-72, but Penn State had dominated their opponents by a 114-21 mark in the second quarter.

Tonight has been no different -- Texas A&M led the game 14-0 after the first 15 minutes, but Penn State owned the second quarter and heads into half with a 17-14 lead.

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PSU-A&M: Shootout in San Antone

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- A&M scored touchdowns 12 seconds apart in the first quarter. Penn State has just answered with two TD's 2:04 apart to tie the game 14-14.

An incredible 30-yard TD catch by Deon Butler cut A&M's lead to 14-7, then after a Michael Goodson fumble, Daryll Clark flew in from 11 yards out to tie it.

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PSU-A&M: Whooping is contagious

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Believe it or not, it's now 14-0 Aggies.

After Michael Goodson's 1-yard TD run, Penn State fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The fumble call was the latest I've ever seen, coming after both teams were leaving the field. The call was immediately reviewed and upheld, and it took A&M only one play to punch it in.

I mentioned in the preview that Goodson was suffering from a sophomore slump... well, slump over. On the first play after the turnover, Goodson busted through a big hole in the middle, then cut sharply to his right and outran everyone for a 16-yard TD, his second TD tonight, which matches his season total.

PSU-A&M: First shots fired at the Alamo Bowl

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Texas A&M's Kyle Field has been called the loudest football stadium in the nation by some.

The Aggies have just scored to take a 7-0 lead, and with seemingly 90% of the sellout crowd wearing maroon and making strange whooping noises, the Alamodome is really rocking and rolling, too. And unlike Kyle Field, there's a roof to keep the sound in.

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PSU-A&M: Alamo Bowl Preview

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- The 2007 Valero Alamo Bowl brings us an interesting cross-sectional matchup that's full of contrasts. Penn State (8-4) makes a long trip to San Antonio to take on Texas A&M (7-5), which made the 170-mile drive from College Station to play before a partisan crowd that will be an Alamo Bowl record.

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December 28, 2007

A Happy Holiday Bowl For Texas

SAN DIEGO - Tabbed as a BCS-worthy squad prior to the start of the 2007 season, few prognosticators believed Texas would wind up in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. But as everyone would soon come to find out, not much would go according to plan in the college football world this past season and that the entire landscape would be turned on its head.


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Texas with 52 points on Charles run

SAN DIEGO - The Longhorns toppled the 50-point mark when Jamaal Charles, who was already having a monster of a game, scored with 2:24.

Texas 52, ASU 34 with 2:24 remaining

No quit in ASU

SAN DIEGO - Give ASU credit. They're not folding despite it being nearly impossible to climb back into this thing. Jarrell Woods just scored from a couple yards out to cap a methodical ASU scoring drive.

Texas 45, ASU 34 with 3:40 remaining

December 27, 2007

Too little, too late

SAN DIEGO - An impressive drive by ASU, as Dany Sullivan finds Michael Jones in the end zone. But it took way too long for the Sun Devils to find their scoring touch in this one.

Texas 45, ASU 27 with 8:49 remaining

Texas flexes its collective muscles

SAN DIEGO - Vondrell McGee scampers virtually untouched into the end zone to make the 2007 edition of the Holiday Bowl an official blowout.
Apparently it was a leap year for the "most exiting bowl game of the season."

Texas 45, ASU 20 with 11:03 remaining in the contest

The finishing touches

SAN DIEGO - With 12: 55 to go in the 4th, Ryan Bailey boots a gimme of a field goal to put Texas ahead 38-20. Barring the miraculous, the Longhorns have this one snatched up.

ASU keeps breathing on Carpenter TD pass

SAN DIEGO - A prime-time return by Rudy Burgess gives ASU the ball at their own 49-yard-line. It will be interesting to see what the ASU offense can muster.

On 3rd down, Carpenter throws off his back foot and miraculously finds Michael Jones in the end zone for a sterling 22-yard TD pass.

This keeps Arizona State alive, but-not-so-well, as they find themselves in a 15-point deficit, 35-20, with 2:49 left in the third.

The Stars align for the 'Horns

SAN DIEGO - Marcus Griffin intercepts the ball to put a quick end to ASU's drive, followed by McCoy coming up with a clutch third-down completion.

McCoy then felt the need to go to his feet on another third-down as he scampered out of bounds to move the chains.

The Texas punt team was forced to come out, but give the Longhorns credit for eating up a chunk of the third quarter.

Not that it matters...ASU gives it right back to the 'Horns as Henry Melton recovers a muffed punt.

McCoy then takes off for a wild jaunt, weaving in and out of the ASU defense right to the 4-yard-line before fumbling into the endzone.

As has been the case all night long, things work out for Texas as Jermichael Finley recovers McCoys fumble in the end zone to put Texas up handily, 35-13.

A Happy Horns Holiday

SAN DIEGO - Tabbed as BCS-worthy squad prior to the start of the 2007 season, few prognosticators believed Texas would wind up in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.
But as everyone would soon come to find out, not much would go according to plan in the college football world this past season and that the entire landscape would be turned on its head.
So in the most bizarre of collegiate pigskin seasons, it was fitting that Texas would end its 2007 campaign on a bizarre note.
Sure, Texas bested Arizona State 52-34 in the 30th edition of the Holiday Bowl Thursday night at Qualcomm Stadium, but it was the matter in which they went about it that will have people in Austin half-heatedly chuckling at what could have gone wrong.
A fumble late in the third quarter at the 4-yard-line by a scrambling Colt McCoy bounced into the end zone and was somehow found at the bottom of an unforgiving pile by the Longhorns' Jermichael Finley. It resulted in a Texas touchdown that put them safely ahead, 35-13.
That strange fumble sequence, however, was as routine as they come when compared to what transpired on one play in the second quarter.
Behind by 21 points, Sun Devils quarterback Rudy Carpenter was drilled by Texas linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy and the ball fell to the ground, about three yards away from the Longhorns sideline.
A then-unidentifiable Longhorns assistant wearing a burnt orange jumpsuit was also on the field at the time and actually reached for the ball to pick it up. The problem was, the ball was still in play.
Texas defensive end Aaron Lewis recovered the fumble, but the call was reversed minutes later and the ball was awarded to ASU. This gave the Sun Devils undeniable momentum and Carpenter capped it with a TD pass that electrified the Sun Devil faithful.
Then came word of who the potential goat of the 2007 Holiday Bowl was...yup, you guessed it...Mack Brown's stepson.
Luckily for Texas, Chris Jessie (a member of his stepfather's football staff), will not put his name in the history books next to the Steve Bartman's of the world.
The 52 points Texas laid on ASU made sure of that.

2:58 left in 1st half, Texas looking mighty fine

ASU had better hope they can stifle Texas in what will likely be the 'Horns final drive of the half. If not, this one is in the books.

Home for the Holiday Bowl?

By Matt Burke

SAN DIEGO - They say everything is big in Texas, however the Longhorns' fan contingency at the 30th Annual Holiday Bowl appears to be quite less than large as fans begin tricking inside Qualcomm Stadium tonight.

Strolling through the parking lot hours before gametime, there wasn't exactly a sea of burnt orange and as CSTV.com's Adam Caparell wrote today in the Red Zone, about only half of Texas' 11,000 alloted tickets were sold.

Sure Arizona State is only a Rudy Carpenter spiral away from San Diego, but c'mon...this is Texas. We'll see if things pick up on the attendance side for the Hook 'Em's right before kickoff.

December 01, 2007

Don't call them spoilers

SAN ANTONIO - It has been a wonderful season in Columbia. The Tigers approached heights previously left unconsidered. Yet none of it can change the fact they where whipped but good Saturday night at the Alamodome. Indeed, Oklahoma has spoiled their chance at a national championship, yet the focus should lie elsewhere.

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Thinking it over

SAN ANTONIO - There may never be another college football season like this one.
But let's hope there is. Maybe it will produce a playoff. Most important, it would mean another college football season like this one.

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Second punch has landed

SAN ANTONIO - We'll have to wait to see if the national voters take notice of Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Lofton. Assuming they're watching this game and not the one in Morgantown, W.V., they very well might, because Lofton just made another play.

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Who wants it?

SAN ANTONIO - Still tied, and now the pressure's on.
For a moment, it looked like Missouri was the team handling it the best.
But only for a moment.

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Shaping up for a classic

SAN ANTONIO - Well, we're tied at the half her at the Alamodome. Better, though, was how it happened: OU going 50 yards in eight plays to lead 14-6, only to be answered by Missouri going 84 yards in 10 plays, only to throw for two, receiver to tight end, Jeremy Macklin to Martin Rucker, to force the deadlock.

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Bullet dodged again ... and controversy

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma has already been penalized for 58 yards. Missouri for only 10.
Yet, right now, it's the Tigers thinking they can't catch a break.

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One bullet dodged

SAN ANTONIO — Oklahoma trails 3-0.
The Sooners are fortunate it's not 7-0.

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A lot of defense

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma is just now beginning its second drive. Missouri has had the ball twice. Nobody's going anywhere.

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Welcome from the Alamo City

SAN ANTONIO - Well, here we are at the Alamodome and the weather's great. Oh, sure it's nice inside, but the odd thing of it, though the Alamodome is way cool, one has to admit, if ever there was a city that counted on tremendous year-round weather, it migh be San Antonio. Nonetheless, it remains a fine setting for today's Big 12 championship game.

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November 25, 2007

No comeback for the Jayhawks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas put together a late rally but didn't have enough to hang with Missouri.

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November 24, 2007

Kansas mounting a comeback?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas just marched 57 yards in 1:27 to cut the Missouri lead to 12 points.

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Kansas running out of time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As Yogi Berra might say, it's getting late early for the Kansas Jayhawks.

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Kansas gets on the board, trails 21-7

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It took two and a half quarters, but Kansas' offense has finally come to life.

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Tigers jump out to 14-0 lead at the half

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri engineered two long scoring drives and held the Kansas offense in check to take a 14-0 lead at halftime.

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Missouri offense proving too much to handle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Missouri offense is making a strong case for the title of "Best in the Nation".

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Big drive for the Tigers: Mizzou leads 7-0

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tensions are high here at Arrowhead. Missouri just scored on a one-yard pass to tight end Martin Rucker on fourth-and-goal.

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Mizzou misfires early

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri blew a perfect scoring opportunity by getting greedy and attempting a fake field goal.

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Gearing up for the Border Showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kickoff of the biggest college football game of the season is just minutes away and the atmposphere at Arrowhead Stadium is electric.

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November 18, 2007

Down Go The Sooners As Tech Hangs On

LUBBOCK, Texas - Evidently, Oklahoma did not control its own destiny. Texas Tech had something to say about the Sooners' future and so did fate, as quarterback Sam Bradford was knocked out of the game on a fluke play that left him with a concussion in the opening quarter.

Continue reading "Down Go The Sooners As Tech Hangs On" »

Crazy Finish

LUBBOCK, Texas -Third-ranked Oklahoma scored on a 9-yard TD pass from Joey Halzle to Manuel Johnson with 31 second left, cutting the Texas Tech lead to 34-27. But the Red Raiders recovered the ensuing onside kick to will kill the final seconds.

November 17, 2007

Red Zone Woes

LUBBOCK, Texas - Third-ranked Oklahoma twice moved the ball into scoring position late in the fourth quarter only to be turned away by Texas Tech. The Sooners were stopped at the Tech 6 and again at the 17, both times turning the ball over on downs.

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Tech trying to avoid OU comeback

LUBBOCK, Texas - A 65-yard scoring pass from Joey Halzle to Manuel Johnson has trimmed the Texas Tech lead to 34-20 with 7:50 remaining in regulation.

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Sooners' Last Stand?

LUBBOCK, Texas - If third-ranked Oklahoma has any Sooner Magic hiding in its bag of tricks, it will have the fourth quarter to unveil it. And it will need every ounce of that magic it can muster, as Texas Tech leads 34-13 with 15 minutes to play.

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Looking more like Sooners are going down

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech has added another touchdown to extend its lead over No. 3 Oklahoma to 34-10. Aaron Crawford capped a 5-play, 34-yard drive with a 3-yard run, after the Sooners botched a fake punt attempt.

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Upset in the making?

LUBBOCK, Texas - With Oregon losing to Arizona Thursday night, the table was set for No. 3 Oklahoma. All the Sooners had to do to earn a spot in the BCS title game was run the table the rest of the way. Just ake care of business.

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Critical Possession For Sooners

LUBBOCK, Texas - Oklahoma, trailing 27-7 and in desperate need of producing something positive on offense, drove to the Texas Tech one yard line late inin the half. But instead of scoring a touchdown, the Sooners had to settle for a Garrett Hartley field goal.

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Deja vu at quarterback?

LUBBOCK, Texas - Just two nights after second-ranked Oregon lost quarterback Dennis Dixon to injury and then lost its game to Arizona, No. 3 Oklahoma is facing a similar situation against Texas Tech.

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Fortunes change on the plains

LUBBOCK, Texas - A 1-yard scoring run by Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell gives the Raiders a 13-7 lead just moments after Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford left the game with what is thought to be a possible concussion.

Still 5:03 left in the first quarter, Tech leads and the Sooners have the ball.

Tech chipping away

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech has trimmed the early Oklahoma lead to 7-6 thanks to a pair Alex Trilica field goals,from 52 and 38 yards out. The slow-moving first quarter has featured, lots of Tech passes and lots of incompletions.

Sooners off to fast start

LUBBOCK, Texas - It took Texas Tech just four plays to move the ball into Oklahoma territory. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, their fifth play turned out to be a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Sooners' Lendy Holmes.

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Kansas runs out the clock on Iowa State, leading 38-7

LAWRENCE, Kan. - As the minutes left on the scoreboard dwindle, fans are heading for the exits in Lawrence.

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Road To BCS Runs Through West Texas

LUBBOCK, Texas - In a season where upsets have become commonplace and where any number of nationally-ranked teams start each new week battling to stay off the endangered species list, the old saying "Any win is a good win" has never rung more true.

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Kansas leads 31-7 after an uneventful third quarter

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas added three points to its lead and Iowa State to 35 total yards in the third quarter.

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Missouri Surges in Second Half to Defeat Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri can finally look ahead.

Led by freshman wide receiver and all-purpose guru Jeremy Maclin, the Tigers defeated Kansas State 49-32. They will play Kansas for the Big 12 North Division title Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Todd Reesing continues to impress, Kansas leads 28-7

LAWRENCE, Kan. - At this point, the question isn't whether or not Kansas will hang on and defeat Iowa State. It's if Todd Reesing is a great quarterback or the greatest quarterback.

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Penalties hurt Kansas, which leads 21-7 heading into the half.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Iowa State avoided being completely dominated by finally finding the end zone late in the first half.

Continue reading "Penalties hurt Kansas, which leads 21-7 heading into the half." »

Kansas piling on the points, leading 21-0

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Generally speaking, midway through the second quarter is a little too early to call a game officially over. With this Kansas team, I think it's safe to say this one's done.

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Reesing adds to his Heisman resume

LAWRENCE, Kan. - He may still be on the outside looking in, but Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing is making a compelling case for Heisman candidacy.

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The Jayhawks strike first

LAWRENCE, Kan. - As has been the case often this season, Kansas found its way onto the scoreboard first.

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Fourth-Down Gamble Pays Off for Missouri

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri coach Gary Pinkel decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The decision turned out to be a good one. The Tigers scored a touchdown.

Missouri leads Kansas State 42-25 with 9:28 left in the game.

Quarterback Chase Daniel jumped and tossed the ball to tight end Martin Rucker for the touchdown.

Kansas State is running out of time to catch up with Missouri.

Kansas State Responds

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After forcing Missouri to punt out of its own end zone, Kansas State used a short field to score a touchdown.

On third-and-18, quarterback Josh Freeman found wide receiver Ernie Pierce for a 20-yard touchdown.

Missouri leads 35-25 late in the third quarter.

Missouri's Maclin Having Another Big Day

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has scored his third touchdown of the game.

Missouri leads Kansas State 35-18.

Somehow, Maclin got behind the KSU secondary on third-and-17. Quarterback Chase Daniel escaped pressure, rolled out and hit him for a 44-yard touchdown.

Kansas State needs a touchdown on its next drive.

Iowa State looks to spoil Kansas' dream season

LAWRENCE, Kan. - This is the classic trap game scenario: Kansas enters the game at 10-0 and primed to move into the No. 2 spot in the BCS with a victory. Iowa State is 3-8 but has won two straight games after hanging with Missouri and Oklahoma the two weeks prior.

Continue reading "Iowa State looks to spoil Kansas' dream season" »

Missouri's Runs Out to Quick Score

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri needed only 59 seconds to score a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. Kansas State needs to keep up and probably gamble on fourth downs this half.

Missouri leads Kansas State 28-18.

Tailback Tony Temple broke some big runs (15 and 12 yards) for the Tigers after gaining only 10 yards in the first half. He capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Kansas State Outplayed Missouri in the First Half

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State is playing better than Missouri, but the Wildcats trail 21-18 at halftime.

Kansas State has outgained Missouri 248-145 in the first half. It controlled the clock 17:14-12:46. So how are the Wildcats behind?

Two KSU drives stalled inside MU's 10-yard line. Coach Ron Prince elected to kick two short field goals instead of going for it on two short fourth downs (fourth-and-1 in the first quarter and fourth-and-2 in the second).

Special teams' lapses cost KSU. It got two extra points blocked and surrendered a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

KSU also needs to stop beating itself. A fumble recovery in the first quarter was negated by a 15-yard penalty for illegal hands to the face. It didn't cost the Wildcats, however, because Missouri didn't end up scoring on the drive. In the second quarter, wide receiver Deon Murphy was wide open on a crossing route, but he dropped a pass, forcing a three-and-out.

Missouri has to stop Kansas State running back James Johnson and get the ball back in quarterback Chase Daniel's hands. Johnson carried the ball 17 times for 148 yards in the first half.

The Tigers get the ball to start the second half. If they score a touchdown, they'll be up 10 points without dominating the Wildcats.

Getting Back to Normal

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The craziness has abated. Both teams failed to score on their last drives.

Missouri leads Kansas State 21-15 midway through the second quarter.

Earlier in the quarter, Missouri tight end Martin Rucker caught a 8-yard touchdown pass, capping off an 81-yard drive. Quarterback Chase Daniel finally threw downfield, hitting Jeremy Maclin for a 23-yard gain.

Block Party in Manhattan

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Special teams have cost Missouri. Kansas State's Ernie Pierce just returned a blocked Missouri punt 32 yards for a touchdown. But the Tigers blocked another extra point.

Kansas State leads 15-14.

Special teams are the difference so far. Missouri returned a kickoff for a touchdown and has blocked two extra points.

Kansas State Running Well

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State running back James Johnson just brought his team back. He ran up the middle for a 66-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked.

Missouri leads 14-9 at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers' rushing defense looks suspect so far. Johnson has had gaping holes in the middle, gaining 119 yards on 10 carries.

Missouri's Jeremy Maclin Breaks Record

MANHATTAN, Kan. - With a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Missouri freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin just broke the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for all-purpose yards gained by a freshman. It was also Missouri's first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1982, which was the longest drought in the country.

Missouri leads 14-3 midway through the first quarter.

Maclin broke the record set by Rutgers' Terrell Willis in 1993.

Before the kickoff, Missouri made a goal-line stand. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman tried a quarterback bootleg on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but he was stuffed. The crowd wanted the Wildcats to go for it, but they kicked an 18-yard field goal.

Missouri Strikes Quickly

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri needed just 1 minute, 7 seconds for its first score. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman threw a pass directly to safety William Moore. Two plays later, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel threw an 8-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

The Wildcats must answer quickly. The crowd is subdued.

Before Colliding with Kansas, Missouri Takes on Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In the past, Kansas State has dominated Missouri here. "History's on K-State's side," the main headline proclaimed on the front page of the Manhattan Mercury, underscoring how Missouri has lost eight consecutive times at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

But a smaller headline revealed this season's reality: "Tigers' offense presents many problems for KSU," it read.

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) has had its glory. Now Missouri (9-1, 5-1), ranked No. 5 in the BCS standings, is trying to claim its share. The Big 12 North is not the only possible prize. A national championship is also obtainable.

Continue reading "Before Colliding with Kansas, Missouri Takes on Kansas State" »

November 10, 2007

Kansas holds on, wins 43-28.

STILLWATER, Okla. - Kansas weathered a second-half storm of offense from Oklahoma State and held on to earn its tenth victory.

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The Cowboys strike back

STILLWATER, Okla. - Just when the Oklahoma State Cowboys looked buried, finished, kaput, they have rallied to pull within five points with 13:08 remaining.

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The Jayhawks get their stop

STILLWATER, Okla. - Time is running short for Oklahoma State as the Kansas defense is bearing down in the second half.

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The rout is on

STILLWATER, Okla. - The Cowboys kept it close for the first half, but Kansas has looked like the better team in the third quarter.

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Todd Reesing equals Doug Flutie?

STILLWATER, Okla. - Wow. Todd Reesing is lighting things up in a big way here in Stillwater.

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Big win for Sooners, but how good?

NORMAN, Okla. - With 2:48 remaining, DeMarco Murray capped the scoring with his third touchdown run of the game and his fourth score of the night, the other a 91-yard kickoff return. What was left of the crowd let out a roar. The scoreboard read 52-21 OU and all appeared right in the Sooner Nation.

But was it?

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Kansas leads 20-14 at halftime, OSU's Bowman injured

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State ended the first half by punting twice, but that might not be the worst of the news for the Cowboys.

Continue reading "Kansas leads 20-14 at halftime, OSU's Bowman injured" »

Back and forth they go

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's going to win this game. Indeed, the Sooners may have another three touchdowns in them. All the same, Baylor likely has another two.

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Goal line opportunities

STILLWATER, Okla. - Both teams ended their last two drives inside the opposition's 20-yard line. Unfortunately for Kansas, Oklahoma State ended their drive in the end zone.

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Sooners opportunistic or lucky?

NORMAN, Okla. - See the headline? That's the question. It will be asked until OU shows us something new and it sticks. Because with the No. 4 Sooners, perhaps you can count on victory, though little else.

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Why Bradford's special

NORMAN, Okla. - That Oklahoma leads Baylor 35-7 with 12:19 to play in the third quarter is no big deal. But how the Sooners put their fifth touchdown on the board is huge for the moment and the future of the Sooner program.

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I don't believe what I just saw

NORMAN, Okla. - Just as Oklahoma was taking control of the game Saturday night at Owen Field ... everybody was reminded why they watch these games, anyway.

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Order restored in Norman

NORMAN, Okla. - If all Oklahoma needed was a wake up call, it got one.

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Maybe they can fire Morriss every week

NORMAN, Okla. — Can you believe it?
Baylor should be up 14-0 on No. 4 Oklahoma.

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Bears had their chance

NORMAN, Okla. - This had to be Baylor strategy: make a big play, take an early lead and let panic set in. Well, maybe it almost happened that way.

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IT'S STILL FOOTBALL SEASON FOR KU

STILLWATER, Okla. - There's something out of the ordinary about this early-November tilt between Kansas and Oklahoma State. It could be the fact that a writer from the New York Times, Brent Musberger and several bowl representatives are milling around the press area.

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Anticipation

NORMAN, Okla. - Well, if there was any sort of "win one for Guy and maybe we'll save his job" kind of thing going on for Baylor today as they prepare to kick off against No. 4 Oklahoma … sorry.

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Missouri Outlasts Texas A&M

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M tested Missouri. But the Tigers and their offense were too strong in the fourth quarter for the Aggies, outlasting A&M 40-26 for a historic victory.

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Texas A&M Hanging Around

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Stay tuned. The Aggies should be in this until the end. They just answered a Tigers' touchdown and trail 31-26.

They are exploiting a Tigers' defense that's getting worn down and isn't tackling well. On a key 3rd-and-6 conversion, A&M quarterback Stephen McGee found tight end Martellus Bennett across the middle. Bennett then spun out of safety Del Howard's tackle and ran 42 yards for a touchdown.

Aggies Dominating, But Not Capitalizing on Chances

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M has squandered several chances in the red zone against Missouri. It will have do more if it wants to regain the lead. The Aggies trail 24-19.

In the third quarter, the Aggies had 3rd-and-goal from the MU 3-yard line, but the Tigers forced them to kick a 22-yard field goal.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Aggies had another time-consuming drive into the red zone. But again, the drive stalled, and A&M kicker Matt Szymanski missed a 36-yarder. The Aggies will be forced to shut down the MU offense again, which could light up at any moment.

With Touchdown and Turnover, A&M Regains Hope

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M is back in it against Missouri. But the Aggies need to capitalize on a Tigers' turnover. Otherwise, the momentum will be lost.

They took the opening kickoff and scored, getting lucky when a deflected pass was tipped directly to A&M running back Mike Goodson, who ran 43 yards into the red zone. Four plays later, A&M running back Jorvorskie Lane ran it in from 2 yards.

A&M strong safety Alton Dixon forced a fumble, hitting quarterback Chase Daniel on a blitz and recovering it himself. The call was upheld after a challenge.

Using Maclin's Speed, Missouri leads

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin showed why he's one of the top freshmen in the country by showing off his blazing speed against Texas A&M. The Tigers lead 24-9 at halftime.

After MU safety William Moore picked off A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, MU quarterback Chase Daniel found Maclin wide open on the right side of the field. MU wide receiver Will Franklin blocked the only defender Maclin needed to beat, and Maclin streaked down the sideline to score an 82-yard touchdown. It was the longest pass of Daniel's career.

For A&M to regain momentum and have any chance to come back, it will have to take the opening drive and score, going for it on fourth down if necessary.

The Aggies also need to continue to stretch the field and take shots down the field, even though McGee has one interception. That's the only way they will keep the Tigers honest and score enough points to keep up with them. They also need to stop making stupid penalties, such as false starts. They got seven for 44 yards in the first half.

If the Tigers can continue to hold the Aggies and control the clock by running the ball effectively, they should be able to hold the lead and get the victory. Except for one sack, Daniel has had plenty of time to find holes in the Aggies' pass defense and continue his Heisman Trophy campaign.

Aggies Fighting Back

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M has answered Missouri. The crowd clad in black at Faurot Field is silent. The momentum is with the Aggies, who are down 14-9 midway through the second quarter.

After a long MU touchdown drive, the Aggies finally threw the ball downfield, and it worked. Quarterback Stephen McGee found Kerry Franks for a 60-yard gain. A&M scored three plays later on tight end Martellus Bennett's 6-yard touchdown catch.

On MU's ensuing drive, the Aggies stuffed tailback Tony Temple and sacked quarterback Chase Daniel on successive plays to force a punt.

Stalemate Broken by Long Missouri Drive

COLUMBIA, Mo. - After some sloppy play, Missouri has put together a methodical drive to go up 14-2 against Texas A&M.

An errant snap cost the Tigers two points in the first quarter. Punter Adam Crossett ran down Steven Blair's errant snap in the end zone and knocked it out for a safety. Later in the quarter, MU safety William Moore dropped an interception.

But quarterback Chase Daniel responded by leading the Tigers on their longest drive of the season, a 17-play, 87-yard march ending with Chase Coffman's 5-yard touchdown reception.

MU tailback Tony Temple is looking like he's fully healed from the right ankle he sprained against Nebraska a month ago. He had a nifty run on the touchdown drive, spinning away from three A&M defenders in the backfield to pick up a 5-yard gain.

Tigers Pounce Early

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The high-powered Missouri offense needed only five plays to take a 7-0 lead against Texas A&M, scoring on tailback Tony Temple's 44-yard dash off tackle. It was the Tigers' longest run of the season. The Aggies need to answer quickly, or this game could be over early.

Missouri Looks to Keep Pace with Kansas

COLUMBIA, Mo. — While Missouri is trying to keep pace with surprising, undefeated Kansas, Texas A&M is looking to salvage its season by playing for its embattled coach, Dennis Franchione.

Continue reading "Missouri Looks to Keep Pace with Kansas" »

November 03, 2007

The Aggies are finished in Norman

NORMAN, Okla. - From my seat, the story is defense. Not that it jumps right out at you.

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Fans losing interest

NORMAN, Okla. — Likely, it wasn't the fact that Texas A&M's offense could go back in time about 80 years and feel right at home. Nor was it the fact that the Sooner defense lost the bagel when Stephen McGee found Martellus Bennett from 23 yards to finally put the Aggies on the scoreboard. What is it then?

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You've gone and made them mad

NORMAN, Okla. - It's 35-0 now. Jermaine Gresham has caught two passes since the last update, though his catch-to-touchdown ration, for the game anyway, suffered. Only one of the catches was for points. And that's not all.

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All he does is catch touchdowns, the sequel

NORMAN, Okla. - Sam Bradford just threw another ball to Jermaine Gresham. And you know what that means.

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Goodson in the game

NORMAN, Okla. - One apparent fact tht came to light was Texas A&M running back Mike Goodson had skipped a practice over the week and considered leaving the team. He was known to be in Norman, though he carried the ball not once in the first half. Well, he's back.

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You'd think they'd get it right

NORMAN, Okla. - Here at the half, Oklahoma leads Texas A&M 21-0.
Perhaps, though, it should only be 14-0. Or 14-7.
Put it this way. OU finally got a review, even if it shouldn't have.

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All he does is catch touchdowns

NORMAN, Okla. - Still, Oklahoma can't run the ball, even with three very good running backs. On the other hand . . .

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It took a turnover

NORMAN, Okla. - Well, Oklahoma has taken the lead, but it's unclear if there's more where that came from.

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Mizzou rolling at the half 31-10 over Colorado

Boulder, Colo.- The Daniels led offense continues to roll. Daniels started off with a interception, but was able to put it in his rear view mirror. Despite Colorado converting an early interception and a blocked punt into points, they have since gone cold ending the half with five straight three and outs. The Buffs also have no answer for Mizzou's spread offense. The first half has been highlighted by big plays through the air with Daniels hitting his primary receivers William Franklin and Jeremy Maclin, who combined account for 194 of Daniels' 289 yards. The biggest play has come off the Tigers final drive of the half. The Tigers had the ball at the Colorado 25 yard line and were facing a third and six. Daniels dropped back and looked through his reads, seeing no one open. Daniels, feeling pressure, rolled out of the pocket to his right. He threw across his body to his open tight end Chase Coffman who broke two Buffs tackles to rumble into the endzone putting Mizzou further ahead 31-10. We'll see if the Buffs can answer.

Where's the protection?

NORMAN, Okla. - Thus far, nothing much but the possible beginning of a very disturbing trend.

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Student Body

BOULDER, Colo. - Folsom field is filled at capacity tonight thanks to the students. The CU student body has often been accused of being fair-weather fans. The most recent example was during the Oklahoma game where nearly half the student section was absent before the Buffs began their comeback. By the time Eberhart's game winning field goal cleared the uprights, the student section was magically full again ready to rush the field. Tonight the student section is full despite their team trailing Mizzou 24-10.

Tom Brady-like Review Swings Momentum Tigers Way

BOULDER, Colo.- The tide shifts the Tigers' way with the first play of the second quarter. During Colorado freshman quarterback Cody Hawkins' attempted throw, Missouri defensive lineman Lorenzo Williams hit the ball loose before Hawkins' arm started to go forward. The play was briefly reviewed and the play stood. Missouri took. Daniels and the rest of the Mizzou offense did not waste time and took advantage via a 46-yard pass to freshman wideout Jeremy Maclin to put the tigers up 14-10 with plenty of time left in the second quarter.

The place is buzzing

NORMAN, Okla -A half hour before the kick it's a mix of disbelief and knowing nods in the Owen Field Press Box where Oklahoma and Texas A&M will soon meet.

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#9 Missouri at Colorado turnover battle

Boulder, Colo. - On Missouri's second play from scrimmage, QB Chase Daniels' throw was tipped in the air and intercepted by Colorado Defensive Tackle George Hypolite (his first career interception) who took it to Missouri's 11 yard line. Three plays later, senior tailback Byron Ellis' three yard run put the Buffs up 7-0 sending Folsom Field into an early frenzy.

#9 Missouri at Colorado pre-game warm-ups

Nov. 3 2007
Boulder, Colo.- The Buffaloes appear to be loose during warm-ups doing their best impression of rap artist Soulja boy's superman. The Colorado cheerleaders joined in the dance. The edge has to go to the players.

#9 Missouri at Colorado preview

Nov. 3, 2007
BOULDER, Colo.- Over the past few years the Big 12 North has been lacking intra-conference games, Big 12 North v. Big 12 North, with potential BCS impact in November. There will be such a match-up today as No. 9 Missouri (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) squares off against Colorado (5-4, 3-2 Big 12).

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October 27, 2007

KU-A&M: Still unbeaten!

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Kansas basketball team opens their season Tuesday with an exhibition game against Pittsburg State, but for perhaps the first time since James Naismith nailed up the peach baskets, the hoopsters won't be the talk of the town.

The Kansas football team withstood a late Texas A&M rally, including a couple of Hail Mary attempts, to pull off their 8th win of the season, 19-11.

The win puts Kansas at 8-0 for the first time since 1909. Yes, 1909!

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KU-A&M: Too little, too late?


COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A&M is finally on the scoreboard!

The Aggies got a 21-yard FG to make it 19-3, although much of the crowd groaned/booed when the kicker trotter onto the field.

Unfortunately for A&M, the 78-yard drive was very time-consuming, and only 7:20 remains in the game.

KU-A&M: Aggie nightmare

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Aggies pride themselves in never booing and never leaving a game early, but this fan base has been beaten down enough that both are happening right now.

Kansas just punched in another TD to make it 19-0.

The Jayhawks went 43 yards in four plays, scoring on a 3-yard TD run by Brandon McAnderson. McAnderson, who also had a 40-yard run on the drive, now has 152 yards and two TDs on 15 carries.

A&M set up Kansas with a short field thanks to more offensive ineptness. After getting their first first down of the half, the Aggies turned the ball over on a fumble. With Stephen McGee in the shotgun, Mike Goodson was coming in motion to receive an inside handoff, but a low snap threw off the timing of the play, and the handoff bounced off Goodson's thighs and was recovered by DE John Larson.

KU-A&M: Jayhawks take control

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Kansas has added a TD and another FG and leads Texas A&M 13-0 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Kansas' second drive of the half ended with a TD on a 6-yard run by Brandon McAnderson.The drive went 54 yards in 6 plays, with Todd Reesing completing passes for 14 and 15 yards to soften up the defense against the run.

The Jayhawks' third drive went 44 yards in 8 plays and culminated with a 33-yard FG by Scott Webb. Reesing is now 21-30 for 180 yards.

A&M went 3-and-out for the third consecutive time this half, and went backwards for the second consecutive drive.

I heard a smattering of boos after a 2-yard pass on 3rd-and-13, and I'll bet another 3-and-out will really bring out the boo birds.

No one has supported Dennis Franchione more than QB Stephen McGee, the leader of the team, but the Aggie offense has been completely ineffective because the KU defense is daring A&M to throw and they can't. It's time to try someone else.

A&M's offense officially had -9 yards in the quarter, and the Aggies have been outgained tonight 318-127.

KU-A&M: WE HAVE POINTS!!!

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- It's only a FG, but YAY POINTS! (Yes, I'm honestly just rooting for points.)

Kansas leads 3-0 on a 31-yard FG by Scott Webb.

After Texas A&M went 3-and-out on the first possession of the second half, Kansas marched the ball 51 yards in 10 plays, converting two third downs on the drive.

Maybe that will be an icebreaker for the A&M offense...

KU-A&M: Spirit of Aggieland

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- If you ever hit the lottery and decide to spend the fall heading to a different football game each Saturday, seeing the best stadiums, sights, and players the nation has to offer, I think a visit to College Station has to be on that list. (And I say that even though I collect a paycheck from the University of Texas in my other life.)

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KU-A&M: Would you believe a scoreless half?

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Believe it.

At halftime, Texas A&M and undefeated Kansas have yet to dent the scoreboard.

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KU-A&M: Not what you'd expect

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. -- At the end of a quarter, Texas A&M and Kansas are still scoreless.

But things aren't going as expected here.

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KU-A&M: Leaders of the Pack

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. -- A couple of months ago, I sat down with the Big XII schedule and put a big circle around October 27th, because that was the day the top team in the North would visit the top team in the South.

Technically, I was correct. Honestly though, I was off by about a hundred miles. While Texas and Nebraska have hit serious ruts in the road, Texas A&M is an unlikely co-leader in the South, and Kansas is not only looking to go 8-0 for the first time since 1909 (1909?!?!?!), they're also ranked ninth in the BCS. What in the name of Phog Allen is going on here?

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October 20, 2007

Colorado comes up short against Jayhawks

BOULDER, Colo. - On a blustery day in Boulder it seems fitting that the flags around Folsom Field have quit whipping. With 2:16 remaining in the fourth quarter and down 19-14, the Buffs were primed to make a march down the field to score the game winning touchdown. Alas the wind was taken from the Buffs sails as the No. 15 Kansas Jayhawks walked away from Boulder with a five point win.

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Buffs can't muster upset.

The Colorado Buffaloes did not go down without a fight, but lose to No. 15 Kansas 19-14.

Buffs within a score of the win

The Buffs just made it a game. On a 80 yard 10 play drive that ate up three minutes and eighteen seconds the Buffs closed the lead to five points with 3:42 left in the fourth.

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Third quarter wrap/Kansas touchdown

BOULDER, Colo. - The Buffs again limited a Cody Hawkins interception to just a Kansas field goal and the Jayhawks lead 13-7.

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Jayhawks answer

BOULDER, Colo. - It only took 1:23 for the Jayhawks to answer CU's first score of the day.

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Buffs get on the board

BOULDER, Colo. - The Buffs finally get on the board against Kansas on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Cody Hawkins to tight-end Tyson DeVree. The touchdown gets CU to 230 consecutive games with a score.

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First Half Recap

BOULDER, Colo. - At the end of one half the Buffs trail the No. 15 Kansas Jayhawks 3-0.

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Buffs miss opportunity

BOULDER, Colo. -

On their ensuing drive after taking over on downs, Buffs' wide receiver Dusty Sprague dropped an easily catchable ball on a third down and two from the Kansas 29-yard line.

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Buffs get it back

BOULDER, Colo. -

The Buffs defense was able to put the ball back into Cody Hawkins hands, as Kansas threw an incomplete pass on fourth down.

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Points off turnovers/First quarter recap

BOULDER, Colo. -

The Buffs amidst an 8 play drive turned the ball over on the the Kansas 11-yard line. Colorado running back Hugh Charles, in an effort to stretch for the first down lost control of the ball and gave up a scoring opportunity.

Continue reading "Points off turnovers/First quarter recap" »

Again up the middle

BOULDER, Colo. -

On Kansas' first drive CU's interior defense showed lingering effects of last week against Kansas State as the Jayhawks were able to get a couple of first downs on big runs up the middle. The Buffs defense however, did hold on the Jayhawks first possession and force a punt.

Big day in Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. - On a breezy warm Colorado fall day the Buffs will look to bounce back after a tough 27-point loss to Kansas State last week. The surprising 6-0 No. 15 Kansas Jayhawks walk into Boulder atop the Big 12 North as the season of stunners continues in college football.

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Sooners survive

AMES, Iowa - How did No. 4 Oklahoma manage to do everything but lose Saturday afternoon at Jack Trice Stadium. Well, let us count the ways.

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Not over yet

AMES, Iowa - Here's the latest in a long line of special teams issues for Oklahoma. Michael Cohen kicked a 14-yard punt. What's next? Somebody fields a punt and runs the wrong way? At this point, nothing surprises.

Alas, a triple tipped Brett Meyer pass into the end zone while the Cyclones faced second and goal at the 6 after driving down another gift of a short field, was picked off by D.J. Wolfe. Now, the Sooners are driving with 4 minutes and change left to play.

The Sooners appear to have locked it up, but it looked that way 20 minutes ago and 5 minutes ago it was looking like overtime.

A week ago, Bob Stoops said every win is a good win, but didn't mean it after OU stumbled through some of its 41-31 victory over Missouri. Maybe it takes a game like this to appreciate the sentiment. OU can't like the way it's playing. But should it survive, it will be so much better than the alternative.

Sanity makes a comeback

AMES, Iowa - Oklahoma may not yet be playing up to its ranking, but it's clearly taken control of that action at Jack Trice Stadium.

Yet another turnover — DeMarco Murray was stripped, Chris Taylor recovered — slowed things down again, but after holding the Cyclones, a 14-play, 80-yard drive with Chris Brown getting the honors yet again — his fifth touchdown in two games — has the Sooners up 14-7.

Once again, Bradford missed a certain touchdown hook-up with Juaquin Iglsesias, throwing the ball off the junior receiver's fingertips from midfield. Nonetheless, the Sooners were quickly back in the end zone, even getting 54 of the 80 yards through the air.

Lost perhaps in OU's struggles to get things going offensively is just how defiant the defense has played to keep the Sooners in the game. It's not like OU leads the day in short fields.

Murray to the rescue

AMES, Iowa - A week ago, Chris Brown rode to Oklahoma's rescue. This week, apparently, it's redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray. Of course, it begs a question. Without the Sooners cup running over at running back, just where would they be.

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Pretender or contender

AMES, Iowa - The computers are not fond of Oklahoma, but people love the Sooners. The media, coaches and whoever it is that votes in the Harris poll all had the Sooners No. 4 entering Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium, the very place where, at the half, an Iowa State team that counts losses to Toledo, Northern Iowa and Kent State, leads OU 7-0.

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Bradford just missing

AMES, Iowa - Oklahoma finally put a drive together. Sort of.

Third and 6, first play of second quarter, and Sam Bradford finds Chris Brown out of the backfield.

Three plays later, Bradford finds Jermaine Gresham for 18 yards.

Three plays later, Brown carries for 5 facing third and 3.

Three plays later, Bradford hits Adron Tennell in the chest, but Tennell was slipping as the ball arrived.

Next play, Bradford scrambles short facing fourth and 5.

The play before Tennell's drop? Bradford throws too tall to Malcolm Kelly. Catchable, but the high throw allowed the safety to make a play on the receiver. It was the second sure touchdown Bradford had just missed, the first a ball Juaquin Iglesias could have caught but refused to lay out for.

Now, Iowa State driving again.

It's been a crazy season and 24 minutes into things at Jack Trice Stadium it's only getting crazier.

Cyclones convert fourth down and they're just 21 yards away, still leading 7-0.

First quarter from Ames

AMES, Iowa - If this keeps up, the nation will be shaking its head once again by the end of the day.

Through 15 minutes, the only thing of note from Oklahoma has been a turnovers that led to a touchdown. That and the fact the Sooners have failed to move the ball. Sam Bradford has narrowly missed two big hook ups, one with Malcolm Kelly and the other to Juaquin Iglesias.

Though the Cyclones just have the one touchdown (more than many thought they might get the whole game), notable is the fact ISU has advanced the ball every possession.

The Sooner Nation sweats

Hope springs eternal

AMES, Iowa - Well, so much for that complete game the Sooners or their running game was hopting to pitch.

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A template for the day

Is this the way it's going to be …

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Kick near in Ames

Give Iowa State credit.

The Stadium is very nearly full, even to watch 1-6 Iowa State likely be throttled by 6-1 and fourth-ranked Oklahoma. On the other hand, a note to the schedulers, Kansas State and Colorado look like better homecoming candidates than the Sooners. But then, perhaps, Ames may be no place to visit in November.

Still, the homecoming commotion is impressive. A bunch of true believers. And why not. Strangers things have happened … even this season.

The teams are lining up.

And there's the kick.

Pregame from Ames

AMES, Iowa — Still a little more than a half hour before the kick at Jack Trice Stadium, where if it's 55 outside it's 90 inside thanks to a brillian Iowa sun. With some time, a quick review of today's sublots appears in order before No. 4 Oklahoma meets foundering Iowa State.

Oklahoma

1. Assuming victory, which seems likely in the face of a 30-point spread, the Sooner Nation has to be wondering if, for a third straight Saturday, OU will get more help in the national title race. Technically, the Sooners have already received it this week, Thursday night, when Rutgers stunned No. 2 South Florida. There are some candidates. No. 5 LSU — ahead of OU in the BCS — plays host to No. 18 Auburn. Though unranked, Michigan State might be capable of giving No. 1 Ohio State a hard time.

2. The Sooners are still waiting to play something close to a complete game. At Colorado, they fell apart in the fourth quarter. Against Texas, it took a few huge and singluar plays to make up for a few clear breakdowns. Against Missouri, two turnovers had Bob Stoops steaming after the game, while the Tigers' four turnovers may have been the biggest reason most of the fans exiting Owen Field were smiling. OU could really use a start-to-finish domination unseen since non-conference play ended.

3. OU is 4-0 at home, 1-0 on neutral fields (Texas), 1-0 on the road at a place it had half the fans (Tulsa) and 0-1 in truly hostile environments (Colorado). It's only the Cyclones, yet it remains a true road game, a test the Sooners have yet to pass.

4. Can Sam Bradford keep it going. The nation's pass-efficiency leader (181.15) continues to impress. Today might be an opportunity to pad his 20 to 4 touchdown to interception radio.

5. Barring an absolute complete game, can the Sooners get a complete game on the ground? Allen Patrick, DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown and — if it's a laugher — Mossis Madu and Jacob Gutierrez should all get their chances to carry the ball.

Iowa State

1. Does the Season of the Upset hold anything for Cyclones. Or, better put, anything more. Just 1-6 on the season, the Cyclones have already lost to Kent State, Toledo and Northern Iowa. The one victory? In-state rival Iowa. Does that make Northern Iowa king of the rolling corn fields?

2. Do the Cyclones mail it in? Questionable is just what Iowa State has left to play for. Recently a player in the Big 12 North, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado all appear to have passed the Cyclones by. (Bright side? Dan McCarney struggled as a young Cyclone coach, but eventually turned things around. First-year coach Gene Chizik will likely receive the same kind of time and many swear by the guy)

That's it for subplots. Now, a small bit of trivia every college footballf fan should know.

Prentice Gautt broke the color barrier at OU in 1956. It was more than a decade later it happened at Red River rival Texas. Yet Jack Trice, Iowa State's first black athlete, was playing for the Cyclones in 1922. Trice died Oct. 8, 1923 from injuries sustained on the field against Minnesota two days earlier.

How nice it is, in these days of United Spirit Arena (Texas Tech) and the Coors Center (Colorado), that football is played at a place called Jack Trice Stadium.

Until the kick …

October 14, 2007

Wrapping Up OU-MU

NORMAN, Okla. - 85,041 saw Oklahoma take down Missouri, 41-31 tonight at Memorial Stadium, and after a wild game, a crazy elevator situation, and one really long traffic jam, here's tonight's wrap up from Norman.

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October 13, 2007

Sooners Tame Tigers, 41-31

NORMAN, Okla. - It was an exciting game for most of the 60 minutes here tonight, but when it became crunch time, the Oklahoma Sooners pulled away, handing the Missouri Tigers their first loss of the season, 41-31 here at Memorial Stadium.

OU's defense was the key late, as they were able to get pressure on Chase Daniel again, forcing key turnovers and taking advantage each time the Tigers made a critical mistake. Missouri put up a gallant fight here tonight. The Tigers drove down and scored on a four yard pass from Daniel to Martin Rucker with 12 seconds left. However, the last quarter showed who the best team was on the field.

We'll have more to come from Norman tonight, including post-game comments and a final wrap-up. Once again, Oklahoma has defeated Missouri tonight, 41-31.

OU Finishing This One Off

NORMAN, Okla. - Chase Daniel has tossed his third interception of the night, this one picked off by Nic Harris after it was tipped by Auston English, and the Sooners are milking the clock, up 35-24.

It just hasn't been Daniel's night tonight. Give him credit for bringing the Tigers back from down 23-10 to giving them a 24-23 lead, but in the fourth quarter, the best team usually steps up their game an extra notch, and it's been the Sooners who have done that tonight.

Just as I typed that, Chris Brown sprinted down the left side of the field for a 20 yard touchdown, but Garrett Hartley's PAT was blocked, making it 41-24 in favor of the Sooners with 2:39 to go.

Stick a fork in this one folks. This one is going to the boys in crimson and cream.

Lofton Pushes Sooners Further Ahead

NORMAN, Okla. - Missouri, needing to answer the OU score, did the absolute worst thing possible.

Chase Daniel, trying to hand off to Jeremy Maclin, fumbled the ball, and OU's Curtis Lofton took it to the house from 11 yards out, bringing bedlam to the crowd in Memorial Stadium. The Sooners again tried for two, but Bradford's pass fell incomplete, and the Sooners now lead 35-24 with 11:40 to go.

Mizzou's not out of it...but they need a quick drive and answer. This OU crowd is getting raucous again, sensing blood in the water, and that usually spells doom and gloom for visiting teams here in Norman.

Long Drive Gives Sooners Lead Again

NORMAN, Okla. - The sign of a good team is when the momentum is shifted dramatically in their opponent's favor, they rise to the occasion and answer the call.

In other words, Oklahoma's a good team.

The Sooners pounded the Missouri defense in a 12 play, 66 yard drive, and Chris Brown's one yard walk into the endzone put OU back on top here in Norman. Oklahoma went for two, but Sam Bradford's pass was tipped incomplete, making the score 29-24 Sooners with 12:26 to go.

In games like these, this is the time for great leaders to step up. Can Chase Daniel answer the Sooners? That's what we have to look forward to as OU kicks off to the Tigers.

Mizzou Regains Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - Just when you thought OU was locking this game up, the Tigers roared back to life.

Taking advantage of the Iglesias kickoff fumble, Missouri marched down the field on an eight play drive, and Jimmy Jackson's four yard run on the right end has given the Tigers a 24-23 lead on Oklahoma with 1:30 to go in the third.

The Missouri fans are definitely letting themselves be heard, as the majority of crimson-clad OU fans are absolutely shellshocked at what's going on right now in the game. But give Mizzou all the credit. Gary Pinkel and company found what was wrong with their OL in the first half, and Chase Daniel hasn't had too much to worry about pressure-wise in the second half. It shows in the stats, as Mizzou has 313 yards to OU's 270.

Can OU come back? Will Hartley's missed PAT haunt them? We'll find out...what a game so far!

Missouri Fighting Back

NORMAN, Okla. - Missouri needed a momentum shift. 12 plays and 4:41 later, they got it.

Chase Daniel, showing the leadership that Mizzou has counted on all season, led a gutsy drive down the field that was capped off by a 10 yard touchdown run off the reverse by Jeremy Maclin, who has been the tailback/receiver/hot dog vendor, etc. for the Tigers. The guy has done everything for them when Daniel doesn't have the ball.

The crowd here in Norman has turned silent all of the sudden, with the exception of the Missouri fans whooping it up in the south end of the stadium. All of the sudden, despite the two interceptions, Mizzou has found their way back into the game, and OU fans are getting a little nervous.

**UPDATE** - OU fans are REALLY nervous now, after Juaquin Iglesias fumbled the kickoff return, and Connell Davis recovered for Missouri, giving the Tigers the ball at the OU 46 with the chance to take the lead.

OU Adds to Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - As per the norm this season, when OU gets a gift, they return it in style.

Following the Chase Daniel interception, the Sooners marched with very little trouble, scoring on an Allen Patrick run from five yards out. Garrett Hartley missed the PAT, but Oklahoma's up 23-10 on Mizzou with 9:30 to go in the third.

How easy was OU's drive? The Sooners, taking 2:48 off the clock, never faced third down once.

Missouri mistakes are once again haunting the Tigers, who need to find some momentum fast here at Memorial Stadium.

Reg-gie, Reg-gie!

NORMAN, Okla. - It looked as if Missouri had found their stride at the half. The Tigers shut down the Sooners on their opening drive, and Chase Daniel and company were marching down the field with ease. But with Missouri facing third and two, Daniel ran to his right out of the pocket and threw a soft pass that fell into the hands of OU's Reggie Smith. Smith took it to the OU 44 yard line, and what could've been a major momentum shift was doused again by the OU secondary.

Although, admittedly, Daniel's pass was weak, missing any Tiger receiver by several yards. The pressure from the Sooner D has been tough for Daniel to overcome right now.

17-10 Oklahoma as they're on the move with 10 minutes to go in the third.

Some Halftime Stats

NORMAN, Okla. - Quick Halftime Stats...

Rushing Yards:
Missouri - 11 carries, 15 yards
Oklahoma - 13 carries, 14 yards

It's all about the aerial assault here tonight...

Passing Yards:
Chase Daniel: 16-22, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sam Bradford: 16-19, 188 yards, 2 TDs

Daniel's being outshadowed tonight, but that's mostly because of OU's defense.

Kickoff Returns:
Missouri: 2 for 79 yards
Oklahoma: 1 for 22 yards

Mizzou's had the field position; they just haven't been able to get it done.

Some Halftime Stats

NORMAN, Okla. - Quick Halftime Stats...

Rushing Yards:
Missouri - 11 carries, 15 yards
Oklahoma - 13 carries, 14 yards

It's all about the aerial assault here tonight...

Passing Yards:
Chase Daniel: 16-22, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sam Bradford: 16-19, 188 yards, 2 TDs

Daniel's being outshadowed tonight, but that's mostly because of OU's defense.

Kickoff Returns:
Missouri: 2 for 79 yards
Oklahoma: 1 for 22 yards

Mizzou's had the field position; they just haven't been able to get it done.

A Little Mizzou Momentum at Half

NORMAN, Okla. - Finally, Missouri had some of their offensive punch back, and just before the half ended.

The Tigers went on a 9 play, 85 yard drive that was capped with a Jeff Wolfert field goal as time expired, cutting the Sooner lead to 17-10 as we've hit the end of the first half. The key plays: Daniel's 31 yard pass to Danario Alexander that put the Tigers in OU territory with just under 20 seconds left, and the 22 yard pass on the next play to Will Franklin, who dove out of bounds at the OU two yard line with just two seconds left, allowing Mizzou to pick up some much needed points.

Marching Mizzou has taken the field here in Norman, something that's very odd if you've watched a lot of Southern football. Usually, the opposing band has no chance to get on the field, but in the Big 12, things are a little more diplomatic. In fact, VERY diplomatic. As the Mizzou band public announcer yelled to fans to cheer for Mizzou, the OU fans didn't boo at all, remaining silent for the Missouri fans to cheer.

As the Missouri Waltz is being played, it's time for me to refuel on caffeine! Second half starts in 15 minutes.

OU fans have a LOT of radios

INORMAN, Okla.- I had Sugar Bowl reps and a lot of people behind me, as the TV showing LSU-Kentucky was right above my head. As soon as LSU was down and UK had won it, a huge roar came from the crowd here at Memorial Stadium.

Think there's a lot of handheld radios in the stadium tonight? I think so.

Anyways, the crowd is pumped, as OU remains on top, 17-7, with under three minutes to go in the half.

Bradford, Sooners Cruising

NORMAN, Okla. - The OU offense started on their own 14 yard line, and seven plays later, Sam Bradford found a WIIIIIIIDDDE OPEN Jermaine Gresham for a 30 yard touchdown, sending fireworks in the air, the Sooner Schonner riding back out on the field, and the crowd into yet another roar of approval.

OU is in total control of this game, and you've got to give the Sooners credit for the way they responded to Missouri's opening drive touchdown. The Sooners now have 161 yards of offense to Mizzou's 44, and the Tigers have to find a way to get back in this game, something that's easier said than done, given the way the OU defense has stiffened up and rattled Chase Daniel.

17-7 Sooners with 11:47 to go in the half.

Trouble On The Line

NORMAN, Okla. - Chase Daniel's first drive was a great one, but since then, OU's defensive line has given him fits. The Sooners have kept Daniel from staying in the pocket, chasing him out and sacking him twice. Daniel looks flustered, and he's been a bit panicky when he hears the footsteps coming his way.

Missouri's offense has gone for -9 yards of total offense since that first drive, and Gary Pinkel has to get the offensive line in gear and allow his star QB to get more time. Otherwise, the Sooners are on a roll right now in the second.

Mizzou Mistake Gives OU Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - One thing is for sure...you can't give OU gifts. The Sooners will return those gifts in a not-so-nice way.

The Sooner defense put intense pressure on Chase Daniel, and on third-and-10, Daniel's pass was picked off by D.J. Wolfe, who took the ball back to the Missouri 16 yard line. Missouri, though, was able to hold the Sooners to just a field goal, as three straight runs mustered only five yards for Oklahoma.

We start the second quarter with the Sooners up 10-7. However, Missouri has the ball on the OU 44, following a terrific kickoff return.

The Longest Review

NORMAN, Okla. - Sam Bradford found Chris Brown over the middle on a short pass, and was being brought down by Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon. Brown's knee hit the ground, but the rest of him rolled over, and when no whistles were blown, Brown trotted in for what was called a Sooner touchdown.

After about an eight minute delay, the refs managed to get the call right, and the ball was spotted on the Missouri 18 yd. line. However, the Sooners never flinched. Sam Bradford found Malcolm Kelly for two straight passes, setting up OU with first and goal from the eight, and on second and goal, Bradford found Juaquin Iglesias for the tying score.

With 3:33 to go in the first, it's 7-7 between Oklahoma and Missouri.

Missouri Draws First Blood

NORMAN, Okla. - A rare OU turnover has led to the first score of the game for Missouri. Sam Bradford found Juaquin Iglesias on the first Sooner offensive play, but a vicious hit by Stryker Sulak popped the football out of Iglesias's hands, and MU's Darnell Terrell recovered the loose ball at the Oklahoma 38 yard line.

Once the Tigers had the ball, Chase Daniel went to work, going 4-4 on the drive for 32 yards, including a 17 yard strike to a wide open William Franklin down the left sideline on fourth and one. The Tigers ran a reverse play on second and three from the OU five yard line, and Jeremy Maclin dove into the end zone, sending screams of jubiliation from the Missouri fans tucked in the inside corner on the south end of Memorial Stadium.

It's 7-0 Missouri as OU has the ball on their 35 with 10:04 to go here in the first quarter.

Getting Set for OU-MU

NORMAN, Okla. - We are less than 15 minutes away from a game that has all eyes in the Midwest on Memorial Stadium here in Norman, as the #6 Oklahoma Sooners will try to keep their hopes of defending their Big 12 title alive. Standing in the way of the Sooners are the undefeated and 11th-ranked Missouri Tigers, who are out on a mission to firmly establish themselves among the elite teams this year in college football.

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October 06, 2007

Texas-OU: Sooners take a classic

DALLAS, TX -- Sometimes rivalry games don't live up to the hype.

This one did.

In front of 80,000 at the Cotton Bowl, 10th-ranked Oklahoma outslugged 19th-ranked Texas 28-21 to stay in contention for the Big XII title.

"It was a great football game," said losing coach Mack Brown. "It was what you expect out of Texas and OU."

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Texas-OU: Sooners come up big

DALLAS, TX -- Oklahoma just pulled off the longest, most time-consuming drive of the game to take the lead, 28-21 over Texas with 10:42 left in the game.

Starting from their own 6 after a flub on the kickoff return, the Sooners drove 94 yards in 12 plays, with the score coming on a 3rd-down 35-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Malcolm Kelly.

It was the third third-down conversion of the drive. Bradford went 7-for-8 on the drive for 83 yards.

Texas-OU: Pow, Longhorns!

DALLAS, TX -- It's like a Batman comic book here, the hits are coming so hard and so quickly.

Texas answered OU's quick-strike TD with their own quick scoring drive, and we're tied 21-21 early in the 4th quarter.

Continue reading "Texas-OU: Pow, Longhorns!" »

Texas-OU: Boom, Sooners!

DALLAS, TX -- OU freshman running back DeMarco Murray just busted a 65-yard TD run to give Oklahoma a 21-14 lead over Texas late in the third quarter.

It looked like a normal off-tackle play, but a hole opened, Murray hit it, hurdled a blocker on the ground, and outran Texas safety Marcus Griffin to the end zone.

The run gave Murray 100 yards on 8 carries today.

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Texas-OU: Locked up at half

DALLAS, TX -- 10 plays and 66 yards, and we're tied.

Facing 3rd-and-goal from the 6, OU QB Sam Bradford hit TE Jermaine Gresham for TD to make it 14-14 at the half.

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Texas-OU: Hi, my name's Jermichael

DALLAS, TX -- Sometime earlier this week, someone introduced Texas Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis to tight end Jermichael Finley.

Finley, who entered the game with only 187 yards receiving in five games, just caught two more huge passes to give Texas a 14-7 lead over Oklahoma.

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Texas-OU: McCoy answers in a flash


Dallas, TX -- BLAM! BLAM! We're tied!

After totalling only 47 yards on their first 14 plays and punting three times, Texas just struck quickly to tie it at 7-7.

Starting from the UT 39, Colt McCoy found TE Jermichael Finley wide open over the middle and Finley rumbled another 30 yards to the OU 6 for a 55-yard gain. On the next play, McCoy dropped back and initially found no one open, but he moved to the left, drew the attention of a CB, and found Jordan Shipley drifting to the back corner for a TD.

With 11 minutes to play in the half, we've got a good one.

Texas-OU: Bradford catches fire

DALLAS, TX -- Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford just broke up a defensive struggle by taking the Sooners on an 84-yard TD drive.

After hitting several big passes, Bradford capped off the drive with a 1-yard TD pass to TE Jermaine Gresham.

At the end of the first quarter, the Sooners lead 7-0.

Continue reading "Texas-OU: Bradford catches fire" »

Texas-OU: Football's Best Rivalry

DALLAS, TX -- Texas and Oklahoma will be kicking off soon, the 102nd renewal of the best rivalry game in college football.

That's right -- the best rivalry game in college football.

Sorry, Ohio State and Michigan. No way, Southern Cal and Neutered Dame. Get serious, Alabama and Auburn. Texas-OU matches the hatred and intensity of any of those games, with the added bonus of the greatest setting imaginable.

Continue reading "Texas-OU: Football's Best Rivalry" »

September 29, 2007

Buffs upset No. 3 Sooners in Boulder

BOULDER, Colo.

The scoreboard in Folsom Field an hour and a half after Colorado's conference opener still says it all...Colorado 27, Oklahoma 24.

Colorado head coach, Dan Hawkins told his players all week that he knew the Buffs were going to win their Homecoming match-up with the No. 3 ranked Sooners. On Saturday, Hawkins foreshadowing came to fruition as the Buffs capitalized on several late Oklahoma turnovers.

Continue reading "Buffs upset No. 3 Sooners in Boulder" »

Fourth quarter heroics

BOULDER, Colo.

The Buffs have scored 14 fourth quarter points and now have tied the game with 4:05 left. The second score came on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Hawkins to wide receiver Dusty Sprague.

Game of Tips

BOULDER, Colo.

Turnovers have been painful for the Buffs. Oklahoma has turned two D.J. Wolfe interceptions into touchdowns in the first three quarters of the game. Just three minutes into the third quarter, Wolfe was able to adjust to the second tipped ball of the game and return the interception 28 yards to the Buffs 17. Allen Patrick would then take the next play into endzone for his second score of the day.

Continue reading "Game of Tips" »

Halftime Update CU vs. OU

BOULDER, Colo.

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins and the Buffs trail (AP) No. 3 Oklahoma at halftime in Boulder 17-7. Running back Hugh Charles has the only score for the Buffs, coming off a 25-yard touchdown run the second quarter.

Continue reading "Halftime Update CU vs. OU" »

Buffs switch scores

BOULDER, Colo.

On a four minute, 8 play drive the Buffs went 69 yards to get their first score of the game with 8:26 left to go in the first half. Running back Hugh Charles took a hand-off and made good on a huge hole created by true freshman right tackle, Ryan Miller for 25 yard scamper to the endzone. The Buffs scoring drive was the first action for the young offensive lineman.

Continue reading "Buffs switch scores" »

Colorado vs. Oklahoma

BOULDER, Colo.

Colorado opens up their Big 12 Conference play at home this weekend on a partly cloudy Homecoming morning. An hour before game time the Buffs are in their normal home colors with gold pants and black tops. Oklahoma, the No. 3 (AP) ranked team in the nation, won the last time they were in Boulder 34-20 in 2003 when they came in ranked No.1.

Continue reading "Colorado vs. Oklahoma" »

September 21, 2007

'Canes throttle Aggies 34-17

MIAMI - A couple of late scores couldn't pull Dennis Franchione's Texas A&M Aggies out of the hole they dug themselves in the first half, falling to a resurgent Miami Hurricanes 34-17.

An offensive explosion, uncharacteristic of the 'Canes (3-1), helped them control the game, as A&M (3-1) never really got out of the gate, falling behind 24-0 at the half.

"That was a big victory for us," said Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon. "It was an opportunity to bounce back from earlier this season and play a good opponent in Texas A&M."

The Aggies, known as an offensive team, were outgained 402-240 in total yards, and most of that came late in the second half. A&M had only 38 yards of offense at the half.

"Kyle did a good job giving us the best opportunity to win, but it was a team effort," Shannon said.

The lack of performance by the Aggies was exacerbated by the sparkling performance of Miami's offense, that 420 yard output falling just short of the season high, 429 against Florida International.

Ultimately, the stats tell the story, the story of a game that many thought to be a blowout, but not in the way it wound up going. Miami gets the signature win they've been waiting two years for, and Texas A&M gets more questions about exactly what kind of program they are.

"We just got beat," said Franchione. "Got beat by a better team."

PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Kyle Wright - It'll be a new feeling for Wright, receiving accolades rather than criticism. But going 21-of-26 for 275 yards and two touchdowns will usually lead to a victory. His passes were sharp, and while some of his deep balls were underthrown, they connected, and it led the team to victory. Normally I would be harsh on the fumble caused by Wright's careless ballhandling, but the guy had a pretty good day, so I'll lay off...this time.

PLAY OF THE GAME:
The fumbled kickoff return by Cody Wallace near the end of the first half. A squib kick by Miami, just trying to kill the clock, the offensive lineman returned the kick, and promptly coughed it up. While it only led to a Francesco Zampogna field goal, it was totally representative of A&M's ineptitude.

NEXT UP:

Miami (3-1) gets nine days off before hosting Duke (1-2), who just won their first game in over two years last weekend over Northwestern. Likely not heavy lifting, their first conference win if everything goes as planned.

Texas A&M (3-1) will welcome Baylor (2-1) to Kyle Field next Saturday, looking to improve their record and start their conference schedule on the right foot.

September 20, 2007

Off to the field...

MIAMI - I'm heading downstairs to gather quotes for the final recap, so stick around...I'll be right back!

Shameful playcalling by Franchione

MIAMI - Texas A&M is on the board, the score now 31-3. Yeah, they kicked a field goal down 31-0. How could Dennis Franchione make that play call? In the words of Herm Edwards, you play to win the game.

That move makes no one happy. 'Canes fans are upset because they wanted the shutout. Aggie fans are upset because their coach wussed out and cut the lead from 31 to 28. Franchione isn't doing anything to cool his seat off; in fact, he's just throwing gasoline on the fire.

Heading for the exits...

MIAMI - The rout has been on for a while now, but that last touchdown pass from Kyle Wright to Chris Zellner sealed it for a lot of A&M fans. That section of the stadium, opposite the student section, has emptied very quickly in the last five minutes.

They might have left for A&M's lone highlight; Aggies inside the five.

An interesting sight

MIAMI - I must admit that I took a short trip away from my computer just now, venturing down into the sea of humanity that is the student section.

I've been down there in that crowd before. I've cheered and stomped my feet as loud as anyone. But I must say that the section is crazier than I've ever seen it. It's like Mardi Gras down there. The fans are finally being rewarded with entertaining play.

Trust me, you can't begin to pick up the energy that is being admitted from that corner of the stadium. I thought I knew what it would be like; I had no Idea.

One wheel falls off...Two wheels fall off

MIAMI - The only accurate description for the mood at the Orange Bowl tonight is shock and elation. No one can remember when Miami has put up such a dominating performance. A shut-out of a great offense throughout the first half, a great aerial attack for the 'Canes, and turnover after turnover after turnover. Certainly not what I expected when I walked into the OB tonight.

All you need to know about this game:

TOTAL YARDS: Miami 190-Texas A&M 39

It's pretty clear-cut what both teams have to do for the second half. For A&M, they just have to stop screwing up. No more fumbles; it's not raining here yet. Try to get something going through the air. Stop Miami's offense.

For the 'Canes, just look at the first-half tape, and do that again. Save it, and watch it next week. And every week for the rest of the season. This is the kind of team Miami fans have been waiting for since a crushing loss at home against Georgia Tech in 2005. They look impeccable.

A passing game? What's that?

MIAMI - A three-yard run by Javarris James capped another impressive drive for the Hurricanes, with Kyle Wright going downfield, hitting Sam Shields for a 53-yard completion.

Miami has looked more solid tonight than they have all seasn, including games against Marshall and Florida International. Still plenty of time for both teams, but A&M will want to make something happen on this drive, and stop stalling on the UM 40-yard line. Field goals are awfully long from that point.

UPDATE 8:50

...and they make something happen by thorwing in interception to Colin McCarthy. Not the right direction, fellas.

Miami draws first blood

MIAMI - An 18 play, 80 yards, 8:51 drive, capped off by a 7-yard direct snap run to Graig Cooper. The concensus in the press box? The best drive the 'Canes have had in years. That was a drive highlighted by big plays made by Kyle Wright. The run was pretty well wrapped up by A&M, Wright just made the plays when they were needed.

Questionable attendance

MIAMI - It's a little bit odd, the stadium is a lot more empty at this point (less than 10 minutes before kickoff), than I would have expected. It is important to remember that this is Miami, and people tend to run a little late, but even the A&M section is filled with odd holes.

The student section is also a little empty too, which is even more odd, because there's been more buzz for this game since the FSU game last year. I was expecting the section to fill very quickly, and while it's still jammed, some of the less choice seats are still available. Lets just assume for now everyone's still tailgating outside.

Just annonced, Martellus Bennet will be swinging over to the other side of the line when he lines up at tight end tonight. Not earth-shattering news.

Weather report for tonight's kickoff:
86 degrees
Partly Cloudy
52 percent relative humidity
Winds South 9 mph

The OB's the place to be

MIAMI - Greetings and salutatins football fans! It's good to have you here on Run and Shoot, as we're about to share one of the most unique experiences in college football; a night game at the Orange Bowl, as the Hurricanes welcome the Aggies of Texas A&M.

While the stadium and the team have seen better days, there's nothing quite like night games here. With the lovely skyline behind the east endzone, and a light breeze swirling in from that side, games here at night just always seem to have a little extra pizzazz. That's definitely something this team will miss with the move to Dolphin Stadium next year. The sunset over the Everglades is gorgeous, the humidity has given way, and it's exactly what Miami football should feel like.

But, the stadium doesn't play a snap for either team, so I'll stop blabbering about it and get to the breakdown. Shall we?

This is a match-up of two very similar teams. Teams who have the talent, but have always been tabbed as underperformers over the years. Some say A&M Head Coach Dennis Franchione's seat may be warming, as the Aggies are perrenially good, but not great. A prime-time non-conference win would go a long way in soothing the fan base.

For the 'Canes, it's a very odd time. Head Coach Randy Shannon will be at the helm for his fourth game tonight, hoping to keep Miami away from another 2-2 start. Shannon's position is completely opposite from Franchione's; new job, lowered expectations, and promise for the future. Fans are waiting for the big, "we're back," kind of win, a la UCLA in 1998.

Will it come tonight? Not if A&M's backfield has anything to do with it. The dynamic duo of Mike Goodson and Jorvorskie Lane have returned this year, and the dual threat of Stephen McGee's arm and legs will prove tricky for a Miami defense looking to recapture their magic.

Miami not without a thunder and lightning combination of its own, with sophomore Javarris James and freshman Graig Cooper bring electricity to the running game not seen at Miami since Frank Gore left for the pros. Ever since Cooper's first game against Marshall, where he ran for more than 100 yards, he's been the talk of the town.

The QB situation is Miami's prevailing weakness, as Kyle Wright will take the snaps, returning to his starting position after losing his job to junior Kirby Freeman coming out of camp. Freeman's completion percentage was near 40 percent during his time, and Wright quickly took his spot back. His performance has been marginally better, highlighted by an 80-yard pass play to Lance Leggett last week against FIU, adding some sparkle to an otherwise lackluster performance.

Despite being the favorite, Miami faces an uphill battle (they got three points from Vegas for playing at home; it's a pick-'em). If they want to win, they have to lock down in the secondary, rush using the tandem, and make some kind of magic through the air. If they don't, the Aggies will head back to College Station with a very valuable W.

Stay tuned for more updates and observations as they develop. Welcome to the OB, baby!

September 16, 2007

USC-Nebraska: USC wins. Neither team shines. But NU fans are left to wonder.

LINCOLN, Neb.- Suffice to say the Bill Callahan era has taken another step back tonight.

Almost every Nebraska fan worth his salt that you ran into this week was saying the same thing: This was the biggest game in Lincoln in years.

Well it didn't turn out to be the biggest. It did possibly turn out to be the most telling.

Callahan.jpg
(Bill Callahan said in the post-game that "he loves this team and where they're at". But does the Corn Nation feel the same way?)

Nebraska got a real close view at what big time college football looked like. The kind of big time college football that they used to set the example for. USC came into Memorial Stadium and played a smashmouth brand that even a Nebraska fan could look at longingly and admit they miss. SC had some late hiccups, but won convincingly 49-31.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: USC wins. Neither team shines. But NU fans are left to wonder." »

September 15, 2007

USC-Nebraska: What would a USC game be without a picture of the Song Girls?

LINCOLN, Neb.- USC continues to dominate this game, this time increasing its lead to 49-17 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Allen Bradford with just under seven minutes left.


USCsongirls.jpg
Because it's always requisite viewing at any USC game, here's a quick picture of the Song Girls.

Going down on to the field to go get some post-game quotes. I'm pretty sure I know what Pete Carroll will say, so I'll go get some from Bill Callahan in the Husker presser.

USC-Nebraska: NU finally gets more points. Still needs miracle.

LINCOLN, Neb.- It's been a while, but the Huskers finally dent the scoreboard again with a one-yard dive by Marlon Lucky to close the gap to USC 42 - Nebraska 17.

It had been since the 1:03 mark of the first quarter since NU had reached paydirt. Now, with most of the student section already making for the exits, USC needs to merely run basic plays and take good care of the ball to salt this one away.

Any three-and-outs or turnovers in their own territory by the Men of Troy and I'll have to go back to saying that the Cornhuskers still have a chance in this one.

USC-Nebraska: Yawn, I shoulda offered to cover the Ky-L'ville game

LINCOLN, Neb.- USC has just shut down Nebraska here in the third quarter and will probably score again and again (as long as they stay on the ground) and build on its 42-10 lead.

Meanwhile, CBSSportsline's Dennis Dodd and ESPN's Ivan Maisel both had that wild finish of the Kentucky-Louisville game on their laptops. Only question I had about that game, isn't Louisville supposed to play "wide as the widest and deep as the deepest" in that type of situation? That's what we were always told in our initial football practices of the season. How did that UK receiver get behind the defense? Aweful.

Then again, my high school team played better defense that this Louisville team.

USC-Nebraska: Forget "Neb-Colorado of '01" this is turning into "USC-Arizona State of '05"

LINCOLN, Neb.- Sam Keller just threw his second pick in as many drives and USC made it pay with a one-yard touchdown run by Chauncey Washington. The Trojans are now up 35-10.

As you all probably have heard ad nauseum this week, Keller threw five interceptions in that '05 game in Tempe, which made a 21-3 halftime lead melt into a 38-28 Trojan win.

We're only at the 9:14 point of the third quarter, so there's still time for NU to make it interesting. But they have to play - dare I say - error free from here on out.

USC-Nebraska: Okay, this is NOT what Nebraska needed

LINCOLN, Neb.- I told anybody who would bother to listen that if Nebraska got an early turnover in either half, it would make for a tight game and give them a chance.

Well, the second half starting with a tip-and-interception by USC was a dagger to the heart of the Huskers. SC just went five plays and 33 yards to go up 28-10 at the 11:29 mark of the third quarter.

Booty went to a wide-open Anthony McCoy for the two-yard touchdown pass.

This does two things, puts Nebraska well behind the 8-ball and pins USC's ears back on defense.

USC-Nebraska: Two cool things I'd like to point out

LINCOLN, Neb.-

1- Just like when I was a kid going to these Nebraska games, the stadium staff always does a good job of updating scores from around the country. Back then they announced scores on a constant basis over the stadium P.A. Nowadays they do it by having a constant running scoreboard updates at the bottom of the JumboTron. Strong work Memorial Stadium peeps.

2- At halftime, the local TV station did a "halftime weather update" on the video board. It is now 54 degrees and the drive home conditions called for a chance of sprinkles. As the Grand Island native next to me pointed out, "This is the Midwest, things could change weather-wise in a hurry."

USC-Nebraska: Halftime Ruminations

USC takes a 21-10 lead into the locker room at the mid-point of the game.

So far, we've seen two games, the one before Vincent Joseph got hurt and the one after USC finally decided to play some smashmouth football, ala the Charles White days.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: Halftime Ruminations" »

USC-Nebraska: "Like Colorado in 2001"

Is there a reason why USC even bothers to use its passing game?

The Trojans just went nine plays and 73 yards in 3:52 to go up 21-10.

Booty threw on first down three times during the drive, but the big chunk of yardage came on simple dive plays and trap plays. Stafon Johnson went right up the gut for the final yards and paydirt.

Shoulda heard the frustrated gasps that many of the press members let out on repeated USC running plays during that drive. One of them even blurted out "Like Colorado in 2001" after the touchdown run.

USC-Nebraska: Trojans move ahead 14-10. But what about Booty's Heisman campaign?

LINCOLN, Neb.-

SC moves the ball 45 yards in five plays and goes up by four over Nebraska with 6:50 remaining in the half. The drive culminated on a 2-yard TD run by Stanley Havili.

Only problem is... all five plays were on the ground. Just like their first scoring drive, most (or in this case, all) of the yards came on the ground. Will John David Booty win a Heisman trophy with the student-body-right being the main weapon?

USC looked much better on that drive. But their defense is still looking leaky.

USC-Nebraska: Even the NU students are first class fans

LINCOLN, Neb. - After a long delay due to the injury and stretchered removal of USC's Vincent Joseph, I thought it was interesting that the students in Nebraska student section were standing and clapping as well as the rest of the stadium.

I guess they start the "best fans in the nation" early up here.

USC-Nebraska: NU moves ahead 10-7. USC still undisciplined

LINCOLN, Neb,-

Let me say this, USC is getting good pressure on NU's Sam Keller, but the short, sharp passing game is riddling the Trojan D so far.

There's also the fact that USC is playing in its typical undisciplined manner - as has marked the Pete Carroll era.

- A disconcerning call on a field goal game NU a first down at the 2.
- A late hit on Keller gave the Huskers and extra 15 yards on this last drive.
- A near-disaster on fielding a punt inside the 10-yard line nearly put NU at the SC five.

This is not a good sign for Trojan fans. The fans are getting into the game more and more and other than those two long runs, the Husker defense has the right to think those were just flukes.

But a "whaddya doin'" look goes to Bill Callahan and company for moving deep into USC territory by mixing it up, then running Marlon Lucky three straight playes to stall the drive.

USC-Nebraska: Larry the Cable Guy/Will Farrell make JumboTron

Between the 1st and 2nd quarter, the video screen that is bigger than most Santa Monica house lots showed some Larry the Cable Guy and Will Farrell clips.

LarryCableGuy.jpg
(Here's Larry the Husker Fan)

TalladegaNights.jpg
(Here's an even blurrier pic of Will on Talladega Nights)

Surprisingly, the loudest cheer from the crowd might've come from the clip of Farrell doing his "Need more Cowbell" clip on Saturday Night Live.

USC-Nebraska: What is "disconcerning?"

This game turning into a Big East scorefest for one.

NU just went on a 10 play, 52-yard drive to make this a 7-7 game with a minute left in the 1st quarter on a one-yard dive by Cody Glenn.

After setting up for a field goal and getting flagged for something the ref called "disconcerning" the Huskers punched the ball into the end zone two plays later

Guess that means the SC defense was imitating the "hut-hut" of the offense. And let me say, although I'm back up in the whisper-quiet press box, the stadium sounds a bit louder now. That will obviously help NU if they stick around in this game.

USC-Nebraska: Desmond Reed is right and the stadium ain't as loud as I thought it'd be.

LINCOLN, Neb-

After the Trojans swiftly drove down the field, USC reserve tailback stood up on the bench and turned to the fans in the West stands and yelled, "We don't care WHO'S house this is!"

#22talkin'.jpg
(Okay, so I snapped this picture just after he turned back around. Damn. Sorry.)

Reed was right. SC goes 96 yards in four plays. In other words, went through the Blackshirt defense like freakin' milk. SC up 7-0.

Surprisingly, after spending the first two drives down on the field level, I found that the crowd wasn't as loud as I thought it would be. The frenzied fans of the NU-Texas game last year were much louder. Maybe the driving snowstorm helped.

Goodnight Knights

ORLANDO - The only things that dampened UCF's opening game at the Bright House was the weather and Kyle Israel.

UCF, hold your head up high.

UCF fans, you're team will be one to reckon with.

And Texas QB Colt McCoy sang music to the fans' ears when he said after the game, "It was a tough environment for us to play."

The UCF Knights gave No. 6 Texas all that it could handle and more Saturday in the inaugural game held in UCF's Bright House Networks Stadium.

In the end, however, Texas was too tough and UCF's Kyle Israel made one two many mistakes, and Texas won the game, 35-32 in front of a sold-out Bright House.

Continue reading "Goodnight Knights" »

USC-Nebraska: Tailgate report

LINCOLN, Neb. - Tailgates are fun. And alcohol seems to help bring out the true feelings in fans.

Just got back from a Nebraska tailgate just outside the stadium and a giant USC tailgate.

NUstudents.jpg
Think these fans picture here are pumped? Like something out of a KISS concert, the students waiting here at the gates of the student section were chanting "Open the F#@%in' doors!" wanting to race to their seats in the stadium two hours before gametime. Yeah, I think they're keyed up.

More about the tailgates, read on...

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: Tailgate report" »

Texas' Answer

ORLANDO - The Longhorns answered by driving down field until an interesting exchange on the 26 yard line of UCF.

On 1st down, Colt McCoy attempted a pass that was nearly picked off and taken to the house by a UCF linebacker. That guy is going to have to work on his hands.

On 2nd down, McCoy threw a nice pass to Quan Cosby that looked like a spectacular catch. It was ruled incomplete and Texas challenged. The ruling on the field held.

On 3rd down, Ogbonnaya rushed for four yards in what looked like a give-up play.

That led to a Ryan Bailey field goal to give Texas back the lead, 26-24.

Continue reading "Texas' Answer" »

Bright House Upset?

ORLANDO - The third quarter belonged to the UCF Knights.

This has been a running back battle with UCF's Kevin Smith leading the way. Smith has 137 yards on 20 carries and two TDs and his huge 32-yard run after a Colt McCoy interception by Joe Burnett gave UCF the ball deep in Texas territory.

Smith was hurt on the tackle, but another Smith, Phillip, came into the game and immediately gained 11 yards to put the Knights on the two yard line as the third quarter ended.

The Knights are running all over the Longhorns so far in the second half. And that was even more evident when QB Kyle Israel sneaked right on 4th and 1 at the goal line for the TD that put the Knights ahead.

With 13:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, UCF is WINNING, 24-23.

UCF is winning.

Continue reading "Bright House Upset?" »

Knight And Day

ORLANDO - After a Texas field goal on their opening drive of the second half, UCF took the ball and did something they hadn't done in a while.

They scored a touchdown.

Texas only has themselves to blame. After UCF completed a third down conversion, the Longhorns hit the Knights late out of bounds for a 15-yard penalty.

Smith then took the next play 36 yards up the left side of the field and was forced out at the three. He would score on the next play to pull the Knights to within six. The score: Texas 23, UCF 17.

15 carry, 77 yards, 2 TDs, four on season

Smith carried 3 times for 41 yards and the score

Continue reading "Knight And Day" »

USC-Nebraska: Three hours before Cornhusker Armegeddon

LINCOLN, Ne.-

It's still three hours before kickoff and the Nebraska band is out practicing to a smattering of people in the stands.

CalmB4Storm.jpg

This is the look of things from the press box right now, but imagine how wild this place will be with the endless amounts of red slapdashed all over the stadium. Last year's NU-Texas game was supposed to be the loudest this stadium has been since the 1978 Oklahoma game, so we'll see if it gets louder tonight.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: Three hours before Cornhusker Armegeddon" »

Texas At The Half

ORLANDO - On the biggest day in UCF football history, the God's haven't been smiling in their favor.

UCF has played step for step with Texas the entire half, but the score stands at 20-10 Longhorns because of one bad Kyle Israel pass.

That pass was intercepted by Brandon Foster and brought to the house for a touchdown to make the score 17-10 Texas.

Continue reading "Texas At The Half" »

Back To Work

ORLANDO - After only a 15-minute delay, the Knights and Longhorns are back playing.

Texas began with the ball after the UCF TD.

I just don't feel that the Knights can stand up to the Texas offense for too long. With playmakers like Charles, McCoy and Sweed, not many teams can.

And now, with a healthy and speedy Jordan Shipley, the Longhorns can hurt you in a multitude of ways.

Continue reading "Back To Work" »

A Rainy TD

ORLANDO - The Sunshine State is raining on the Knights parade.

Of course, before the teams left the field at 3:58 p.m. due to lightning in the area, UCF was able to score the first touchdown in the Bright House era.

And it came on a two-yard TD run by Kevin Smith.

The Knights embarked on an eight-play, 68-yard TD drive that went 2:37, and more importantly, they seemed to slice and dice a weak Texas secondary, and made it look easy.

Continue reading "A Rainy TD" »

Here Comes The Rain

ORLANDO - It's not so bright out here at the Bright House, as the rain is beginning to fall.

Texas just chipped in a field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 8:45 left in the first quarter, but UCF was robbed when on the previous fourth down play, the refs missed a delay of game call on Texas in which the 'Horns were at least two second over their alotted time.

The result was a fake field goal run by the holder, Jordan Shipley, a junior wide receiver used on fakes a lot, and a first down for Texas that allowed them to kick the next field goal when the Knights held tight again.

Continue reading "Here Comes The Rain" »

Play One

The first play of the Bright House era was a play action pass down the middle of the field that looked good until the Texas corner Ryan Palmer leaped in front to bat the ball down.

Love the aggressive play call by the Knights.

Of course, the drive ends with a dropped pass that would have been a first down, and the Knights must punt on their opening drive after a three and out.

Lots Of Gold

ORLANDO - For a team no longer called the Golden Knights, the Knights are dressed in gold.

The band in on the field and the stands are full and we are minutes from kickoff.

This place is sold out and UCF is serious about its football team right now.

Of course, Texas travels well and have taken over one endzone.

Continue reading "Lots Of Gold" »

Bright Beginnings

ORLANDO - They should call this place the Hot House. Or maybe the dehydration house, as the stadium is without a single water fountain anywhere on the premises.

I'm a native Floridian, but it is scorching in Orlando today for the inaugural game at Bright House Networks Stadium, the brand spanking shiny new $55 million stadium built on UCF's campus.

And who'd the Knights draw to christen their new digs? Why it's the 2-0, No. 6 Texas Longhorns, who reportedly had trouble getting into Orlando last night, but who you can also expect to make the Knights' first game an unpleasent one.

Continue reading "Bright Beginnings" »

September 14, 2007

USC-Nebraska: The day before preview

LINCOLN, Neb. - This is a battle to see who hits the alarm clock first.

Both teams seem to be sleeping. Nebraska didn't light up the sky with its three-point escape at Wake Forest. And USC plodded its way through the Idaho game with its eyes seemingly at half-mast.

Both teams need a Red Bull. A Rock Star. And a couple of Jolt Colas.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: The day before preview" »

September 08, 2007

Texas wins second half, game

AUSTIN, TX -- Odds are, you won't find another football game this season with more different halves than what we saw here tonight.

19th-ranked TCU rode a dominating performance from its defense to 10-0 halftime lead.

Then 7th-ranked Texas got it all together after intermission, scoring 27 unanswered points and coasting to a 34-13 victory in front of 84,621.

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Texas delivers killshot

AUSTIN, TX -- Two interesting facts about Genus Phrynosoma:

1. No one calls them "horned frogs" in Texas. They're called "horny toads."

2. When threatened by a predator, they can shoot blood from their eyes, up to four feet in distance. Seriously.

TCU might want to try something along those lines, because they're now behind 27-10 and in danger of being squished by Texas

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Attitude Adjustment

AUSTIN, TX -- A different team came out of the Texas locker room after halftime.

The team that entered the locker room had totaled 0 points and 137 yards of total offense. The team that exited has come out and put up 17 points and 176 yards in first 16 minutes of the second half.

Early in the fourth quarter, Texas leads TCU 17-10.

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TCU D dominating in Austin

AUSTIN, TX -- TCU's defense has spent the first 30 minutes of the game befuddling Colt McCoy, shutting down Jamaal Charles, and silencing the huge, burnt-orange sea of a crowd in Royal-Memorial Stadium.

At the half, 19th-ranked TCU leads 7th-ranked Texas 10-0.

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TCU-Texas, just like old times

Here in Austin, TCU and Texas are going throwback. The long-time rivals will meet for the 82nd time, but the first since the Southwest Conference broke up following the 1995 season.

The Horns and the Horned Frogs first battled in 1897, with Texas holding a 60-20-1 lead in the series. With both teams ranked, though, tonight's game will be the biggest matchup in the series since the 1930's.

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Deacons Want To "Paint It Black"

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SEEING "BIG RED"

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July 25, 2007

Big 12: Let the Games Begin

SAN ANTONIO -- The sun is shining, the ceiling has almost stopped leaking, and the Texas show has moved on as Big 12 media days come to a close in San Antonio. With the offensive powerhouses and superstar receivers in this conference, on any given Saturday, any team really can win.

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Big 12: Double the D

SAN ANTONIO -- It's no secret that Texas' secondary left something to be desired last year. The Longhorns' pass defense ranked 99th in the nation and the team's best play makers graduated, leaving more question marks than exclamation points in the back seven. But head coach Mack Brown has a plan: create two defenses.

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Big 12: In the Family

SAN ANTONIO -- Head coach Dan Hawkins is determined to lead Colorado past last year's 2-8 finish, and the first thing on his to-do list is to pick a quarterback. Complicating his choice is the fact that of the top three candidates fighting for the job, one is his son.

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Big 12: Colt Confidence

SAN ANTONIO -- The circus has arrived as Texas takes the stage here in San Antonio, and sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy's confidence is so high it is spilling out of the balcony.

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Big 12: Georgia On their Minds

SAN ANTONIO -- Oklahoma State will open its season with a bang, traveling to Georgia to take on a national contender in Athens, and the Cowboys couldn't be more excited.

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Big 12: Discomfort Up Front

SAN ANTONIO -- Last season, true freshman Josh Freeman stepped in under center for Kansas State and proved that he can be the building block of the program. Throwing 15 interceptions to his six touchdowns, however, he'll need more time in the pocket to make better decisions this year. With only one offensive line position currently spoken for, head coach Ron Prince has tabbed the O line as one of his major areas of concern in his second season.

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Big 12: The New MVP

SAN ANTONIO -- Moving kickoffs back to the 30 yard-line for the 2007 season may have more of an impact on the game than some teams are willing to admit, but Kansas State head coach Ron Prince is well aware of how important his kicker will be. And the fact that he doesn't have one yet is weighing heavily on the coach's mind.

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Big 12: Bring on the Rain

SAN ANTONIO -- The storm has arrived in this final day of the Big 12 media blitz here in San Antonio, as the rain from the deluge outside is leaking through the ceiling in the back of the ballroom at the St. Anthony hotel. The foul weather has not dampened Kansas State's spirits, however, as the team still plans to make a trip to the Alamo Dome later this afternoon.

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July 24, 2007

Big 12: Mike-d Up

SAN ANTONIO -- Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach was by far the most candid coach to take the stage thus far at Big 12 media days, and his humor lightened the mood as day two draws to a close. Here are some of his best sound bytes from his 30-minute interview session.

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Big 12: Wake-Up Call

SAN ANTONIO -- First-year head coach Gene Chizik arrived at Iowa State and immediately woke everyone up. Literally.

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Big 12: Quick Learner

SAN ANTONIO -- While players across the country are trying to finagle their way into extra years of eligibility, Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee is on the accelerated track to graduation.

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Big 12: No Gamer Here

SAN ANTONIO -- Texas A&M defensive lineman Red Bryant is well aware that he may be the only player in college football to not play video games, but his choice is not based on protest - he's just not very good.

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Big 12: Feeling the Love

SAN ANTONIO -- Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel started day two of Big 12 media days by showing the softer side of his big-play quarterback.

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July 23, 2007

Big 12: Mums the QB Word

SAN ANTONIO - Day one of Big 12 Media Days has come to a close, and with Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Baylor off the hot seat, one thing's for sure - nobody's committing to a signal caller.

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Big 12: Shaky Start

SAN ANTONIO - Baylor can't seem to catch a break - even their flight to San Antonio had trouble taking off.

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Big 12: It Could Happen

SAN ANTONIO - One good reason why Nebraska won't choose a quarterback until days before the season opener? Anything could happen.

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Big 12: It's Not Us, it's You

SAN ANTONIO - Despite returning several key playmakers on both sides of the ball, defending Big 12 North champion Nebraska was chosen by the media to finish second in 2007. Players and coach choose different angles in their speculations as to why.

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Big 12: It's Tricky

SAN ANTONIO - Everyone has been talking trick plays at Big 12 media day, but so far the jury is out.

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Big 12: Kansas Looks to the Stars

SAN ANTONIO - Coming off of a mediocre 6-6 season, Kansas has been picked by the media to finish fourth in the Big 12 North. With the paradox of a one of the nation's best defensive backs, Aqib Talib, anchoring a pass defense that ranked dead last in the nation in 2006, head coach Mark Mangino has considered looking for answers in unusual places.

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Big 12: Sooners' QB Decision to Come Later

SAN ANTONIO - Big 12 Media Days are under way at the St. Anthony hotel in downtown San Antonio, Texas, where hoards of national and local media have crammed into a crowded ballroom to speak with representatives from each of the conference's 12 schools. Bob Stoops and defending conference champions Oklahoma started off the three-day event by addressing the big question on everyone's mind - who will start under center for the Sooners.

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