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Monday, October 23, 2017

College Football

Misspelled anti-Butch Jones sign flies over Tuscaloosa

Butch Jones

If you’re going to fly a banner over a college football stadium taunting a coach, it’s probably a good idea to make sure everything is spelled correctly.

With the Tennessee Volunteers in Tuscaloosa to face the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, someone took the opportunity to taunt struggling Vols coach Butch Jones by flying a banner over Bryant-Denny Stadium reminding him that at least his mother still loves him. The problem is that “you” was misspelled.

Flying banners over stadiums has become a popular method of fans trying to make their voices heard, particularly in college football. Even without things like this, Jones’s seat is plenty hot already, with the Vols having lost their first three SEC contests this season.

No. 1 QB recruit Justin Fields out for season with broken finger

Justin Fields

The nation’s No. 1 quarterback recruit is done for the season after suffering a broken index finger on his throwing hand.

Justin Fields, who committed to Georgia earlier this month, broke his right index finger during Harrison’s game against Dalton on Thursday. He is likely to undergo surgery for the injury. The operation plus recovery time is expected to keep him out 12 weeks, his dad told Dawg Nation.

Fields, a senior, is unsure what he will do for the remainder of the year. He could choose to enroll early at Georgia, or he could play baseball for Harrison in the spring.

MaxPreps had Fields as throwing 17 touchdowns compared to two interceptions for Harrison this season, though that was only through the team’s Oct. 6 game. He also had rushed for 12 touchdowns in the first six games.

Ex-Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth stirs up Butch Jones rumors with tweet

Former Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth had Vols fans buzzing on Thursday after sending an ominous tweet.

Haynesworth tweeted the following on Thursday:

Mr. Haslam is likely a reference to Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Flying J truck stops. Haslam is the owner of the Cleveland Browns and is active with the University of Tennessee athletic department — his alma mater.

So why would Tennessee fans be buzzing about this tweet? There has been a feeling of dissatisfaction surrounding head football coach Butch Jones. Jones is the program’s third head coach (not including an interim) to lead the Vols since Phillip Fulmer was let go. None have come close to matching the level of success Fulmer had or that Vols fans are used to.

Jones went 5-7 in his first year, 7-6 after that, and then appeared to turn the corner with consecutive 9-4 seasons. However, the team is only 3-3 this season, which has led to plenty of unrest. There’s a good number of fans hoping that the “great news” on the horizon is the potential firing of Jones.

Washington State WR Tavares Martin suspended for breaking team rule

Tavares Martin

Washington State will be without leading receiver Tavares Martin Jr. for its game on Saturday against Colorado.

Martin broke a team rule, leading to his suspension. The junior wide receiver threw a tantrum after the team’s upset loss to Cal last Friday. He also missed practice.

“He was a little angry, saying things hadn’t gone his way the last couple of games. He broke a team rule and needs to be punished for that,” the receiver’s father, Tavares Martin Sr, told The Seattle Times. “He just made a mistake, and he had to pay a price for it. It was a miscommunication between him and the coaches. He was upset. He said he felt like he should have been more involved in that game.”

Martin was seen addressing his teammates after a practice this week. He apparently apologized to head coach Mike Leach as well as his teammates.

He tweeted the following message on Thursday:

Martin has 37 catches for a team-leading 507 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He had just 3 catches for 38 yards in the loss to Cal.

Scott Frost runs option at practice to help UCF prepare for Navy

Scott Frost

Scott Frost has been running the option offense at practice to help his UCF Knights prepare for their game on Saturday against Navy.

Frost famously played quarterback for Nebraska in college and successfully ran the option offense. Navy runs the triple-option to near perfection, so who better than Frost to run it and help his defense prepare?

Dwayne Stanford, a former Oregon WR (where Frost was previously the offensive coordinator), elaborated on the ways Frost works with his players.

Frost’s Knights are 5-0 and ranked No. 20 in the country. Navy leads the nation with 397.5 rushing yards per game and is 5-1 on the season.

South Carolina star Deebo Samuel could return this season

Deebo Samuel

Many expected Deebo Samuel would be out for the season after suffering a leg fracture in the team’s third game of the season, but apparently he has a chance of returning.

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said on his radio show Wednesday that Samuel could return this season.

“Deebo Samuel, you are possibly looking at the end of the season, getting him some time, but at the end of the day that’s going to be a medical decision,” Muschamp said on his “Carolina Calls” show, via The State’s Josh Kendall.

Samuel, a junior receiver, was such a playmaker for the Gamecocks that he still leads the team in touchdowns and all-purpose yards. He was injured during the loss to Kentucky.

South Carolina has hung tough without their top playmaker. They’ve gone 3-1 without him, including conference wins over Tennessee and Arkansas to improve to 5-2.

ESPN apologized to Washington for cupcake stunt

A stunt by ESPN during a college football game involving Washington led to the network offering an apology to the university.

Earlier this month, Washington defeated California 38-7 in a game that was seen on ESPN. The win kept the Huskies undefeated on the season, but there was a considerable amount of talk afterward surrounding a segment by Quint Kessenich during the broadcast.

During the third quarter, Kessenich placed three cupcakes on the ground to illustrate three opponents Washington had previously played this season. He described Rutgers, Montana, and Fresno State as “cupcakes and cream puffs out of conference.” Take a look and listen below.

The stunt did not sit well with many, including Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen.

“I felt more like that was such a disrespectful move for the people we play,” Cohen told the Seattle Times. “For those that do this, we do this because we love the kids. These are somebody’s sons, somebody’s brothers. They’re 18- to 22-year-old kids, and so I was more offended, not for us, as I was for our opponents.”

Cohen also revealed she received a phone call from a senior vice president at ESPN, who apologized for what took place on the air.

“It was a class act, and he made the right call,” Cohen said. “I think Chris [Petersen] and I feel like it’s time to move on.”

While the segment by Kessenich was intended to be lighthearted, it obviously was not found to be funny by everyone. Washington’s next game on ESPN will be next week against UCLA.

H/T Football Scoop

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