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#pounditFriday, October 30, 2020

College Football

Video: Coach Colby Carthel celebrates with shirt off after Stephen F. Austin win

Colby Carthel shirtless

Colby Carthel did his best J.R. Smith impression after his Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks beat Abilene Christian on Saturday.

The Lumberjacks beat the Wildcats 35-32 in overtime to improve to 3-3 on the season. Stephen F. Austin head coach Colby Carthel was so fired up after the win that he took his shirt off to celebrate with his team.

That was intense. It should probably come as no surprise to learn that Carthel played middle linebacker when he was in college. He still has the same energy he used in his playing days.

Carthel was a successful coach at Texas A&M-Commerce before going to Stephen F. Austin last year.

Jarrett Guarantano, Brandon Johnson separated by coaches after failed fourth down

Jarrett Guarantano

Jarrett Guarantano and Brandon Johnson had to be separated by coaches late in Tennessee’s 48-17 loss at home against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

Tennessee was down 45-17 in the fourth quarter and had a 4th-and-8 at the Alabama 34. They decided to go for it, but Guarantano threw incomplete for Johnson.

Johnson was heated after the turnover on downs and yelling at Guarantano. The Athletic’s David Ubben says they were separated by coaches, but the players later smoothed things out.

Guarantano’s job was already on shaky ground prior to the game, but he got the start for the Vols at quarterback and went 13/24 for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson entered the game with 13 catches for 155 yards but did not have any catches in the game.

Since starting off the year 2-0, Tennessee has now lost three straight games and been outscored 126-45 in those losses.

College football world reacts to Jaylen Waddle injury

Jaylen Waddle ankle injury

The college football world sent numerous well-wishes to Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle after he suffered a season-ending injury on Saturday.

Waddle, one of the most exciting players in the country, was ruled out for the season at halftime of Saturday’s game against Tennessee because of a season-ending broken ankle. The injury prompted an outpouring of support for the wide receiver, including from former Alabama players and even a rival.

Among the ex-Alabama players to wish Waddle well were Mack Wilson, Raekwon Davis, and Mac Hereford.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor also had some words of encouragement for Waddle.

Perhaps most notably, Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz put the rivalry aside to wish Waddle a speedy recovery.

Waddle suffered the injury on the opening kickoff. It’s probable that the next time we see him, it will be in the NFL.

Louisville RB Javian Hawkins did on-field push-ups after fumbling

Javian Hawkins

No running back ever wants to put the football on the ground. There’s the obvious reason, and then there’s the possibility of having to do some extra work to atone for their mistake.

Louisville running back Javian Hawkins decided to get that extra work out of the way as soon as possible. After losing a fumble in he third quarter of Saturday’s game against Florida State, he immediately dropped to the field and began doing push-ups.

Well, that’s one way to atone for a mistake. At least the fans knew right away that he was sorry. Plus, the fact that he ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns almost certainly made everyone forget the turnover.

Nobody’s very fond of doing push-ups. Hawkins probably wishes he could have been punished for something more like this instead.

Jaylen Waddle taken to hospital in ambulance with ankle injury

Jaylen Waddle ankle injury

Alabama star Jaylen Waddle was taken to the hospital in an ambulance on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury in the Crimson Tide’s game against Tennessee.

Waddle, who is both a threat as a receiver and kick returner, suffered an ankle injury on the opening kickoff.

Waddle was taken into the locker room for an examination. He was ruled out for the game. Later, CBS showed Waddle being loaded onto an ambulance where he would be taken to a hospital.

Waddle is Alabama’s leading receiver with 25 catches for 557 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Alabama later said that Waddle was out for the season with a broken ankle.

Lane Kiffin critical of officials after missed call costs Ole Miss

Lane Kiffin

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin seemed to have every right to be angry after a controversial call cost his team dearly on Saturday.

The Rebels held a 28-27 lead over the Auburn Tigers with just under six minutes left in the fourth quarter. After Ole Miss’ go-ahead score, Auburn return man Shaun Shivers appeared to clearly touch the ensuing kickoff as it bounced past him. Despite this, the play was ruled a touchback. That meant Auburn kept the ball, and ultimately rallied for a 35-28 win.

Not only does Shivers’ finger appear to move on contact, but the trajectory of the football changes slightly as well.

Had Shivers been ruled to have touched the ball, the play would have resulted in an Ole Miss touchdown. What’s more, the referees did not even review the play. That, in particular, angered Kiffin.

“I don’t know. These guys stop everything in the world,” Kiffin said on Ole Miss Radio Network postgame, via John Brice of Football Scoop, regarding the reason for no review. “We have 100 stops throughout the game. They stop every scoring play. That’s really a scoring play, potentially.

“I don’t know why. I asked why on a critical play like that would you not stop. And they said, ‘Well, someone looked at it upstairs and said he didn’t touch it.’ It looked like from our vantage point he did touch it.”

Kiffin is right on all counts. The correct call likely would have changed the game. There was no reason why the referees should have at least checked.

Auburn, meanwhile, caught another break, and it’s fair to say they’re living right so far this season as far as officiating goes.

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Video: Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba made the most ridiculous touchdown catch

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba has given us an early contender for catch of the season.

The freshman wide receiver reeled in a high pass from quarterback Justin Fields during the Buckeyes’ win over Nebraska on Saturday. The catch was good, but Smith-Njigba’s momentum was clearly carrying him out of the back of the end zone. Undeterred, he got down one of the most incredible toe-taps you will see.

The pass was originally ruled incomplete, but was overturned on replay. It’s easy to see why the original ruling was made. You would never expect anyone to get a foot down moving like that. The body control that was required here is ridiculous.

Smith-Njigba is a five-star recruit, and this was his first career touchdown catch. He’ll do well to top it in terms of pure athleticism.

By the looks of it, the Big Ten is shaping up to have some pretty talented freshmen this season.

Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz has stunning first half in first career start

Graham Mertz

Redshirt freshman Graham Mertz was pressed into duty Friday night for his first career start, and it’s so far gone better than anyone could have imagined.

Mertz, a four-star recruit from Kansas, started against the Illinois Fighting Illini after regular starter Jack Coan underwent foot surgery earlier in October. Mertz promptly went 14/14 in the first half, throwing for 190 yards and four touchdowns.

They weren’t easy touchdowns, either. Mertz’s fourth score was a perfectly floated pass to wide receiver Danny Davis to beat the secondary.

Mertz’s performance even gained the attention of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mertz was recruited by the likes of Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama, but ultimately decided to join the Badgers. He came with a pedigree, having gained attention after throwing five touchdown passes and winning MVP honors at the 2019 All-American Bowl. If this is a sign of things to come, they’ll be very happy about that. It also means that, at this rate, Coan might not have a starting job once he’s healthy again.

Video: Players and announcers hilariously fooled by flying shoe in Illinois-Wisconsin game

Wisconsin shoe

Sometimes, football players have to deal with their equipment malfunctioning on the field. More rarely, that malfunction fools just about everyone both on and off the field.

That’s what happened during Friday’s Big Ten opener between the Wisconsin Badgers and Illinois Fighting Illini. Wisconsin tight end Jake Ferguson caught a pass over the middle, and as he was being tackled, his shoe flew off. One problem: his shoe looked an awful lot like a loose football.

The errant shoe got the cameraman, the announcer, and at least a handful of players. It’s pretty easy to see why.

Normally we see great plays fool the camera like this. There’s plenty of room for something weird like this too, though.

Nick Saban had great reaction to Tua Tagovailoa being named Dolphins’ starter

Nick Saban

Nick Saban had a great reaction to learning that Tua Tagovailoa had been named the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback this week.

Tagovailoa played at Alabama from 2017-2019. He helped the Crimson Tide win the national championship in his freshman season, was a Heisman Trophy finalist in his second, and then suffered a season-ending hip injury last year. The injury was believed to have affected Tagovailoa’s draft status, though the Miami Dolphins still took him No. 5 overall.

After six weeks of the current season, the Dolphins named Tua their starter. Saban was happy for his former QB.

“We’re always excited and happy for all of our players. They all have dreams of playing in the NFL some day. You’re really always happy and proud to see that come to fruition for them. Most guys don’t have to go through what Tua went through in terms of the adversity he had to overcome from the injury standpoint with the hip injury. But he worked hard, he’s back to 100 percent. I’m glad to see he’s getting some opportunity to play now. And I hope that that continues, and I hope he does very well,” Saban said.

Saban then praised Tagovailoa for being such a good representative of Alabama.

“We haven’t had anybody in this program since I’ve been here that’s been a better ambassador for the university, a better ambassador for the program, than Tua has been. Our thoughts and prayers are always with him, and we hope that he does extremely well. And it truly won’t surprise me if that’s the case.”

Tagovailoa saw his first NFL action at the end of the Dolphins’ Week 6 shutout win over the New York Jets. He tried his best to share the moment with his family, who could not be in attendance for the game. Now, the job is his, and there will be a whole bunch of Alabama fans supporting him.

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