Beachwood Sports ArchiveA monthly look back
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1. The He-Could-Go-All-The-Way Award Winner: Jake Longenecker.
Auburn wide receiver Melvin Ray stands 6'3" and can run 40 yards in 4.55 seconds. Jake Longenecker, the team ball boy, has got that beat. In (#6) Auburn's 45-21 win over Arkansas on Saturday, Ray hauled in a 49-yard pass in the first quarter, streaking down the sidelines to score the first touchdown for the Tigers. In the highlight reel, Ray makes the grab and breaks for the end zone when suddenly Longenecker enters the frame, sprints after Ray and . . . appears to be making up ground as Ray crosses the goal line. Get that boy a uniform!
2. The Ron Turner Award Week One Winner: Ron Turner.
Former Illinois coach Ron Turner rejoined the college coaching ranks at Florida International University last year, where he promptly returned to form with a 1-11 record in his debut season. Turner, who compiled a 35-57 record with the Illini and finished his career in Champaign-Urbana with back-to-back losing seasons (1-11 in 2003, 3-8 in 2004), somehow landed the FIU head job despite his 43-73 mark as a college coach.
Thus, it was somewhat surprising to catch a sense of optimism from Miami Herald beat reporter David Neal in his piece last week previewing "Turner, Year Two." Apparently, the school deemed Neal's coverage as insufficiently positive. Two days following, FIU yanked his press credentials, shutting him out of the season opener against Bethune-Cookman. Neal wasn't on hand to witness FIU's 14-12 loss, fittingly capped by a botched field-goal attempt in the final seconds.
Bethune-Cookman, a Football Championship Division team, has two wins over the lofty Football Bowl Division. The Wildcats broke into the record books just last season with a 34-13 rout over FBS member . . . FIU. Led by Ron Turner. Ron Turner, everybody. Ron Turner.
3. Eastern Michigan 0, Brick Wall 1.
Maybe Styrofoam next year, guys?
4. Score One For The Directional Creampuffs.
Final score: North Dakota State (another FCS team) 34. Iowa State (in the FBS) 14. Iowa State surrendered 503 total yards (while gaining only 253), mostly to NDSU running back John Crockett, who racked up 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The win over Iowa State marks the fifth consecutive victory over FBS opponents for NDSU, part of a 25-game undefeated streak, and the Bisons have captured three consecutive FCS titles. No wonder USA Today named North Dakota State "the scariest team in football." We should create a new category as NDSU clearly doesn't belong among the other Creampuffs. Directional Davids? Pretty clunky. We'll work on it.
5. Dramatic Finishes.
Jackson State shocked Florida A&M with a Hail Mary pass while Albany stunned Holy Cross on a bizarre fumble return for a touchdown as time expired. Crazy endings are part of why we watch college football, yet witnessing injuries, such as the concussion suffered by the Holy Cross player who fumbled the ball, should give even the most casual fan pause*.
6. Saturday Was A Big Day For Trampling.
Taking the field proved hazardous even to fans in Week One. The Baylor Bears unveiled the new McLane Stadium and the excitement over the $260-million edifice proved too much for some fans. In the headlong rush onto the field for a pregame ceremony, Bears fans trampled the unwary and uncoordinated. Elsewhere, a New Mexico State coed fared as poorly against Pistol Pete and his trusty steed Keystone. During a pregame ceremony, the NMSU mascot galloped down the field, wheeled through the end zone, and steamrolled through the unwitting Aggie staffer.
Remember kids, keep your head on a swivel out there.
7. Just Goes to Show . . . You Should Never Delete E-Mails. Ever.
We still don't understand what happened in the Vanderbilt-Temple game. For sure, Vandy got crushed (37-7) by the lowly Owls, but that wasn't the most notable part of the match-up. To celebrate the season opener, the Commodores replaced the names on the back of the new team jersey with the school slogan "Anchor Down." While a neat idea on the PR drawing board, the NCAA deemed the jerseys a violation of the "thou shalt not wear silly slogans on thy garments" rule. The NCAA determined Vandy would be assessed a penalty each quarter, but the school produced an e-mail that seemed to approve use of the slogan. Upon review, the head referee "interpreted the correspondence to mean the slogan had been approved" and the jerseys were legal. Upon further review, following the game, they weren't, but the whole thing has been chalked up as a "miscommunication."
Elsewhere in jersey snafus, the NCAA disallowed Mississippi State's "Hail State" unis.
We want to know: Who greenlighted these ideas? Where were the marketing majors?
8. The Ron Turner Award Waiting List Starts With Charlie Weis.
The corpulent Kansas head coach has been dozing off in team meetings. Weis looks like he's in a food coma on the sidelines as well; Kansas has gone 4-20 in his two seasons there.
9. Kenny Football Is The New Johnny Football.
Freshman Sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill shattered most of Johnny "Football" Manziel's single-game records for Texas A&M in an upset win at #9 South Carolina. Manziel anointed Hill as "Kenny Football" in a tweet during the game, a 52-28 romp. Hill, on his new nickname: "I don't really like 'Kenny Football.'"
After the game, in which Hill led the #22 Aggies with 511 passing yards and three touchdowns, A&M offensive coordinator described his cool-as-a-cucumber performance as "awesome" and "kinda creepy." We like this kid already.
10. Selection Committee Protocol.
In all its indecipherable glory. Can we have the BCS back, please?
* On the Report's reading list: Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto.
Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Jan 22, 2021