Sweetwater puts on a first-half show in rout of Lubbock High

Kaegan Jeffrey

SWEETWATER, Texas - Slingin’ Sammy Baugh would have been proud of his alma mater in his namesake classic at the Mustang Bowl on Friday night.

The Mustangs galloped out of the gates to the tune of 34 points in the opening quarter on their way to a 66-35 rout of Lubbock High in the marquee game of the Sammy Baugh Classic.

“Our kids were ready to get out and execute,” Sweetwater coach Shane Mobley said. “We are young and they are hungry. A few of them were throwing up in the locker room before the game because they were nervous.”

Senior quarterback Kaegan Jeffrey threw for 265 yards and five touchdowns as the Mustangs rolled to the easy win in their highest scoring game in more than 25 years.

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Michael Sam released by Rams; should Cowboys sign him?

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL, was cut on Saturday by the St. Louis Rams.

The 7th-round draft pick has been outspoken and confident as his progress was watched as closely as any rookie in the league. He has been cheered by athletes and celebrities. In the end, the defensive end couldn’t make a team stocked with pass-rushers.

Sam, a defensive end who can rush the passer, made a strong case for a roster spot in the preseason. He had 11 tackles and three sacks, including a team-leading six tackles in the Rams’ 14-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

“There will be no challenge, no challenges whatsoever,” for whatever team picks up Sam, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said at a news conference.

“There’s no challenge with respect to Mike Sam,” Fisher said. “He’s not about drawing attention to himself. He kept his head down and worked and you can’t ask anything more out of any player for that matter.”

Sam can be picked up by another team or make the Rams’ practice squad.

The Dallas Cowboys could look at Sam as a candidate to boost their pass rush.

Sam wasn’t in the Cowboys’ draft plans. They didn’t pursue him in the draft and didn’t have him ranked high on their draft board. Also, the Cowboys don’t view Sam as a good scheme fit for them. The Cowboys want speedy defensive ends. Also, Sam is more of a left defensive end, and the Cowboys have more of a need at right defensive end with rookie DeMarcus Lawrence expected to miss the first half of the season and Anthony Spencer not expected to play the first few weeks.

Still, a Cowboys defense that finished last in the NFL a year ago did nothing in the preseason that should inspire confidence.

The Cowboys allowed 116 points in their four preseason losses after allowing 93 points in five preseason games a year ago. The 116 points tied for the second-most allowed through four preseason games in club history.

And their prime pass rusher was hurt. Defensive tackle Henry Melton – the Cowboys’ biggest free agent addition of the offseason – didn’t play a snap in any preseason game as he battled a strained groin and continued to recover from surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

My take? Jerry should draft this guy. The defense needs him. This guy is a workaholic.

Suspended LB claims Oklahoma made him a ‘scapegoat’

Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon isn’t pulling any punches after being suspended by the university for a year due to an accusation of sexual assault.

Shannon’s attorney, Aletia Timmons, spoke with the media Friday. Timmons painted a completely different picture than the one that was originally given regarding Shannon’s status.

The most pertinent statement made to the media was Shannon’s claim of innocence.

 

Shannon and his representation took the linebacker’s claims a step further. The university reportedly conducted an internal investigation before it handed down it’s punishment. In doing so, Shannon claims the school “failed” him and made him into a “scapegoat.” Shannon even submitted to a polygraph test to clear his name.  


Shannon never considered the possibility of transferring from the University of Oklahoma.

“I’m not running,” Shannon told Timmons during their initial meeting, according to The Oklahoman. “I’m not going to be branded as a rapist.”

Instead, Shannon plans to publicly protest the university’s decision to have him suspended.

Shannon’s adamant views make this a compelling case. The university and its football team have to err on the side of caution. Whereas, Shannon obviously feels like his name is being dragged through the mud.

The only thing that bring some finality to this case is the results of the ongoing investigation by the police department. The university can’t budge on its current stance after stating it “takes very seriously its obligation in cases like this.” And Shannon shouldn’t back down if he’s innocent.

Shannon, who was Oklahoma’s leading tackler a year ago, still has the “ability to appeal any decision reached by the University to a district court.” Until then, he’ll have to wait on the sidelines until some type of decision is made.

Access denied: FIU doesn’t provide credential for only beat writer

 Exposure is everything in today’s college football landscape. Unfortunately for the players at Florida International University, the school’s decision makers don’t feel the same way.

FIU and the Miami Herald are caught in a little tiff.

The Herald is the only news agency in the area which employs a beat writer to cover FIU athletics. In the infinite wisdom of those making decisions at FIU, they denied access to the Herald’s beat writer, David J. Neal, for the Panthers’ season-opener against Bethune-Cookman.

“It’s unprecedented for any local team to refuse to credential our beat reporter without reason,” Miami Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez said. “The team does not get to choose who covers the program.”

The newspaper decided not cover the game at all after FIU denied the credential.

“We’re very disappointed the Herald has decided on this course,” Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, FIU’s senior vice president for external relations, said. “Credentials were given to other reporters. We regret that this is the Herald’s choice.”

FIU never provided a reason why Neal’s credential was denied.

It’s simply another misstep for a football program has been in a downward spiral since it fired Mario Cristobal. During Cristobal’s tenure the coach led the Panthers to two bowl games before he was unceremoniously dismissed. The team then struggled to find any coaching candidates that were interested in the vacant position. The team eventually hired Ron Turner, who finished with an 1-11 record during his first season.

Furthermore, the people hurt by this decision are the players. They don’t get the exposure they deserve for the work they’ve done. And the community doesn’t have the opportunity to read about a program the newspaper is willing to support.

 

This sort of reminds me of when I tried to get media credentials at TCU. I guess some schools just think they are “too good” to report on. SMH.

Houston falls to in-state underdog

Saturday may be the first full day of college football, but quality games were being played into the wee hours Friday night.

The biggest surprise on the night came from UTSA’s stunning 27-7 upset of the Houston Cougars. The Roadrunners are in their fourth season as a program and are led by head coach Larry Coker (remember him?). The program enters its first season as a full-fledged FBS member. Yet, UTSA dominated a Cougars squad that was expected to compete for an American Athletic Conference championship this year and features one of the best young quarterbacks in the nation in John O’Korn.

O’Korn and the Cougars couldn’t get on track on offense. Houston only managed 206 total yards. The Cougars were held to minus-26 yards rushing. The Roadrunners also intercepted O’Korn four times.

The Roadrunners, meanwhile, relied on a strong running game. UTSA accumulated 146 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns.

Coker is now 20-15 overall as he continues to build the Roadrunners program. Despite being 60-15 during his six seasons as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and a national championship, Coker couldn’t be happier than he is today.

“It’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve been involved with as far as coaching is concerned,” Coker told SI.com’s Pete Thamel.

Report: Kyle Orton reaches deal with Bills

He’s back.

Veteran quarterback Kyle Orton has reached a one-year deal with the Bills, ESPN.com’s James Walker reported Friday night.

In July, the Cowboys released Orton, who was said to be considering retirement. At the time, Dallas owner Jerry Jones indicated the 31-year-old quarterback wasn’t done playing just yet.

Jones was apparently right.

With 70 NFL starts to his credit, Orton is likely to displace Jeff Tuel as the top backup to Bills starter EJ Manuel. The more interesting discussion point, though, is whether Orton could eventually push Manuel, who had an up-and-down summer.

Before joining Dallas in 2012, Orton had stints with Chicago (2005-2008), Denver (2009-2011) and Kansas City (2011). He has completed 1,326-of-2,265 passes for 15,019 yards with 83 TDs and 59 interceptions in his NFL career.

The Bills’ reported addition of Orton is their latest attempt to solidify their depth behind Manuel, who missed six games a season ago as a rookie. Tuel, Dennis Dixon and Thad Lewis were the backups to begin the summer, but only Tuel remains of that trio. The Bills also parted ways with ex-Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer on Friday.

Rangers tie a major league record, use their 59th player of the season

The Rangers called up 1B/OF Ryan Rua from Triple-A Round Rock earlier today to take the spot of the injured Jim Adduci on the 25-man roster. In doing so, Rua became the 59th player to don a Rangers uniform this season, tying a major league record according to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins. The record has been attained three other times: by the Padres twice in 2002 and 2008, and the Indians in 2002.

The Rangers have been ravaged by injuries all season long to many key players including Prince Fielder, Matt Harrison, Shin-Soo Choo, Derek Holland, Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar, and Tanner Scheppers.

It’s likely the record will be broken by the Rangers as starter Derek Holland is close to returning after missing the first five months of the season due to a knee injury suffered in January.

Texas A&M’s New Locker Room Is Futuristic, Totally Sick (Video)

by Rick Chandler

Is it possible for a college team’s football facilities to be too much … even a little decadent? Texas A&M’s Bright Football Complex, which recently underwent a $450 million renovation, includes a locker room that more resembles a Las Vegas club where LeBron James would hold his next birthday party than a place to dress for a game. You van take a full tour of the facility below in this video released by Populous, which is the company in charge of the renovation.

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It’s really kind of a marvel.

Housing the locker room, athletic training room, rehabilitation complex, meeting rooms, coaches offices, players’ lounge, nutrition center and academics under one roof, A&M football players are conveniently located close to all kinds of student-athlete support at the south end of Kyle Field.

But that description doesn’t do it justice. As one can see above, players have little light-up marquees with their photo above their lockers. There are TVs in the restrooms. There’s an “Adidas fitting room”, and some sort of futuristic pool/spa/water thing. You really have to see this. Video tour, engage!

 

 
Not sure how any recruit could walk through this locker room and not want to go here. Which I suppose is the point.