No. 7 Texas A&M leading, but not blowing out, Rice at the half

ay this for the defending Conference USA champion Rice Owls: they are not intimidated to play in Kyle Field. A year ago, Rice came to College Station and led a temporarily Johnny Manziel-less Aggies squad 14-7 after one quarter, and trailed only 28-21 at the half before giving way for a 52-31 final. This year it’s been more of the same as No. 7 Texas A&M has a 21-7 halftime edge, but has been outgained by Rice 269-215.

Driphus Jackson has kept a talented Aggies defense at bay, completing 10-of-15 throws for 118 yards and a touchdown while leading all runners with 55 yards on nine carries. Overall, Rice has produced 151 yards on 30 carries.

Jackson’s counterpart Kenny Hill has gotten his yards, but not in the usual explosive fashion, completing 13-of-19 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns. It should put some perspective on how good Hill and this offense has been this season when 151 yards and three scores counts as a slow start. Rice has come to play against the Aggies’ run game, limiting the hosts to only 64 yards on the ground.

The most bizarre turn of events came at the very end of the half, as Rice had to take points off the board with four seconds remaining as a made field goal was nullified due to an illegal substitution by Texas A&M. The ensuing kick was blocked by A&M’s James Hairstonand Armani Watts picked the loose ball up and ran it for an apparent touchdown, but that scoring play was also called back due to a glut of A&M players that had come on the field. Hill took a knee with zero time remaining to end the half.

Texas A&M gets the ball to open the second half.

Iowa State, Paul Rhoads change fortunes with victory over Iowa

The Cy-Hawk Trophy is returning to Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State needed a last-second 42-yard field goal from kicker Cole Netten to claim a 20-17 victory over their arch-rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa State has now beaten Iowa three of the last four times.

The victory was vital for Iowa State head coachPaul Rhoads. A week ago, the Cyclones were on the other side of a 32-28 outcome against the Kansas State Wildcats after Bill Snyder‘s squad scored a touchdown with 1:30 remaining to steal a victory. A loss to Iowa and a 0-3 start to the season could have been the beginning of the end of Rhoads’ tenure at Iowa State. The Cyclones were 3-11 since the start of last season prior to their victory in Iowa City. And the Cyclones’ upcoming schedule isn’t promising with No. 8 Baylor and Oklahoma State as the team’s next two opponents. An 0-5 start to the season would have been devastating for the program. Instead, Rhoads rallied his team to an impressive victory which can help build momentum.

On the other hand, Iowa may have lost their opportunity to sneak into the first College Football Playoff. The Hawkeyes were a popular choice as the darkhorse team to represent the Big Ten Conference in a New Year’s bowl game. Unfortunately, the loss to Iowa State is yet another example of Iowa falling to a program the Hawkeyes were expected to defeat. Games against the Maryland Terrapins, Northwestern Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers and Nebraska Cornhuskers look far more difficult than they did prior to the start of the season.

The Hawkeyes were far too conservative in the second half, and they were simply outplayed by Iowa State. Cyclones quarterback Sam B. Richardson played exceptionally well. As the Cyclones’ running game sputtered, Richardson continued to make plays in the passing game. The junior quarterback was 25-of-37 for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was also 8-of-11 passing during Iowa State’s final two drives.

A simple twitpic will show exactly how much this game meant to Rhoads and his Cyclones:

 

Second earthquake within a week reported Friday night in Arlington

 

Arlington was rattled Friday night by its second earthquake within a week.

A 2.5 magnitude earthquake was reported around 6:03 p.m. near W. Park Row Drive and S. Center Street, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There was a 2.4 magnitude earthquake Sunday about a mile southwest of AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Friday’s earthquake is about three miles from the football stadium.

In Irving, a 2.9 magnitude earthquake was reported early Thursday.

Bearish on No. 8 Baylor after victory over Buffalo Bulls

The Baylor Bears are off to yet another fast start.

No matter what Art Briles‘ squad is doing, it’s operating at a breakneck pace. The Buffalo Bulls were the latest team to fall to the Bears’ overwhelming offense. Baylor racked up 669 total yards of offense on its way to a 63-21 victory.

Baylor’s win isn’t necessarily impressive nor is it the biggest story to come out of the game.

The Bears scored at least 69 points in four of their first five games last season. What the Bears are doing at the beginning of this season by beating opponents by a score of 178-27 isn’t impressive anymore.

The Bulls should actually be encouraged by their performance after the first two teams on Baylor’s schedule only managed six total points. Buffalo was able to move the ball and accumulated 394 yards of offense.

Baylor, meanwhile, will be content with the performance of their quarterback Bryce Petty, who is still dealing with a pair of cracked vertebrae in his lower back. Petty didn’t play last week against Northwestern State. The senior quarterback rebounded with a strong effort against the Bulls. Petty was 23-of-34 passing for 416 yards and four touchdowns.

Petty continues to benefit from Baylor’s talent at wide receiver. Three different targets had at least 123 receiving yards. Freshman K.D. Cannon stole the show with his 189-yard performance. Jay Lee added 136 yards, while Lynx Hawthorne accumulated 123 more.

But the problem for Baylor isn’t their travel plans as they return to Waco, Texas from Buffalo, N.Y. with an easy victory in hand. The Bears’ schedule continues to be a problem. A decisive win against the Bulls does very little to promote Baylor as one of the top programs in the nation.

 

It’s only Sept. 12, yet Baylor is already trying to overcome the perception it doesn’t play anyone this season outside of the Big 12 Conference. And the program doesn’t.

For the Bears to be in legitimate consideration as one of the four semi-finalists in the first College Football Playoff, they will have to run the table while continuing to win games in impressive fashion as they did against Buffalo.

Sweetwater rallies for 36-23 home win over Breck

SWEETWATER — Sweetwater trailed 16-14 at half and 23-22 after three quarters, but the undefeated Mustangs handcuffed Breckenridge with poor field position in the final period to escape with a 36-23 triumph Friday night in the Mustang Bowl.

The Buckaroos ran only four of their 20 plays in the fourth quarter in Sweetwater’s half of the field, and the Mustang defense pitched a shutout in the last 12 minutes after giving up 23 points in the first 36 minutes.

Coach Shane Mobley’s decision to punt in the fourth quarter from the BHS 38-yard line after a Mustang touchdown was called back because of a penalty proved to be a decisive factor.

Four plays later the Mustangs blocked a BHS punt and regained possession at the Breckenridge 9-yard line. T.C. Huitt ran in from the 1-yard line with 3:28 to play to stretch a five-point lead (28-23) to a more comfortable 13 points (36-23) to end the scoring.

“We were worried that with their size they would run right at us,” Mobley said, “but we came out after half and did a good job.

“We made some adjustments to their formations that really helped us.”

Sweetwater had taken its 28-23 lead just 1:03 into the fourth quarter when 215-pound quarterback Kaegan Jeffrey threw 27 yards to a leaping Michael Lawrence in the corner of the end zone.

That ended a 49-yard drive set up by a nice kickoff return by Huitt after Breckenridge’s final score.

In the third period, Jeffrey ended Sweetwater’s first series with a 1-yard touchdown dive at 9:11 to give the hosts a brief lead of 22-16, but Breckenridge responded with a drive of 71 yards in 18 plays that took 8:05 off the clock to reclaim the scoreboard at 23-22.

Jeffrey finished with 197 yards in the air, and Bray Amos (69 yards) and Isaiah McGee (77 yards) each caught four passes. The 3-0 Mustangs played errorless ball without a turnover.

Breckenridge, losers for the second time in three games this season under first-year coach Casey Hubble, stayed on the ground most of the night with a net of 233 yards rushing on 57 attempts.

Austin Dooley, a 195-pound senior workhorse, finished with 132 yards on 31 attempts, but he carried only twice in the final period for 4 yards.

Sweetwater defender J’Corey Amos grabbed an interception of a BHS pass in the second quarter for the game’s only turnover.

The visitors took advantage of their big offensive line to score on their first drive and eventually take a 16-14 lead at intermission. Hubble’s five-man line averages 255 pounds — led by 285-pound tackle Cason Mayo and 275-pound guard Ariel Arellano.

Omar Aguilar’s 21-yard field goal 31 seconds before half gave Breckenridge its 16-14 lead after a 43-yard drive to the Mustang 4. Key tackles inside the 10 on second down by Sweetwater’s Daniel Maldonado and Israel Vera and on third down by Jacoby Hunt and Adrian Vizzera forced the FG attempt.

The teams exchanged leads after the Buckaroos drove 51 yards on the opening series to score at 7:50. Cornett on a nice fake got the TD untouched on a 15-yard run around left end, but the PAT kick was blocked.

On its second series, Sweetwater gained the lead at 1:07 when Jeffrey threw 35 yards to Bray Amos. The TD was followed by a two-point conversion with Jeffrey throwing to Hunt.

In the second period, Dooley scored on a 4-yard run at 9:21 to give BHS a cushion of 13-8, but the Mustangs went back on top 14-13 at 5:05 when Jeffrey again connected on a TD pass — this one 32 yards to McGee.

NONDISTRICT

SWEETWATER 36, BRECKENRIDGE 23

Breckenridge 6 10 7 0 — 23

Sweetwater 8 6 8 14 — 36

FIRST QUARTER

BRE — Cade Cornett 15 run (kick blocked), 7:50

SWE — Bray Amos 35 pass from Kaegan Jeffrey (Jacoby Hunt pass from Jeffrey), 1:07

SECOND QUARTER

BRE — Austin Dooley 4 run (Omar Aguilar kick), 9:21

SWE — Isaiah McGee 32 pass from Jeffrey (pass failed), 5:05

BRE — Aguilar 21 field goal 0:31

THIRD QUARTER

SWE — Jeffrey 1 run (B. Amos run), 9:11

BRE — Cornett 1 run (Aguilar kick), 1:06

FOURTH QUARTER

SWE — Michael Lawrence 27 pass from Jeffrey (pass failed), 10:57

SWE — T.C. Huitt 1 run (McGee pass from Jeffrey), 3:28

Bre Swe

First downs 25 16

Rushes-yds 57-233 27-111

Pass yds 70 197

Pass C-A-I 8-10-1 12-18-0

Punts-avg 2-20 3-29

Pen-yds 4-35 5-32

Fum-lost 0-0 1-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Breckenridge, Cade Cornett 16-78, Austin Dooley 31-132, Brady Tennison 7-32, Alain Franco 1-6, Omar Aguilar 1-1, team 1-(-16). Sweetwater, Kaegan Jeffrey 4-6, Jacoby Hunt 9-47, T.C. Huitt 9-22, Bray Amos 3-36, team 2-0.

PASSING — Breckenridge, Cornett 8-10-1—70. Sweetwater, Jeffrey 12-18-0—197.

RECEIVING — Breckenridge, Franco 7-58, Brandon Hunter 1-12. Sweetwater, Isaiah McGee 4-77, B. Amos 4-69, Michael Lawrence 2-38, Max Gomez 2-13.

Records — Sweetwater 3-0; Breckenridge 1-2.

Cleveland Browns release ‘100% Dawg Pound’ video

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns play the Saints on Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium, and it’s the first opportunity for fans to see their team in action (aside from preseason — which doesn’t really count). In honor of the home opener, the Browns released a video featuring their 100% Dawg Pound theme.

The video features shots of FirstEnergy Stadium following its offseason renovations as well as players, coaches and team owner Jimmy Haslam. Shots of fans tailgating are also included alongside other pregame and in-game presentation elements.

The Browns are encouraging fans to use the hashtags #DawgPound, #WeBarkTogether and #TimeToBark on game days.

Judge unseals lawsuit accusing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of sex assault, issues gag order in case

Attorneys for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suffered a setback Wednesday afternoon when a judge denied their request to seal the sexual assault lawsuit against him from public view.

Levi McCathern II, primary trial counsel for the NFL team and the Jones family, argued that a lawsuit filed Monday by a former exotic dancer is a thinly veiled attempt to extort money from the billionaire.

Jana Weckerly, 27, of Ardmore, Okla., is seeking more than $1 million in damages after an encounter with Jones in May or June 2009 at a local five-star hotel. She claims the married, now 71-year-old father of three groped her and made her watch while another woman performed fellatio on Jones.

“There’s no way this case should move forward,” McCathern argued in front of 134th District Court Judge Dale Tillery. “Continuing to keep it in the media, continuing to keep it in the public eye, does nothing but harm the reputation of Mr. Jones needlessly.”

But Tillery said the public’s right to transparency in the court system generally outweighed the potentially embarrassing release of information.

“Either fortunately or unfortunately, I also served in the Legislature, and I have a deep faith and belief in open courts and the public’s right to know and the press’s right to report,” Tillery said. “I don’t always agree with them and … I’ve not always thought they cast me in a fair light, but the flip side is to allow certain interests to control what is seen by whom and when. That’s why we have open courts.”

Tillery did agree with a request from McCathern to issue a gag order preventing attorneys from discussing the case with reporters.

Weckerly’s attorney, Thomas Bowers, prevailed on the question of whether to seal the case, but it’s unclear whether the lawsuit will survive past a hearing later this month. In it, Bowers must convince the judge that the case should be exempt from the five-year statute of limitations.

Four attorneys, including McCathern and Luis Bartolomei, sat at the defense table on behalf on Jones.

They came with two motions — one to dismiss the case and another to impose sanctions on Bowers for filing what they called a “frivolous” case.

Bowers called the opposing lawyers bullies.

“Judge, this is what’s called trial by ambulance,” Bowers said. “All these documents we’re talking about … I haven’t seen them. And as far as frivolous, I’ve never thought of the allegation of sexual assault as frivolous.

“The defense counsel wants to be judge and jury,” he said. “Last time I heard, both sides get a chance to get some discovery and present it to the jury. That’s what my client wants, judge. She wants a fair shake from the judicial system.”

0234_001LawsuitAgainstJerryJones

Video: Mike Piazza’s home run from September 21, 2001 will make things better

It’s a crappy day for a lot of reasons. What’s going on in the news now, what this day makes so many of us remember. We try not to dwell on that stuff because if we do it’ll make us go crazy, but we can’t help but think about it. Especially when so much of what is crappy in the world has bled into sports of late. Sports is supposed to be a respite from the ugliness of the world and when it isn’t, damn, where do you go?

But it’s worth remembering that sports can be uplifting for us even if we don’t tune out the “real world.” Indeed, sometimes sports and the real world come together in such a way as to give us hope or make us feel better about all the awfulness.

Here was one of those times. If you didn’t see it at the time or were too young to remember, enjoy it. If you did, enjoy it again.

Oh, and put this man in the Hall of Fame.