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College football report: Kliff Kingsbury gets a signature win

Kliff Kingsbury pulled off a big win. Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Kliff Kingsbury gets a signature win

Some people might have totally written off Kingsbury’s Red Raiders after their opening week defeat at the hands of a very average Ole Miss squad. It wasn’t just that they got beat. They played poorly while doing it and lost their starting quarterback. Coming into this season Kliff Kingsbury was facing a great deal of pressure to win. Entering the season with a record below .500 after five seasons will create that type of pressure, even at your alma mater. The Red Raiders have responded. They beat a good Group of 5 school when they won a shootout against the Houston Cougars in Lubbock and followed that up with dominant second half to take down Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys. This win wasn’t about new quarterback and freshman phenom Alan Bowman throwing for 600 yards, it was the Red Raiders defense which starred on the road. Holding a top 25 team scoreless in the second half on the road is not normally something you’d associate with Texas Tech football. Now you can. It won’t get any easier for Kingsbury’s squad as 12th ranked West Virginia makes their way to Lubbock on Saturday for a top 25 matchup. A win by the Red Raiders would place them in pole position in the Big 12 championship game race.

When a loss is more than a loss

If you’re Justin Fuente you had to be feeling pretty good when you woke up last Saturday. Going into the game against 0-3 Old Dominion, Fuente’s Hokies were undefeated and which included a win on the road against  Florida State on Labor Day. A little over four hours later after the game and no one in Hokie Nation was thinking about the surprising start any longer. There are so many things that played into the 49-35 upset pulled off by the Monarchs, (I had to look their nickname up) but my biggest question is how did Virginia Tech wind up playing a game on the road against Old Dominion? That is a question for their athletic director to answer, Fuente now has bigger concerns. He lost his starting quarterback indefinitely when Josh Jackson broke a bone in his leg during the game but the loss of impactful players didn’t stop with Jackson. Leading pass rusher Trevon Hill was dismissed from the team Sunday for not “meeting team standards.” He was part of a defense that gave up 49 points. That defense as whole didn’t meet defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s standard. Hill’s dismissal is just another departure from a Hokies defense that suffered a great deal of attrition in the offseason.

Hate Watch Record 2-2

Leave it to Notre Dame to make a QB switch and explode offensively the minute I start paying attention to them. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly inserted Ian Book in the starting lineup against Wake Forest and the Irish offense looked completely different. By “completely different” I mean actually competent. Going into the game Notre Dame scored 24, 24, and 22 points in three home games to start the year. They scored 56 points at Wake Forest. Getting out of South Bend appears to have been good for the Irish offensive players. I can’t blame them. You’d feel better too if you got a reprieve from spending weekends in Indiana.

Hate Watch Game of the Week: Ohio State vs Penn State

There were plenty of reasons for me to root against Ohio State before the Urban Meyer/Zach Smith debacle so this one is easy. A top 10 matchup on Saturday night in Happy Valley is just great theater. Throw in a “whiteout” game and you’ve got the makings of a tremendous setting. Hopefully the game lives up to the hype and ends with a Buckeyes loss.

P.S. That stuff I wrote about Kelly Bryant being the leader of Clemson’s team a couple of weeks ago? Just forget about it, ok. Let’s all pretend like I never wrote it.



 

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The Legacy Project has a long history in the city of Houston. Courtesy image.

Each year, the NCAA is committed to leaving a legacy in the Men’s and Women’s Final Four host cities to foster goodwill and sportsmanship. The Men’s Final Four Legacy Project presented by Unilever will select a community facility in Harris County and provide renovations in 2023. This will be the first time a Local Organizing Committee offers an open call for applications in order to select a project. Unilever, the Official Personal Care Partner of the NCAA, is in its twelfth year as an NCAA Corporate Partner and has been the presenting partner of the Legacy Project since 2018.

“One of the key roles that the Houston Local Organizing Committee plays is working with the NCAA to ensure that the impact of having an event like the Men’s Final Four in our city is felt long beyond the tournament’s conclusion. The Men’s Final Four Legacy Project presented by Unilever is one example of a community-focused project that will make a difference in our community for years to come,” says Rachel Quan, HLOC vice president of external operations.

The Legacy Project has a long history in the city of Houston. In 2011, the NCAA and HLOC worked to restore the basketball court and facilities at the MD Anderson Family YMCA. The renovation helped see a drastic increase in membership and enhanced the center’s ability to continue to reach neighborhood youth. In 2016, the Morefield Boys and Girls Club in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Houston received a refurbished basketball court thanks to the NCAA’s Legacy Project.

Working alongside the HLOC, the NCAA and corporate partner, Unilever, we will once again leave behind a legacy in the city by choosing and renovating another community facility in 2023.Applications are open to the public online through midnight on Monday, May 20, 2022.

To qualify, applicants must be located in Harris County. Applications awarded the highest score by community relations evaluators will earn the chance for the HLOC and NCAA to do a site visit to consider the project. A winner will be announced in the summer/fall of 2022 and unveiled in spring 2023, prior to the Men’s Final Four in April.

About the 2023 NCAA Men’s Final Four®

Houston will host the 2023 Men’s Final Four® from March 31 through April 3, 2023. Houston Baptist University, Rice University, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston will make history as the first quartet of institutions to host the Final Four. Games will be played on April 1 and 3 at NRG Stadium. The city of Houston is hosting the event for the fourth time, having previously crowned national champions in 1971, 2011 and 2016. For more information, visit https://www.ncaa.com/mens-final-four/.

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