Looking ahead

Del Olaleye: The weekly update on college football

Will Jimbo Fisher still be around when A&M plays Arizona State? Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Del Olaleye's weeekly college football report:

Georgia should put Jake Fromm in Bubble Wrap

The Georgia freshman has had an interesting off-season. Earlier this summer he somehow wound up with a fishing lure in his left calf. Not a huge deal for a guy from Warner Robbins, Ga. I can just hear Georgia fan now, “Oh look, Jake has a fishing lure in his leg, ain’t that something.” Fromm took the whole thing in stride. There are images of him sitting casually in a doctor’s office on his phone while a lure hangs from his leg. Clearly not a big deal. The latest summer injury is a little bit more serious but not enough to trouble Fromm’s coach Kirby Smart. Fromm broke his non-throwing hand in a “freak boating accident.” The accident happened on the 4th of July but fortunately for the Bulldogs, Fromm is already back to throwing the football. He’s not the only QB from the 2018 title game to suffer a hand injury in the offseason. In the spring Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa injured his throwing and had to undergo a surgical procedure that will keep him out until August. More injury bad luck hit the Crimson Tide this week as linebacker Terrell Lewis tore his ACL while training. Alabama had issues keeping linebackers like Lewis healthy last year. So far that trend continues as we approach the 2018 season.

Virginia Tech loses another defensive starter

The Hokies announced the dismissal of defensive back Mook Reynolds in what has been a disastrous offseason for Bud Foster’s defense. That is now seven starters that the Hokies have to replace from the 2017 defense. Two players who were expected to help in the rebuild also won’t be available. That includes Adonis Alexander who is now in the NFL Supplemental Draft. At one point Hokies starting QB Josh Jackson’s eligibility was in question as well but the Hokies were able to dodge that potentially crippling loss. Virginia Tech opens the season against ACC rival Florida State.

Arizona State and Texas A&M schedule a home and home

These two programs with first year head coaches agreed to play each other starting in 2026. The announcement isn’t particularly newsworthy. These types of announcements happen all the time. The two programs actually played in 2015.  It just struck me that it is likely that A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and Arizona State’s Herm Edwards won’t be around to be coaching against each other. Fisher has all the job security in the world. Ten years and $75 million is the epitome of security. Eight years is still a long time to keep your job in the SEC unless your name is Saban. Herm Edwards on the other hand didn’t start his Sun Devils career to glowing reviews. He’s everyone choice to be a disaster hire. Even if he turns out to be a good hire, a former NFL head coach staying in the college ranks for eight years seems unlikely. If action exist for such a boring prop bet, bet on neither one being on the sidelines for that game.

The Aggies are playing the wrong Arizona school anyway. The people over at NRG should look closely at Kevin Sumlin’s return to Houston as the Arizona head coach this season. The Wildcats play the University of Houston in September. A matchup in the Texas Kickoff Classic featuring potential Heisman candidate Khalil Tate from Arizona against the Aggies in both Fisher and Sumlin’s second year would be all types of intriguing. And would ya look at that, it just so happens there hasn’t been a 2019 game scheduled yet.

 

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Houston's bats have a hot night

Astros clobber Rangers to win series opener

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After dropping two of three in Seattle, the Astros entered the regular season's final series still waiting to clinch their playoff berth. Luckily their matchup favored them, with four games against the 19-37 Rangers, which they have done well against in recent years. Here are highlights from the opener:

Final Score: Astros 12, Rangers 4.

Record: 29-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (5-2, 3.48 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance Lynn (6-3, 3.32 ERA).

Astros put up 10 on Lynn 

Houston had no trouble getting acquainted with the Rangers' new stadium, jumping out to an early lead in the top of the first inning. After a lengthy at-bat against Lance Lynn, Jose Altuve reached on a one-out single, then scored from first on a two-out RBI-triple by Alex Bregman. They'd double their lead in the next at-bat on an error, making it 2-0.

They extended that lead even more in the next inning, getting back-to-back singles to start the inning to set up a big three-run dinger by George Springer to straightaway center-field to make it 5-0. Bregman added two more RBI to his night in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a leadoff single by Michael Brantley by hitting a two-run homer to make it a 7-0 lead. Altuve would push the total to double-digits in the top of the sixth, lifting a three-run home run of his own to make it a 10- lead.

Javier with a decent start, bullpen closes out the win

Meanwhile, Cristian Javier was doing well on the mound against the Rangers. He allowed just three baserunners through the first five innings, a double in the first, a hit batter in the second, and a single in the fifth. He would falter a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff single then a two-run homer, then later in the inning a sac fly, making it 10-3 before Houston would turn to their bullpen. Javier's final line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 95 TP.

Luis Garcia would get the final out of the sixth then returned for the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff double that would score on a two-out RBI-double, making it a six-run game before Garcia finished the frame. Brooks Raley was the next reliever and notched two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.

Josh Reddick gave Houston two more insurance runs, joining the home run barrage with a two-run homer in the top of the inning to make it 12-4 going to the bottom half. Brandon Bielak was given a low-leverage opportunity to throw in the bottom of the ninth. He erased a two-out double for a scoreless inning to wrap up the lopsided win, lowering Houston's magic number to 1.

Up Next: The second game of this four-game set between Houston and Texas will start Friday at 7:05 PM Central at Globe Life Field. The pitching battle will be Kyle Cody (1-1, 1.53 ERA) for the Rangers and Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78 ERA) for the Astros.

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