TURKEY WEEKEND MADE FOOTBALL JUNKIES EXURBERUNT
Seventy-five years from now when your great-great grandchildren are playing Trivial Pursuit and they encounter the question “Who is the ONLY losing head coach in college football history to get a Gatorade dousing by his happy team players?” they will turn the card over and read the answer, “Ed Orgeron of the 2018 LSU Football team.”
It’s hard to believe this happened Saturday night at Kyle Field in College Station, but the over-zealous players on the LSU bench had just witnessed a team victory when the Tigers’ defense intercepted a fourth-down pass with one second left in regulation and LSU leading Texas A&M on the scoreboard 31-24.
But Lo! and behold! of all the accurate snaps between center and Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond, this one came back on one hop and like a good shortstop, Mond bent down caught the ball and then heaved it in desperation. The ball was intercepted as time ran out and the Tigers were already celebrating.
But that nasty replay camera showed that Mond went down on one knee to field the bad snap, which in college football means the play is dead when a player has the football and his knee touches the turf.
The Aggies made the most of their bad snap as Mond got a good snap as time ran out in regulation, fired a 19-yard pass to the end zone that was miraculously caught by Quin Davis with Small’s PAT tying the score at 31-31 sending the game into overtime.
The two teams matched points after each overtime period. Nearly five hours after the National Anthem started the game and a record seven overtimes, the Aggie’s 6-foot, six-inch receiver Kendrick Rogers hauled in a required two-point conversion giving his team a hard-fought 74-72 victory.
Rogers caught two touchdown passes and two two-point conversions in the overtime periods.
The seven extra periods tied the FBS record for most overtimes in a game and the 146 combined points made Saturday night’s game the highest-scoring game in FBS history. It also tied for the longest FBS game in college football history.
Aggie fans and alumni around the country felt relieved that those big bucks they spent on a gigantic salary to entice Jimbo Fisher away from Florida turned out to be a bargain. They were looking for a coach that could deliver when the chips were down.
The Texas Longhorn fans also had a scare Friday in a Big 12 game against lowly Kansas, hanging on for a 24-17 victory and setting up a Red River rematch with the Oklahoma Sooners, who also had problems subduing West Virginia 59-56. The conference championship game will be played Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Baylor Bears became bowl-eligible by upsetting Texas Tech 35-24 in the regular-season finale, showing great improvement from their one-victory season last year.
The loss was a bummer for Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury who lost his job after six seasons and a 35-40 record.
The traditional matchup between Washington and Washington State was tough on the players but fun to watch as they trudged around in the snow which gave the Huskies a great advantage with their run-oriented offense compared to Head Coach Rick Leach’s passing offense. Washington won 28-15 and will play Utah Friday for the PAC-12 championship.
Thanksgiving Day had three NFL games that were all won by the favorites with Chicago beating the hosting Detroit Lions 23-16, our Dallas Cowboys grabbing a share of first place in the NFC East with a 31-23 win over Washington and New Orleans thrashing Atlanta 31-17.
On Sunday the Seattle Seahawks upset Carolina 30-27 on Sebastian Janikowski’s field goal as time expired to keep their wild card hopes alive as did the defending world champion Philadelphia Eagles who nipped the New York Giants 25-22.
KWICKIES…The Houston Texans players all wore a decal on their helmets with the initials of owner Bill McNair who died last weekend at age 81. Houston hosted AFC South rival Tennessee on nationally-televised Monday Night Football on ESPN.
Congrats to the Lamar Cardinal football team who turned their season around from last year’s 2-9 record to be invited to the FCS Playoffs. After leading Northern Iowa 13-6 the Big Red lost a heart-breaker 16-13 after missing two field goal opportunities. Coach Mike Schultz did a fine job having the team buy into his new program. It’s a shame Schultz has to work for a wishy-washy athletic director.
About the only NFL division that’s not a runaway at the three-quarters mark is the NFC East that has our Dallas Cowboys tied with the Washington Redskins for first place. Both teams appear to be in the same predicament this week with the Cowboys a seven-point underdog to the New Orleans Saints while the Redskins also are seven-point underdogs to the Philadelphia Eagles.
After seven seasons, football coach Larry Fedora is out at North Carolina and the leading candidate to replace him is Mack Brown, who coached the Tar Heels before coming to the Texas Longhorns.
Another canning took place last weekend after the Houston Cougars were humiliated 52-31 by Memphis which denied the Cougars a spot in the American Athletic Conference championship game. Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio was relieved of his defensive coordinator’s job which paid him $400,000. He had one year left on his contract.
It appears Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck is fully recovered from the shoulder problems that nagged him for the past three seasons. Sunday’s 27-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins marked the seventh straight game in which Luck has thrown for at least three touchdowns
JUST BETWEEN US…I was saddened about the death of my good friend Ralph Barrientos who died suddenly last week at the age of 92. His funeral was yesterday (Tuesday) at St. Mary Catholic Church. Ralph always seemed to be around to lend a hand when someone needed help. I met him about 40 years ago when introduced to him at Dera Park golf course by my late golf partner Dr. Jack Couvillion. If I had a dollar for each time Ralph shook my hand, I’d be able to go to the moon and back.