Stanford Band Suspended from Travelling

Stanford Band
Stanford Band found to have breached University policies

The Stanford Band have been suspended from attending away games for the 2015-2016 season. Following the publication of the report an investigation into the conduct of the band the punishment has been handed down by university officials after…

“The investigation found that, on several occasions, the band violated university policies regarding alcohol, controlled substances, hazing and/or sexual harassment. Violations included a tradition in which a band member was given an alcoholic concoction intended to make that individual vomit publicly; an annual trip in which some band members used illegal substances; and a band selection process in which individuals were asked a number of inappropriate questions on sexual matters.”

The Band is in the tradition of a ‘scatter band’ and is known for it’s unusual performances and field displays.

The band will still be permitted to perform at home games and certain non athletic events.

Arizona v USC Game Preview

USC (3-2) @ Arizona (5-0)

Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona

3.30am Irish Time (Saturday night) October 12th (ESPN 2)

It took a great effort and some not so stellar play from Oregon in order for the Arizona Wildcats to topple the Ducks on the road in week six in one of the biggest upsets of the year. Following the game, voters took notice of the solid win and helped Arizona shoot all the way up to No. 10 from unranked in the most recent rankings. The USC Trojans had the exact opposite luck last week as they took a lead down to the final seconds of the game against Arizona State before losing on a fluke Hail Mary with time expiring. The Trojans were dropped from the rankings and have become one of the biggest disappointments in college football this season after a promising start.

Arizona has one of the best young quarterbacks in the nation in freshman Anu Solomon who has come out of nowhere to lead the seventh-best passing offense in the nation. Rich Rodriguez has placed his trust in the first-year collegiate quarterback and it has paid off with a 5-0 start and a No. 10 ranking nationally. Solomon has passed for an impressive 1,741 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with four interceptions while completing 64 percent of his passes; he has added another 167 yards on the ground. Along with Solomon is another freshman in the backfield in running back Nick Wilson who leads the 28th-ranked run game with 574 yards and six touchdowns on 6.4 yards per touch while senior Terris Jones-Grigsby has been solid as well, rushing for 267 yards and three scores. Sophomore Cayleb Jones leads all receivers with 32 catches for 525 yards and six touchdowns; Austin Hill is the next closest receiver with 18 catches for 275 yards and three scores.

Arizona Wildcats RB Nick Wilson celebrates a TD v Nevada
Arizona Wildcats RB Nick Wilson celebrates a TD v Nevada

A big reason for USC’s loss against Arizona State was the failure by quarterback Cody Kessler to throw a touchdown pass — the second time this season he went without a touchdown throw. If USC wants to bounce back and remain a force in conference play, Kessler will need to throw a few touchdown passes and play like he has been playing all season long before last week. On the year, the junior quarterback has 1,380 yards and 10 touchdown passes with a nearly 70 percent completion rate and no interceptions. Nelson Agholor has lived up to the hype at the receiver position, catching 35 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns — all team-highs. Freshman wide out JuJu Smith has added 18 catches for 207 yards but has yet to reach the endzone in his young career. Running back Javorius Allen has been dynamite in the run and receiving game, rushing for a team-high 576 yards and four touchdowns while ranking second on the team in receiving, catching 19 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown.

USC QB Cody Kessler on the move v Fresno State
USC QB Cody Kessler on the move v Fresno State

Defensively, the Trojans have been relatively average this season. Ranking just 44th in points allowed and near the middle of the nation in terms of total yards allowed with about 391, the Trojans have a tough task ahead in trying to stop the 21st-best scoring offense in the country. Arizona has been much less successful on the defensive side of things, ranking 75th in points allowed per game and near the bottom of the nation in total yards allowed with 434 per outing.

PREDICTION: USC 28, Arizona 38

Ole Miss v Texas A&M Game Preview

Ole Miss (5-0) @ Texas A&M (5-1)

Kyle Field, College Station, Texas

2am Irish Time (Saturday night) Oct 12th (ESPN)

Cracking the top five in the ranking for the first time this season was a huge step for the #3 ranked Ole Miss Rebels in their quest for a national title — one that would be their first since 1962. It hasn’t been an easy road into the top five, however, as they had to defeat Alabama at home to get there. Being exposed in college football is one of the most devastating events to happen to a team in any given season — that’s exactly what happened to the Texas A&M Aggies against Mississippi State last week. However, the Aggies are still a dangerous team that is hoping to make the rest of the conference pay for what happened in week six.

Ole Miss is led by a veteran quarterback that goes by the name of Bo Wallace. The senior gunslinger has been reliable this season and has many top weapons to spread the ball around to, which never hurts. Wallace has passed for 1,522 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions for the 22nd-ranked passing offense in the nation while completing nearly 69 percent of his passes. As expected, Laquon Treadwell has been his favorite receiver as the two have connected 25 times for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Both Cody Core and Vince Sanders have 20 catches this season for 315 yards with four touchdowns and 302 yards and three scores, respectively. Evan Engram has added 17 catches for 246 yards of his own — no receiving scores yet. The run offense ranks just 87th in the nation, however, behind Jaylen Walton‘s 238 yards and three touchdowns.

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace

With one of the best young quarterbacks in the entire nation, Texas A&M ranks fifth in the country in passing yards per game and third in points per game. Sophomore Kenny Hill has been that quarterback for the Aggies just one season after Johnny Manziel went on to the next level. Hill has been great, passing for 2,110 yards and 21 touchdowns to go along with five interceptions with a completion rate of 64 percent; he has also rushed for 171 yards. Malcome Kennedy has been the top receiver in terms of receptions, 33, while racking up 378 yards and two scores. Josh Reynolds has been the top overall target with 4o2 yards and seven touchdowns on 23 catches this year. Edward Pope and Ricky Seals-Jones have also been solid, accounting for four touchdowns on 18 catches for 369 yards and three touchdowns on 30 catches for 293 yards, respectively. Trey Williams and Tra Carson lead the 47th-ranked run offense with 531 yards and eight touchdowns combined.

Token Johnny Football pic
Token Johnny Football pic

Defensively, the Aggies have been improved in a few major categories this season, including points allowed per game. Texas A&M ranks 29th in the country in points allowed, but ranks near the bottom on the nation still in yards allowed per game with 407 per contest — a pretty even allowance of rush and pass yards per game. On the other hand, Ole Miss has been much better on this side of the ball, ranking second in the nation in points allowed while also ranking sixth in total yards allowed with just about 278 per game. The crowd at Kyle Field will be rowdy for this Top 25 matchup.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss 27, Texas A&M 34

TCU v Baylor Game Preview

TCU (4-0) @ Baylor (5-0)

McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas

8:30pm Irish Time Saturday October 11th (ESPN)

Quickly becoming one of the nation’s top teams on an annual basis, the #5 ranked Baylor Bears have cracked the top five for the first time this season and will look to move up even more after a top-10 bout this week. The Bears haven’t won a game by less than 21 points this season, but they have yet to play a ranked team. That all changes this week. As one of the nation’s darkhorse threats to make it to the College Football Playoff in 2014, the TCU Horned Frogs have jumped from unranked to No. 9 in the country in two weeks time. The Horned Frogs took down No. 4 Oklahoma last week and will look to make it two straight top-five teams in two weeks — also, it’s the toughest game left on their schedule.

Baylor has one of the most potent offenses in the entire country this year, ranking eighth in passing yards per game, 18th in rushing yards per game and first in points per game, putting up 51 per contest. Having top quarterback Bryce Petty come back for his senior season has been huge for this team as he has been nothing short of great, passing for 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns with just one interception while playing limited time through the first few weeks because of a nagging injury. Not many people saw freshman wide out KD Cannon becoming his favorite target as he has caught 24 passes for 527 yards and five touchdowns this season. Jay Lee is the next closest receiver, racking up 19 catches for 294 yards and four scores. Watch out for senior Antwan Goodley to break out as he has played in just two games this year and has caught 10 passes for 183 yards and a score. Shock Linwood leads the run game with 449 yards and eight touchdowns while Johnny Jefferson has added 336 yards and three scores on 65 carries.

Baylor QB Bryce Petty
Baylor QB Bryce Petty

The Horned Frogs are blessed because they have an experienced quarterback behind center that stuck around even though he lost his starting job in 2013 to a returning senior in Casey Pachall. Gary Patterson is lucky Trevone Boykin stuck around because he is leading TCU to a dream season thus far with 1,176 yards and 10 touchdowns for the 19th-ranked passing offense in the nation. The junior quarterback has also led all rushers with 260 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries. Josh Doctson has been Boykin’s favorite target, connecting with him 19 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns while Kolby Listenbee leads all wide outs with 272 yards to go along with two touchdowns on 14 catches. Deante’ Gray has been a legitimate No. 3 threat, catching 16 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns of his own. While Boykin leads the run game, B.J. Catalon is close behind with 220 yards and four touchdowns on a solid 4.8 yards per touch this year.

The TCU  Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs

Defensively, the Horned Frogs have been pleasantly stingy this season, ranking seventh in points allowed per game as well as seventh in total yards allowed per game with just under 280 per contest, including seven interceptions through the first four games. Baylor has also been quite stingy, allowing the fifth-least amount of points per game in the country as well as ranking fourth in total yards allowed per game with 267 per contest. McLane Stadium will be rocking for this matchup of top 10 teams on Saturday evening.

PREDICTION: TCU 21 Baylor 34

Miami (FL) v Nebraska Game Preview

Miami (FL) @ Nebraska

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska

1am Irish Time (Saturday night) September 21st 2014 (ESPN2)

After a nail-biting win at home in Week 2 against a lowly FCS foe in McNeese State, many experts thought the #24 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers were doomed for the remainder of the 2014 campaign. However, the Cornhuskers rebounded nicely in Week 3 to devour Fresno State on the road, 55-19. The 3-0 squad from the midwest might have a solid shot at a Big Ten title after all. The ACC looks like a weaker conference this year than in years past because of the top-heavy direction that it has been moving in. While Florida State will likely run away with the conference title for a third straight season, the Miami Hurricanes will look to put up a fight and rebound from a week one conference blowout against the Louisville Cardinals.

Nebraska has one of the better offenses in the somewhat-unimpressive Big Ten this season behind the strong rushing attack of Ameer Abdullah and quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. which ranks ninth in the nation in terms of yards per game. Abdullah was a preseason Heisman contender and he has done nothing but aid that distinction with 396 yards and three touchdowns on 6.9 yards per carry while Armstrong Jr. has 258 yards and two touchdowns of his own on 9.6 yards per run. Sophomore running back Terrell Newby has also been solid, racking up 134 yards and two scores while Imani Cross has 102 yards and two touchdowns on 11.3 yards per carry. Armstrong Jr. has been solid in the passing game, throwing for 773 yards and seven touchdowns with just one pick. Jordan Westerkamp leads all receivers with 13 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns while Kenny Bell and Abdullah have 214 yards and 105 yards, respectively.

Miami hasn’t showcased a very impressive offense this season, ranking 63rd in the nation in passing yards per game, 93rd in rushing yards per game and 67th in points per contest. A reason for the sluggish start is the introduction of new starters on offense, including freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya. The first-year collegiate QB hasn’t been completely poor for the 2-1 Hurricanes as he has completed 60 percent of his passes for 693 yards and seven touchdowns while five interceptions to go along with it. His inability to scramble has led to some problems as he has been in the negatives in terms of rushing yards through the first three weeks of the season. The freshman has developed a strong connection with senior wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, connecting eight times for 284 yards and four touchdowns — that’s an astounding 35.5 yards per catch. Clive Walford, Herb Waters and Braxton Berrios all have over 100 yards receiving each, combining for 344 yards and two touchdowns on 28 catches. Don’t sleep on the run game, however, as the electric Duke Johnson leads the way with 277 yards and two touchdown on 6.4 yards per touch.

It's all about The U
It’s all about The U

Defensively, the Hurricanes have been one of the more solid teams in the ACC, ranking 35th in the nation in points allowed per game with 19.3 and eighth in the nation in yards allowed per contest with just 259.7. They will have their hands full with the best offense they have faced yet in Nebraska, however. The Cornhuskers needed to improve defensively this season in order to compete — and they have done so. Nebraska ranks 20th in points allowed per game with 16.7 while ranking 18th in the nation in yards allowed per game with 294.7. It’s safe to say the Cornhuskers have improved defensively, although they are lightly tested thus far.

 

PREDICTION: Miami 20, Nebraska 34

Mississippi @ LSU

Mississippi State (FL) @ LSU

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Midnight Irish Time September 20th 2014 (ESPN)

Taking down the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers on a neutral field in Week 1 doesn’t seem like the most impressive of victories, but the LSU Tigers came back from a 24-7 deficit in the middle of the third quarter to win the game 28-24 in the final minutes. Overcoming adversity like that in a big game could be a sign of things to come for the #8 ranked Tigers. Also 3-0 heading into conference play are the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Quite the opposite of LSU, however, Mississippi State has yet to play a tough foe through the first three weeks of the season. What does that mean? Well, the Bulldogs might be relatively unprepared for a contest with a team like LSU.

Although the Tigers average 38.3 points per game, the passing offense has been subpar behind the first-year starter Anthony Jennings. While Jennings has some previous experience as a starter due to an injury to star quarterback Zach Mettenberger last season, he is still trying to get used to being ‘the guy’ in charge of running the offense. The sophomore has passed for just 566 yards and five touchdowns to combat just one lone interception through three games. The offense’s main target in the receiving game has been Travin Dural who has 12 catches for 370 yards and four touchdowns — he has been carrying a big load seeing as the top two targets from last season moved on to the next level. The run game has been a bit more impressive than the passing attack, ranking 37th in the nation. Kenny Hilliard leads the way with 215 yards and three touchdowns while Leonard Fournette has 162 yards and two scores of his own.

Mississippi State has featured a top-tier offensive attack thus far in 2014 — most likely because of the fact that they haven’t faced a tough opponent yet. The Bulldogs are led by junior Dak Prescott at quarterback and he has been quite impressive for his second year as the team’s starter. Prescott is a dual-threat QB who has passed for 696 yards and nine touchdowns with just two interceptions while rushing for another 273 yards and two scores — good for second on the team. While sophomore wide out De’Runnya Wilson leads the team with three touchdown catches, senior Jameon Lewis leads the team in catches, 10, and receiving yards, 107, but has yet to reach the endzone on a reception. As previously mentioned, Prescott is second on the team in rushing yards while running back Josh Robinson leads the way with 288 yards and three touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry.

Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott gashes the LSU D
Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott gashes the LSU D

Defensively, the Bulldogs allow just 12.3 points per contest which is good for the 11th-best mark in the entire nation. However, Mississippi State is in the middle of the pack when it comes to total yards allowed per game with an elevated 392 per contest — and over 300 per game comes from the opponent’s passing attack. The Tigers, on the other hand, have allowed a total of 24 points this season in three games, ranking second in all of college football in points allowed per game. When it comes to total yards allowed per game, the Tigers also excel, ranking third in the nation with just over 205 per contest.

PREDICTION: Mississippi State 10, LSU 28