Will Muschamp’s hot seat is now officially scorching. The embattled Florida Gators coach and former Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator suffered a bumbling, stumbling 34-17 loss to Vanderbilt in the Swamp. It was the Gators’ first home loss to Vandy since 1945.
That drops Florida (4-5 ,3-4) below .500 for the first time since 1992. With a trip to No. 12 South Carolina and a home game against No. 2 Florida State still on the schedule, the Gators are doubtful to reach 6-6 and make even a crummy bowl game. They’ve been bowling 22 years in a row. Muschamp’s record is 22-13, unacceptable by Florida standards.
“I’m a lot harder on myself than y’all or anyone else in Gator Nation,” Muschamp said when questioned about his job security and fan unrest. “I’m not asking for anybody to be happy or give us a pass. I need to do to be better, and I don’t need to hear any fan from the outside telling me what we need to do with this football team.”
On the way out of the stadium, dejected Gators fan Chris Andres told the Orlando Sentinel: “When I get home, I’m going to start up a website — BringBackZook.com.”
Johnny Football: While Heisman winner Johnny Manziel was non-commital about returning to Texas A&M after a 51-41 win over Mississippi State in which he threw for 446 yards and five TD passes, some Aggies are not hopeful. “Everybody would love to see him back here again,” receiver Malcome Kennedy said. “But you have to make some decisions in life and it was fun playing with him.”
DGB arrives: Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, a former No. 1 national recruit, is enjoying a breakout sophomore season for surprising No. 8 Missouri. DGB did the spectacular against Kentucky, catching four touchdown passes in the Tigers’ 48-17 blowout. Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-6-inch, 225-pounder who flirted with Texas before signing with the home-state school, had his second 100-yard game. “He’s a beast,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said.
Wrecked Tech: On Oct. 20, Texas Tech was 7-0. By the end of Thanksgiving night, the Red Raiders are likely to finish 7-5. For the third straight game, their defense was gashed for at least 275 yards on the ground, throttled by Kansas State 49-26. It doesn’t get any easier. No. 6 Baylor is next, and a trip to Texas closes the season.
Big road win: Nebraska (7-2, 4-1) stayed in control of its destiny in the Big Ten Legends Division with a 17-13 win over Michigan in the Big House. It was the Wolverines’ first loss in 20 home games. The Cornhuskers play division-leading Michigan State next Saturday in Lincoln.
Defensive giant: No. 24 Wisconsin snapped BYU’s five-game win streak, and linebacker Chris Borland, a potential All-American, is a large reason why. Borland had 13 tackles, two sacks and three QB pressures in a 27-27 win. “He smacked some guys pretty good,” Badgers coach Gary Andersen said.
Devilish: Duke redshirt freshman cornerback DeVon Edwards became the first player to score three non-offensive TDs in the same game in more than a decade. The redshirt freshman returned a kickoff 100 yards and took two interceptions (25, 45 yards) back in a 38-20 win over North Carolina State. The Blue Devils clinched their first winning season since 1994 with their fifth straight victory.
Close call: Houston missed a golden opportunity to seize the American Athletic Conference lead in a 19-14 loss to No. 21 Central Florida. The Cougars (7-2, 4-1) threw back-to-back passes into the end zone from UCF 10 on the final plays.
Good timing: Arizona State star defensive lineman Will Sutton said he was too tired to rush the passer in the final minute at Utah. Perfect, because it allowed him to be in the right place for his first career interception that locked up the No. 22 Sun Devils’ 20-19 win.
Ground pounding: No. 9 Auburn has the kind of offense an old-school fan should love. For the second week in a row, the Tigers threw just nine passes. They ran 53 times for 444 yards in a 55-23 destruction of Tennessee.
Extra points …
- Virginia Tech’s 42-24 upset at No. 11 Miami made a mess out of the ACC Coastal Division. Georgia Tech is 5-2, followed by the Hokies at 4-2 and Miami and Duke at 3-2.
- Minnesota (8-2, 4-2) beat Penn State 24-10 to register its first four-game Big Ten winning streak since 1973.