University of Washington

College football: 5 things

Poor Michigan

The video of Michigan punter Blake O’Neill’s fumble that led to Michigan State’s winning touchdown on Saturday is somewhat difficult to watch … and, yet, at the same time, it’s so hard to stop watching. Credit to O’Neill, though: The Australian-born punter seems to have the right attitude about the whole situation, saying this week: “That’s life. That’s football. You learn from it so you can do better and pick up yourself up, dust yourself and move on.” Good for him. If only Michigan’s fans were as understanding.

USC denial

It’s that time of year again — the time when major college football head coaching positions come open and viable candidates around the country find creative ways to downplay their interest without saying flat-out they’re not interested. Pete Carroll and Jeff Fisher have each been pretty adamant, though, with Carroll saying a return to USC is “not happening,” and Fisher saying he’ll keep his commitment to the St. Louis Rams. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is one potential candidate who didn’t quite come out and say no. His comment: “I never make any comments on any job speculation, one way or the other.” Well played, eh?

Fournette still the man

Hard to say anyone other than LSU running back Leonard Fournette has much of a chance to win the Heisman Trophy at this point. Sure, there are other candidates — Trevone Boykin, Ezekiel Elliott, Corey Coleman — but Fournette is averaging 200.3 yards rushing a game and already has 14 touchdowns. It would take a serious meltdown for him to not hoist that statue at season’s end. LSU hosts Western Kentucky this week.

Florida kicker tryout

According to ESPN, the Florida Gators recently held a walk-on kicker tryout after placekicker Jorge Powell was injured during their loss to LSU. Apparently, 216 people signed up after Florida tweeted an “all call” for kickers from one of its Twitter accounts. That’s cool and all, but it still doesn’t compare with when Washington State held a tryout for a walk-on quarterback in 2008.

Top games

Would you believe there’s only one game this week between teams ranked in the AP’s Top 25? No. 15 Texas A&M visits No. 24 Mississippi for a 4 p.m. game Saturday on ESPN. But the most intriguing matchup might be in Los Angeles, where No. 3 Utah faces unranked USC — and the Trojans are about a 4-point favorite.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com

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