Dallas Colleges: Florida Gators
|Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium. |
These are the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 -- and the team you’ll be rooting for Friday evening.
Unless you’re a Florida fan, of course.
The third-seeded Gators (28-7) will try to avoid becoming FGCU’s latest upset victim when the teams square off in the South Regional semifinals at Cowboys Stadium. Andy Enfield’s squad opened NCAA tournament play by defeating 2-seed Georgetown and 7-seed San Diego State.
“We know the nation is behind us,” Murray said. “Everybody loves a Cinderella.”
Especially this Cinderella, with its motley crew of a roster filled with basketball vagabonds and unlikely success stories. The Eagles’ personalities make them easy to root for -- and their loose, high-flying, slam-dunking style of play has made them the must-watch team of the tournament.
And that’s fine with Enfield.
“It’s the personality of our players and our team and our culture,” he said. “What you’re seeing is genuine. They enjoy being here. They enjoy playing the game of basketball.”
The Eagles (26-10) have certainly earned the respect of their opponent.
“It’s tremendous what they’ve done,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s been a great ride for them. NCAA tournament-history-wise, this has never happened. It’s a state-of-the-art, new thing.”
And the Florida Gulf Coast campus is relishing it.
When forward Chase Fieler walked into the bookstore on the school's Fort Myers campus this week, he said the place was so packed he could hardly move.
“You can’t really describe the atmosphere on campus,” he said. “It’s just been a busy week, with the attention and the media being around. It’s exciting.
“At the first news conferences [last week], people weren’t really sure what questions to ask us. They looked at us with blank stares. Now they’re asking us how we’re preparing for a No. 3 team, or they have questions for us personally. No matter what happens from here on out, this is something we’ll never forget.”
WHOM TO WATCH
Florida’s Erik Murphy, Patric Young, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario each average between 10.3 and 12.8 points per game. Guard Scottie Wilbekin is the Gators’ defensive specialist. Florida Gulf Coast’s Eddie Murray and Chase Fieler have produced some of the NCAA tournament’s best dunks thus far.
WHAT TO WATCH
Florida Gulf Coast is the first 15-seed to advance to the Sweet 16, so it’d obviously be a huge feat if the Eagles ended up in the Elite Eight. Florida has lost in the Elite Eight each of the past two seasons.
STAT TO WATCH
Billy Donovan’s Gators have been brutal in close contests this season. Florida is 0-6 in games decided by single digits.
“He’s not as tall as I thought,” Withey said of the 6-foot-10 McGary. “But he definitely looks strong.”
His matchup against Withey in Friday’s Sweet 16 showdown could be one of the more entertaining battles of the evening.
“[McGary] brings intensity to the game,” Wolverines point guard Trey Burke said. “He’s kind of like our X factor. He’s the guy that gives us the spark and makes our engine run in the frontcourt.”
McGary’s biggest test to date will come against Withey, the second-leading shot-blocker in NCAA tournament history. Withey may have a few inches on McGary, but there aren’t many players in all of college basketball as thick and strong and agile as the UM freshman, who weighs 250 pounds.
“I guess I kind of have a football mentality,” McGary said. “I played it growing up, but that’s my mentality. I’m just a hard-nosed, blue-collar guy who likes to do the nitty-gritty stuff.”
The attitude is fitting for where McGary plays, as Michigan natives have always adored physical bruisers such as Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn.
McGary certainly commanded Withey’s attention during film sessions last week.
“Just how physical he is and how hard he plays,” said Withey when asked what impressed him the most about McGary. “He loves to dive after loose balls and he loves to screen people. He likes to hit [people].
“I’m used to getting hit and whatnot. I’m not worried about that.”
Michigan coach John Beilein is counting on McGary to do everything he can to neutralize -- or at least limit -- Withey on both ends of the floor. ESPN.com’s Big 12 Player of the year, Withey averages 13.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocks. He had 16 points, 16 rebounds and five swats in Sunday’s victory over North Carolina.
“You run a beautiful play,” Beilein said, “it couldn’t be run better, and he somehow blocks a shot and they’re going the other way. It can be very deflating to a team.”
WHO TO WATCH
Burke, Michigan's point guard, averages 18.8 points and 6.7 assists per game and leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. “He’s the national player of the year,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He deserves it. He’ll get it. I think he’s terrific.” KU's Ben McLemore is a projected top-five pick in this summer’s NBA draft, but he’s averaging just seven points in his last four games.
WHAT TO WATCH
Michigan, which is making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1994, was ranked No. 1 in early February but hasn’t played as well down the stretch. The Wolverines lost five of their final 10 regular-season games and ended up with the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Kansas, which has a huge alumni base in Dallas-Fort Worth, will have the homecourt advantage.
STAT TO WATCH
Kansas ranks first in the nation in field goal percentage defense (35.7 percent) ... Jayhawks coach Bill Self has won 300 games and counting during his 10 seasons in Lawrence for an average of 30 wins per year ... All of Michigan’s key players are non-seniors.
EAST REGION (Washington, D.C.)
Eamonn Brennan: Indiana over Marquette
Fran Fraschilla: Indiana over Miami
John Gasaway: Indiana over Miami
Seth Greenberg: Miami over Indiana
Andy Katz: Indiana over Miami
Jason King: Indiana over Miami
Myron Medcalf: Miami over Indiana
Dana O'Neil: Indiana over Miami
Bruce Pearl: Miami over Syracuse
Robbi Pickeral: Miami over Indiana
Dick Vitale: Indiana over Miami
WEST REGION (Los Angeles)
Eamonn Brennan: Ohio State over La Salle
Fran Fraschilla: Ohio State over Wichita State
John Gasaway: Ohio State over Wichita State
Seth Greenberg: Ohio State over Wichita State
Andy Katz: Ohio State over Wichita State
Jason King: Arizona over Wichita State
Myron Medcalf: Ohio State over Wichita State
Dana O'Neil: Ohio State over La Salle
Bruce Pearl: Arizona over Ohio State
Robbi Pickeral: Ohio State over Wichita State
Dick Vitale: Ohio State over Wichita State
SOUTH REGION (North Texas)
Eamonn Brennan: Florida over Michigan
Fran Fraschilla: Florida over Kansas
John Gasaway: Kansas over Florida
Seth Greenberg: Kansas over Florida
Andy Katz: Michigan over Florida
Jason King: Kansas over Florida
Myron Medcalf: Michigan over Florida Gulf Coast
Dana O'Neil: Michigan over Florida Gulf Coast
Bruce Pearl: Kansas over Florida
Robbi Pickeral: Florida over Kansas
Dick Vitale: Michigan over Florida
MIDWEST REGION (Indianapolis)
Eamonn Brennan: Louisville over Michigan State
Fran Fraschilla: Louisville over Michigan State
John Gasaway: Louisville over Duke
Seth Greenberg: Louisville over Michigan State
Andy Katz: Louisville over Michigan State
Jason King: Louisville over Duke
Myron Medcalf: Louisville over Michigan State
Dana O'Neil: Louisville over Michigan State
Bruce Pearl: Louisville over Duke
Robbi Pickeral: Louisville over Duke
Dick Vitale: Louisville over Michigan State
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Tuesdays aren't Spencer Nealy's favorite.
The Texas A&M defensive tackle doesn't always look forward to practices on Tuesday. But with Alabama, the No. 1 team in the country, on deck for a showdown with the Aggies on Saturday, his feeling was different.
Coach Kevin Sumlin has been adamant about having a consistent approach weekly and keeping the team's routine the same. But there's no denying that the feeling in the pit of the Aggies' stomachs is just a little different with the opportunity that awaits at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
When it comes to playing Alabama, the team that has won two of the past three BCS championships and annually produces numerous NFL draft picks, there's often a David-versus-Goliath feel. Coming into this season, that would have applied for Texas A&M, too, when observers looked at the schedule and saw the trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium coming as the third of a three-game SEC road swing.
Expectations for the Aggies weren't extremely high. A seven-win season would have been considered respectable by many pundits nationwide, considering the caliber of the league Texas A&M entered. The Aggies have already met that total and are staring at the possibility of a nine or 10-win campaign.
And what once might have been considered a sure Alabama win is now a game that could very well be anybody's come Saturday.
"It's a big challenge for us," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "They've got a really good team on both sides of the ball. Really explosive on offense, probably the best offensive team in our league, especially in their presentation, and their quarterback has played phenomenally well for them. Very athletic and it's going to be a real challenge. I think it's a real challenge for anybody that plays against them."
Sitting at 7-2 and second place in the SEC West (4-2), the Aggies have been lauded for what they've done so far but might still be flying under the radar. They're behind three other two-loss teams (LSU, South Carolina and Oklahoma) in the human polls (No. 15) and also behind Stanford in the BCS rankings (also No. 15). They aren't considered juggernauts by any stretch of the imagination.
Part of that could be attributed to the fact that their two losses came at home to two teams that are now ranked in the top 10: Florida (No. 6 BCS, No. 7 AP) and LSU (No. 7 BCS, No. 9 AP). But make no mistake, the Aggies showed they were capable of going toe-to-toe with each.
In both instances, the Aggies led those teams by double digits. In the season opener against Florida, the Aggies took a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. Against LSU, they jumped out to a 12-0 lead. Each team came back to take control, but the Aggies remained in the game until the final minute both times.
With a redshirt freshman at quarterback (Johnny Manziel) and receiver (Mike Evans) and two true freshmen starting on defense (defensive end Julien Obioha and cornerback De'Vante Harris), it hasn't always been perfect. There have undoubtedly been mistakes made, and that's part of the deal when you have young players in key spots, particularly when new schemes are installed, which the Aggies did on both sides of the ball this season. Turnovers were an issue against LSU. Against Florida, the offense stalled and there were many missed tackles on defense.
This is a different team now than it was in Week 1, or even on Oct. 20 when it faced LSU. Sumlin said the Aggies were able to take away something positive from both games.
"I think if there's anything out of it that we've gotten as a team, even though we were disappointed to lose those two games, I think that there's a little bit of confidence out of our football team from being able to handle the physical nature of this league," Sumlin said. "Understanding that Florida and LSU had a lot to do with the mistakes we made, but we can certainly play better. Our guys understand that.
"We haven't played a complete football game yet. I'm not talking about playing a perfect game, I'm talking about playing a complete game. Some of our games, our starters have been out in the third quarter. Other games we've turned the ball over and won or found a variety of ways to win, but we still haven't played a complete game yet. If we can do that, I think we can be dangerous for anybody."
Their past two outings have been resounding road victories at Auburn and Mississippi State. This Saturday's affair will be a completely different animal altogether. The Crimson Tide are the nation's best and right now are the gold standard in college football. Just the thought of the matchup has Nealy and his teammates fired up.
"We talked about it; we haven't played a No. 1 team ever [in our careers]," Nealy said. "Oklahoma State last year, we played them and they were No. , but it didn't feel like that. This is the No. 1 team. We've played the No. 5 team, which was cool. But this is big time, and we need to come out there and shock the world."
Texas A&M didn't get a win, but it certainly didn't disappoint in its first outing as an SEC member. The Aggies gave No. 24 Florida all it could handle but ultimately succumbed in a 20-17 loss. Here's how it played out Saturday from Kyle Field.
It was over when: Clinging to a 20-17 lead with 1:30 remaining, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel raced for 21 yards on a bootleg to ensure the Gators would not have to give the ball back to the Aggies. Florida took over at its own 14 with 3:12 remaining and managed to grind down the clock on a seven-play drive consisting of all run plays.
Game ball goes to: Driskel. He was far from spectacular, but the quarterback was mistake-free in his first start for the Gators. Driskel was absolutely drilled to the tune of eight -- repeat, eight -- sacks. But he hung in to complete 13 of 16 passes for 162 yards, and while the Florida offense was far from fun to watch, Driskel took care of the ball and made clutch plays when he had to. In addition to the game-sealing run, Driskel connected with tight end Omarius Hines on a beautiful 39-yard throw to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Game ball, Part 2: That go-ahead touchdown came thanks to some inspired running from Florida running back Mike Gillislee. Racing around the right corner in the A&M red zone, Gillislee shook off a tackler and danced along the sideline into the end zone to put the Gators ahead. He was the only consistent part of the Florida offense for the second straight week, totaling 83 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
Rising star: He didn't come out on top, but Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel had a heck of a debut in a raucous, SEC-worthy environment. Manziel completed 23 of 30 passes for 173 yards, and he led the Aggies in rushing with 60 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. What's more impressive, the freshman didn't have a turnover against a speedy, hard-hitting SEC defense.
What it means: A lot of people will point to the 17-7 lead Texas A&M held in the first half of this game and laugh. But this Aggies team looked far more impressive than the one that surrendered 17- and 18-point leads in 2011. Texas A&M went punch for punch with a good -- not great -- SEC squad and barely lost out in the end. Florida might not be on the same level as Alabama or LSU, but the Gators didn't appear to hold any advantages over the Aggies, and Texas A&M gave as good as it got.
For Will Muschamp and the Gators, it has to be encouraging to see Driskel play so effectively, if not spectacularly, against an SEC foe. Florida has a lot of work to do, but its young quarterback showed flashes in his first start. Unfortunately for Florida, the true takeaway from Saturday might be the injury report. The Gators saw four players go down, including star linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
Texas A&M “officially” becomes an SEC member Saturday when the Aggies face Florida. It’s fitting that they'd play a traditional power in their first league game, and it’s also fitting that A&M would open SEC play at home. The eyes of the league will turn to College Station, Texas, at 2:30 p.m. CT. It’s indeed a new day in the SEC.
Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel makes his debut along with true freshman cornerback De'Vante Harris, who earned his way into the starting lineup soon after preseason camp began. Two other true freshmen worth watching at Texas A&M are both known for their big-play skills -- receiver Thomas Johnson and running back Trey Williams.
Edward Aschoff: This will be a very tough atmosphere for the Gators, but the advantage is that this team -- and its quarterback -- has played a game, while the Aggies will have to wash the rust off this weekend. ... Florida 23, Texas A&M 17
Chris Low: The Gators looked average at best in their opener, but the stakes go up considerably this week. Texas A&M will be pumped, but Florida will make enough plays on defense to survive. ... Florida 28, Texas A&M 24
Let’s change the rules, based on what we’ve seen today. If you survey the weekend slate and you can’t find any meaningful games and potential upsets that you’re overly interested in, that means it’s time to call Earl and the crew (everybody has a friend named Earl), stock the fridge and get ready for some good basketball. If this was a lukewarm weekend in college basketball, what qualifies as a great one?
Iowa State 72, No. 5 Kansas 64
Many laughed when Fred Hoiberg began his tenure at Iowa State by recruiting from a pool of players known for their checkered pasts. Royce White, who left Minnesota two seasons ago after a tumultuous stay, led the bunch. But Hoiberg looks like a genius right now after the Cyclones handed No. 5 KU its first Big 12 loss of the season. The win snapped both the Jayhawks' 13-game winning streak over Iowa State and their 10-game overall winning streak (they hadn’t lost since Dec. 19).
The postgame court-storming was well-deserved for the 'Clones and their fans. Hoiberg has as much job security as any coach in the country based on his legendary career in Ames, which allowed him to pursue so many transfers without worry. In other words, he’d get a mulligan if things didn’t work out.
Against Kansas, however, Hoiberg proved that he’s more than a risk-taking recruiter. He can coach, too. Iowa State, a squad that suffered an 82-73 loss at Kansas on Jan. 14, led by three points at halftime. But that didn’t last. The Jayhawks scored 11 unanswered points early in the second half. The crowd’s energy dropped after that KU run, but Iowa State kept fighting, something it had failed to do down the stretch in its earlier loss to the Jayhawks.
White led the charge. With his team leading 56-53 and five minutes to play, he scored the Cyclones' next eight points (three straight layups and a pair of free throws). He entered the game as a 51 percent free throw shooter -- ISU was the Big 12’s worst free throw shooting team at 61 percent overall -- but he was 6-for-8 from the charity stripe in the second half. He finished with a team-high 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, making up for his six turnovers. The team was 25-for-34 from the charity stripe.
So yes, the same Iowa State squad that lost at Drake Nov. 15 looks like an NCAA tournament team right now -- no matter what my colleague Doug Gottlieb might tweet. At 5-3, the Cyclones are off to their best Big 12 start in a dozen years and sure seem like they won't be fading away anytime soon.
No. 4 Syracuse 63, West Virginia 61
It just can’t happen. Not in late January with the stakes so high. Not when it’s so blatant. Officials in this game missed one of the more obvious and critical goaltending calls of the season. In the final seconds, West Virginia's Truck Bryant air-balled a 3-pointer that ended up in Deniz Kilicli’s hands with his team down by a bucket. Kilicli’s layup was swatted away in mid-air by Syracuse's Baye Keita, but replays showed what looked like a clear goaltending violation by Keita. Officials never blew their whistles.
West Virginia got the ball back and Kevin Jones (20 points, eight rebounds) missed a deep 3-pointer to win the game, but the final outcome might have changed had that crew flagged Keita for goaltending. Now granted, WVU had its chances. Brandon Triche (18 points) hit a pair of free throws with a minute and a half to play and the Mountaineers missed four consecutive shots. But the no-call clearly impacted the game.
Syracuse struggled in its third consecutive game without Fab Melo. The Orange just haven’t looked like the same squad without him and his defensive presence. West Virginia secured an astounding plus-21 (41-20) rebounding edge over the Cuse and had nearly as many offensive boards (19) as the Orange had total. How does that happen? It’s not like the Mountaineers are the biggest team in the country. They were just tougher than Syracuse most of the afternoon. And had it not been for that missed goaltending call, West Virginia might have avoided its 13th loss to the Cuse in 14 meetings.
No. 7 Baylor 76, Texas 71
With 4:09 to go, Texas' Myck Kabongo hit a 3-pointer as Pierre Jackson committed a ridiculous foul to put him on the line for a four-point play opportunity. Texas had been down by 12 points early in the second half, but Kabongo’s shot cut Baylor’s advantage to just one. Cameras panned to Baylor coach Scott Drew on the sidelines. He had the “I can’t believe this is happening at home” look on his face.
Perry Jones (22 points, 14 rebounds) was far more aggressive than he’d been in some of his efforts, but Baylor couldn’t keep the pressure on the Longhorns and nearly blew one at home. J’Covan Brown scored 32 points (11-for-22), his third consecutive 30-point effort. But he had way more time to create a better shot than the deep 3-ball he took with 14 seconds on the clock. His team was down by three points in the closing seconds, so I understand why he’d take a deep shot, but he didn’t have to shoot it when he did. He had more time on the clock.
Here’s where you have to have more question marks about Baylor, though. The Bears are at home. Texas shot 36 percent from the field in the first half and was 1-for-12 from beyond the arc before halftime. Seemed like an opportunity for Baylor to flex its muscle. But it turned into another lukewarm finish for the Bears.
No. 13 Florida 69, No. 16 Mississippi State 57
The Bulldogs just couldn’t handle Florida’s inside-outside attack. Patric Young (12 points, six rebounds) was solid for the Gators, especially after halftime. Bradley Beal led the Gators’ talented backcourt with 19 points. The nation’s leaders in 3-point field goals hit 11 of them as they won their fifth straight and 17th in a row at home.
Arnett Moultrie was 4-for-10 and scored 12 points for a Bulldogs team that committed 14 turnovers. It was MSU's third SEC road loss of the season. At 5-3 in league play, they’d better find a way to compete away from home. They’re certainly talented, but the Bulldogs have really struggled on the road. Thought this one would have been a closer game, but give the Gators credit. They can spread teams out with their guard play and minimize their size disadvantages, a tactic they used to perfection against the Bulldogs.
No. 1 Kentucky 74, LSU 50
The Wildcats are in Beast Mode right now. They’re just crushing teams. LSU entered this game following a tight road loss at Mississippi State. But the Wildcats are just a different animal. Terrence Jones led all scorers with a season-high 27 points and the Wildcats held LSU to a 1-for-9 clip from the 3-point line. Just two Tigers reached double figures.
Although LSU is only 2-5 in the SEC, you have to wonder how dangerous the Wildcats can be in March when a guy like Jones can explode despite some inconsistency this season. He entered the game averaging 11.6 ppg and he only scored five points against Georgia on Tuesday. But this game was further proof that Kentucky is a “pick your poison” kind of opponent. How do you defend a team with that number of studs? The Wildcats have so many weapons.
Syracuse is deep. Ohio State has balance. But no team in America looks as potent as Kentucky right now.
Some more observations from the afternoon games ...
- It Happened! It Happened! It Happened! Towson wins! The Tigers had set a record with 41 consecutive Division I losses, but on Saturday, a miracle happened when the Tigers beat UNC Wilmington 66-61 despite a 1-for-8 mark from the 3-point line. Marcus Damas scored 18 points. There were shaky moments late -- the Seahawks hit some late 3s after Towson took a 60-53 lead with 1:25 to play -- but the Tigers held on and a justifiable celebration ensued. For reaction from coach Pat Skerry and the Tigers, read Andy Katz's story in the Nation blog.
- Marquette did its normal slow-start/big-finish thing at Villanova, but Dana O'Neil was at the game, so I'll let her tell you more about it.
- Duke nearly squandered a 22-point second-half lead against a young St. John’s team. The Blue Devils' 83-76 victory over the Red Storm was nothing to hang their hats on. The Devils should be disappointed that they gave up a late run that could have cost them the game.
- Middle Tennessee State and Vanderbilt clashed Saturday in a tight game between the two Tennessee schools. MTSU, 20-2 entering the game, has been one of the bigger surprises on the national scene. The Blue Raiders start four transfers who weren’t with the team last season. But their story hit a roadblock in their 84-77 loss at Vanderbilt. The loss snapped Middle's 12-game winning streak and gave Vandy its fourth win in its past five games.
- Is Pitt about to launch a big comeback this season? I’m not sure. But the Panthers have won two in a row after an impressive 72-60 win over No. 10 Georgetown, their fifth win in their last six meetings with the Hoyas. They lost their first eight Big East games, but Lamar Patterson scored a team-high 18 points and Ashton Gibbs added 13 for the Panthers, who have now won an incredible 12 straight home games against top-10 opponents.
- The Mountain West Conference is legit. Proof? No. 12 San Diego State took a tough 77-60 road loss at Colorado State on Saturday, despite Jamaal Franklin’s 24 points. After a brutal travel week in the Rockies, the loss snapped SDSU’s 11-game overall winning streak and its 58-game win streak against unranked foes, which had been the longest such run in the country. Colorado State’s dwindling at-large hopes certainly got a huge boost with this victory, the school's first over a ranked team since 2004.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Brian Johnson and Bryson Smith drove in two runs apiece, Hudson Randall turned in another strong start and Florida defeated Texas 8-4 at the College World Series on Saturday night.
Johnson's two-out double in the seventh broke open a close game. Smith's second RBI single the next inning gave reliever Nick Maronde a four-run cushion going into the ninth.
Randall (11-3) followed up a terrific eight-inning outing in the super regionals against Mississippi State with another 6 2/3 strong innings against the Longhorns, who are in the CWS for a record 34th time.
Randall scattered five hits, walked none and struck out five. Only one of the four runs against him was earned.
No. 2 national seed Florida (51-17) moves to a Bracket 1 winners' game against Vanderbilt on Monday night. Texas (49-18) meets North Carolina in an elimination game that afternoon.
Randall, Greg Larson and Maronde limited Texas to five hits, with Maronde earning his third save with two innings of no-hit relief.
Randall retired 13 straight batters starting in the third inning. Jacob Felts broke through with a two-out single in the seventh, and Jordan Etier followed with a run-scoring double to cut Florida's lead to 5-4 and bring on Larson.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound right-hander caught Tant Shepherd looking at strike three to end the threat.
Taylor Jungmann (13-3), the Milwaukee Brewers' first-round draft pick, had a third straight rough outing for the Longhorns. He went 4 1/3 innings for his shortest start of the season, and four of the five runs against him were earned.
Jungmann, who started the season 13-0, had come into the CWS off losses in his previous two starts. Jungmann allowed two doubles and a single, walked four, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches.
Johnson appeared to be robbed of a home run in the seventh after his two-out hit off Nathan Thornill bounced back onto the field after appearing to strike the railing above the yellow line atop the wall in right center. Umpires kept him at second base after conferring.
After the game, NCAA umpire coordinator Gene McArtor issued a statement acknowledging that the hit should have been ruled a home run.
Smith and Preston Tucker scored on the play, and Smith added an RBI single in the eighth.
The game drew an overflow crowd of 25,521 at the new TD Ameritrade Park, which replaced Rosenblatt Stadium as the CWS host.
Muschamp's annual salary of $2.7 million is triple what he made as defensive coordinator at Texas, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been made public.
Muschamp made $900,000 as Mack Brown's heir apparent at Texas.
For more on the story, click here.
In terms of the national title picture, Boise and TCU are right there. And for the Frogs, they were just a couple of minutes away from likely taking Boise's third spot as it appeared Virginia Tech was going to complete the comeback and beat the Broncos on Monday night.
"We were all watching it," TCU linebacker Tank Carder said. "I was kind of feeling that they [Boise] were going to come back and do it."
A Boise loss would have eliminated the Broncos from any national title possibilities, and perhaps from the BCS picture, while elevating TCU as the lead horse in the race of the non-automatic qualifiers to get back to the BCS and possibly more.
"I had to root for Boise," Patterson said. "They're going to come in the [Mountain West] conference. You had to root for Boise, [even though] they could hurt us. I always believe that things happen for a reason. Things are going to happen for a reason."
Boise finished the job behind quarterback Kellen Moore in the final minutes with a touchdown drive. The Broncos' next big test is in three weeks against now-unranked Oregon State, which dropped its No. 24-ranking after a 30-21 loss to the Frogs Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium. The Broncos have this week off and play at Wyoming in two weeks.
The Frogs get Tennessee Tech for their home-opener on Saturday and will face Baylor at home in two weeks.
"You can't worry about it. All you can do is take care of yourself and play each week and let the chips fall as they may," TCU reciever Bart Johnson said of the rankings. "I wouldn't have been really disappointed if they had lost."
That they didn't only makes the coming weeks that much more intriguing.
TCU has again been selected as one of 10 programs to wear uniquely designed Nike uniforms for at least one game. In fact, both teams could be wearing the uniforms in the opener at Cowboys Stadium since the Beavers were also included the group of 10.
It's not a given either team will break out the new duds then -- although it would make the most sense with the game being televised nationally on ESPN. The dates of those games that the teams will wear the uniforms will be announced at the unveiling of the uniforms Sept. 1 in New York City. TCU twice wore a special Nike Combat uniform last year, debuting it at home against Utah and then again in the Fiesta Bowl. It's not how this season's uniform might differ from last season's.
The other eight schools that will wear the uniforms are: Alabama, Boise State, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Just this week, McCoy received a clean bill of health from world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, proposed to his longtime girlfriend on the very field in which he became a Longhorn football legend (she said yes), hired an agent, began training in Southern California for his professional career, and Thursday morning accepted one final achievement award, the Manning Award, named in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.
During a conference call Thursday, McCoy said that Dr. Andrews termed his injury a "burner," and told him he should regain full strength in his arm in two weeks. McCoy was running on an option play on Texas' opening possession of the BCS National Championship Game at the Alabama 11-yard line when he got tackled and hit on the shoulder. The type of injury he sustained, at first believed to be a pinched nerve, causes temporary loss of feeling in the extremity affected. In McCoy's case it happened to be his golden right arm. He exited the game and, despite efforts to regain feeling in his throwing arm, McCoy couldn't muster enough arm strength to accurately toss a football to his dad in the locker room.
"If the rest of my body was numb and my right arm was healthy, I would have been out there," McCoy said. "There was no way. I did everything I could to get back out there."
After the game, McCoy described his arm as feeling like a "noodle." On Thursday, he said he could raise his arm up over his shoulder by the start of the second half, but that he didn't have the strength or control needed to throw a football. He said the doctors that examined him in the locker room suggested he shower and change into his clothes before heading back to the sideline to watch the remainder of the game.
McCoy scoffed at that suggestion and returned to the sideline in full uniform and pads, just in case his arm somehow came to life.
"I would have done anything in the world to be out there and play on that stage for the last game of my senior year, something I worked for for my whole career," McCoy said. "That is something I will question, why it had to happen, for the rest of my life."
McCoy said he was down in the dumps in the days immediately following the game. But a phone call placed to Texas coach Mack Brown helped to cheer him up and refocus on what's ahead.
"President Obama called Coach Brown and told him to tell me he was sorry for me, hopes my shoulder gets better and he can't wait to watch me play in the NFL," McCoy said. "I think of all people, that actually was pretty neat, it kind of lifted my spirits."
McCoy said with each day of rehab he sees noticeable improvement, and he expects to be completely healthy before the NFL Scouting Combine in February in Indianapolis. McCoy is under the representation of NFL player agent David Dunn of Athletes First, based in Irvine, Calif. McCoy will remain in Orange County, not far from where the Longhorns prepared for the BCS title game, to train.
"My main focus is my shoulder right now, but I certainly expect to go and do things at the Combine," McCoy said. "I haven't thought that far ahead yet, but I would certainly expect to be down there and go through the Combine."
Some NFL draft experts contend that McCoy's draft stock took a blow because he was unable to perform against a top-rated Alabama defense after his subpar outing against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game. Of course, the week prior, McCoy executed an epic performance at Texas A&M with 479 total yards (304 passing) and five touchdowns.
Projected to be selected anywhere from the second round to fourth round, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound McCoy said he's unsure of where he fits in the draft order. It is a deep and interesting draft class of quarterbacks, including Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Tim Tebow (Florida), Jake Locker (Washington), Tony Pike (Cincinnati) and Jevan Snead (Mississippi), among others.
"That's not something I can think about or even hazard an educated guess about right now," McCoy said. "I'm focusing on the task ahead of me, which involves getting both physically and mentally prepared to play in the NFL and getting mentally and physically prepared to have a long and successful career. That's my focus right now. I can't even really give you an educated guess about that.
"I know the quarterback that I am. I know how hard I'm going to work. I know how hard I'm going to prepare and I know what I've done the last four years and that's very special to me. I absolutely expect my shoulder to be 100 percent, ready to go, and I'll be fine."
McCoy, from tiny Tuscola, succeeded Vince Young and went on to start four seasons for the Longhorns. He left with an NCAA-record 45 victories. He threw for 13,253 career yards and 112 touchdowns while completing a remarkable 70.3 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 1,571 yards and 20 touchdowns.
With little rushing game to speak of the past two seasons, McCoy guided Texas to a 25-2 record while throwing for 7,380 yards. He connected on 61 touchdowns with 20 interceptions.
Who knows what might have happened one week ago at the Rose Bowl had McCoy not been injured.
That lingering thought has made finding closure to his collegiate career difficult. But McCoy, 23, boasting a degree in sport management, a new fiancee and the next phase of his football career in his future, has made peace with his past.
"To be able to be in a national championship, the ups and downs of a season is long and hard and we were there. We made it," McCoy said. "For it to be taken away like that, obviously, for me, it's very, very tough. Hard to handle, hard to deal with.
"But, at the same time, I've moved on. I know the best football of my career hasn't even started yet."
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