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San Diego blows away the opposition in Wyoming State

In a stunning 27 to 10 upset, the struggling San Diego team pulled out a hard win against the top ranked Wyoming State University. The game was a rout, starting with a disappointing fumble by University of Wyoming, and ending with completely scoreless third and fourth quarters.

This is only San Diego’s third win so far in the season, so this isn’t going to change the outcome of their season by very much. However, the upset is the game that will keep Wyoming State out of the playoffs this year.

“It’s been a long season so far,” Scott Thomas, head coach for San Diego said, “It’s hard for a team with this many sophomore players to get it together but they’re starting to get it together.”

sd vs wyAlthough it’s not completely unheard of for a team to be as young as San Diego, it is unusual to have so many younger players in starting roles. If Thomas is right and this game is a sign of things to come for San Diego, this bodes well for their chances next year and the year after.

When asked about Wyoming, Thomas stated, “They’re a great team. The way they were playing out there, though, it was almost like they expected us to go down easily, and were surprised that we fought back.”

Wyoming was subdued after the game, as losing their chance at a playoff spot was not the expected outcome of a game against the ailing San Diego team.

“San Diego played a surprisingly strong game,” said University of Wyoming head coach Glen Torrance. “We weren’t expecting their offense to run the ball as well as they did.”

To the credit of U of Wyoming and Glen Torrance, however, they didn’t go into the game last Saturday in the best shape. The Wyoming team has been plagued with injuries this season. Since last week, starting safety Martin Nash has been out with a dislocated shoulder, and wide receiver Lars Pearson has been out with a sprained wrist. This is on top of the other injuries that the team has sustained in the past month.

Looking forward, San Diego has another tough game coming up against Fresno. Although Thomas is confident that the team has turned a corner in the strength of their playing, just how much of a change they’ve made since the first half of the season waits to be seen.

Wyoming State goes on the road next week to play Boise State. Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a match-up that doesn’t cause them much concern. However, considering their performance last Saturday, they should be careful not to get too complacent.

Southern Oregon University signs Kevin Jefferies as coach

Kevin Jefferies has been signed on at Southern Oregon to finish out this season at the head of the ailing Hawks. This choice comes as no surprise after the mid-season exit by former head coach Brian Milliner.

The Southern Oregon Red-Tailed Hawks were off to a rocky start this season, losing every game since their season opener for a 1-6 record. Although plagued with injuries, the poor showing against other teams in the region led to considerable chatter about Milliner’s job security. However, Milliner left the team yesterday to care for his ailing wife.

“I’ve been watching the Hawks play and they have a lot of heart,” Jefferies said of his new responsibility. “It’s just time to change direction.”

Jefferies is definitely the coach to turn the Hawks around. Although this will be his first position as a head coach for a college team, he led the La Grande high school team to three straight state championships before taking a position as assistant coach for the University of Oregon.

In his previous positions, Jefferies gained a reputation for being a solid, quiet coach. When asked about his coaching style, he answered, “I’ve never been excited by coaches who make spectacles of themselves on the sideline. We’re there to support the guys on the field.”

Jefferies has his work cut out for him, however. Starting quarterback James Williamson is out with a sprained shoulder and star running back Bradley McManus is sitting out the rest of the season with a broken ankle.

When asked about the Wolves’ prospects, Jefferies said, “It’s not going to be easy, but I believe this team can turn the season around.” Just how much of a turnaround they can manage this year remains to be seen.

Jefferies declined to talk about the team’s prospects for next year, saying that he’d rather focus on the work at hand. “But I’ll be looking to strengthen the team going forward.”

For now, the Wolves have to get ready for their next game against Eastern Iowa (7-0), a challenging prospect under even the best conditions. Eastern Iowa has been tearing up the division and the standings, and has shown no sign of slowing down. Even worse for the Wolves, they haven’t had a win against Eastern Iowa in the past decade.

Despite this, Jefferies was confident in his new team. “I know these guys are fighters,” he said, “So they’ll give their all. The way I see it, Eastern Iowa is about due for an upset, and we plan on being the team to hand it to them.”

Joshua Tremont’s NFL Dreams Come to an End

Ever since he was four years old, Joshua Tremont wanted to play in the NFL. After last week’s concussion, however, he’s scrambling to find another dream.

The injury occurred during the last thirty seconds of the first quarter in Saturday’s game against UCLA. Tremont caught a forty-yard pass for the first down, but was tackled by both Elijah Berry and Chris Suderberg and knocked unconscious. After an initial check on the field, Tremont was carried off-field on a stretcher.

Teammate Sam English said, “It was a bad hit. I could tell as soon as they [Berry and Suderberg] got up that it was serious.”

The seriousness of Tremont’s injury initially rattled the BYU team, and UCLA scored two touchdowns before the end of the first half. However, BYU rallied during the second half and managed to win 24 – 17.

The full extent of the concussion is yet to be determined, but Tremont is out for the season. As a senior, this was his last year to make an impression before the NFL draft next spring. There has also been talk of him hanging up his cleats for good.

“It’s hard,” he said, “But at the end of the day, I’d rather give up football than risk making it even worse.”

Tremont would not be the first college player to end his career after a concussion. With the increasing focus on traumatic brain injury in both college football and the NFL, more attention is paid to the potential long-term health effects of repeated concussions.

The team is also suffering from the injury. Tremont’s receiving was a key part of the BYU offensive line. So far in the season, he’d already received for 200 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s like a wizard out there,” said quarterback Randy Crabtree. “I don’t know how he manages it, but there’s almost never a play when I can’t see him out there, open.”

Other teammates were also sad to lose Tremont’s power on the team. Many cited his intense presence on the field and his ability to catch almost any pass.

“I’m not going to deny all that,” English said, “But it’s also hard not to have him on the field because he’s always so intense and in the moment. It’s hard to lose focus when someone like that is nearby.”

Tremont’s injury comes after several other severe injuries on the team, as tight end Palmer Brown and cornerback Andrew McUlney are both out for the season with severe sprains.

This is reminiscent of three years ago, when the BYU team lost both their starting and second string quarterbacks to shoulder injuries within a week of each other. That season was one of the team’s worst on record (2-10), and they are hoping not to repeat that showing.

According to coach Mike Shaperton, “The problem with 2011 was that we fell apart once we lost those players. This year, we’ve been working hard on keeping it together even when we’re  missing guys we counted on having on the field.”

Although spirits were dampened by the news that Tremont will not be back, the prevailing feeling of Tremont’s teammates was to take this as a challenge.

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