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09/18/2020   Seattle PI Huskies

Baylor's season opener against Houston, scheduled less than a week ago, was one of two Bowl Subdivision games postponed Friday — the day before before they were supposed to play.

Florida Atlantic's opener against Georgia Southern was postponed earlier in the day, following the results of FAU's COVID-19 testing Thursday. In both cases, the schools involved said they would try to find make-up dates.

The postponements illustrate the uncertainty surrounding college sports. The number of FBS games postponed or canceled because of COVID-19 issues since Aug. 26 is 16 and the pandemic's impact is being felt in other sports; one of college basketball's premier tournaments is moving from Hawaii to North Carolina and the NCAA delayed the start of the basketball season to Nov. 25.

Athletes are scrambling too: Minnesota star receiver Rashod Bateman has re-joined his team after opting out of the season, and hopes to be able to play when the Big Ten starts in late October. A similar return played out earlier this week at Ohio State.

The Pac-12 could be next to get back in the game. The conference's university presidents met Friday. A statement from the league said the CEO Group had “an informative and productive meeting."

“We plan to reconvene this coming Thursday, Sept. 24 to make a decision regarding possible return to play prior to January 1,” the group said in a statement. "The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports will continue to be our number one priority in all of our decision making.”

In putting off its opener, Baylor said it was unable to meet COVID-19 roster thresholds set by the Big 12. The school did not provide specifics on the players or positions affected by the coronavirus or the number of players who were quarantined due to contact tracing; on Monday, it...

09/14/2020   Seattle PI Huskies

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Maybe the Big 12 Conference should have followed the lead of the Big Ten and Pac-12 and opted out of playing college football this fall.

Or at least opted out of scheduling the Sun Belt.

The lower-tier conference went 3-0 against the Power Five league over the weekend, a stunning performance highlighted by Louisiana-Lafayette's romp over then-No. 23 Iowa State. Arkansas State also won at Kansas State and Coastal Carolina went to Kansas and outclassed the Jayhawks in what may have been the best day in the history of the league.

“You saw today what the Sun Belt is. We didn't want to let the Sun Belt down,” Chanticleers coach Jamey Caldwell said after their 38-23 win over the Jayhawks, a game that ended just after midnight and capped the upset-filled Saturday.

“Just proud of the effort,” Caldwell said, “and hopefully the people back on the East Coast and in Conway were up to see it.”

If not, they certainly took note of it Sunday.

That's when the latest AP Top 25 was released with schools from the Big Ten and Pac-12 and elsewhere that are not playing this fall ineligible for the ranking. That opened the door for voters to select 10 newcomers for the poll. Louisiana-Lafayette landed at No. 19 with Sun Belt member Appalachian State tied with Kentucky at No. 23 following its win over Charlotte.

Arkansas State received the sixth-most votes of schools that are just outside the Top 25.

“It's a great win but I hope not,” Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson said, when asked whether the last-minute win over the Wildcats was a program-defining one. “I hope there's a way bigger and better win ahead of us. Not by any means satisfied. Excited and very proud, but by no means is this the best we can do. We still got a lot better football to be...

09/13/2020   Seattle PI Huskies

Big 12 teams posted the top three passing totals of the weekend in the Football Bowl Subdivision, highlighted by Spencer Rattler's sensational debut and Sam Ehlinger's career night.

Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech were the only FBS teams with over 400 yards through the air. They combined for 1,395, completing 97 of 129 attempts (75%) with 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

OU's Rattler hit on 14 of 17 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns in just two quarters against FCS Missouri State. Top backup Tanner Mordecai also was 14 for 17, and the Sooners finished 30 of 36 for 484 yards with five TDs and an interception in the 48-0 win.

Texas' Ehlinger was 25 of 33 for 426 yards and five touchdowns, both career highs, in a 59-3 win over UTEP. His passing total ranked No. 3 in program history and his five TDs tied for second most. The Longhorns played two other QBs and ended up 29 of 41 for a school-record 481 yards and seven TDs.

Texas Tech's Alan Bowman was 38 of 52 for 430 yards with two TDs and an interception against FCS Houston Baptist.

The Red Raiders hung on to win 35-33, but Bowman was overshadowed by Houston Baptist's Bailey Zappe. The Huskies' fourth-year starter threw for 567 yards and four touchdowns in his team's first game against a Power Five opponent. Last week, Zappe threw for 480 yards and three TDs in a loss to North Texas.

STILL THE KING

Miami's D’Eriq King extended his FBS record streak of at least one rushing touchdown and one passing TD to 16 games. The fifth-year senior passed for 141 yards and a touchdown and ran for a team-leading 83 and a score in a 31-14 win over UAB, his first start since transferring from Houston.

RUSHING LEADER

UTSA's Sincere McCormick is the national rushing leader after breaking his school record with 197 yards on...

09/12/2020   Seattle PI Huskies

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Alan Bowman threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns and Texas Tech stopped FCS team Houston Baptist on a 2-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter, hanging on for a 35-33 victory Saturday night.

SaRodorick Thompson ran for two scores in the opener of the pandemic-shortened season for the Red Raiders in front of a socially distanced crowd of 11,157, about 18% of the capacity of 60,454 at AT&T Jones Stadium.

Bailey Zappe threw for 567 yards and four touchdowns in the first game for Houston Baptist (0-2) against a Power 5 opponent a week after finishing with 480 yards passing and three scores in a 57-31 loss to North Texas.

Zappe's final TD pass to Jerreth Sterns pulled the Huskies within two with 3:23 remaining, but his pass to Ben Ratzlaff along the sideline on the 2-point play was wide and high. The Red Raiders then ran out the clock.

“We had the right play call,” Zappe said. “It’s just on us players to execute. If I put a better ball on Ben on that 2-point conversion, we get it. It’s not on anybody but me.”

Josh Sterns had 209 yards receiving and two touchdowns, including a 75-yarder to get Houston Baptist within eight early in the fourth quarter. Jerreth Sterns had 12 catches for 130 yards, and Ratzlaff had 105 yards.

The Huskies set up their chance to tie by stopping Bowman on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 from the Houston Baptist 4-yard line. Coach Matt Wells decided against a short field goal that would have put Texas Tech up 11.

“If you don’t get it, they’ve got to go (96) yards,” Wells said. “They obviously did. I get that. When you don’t get it, you’re going to get second-guessed.”

Bowman spread the ball around, with five receivers getting at least four catches and 46 yards. KeSean...

09/07/2020   Seattle PI Huskies

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Robertson, who called Washington State football for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 91.

Washington State said Robertson died Sunday at his home.

Robertson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 when he received the Chris Schenkel Award.

“Today is a sad day for Cougs all over the world,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement. “Bob Robertson is an iconic figure in the history of Cougar athletics and sports radio broadcasting. His ability to vividly paint a picture of our football and basketball games brought generations of Cougs together for over half a century. We are thankful for his impact on WSU.”

Robertson served as the lead broadcaster for Washington State football from 1964-2011 — except for three years between 1969 and 1971 — before moving into an analyst role. He retired midway through the 2018 season.

Known for his traditional sign off, “Always be a good sport, be a good sport all ways,” Robertson brought a simple style to the broadcasts of Cougar football. When he announced his retirement Robertson said, “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s been great to be with you Cougars at your meetings and get-togethers, and I hope we can do it again and I’m sure we will.”

Robertson was a 12-time Washington state sportscaster of the year and was the first broadcaster west of the Mississippi to be inducted into the Hall’s broadcaster division. He was behind the microphone for 589 Washington State football games.

Robertson also called Washington State basketball for 23 years, along with Pacific Coast League baseball and professional soccer in Seattle, Tacoma, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. He also broadcast Notre Dame...