NCAA

Bowl eligibility on the line for SJSU this weekend

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Bowl eligibility on the line for SJSU this weekend

If there were one game on SJSUs schedule it could write off as a win at the beginning of the the season, it would be this weekends game on the road against Idaho. As recent events would suggest, a win for the Spartans is looking even more likely.About 10 days ago, the Idaho football program fired its head coach, Robb Akey, in part due to the teams 1-7 record this season. Offensive coordinator Jason Gesser was named interim head coach upon Akeys firing. Then on Monday, the team dismissed its starting quarterback, Dominique Blackman, and linebacker Conrad Scheidt from the squad for violating team rules.Regardless of whatever particular state of shambles the Idaho football program may be in, SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre said the team must focus on its own game and only that.We have to be ready for an intense game, he said. But the main things we have to do is take care of ourselves, being intensely ready and prepare like we have been. How we prepare and how we are focused throughout the week will make the difference on Saturday.MacIntyre said he was planning on addressing a somewhat similar situation to Idahos that played out in the struggling programs favor. Last season, UCLA hosted Arizona State while many Bruins supporters called for the removal of head coach Rick Neuheisel after a string of losses averaging deficits of 30 points. UCLA defeated favored Arizona State that night 29-28, despite its off-the-field troubles.That sort of bottled-up fire is what MacIntyre is expecting from the Vandals this Saturday at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.We have to take care of ourselves and not worry about them but we do have to understand that theyre going to come riled up and ready to go, he said.SJSU is also just one win shy of bowl eligibility and has to think there is no better shot at locking in that seventh win than this weekend SJSUs win over UTSA did not qualify toward bowl eligibility. MacIntyre, though, said no discussion of a possible bowl situation has been had between he and his coaches or the players.Truthfully, we havent talked about the bowl one time and we wont, MacIntyre said. Were going to take the game one play at a time, one quarter at a time, one game at a time and that is not cliche, that is the truth.Idaho senior quarterback Logan Bushnell will get the start Saturday over junior Taylor Davis, who helped beat the Spartans last season with 162 passing yards and a go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown pass the final lead change of the 32-29 Idaho win. Bushnell will be sent in to lead a Vandals offense that ranks 123rd in the nation in scoring averaging 16 points per game.Both their quarterbacks can throw well theyre not guys that just got off the bus, MacIntyre said. I think they can make plays. What theyve done with their quarterbacks in the past, looking at these guys, they can do exactly what (Blackman) was doing. I dont see it being that drastic of a change.Nationally, Idaho ranks 62nd in passing yards, 120th in points against, and 122nd in rushing yards per game. Nonetheless, MacIntyre believes Idaho is more than capable of beating the Spartans and used last years defeat as a prime example.Our kids remembers getting beat in Idaho a couple years ago and losing the heartbreaker last year, he said. Idaho is a good football team and they definitely think they can beat us and we know they can. So that will help fuel our guys this weekend to prepare to play.So the Spartans have two items on their agenda: Avenge last seasons loss to Idaho and capture that all-important seventh win to advance their hopes of a possible postseason bowl. A win would accomplish both goals.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.