UC(LA Bowl) Bound

INGLEWOOD, CA- Staying close to home for the Holidays, the UCLA Bruins will face the Boise State Broncos in the LA Bowl on Saturday,  December 16 at SoFi Stadium. Finishing at a mark of (7-5), it was a roller coaster season for the UCLA Bruins and their head coach Chip Kelly.

These two teams do not have a large history together. In fact, they’ve only played each other once ever, in 1999. UCLA came out victorious in that game, 38-7. The Bruins have the opportunity to finish out the 2023 campaign on a winning note  prior to moving to the Big 10 Conference next year. 

 NFL legend and charming party boy Rob Gronkowski will be hosting the Bowl game. Gronk is always the life of the party, so his presence combined with his love for the game of football and his inate ability to leave  the fans happy makes him a great host. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 11: UCLA Bruins quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) looks to throw the ball during a college football game between the UCLA Bruins against the USC Trojans on November 11, 2023, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

Starco Brands LA Bowl Hosted By Gronk is an annual collegiate features the Mountain West’s No. 1 selection versus the Pac-12’s No. 5 selection. 

In addition to the matchup, Starco Brands LA Bowl Hosted By Gronk hosts a series of events for the teams, their families, fans and locals in the week leading up to the game, as well as year-round activities that engage the local community. 

The evening before game day, American Airlines Plaza hosts the Pep Rally with each school’s cheer team, mascots and a battle of the bands. Fans and students can attend, show their school spirit, and participate in games and activities. The Pep Rally is free and open to the public.

The Fan Fest begins on gameday and is free for ticketed guests. American Airlines Plaza will be transformed into an exciting pregame tailgate atmosphere and will feature music, food trucks, photo opportunities, both teams’ cheerleaders and bands, plus much more to rally fans before kickoff.

UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly (Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News)

UCLA dropped three of their final four games, although the Bruins crushed Crosstown rival USC 38-20 at the Coliseum. Head Coach Chip Kelly was on the hot seat, many people believing his days in Westwood had come to an end.

However, UCLA decided to retain Kelly for next season. It will be his seventh year leading the Bruins as Defensive Coordinator D’Anton Lynn is departing to take the same position at  USC. 

Boise State (8-5) had a great second half of the season. Ending the season on a four-game win streak — including a 44-20 thumping of UNLV in the Mountain West Championship Game. 

If the Bruins are to win this contest, it’ll have to slow down the Broncos’ potent rushing attack featuring quarterback Taylen Green, thumper George Holani, and stud running back Ashton Jeanty. 

Tune into the LA Bowl on Saturday, December 16 live from the immaculate SoFi Stadium. Kickoff is slated at 4:30 PM, and will air on ABC. 

Daniels, Harrison Jr, Nix, Penix Jr named 2023 Heisman Finalists

NEW YORK (December 4, 2023) – LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. were named finalists for the 89th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy tonight (Dec. 4), announced live on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown.

The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner will be announced during the televised Heisman Trophy Ceremony Presented by Nissan that will air Saturday (Dec. 9) at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Top 10 finishers will be featured on The Top 10 Heisman Trophy Reveal Show Presented by Nissan on Friday (Dec. 8) at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

This is the fifth year in a row there have been four Heisman finalists. The Heisman Trophy Trust announced in 2021 it will officially invite four finalists annually to New York City for the Heisman Trophy weekend. The Heisman Trophy Trust began officially inviting finalists to New York City in 1982.

Daniels, Nix and Penix Jr. are all also finalists for the Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Davey O’Brien Awards while Harrison is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

Daniels, a senior quarterback from San Bernardino, Calif., has completed 236-of-327 passes for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns with just four interceptions while also rushing for 1,134 yards and another 10 scores. A five-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week this season, he leads the nation in total offense(4,946), TDs responsible for (50), passer rating (208.0, currently above the NCAA record), yards per pass attempt (11.7) and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,134) while his 40 TD passes are tied for first. He became the first player in FBS history to rush for 200 yards and pass for 350 yards in a game when he did it against Florida on Nov. 11, collecting 372 yards through the air and 234 on the ground. The 606 total yards broke the SEC record. Daniels, the 2023 Johnny Unitas Award winner, became the fifth player in SEC history to reach the 50 touchdown mark in TDs responsible for. He also joined Heisman winner Johnny Manziel as the only other player in SEC history to pass for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season and is the eighth player to do it overall.

Harrison Jr., a junior from Philadelphia, Penn., and a semifinalist for the Maxwell and Walter Camp Player of the Year Awards, finished the regular season with 67 receptions for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 18.1 yards per catch, the highest mark nationally among players with at least 60 receptions. His 14 touchdown receptions are tied for second in the nation while his 100.9 receiving yards per game are ninth. Harrison Jr. became the first Ohio State receiver with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in school history and had eight 100-yard receiving games this year. He had at least one touchdown catch in all but two games in 2023 and also rushed for two scores. Harrison Jr. was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week and the Maxwell Award Player of the Week after his 11-catch, 162-yard performance against No. 7 Penn State, which included the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. (Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

Nix, a senior from Pinson, Ala., completed  336-of-435 passes for 4,145 yards while throwing 40 touchdowns and just three interceptions, leading the Ducks to an 11-2 season and a trip to the Pac-12 title game. His completion percentage of 77.2 leads the country (and is just off the NCAA record of 77.4), his 40 TD passes co-lead the nation and his passing yards, passing yards per game (318.8) and passer rating (186.24) are second nationally. Nix’s 4,373 total yards are also second nationally, which includes 228 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. His 336 completions broke 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota’s Oregon program season record. He was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week four times this season. Nix threw at least two TD passes in each game in 2023 and passed for over 350 yards five times. He was also named the 2023 Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year thanks to his 3.91 GPA as a graduate student in communications.

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) rolls out of the pocket in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

Penix Jr., a senior from Tampa, Fla., completed 307-of-466 passes for a nation-leading 4,218 yards with 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions while he also rushed for three scores. He led Washington to a 13-0 season, a Pac-12 Championship and trip to the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed. Penix Jr. opened the season by throwing for over 400 yards in his first three games, including a career-high 473 at Michigan State (the third-highest total in Husky history), and finished the season with nine games of at least 300 yards passing. Penix Jr., who threw three or more TD passes six times, leads the country in passing yards per game (324.5), is tied for third with 33 touchdown passes, is third in total offense (4200) and is fifth in completions (307). He was eighth in the 2022 Heisman voting.

Daniels is LSU’s third Heisman finalist and first since winner Joe Burrow in 2019. Harrison Jr. is Ohio State’s 10th finalist — the third most ever — and the Buckeyes’ first since C.J. Stroud in 2022. Nix is Oregon’s fourth finalist and its first since winner Marcus Mariota in 2014. Penix Jr. is Washington’s second finalist and first since Steve Emtman in 1991.

If Daniels were to win, he would be LSU’s third Heisman winner and first since Burrow. If Harrison Jr. were to win, he would be Ohio State’s eighth winner and first since Troy Smith in 2006. If Nix were to win, it would be Oregon’s second winner, joining Mariota. Penix Jr. would be Washington’s first winner.

There have now been 175 players invited to New York as Heisman finalists since the practice was first instituted in 1982.

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) the 2022 Heisman Trophy Winner. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

The 2023 Heisman Trophy ballots went out to 928 electors, which includes 870 members of the media, 57 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote presented by Nissan, premier partner of the Heisman Trophy. All ballots were submitted electronically to the independent accountants at Deloitte.

Michigan’s Dominance Prevails Over Iowa in Big Ten Championship Rematch

Big Ten Championship Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Michigan Wolverines at Lucas Oil Stadium on ,December 02, 2023. (photo by Andre Hollis / fi360 News)

Indianapolis, lN- #2 Michigan Wolverines showcased pure dominance, defeating #16 Iowa Hawkeyes in a thrilling rematch of 2021 to secure their 3rd consecutive Big Ten title.

The Iowa defense, true to its advertised prowess, stood its ground against the #2 Wolverines. Demonstrating remarkable resilience, the Hawkeyes managed to sack JJ McCarthy three times while conceding only one third-down conversion throughout the entire first half.

Hawkeyes’ signal caller Deacon Hill faced a challenging outing, managing just 120 yards on 18-32 passing. The relentless pressure resulted in three sacks and four fumbles for the offense.

Semaj Morgan setting up a touchdown on his big punt return during Big Ten Championship Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Michigan Wolverines at Lucas Oil Stadium on, December 02, 2023. (photo by Andre Hollis / fi360 News

“Glorious defensive performance. Just tremendous, lights-out. Three and outs, I think we’re maybe four on the game. Then one first down and out. Incredible shut-out. How many turnovers were there? Three or four — three plus the four fourth-down stops. That’s, like, seven turnovers. And giving the ball to the offense in great position.” – Jim Harbaugh

Tight End (87) Addison Ostrenga led Iowa with 7 catches for 50 yards. Following closely behind was teammate Kaleb Brown (3), who contributed 5 catches for 34 yards.

In a game marked by offensive challenges, the Wolverines found a crucial momentum shift in a game-changing 87-yard punt return by Semaj Morgan.

Despite initial struggles, running back Blake Corum emerged as a key force, carrying the ball 16 times for 52 yards and securing two touchdowns, thereby tying the all-time scoring record held by Anthony Thomas.

Big Ten Championship Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Michigan Wolverines at Lucas Oil Stadium on ,December 02, 2023. (photo by Andre Hollis / fi360 News)

“Tying the record feels amazing, standing among the greats. Coming here, I aimed to be more than just a football player—I wanted to leave a lasting impact on and off the field, striving to be a great person. I believe I’ve achieved that goal.”

Notably, wide receiver Cornelius Johnson stood out among his peers, tallying 9 catches for 64 yards. The Wolverines’ performance, characterized by key plays and standout individual efforts, ultimately shaped a dynamic and impactful game.

Big Ten Championship Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Michigan Wolverines at Lucas Oil Stadium on, December 02, 2023. (photo by Andre Hollis / fi360 News)

Iowa’s turnovers, leading to Michigan’s red zone opportunities, proved costly as they turned into crucial points for Michigan. Despite quarterback JJ McCarthy not throwing a touchdown pass, his efficiency was evident, completing 22 out of 30 passes for 147 yards.

Undefeated at 13-0 and securing their third consecutive Big Ten championship, Michigan is set to enter the CFP, eagerly anticipating the announcement of their opponent.

Despite a 10-3 record, Iowa’s loss dashed any hopes of a college football playoff berth. However, determined to conclude the season on a high note, the Hawkeyes, still bowl eligible, aim for a victorious season finale.

Washington holds on late to win the PAC-12 championship over Oregon, 34-31

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01: Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) celebrates after a first down to win the game during the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Oregon Ducks and the Washington Huskies on December 1, 2023 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

Las Vegas, NV- The possible final Pac-12 championship is in the books as Washington takes down Oregon, 34-31.

In an instant classic, Washington was able to hold on to pick up the victory and possibly secure a spot in the College Football Playoffs.

The Huskies dominated the first quarter jumping out to a 10-0 lead and out gaining the Ducks 117-9 in the quarter. Dillon Johnson scored the first touchdown of the game with his five-yard touchdown run.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 01: \Washington Huskies running back Dillon Johnson (7) runs the ball for a gainduring the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Oregon Ducks and the Washington Huskies on December 1, 2023 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

A Johnson four-yard touchdown pass to receiver Germie Bernard put Washington up 17-3 in the second quarter.

Oregon was able to put their first touchdown on the board prior to the end of the half when Oregon quarterback Bo Nix threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Terrance Ferguson. That late first half score kept the game from getting out of hand cutting the lead to 10 for the Huskies who led 20-10 at the half.

The third quarter belonged to Oregon who dominated and took the lead. Nix found Ferguson once again in the end zone and a six-yard touchdown run by running back Jordan James put the Ducks up, 24-20.

After being totally outplayed in the third quarter, Washington struck back when Johnson found the end zone once again. Johnson should have been voted MVP with his performance as he finished the game with 28 rushes for 158 and three scores.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 01: Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) looks to throw the ball during the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Oregon Ducks and the Washington Huskies on December 1, 2023 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who was named the game’s MVP made plays throughout and his 4th quarter touchdown pass to tight end Quentin Moore looked like the dagger putting the Huskies up 34-24 late in the fourth.

“The love and trust we have on our team is unmatched,” said Penix Jr. “We’ve been doing it each and every week. We’re not going to say we want those games to be close.”

It looked like game, set and match but Oregon had one more big play in them. With 2:14 remaining, Nix found receiver Traeshon Holden for a 64-yard touchdown to get the Ducks within three, 34-31.

The Ducks defense had three timeouts but couldn’t stop the Huskies from picking up a couple first downs to ice the game.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 01:Washington Huskies run out before the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Oregon Ducks and the Washington Huskies on December 1, 2023 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

“That one hurts,” Ducks coach Dan Lanning said. “In a four-quarter fight, you can’t start out slow against a really good team.”

Washington (13-0) finishes as the last undefeated Pac-12 team.

“Wow,” said Washington coach Kalen DeBoer. “We did it at home. We did it on the road. We did it in wind. We did it in rain. A deep, deep, deep belief in our football team right now that when the moments get tough, we can really hone in, guys will do their job and not get overwhelmed.”

USC’s Boogie Ellis had a career night in their win against Eastern Washington

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA- Behind a stellar night from their 5th-year senior Boogie Ellis, the USC Trojans (6-2) were victorious in their win over the visiting Eastern Washington Eagles (1-7) 106-78.

Boogie Ellis was flat-out phenomenal, hitting nine out of 13 field goals, including an impressive eight of 10 from behind the arc, for a total of 28 points.

The eight three-pointers marked a new career high for the guard, eclipsing his last

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

performance here at the Galen Center, where he tied his previous record with six threes against Brown University.

Ellis’s terrific shooting display was no surprise to head coach Andy Enfield. “He’s one of the greatest shooters I ever coached. I was in the NBA before college so that says a lot.”

The Trojans asserted their dominance right from the tipoff, maintaining control throughout the game. In the first half, they exhibited a strong offensive performance with 58% shooting from the floor, successfully making 18 out of 31 attempts. Their three-point shooting was equally impressive, connecting on 7 out of 15 shots, registering a 46% success rate.

Ellis Led the charge for the Trojans in the first half, making five out of 6 three-point shots and putting up 19 points.

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

The Eastern Washington Eagles also demonstrated a solid shooting performance in the first half, shooting 43% by connecting on 14 out of 32 attempts from the field. Their three-point shooting was noteworthy as well, hitting 38% by making 5 out of 13 attempts.

The Trojans led52-33at the end of the first half.

The second half began with an impressive 14-4 run by USC, extending their largest of the game at 32 points.

Ellis continued his onslaught, raining in three more attempts from deep. Isaiah Collier came alive after a two-point first half and finished with 15 points and six assists. Kobe Johnson also had a career night dishing out seven assists to go along with his 12 points.

Kobe Johnson spoke on his development and growth as a player. “Expanding my game and getting everyone involved is another step that I need to take. Freshman year, I was a defender primarily, last year I started to open people’s eyes to what I could do offensively, this year people are starting to realize the type of player I am and what I am capable of”. 

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

USC’s outstanding shooting carried over from the first half, they finished with almost identical percentages as the first half. The Trojans made 18 of 32 from field goal range shooting 56% and nailed five out of nine attempts from deep, for 55%.

USC would finish the game shooting 57% from the field making 36-63 field goals and 50% from behind the arc connecting on 12-24 attempts.

The Trojans scored 100 points for the first time since March of 2018 against UNC Asheville.

Eastern Washington shot 46% in the second half, managing to make 14-30 from the field, and shot 40% from the three-point line making eight out of 20 attempts

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

Former UCLA Bruin, Jake Kyman led the way for the Eagles with 25 points shooting nine out of 13 from field goal range and shooting 70% from long distance making seven out of 10 attempts.

The Trojans prepare to head to Las Vegas to take on the #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Legends of Basketball Las Vegas Invitational at MGM Grand Garden Arena in what should be a primetime matchup on ESPN.


Coach Prime takes in the field prior to Nebraska at Colorado at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO on Saturday September 9, 2023. Colorado won 36 to 14. (Photo by Laura Domingue/fi360 News).



Three-Time Sportsperson Honoree LeBron James, Football Hall Of Famer Jerry Rice, And More Pay Tribute To Sanders In Series Of Essays

The University Of Colorado Head Football Coach To Be Celebrated In Boulder, Co. at Star-Studded Event On December 6, Alongside Season Two World Premiere Screening of The Prime Video Hit Series “Coach Prime”

The Sportsperson Of The Year Issue Is On Pre-Sale Now And Newsstands December 14

New York, NY – November 30, 2023 – Today, Sports Illustrated (SI) revealed Deion Sanders, the University of Colorado Buffaloes head football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer, as the 2023 Sportsperson of the Year. Sanders’s blend of unparalleled athletic accomplishments and transformative impact on the football program, school, and community of Boulder transcends sports and ripples throughout the culture.

Over the past year, “Coach Prime” rebuilt Colorado, turning a team that won one game in 2022 into one of the country’s most popular programs and biggest audience draws. Online team store sales have skyrocketed, and every home game at Folsom Field saw a sold-out crowd for the first time in school history, boasting record-setting viewership. Off the field, the Prime Effect was felt in the Colorado admissions office—first-year, Black, and nonresident applications have all surged at the school—and in the Boulder community, where football success has sparked an economic boom for local businesses. 

The strides made in Boulder alone don’t fully explain why Sanders is SI’s 2023 Sportsperson of the Year. According to SI senior writer Pat Forde, his use of the transfer portal, his recruiting prowess and his embrace of NIL opportunities for his players are all changing the paradigm of what it takes to build a national-profile college football program. The Sanders journey is just beginning to remake the college football landscape.

Coach Prime talks to Willie Gaines (20) just prior to kickoff of Stanford at Colorado at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO on Friday October 13, 2023. Stanford won 46 to 43 in double overtime. (Photo by Laura Domingue/fi360 News).

“Deion Sanders dominated the sports conversation in 2023 as a transformative figure not just in Colorado, but for the entire realm of college sports,” said Stephen Cannella, Editor in Chief of Sports Illustrated. “On and off the field, he represents a new model for the modern college coach. The Sportsperson of the Year honor, a distinction for some of the most legendary figures in sports over the past seven decades, is now enriched by the addition of Deion to its roster.”

The annual Sportsperson of the Year Issue goes on sale Thursday, December 14 with pre-sale orders available now. On the evening of Wednesday, December 6, SI will honor Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders with the 2023 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award, alongside the season two world premiere screening of Coach Prime on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The hit docuseries from SMAC Productions transports fans inside the locker room and onto the field for the 2023 season and premieres on Prime Video on December 7.

“Coach Prime” Deion Sanders is introduced as the new head coach of Colorado football team at the Dal Ward Center in Boulder, CO on Sunday December 4, 2022. (Photo by Laura Domingue/fi360 News)

On the Cover

Going back to November 1989, Sanders has headlined six previous Sports Illustrated cover stories. This time around, SI details how Sanders has brought new life to the Colorado campus and helped transform a community. Among the entourage joining Sanders on this year’s Sportsperson of the Year cover are the University of Colorado Chancellor Philip DiStefano, Athletic Director Rick George, 99-year-old superfan Peggy Coppom, Sanders’s children Deion Jr., Shedeur, Shelomi, and Shilo, longtime manager and SMAC Entertainment Co-founder/CEO Constance Schwartz-Morini, trusted advisors Ray Forsett and Sam Morini, and a crowd of dedicated Buffs fans.

Other Sportsperson of the Year Issue Features:

  • 23 for 23: In the years to come, what will we think about when we think about 2023? SI’s 23 people, moments, and trends that made this year a memorable one sparked debate, revolutionized their positions, and stirred GOAT conversations. Simone Biles, Travis Kelce, A’ja Wilson, and even the Eagles’ Tush Push are featured and anticipated to shape memories for years to come.
  • Fifi Does It All: 2023SportsKid of the Year, Fifi Garcia, isn’t content to dominate in just one sport. Softball, soccer, volleyball, or basketball keep her on the move non-stop. In an age in which two-way players like Ohtani have redefined what an athlete can do, Garcia has pushed the boundaries of how good a kid can be at multiple games.

Also in this issue:

  • One Hot Mess: Once again, the year in sports was filled with sublime moments of brilliance–and this stuff, too, from Steve Rushin.
  • A fond farewell to several luminaries–and SI cover subjects–the sports world said goodbye to in 2023.
  • What A Ride: Take a look back at Brawn GP with Mark Bechtel as a reminder that Formula One wasn’t always as predictable as it is today. 
  • Worm Warfare: All about the secret weapon Rice used during the football season: sideline gummy treats.
  • Train Day: This issue’s “Full Frame” is a flashback to the 2009 Sportsperson of the Year Issue photoshoot with Derek Jeter. SI provides readers with a quick look back to that peaceful day in the Bronx on a Friday morning in November outside of the Yankee Stadium subway stop. 
  • Baddest Beats: As we close out the year, Mark Bechtel provides a snapshot of the “worst beats” in college sports of 2023. 

Since the inception of Sports Illustrated in 1954, the SI Sportsperson of the Year award has recognized an athlete, coach or team who best represents the spirit and ideals of sportsmanship, character and performance. Recent honorees include Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and LeBron James. Sanders is just the seventh coach to receive the honor, joining legendary leaders Pat Summit, Mike Krzyzewski, Don Shula, Dean Smith, and John Wooden.

Follow Sports Illustrated on Twitter @SInow, Instagram @sportsillustrated, and Facebook, or subscribe to Sports Illustrated today.

Jevone Moore Events II Portfolio

Salesforce.org 10th Annual Education Summit Executive Program sponsored by Arizona State University on April 20, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

Chargers Drop Third Game In A Row

INGLEWOOD, CA– The Los Angeles Chargers are in a state of disarray after another close loss to the visiting Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, 20-10 at SoFi. Many of these narrow defeats are self inflicted, last night was no exception as turnovers and a sputtering offense finds the Bolts at a record of (4-7).

The four turnovers occurred in a span of five drives spread across the second, third and fourth quarters. A Cameron Dicker field goal on the nights opening drive  put the Chargers up 3-0. 

Afterwards, the Chargers managed only 38 yards of offense on 14 plays the rest of the first half. Chargers Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore has been a terrible fit for the team. Justin Herbert looks like a shell of his former self; he lacks the ability to rip one down the field which he used to excel at. 

In 2023, Herbert has spent more time being injured in that blue tent rather than celabrating in the end zone. Everyone blames the abundance of coaches he has had in his tenure for Herbert not reaching his potential, perhaps it’s Herbert who has stopped growing and maturing into the franchise QB the Bolts need. 

Justin Herbert has regressed, now it makes sense why the Miami Dolphins chose Tua Tagovailoa over Herbert in the NFL Draft. 

Photo by Jevone Moore

At the tail end of a strong drive, Jackson found rookie wideout Zay Flowers in the back of the end zone from 3 yards out to give the team its first lead of the night. The 2019 NFL MVP finished with 177 passing yards and one passing touchdown on 18 of 32 passing while also rushing for 39 yards on 11 carries. 

Keenan Allen as well as Austin Ekeler both fumbled the ball away to Baltimore. Herbert kick-started the scoring in the final frame with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Gerald Everett that capped a seven-play, 60-yard march to the end zone. 

All of a sudden, Los Angeles was within three with 8:32 left to play. Then, something else happened that the NFL world almost never sees: Tucker missed his first field goal inside of 50 yards in 2023, hooking on a 44-yard attempt wide left with 2:57 left in the game. That miss opened the door for Herbert and the Chargers to send the game into Overtime, or a game winning touchdown.

Charger fans know what happend: I’m starting to believe the mighty Babe Ruth played for the Chargers at some point, because this franchise is cursed.  The Chargers only made it to the Ravens 46 yard line, 

Photo by Jevone Moore

 A blitz by cornerback Arthur Maulet on fourth-and-6 was enough for Maulet to pop Herbert as he released the football, causing it to bounce harmless to the SoFi Stadium turf. Herbert finished with 217 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception on 29 of 44 passing while leading the Chargers with 47 rushing yards on four carries. 

Zay Flowers provided the exclamation point in Baltimore’s victory, taking a shotgun handoff 37 yards for a touchdown that put the Ravens up 20-10 with 1:36 to go.

Next week, the Chargers will face the (2-9) New England Patriots at Gillete Stadium. 

Golden Bears upset Bruins in their last Pac-12 matchup 

Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

Pasadena, CA – The Pac-12’s regular season finale saw Cal become bowl eligible for the first time in four years as they defeated UCLA in a 33-7 stomping at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA will ride into their new era of Big Ten football on a disappointing note as the Bruins were on the losing end of a tough loss at the hands of their rival, Cal. 

After losing three out of the last four games, including two at home to Arizona State and Cal, Bruins head coach Chip Kelly will hear a lot of chatter in the coming weeks about his job security. 

Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

Despite the rumors of Kelly being potentially let go after a loss to ASU at home, after the Week 11 win over crosstown rivals, USC, Bruins athletic director Martin Jarmond said rumors of Kelly’s dismissal were inappropriate and inaccurate.  It will be interesting to see what UCLA does moving forward regarding their head coach. 

UCLA’s offense was off to a hot start as starting quarterback Ethan Garbers was moving the ball down the field quickly in the Bruins opening drive, however 13 plays into the game, Garbers came out of the game and was quickly ruled out with a right arm injury. 

Kelly said losing Garbers was hard, but that’s how the game is.

“Losing Garbers was tough…you gotta move on because that’s football, that’s the way the game goes sometimes,” Kelly said.

Dante Moore (3) – Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

Dante Moore stepped in relief for the Bruins, but struggled. The freshman quarterback threw for 266 yards, two interceptions, and lost a fumble. UCLA’s offense as a whole struggled to get going as Cal held the Bruins rush attack to just 116 combined yards.

“We moved the ball, but we never converted that to points,” Kelly mentioned. 

Jadyn Ott, the Golden Bears’ star running back, was electric with the ball in his hands as he had 189 total yards and one kickoff return touchdown. 

Kelly said it was hard trying to contain Ott’s explosive ability. 

‘We couldn’t get him off the field,” he said

Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

The Golden Bears’ defense was tasked with shutting down a UCLA  offense that put up 38 points against USC and they did just that as they held them scoreless in the second half. That included forcing an astonishing 20% success rate in the redzone as the Bruins were 1-5 in redzone chances. 

Moore mentioned that despite his struggles, the team still picked him up.

“I know with my team, they’re always going to be in my corner,” he added. 

TJ Harden (25) getting loose. Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

Moving ahead, the Bruins up-n-down regular season ends with a 7-5 record and they will be awaiting their bowl placement on Dec. 3.

Aztecs give Hoke the Victory

Photo by Rashad Griffin / fi360 News

San Diego, CA – The Aztecs of San Diego State drop the Fresno St Bulldogs 33-18 to allow coach last game a victory. Head Coach Brady Hoke left the field for the last time with the sweet taste of victory on in his mouth.

“It was really fun to watch our team play. It is great to have the oil can back.” said Hoke, “I’m very excited about that and how we played together.”

San Diego quarterback Jalen Mayden darted down the field for 70 yards through Fresno St to secure the win with the go-ahead touchdown.  

Photo by Rashad Griffin / fi360 News

Mayden made his presence felt in the air throwing for 189 yards with a touchdown on 17-26 attempts. On the ground that long run was one of his 14 carries for 96 yards. Being dual threat Fresno need to account for him every snap not knowing how they would be attacked.

Now Fresno did have Malik Sherrod shine by racking up 138 yards on the ground with two touchdowns on 15 carries. He also caught 5 passes out of the backfield for additional 44 yards.

Photo by Rashad Griffin / fi360 News

The Fresno passing game was spread out with quarterback Mikey Keene hitting 9 different receivers for 190 yards and a costly interception.

Back in mid-October Fresno St was already bowl eligible so they will have another game to get a win.

Both these programs are moving in the right direction in the Mountain West.  

“You always want to win. We go out every game and try to win,” said Hoke, “It’s great to win. We don’t like losing.”

Photo by Rashad Griffin / fi360 News

That forced turnover was fitting for coach Hoke who career was built on tough defenses. Hoke spent 16 years as a collegiate coach.

The Aztecs will start a nationwide search for the next coach to lead this great program into the future.

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