No. 15 Miami pulls away in 2nd half, tops Southern Miss 30-7

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Some in-game adversity hit Miami for the first time this season. The Hurricanes responded.

A pair of third-quarter touchdowns – barely 2 minutes apart – changed the game, Henry Parrish rushed for 102 yards and a score, and No. 15 Miami pulled away in the second half to beat Southern Miss 30-7 on Saturday.

The Hurricanes (2-0) trailed for most of the second quarter, then shook off the slow start by scoring the game’s final 27 points.

“I think it’s a good thing, actually,” said Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who completed 19 of 29 passes for 230 yards, a touchdown and an interception. “Obviously, we want to move the ball with ease … but I think adversity, we needed that for the rest of the season, just to experience that a little.”

Thaddius Franklin Jr. rushed in from 7 yards out for a 17-7 third-quarter lead, Van Dyke connected with Key’Shawn Smith for a 35-yard flea-flicker touchdown on Miami’s next offensive snap, and the outcome wasn’t in doubt again.

“Certainly, when you’re 1-0 for the week, that’s your goal,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said. “But certainly, we want to play more polished, more precise, football. So, we’ve got to practice better, we’ve got to keep coaching better and we’ve got to keep working it better. We’ve got to go get better.”

Parrish had a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first half for the Hurricanes, who have started with two wins for only the seventh time in the past 18 seasons.

Jason Brownlee caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wilcke for Southern Miss (0-2). That capped a six-play, 75-yard drive for the Golden Eagles — but they managed only 122 yards on their next seven drives, five of which ended in punts, one with an interception in the end zone and the other with a fumble.

“We came out here to win the game,” Southern Miss coach Will Hall said. “Credit to Mario and his guys. Man, I’ve got great respect for him and a lot of the guys on their staff for making the adjustments to win the game. I thought they wore on us as the game went on.”

Frank Gore Jr., the son of Miami Hall of Famer Frank Gore, was held largely in check by the Hurricanes’ defense in his return to his hometown. Gore Jr. had seven carries for 10 yards, and two catches for 18 more yards. That’s after he rushed for 178 yards last week in Southern Miss’ opening-game loss to Liberty.

Wilcke completed 16 of 27 passes for 207 yards for the Golden Eagles. Brownlee had five of those catches for 102 yards.

Andy Borregales kicked three field goals for Miami.

THE TAKEAWAY

Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles were 20 seconds away from doing something that the program hasn’t done in nearly 12 years. The last time Southern Miss led an AP-ranked team on the road at halftime was Nov. 13, 2010 in what became a win over then-No. 25 UCF. That week marked UCF’s first-ever appearance in the AP poll; Miami was ranked this week for the 511th time.

Miami: There will be much on the film, especially the first-half film, for the Hurricanes to correct before going to Texas A&M next week. The offensive line will be a key point of emphasis, after it let Southern Miss sack Van Dyke four times and get in his face on several other occasions.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Hurricanes will remain ranked, probably right around the No. 15 spot they held this week and set up a ranked-vs.-ranked game in College Station next week. The last three of those games – when both teams enter ranked – haven’t exactly gone great for the Hurricanes; they’re 0-3, having gotten outscored 148-56.

INJURIES

Miami DE Akeem Mesidor, who had four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in last week’s win over Bethune-Cookman, was held out with a lower body injury.

UP NEXT

Southern Miss: Host Northwestern State on Sept. 17.

Miami: Visits No. 6 Texas A&M on Sept. 17.

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.