Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; A detailed view of an Auburn Tigers helmet on the sideline of the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Former Auburn WR, College HOFer Terry Beasley dies at 73

Auburn legend and College Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Terry Beasley died Wednesday of an apparent suicide, according to police in Moody, Ala. He was 73.

He resided in Moody, where police found him deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Moody Police Chief Reece Smith told AL.com.

“He’s been a resident here since I’ve been here,” Smith told the Montgomery Advertiser. “I know he’s had some struggles over the years with stuff from the NFL.”

After earning All-Southeastern Conference and All-America honors at Auburn, Beasley was a first-round pick, 19th overall, by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1972 NFL Draft.

He played only three seasons, totaling 29 games (six starts), 570 yards and three touchdowns on 38 receptions before retiring because of injuries. He might have suffered at least 19 concussions during his playing career, according to an AL.com article in 2013.

His family believed health problems, which led him to be hospitalized in 2013, were linked to the concussions. Beasley was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL, which in court filings noted he suffered “multiple past traumatic brain injuries with symptoms including but not limited to, memory loss, headaches, anxiety and sleeplessness.”

The lawsuit led to a comprehensive settlement agreement in 2016.

Beasley still holds many program records for receiving despite playing only three seasons in 1969-71, including 2,507 career yards, 29 career touchdowns, eight consecutive games with a TD catch and 100-yard games for one season (six) and a career (12). He also totaled 141 career receptions, which was the school record until broken by Karsten Bailey in 1998.

Together with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Pat Sullivan, they were regarded as “one of college football’s greatest pass combinations,” according to Beasley’s biography at his 2002 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“He would tell Pat, ‘You throw it, I’ll get it,’” former Auburn athletic director and sports information director David Housel told the athletic program’s website Thursday. “That’s the way it was. He’d run under it and make impossible catches.”

Beasley’s No. 88 is retired at Auburn along with Sullivan’s No. 7 and running back Bo Jackson’s No 34.

–Field Level Media

Memphis' Demeer Blankumsee (0) catches a pass for a touchdown in the opening drive during the game between the University of Memphis and Iowa State University in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium on Dec. 29, 2023.

Strong passing attack lifts Memphis over Iowa State in Liberty Bowl

Seth Henigan passed for four touchdowns and ran for another to lead Memphis to a 36-26 victory over Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Friday in Memphis, Tenn.

Henigan completed 24 of 34 passes for 364 yards with no interceptions against an Iowa State defense that had 16 picks during the regular season. Blake Watson rushed for 107 yards on 15 carries and Roc Taylor had eight catches for 102 yards for Memphis (10-3).

Henigan hit Sutton Smith for a 48-yard touchdown to put Memphis up 36-13 midway through the third quarter. Rocco Becht answered with a 15-yard scoring strike to Easton Dean to bring the Cyclones within 36-20.

Becht hit Jaylin Noel with a 23-yard scoring pass with 9:55 left, but the two-point pass failed, leaving Memphis up by 10.

Becht, the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, completed 22 of 38 passes for 446 yards with three touchdowns for Iowa State (7-6). The Cyclones were held to 0 yards rushing on 20 attempts.

Henigan completed two long touchdown passes and ran for another score to put the Tigers up 19-0 after one quarter.

Memphis struck quickly when Henigan connected with Demeer Blankumsee on a 70-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game. The PAT was missed.

The Tigers made it 13-0 on their second possession, converting a fourth-and-1 to set up Henigan’s 11-yard touchdown scramble on the following play.

On Memphis’ next possession, Henigan capped a four-play, 84-yard drive with a 51-yard scoring strike to Joe Scates.

The Cyclones got on the board early in the second quarter when Becht hit Jayden Higgins with a 29-yard scoring pass to make it 19-7.

Iowa State pulled within 19-10 when Becht connected again with Higgins for 53 yards to set up Chase Contreraz’s 22-yard field goal.

Contreraz added a 39-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the half to make it 19-13. But the Tigers went 44 yards in four plays and Tanner Gillis hit a 49-yarder on the final play for a 22-13 halftime lead.

Watson’s 55-yard run to the Cyclones’ 5-yard line on Memphis’ first series of the second half set up Henigan’s short scoring pass to Anthony Landphere to put the Tigers in front 29-13.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson paces the sidelines in the second quarter during the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at Paul Brown Stadium, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

092015 Bengals Chargers

Syndication Cincinnati

Grambling State parts ways with coach Hue Jackson

Grambling State relieved head coach Hue Jackson of his duties on Tuesday after two seasons.

Co-offensive coordinator John Simon was elevated to interim head coach while the university launches a national search for its next full-time hire.

The Tigers posted a 5-6 record this season, finishing with a 27-22 loss to rival Southern University on Saturday in the annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans.

Jackson, 58, has an overall record of 8-14 (6-10 SWAC) during his tenure with Grambling.

The former NFL head coach was hired on a four-year contract with an annual salary of $400,000, but only the first two years were guaranteed.

“We want to thank Coach Jackson on his contributions to the GSU football program. We wish him well in all his future endeavors,” Dr. Trayvean Scott, Grambling vice president of intercollegiate athletics, said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision to make but one that we felt was necessary to move our program forward. The goal at GSU is to compete for championships every year. As we move forward, we will be intentional in finding the right person to lead this program back to its rightful place as one of the top programs in the country.”

Prior to Grambling, Jackson was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Tennessee State for the 2021 season. His 30-plus years of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels includes a stint at Southern California in the late 1990s, where he helped recruit and groom Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer (2002).

Jackson coached in various positions in the NFL starting in 2004 with his first of three stints with the Cincinnati Bengals. He also held coaching positions with the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns.

He was head coach for the 2011 season with the Raiders, finishing 8-8 before being fired.

Jackson was hired as head coach of the Browns in 2016, becoming the first coach since 2008 to start a season 0-14. The Browns finished that year at 1-15 and followed it up by becoming only the second team in NFL history to finish 0-16. He was fired after starting the 2018 season at 2-5-1.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader (7) rushes against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Schrader rips Arkansas as No. 9 Missouri hits 10 wins

Southeastern Conference leading rusher Cody Schrader ran for a career-high 217 yards and a score as No. 9 Missouri reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2014, pasting Arkansas 48-14 on Black Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.

Schrader achieved the yardage on 27 carries, but the lion’s share of his work — 192 yards — came on 22 first-half attempts.

Quarterback Brady Cook was 12-of-20 for 112 yards, rushed for a score and tossed two touchdowns to Brett Norfleet, from 16 and 11 yards.

The win should put the Tigers (10-2, 6-2 SEC) into a New Year’s Six bowl game, with their only two losses coming to ranked opponents LSU and Georgia.

Missouri moved the Battle Line Rivalry series record to 11-4 in its favor against the Razorbacks (4-8, 1-7), who lost for the ninth time in the past 11 outings against their border rival.

Record-setting Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson was injured early in the first quarter and did not return. Jacolby Criswell went 12-for-20 for 96 yards with a TD pass in relief.

Schrader set up the game’s first score with a 36-yard run and soon plunged in from 2 yards — his ninth straight game with a rushing TD — at 9:12 of the first quarter.

On the next series, Jefferson scrambled for a 22-yard gain but took a hard hit, fumbled and clutched his left knee. He left the game with the assistance of trainers.

Harrison Mevis drilled a 24-yard field goal at the end of Missouri’s ensuing drive.

A scuffle ensued after Cook was hit out of bounds on the Arkansas sideline in the second quarter, and another tussle occurred a play later. Both sidelines had to be restrained while one fight had to be broken up.

Missouri’s Armand Membou and Arkansas’ Eric Gregory and Zach Williams were ejected.

When the fracas settled, Cook made it 17-0 on a 3-yard run.

Schrader’s 49-yard dash put the Tigers in field-goal range for Mevis, who made one from 22 yards for a 20-0 halftime score.

After Norfleet’s two TD receptions in the third, Jayden Jernigan recovered a fumble and rumbled 10 yards for a score to make it 41-0.

In the fourth quarter, the Razorbacks’ Andrew Armstrong caught an 8-yard pass from Criswell, and Isaiah Augustave (15 carries, 80 yards) scored on a 6-yard run.

Missouri’s Nathaniel Peat scored on a 1-yard run to cap the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Payton Thorne (1) rolls out to pass against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn hopes offense builds on progress vs. skidding Vanderbilt

Auburn hopes to inch closer to bowl eligibility when it visits Vanderbilt on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

The Tigers (4-4, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) had their best offensive performance in league play in last Saturday’s 27-13 win over Mississippi State. Quarterback Payton Thorne was 20 of 26 for 230 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Running back Jarquez Hunter had 170 yards from scrimmage (144 rushing, 26 receiving) on 19 touches.

Coach Hugh Freeze had rotated quarterbacks, but Robby Ashford had less involvement in the offense (no pass attempts, two rushes for 8 yards) than in any Auburn game this season.

“Offensively, it was our best-balanced performance, for sure,” Freeze said. “It was good to see our receivers make some plays and our quarterback play with some confidence.”

This week offers a chance at continued improvement for Auburn. Vanderbilt ranks last in the SEC in total defense (436.8) and scoring defense (34.2).

But offense was also a problem for Vandy (2-7, 0-5) in last week’s 33-7 defeat at Ole Miss.

It appeared that quarterback Ken Seals — who began the season as the backup, but had started the last three games — had won the job, but coach Clark Lea pulled Seals for Walter Taylor in the first half before returning briefly to Seals, then back to Taylor.

Taylor threw the first 12 passes of his career, completing four for 38 yards, and was intercepted once.

Lea’s hope was that Taylor would boost the team’s struggling rushing attack (92.8 yards per game, 3.4 yards per carry). The 6-foot-7, 235-pound sophomore had team highs in rushes (20) and rushing yards (59) last week, and scored the team’s only TD.

This week’s depth chart has the pair listed as co-starters, with Seals listed first.

“As far as this Saturday, I don’t know if I would be a good coach if I discussed the plan,” Lea said.

The Tigers have been solid defensively, ranking sixth in the SEC in scoring defense (22.5) and 10th in total defense (368.4).

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader (7) runs the ball against South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Judge Collier (20) during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 Missouri scores early, cruises past South Carolina

Cody Schrader rushed for a career-high 159 yards and two touchdowns as No. 20 Missouri extended its command of South Carolina with a 34-12 home victory Saturday in Columbia, S.C.

Brady Cook completed 14 of 24 passes for 198 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and running for another score as the Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) beat the Gamecocks for the fifth straight time to retain the Mayor’s Cup.

The series was established when Missouri joined the SEC in 2012 as both schools are located in cities named Columbia.

For the first time in Shane Beamer’s three seasons as coach at South Carolina (2-5, 1-4), the Gamecocks have lost three straight games.

Facing a consistently heavy rush, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler completed 23 of 40 passes for 217 yards and one interception.

Dominating an injury-riddled South Carolina offensive line, Missouri sacked Rattler six times.

The Tigers scored on four straight possessions, surging to a 24-0 lead before Mitch Jeter ended the Gamecocks’ drought with the first of his four field goals, a 51-yarder, in the final minute of the first half.

Rattler drove the Gamecocks to the Tigers 20 on South Carolina’s first possession. But Joe Moore stopped the march, sacking Rattler for a 13-yard loss and Jeter missed a 51-yard field-goal try.

Missouri answered quickly as Cook lofted a 42-yard touchdown pass to Luther Burden III, who beat double coverage to give Missouri a 7-0 lead.

Burden, who entered the game second in the FBS in receiving yards (808) and fourth in receptions (56), finished with four receptions for 90 yards.

On the Tigers’ next two possessions, Schrader capped a 59-yard march with a 10-yard touchdown run, then Cook culminated an 87-yard drive with a 17-yard dash that made it 21-0.

In the second half, South Carolina whittled the deficit to 27-12 before Jaylon Carlies made a game-clinching interception with 6:20 left and Schrader followed with an 11-yard touchdown run.

South Carolina’s top receiver Xavier Legette departed in the second quarter. He was injured as he was tackled on a kickoff return.

Harrison Mervis kicked field goals of 53 and 21 yards for Missouri. The senior has made 13 kicks of 50 yards or longer in his four seasons.

Mario Anderson rushed for 68 yards on 12 carries for the Gamecocks.

–Field Level Media

Tigers Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 throws a pass as the LSU Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

No. 19 LSU not peeking past Army ahead of bye week

LSU is nearing its open date, and a Southeastern Conference West showdown against Alabama looms on the first Saturday in November.

But first the No. 19 Tigers (5-2) have a nonconference game against Army (2-4) on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

LSU coach Brian Kelly is focused on keeping his players focused on the task at hand.

“It’ll be important for our guys to think about what’s important right now,” Kelly said. “The bye week’s not important right now. We need to focus on Army. This week we need to focus on our development and our process. If we focus on anything else, we’ll get beat.”

The Tigers, who were ranked No. 5 in the AP preseason poll, lost to Florida State (45-24) in the season opener and to Ole Miss (55-49) three weeks ago. But they have shown improvement the last two weeks, going on the road to hand Missouri its only loss of the season with a 49-39 win before routing Auburn 48-18 at home last Saturday in what Kelly called “a complete game.”

“We were tackling much better,” Kelly said. “The little things we’re looking for we’re starting to see. (But) this is not a team that can play with the dimmer. We’re either on or off so we need to be on. If we’re locked in and doing our thing the right way, we’re going to have a good Saturday.”

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels went 20-for-27 for 325 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 93 yards against Auburn.

The LSU defense has played much better the last six quarters after giving up 706 yards against Ole Miss and 25 first-half points against Missouri.

“We’re playing more consistent defense,” Kelly said. “It’s not just one. It’s 11 guys knowing their roles. When the structure of the defense is in place and everybody knows their role within the defense, you start to get complementary defense.”

The defense will face a Black Knights offense that is struggling. Army has scored a total of just 40 points during a three-game losing streak, the most recent setback coming 19-0 at the hands of visiting Troy last Saturday.

The Black Knights totaled just 255 yards, including 78 passing. They converted 2 of 13 third downs and 1 of 5 fourth downs, lost three fumbles, and gave up six sacks.

“We’ve got to find an identity on offense and we’ve got to score more points,” Army coach Jeff Monken said.

The Black Knights have turned the ball over 13 times this season, among the worst totals in FBS, but Monken said the offense isn’t the only area in need of improvement.

“We’ve got to improve in every phase,” Monken said. “Just because we’re stalling on offense a little bit doesn’t make it a rule that the other team has to hit a big play and score themselves. We’ve got to play a team game.”

Monken called the Tigers “a blue blood” of college football.

“They are tremendously talented and it will take a monumental effort for us to challenge these guys and have an opportunity to be in the football game,” he said.

Army’s leading passer and rusher, Bryson Daily, suffered a leg injury against Troy but Monken said he is hopeful Daily will play against LSU. Champ Harris is the Black Knights’ No. 2 quarterback.

–Field Level Media

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers (19) heads to the locker room after winning a NCAA college football game against UAB in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. Georgia won 49-21.

No. 1 Georgia seeks latest win at offense-challenged Auburn

No. 1 Georgia will set out to extend its winning streak to 22 games Saturday afternoon when it hits the road to take on Auburn.

The Bulldogs have won five straight regular-season games over the Tigers since their 40-17 loss on Nov. 11, 2017, while they were No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings and No. 2 in The Associated Press and coaches’ polls.

Georgia got redemption over Auburn three games later when it downed the Tigers 28-7 in the Southeastern Conference title game.

After struggling in the red zone through the team’s first three games, Georgia (4-0, 1-0 SEC) went 6-for-6 inside the 20 in a convincing 49-21 win over UAB on Saturday. The Bulldogs had 582 yards of total offense despite three turnovers.

Quarterback Carson Beck passed for a career-high 338 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Tailback Daijun Edwards added 66 yards and two scores, while Sevaughn Clark ran for 32 yards and a TD.

All-America tight end Brock Bowers had season-highs in receptions (nine) and yards (121) and scored twice. He currently has 2,080 career receiving yards and 22 career touchdown catches, which ranks No. 3 all-time in Georgia history. Bowers is one of only 10 players in Bulldogs’ history with at least 2,000 receiving yards for their career.

Kirby Smart didn’t know Bowers’ true potential until he arrived on campus as a true freshman after not watching him play his final year of high school during the pandemic.

“Not until I saw him run and catch, and then I could,” Smart said. “Hard to tackle, man.”

Smart is 85-15 as a head coach, which is the best mark for any coach in SEC history through 100 games.

Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC) enters its matchup with the Bulldogs with serious question marks on offense after failing to find the end zone against Texas A&M.

Quarterback Payton Thorne completed just 6 of 12 passes for 44 yards and was sacked five times before being benched in the third quarter. Robby Ashford replace Thorne and completed just one pass for 4 yards.

Head coach Hugh Freeze said Thorne would “probably” be the starter in the upcoming game against Georgia. Freeze also admitted that Thorne isn’t the only one to blame for the Tigers’ inconsistent play on offense.

“It’s not all Payton, but sometimes it is and he owns it,” Freeze said Monday. “We had a good meeting (Sunday) night and we just got to try this week to get a plan in place that we can all execute and all understand. And that falls on (offensive coordinator) Philip (Montgomery) and his staff and ultimately on me.”

Auburn is banged up in the secondary. Starting nickel/punt returner Keionte Scott is out indefinitely after ankle surgery. Donovan Kaufman and J.D. Rhym, Scott’s backups, have both been dealing with nagging injuries.

Starting safety Zion Puckett left the A&M game with a shoulder injury. Safety Marquise Gilbert played 27 snaps against the Aggies after totaling just 15 in Auburn’s first three games. Second-string running back Damari Alston (dislocated shoulder) is also out indefinitely.

Starting right tackle Amarius Mims (ankle), running backs Kendall Milton (knee) and Roderick Robinson II (ankle), wideout Ladd McConkey (back), safety Javon Bullard (ankle) and defensive end Mykel Williams (illness) did not play for Georgia against UAB.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) and wide receiver Luther Burden III (3) celebrate after a touchdown during the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri QB Brady Cook (hyperextended knee) day-to-day

Missouri starting quarterback Brady Cook hyperextended his knee during Saturday’s upset win over then-No. 15 Kansas State, Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz confirmed Tuesday.

Drinkwitz said Cook did not sustain any ligament damage and will sit out practice on Tuesday. Drinkwitz termed him as day-to-day, while an ESPN report said Cook was questionable for Missouri’s game against visiting Memphis this Saturday.

If Cook can’t play, Sam Horn and Jake Garcia are next up on the depth chart.

“We have confidence in every one of our guys, Sam and Jake. I have high confidence in them,” running back Cody Schrader said. “So I don’t think we’ll miss a beat on offense. But losing a guy like Brady, when he’s day-to-day, definitely just having that in the back of your head definitely makes you wonder.”

Cook suffered the injury during the game but played through the pain. He finished 23-of-35 passing for 356 yards and two touchdowns in the 30-27 win decided on Harrison Mevis’ 61-yard field goal at the final horn.

In parts of four seasons at Missouri, Cook has thrown for 3,888 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has 732 yards, five touchdowns and zero picks this year.

–Field Level Media

A decal on Auburn helmets honoring the University of Virginia players killed earlier this week that were killed as Auburn Tigers take on Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.

Blue-chip OL DeAndre Carter commits to Auburn

DeAndre Carter, ranked as the No. 1 interior offensive lineman prospect in the country by 247Sports, announced Sunday he will play at Auburn next fall.

Ranked as the No. 55 overall prospect in the Class of 2024 per 247Sports, the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout chose Auburn over Michigan State and Texas.

“I have a great relationship with the coaches at Auburn and felt really felt comfortable on my visits out there,” Carter told 247Sports. “I loved the culture and the family environment out there and it just felt like home for me.”

Carter hasn’t missed a start since joining the lineup in the final game of his freshman season. At 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, he excels as both a run blocker and pass protector.

–Field Level Media