Saturday, by the numbers

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-8California had compiled a total of negative-eight offensive yards throughthe first quarter of its game with USC.

1No. 5 Nebraska trailed in a game for the first time against Texas onSaturday, when the Longhorns’ placekicker Justin Tucker nailed a 28-yard field goal. Italso suffered its first loss of the year.

7There were a combined seven turnovers–four by Russell Wilson–in Saturday’s game between East Carolina and North Carolina State. The Pirates won the game33-27 in overtime.

7If you thought the above statistic was pathetic, then don’t finish reading this one–Duke turned the ball over seven times itself against Miami (FL) in a 28-13 loss.There were two turnovers by the ‘Canes, as well.

13 TCU’s defense surrendered an astounding 13 total offensive yards toBYU’s offense on Saturday. The Horned Frogs scored two late first-half touchdowns to go up 17-0. The Cougars finished with just 147 total offensive yards.

15 Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles caught 15 passesSaturday for 182 yards and a score against Iowa State. Broyles broke his own Sooner record forreceptions in a game with the new total.

19 A total of 19 different receivers caught passes in East Carolina’s win overthe Wolfpack of N.C. State.

29 Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann (31) had 29 morecarries than backup quarterback Jordan Lynch (2), but just 15 more rushing yards thanksto a 90-yard touchdown run by Lynch.

31.6 In Texas’ win over No. 5 Nebraska, three quarterbacks–Garrett Gilbert, TaylorMartinez, and Zac Lee–combined for a completion percentage of 31.6%.

42 The Trojans of USC put up 42 points on California’s defense in thefirst half Saturday. Quarterback Matt Barkley is putting together an honest case forthe Heisman. Barkley added five touchdowns through the first two quarters to become the firstquarterback to reach 20 passing touchdowns this year.

49 Virginia Tech put up 49 points on Wake Forest’s defense in the first halfof Saturday’s matchup, with quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back DarrenEvans literally exchanging seven touchdowns. The Hokies piled up 430 offensive yards inthe first half.

51 Shawn Powell of Florida State punted five times Saturday against BostonCollege, averaging an amazing 51.0 yards per punt.

108 No. 7 Auburn beat No. 12 Arkansas on Saturday by a final score of 65-43, a totalof 108 points.

165 Georgia’s defense limited Vanderbilt’s offense to a paltry 165 totaloffensive yards.

191 Boston College running back Montel Harris rushed for 191yards on 28 carries against Florida State.

207 Stud Cowboy receiver Justin Blackmon racked up 207 receivingyards for Oklahoma State Saturday against Texas Tech in a 34-17 win. Blackmon scored once on10 catches.

329 The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets racked up 329 rushing yards on 57rushes shared between 12 different players against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday.

413 Eastern Michigan quarterback Alex Gillett rocked Ball State’s defensetoday for 413 total offensive yards–rushing for 188 yards and two scores on 35carries and passing for 225 yards and another three scores. The Eagles won its first game ofthe year 41-38 over the Cardinals.

SEC leads NFL Draft for 11th straight year as Alabama and Michigan set school records

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The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone, and once again it is the SEC claiming another NFL Draft national championship. A grand total of 53 players from the SEC were drafted by NFL teams. It is the 11th straight year the SEC has had the most players drafted by NFL teams.

The ACC ended the draft with 42 players drafted, followed by the Pac-12 (36) and Big Ten (35). The Big 12 ended the draft with just 14 players drafted.

Helping to contribute to the SEC’s NFL Draft total was Alabama setting a school record with 10 players drafted.

Alabama’s nine players drafted in the first 80 picks was also a new Alabama record.

Michigan ended up having more players drafted than any other Big Ten team, slipping past Ohio State by the time the draft closed up shop this year. For the Wolverines, 11 players ended up being drafted. The previous school record for draft picks was 10, set in 1972 and tied in 1974. Head coach Jim Harbaugh will get plenty of the praise for developing that many players getting a chance to be drafted, but Brady Hoke should be recognized for recruiting those players as well (and blamed for not developing the talent he brought in).

 

Air Force changes rules for football players with NFL aspirations

AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Michael Ciaglo
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One of the top players from Air Force was ineligible to be drafted by the NFL this weekend, and it had nothing to do with NFL rules. It also had nothing to do with NFL teams backing away from a particular player due to off-field concerns. Instead, a policy at Air Force is what is to blame for wide receiver Jalen Robinette not moving on to the NFL at this time.

The U.S. Air Force will not approve requests from academy graduates to defer their two years of active duty in order to be allowed to play professional football. Just a year ago, the Department of Defense changed the policy to allow for the possibility, which made it possible for Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds to be allowed to play. Reynolds later joined the Baltimore Ravens. Reynolds had received a recommendation to be allowed to play by the U.S. Naval Academy.

“The Air Force notified academy leaders [Thursday] that the service would not approve requests to waiver active duty military commitments for cadet athletes,” a statement from Air Force read. “Cadets will be required to serve two years active duty prior to entering Ready Reserve, which would allow their participation in professional sports. The Air Force places tremendous value on our cadet athletes and their contributions to the nation as we continue to build leaders of character, engage in combat operations overseas and continue to ensure our highest military readiness at home.”

Because of the policy change and confirmation, Robinette was not able to be drafted. He may still have been a long shot to be drafted by an NFL Team, but the policy also means he is unable to be signed as an undrafted free agent as well.

Rawleigh Williams carted off at Arkansas scrimmage

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Any time a player that has previously undergone neck surgery goes down on the field and needs to be carted off is quite the scary moment. On Saturday, the Arkansas football program had that exact scare when Rawleigh Williams went down on the field in pain and ended up having to be carted off the practice field during the Arkansas scrimmage.

Williams was placed on a stretcher and taken out of the facility on a cart to receive medical attention. His legs and arms were moving on the ground, a slight sigh of relief given the hit and his injury history. In 2015, Williams was carted off and had to undergo surgery on his neck. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said the injury concern on Saturday was apparently not related to the previous neck injury, which was expected to have a full recovery.

It is an unfortunate ending to the spring for Williams, because all indications seemed to be he was certainly improving running the football. Bielema said earlier in the week Williams was running with more patience, which is always a key for a running back.

Arkansas moved its final scrimmage of the spring indoors due to bad weather rolling through the area.

Justin Herbert shines in first Oregon spring game under Willie Taggart

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A glimpse of a brand new era of Oregon football took center stage in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday as the spring football season drew to a close. Willie Taggart showed fans a little bit of what to expect from Oregon in the fall as the program looks to bounce back from a down season under the coach who has shown a knack for improving programs. As is usually the case in a spring game, Oregon’s quarterback situation was under a microscope, and sophomore Justin Herbert took advantage of the opportunity.

Herbert completed 16 of 26 passes for 327 yards and established a connection with wide receiver Darren Carrington. The two connected for three touchdowns in the game. Sophomore Travis Jonson and early enrollee Braxton Burmeister also saw playing time in the game, but Carrington was confident in saying this is Herbert’s job to lose.

”Our chemistry has definitely improved this spring, and it’ll improve more by the time fall comes, but Herbert, I mean, that’s the guy right now to beat,” Carrington said after the spring game.

As for the team as a whole, Taggert knows there is much still to address as a new system and style are implemented and the roster adjusts physically to the demands of the new coach.

‘We’re still building. We’re nowhere where we need to be as a football team yet. We have some good players. We don’t have a lot of depth that we need to have, that’s going to be a work in progress,” Taggart said. ”The thing for us as coaches is just to make our guys better than they were before. If I guy wasn’t good enough we want to make him look better than he was before. If I guy was good we want to make him great.”

Og course, it wouldn’t be an Oregon spring game without having that typical Oregon uniform flair. Even with a new head coach and with the talk suggesting the Ducks will go for a more traditional approach to uniforms in the fall, the spring game was used for some sizzle on the unis.

Oregon’s spring game crowd of 36,821 assured the Ducks of having the highest spring game attendance among Pac-12 school for a third consecutive year.