Boise State to open with Georgia in ’11, Ole Miss in ’14


The rumors that have gained intensity over the past 24 hours have been confirmed — Boise State and Georgia will open next season in Atlanta.

And, as an added bonus, the Broncos will get another SEC school in an opener a couple of years down the road.

During a conference call held earlier Friday evening, Chick-fil-A officials confirmed that Georgia and Boise State will play in the Georgia Dome to open the 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3.  Additionally, it was announced that Boise State and Ole Miss will open the 2014 season in the same game.  The latter game will be played on ESPN the night of Thursday, Aug. 28.

“This is the type game that excites me, it will excite our players and I know it will excite our fans,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt. “We know it will put Georgia on a national stage in the season opener.  It will make for a great off-season of preparation and anticipation to play a great team at a great facility in our home state.”

“We are excited to participate in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta against Boise State,” said UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “We are very appreciative of the efforts made by ESPN and the Chick-fil-A Bowl to create this opportunity, and we look forward to competing against one of the nation¹s elite teams. We know our fans will certainly enjoy this experience in the Georgia Dome to start the 2011 season.”

“It was a long time coming, but we wanted to make sure we got our 2011 match-up right. Today, we got it right,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “With this game, we have two nationally significant programs, two teams we expect to be highly ranked and a very interesting game. It’s a win all the way around.”

Boise State was originally scheduled to open the 2011 season against Ole Miss; BYU will replace Boise State on Ole Miss’ 2011 schedule.  Georgia was scheduled to play Louisville in a home-and-home series in 2011 and 2012.  That series has been canceled, and UGA’s $600,000 buyout will be paid by Chick-fil-A/ESPN.

North Carolina will assume the Georgia series with Louisville, as facilitated by ESPN.

For the 2011 game, Georgia and Boise State will receive $1.7 and $1.4 million respectively; for the 2014 game, Boise State will receive $1.1 million, while Ole Miss will get $2 million.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah