Alabama's Dial sacks Florida quarterback Driskel during a NCAA college football game in Gainesville

Weis noncommittal on QB starter

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When John Brantley went down with a first-half injury against Alabama this past weekend, he was replaced under center by true freshman Jeff Driskel.  After head coach Will Muschamp ruled Brantley out of the LSU game with what’s believed to be a high-ankle sprain Monday, it’s been widely expected that Driskel would start on the road against the Tigers, especially after Muschamp said as much.

Charlie Weis, on the other hand, is keeping his quarterback cards close to the vest, if for nothing more than to keep LSU “guessing” as to the true identity of the starter.

The UF offensive coordinator said Tuesday, apparently with the accompanying straight face and everything, that a decision on a starter for the LSU game will not be made until later in the week.  In addition to Driskel, true freshman Jacoby Brissett and redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy are also involved in what’s being described as an open competition to replace Brantley.

“I could tell you, but I’d have to shoot you,” Weis said according to the Gainesville Sun. “We don’t know yet. We’re practicing. As the head coach has already previously told you, (starter John) Brantley is out and we’re practicing the other three guys.

“By the end of the week, we’ll decide who the starter is.”

That said, we’re guessing that LSU, along with most anyone else with a lick of sense, would be beyond shocked if it was anybody other than Driskel taking the first step in Death Valley Saturday night.

Regardless of whether it’s Driskel or one of the others, UF will go into the game knowing that they will be very raw and inexperienced at the position.  And that they will need to run the ball effectively to take some of the pressure off the young players.

“That’s the first thing,” he said. “Any time you have a fairly inexperienced quarterback, you need to take the pressure off him by being able to run.

“Last week, it was a combination of things. They won the line of scrimmage. When you lose the line of scrimmage, which we did last week, you usually aren’t going to be very effective in the run game whether inside or out. It doesn’t make much difference if you don’t win the line of scrimmage.”

Winning the line of scrimmage will be easier said than done for the Gators.  After being held to just 15 yards rushing — 31 of which came on a run by Driskel — against the top-ranked Tide run defense, UF will now face an LSU run defense that’s ranked No. 3 nationally.

Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, it’s time for both of y’all to step up and help out your young signal caller.  Another 14 carries for eight yards — combined — will not suffice this time around, either.

ECU transfer Kurt Benkert wins Virginia’s starting QB job

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert rolls out to pass during NCAA college football practice in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Four months ago, Kurt Benkert was one the losing end of a quarterback competition at East Carolina.  Fastforward to today, and he’s now the trigger man in a Power Five offense.

First-year Hoos head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Wednesday that Benkert will start the season opener against Richmond.  Benkert had been involved in a competition that included returning starter Matt Johns and Texas/Arizona transfer Connor Brewer.

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Benkert came to the Cavaliers as a graduate transfer, but is not a one-year stop-gap as he has two years of eligibility remaining.

Named the Pirates’ starter in early August of 2015, Benkert sustained a right knee injury a couple of weeks later that knocked him out for the entire season.  Blake Kemp took over and kept a stranglehold on the starting job through spring practice this year, triggering Benkert’s decision to move on.

Benkert has attempted 10 passes in his collegiate career, all in 2014.

In starting all 12 games for the Cavaliers last season, Johns’ 2,810 passing yards were third in school history while his 20 touchdowns were tied for fourth.  His 17 interceptions, though, were the most of any FBS quarterback in 2015.

Cassius Peat granted release by Mich. St., appears headed to JUCO

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  A Michigan State Spartans helmet on the bench during a college football game against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on November 15, 2014 in College Park, Maryland.  The Spartans won 37-15.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Earlier this month, Mark Dantonio stated that Michigan State was giving Cassius Peat “an opportunity to work on his academics and get himself in order” as his status with the program was “in flux.”

A week or so later?  He gone.

MSU confirmed Wednesday that Peat has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer from the Spartans.  And, in fact, the defensive lineman may have already found a new home, one at the junior college level.

Peat, initially a UCLA commit, was a three-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Arizona.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman, and had been listed as the No. tackle heading into summer camp.

However, according to mlive.com, Peat did not report for camp amidst his academic issues.

Ex-Oregon St. DB goes home to LaTech as grad transfer

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Running back Justin Davis #22 of the USC Trojans is defended by safety Cyril Noland-Lewis #17 of the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated Oregon State 35-10.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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A week after transferring from Oregon State, Cyril Noland-Lewis has found a new home that happens to also double as his hometown.

The Ruston News Star, among others, has reported that Noland-Lewis is transferring into the Louisiana Tech football program.  As he is coming to Tech as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play for the Bulldogs in 2016, his final season of eligibility.

The defensive back, who went to high school in Ruston, was at the Bulldogs’ practice Tuesday as Tech continues preparations for the season opener Sept. 3 against Arkansas.

Noland-Lewis started 10 games for the Beavers last season.  Six of those starts came as a safety, the others as the nickel corner.  OSU moved Noland-Lewis to cornerback this offseason, where he ultimately found himself buried on the depth chart in summer camp.

The 6-0, 198-pound fifth-year senior, who began his OSU career as a linebacker, played in a total of 37 games during his time in Corvallis.

Tyler Rodgers, NMSU’s starting QB, arrested on battery charge

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Tyler Rogers #18 of the New Mexico State Aggies drops back to pass against the LSU Tigers during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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It’s not been a good day for a couple of starting quarterbacks at Group of Five programs.

The Las Cruces Sun-News has reported that New Mexico State’s Tyler Rogers turned himself in last Friday on a warrant that had been issued for him Aug. 14.  The junior was booked on one count of misdemeanor charge of battery against a household member.

The alleged victim is Rogers’ girlfriend. A verbal altercation at a party allegedly turned physical in a vehicle later on. When police arrived, the woman, who was initially crying, “downplayed the incident and said that it wasn’t really anything and that the altercation did not get physical and didn’t consider Mr. Rogers grabbing her arm as being a physical altercation.”

The woman decided against completing a domestic violence supplement report, and, according to the Sun-News, it’s unclear if the woman is cooperating with police.

“I was very disappointed in hearing the news but we are in the information gathering stage,” NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia said in a statement. “These are allegations that we take very seriously and we look forward to getting as much detail as possible so the university can be informed and the athletic department can make an informed decision moving forward.”

Because “it is a misdemeanor, there isn’t a suspension coming forth right now,” head coach Doug Martin said.

Rogers has started 15 games the past two seasons for the Aggies.