Another Saturday of spring games on tap for your football cravings

Leave a comment

One Saturday of something that resembles college football down, one to go.

Like last week, which was filled to the brim with 43 spring games (a few were cancelled due to inclement weather), today will be packed with — if our math is correct (again) — 29 spring games from around the country.

As you probably figured out already, it’s darn-near impossible to touch on every single game. We’ll be writing up some thoughts on a few of the big programs/storylines today individually — Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, West Virginia and Virginia Tech… y’all are under the microscope — so consider this to be a “best of the rest” post that we’ll be updating with happenings from the other couple dozen games as they enter our inbox.

So, be sure to check back here throughout the day if you’re not out supporting your program already.

And, remember, what you see today is exactly what you should expect come this fall.

— WVU’s defense — yes, the defense — won the Gold-Blue game on Saturday.  (11:50 p.m. ET)

— Mike Gundy hopes to name a starting QB at Oklahoma State “this week.

— Keith Arnold gives you five things he learned at Notre Dame’s spring game.

— It’s another year, but Penn State still has problems at quarterback. (8:53 p.m. ET)

— What did we learn from Arkansas’ spring game? The Razorback offense is unfairly good (against backups) and Tyler Wilson should be getting more publicity than he is. And not just for his stats, but for his leadership in a trying time for the program. (8:53 p.m. ET)

— The biggest takeaway from Maryland’s spring finale?  The Terps defense accounted for what was described as “13 legitimate sacks.”  That’s good news for the defensively, but, conversely, not so good for the line on the other side of the ball. (7:07 p.m. ET)

— In the first spring game of the Mike Leach era at Washington State, Jeff Tuel passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars put the finishing touches on its allotment of 15 spring sessions.  All told, four Wazzu QBs combined to throw for 568 yards in the exhibition game. (7:04 p.m. ET)

— What did we learn from Tennessee’s Orange and White spring game? That Derek Dooley is happy with the Vols’ effort. Achievement level coachspeak unlocked!

— Ladies and gents, we have, unless I’m mistaken, our first overtime of the 2012 spring practices when the Red team defeated the Blue team 24-23 in Ole Miss’ Grove Bowl. It looks like JUCO QB Bo Wallace will be leading the Rebels this fall. (5:31 p.m. ET)

— Ohio State wrapped up their spring game with a 20-14 win by the Scarlet team over the Gray team. The emphasis on offense? Improving the passing game (5:22 p.m. ET)

— Because of inclement weather, Virginia Tech’s spring game has been officially cancelled. In other news, the Hokies picked up 30 commitments today, completely oversigning nearly a year in advance. Take that, SEC.  (5:11 p.m. ET)

— Syracuse’s spring game ended in a 9-0 defensive crawl, resulting in no offensive points in the 90-minute scrimmage. Junior defensive tackle Jay Bromley forced a safety and later stripped the ball that would be returned Brandon Sharpe for a touchdown (4:27 p.m. ET)

— A total of 3,500 diehards watched the curtain fall on Minnesota’s spring practice, although they didn’t see much offense as the Maroon team downed the Gold squad 3-0 in a spring game played amid the rain drops.  Backup quarterback Max Shortell was the offensive “star” of the game with 98 total yards — 68 passing, 30 rushing. (3:27 p.m. ET)

Larry Fedora part of North Carolina contingent attending mid-August NCAA hearing

Getty Images
Leave a comment

I’m quite certain that Larry Fedora is absolutely thrilled over this development.

On Aug. 1, North Carolina football players will report to campus.  A day later, the Tar Heels will kick off their sixth summer camp under Fedora.  Exactly two weeks after that?  Fedora will be forced to leave his football squad as part of the UNC contingent that will be in attendance at the university’s hearing in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

The two-day hearing will take place Aug. 16-17 in Nashville, Tenn.

The news comes exactly two months after, for the third time in as many years, UNC responded to a Notice of Allegations connected to a decade-long academic scandal.

In June of 2014, the NCAA informed UNC “that it would reopen its original 2011 examination of the past academic irregularities.” The first NOA was sent to the university in 2015, with UNC accused of lack of institutional control as to student-athletes in multiple sports, including football, receiving preferential access to the controversial African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) courses dating all the way back to 2002.  In April of 2016, UNC received an amended NOA that replaced “lack of institutional control” with “failure to monitor.”

A decision from the NCAA on what if any punitive measures the football program will face is expected to come two months or so after the conclusion of the hearing.  Such a timeline would, of course, put the resolution right in the middle of the football season.

It should be noted that Fedora is not facing any type of misconduct connected to the academic scandal.

Jim Harbaugh confirms Michigan football will head to Paris, Normandy next offseason

Getty Images
2 Comments

At least partially, Michigan players will see their offseason travel wishes for next year granted.

Fresh off their spring break trip to Rome this year, Jim Harbaugh revealed last month that his Wolverines football players, following a team vote, were eyeing a trip next year that would include stops in Paris and London.  At the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, Harbaugh confirmed that they would indeed be taking the team to Paris around the same time next year.

Instead of London, however, U-M will take in the sights at historically-steeped Normandy.

The trip to Rome this year cost in the neighborhood of $800,000, although that particular tab was picked up by a well-heeled booster of the program. It’s expected that the same scenario financially will play out for this trip as well, regardless of the cost.

Colorado dismisses LB N.J. Falo

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The rocky tenure of N.J. Falo at Colorado has come to an abrupt end.

According to the university, the linebacker has been dismissed from head coach Mike MacIntyre‘s football program.  Other than the standard violation of unspecified team rules, no reason for the dismissal was given.

In late April of last year, Falo (pictured, No. 42) and then-Buffs running back Dino Gordon were arrested in connection to an alleged dorm-room theft.  The duo had been accused of stealing prescription drugs, laptops, video games and other electronics from a dorm room earlier that month.

Falo, who played in seven games as a true freshman in 2015, was suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season because of the incident.  After returning, the then-true sophomore played in the final 11 games of the year.  As a backup, he was credited with 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Because of injury, he sat atop CU’s post-spring depth chart just months ago.

Texas transfer Brandon Hodges uses Twitter to commit to Pitt

Associated Press
Leave a comment

A month after leaving Texas, Brandon Hodges has decided on a new college football home.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, Hodges announced that he has decided to enroll at Pittsburgh and continue his playing career with the Panthers.  As the offensive lineman is coming to the Panthers as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017.

The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

Hodges spent the first two seasons of his collegiate career at East Mississippi Community College before transferring to UT in 2015. He took a redshirt his first season in Austin.

Last season, Hodges started nine games at right tackle for the Longhorns. Academics forced Hodges to miss some of spring practice this year as well as the spring game, although he was able to graduate from the university not long after.