Final round of games wrap up spring practice

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What, you thought spring games were over? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Well, that is unless you’re a fan of one of — by our count — 15 programs that will be concluding their spring practices today (UCLA holds up the pack with their game on next week). So, you know, be prepared for another round of games where returns are prohibited, defense gets three points for a sack and Johnny McEntee is awarded the starting job for UConn if he can throw the ball off the uprights, bounce it off a sideline trashcan and into a receiver’s arms for a touchdown.

Or, something like that.

You know the drill by now. We’ll be updating this landing page throughout the day as games finish up to bring you what, again, hopefully, should be a quiet day if all goes according to plan.

So be sure to check back throughout the day in between pulling your hair out over yet another wide receiver your favorite NFL team drafted because they really need to bolster their D-line and for goodness sakes they have enough return guys.

— Washington may have put on an offensive show in the Alamo Bowl against Baylor, but it was the Huskies defense under new DC Justin Wilcox that won UW’s spring game 36-10. (12:18 a.m.)

— Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, one of the most underrated players in the country that the average college football fan couldn’t give two spits about, passed for 480 yards and six touchdowns in Kansas State’s spring game. To illustrate just how useless spring games and the stats it spawns are, however, Klein threw for 1,918 yards in 13 games last season. (8:37 p.m. ET)

— Kansas’ spring game generated some buzz with 15,000 fans who wanted to see the Jayhawks under new coach Charlie Weis. The Jayhawks look to have more offensive firepower with transfer QBs Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps, but will it translate into wins? (6:46 p.m. ET)

— Cody Vaz  led all passers — yes, even Sean Mannion — in Oregon State’s spring game with 151 yards and a touchdown. Mannion should be the guy for the Beavers going forward though. (6:30 p.m. ET)

— Rutgers quarterbacks Chas Dodd and Gary Nova combined to complete 18-of-20 passes and threw a combined three touchdowns in leading the Scarlet team to a 35-0 win over the White team in front of 15,000 fans. (5:17 p.m. ET)

— Here’s our wrap-up on Oregon’s spring game, which featured a tighter QB competition than perhaps previously thought. The Ducks lose some major names on offense, but overall, the receiving group stepped up nicely and the defense was forcing turnovers. A good day for Chip Kelly, in our estimation (4:15 p.m. ET)

— As we have previously noted, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell will not participate in their respective team’s spring games, the former due to a coach’s decision and the latter because of an injury suffered during the earlier portion of spring practice. Ball’s backup, Melvin Gordon, ended up rushing a whopping 30 times for 159 yards and a touchdown in a 21-10 win by the Cardinal team.  (10:32 a.m. ET)

North Carolina makes addition of Ohio State transfer RB Antonio Williams official

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North Carolina’s addition of a player from another Power Five program.

On his personal Twitter account earlier this week, Antonio Williams announced that he would be transferring to UNC.  A couple of days later, the Tar Heels confirmed that the running back has joined Larry Fedora‘s football program.

Williams will have to sit out the 2018 season because of NCAA rules.  Beginning with the 2019 season, however, he will have two seasons of eligibility that he can use at the ACC school.

Earlier this offseason, Williams had opted to transfer from Ohio State.

A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2016 recruiting class, Williams was rated as the No. 7 running back in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of North Carolina.  Williams ran for 318 yards and three touchdowns on his 63 carries the past two seasons; 290 of the yards and all three scores came this past season as he was the third back in a rotation that included Freshman All-American J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, who led the Buckeyes in rushing as a redshirt freshman in 2016.

Both Dobbins and Weber return this season, which was likely a trigger for Williams’ move from Columbus.

Nebraska AD: Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh ‘running a little bit scared right now’

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This is just the cutest, bless his heart.

As evidenced by the record-breaking spring game earlier this month, there’s an air of excitement once again surrounding the Nebraska football program, thanks in very large part to the return of Scott Frost as the head coach.  Riding that wave of optimism, new NU athletic director Bill Moos was a speaker at an Omaha Press Club luncheon Tuesday and, well, let’s just say that he may have initially been planning on dipping his toes into the feel-good spring pool but instead ended up doing a cannonball into the thing.

From the Omaha World-Herald:

We’re gonna run that uptempo offense we saw (at the spring game), and we’re gonna get the Blackshirts back to being Blackshirts. And that’s extremely important,” Moos said. “You’ve got Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh thinking, ‘We better put a little more into that Nebraska game coming up.’ And that’s the way we want it. They’re running a little bit scared right now. And they won’t admit it. We’ll leave that at that.

Nebraska will face both Michigan and Ohio State this season, with each of those serving as road games for the Cornhuskers.  Given the heat that seems to be growing under the highly-paid Harbaugh’s seat — finishes of third, third and fourth in the Big Ten East in three seasons in Ann Arbor — mentioning the U-M coach might be apropos.  But Meyer?  In his six seasons in Columbus, Meyer’s Buckeyes have lost three games combined in conference play; in three meetings under Meyer, OSU has woodshedded NU by a combined score of 181-55.

Perhaps, instead of the Big Dog of the conference, Moos should focus these early public comments on Paul Chryst, whose Wisconsin Badgers are the class of Nebraska’s division — Big Ten West champs three of the last four years — and have beaten the Cornhuskers in five straight meetings (three under Chryst) dating back to the 2012 Big Ten championship game.  Or even Kirk Ferentz, whose Iowa Hawkeyes have won three in a row in the rivalry, and by a collective 96-24 score the past two seasons.

Maybe start by finishing higher than fifth in your own division, where you were a season ago, and then work your way up?  Just a thought.

As the kerfuffle over Moos’ comments began to gain traction, the athletic director told the Associated Press in a text message that his words were “[a] bit tongue in cheek.”

“Meant to point out that the competition is aware that there’s a renewed energy at Nebraska and we aim to get back in the hunt,” Moos added in an apparent attempt to cram the toothpaste back into the tube.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.