Elon v North Carolina

UNC’s top back won’t play vs. Louisville

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So much for Giovani Bernard‘s injury not being that big of a deal.

In North Carolina’s season-opening win over Elon, the running back injured his knee.  All indications from the football program were that it was seemingly a non-issue for the ACC opener against Wake Forest this past weekend, with the player himself indicating that he felt great in the week leading up to the game against Demon Deacons.

Bernard didn’t play against Wake, and will reportedly do the same this weekend as well.

Citing a source close to the team, the Charlotte Observer confirmed a report that Bernard did not travel with the team to Louisville for the game against the Cardinals.  Suffice to say, that’s a fairly significant clue the talented back will not be available for the non-conference game.

As a true freshman in 2010, Bernard tore the ACL in his right knee and missed the entire season.  The issue this time around is with his left knee.

This development comes two days after first-year head coach UNC head coach Larry Fedora told the local media that Bernard has “looked good. He hasn’t missed any reps. He looks good.”  Bernard also wasn’t included in the school’s injury report prior to the Wake game.

(Feel free to insert [/eyeroll] at your leisure at any point in the future Fedora publicly discusses an injury involving one of his players.)

The bad news for the Tar Heels is that, for the second straight game, they’ll be missing a player who rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.  And who rushed for 93 yards on just nine carries prior to the injury in the opener.

The good news is that A.J. Blue, who started in place of Bernard last weekend, has rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games.

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

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”