We noted earlier this evening that Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins was off to a slow start this season, and understandably so. He’d missed three games already due to suspension and illness. But, here the Tigers were seven games into the 2012 season and Watkins, an All-American, was without a receiving touchdown. Yes, Watkins had a pair of scores running and throwing the football, but still no touchdowns in his primary area of expertise.
That changed Thursday night in No. 14 Clemson’s 42-13 win over Wake Forest. Watkins actually matched his season total to date of 202 yards receiving against the Demon Deacons and reeled in his first touchdown of the season — a 61-yard pass from Tajh Boyd. Most of Watkins’ numbers came in the first half, but with a 35-7 halftime lead, the game was secure by that point.
But as great as Watkins was in his 2012 coming out party, you have to talk about how efficiently Boyd played. The junior went 27-of-38 for 428 yards (a school record) and five touchdowns, all of which went to different receivers. The weapons the Tigers have on offense is borderline unfair. Clemson will have a chance to rack up big numbers with those weapons in the next few weeks against Duke, Maryland and North Carolina State (the Wolfpack actually control their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic).
I believe this one would qualify as a significant development.
In a very brief press release, Georgia Tech announced Friday afternoon that Dedrick Mills has been dismissed by Paul Johnson from the football team. The only reason given was an unspecified violation of Tech athletics department rules.
The head coach is expected to meet with the media following practice later on this afternoon.
Regardless of the specific reason for the dismissal, Mills’ departure serves as yet another blow for the run-heavy Yellow Jackets.
Last season, Mills’ 771 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns led all Tech ball carriers. 169 of those yards came in the bowl win over Kentucky. Mills put up all of those numbers as a true freshman despite being suspended on two different occasions for a total of three games.
Mills’ dismissal is the second huge blow to their 2017 running game as Marcus Marshall, who was second on the team last season with 624 yards, announced in late November that he would be transferring from Tech. Less than a month later, he moved on to James Madison.
With those twin departures, Clinton Lynch‘s 415 yards last season makes him the team’s leading returning rusher.
As you may know, I’m hardly a fan of the alternate uniform craze. These, though, I can very easily get behind.
Notre Dame on Friday released images of new uniforms the Fighting Irish will wear for their Nov. 18 game against Navy. From helmet to shoes, the new duds will serve as a head-to-toe tribute to the legendary Knute Rockne.
The players will all have the name “ROCKNE” emblazoned on the backs of their jerseys, while the helmets replicate the leather ones of Rockne’s era. The cleats also will pay homage to the era in which Rockne, also a former player at the school, coached the Fighting Irish to five national championships from 1918-1930. In those 13 seasons, the Irish lost just 12 games under Rockne.
Additionally, the sleeves will be adorned with the words from one of Rockne’s most famous speeches.
James Franklin is now in some very heady financial company.
Friday morning, Penn State’s Board of Trustees Committee on Compensation, as expected, unanimously approved an amended contract for their head football coach. While no details were released — that’s expected to happen later today — it’s believed the amended deal will extend through the 2023 season. Franklin’s old contract ran through 2019.
Additionally, Bruce Feldman of SI.com is reporting that the new six-year deal will average $5.8 million annually. What Franklin’s compensation for 2017 and beyond will, again, be divulged later on today.
The average of $5.8 million a year would make him the fourth-highest-paid coach in college football, behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban and a pair of fellow Big Ten coaches — Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.
Set to enter his fourth season with the Nittany Lions, Franklin has an overall record of 25-15 at the school. After a pair of 7-6 seasons to begin his tenure, 2016 was a breakout one for the program as they went 11-3 and won the Big Ten championship for the first time since 2008.
Expectations are extremely high coming off that breakout season as the Nittany Lions are ranked sixth in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Given the content, what could possibly go wrong in the comments section below?
Chris Simms was a quarterback at Texas from 1999-2002, starting for the Longhorns his last two seasons in Austin. During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday, Simms, now a studio analyst on NBC‘s coverage of Notre Dame football, freely admitted that he accepted “$100 handshakes” from what he described as “random” boosters at various times while at the school and part of the football team.
“He might have 10 football jerseys for you to sign real quick and you’d sign it, and then he’d… ‘hey, thanks for this I appreciate that’ and give ya a $100 handshake,” Simms said, before going on to say, essentially, it happens everywhere so get over it already.
“For people out there to think like that doesn’t happen, that’s just stupid,” Simms explained. “Like get over it, it’s not a big deal, it’s happening everywhere. It’s happening at Harvard, it’s happening at Division II schools, it’s going on everywhere.”
The pertinent discussion starts at around the 4:16 mark.