Is Miami back?
The early returns are promising.
The Hurricanes are 5-0 for the first time since 2004 thanks to the exploits of Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson, who helped lead No. 14 Miami to a 45-30 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday. It was the Hurricanes’ fifth-straight win over the Yellowjackets.
But it wasn’t a foregone conclusion.
The ‘Canes had a horrible opening quarter, falling behind Tech, 17-7, before waking up. Morris threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns on 17 of 22 passing and overcame two interceptions, while Johnson rushed for 184 yards on 22 carries.
Miami stormed back to take a 24-17 lead after Allen Hurns caught a 69-yard third quarter touchdown pass from Morris and it looked like the ‘Canes were in control. But Georgia Tech got new life when Phillip Dorsett fumbled a punt on his own 42-yard line and the Yellowjackets recovered. After a short drive, David Sims punched it in on a six-yard touchdown run and Tech was back in business.
Except they missed the extra point. Still, a one-point deficit seemed to point to a dramatic finish between the two teams.
Nope. Miami then exploded for 21 points in the final seven minutes to put the game away.
That’s what good teams do — they rise to the challenge when up against it.
Is Miami what it once was? Not even close. But after today, it’s pretty clear that the ‘Canes are no longer what they had recently become.
When word first broke of NCAA violations against Ole Miss, word from the Rebels’ football program was one of caution, for it was uncertain how many were targeted against football versus women’s basketball and track and field.
It appears we now know.
On Tuesday evening, the Associated Press reported the NCAA levied 13 allegations out of a possible 28 against the Ole Miss football team, nine of which occurred under the watch of head coach Hugh Freeze. However, it appears the most serious violations were either already know or took place during the Houston Nutt regime.
Included in the allegations are Laremy Tunsil‘s improper benefits, for which the left tackle already sat seven games. Also included are accusations former Nutt assistant David Saunders participated in a scheme to produce fraudulent test scores for recruits — the same allegations currently levied against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The remaining allegations, as detailed by the AP, include run-of-the-mill violations such as having the wrong people provide transportation on recruiting visits or assistant coaches making improper contact with recruits, many of which Ole Miss has already self-reported.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.
In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.
The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.
Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.
Data dump, begin!
The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).
Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.
The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.
The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.
View the full AAC slate here:
Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.
After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.