Arkansas v Alabama

Bielema files complaint with SEC over Auburn video

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For whatever reason, Bret Bielema and the Auburn football program simply can’t play nice together.

At the SEC media days over the summer, AU head coach Gus Malzahn labeled Bielema’s criticisms of up-tempo offenses as “a joke,” with the UA coach responding, “I’m not a comedian.”  During summer camp, a former Tiger and current Razorback assistant coach tweeted well-wishes to an injured Hog; Bielema had yet to release the injury information, which did not sit well with the coach.

Monday, the kerfuffle between the coaches/programs bled into the regular season.

Unprompted, al.com said, Bielema brought up during a teleconference Monday an issue he had with the video sent over by Auburn, this Saturday’s opponent.  Essentially, Bielema accused AU of short-sheeting the game film from its win over FAU this past weekend.

Bielema and his staff had watched a television broadcast of the Tigers-Owls game, then watched the game film sent by AU.  It was at that point they noticed what they alleged was creative editing on Auburn’s part.

“There are just some clips that haven’t — shall we say, the TV copy doesn’t match the film copy,” Bielema said Monday. “And it’s something we have kind of been aware of now for the last week and half in getting our preparation. So we can use other film and stuff like that to make sure we are getting the full picture.”

The issue was sufficient enough that a complaint was filed with the SEC; a source told al.com that the conference had no major issue with the video Auburn sent.  Interestingly, however, the paper noted that Bielema may have bent-to-the-point-of-breaking an SEC bylaw that prohibits coaches from discussing with the media any video issues such as the one the head coach raised yesterday.

Despite the formal complaint to the SEC, Bielema is certain (eye roll) that Gus Malzahn will have this glitch corrected moving forward.

I’m sure it’s a glitch,” Bielema said. “I know Gus stands for everything that’s right and (has) great faith in doing things right. So, I’m sure it’s just a glitch that they’ll get to the bottom of.”

(Writer’s note: I’ll give you time to scrub the sarcasm off your screen… waiting… and we’re good.)

The mini-brouhaha is the latest off-field hiccup for Bielema in his first season at the school.  The hiccups have been aplenty on the field as well, with Arkansas having lost five straight games heading into the matchup Saturday with an Auburn team ranked in the Top 10 in Malzahn’s first season as AU’s head coach.

While the Tigers are second in the SEC West behind Alabama, the Razorbacks have lost all four of their conference games — and have lost them by an average of over 32 points per game (44.7-12.5).  Saturday’s game against Auburn will mark Arkansas’ fifth straight game against a ranked SEC team; that’s the first time since UA joined the conference in 1992 that has happened to any team in the league.

ECU transfer Kurt Benkert wins Virginia’s starting QB job

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert rolls out to pass during NCAA college football practice in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Four months ago, Kurt Benkert was one the losing end of a quarterback competition at East Carolina.  Fastforward to today, and he’s now the trigger man in a Power Five offense.

First-year Hoos head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Wednesday that Benkert will start the season opener against Richmond.  Benkert had been involved in a competition that included returning starter Matt Johns and Texas/Arizona transfer Connor Brewer.

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Benkert came to the Cavaliers as a graduate transfer, but is not a one-year stop-gap as he has two years of eligibility remaining.

Named the Pirates’ starter in early August of 2015, Benkert sustained a right knee injury a couple of weeks later that knocked him out for the entire season.  Blake Kemp took over and kept a stranglehold on the starting job through spring practice this year, triggering Benkert’s decision to move on.

Benkert has attempted 10 passes in his collegiate career, all in 2014.

In starting all 12 games for the Cavaliers last season, Johns’ 2,810 passing yards were third in school history while his 20 touchdowns were tied for fourth.  His 17 interceptions, though, were the most of any FBS quarterback in 2015.

Cassius Peat granted release by Mich. St., appears headed to JUCO

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  A Michigan State Spartans helmet on the bench during a college football game against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on November 15, 2014 in College Park, Maryland.  The Spartans won 37-15.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Earlier this month, Mark Dantonio stated that Michigan State was giving Cassius Peat “an opportunity to work on his academics and get himself in order” as his status with the program was “in flux.”

A week or so later?  He gone.

MSU confirmed Wednesday that Peat has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer from the Spartans.  And, in fact, the defensive lineman may have already found a new home, one at the junior college level.

Peat, initially a UCLA commit, was a three-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Arizona.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman, and had been listed as the No. tackle heading into summer camp.

However, according to mlive.com, Peat did not report for camp amidst his academic issues.

Ex-Oregon St. DB goes home to LaTech as grad transfer

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Running back Justin Davis #22 of the USC Trojans is defended by safety Cyril Noland-Lewis #17 of the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated Oregon State 35-10.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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A week after transferring from Oregon State, Cyril Noland-Lewis has found a new home that happens to also double as his hometown.

The Ruston News Star, among others, has reported that Noland-Lewis is transferring into the Louisiana Tech football program.  As he is coming to Tech as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play for the Bulldogs in 2016, his final season of eligibility.

The defensive back, who went to high school in Ruston, was at the Bulldogs’ practice Tuesday as Tech continues preparations for the season opener Sept. 3 against Arkansas.

Noland-Lewis started 10 games for the Beavers last season.  Six of those starts came as a safety, the others as the nickel corner.  OSU moved Noland-Lewis to cornerback this offseason, where he ultimately found himself buried on the depth chart in summer camp.

The 6-0, 198-pound fifth-year senior, who began his OSU career as a linebacker, played in a total of 37 games during his time in Corvallis.

Tyler Rodgers, NMSU’s starting QB, arrested on battery charge

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Tyler Rogers #18 of the New Mexico State Aggies drops back to pass against the LSU Tigers during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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It’s not been a good day for a couple of starting quarterbacks at Group of Five programs.

The Las Cruces Sun-News has reported that New Mexico State’s Tyler Rogers turned himself in last Friday on a warrant that had been issued for him Aug. 14.  The junior was booked on one count of misdemeanor charge of battery against a household member.

The alleged victim is Rogers’ girlfriend. A verbal altercation at a party allegedly turned physical in a vehicle later on. When police arrived, the woman, who was initially crying, “downplayed the incident and said that it wasn’t really anything and that the altercation did not get physical and didn’t consider Mr. Rogers grabbing her arm as being a physical altercation.”

The woman decided against completing a domestic violence supplement report, and, according to the Sun-News, it’s unclear if the woman is cooperating with police.

“I was very disappointed in hearing the news but we are in the information gathering stage,” NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia said in a statement. “These are allegations that we take very seriously and we look forward to getting as much detail as possible so the university can be informed and the athletic department can make an informed decision moving forward.”

Because “it is a misdemeanor, there isn’t a suspension coming forth right now,” head coach Doug Martin said.

Rogers has started 15 games the past two seasons for the Aggies.