Antone Exum, Jela Duncan

Hokies could be without pair of experienced corners for Terps game

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The status of two of Virginia Tech’s veteran cornerbacks for the Maryland game is up in the air, including one who had fought his way back to the playing from a serious offseason injury.

Both Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller are dealing with injuries ahead of the Terps, the former with a fresh ankle injury and the latter with a lingering groin strain.  The pair’s position coach didn’t sound optimistic Monday about either senior’s availability.

“Right now, the way things are standing, it’s not looking like we’re going to have certain guys,” defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said according to the Roanoke Times.

The absence of Exum, especially on Senior Day in Blacksburg, would be particularly disheartening.

Exum has spent the eight months recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during a January pickup basketball game, but was medically cleared late last month.  After initial signs pointed to him returning for the Oct. 5 game against North Carolina, Exum decided to give himself another week to heal.  That week bled into the next game against Pittsburgh.

While he returned for the Oct. 26 loss to Duke, Exum injured his ankle in the win over Miami this past weekend.

Fuller strained his groin during the mid-October bye week and has been limited ever since, although he’s played in every game.  Fuller, who started the first seven games before giving way to both his injury and Exum in the starting lineup, entered the Hurricanes game leading the ACC in passes defended (12) and passes broken up (10).

The good news for the Hokies is that, because of the injury issues at the position, Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson have emerged as promising and productive players at the front-end of the secondary.  The freshmen have combined for nine interceptions this season, with Fuller tied for ninth nationally in interceptions per game and Facyson tied for 14th.

In Baker Mayfield, Texas set to face yet another QB who wanted to be a Longhorn

Baker Mayfield
Associated Press

Jameis WinstonJohnny ManzielAndrew LuckRobert Griffin IIIJ.T. Barrett. Oh, don’t mind me. Just recounting the number of quarterbacks with ties to the Texas football program that never received a sniff from Bevo’s famous snout.

Add another to the list, perhaps the most inexplicable of all: Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield played at Lake Travis High School in Austin, a powerhouse program in a state that specializes in them. Lightly recruited out of high school (he reportedly held only an offer from Florida Atlantic), Mayfield and his family reached out to the nearby program to see if they’d take him as a walk-on.

They said no.

“They told us he had five scholarship quarterbacks, so there wasn’t any need of ‘Bake’ coming out there,” James Mayfield, Baker’s father, told George Schroeder of USA Today. “I popped off that they had five scholarship quarterbacks that couldn’t even play for Lake Travis. That’s where our relationship stalled out.”

On one hand, it utterly boggles the mind why Texas would decline a successful high school quarterback willing to pay his own way on to the team, especially considering the state of the position at the time. On the other, one would see why Mack Brown‘s staff would pass on a kid with only an offer from FAU who says UT’s quarterbacks couldn’t start for his high school team.

Instead, Texas signed Tyrone Swoopes and Mayfield enrolled at Texas Tech. He won the starting job as a true freshman, transferred to Oklahoma, walked on and then won the starting job there.

And now he’s set to face the hometown team he at one time wished he could play for.

Mayfield has completed 88-of-135 throws for 1,382 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions – good for a 178.52 passer rating, which ranks fifth nationally – while adding 138 yards and four scores on the ground. His counterpart, redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard, has connected on 42-of-76 passes for 661 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (131.74 passer rating) to go with a team-leading 67 carries for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

“As perverse as all this has been, he’s where he wanted to be,” James Mayfield said. “He’s living his dream. If he had to do it all over again, he’d do it, with the same outcome.”

Appalachian State announces five-year extension for head coach Scott Satterfield

Scott Satterfield
Associated Press

One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.

“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”

Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.

Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.

“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”