Duke’s (10-2, 6-2 ACC) defensive MVP DeVon Edwards intercepted a pass by North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 ACC) quarterback Marquise Williams to lock up the ACC Coastal Division and a trip to the ACC Championship Game. The interception by Edwards sealed a hard-fought 27-25 victory by the Blue Devils, setting a school record with 10 wins in a single season in the process.
The two Tobacco Road rivals went back and forth all game long, and the fourth quarter was no exception. Leading 24-22, Duke saw their lead slip away midway through the fourth quarter when Thomas Moore kicked a 37-yard field goal to give the home Tar Heels a narrow 25-24 lead. Duke answered with Ross Martin capping a 11-play drive with a 27-yard field goal for the 27-25 lead with 2:22 to play. North Carolina made it interesting by moving the ball just across midfield but Edwards came up with the big defensive play at the Duke 29-yard line with 13 seconds to play. Both of North Carolina’s turnovers came in the second half of the game, with the first coming in the first 30 seconds of the half.
Duke will play in next weekend’s ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, where they will face Florida State, who could be one step away from playing for a BCS Championship. Florida State won last year’s ACC Championship Game against Georgia Tech.
North Carolina’s season is not over yet though. The Tar Heels ended the regular season with a 6-6 record which makes them eligible for a postseason bowl game.
UCF announced the largest financial gift in school history from UCF alum Kenneth Dixon. The donation will help give UCF the support needed to move forward with its athletics facility upgrades, including an athletics village. Among those upgrades will be an expansion to the school’s baseball stadium and basketball facility, as well as a better atmosphere outside the football stadium for fans.
As far as the football program is concerned, the upgrades to the football operations and athletics headquarters have received a $2 million commitment to date. Most of the renovations will help bring the school’s other sports programs up to a more level playing field, but the football stadium will be given a fresh look on he outside with a plaza and promenade to make for a more inviting atmosphere for UCF fans before and after home football games.
In all, UCF is looking to invest $25 million in the renovation project, and the recent donation from Dixon has helped the school cross the $10 million benchmark.
“With more than $10 million committed to our $25 million facilities vision, our goal is to build the best Athletics Village in the nation,” UCF Athletics Director Danny White said in a released statement. “Thanks to Ken Dixon’s gift of more than $5 million, we’ve taken a major step in that direction.”
Sirk was Duke’s leading passer in 2015 with 2,625 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He was also Duke’s leading rusher that season with 803 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Naturally, he will likely be a quality dual-threat option for whatever program lands his services in 2017. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play this fall at any FBS program.
With the rights to use “Row the Boat” successfully acquired through a deal with Western Michigan, Minnesota is going all in with the merchandising efforts to capitalize on the motto of P.J. Fleck. Aside from being able to use the motto for program-building measures, Minnesota has the rights to market the saying on merchandise, including an upcoming bobblehead featuring Minnesota’s Gopher mascot.
A limited edition University of Minnesota bobblehead featuring Goldy Gopher rowing a boat was unveiled on Friday by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. Though just an illustration now, it looks incredibly promising and I sort of want to add it to my bobblehead collection.
It appears one of Rutgers’ transferring quarterbacks has found a new home.
In late November, Chris Laviano became one of three Scarlet Knights signal-callers who decided to transfer from Chris Ash‘s football program. Over the weekend, as relayed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Laviano has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at San Diego State.
As Laviano would be coming to the Mountain West program as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This coming season will be his final year of eligibility.
Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.
In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.
Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.