USC quarterback Max Wittek has decided to skip spring practice, graduate and then transfer to another school to play his final two seasons, he told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
Because he will have his undergraduate degree, the redshirt sophomore will be able to play immediately at an FBS school under the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule.
Wittek informed USC head coach Steve Sarkisian of the decision on Wednesday.
“I had talked to Coach a couple of times,” Wittek told the Times. “What it really came down to was a feel for me…. Getting my degree from such a great university will mean a lot, and ultimately, allowing me to play right away with two years to play was the best way to go.”
Wittek started the final two games of 2012 after Matt Barkley got injured, but he couldn’t secure the starting job in 2013 after Barkley departed as Cody Kessler took the vast majority of the snaps and started every game. Wittek ended his USC career with 600 passing yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions.
He is undecided on where he will end up playing.
“At the very beginning I’ll be open to anything to keep that spectrum open,” he said. “I hope to narrow it down to a few schools I feel comfortable with.”
With Kessler firmly entrenched as USC’s starter, it makes sense for Wittek to transfer. The Mater Dei High product should be an attractive option for any quarterback-starved schools out there. He is big (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) with a cannon for an arm. He just needs some seasoning.
As for USC, it will head into the fall with Kessler, redshirt freshman Max Browne and true freshman Jalen Greene at quarterback. The Trojans better hope Kessler stays healthy behind a rebuilt offensive line or things could get dicey in Sarkisian’s first season at USC.
Looking to prove they are every much worth respecting, West Virginia is off to a good start at home against TCU in Big 12 play this afternoon. The Mountaineers took advantage of a special teams mistake by TCU on the opening kickoff and now hold a 21-10 lead at halftime.
Deante Gray had the ball knocked out of his hands on TCU’s opening kickoff return. West Virginia recovered the loose ball and setup the offense from the TCU 17-yard line. Skyler Howard completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Daikiel Shorts on a third and short for an early 7-0 lead. TCU’s first offensive possession did not last long, with an interception by Rasul Douglas giving West Virginia a second straight offensive opportunity on TCU’s side of the field, but West Virginia missed a field goal on the possession.
Howard completed a second touchdown pass later with a 22-yard play to Shelton Gibson to put West Virginia up 14-0. TCU got on the board on the ensuing possession with a field goal at the end of an 11-play drive. After a three-and-out by the Mountaineers offense, TCU pulled even closer with a 12-play drive capped by a Kenny Hill touchdown pass to Jaelen Austin. West Virginia wasted little time rebuilding the lead with Howard’s third touchdown pass of the half, this time to Gary Jennings.
West Virginia’s Elijah Battle was ejected from the game in the second quarter following the latest in a long string of controversial targeting penalties around college football.
Alabama controlled the first half of play in their usual dominating fashion… right up until the final minute of the first half in their latest SEC West showdown.
Texas A&M cut into the Tide’s lead with an eight play, 80 yard touchdown drive just before halftime to head into the locker room down just 13-7 in a game much more lopsided than the score would indicate.
Prior to their final drive of the half, the Aggies couldn’t get much of anything going offensively and were averaging under three yards a play as Alabama’s defense dialed up the pressure and had several bone-rattling hits. Quarterback Trevor Knight made a huge run on 4th down as the clock was running out however to setup an eventual touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds that gave the visitors plenty of hope at the midway mark.
On the flip side, Crimson Tide left tackle Cam Robinson won most of his reps against Aggies star pass rusher Myles Garrett (who appeared banged up) in a marquee matchup for the dozens of NFL scouts on hand. Quarterback Jalen Hurts looked good running the ball and hitting intermediate throws but made a freshman mistake when tossing an interception right to linebacker Claude George during the second quarter to halt a drive.
While a nice development for the A&M defense on the play, they did lose a key player in Donovan Wilson as the result of targeting on the interception return and the Aggies offense promptly threw a pick on their first play after the turnover to give the ball right back.
Alabama had several other chances to extend their lead in this one during the first half but couldn’t quite take advantage thanks to some miscues that Nick Saban will no doubt be looking to correct in the locker room. Maybe the late score was just enough for Texas A&M to think they can make this a game in the second half but it should be a fun finish in Tuscaloosa either way for this top 10 matchup.
When we ultimately exit Week 8, Lamar Jackson will be far and away the favorite to take home the 2016 Heisman Trophy, and for good reason.
Jackson currently has 35 touchdowns in seven games. Entering Week 8, there were only 10 FBS teams with more touchdowns than the Louisville quarterback has all by himself. He’s already broken the school’s single-season touchdown record, and there are still five regular season games plus the postseason remaining.
In the romp over North Carolina State Saturday, Jackson accounted for five of those touchdowns, three passing and two rushing. He also totaled 483 yards of offense, the fifth time this season he’s gone for 400-plus in a game.
The true sophomore — think about that for a moment, and then shudder if you’re a defensive coordinator on the U of L’s 2017 schedule — is on pace for a historical season, one for the ages that will be the stuff of lore for years to come. And, to that point, he’s now got a picture to go with it that’s worth much more than a thousand words.
Yeah, I’m thinking that photo will get some run, especially come mid-December
Normally when one side wins a rivalry game, they can’t wait to get their hands on the traveling trophy and hoist it high as they head off the field. Of course, in order, for there to be a rivalry, both sides have to agree that, well, there actually is a rivalry.
Last year, to the surprise — and chagrin — of UCF, UConn abruptly revealed that there were “just 130 days until the next Civil Conflict” with @UCF_Football!” The university even had a trophy created for the rivalry. All of that was news to the Knights as they stated at the time that they “have no involvement with the trophy or creating a rivalry game with UConn.”
Fast-forward nearly a year and a half, and the, ahem, Civil Conflict was back on as UCF traveled to East Hartford to tangle with UConn for the fourth meeting in a storied series that began in 2013. Four quarters later, the Knights walked off the field with a 24-16 win… and without the trophy.
Oh, UConn, this is not a good look. This is just sad. And embarrassing. If you have any dignity or self-respect left, give it up already.