North Carolina State and Troy have agreed to a future home-and-home series that will include two games over three seasons in 2015 and 2017. The schedule could mean a future game between NC State and LSU could be adjusted.
According to a press release from Troy, NC State will host the Trojans from the Sun Belt Conference on September 5, 2015, the season opener. NC State will make the return trip to Troy, Alabama on September 23, 2017. Bringing NC State to Veterans Memorial Stadium is a significant scheduling win for the Trojans.
“Anytime we can get an AQ opponent to come to Troy, and to do so in a home-and-home series, it’s a tremendous get for us,” Troy Athletics Director John Hartwell said in a statement. “It will be an opportunity to showcase not just our football program, but also our facilities, our University and the city of Troy. We’re not scheduling to just say that we played them; it’s one that we think we have a legitimate shot of not only competing, but also winning one or both of those games.”
As noted by FBSchedules.com, via Twitter, NC State was originally scheduled to open the 2015 season at home against South Alabama. The site also suggests a 2017 road trip for NC State to LSU could be moved as well, because this would give NC State two road games in non-conference play.
The new SEC scheduling policy, which will begin to be enforced in 2016, requires all SEC schools to schedule at least one game each year against a school from another power conference. NC State would satisfy that requirement if it remains on the schedule. Fortunately for LSU, Syracuse is on the schedule in 2017, so the power-conference requirement would remain fulfilled even without NC State.
NC State is scheduled to host LSU in 2020 as part of the scheduling agreement between the schools. One solution could be to switch the locations of the games, giving NC State a home game in 2017 and LSU the home-field advantage in 2020. LSU is also rumored to be working on a neutral site game against Penn State in 2020, although details on that possibility are far from developed. For now, NC State is the confirmed power conference opponent that would fulfill the SEC’s scheduling requirement that season.
An off-field incident will lead to some on-field attrition, at least for the short-term, for West Virginia.
Starting left guard Adam Pankey (pictured, large player lifting Smallwood) was arrested earlier this month and charged with driving under the influence following a one-car accident. Dana Holgorsen has confirmed that Pankey has been suspended and will remain that way through at least the opener Sept. 3.
“We hold these guys to high expectations,” the head coach said. “When you don’t meet those, there are going to be consequences. He’s currently suspended from the team. That’s disappointing. He will continue his suspension through Missouri, and we’ll address it at that time.”
Pankey has started 25 games the past two seasons. He started 13 at left tackle in 2014, and 12 at left guard in 2015.
Jim Harbaugh had previously confirmed that two of the three Michigan football players not present for a team photo earlier this month — wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, running back Kareem Walker and defensive lineman Shelton Johnson — had been suspended, although he declined to specify which two. A couple of weeks later, one of those players has apparently exited the program.
On his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, Mitchell announced that he is “reopening my recruitment to all Universities and football programs.” It’s unclear if the wide receiver has received a release from his UM scholarship.
“I love what U of M had to offer me but, what is best for me and my family comes first,” Mitchell wrote.
A four-star 2016 recruit, Mitchell was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of New Jersey and the No. 167 player overall on 247sports.com‘s composite board. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.,
With the opener a little over a week way, Eastern Michigan’s quarterback situation is in a significant state of flux.
The Detroit Free Press has reported that Brogan Roback has been suspended by EMU head coach Chris Creighton. The only reason given was “a violation of our policies.”
EMU opens the 2016 season Sept. 3 against Mississippi Valley State, and it appears Roback will miss at least that contest.
“With the privilege of being a member of the Eastern Michigan University football program there are expectations and standards to which we hold our student-athletes accountable,” a portion of a Creighton’s statement sent to the Free Press read.
Roback took over for Reggie Bell as the Eagles’ starting quarterback after Week 1 last year. He threw for 2,304 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in completing exactly 60 percent of his passes.
Bell transferred after the 2016 season, leaving Roback as the presumptive starter. With Roback’s suspension, it leaves EMU with four scholarship quarterbacks — junior Todd Porter, freshman Isaac Stiebeling, and redshirt freshmen Anton Skupin and James Pensyl. Only Porter, a junior college transfer, has experience at the collegiate level, and would presumably take over as the starter in Roback’s absence.
Not surprisingly, Ryan Finley‘s stay in Raleigh has been extended.
North Carolina State confirmed Tuesday that Finley has been granted an additional season of eligibility by the NCAA. Finley received a medical waiver from The Association that will give him a sixth year if he ultimately chooses to use it.
So, in summation, Finley has three years of eligibility remaining beginning this season and running through the 2018 season.
In April of this year, the quarterback announced that he had decided to transfer from Boise State. A month later, he moved on to NC State as a graduate transfer.
Finley started the first three games last season as a redshirt sophomore for the Broncos before suffering a broken ankle and losing the job he won in the summer to Freshman All-American Brett Rypien, with the latter further solidifying his hold on the position this spring and triggering the transfer decision.
On the depth chart the Wolfpack released earlier this week, Finley was listed as the co-starter along with redshirt sophomore Jalan McLendon.