No. 2 Alabama (1-0) was a heavy favorite against West Virginia (0-1), but Nick Saban‘s Crimson Tide had to fight for a victory to prevent a rare three-game losing streak. Alabama held off West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta, winning 33-23.
Alabama used Blake Sims under center and never had a need to mix things up by inserting Jacob Coker, the Florida State transfer. Sims was efficient enough to run the Alabama offense, completing 24 of 33 passes for 250 yards. He was picked off once and did not throw a touchdown pass, but Alabama thrived enough on the ground to make that meaningless. T.J. Yeldon rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Derrick Henry added 113 yards and a touchdown. Alabama rolled up over 500 yards of offense and West Virginia struggled to keep up in the second half.
There were some bright spots for Dana Holgorsen to build off from moving forward. Quarterback Clint Trickett passed for 365 yards an a touchdown, but there were too many missed opportunities and dropped passes by West Virginia’s offense to keep the pressure on Alabama.
West Virginia had chances, but dropped passes on key downs and situations prevented the Mountaineers from giving Alabama even more of a challenge. But let’s say this much about the effort shown by West Virginia. We may have seen signs that this year’s team should be better and more respected in the Big 12 than they were a season ago. This may not have been the strongest effort or team we have seen from Alabama in previous seasons, but the Crimson Tide are still a behemoth. West Virgina was not quite playing David to Alabama’s Goliath, but they were a significant underdog that took it to the Tide and kept this game interesting from start to finish. Few seemed to expect that. Can West Virginia compete in the Big 12? There is still some work to prove worthy of being in the same conversation with Oklahoma or Baylor, but we now are taking notice of some potential from West Virginia.
Alabama will hope to get a little more of a breather next week when the Crimson Tide open up the home schedule against Florida Atlantic. West Virginia will open its home schedule next weekend in Morgantown against Towson.
“Baylor Attrition Day” here at CFT continues, although this one has nothing to do with a 2016 signee.
According to a report from Rivals.com affiliate SicEmSports, Chris Johnson has decided to leave Baylor and transfer into the Houston football program. The same website is reporting that the Bears gave the erstwhile quarterback a release from his scholarship.
Johnson will be graduating from BU this summer, thus making himself immediately eligible to play for the Cougars in 2016. Not only that, but he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Thanks to a rash of injuries at the position, Johnson started two games for the Bears at quarterback in 2015 before he too sustained an injury. He returned to start BU’s bowl win over North Carolina, but changed positions this spring and was listed as a wide receiver/tight end on his official BU profile. At least in the beginning, he’s expected to continue in a receiving role with the Cougars.
This past week, Texas confirmed four-star 2016 Baylor signee Devin Duvernay had joined Charlie Strong‘s football program, just a couple of days after BU announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent. Shortly after that, another 2016 BU signee, offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez, revealed via Twitter that he too will be moving on to the Longhorns.
Now, another has migrated from Waco to Austin.
According to a report from ESPN.com, Donovan Duvernay has committed to play his college football for Texas. This Duvernay is the twin brother of Devan Duvernay.
The wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Longhorns in 2016.
A three-star member of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class, Duvernay was rated as the No. 61 athlete in the country and the No. 113 player at any position in the state of Texas.
In the end, Baylor’s loss will turn into Texas’ gain. Again.
Just a couple of days after Baylor announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent, one of those prospects announced their new landing spot. And, to add insult to injury, said landing spot is a fellow Big 12 member.
And the state’s flagship university for good measure.
Pictured with Texas head coach Charlie Strong, that would be offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez announcing that he will begin his collegiate playing career with the Longhorns. And the get for UT, at least when it comes to recruiting pedigree, is a huge one.
Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.
The lineman becomes the second 2016 Bears signee to join the Longhorns since the sexual assault scandal slammed headfirst into Waco. Late this past week, UT confirmed the addition of four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay.
Thursday, reports surfaced that two Tennessee offensive linemen would be leaving the Volunteers football program and possibly transferring to the FCS level. Friday, one of those two confirmed he’s looking into it.
Speaking to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Ray Raulerson acknowledged that he’s “exploring options right now,” although he stopped short of confirming a transfer. However, the redshirt sophomore center talked of his time in Knoxville in the past tense, an indication that he is prepared to move on.
“I’m exploring options right now,” Raulerson told the News Sentinel. “…I really loved it at Tennessee, but I’m going to go to a place where I have a better chance to play.”
Raulerson was a three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in five games in 2015.
It has yet to be confirmed that the other lineman, fifth-year senior tackle Dontavius Blair, is indeed transferring. Raulerson, though, told the newspaper that his teammate is leaving as well.