Amid the dreary weather of Hurricane Matthew, North Carolina began their ACC showdown with Virginia Tech in a way fitting the conditions.
The Tar Heels opened the game with a five play drive that turned the ball over on downs, then had an interception on their next possession, followed by a fumble, a three-and-out, and then a punt.
In short, it was that kind of first half for Larry Fedora’s team even if things weren’t that much better on the other side for the Hokies, which took a 13-3 lead into the locker room at the break.
Quarterback Jerod Evans was mostly forced into being a runner (6-of-16 through the air) given the conditions and racked up 56 yards on a remarkable 11 carries. He did connect with wideout Bucky Hodges on an incredible catch with just under two minutes to help the team score the only touchdown of the half one play later.
Virginia Tech fumbled away several other scoring chances to extend their lead in the second quarter though. Their first turnover set up North Carolina’s only score on a field goal and their second cost the Hokies points down in the red zone on a key third down play.
After cracking several Heisman Trophy watch lists during the week, Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky was 8-of-16 for only 39 yards in the first two quarters. Running back Elijah Hood did not play in the game with an injury making it even harder for the offense to get going.
Hopefully the weather will clear up a bit after halftime and allow the two ACC Coastal contenders to look a little sharper in the second half but you probably shouldn’t hold your breath given what happened from the start.
When USA Today released their annual series on college football coaching salaries, it wasn’t a complete shock to see Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh top the list given how much the school has invested in him since he returned to Ann Arbor from the NFL.
What was a little surprising was the total compensation figure listed for the Wolverines’ head coach at a whopping $9,004,000. That’s a figure that’s more than $2 million more than the second highest paid coach (Nick Saban) and $3 million more than Big Ten rival Urban Meyer.
As it turns out, that lofty salary is mostly the result of the way Harbaugh’s contract is structured and due to roughly $4 million in insurance premium payments on top of his standard half a million salary. But that’s not going to be the coach’s final compensation number at all this year as he has a chance to top the $10 million mark through a variety of bonuses.
Per USA Today:
- $125,000 if the team plays in the Big Ten Conference championship.
- $125,000 if the team wins the Big Ten title game.
- $300,000 if the team plays in a College Football Playoff semifinal.
- $500,000 if the team wins the national championship.
- $50,000 for being voted Big Ten coach of the year by the conference’s coaches.
- $75,000 for winning any one of six national coach of the year awards.
- At athletics director Warde Manuel’s discretion, up to $150,000 based on the team’s academic performance, as long as its single-year and multi-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate figures are at least 960.
Michigan is ranked No. 2 in the country and has a fairly clear path to the College Football Playoff and national title game if they keep playing like they have so it’s not hard to see Harbaugh hitting most of those bonuses to become the sport’s first $10 million man.
While fans at many other schools may throw their hands up in disgust as a result of those figures, you can bet maize and blue fans believe Harbaugh to be worth every single penny.
Not surprisingly, Duke will be without one of its biggest and most productive threats in the passing game this weekend.
In releasing the injury report ahead of Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech, the Blue Devils confirmed that Anthony Nash will not play against the Yellow Jackets. The wide receiver suffered a broken clavicle during the Oct. 14 loss to Louisville.
There’s no timetable for the redshirt senior’s return.
Nash currently leads the Blue Devils in receiving yards (398) and yards per reception (13.7). His two receiving touchdowns are tied for second on the team.
Prior to the injury, Nash had started 16 consecutive games.
In a statement Wednesday night, Memphis head coach Mike Norvell confirmed that he has indefinitely suspended wide receiver Jae’Lon Oglesby and cornerback Kam Prewitt from his football program.
The teammates were reportedly involved in an on-campus physical altercation Tuesday. Later that day, several gunshots were fired into Oglesby’s car while the receiver was sitting in his apartment. Oglesby told police he did not see who fired the shots, but did indicate that he had been involved in the altercation with Prewitt.
No one has been arrested in connection to either incident, and Memphis police are currently investigating the situation.
“I will make no further comments on this matter while it remains under investigation,” the Tigers coach said in his statement. Norvell’s decision to suspend the players came after consultation with athletic director Tom Bowen.
Bowen said in his own statement that the university has “offered our full support to the local authorities investigating that incident.”
The past two seasons, Oglesby, a sophomore, has caught 25 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. Five of those catches and 46 of the yards have come in 2016. He also has carried the ball eight times for 64 yards.
A redshirt freshman, Prewitt has yet to play a down for the Tigers. According to the Commercial Appeal he was suspended during summer camp for undisclosed reasons.
Whether Florida will have its leading tackler for its annual rivalry game with Georgia won’t be known (still) for another couple of days.
The good news is that, for the first time since severely spraining his ankle in the Week 7 win over Missouri, Jarrad Davis returned to practice Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis. If the linebacker takes the field for the UGA game, it won’t be known until Saturday shortly before kickoff.
“Obviously, that will be one of those that it’s got to be right with him, got to be right with the doctors. We’ll see. Kind of game time,” head coach Jim McElwain said. “I thought he moved pretty well. One of the tackling circuits he got beat up by one of the sleds. The sled bit back, but it was good to see. The opportunity to play in this game is something that’s real special and that guy is a real big part of our team. He’ll do anything he can to help us.”
Davis currently leads the Gators in tackles with 48 and is tied for second on the team with 3.5 tackles for loss.
While the status of Davis remains up in the air, McElwain did confirm that two starting defensive linemen, end Jordan Sherit and tackle Joey Ivie, will play against the Bulldogs. Sherit underwent arthroscopic surgery three weeks ago while Ivie had surgery performed on his thumb the week before. Additionally, starting defensive end Bryan Cox has a chance to play despite his own thumb injury.