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Baker or no Baker, OU rolling through West Virginia

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Baker Mayfield did not start No. 4 Oklahoma’s game with West Virginia, but he was in the game for the Sooners’ third offensive play. Not because Lincoln Riley put him in for a third down pass, but because backup Kyler Murray needed only two snaps to get the Sooners on the board.

Murray opened the game with a 66-yard rush, and Rodney Anderson punched in a 4-yard score to put the Sooners on top for good. The Sooners took a 45-10 lead into the half.

West Virginia’s first touch consumed nearly half the first quarter, moving 64 yards in 13 plays before settling for a 28-yard Evan Staley field goal.

Mayfield entered the game after that and Oklahoma was off to the races. He led five touchdown drives in five chances over the remainder of the first half, helping the Sooners move 349 yards in 30 snaps. Mayfield completed his first eight passes and hit 10-of-11 throws for 238 yards and two touchdowns, an 8-yarder to CeeDee Lamb and a 14-yard strike to Mark Andrews with 13 ticks left before halftime.

Anderson accounted for three second quarter touchdowns with runs of 13, 17 and one yard. He led all runners with 13 carries for 118 yards in addition to his four touchdowns.

Oklahoma notched scored 10 points inside the final 13 seconds of the second quarter. After Mayfield’s pass to Andrews, West Virginia attempted a hook-and-ladder just before the final horn, but the ball was fumbled and OU’s Austin Seibert turned it into a 51-yard field goal as time expired.

Playing without starting quarterback Will Grier, West Virginia has been forced to get creative offensively, using a number of Wildcat snaps to running back Kennedy McCoy. McCoy accounted for nine carries for 66 yards and West Virginia’s only touchdown. Chris Chugunov completed 7-of-11 passes for 99 yards.

The game has been chippy, with a scuffle after nearly every play for a stretch in the second quarter. Sooners offensive lineman Dru Samia was ejected for throwing a punch, and WVU’s Xavier Preston was flagged for roughing the passer for a two-handed shove at Mayfield’s head. 

West Virginia will receive to open the second half.

Head coach Mike Sanford assumes Western Kentucky play-calling duties

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Mike Sanford is getting back to the roots that helped him land his first head-coaching job in the first place.

Last season, Junior Adams served as the offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky in addition to his duties as wide receivers coach.  While he will maintain those continue carrying those titles in 2018, the Bowling Green Daily News reports, Sanford will take over as the game-day play-caller.  Prior to coming to WKU, Sanford was the coordinator at both Notre Dame (2015-16) and Boise State (2-14).

Last season, the Hilltoppers were 89th nationally and 10th in Conference USA in scoring at 25.5 points per game.

In addition to Sanford taking over as the primary play-caller, the school also noted on its official website that “Sanford intends to take a more hands-on approach to the quarterbacks this season and will be aided with the addition of Matthew Mitchell as quarterbacks coach.”  Last season, Mitchell was an offensive graduate assistant for the Hilltoppers.

The need for a new quarterbacks coach arose after Steve Spurrier Jr. left in February for a job at Washington State.

Cal confirms addition of Michigan transfer Moe Ways

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A day after it was announced on social media, Cal has officially added a Power Five transfer.

Sunday, Maurice “Moe” Ways revealed on Instagram that he would be transferring from Michigan to Cal.  Monday evening, the Golden Bears announced that the wide receiver has signed a financial aid agreement with the university and will play for the football team in 2018.

Ways will be coming to Berkeley from Ann Arbor as a graduate transfer.  The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

In addition to the, uh, addition of Ways, Cal also announced that junior college outside linebacker Deon White has also been added to the roster.

“We are excited that Maurice and Deon are joining our program,” head coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “Both have tremendous upsides and with their skill sets we feel that they will help us immediately.”

A three-star member of the Wolverines’ 2014 recruiting class, Ways was rated as the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Michigan.

In 25 career games, the former Detroit Country Day high schooler caught eight passes for 71 yards.  Ways started two of those contests, with both of those starts coming during his redshirt freshman season in 2015.

Report: Former NC State QB Jalan McClendon Baylor-bound as graduate transfer

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When Ryan Finley announced he would put off the NFL Draft in order to spend his senior season at NC State, Jalan McClendon announced he would not spend his own senior year backing up Finley.

Now we reportedly know where McClendon will spend his final season.

According to Yahoo‘s Pete Thamel, McClendon will pursue a graduate transfer to Baylor.

A Charlotte native, McClendon appeared in 21 career games as a Wolfpack. He completed 26-of-47 passes (55.3 percent) for 262 yards with one touchdown against four interceptions while rushing 40 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

At Baylor, McClendon will step into a depth chart with a hole left by a transfer of its own. The Bears spent 2017 juggling their QB1 spot between Arizona graduate transfer Anu Solomon, sophomore Zach Smith and freshman Charlie Brewer. Solomon graduated and Smith has transferred to Tulsa, meaning McClendon will have to compete with the rising sophomore and brother of former Texas Tech and Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer. The younger Brewer was Baylor’s best signal caller in a downtrodden ’17 campaign, hitting 139-of-204 passes (68.1 percent) for 1,562 yards with 11 touchdowns against four interceptions.

American, ACC announce officiating alliance

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The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.

With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.