Mark Walton

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Malik Rosier solid in guiding No. 14 Miami to win over Duke in ACC Coastal clash

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All offseason long, folks wondered just how well the ACC could respond to losing a number of quarterbacks to the NFL. A quarter of the way through the season, the answer in Miami sure seems to be that the Hurricanes will be one of the teams that are just fine on that front.

Signal-caller Malik Rosier out-dueled his highly touted counterpart at Duke on Friday night and helped lead Miami to a 31-6 win that gives the team a solid inside track in the Coastal Division race.

Rosier didn’t have an incomplete pass until well into the second quarter as part of a hot start and wound up finishing with 270 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to go with another 45 yards and a score rushing. While things didn’t quite come as easy for the redshirt junior in the second half, it was nevertheless another quality start for a team that moves to 3-0 ahead of their big rivalry game at Florida State next week.

While it was a good night for the quarterback, star running back Mark Walton didn’t quite have it so easy. Though he broke off a few nice runs throughout the evening, he finished with just 51 yards on the ground and was injured in the fourth quarter that saw him limp off with a leg injury. Backup Travis Homer promptly ripped off a 40 yard touchdown on the next series to seal the victory after taking over in the backfield.

Not everything went well on the night for the ‘Canes however. Punter Zach Feagles made the highlight reel in a way no specialist wants to by booting a negative one-yard punt (that wasn’t blocked) in the third quarter. Yes, really.

As for the Blue Devils, they were on the verge of getting right back into things several times throughout the game but never could turn the corner. QB Daniel Jones had his moments, but was under pressure all night and managed just 166 yards on 21 completions while also tossing an interception. Though he did everything he could with limited options, the team went just 5-of-19 on third down and converted just one of their fourth down attempts.

Given the ACC Coastal chaos we’ve seen in the division in the past, a loss by no means knocks Duke out of the title race. Still, the big takeaway from Friday night came on the other sideline as Miami took home a victory and made another big step in the right direction under Mark Richt.

Miami confirms mother of RB Mark Walton has passed away

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Unfortunately, there’s sad and heartbreaking news coming out of South Florida Friday.

Rumors began swirling in the early morning hours that the mother of Miami running back Mark Walton, Kimberly Rogers, had died.  Early this afternoon, Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald confirmed through Walton’s high school football coach that the rising junior’s mom died Thursday night.

Not long after, the football program confirmed the passing.

At this time, there is no word on the cause of death. This is the second tragedy involving a parent Walton has had to endure in his young life as his father, Mark Walton Sr., was murdered a little over a decade ago.

“He was stabbed in the heart by his girlfriend,” Walton, whose parents by that time were separated, said back in January of 2015. “It affected me big time. I knew he wanted me to do the right things in life and keep my head focused.

“That’s my motivation in life, make my mom happy, the way she treats me. She broke her back for me. I want to make her happy at the end of the day.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Mark Walton and all of those impacted by Kimberly Rogers’ passing.

North Carolina jumps on Miami to take big lead into halftime of ACC Coastal tilt

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North Carolina scored on all but one drive in the first half as they jumped on a lifeless Miami to take a 20-3 halftime lead in a huge game in the ACC Coastal standings.

Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky looked much more like himself playing the Hurricanes rather than playing in one, going 14-of-19 for 162 yards and two scores. Those numbers are more than double what he threw for last week in a disappointing loss to Virginia Tech.

Bug Howard took care of big plays in the passing game by getting a big 40 yard reception to open things up deep while teammate Ryan Switzer was surprisingly held in check (four yards on four catches but one score).

Miami signal-caller Brad Kaaya had virtually no rhythm when dropping back to pass as the Canes could not get much going aside from a few catch and runs from receiver David Njoku (four catches, 82 yards). Mark Walton did chip in with 60 yards on the ground in the offense’s lone bright spot of the first half.

You probably could have seen a big let down coming for the Hurricanes after an emotional last minute loss to Florida State a week ago. North Carolina took advantage of the slow start by the home team in the first half but will need to keep their foot on the pedal if they want to leave South Florida with a win in the final two quarters.

Mark Richt tweet indicates no game suspension for RB Mark Walton

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The news was decidedly negative when it comes to one offensive playmaker for Miami earlier today, but it’s 180 degrees when it comes to another.

Monday morning, charges of driving under the influence and knowingly driving with a suspended license were dropped against Mark Walton.  Monday evening, Miami announced that the running back, indefinitely suspended since April, has been reinstated to the football program.

Still left up in the air, however, was whether Mark Richt would suspend the back.  Friday, the head coach took to Twitter to reveal the answer to that particular question.

As a true freshman last season, Walton led the Hurricanes with nine rushing touchdowns and 10 total touchdowns, and was second with 450 yards rushing. His 293 receiving yards were fifth on the team and tops among running backs. He was also second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards.

DUI charge against Miami RB Mark Walton dropped

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It appears the path has been cleared for the return of one of Miami’s most explosive playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.

Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that all charges, including a DUI, against Mark Walton were dropped by the state attorney’s office during a court proceeding Monday morning.  The running back was charged April 23 with DUI, along with knowingly driving with a suspended license.  He was also investigated for impersonating an officer and groping a woman, although he was never charged.

According to a police affidavit, the arresting officer noticed Walton “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth” and that “his eyes were watery and bloodshot.” Walton had registered a .059 and .06 BAC on two separate breathalyzer tests, which is below the legal limit of .08.  However, he was above the legal limit of .02 for underaged drinkers, leading to the initial charges.

In the wake of the arrest, Walton was indefinitely suspended by first-year head coach Mark Richt.  While a UM official declined to address Walton’s status with the team, even off the record, it’s expected the sophomore will be reinstated in time for the start of summer camp early next month.

In speaking with the Post‘s Porter, Walton’s attorney criticized law enforcement for their handling of the situation that led to the suspension.

“Police have to be more careful than that,” Joey McCall told the Post. “They cannot just parade people in front of the media as if the arrest means the person is guilty.

“For Mark, he is a college football player. These off-the-field incidents are evaluated by professional teams when they’re making their evaluations on where to draft him. … I think this is something that has to be remedied.”

(For additional details on the ofttimes bizarre situation, click HERE for slaterscoops.com’s accounting of events.)

McCall also hinted that civil litigation may be in the offing.

As a true freshman last season, Walton led the Hurricanes with nine rushing touchdowns and 10 total touchdowns, and was second with 450 yards rushing.  His 293 receiving yards were fifth on the team and tops among running backs.  He was also second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards.