Since the middle half of the 2014 season, Avonte Maddox has been a fixture in Pittsburgh’s secondary. Come Saturday, that appears likely to change.
Ahead of the Week 7 game against Virginia in Charlottesville, Pitt has listed Maddox as doubtful with what’s only described as an upper-extremity injury. Maddox sustained the vague injury in the second quarter of the win over Georgia Tech last weekend.
Maddox has started the past 24 games for the Panthers. He started the last five as a true freshman in 2014, then all 13 in 2015 before the first six in 2016. After being credited with 75 tackles, 12 pass breakups, three interceptions and a blocked kick last season, the true junior was accorded honorable mention All-ACC honors.
The negative defensive injury news isn’t limited to Maddox, though, as linebacker Mike Caprara is listed as questionable with a lower-body injury. Caprara, a starter entering the season, has missed most of the last three games because of the injury.
Monday, we asked the question, “Is a nine-game conference schedule coming to the ACC?” Two days later, we all have our answer.
Following a vote of its athletic directors, the ACC announced Wednesday that the conference will continue to play an eight-game league schedule in football. As of yet, there’s no word as to how the voting shook out, although the fact that Notre Dame has a football scheduling agreement with the league along with a handful of annual rivalry games with SEC teams likely made it at least an 8-6 split against going to nine league games.
The conference will continue to require its members to schedule at least one game per year against another Power Five conference member.
The Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten currently play nine-game league slates, with the SEC joining the ACC as the Power Five holdouts on that front. The Big Ten and SEC also have the Power Five requirement for at least one non-conference game per season.
Additionally, the Big Ten is the lone Power Five league to ban its teams from scheduling future games against FCS opponents.
After originating in the state, the ACC championship game is headed back to Florida.
In an announcement that should come as a shock to absolutely no one, the ACC confirmed Thursday that the 2016 football title game will be played in Orlando. The game will be held at Camping World Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:45 p.m. ET.
The 65,000-seat stadium serves as the home of the Citrus Bowl postseason game and also played host to this year’s Ole Miss-Florida State opener on Labor Day. ACC officials met with their counterparts from the city earlier this week to finalize the deal.
An announcement on the new site likely would’ve come earlier were it not for a pair of high school football championship games scheduled for the same day at the same venue. Those games will now be played the following weekend.
The move to Charlotte comes almost two weeks to the day that the ACC announced it was yanking the title game away from the city of Charlotte and out of the state of North Carolina. The move was in response to the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), a law which some claim fosters discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.
Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).
As Oklahoma State is looking to bounce back from the infamous “Loss That Shouldn’t Have Been” last week, James Washington is putting up video game-like numbers.
In the first two quarters of OSU’s game against Pittsburgh, Washington has caught six passes for a ridiculous 231 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of Washington’s scores covered 91 yards.
For those wondering, the FBS single-game record for receiving yards is 404 by Louisiana Tech’s Troy Edwards in a 1998 game against Nebraska.
With a huge assist from Washington, Mason Rudolph passed for 372 yards. Rudolph’s career-high coming into the game was 437 yards in October of 2015.
For Pitt, James Conner has rushed for 63 yards as the Panthers trail the Cowboys 31-24 at the half.
It’s not getting hype of Week 1, but Week 3 is shaping up to be a rather epic weekend of college football in its own right.
The top three teams in the most recent Associated Press poll, No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 Ohio State, all play on the road, with all three games coming against ranked teams for that matter. Top-ranked ‘Bama travels to Oxford to face No. 19 Ole Miss, which has beaten the Tide the last two seasons, while FSU must trek north to take on 10th-ranked Louisville and Lamar Jackson, the quarterback who has singlehandedly scored more touchdowns than all but 13 FBS teams. Finally, OSU makes it way to Norman to take on a wounded but 14th-ranked Oklahoma.
The fact that the top three teams are all on the road against ranked opponents is a little bit of history in the making.
But wait, there’s more.
In addition to those games, you had the likes of No. 6 Houston-Cincinnati Thursday night as well as FCS power North Dakota State at No. 13 Iowa; No. 25 Miami traveling to an Appalachian State squad that nearly knocked off No. 15 Tennessee in Knoxville Week 1; Colorado at No. 4 Michigan in a revival of the 1994 “Miracle at Michigan” game; No. 22 Oregon at Nebraska, coached by former Civil War rival Mike Riley; Pittsburgh, coming off a win over its in-state rival, at an Oklahoma State squad still hurting from the screwing they received in Week 2; Mississippi State-No. 20 LSU and No. 17 Texas A&M-Auburn in a key pair of SEC West clashes; No. 12 Michigan State at No. 18 Notre Dame in the fourth of four ranked vs. ranked matchups; USC, reeling from a series of embarrassing incidents on and off the field the past couple of weeks, trying to right the listing ship against the best the Pac-12 has to offer, No. 7 Stanford; BYU playing host to Josh Rosen and UCLA; and capping a loaded weekend with seemingly revitalized and 11th-ranked Texas heading to the Left Coast to square off with Cal.
It may not be Week 1 good, but Week 3 is about as close as you can get.