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UNLV loses leading returning rusher to season-ending injury

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Charles Williams‘ time on the field this season has come to an abrupt end.

In the stunning season-opening upset loss to Howard, Williams sustained an ankle injury that kept him out of the Week 2 win over Idaho. On his private Twitter account over the weekend, the running back revealed that he would miss the remainder of the 2017 season with the unspecified injury.

The football program subsequently confirmed to the Las Vegas Sun that the sophomore’s announcement was accurate and he will be sidelined for the balance of 2017.

Last season, Williams led the team in rushing with 763 yards. That number set a single-season Rebels record for a freshman.

Prior to his injury, he had rushed for 93 yards on 12 carries. Taking over as UNLV’s top back, Lexington Thomas leads the team in rushing with 341 yards and five touchdowns.

Cam Newton takes shot at Georgia, thinks Bulldogs missed out on a winner in not recruiting younger brother

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It may not have had College Football Playoff implications or made waves in the national polls, but Howard’s surprising win over UNLV during Week 1 was the shocker of all shockers in the southern Nevada desert for no other reason than the fact that it was the greatest point spread upset in college football history according to local sports books.

At the heart of the improbable victory was a quarterback with a familiar last name: true freshman Caylin Newton, who had 21 carries for 190 yards and two touchdowns (plus another 140 yards passing) in the 43-40 win over the Rebels. As many came to find out, the Bison signal-caller is also the younger brother of Carolina Panthers QB and former Auburn great Cam Newton. Naturally the recent NFL MVP was asked about the latest star in the family this week and managed to even land a little dig in at an SEC rival while praising his brother.

“I was teasing Thomas (Davis), I said man listen, Georgia needs a winner. And every Newton I know is a winner. They missed out on yet another one,” Newton said during his Tuesday press conference. “He has that ‘It’ factor to have guys follow him. That’s what you want in your quarterback.”

The elder Newton spoke for several minutes about the journey Caylin has been on from an under-recruited player to leading a historically black college to such a huge upset and appearing on SportsCenter. It won’t exactly be an upset if Cam manages a win against the San Francisco 49ers in the Panthers’ opener on Sunday but he will certainly have a hard time living up to the standard set on the field by the other quarterback in the family last week.

Cam Newton effusive in praise of QB brother who led biggest point-spread upset ever

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For one of the few times in his life, Cam Newton has been upstaged by a sibling. And, not surprisingly, the former Auburn star and Heisman Trophy winner is more than OK with that.

Howard University, an HBCU in Washington D.C., went out to Las Vegas this past weekend as a 45-point underdog to UNLV. Led in large part by Caylin Newton, Cam’s younger brother, the FCS school stunned the Rebels in a 43-40 win that serves as the biggest point-spread upset in college football history.

Tuesday, Newton had plenty to say about the size of the heart his 5-11, 194-pound brother possesses — and the fact that he actually has a first name as well.

“I’ve got my hands full of trying to follow up a great performance by him,” Cam Newton said according to ESPN.com. “I just see all of the notoriety he’s been getting. I’ve just been seeing a lot of, ‘Cam Newton’s little brother. Cam Newton’s little brother.’

“I would just prefer his name be Caylin. He’s deserved that right.’ …

“He’s a very undersized quarterback. But yet, it doesn’t measure the heart that he has, what he brings to the table. He has that ‘it’ factor to have guys follow him. That’s what you want in your quarterback.”

And, it seems, it was lessons learned from the older brother that the younger brother took to heart and paid dividends for both the player and his team.

“You can tell your kids everything they’re about to go through, but as soon as they go through it they’re like, ‘Man, I remember you telling me,’ ” he said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I told you.'”

Week 1 overreactions and hot takes: The Big Ten is awesome and USC is overrated

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There is still some college football to be played, but the bulk of college football’s first weekend is in the books. Now it’s time to take a look at some of the hot takes and overreactions you may come across in the coming days. Which ones are fair, and which ones should you avoid? Here is a look at five that will get some attention.

The Big Ten is the best conference in college football

The Big Ten just turned in an impressive 10-2 mark for the opening weekend, not including Ohio State’s victory over Indiana in conference play Thursday night. Highlighting that win total was Michigan’s defensive performance against Florida in Arlington, but top 10 teams Wisconsin and Penn State also turned in decisive blowout victories against inferior opponents as well. Maryland spoiled Tom Herman‘s coaching debut against a low Top 25 Texas squad, and even Purdue and Rutgers managed to hang with Louisville and Washington, respectively, before turning in the only two blemishes on the Big Ten schedule in Week 1. All things considered, it was a very good week for the Big Ten.

But now let’s see what happens in Week 2 with some notable games against the Big 12 (Ohio State vs. Oklahoma, Iowa State vs. Iowa), Pac-12 (Oregon vs. Nebraska, Oregon State vs. Minnesota), and the ACC (Penn State vs. Pitt, Duke vs. Northwestern). An equally successful Week 2 would go a long way to support the Big Ten’s strength of schedule argument. A rough week would negate the production of Week 1.

It’s still Alabama and everybody else in the SEC

This may still be true. Alabama’s win over Florida State certainly made it seem like that on the same day that saw Florida dismantled by Michigan. But LSU turned in a good showing against BYU in New Orleans, as did Auburn at home against Georgia Southern. And Georgia put to rest any idea about an Appalachian State upset bid rather solidly with Jake Fromm stepping in at quarterback. The SEC still has two more games to play with Texas A&M visiting UCLA tonight and Tennessee taking on Georgia Tech in Atlanta tomorrow. With a handful of victories over the FCS, one of which needed Missouri to put up over 50 points to win, it is still a tad early to suggest the SEC overall had a great weekend despite an 11-1 mark so far. Alabama, yes. The rest of the SEC? We’ll see how the next 48 hours go.

The U is back!

No, not yet, although Miami starting the year with a 41-13 victory over an FCS foe in Bethune-Cookman did nothing to suggest we should dismiss the idea already. Miami heads to Arkansas State, who just pushed Nebraska to the limit last night. I’ll be careful about placing the Hurricanes on upset alert after doing so a year ago against Appalachian State blew up in my face. Florida State in two weeks remains the litmus test.

USC is overrated

Despite turning it on in the fourth quarter like the Trojans were back in the Rose Bowl against Penn State, USC had a difficult time with Western Michigan in the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday. We’ll see how the pollsters weigh in on the Trojans, who started the year No. 4 in the preseason AP Top 25. With Sam Darnold being picked off twice and the Trojans having trouble getting going, perhaps USC is not quite as mighty as anticipated. Stanford comes to town next week. Let’s see if the Trojans iron out a few things with the Cardinal coming in rested from their trip to Australia a week ago.

The American Athletic Conference is far from a power conference

This much we already knew despite the conference’s PR push to be considered a power conference. TEams are even taking the field with a Power 6 flag and the conference’s P6 logo is on the goal posts this season. But the conference just went 8-3 this weekend. Wait, that actually sounds pretty good. Take away the wins against FCS opponents (one of which needed a fourth quarter rally by UConn against lowly Holy Cross) and the conference went just 3-3, with one of those losses coming at home against the top-ranked FCS program in the nation (James Madison beating East Carolina) by a 20-point margin.

Defending champ Temple was soundly defeated by Notre Dame by 33 points. Preseason favorite South Florida needed a second half burst to get by Stony Brook. At least Navy, Memphis, and UCF looked good this weekend though.

At least the Mountain West Conference had an equally shaky Week 1, if not worse. Colorado State and Wyoming combined for six points. Utah State was blasted by Wisconsin. Boise State held off Troy. UNLV surrendered the biggest upset in college football history.

Howard pulls off shocker, beats UNLV as 45 point underdog behind play of Cam Newton’s little brother

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You probably were not expecting to read a story about UNLV football during Week 1 of the season but here we are.

The Rebels were shocked on Saturday night in Las Vegas by Howard, an FCS team from across the country that recently hired former Virginia coach Mike London. Several sports books had the Bison, which were 3-19 the past two years coming into the game, as between a 45 and 46 point underdog. That means the team surpasses then-41 point underdog Stanford’s upset of powerhouse USC back in 2007 as the biggest shocker in college football ever according to certain folks in the south Nevada desert.

As crazy as even pulling off the win was for Howard, the story gets even better as they were led on Saturday night by a new star quarterback, Caylin Newton. Perhaps you might recognize that last name and yes, indeed, that’s Heisman winner Cam Newton little brother. The young signal-caller accounted for three touchdowns, ran for 190 yards and threw for another 140 as somebody the UNLV defense simply did not have an answer for.

The loss is already being labeled as the worst in school history in Las Vegas and… well, yeah. Some folks wondered what the program had to lose when they hired a high school head coach to run things and it appears now we know.