Sun Belt Conference

Sackless in South Bend: Irish lone remaining FBS team without a sack

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And then there was one.

Entering Week 4, Nevada and Notre Dame were the lone FBS teams that had yet to register a sack during the first quarter of the 2016 season.  Midway through the second quarter of the game against Purdue today, however, Nevada’s Korey Rush sacked David Blough for a four-yard loss.

With Notre Dame not playing until 3:30 ET this afternoon (on NBC), that leaves the Irish standing alone as the only sackless team left at the FBS level.

Ironically enough, Purdue entered today’s game as one of five FBS teams, along with East Carolina, Northern Illinois, Texas State and West Virginia, that had recorded just one sack on the year.  And, for those who are curious, Florida came into Week 4 leading the nation in sacks with 16.

No. 2 in that category?  The Irish’s opponent this afternoon, the Blue Devils (tied with Ball State).

UPDATED 6:11 p.m. ET: And then there were none.

Early in the third quarter of the game with Duke, Nyles Morgan sacked Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones, giving the Irish their first sack of the season 14 quarters after it started.

Appalachian State AD apologizes ‘to all those impacted by the situation’ prior to Miami game

BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17:  The Appalachian State Mountaineers run onto the field prior to their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Boone, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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It appears the latest faux in-season controversy can be put to bed.

Earlier this week, a member of the Appalachian State color guard took to social media to accused “several very large, intentionally aggressive” Miami football players of shoving another member of the marching band. Additionally, she claimed that “several other members were groped, sworn at, taunted, and touched in ways that were definitely not asked for.”

In a statement, UM athletic director Blake James indicated that “there is no indication of inappropriate conduct,” but the university is continuing to look into the allegations.  App State officials looked into the matter as well and could find no credible evidence backing up those claims.

Thursday, James’ ASU counterpart, Doug Gillin, issued a statement apologizing “to all those impacted by the situation.”

On behalf of Appalachian State University, we apologize to all those impacted by the situation created as the teams took the field prior to kickoff on Saturday. The University of Miami administration has been incredibly cooperative throughout the review process. We’ve investigated the concerns, and we’ve provided support to our students. We will continue to support our students and keep their safety as a top priority.

Thus ends the Great Gropegate Brouhaha of 2016.  You may now feel free to move on with your collective lives.

Miami says ‘no indication of inappropriate conduct’ by Hurricane players at App State

BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17:  A general view of the game between the Miami Hurricanes and Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Boone, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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As Miami looks to focus on its ACC opener against Georgia Tech next weekend, allegations from last weekend may prevent them from doing that in the here and now.

In Week 3, The U had little problem in dispatching Appalachian State in a rare Power Five road trip to Boone, NC. However, social media chatter shortly after the 35-point win indicated that Hurricane football players got physical with several members of the Mountaineers band as the former took the field.

Specifically, one member of the color guard part of the ASU marching band accused “several very large, intentionally aggressive” ‘Cane players of shoving another member of the band. Additionally, she claimed that “several other members were groped, sworn at, taunted, and touched in ways that were definitely not asked for.”

The initial member of the color guard allegedly shoved be several football players “had severe pain and had to sit for most of the game,” the social media poster, Sophie Randleman, added.

In a statement, UM athletic director Blake James indicated that “there is no indication of inappropriate conduct,” but the university is continuing to look into the allegations.

“We have already followed up seeking details from both the football and administrative staff,” James’ statement began. “The University of Miami does not tolerate any kind of suggestive behavior, harassment or inappropriate conduct and we will take action if our students did engage in this type of behavior. We have been in touch with App State and we both have spoken to individuals and reviewed video and at this point, there is no indication of inappropriate conduct, but we are continuing our review.”

From the Orlando Sentinel:

In a short video shot by the Sun Sentinel from the press box at Appalachian State on Saturday, the Hurricanes can be seen running onto the field and the Miami sideline through the Appalachian State band as it is playing on the field and near the sideline. In the 12-second clip, no member of the band is seen falling to the turf.

North Dakota State narrowly misses becoming first ranked FCS team

AMES, IA - AUGUST 30: North Dakota Bison fans cheer on their team in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
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North Dakota State is already in the midst of one record-breaking streak with five straight Football Championship Subdivision.

But the Bison narrowly missed making another type of history on Sunday, one that would have, arguably, topped their literal handful of national championships.

Following Saturday’s 23-21 upset of then-No. 13 Iowa, North Dakota State just missed the cut at joining Sunday’s AP poll, garnering 74 points, good enough for 28th place in a 25-team poll.

The Bison would’ve been the first team to join the poll had they received enough votes to make the cut. As it stands, their 74 points are the most ever for an FCS team. All told, ten FCS teams have earned votes in the AP poll, dating back to Appalachian State’s stunner of then-No. 5 Michigan on the opening Saturday of the 2007 season.

It’s unlikely North Dakota State will rise any higher than 28th from here on out. The Bison have no more FBS opponents left on their 2016 schedule.

While they won’t see a number next to their name at the FBS level, the Bison can take solace in this: they earned 42 more points in this week’s poll than Notre Dame.

AP’s top three teams each facing ranked road opponent for first time in poll era

Louisville's Lamar Jackson jumps over Syracuse's Cordell Hudson and scores a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
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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.