Appalachian State Mountaineers

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Georgia QB Jacob Eason injured, return uncertain

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The Jake Fromm Era at Georgia has commenced a little sooner than expected.  How long it’ll last remains to be seen — as will Jacob Eason potentially getting Wally Pipp’d.

Midway through the first quarter of their opener against Appalachian State, Eason was hit while out of bounds at the end of a run — a flag for a late hit was thrown — and stepped and landed somewhat awkwardly.  While he got up and limped toward the huddle, he ultimately went to the ground before being tended to by UGA medical personnel.  After briefly getting looked at inside a medical tent, the quarterback subsequently walked gingerly to the locker room for further observation.

At the time of this post, the only report on his condition is that Eason sustained an unspecified injury to his left knee and his return is uncertain.

Replacing the 2016 starter was Fromm, a four-star 2017 signee who was the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the country.  While Eason struggled somewhat during his brief time in the opener — he was 1-3 for four yards — the true freshman seemed at ease as, on his first two drives, he hit on five of his eight passes for 62.

Fromm’s play helped set up the first score of the game, a one-yard touchdown run toward the end of the first quarter.  Heading into the second quarter, the Bulldogs hold a 7-0 lead on the Mountaineers.

UPDATED 7:13 p.m. ET: Almost immediately after hitting publish, Fromm connected with Javon Wims on a 34-yard pass that served as the first touchdown pass of the true freshman’s career.

Georgia players have been reminded of Appalachian State’s upset history

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of one of the greatest college football upsets of all time; Appalachian State over Michigan. With Appalachian State the first opponent on the schedule for Georgia this season, the Bulldogs have been taking special care not to let the history escape them. Footage of the historic upset has been playing in the Georgia gym leading up to the season opener in Athens.

“They play it during workouts,” Georgia senior left tackle Isaiah Wynn said this week, according to Dawgs 247. “We get it right there on the big screen.”

A lot has changed over the course of the past decade. The Appalachian State team that topped Michigan went on to win their third consecutive national championship that season (against a Delaware team with some guy named Joe Flacco at quarterback). In more recent years, the Mountaineers have made the transition up to the FBS from the FCS and this season they look to be one of the top contenders for the Sun Belt Conference championship. This weekend, they look to score another signature upset, although one that would be far less shocking than the one a decade ago.

The point is this is not the same Appalachian State program it was when it scored the milestone upset over No. 5 Michigan in the Big House, but if you feel history does have a way of repeating itself, then it is best to constantly stay reminded of it.

Of course, if Appalachian State does pull the upset, maybe the decision to keep that memory running on loop could be seen as a move that came back to haunt Georgia. Georgia is a considerable favorite in the game, but one must be careful with Appalachian State. The Mountaineers let one slip away last year at Tennesee. Can they finish the job this weekend?

Seven 2016 finalists headline Manning Award preseason watch list

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This is the last preseason watch list you’ll have to endure this year. I promise. I think.

Wednesday, the Manning Award released its list of the top 30 quarterbacks in the country, although a player not on this initial list is not necessarily precluded from winning the award. This is the only major award, it should be noted, that is handed out after the bowls, and is named in honor of the quarterbacking triumvirate of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.

Highlighting this year’s list are seven of the 10 finalists from a year ago: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Luke Falk (Washington State), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma).

All FBS conferences are represented, led by the ACC and SEC with five watch listers apiece. The Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac-12 and Sun Belt are next with three each, with two apiece for all of the AAC, Big 12, Conference USA and MAC. Class-wise, there are 13 seniors, 12 juniors and five sophomores.

 

“We once again have a great group of quarterbacks returning to college football this fall,” said Archie Manning said in a statement. “While this Watch List has many of the best returning players, we look forward to making midseason additions as teams settle on definite starters and as young players step up and make names for themselves. I’m really looking forward to getting the season rolling to see which guys will rise to the top and become Manning Award finalists.”

Deshaun Watson was the 2016 winner of the award.

Below is the complete 2017 Manning Award preseason watch list.

Walter Camp releases 2017 Player of the Year Watch List

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Another day, another watch list for a major college football world.

The Walter Camp Foundation released their preseason watch list for the annual Player of the Year award and not surprisingly it has all of the usual stars from around the sport, including last year’s winner Lamar Jackson and the favorite for just about every award in 2017, USC’s Sam Darnold.

The foundation didn’t just stick with quarterbacks and pass rushers however, they also did the noble thing and included one kicker and one punter on their watch list. Kudos for recognizing that special teams players are watch list candidates too. The full list is below.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming, Jr.

Jake Browning, QB, Washington, Jr.

JT Barrett, QB, Ohio State, Sr.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC, Soph.

Luke Falk, QB, Washington State, Sr.

Quinton Flowers, QB, USF, Sr.

Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State, Soph.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama, Soph.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville, Jr.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma, Sr.

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State, Sr.

Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State, Jr.

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA, Jr.

Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State, Jr.

Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky, Sr.

Running Backs 

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State, Jr.

Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia, Sr.

Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama, Jr.

Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan, Sr.

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon, Sr.

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU, Jr.

Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern, Sr.

Jalin Moore, RB, Appalachian State, Jr.

Rashaad Penny, RB/KR, San Diego State, Sr.

Mark Walton, RB, Miami (Fla.), Jr.

Wide Receivers/Special Teams/Lineman 

Daniel Carlson, PK, Auburn, Sr.

Quadree Henderson, WR/KR, Pittsburgh, Jr.

Billy Price, OL, Ohio State, Sr.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama, Jr.

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State, Sr.

Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah, Jr.

Defense

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama, Jr.

Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan, Soph.

Derwin James, DB, Florida State

Arden Key, LB, LSU, Sr.

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College, Sr.

Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson, Soph.

Tyquan Lewis, DL, Ohio State, Sr.

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston, Soph.

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson, Jr.

ACC, SEC place most DBs on Jim Thorpe Award watch list

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Another day, yet another watch list as the 2017 offseason barrels towards a merciful death.

This time around it’s the Jim Thorpe Award doing the honors, with the trophy given annually to the nation’s top defensive back releasing a watch list consisting of a mere 45 players from all 10 FBS conferences.  Headlining this year’s list are a pair of semifinalists from a year ago, Louisville’s Jaire Alexander and Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The ACC and SEC lead all conferences with seven players apiece selected, followed by the Pac-12’s six and five each for the Big Ten and Big 12.  Conference USA was next with four, while the AAC, MAC and Sun Belt had three and the Mountain West two.

Alabama, Florida State and Stanford were the only programs with two players each selected.

USC’s Adoree’ Jackson won the 2016 version of the Thorpe Award.  The other finalists for last year’s trophy were Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis and LSU’s Tre’Davious White.  All three of those players were selected in the 2017 NFL draft.