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Alabama’s national title odds take minor hit as Clemson puts oddsmaker on notice

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After Week 3 of college football has been given time to settle in and reflected upon, Bovada still feels Alabama is the clear favorite to win the national championship this season. But that confidence was shaken a tiny bit after the performance turned in by Clemson at Louisville on Saturday. While Alabama’s national title odds of 2/1 are still heavily in Alabama’s favor, the Tigers crept up a bit this week.

Alabama’s national title odds were listed at 7/4 a week ago and have now been dropped to just 2/1. Clemson improved their title odds from 14/1 to 11/2 following a thorough road win at Louisville for a second straight win against a ranked opponent. Despite being 3-0, USC saw their odds drop slightly from 6/1 to 7/1 over the weekend, while Oklahoma stayed firm with 8/1 odds.

Ohio State saw their odds improve too, going from 8/1 to 17/2 this weekend. Oklahoma State is right behind the Buckeyes with 9/1 odds, followed by Penn State at 12/1 and Michigan at 20/1.

Mississippi State jumped onto the board this week following their blowout of LSU and are now listed with 40/1 odds. Six teams came off the board this week: Colorado, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, South Carolina, and UCLA.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is currently Bovada’s favorite for the Heisman Trophy with 7/4 odds. Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson is tied for second-best odds with USC’s Sam Darnold at 11/2. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph share the same 9/1 odds as well. Players jumping from off the board include Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins (40/1)m Oregon’s Royce Freeman (25/1) and Justin Herbert (25/1), and Stanford running back Bryce Love (66/1).

(Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was not dropped from the board as posted in this tweet, but his odds went down)

Oregon starts fast, hangs on to outlast Nebraska

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Oregon used 14-0 runs to begin and end the first half to claim a 42-14 lead at the half. It would need each and every one of those points as Nebraska pitched a shutout in the second half, but the Ducks still held on for a 42-35 win.

The Ducks (2-0) opened the game with a 75-yard drive capped by a 32-yard strike from Justin Herbert to Brenden Schooler, then intercepted Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee on the Huskers’ first play from scrimmage. Five plays later Herbert fired his second touchdown pass of the afternoon, an 8-yarder to Charles Nelson.

The teams traded touchdowns through the remainder of the first quarter and into the second until Oregon posted a 21-0 run to close the half, turning a 21-14 track meet into a 42-14 lapping, with scoring runs from Royce Freeman and Kani Benoit and, aided by another Lee pick inside his own territory, a third scoring strike from Herbert with 39 ticks left until the break.

Oregon closed the first half with 409 yards of total offense — Herbert was 21-of-25 for 313 yards — and the idea of Nebraska (1-1) defensive coordinator Bob Diaco making second-half adjustments seemed like a dark joke.

And then the second half started.

Nebraska moved 75 yards to pull within 42-21 to open the third quarter, then forced a three-and-out and raced 53 yards to pull within 42-28. And then Herbert was intercepted by Nebraska’s Aaron Williams, but the Huskers gained only two yards on the ensuing possession. This would be a theme for Nebraska.

Oregon’s next touch ended on a turnover on downs, but Lee was intercepted for a third time. The Ducks’ next possession missed a field goal, and then a punt, but Nebraska failed to take advantage both times. Finally, after a Freeman fumble with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter, Nebraska pulled within 42-35 on a 2-yard Mikale Wilbon run.

Oregon went three-and-out again on its next possession, and suddenly Nebraska had the ball at its own 43 and more than two minutes remaining with a chance to tie the game. But Lee was pressured into his fourth interception, into the arms of Ugochukwu Amadi. Oregon would not score in the second half, but Oregon would not need to score in the second half.

Herbert finished the day hitting 25-of-33 throws for 365 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, while Freeman pounded out 29 carries for 153 yards and two scores. Oregon rolled out 566 yards of total offense, well short of the Nebraska opponent record of 656. Nebraska ran for 109 yards as a team, while Lee was 19-of-41 for 252 yards with three scores and four costly interceptions.

Oregon running away from Nebraska in track meet

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Chip Kelly‘s offense is no longer in Eugene, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the box score. The new-look Ducks lead visiting Nebraska 42-14 at the half.

The Ducks raced to a 14-0 lead over the game’s first three and a half minutes. Oregon accepted the ball to open the game and moved 75 yards in only five plays, the last 32 on a Brenden Schooler pass from Justin Herbert, to score its first touchdown, then intercepted Tanner Lee on Nebraska’s first play from scrimmage. Five plays after that Herbert found Charles Nelson for an 8-yard score.

Nebraska got on the board with a 95-yard drive, capped by a spectacular De’Mornay Pierson-El pass that overcame pass interference.

Oregon moved 75 yards in eight plays, punctuated by a 2-yard Royce Freeman plunge to grab a 21-7 lead as the first quarter gun sounded. Nebraska immediately responded with a 75-yard march of its own to pull within 21-14, and Freeman again capped a long drive — 73 yards — to put the Ducks back up 14 at the 7:10 mark of the second quarter.

Attempting to pull back within a touchdown, Lee converted a 4th-and-1 sneak inside Husker territory, but it was called back for a procedure penalty. Nebraska was forced to punt and paid the price when the Ducks notched their fifth score of the afternoon — a 5-yard Kani Benoit dash that ended a 7-play, 71-yard drive — to give Oregon a 35-14 lead with 2:40 left in the half.

Thomas Graham, Jr., claimed Lee’s second interception of the half at the Nebraska 34, and Herbert again made the ‘Huskers pay with a 17-yard strike to Dillon Mitchell with 39 ticks to play. Herbert closed the half hitting 21-of-25 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns, and the Ducks added 96 yards and three scores on 20 carries. Oregon accumulated 409 yards of total offense in the half; Nebraska’s single-game opponent record is 656.

Nebraska will receive to open the second half.

Darren Carrington cleared, will open camp with new Utah teammates

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That certainly didn’t take long.

Not long after Darren Carrington‘s father confirmed that his son would be transferring to Utah, Kyle Whittingham confirmed Thursday that would indeed be the case, although the talented wide receiver still had some unspecified hurdles to clear in order to play or even practice with the team.  One day later, however, a school spokesperson confirmed to the Salt Lake Tribune that Carrington has been cleared and has now been admitted to the university.

Carrington opens summer camp Friday night, and will be on the field practicing with his new Utes teammates.

“It’s always a tough decision when you talk about a player that you’re going to add to your program potentially that has a checkered past,” Whittingham said Thursday. “You’ve got to make a decision based on all the information you can gather, based on the athletes’ attitude. …

“I feel, in this case, that it was the right thing to do to give Darren another opportunity.”

Earlier this month, Oregon announced that it had dismissed Carrington, a move that came a couple of weeks after the senior was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants.  That was merely Carrington’s latest off-field misstep as the receiver was ruled ineligible for Oregon’s College Football Playoff Championship loss to Ohio State a couple of years ago; was cited for open container in October 2015; and was accused of breaking a man’s arm in a Halloween incident last year.

On the field last season he was an explosive weapon as his 606 yards receiving last year were tops on the team, while his five receiving touchdowns were tied for first. His 43 catches were second on the team as well.

Oregon dismisses star WR Darren Carrington two weeks after DUII arrest

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Huge news has come out of Eugene just a couple of weeks before Willie Taggart kicks off his first summer camp at Oregon.

Late last month, Darren Carrington was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants.  At the time, the football program announced that the star wide receiver had been indefinitely suspended.

Two weeks later, Taggart made the jarring announcement Friday night that Carrington has been dismissed from the Ducks.

“I have visited with Darren Carrington and informed him that he is no longer a member of our program,” the head coach said in a statement. “We will always consider Darren a Duck and support him in any way we can. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

The development involving the veteran serves as a huge blow to the Ducks’ passing attack.

The senior’s 606 yards receiving last year was tops on the team, while his five receiving touchdowns were tied for first.  His 43 catches were second on the team.

While this was Carrington’s first off-field issue under Taggart, the arrest continued a pattern of askew behavior away from the gridiron.

Carrington was ineligible for Oregon’s College Football Playoff Championship loss to Ohio State a couple of years ago, was cited for open container in October 2015 and was accused of breaking a man’s arm in a Halloween incident last year.