On Thursday night No. 18 Central Florida (9-1, 6-0 AAC) put on a bit of a show for potential bowls looking at the Golden Knights as an option, including potential BCS bowl landing spots. A 41-17 victory over Rutgers (5-5, 2-4 AAC) was every bit as easy as the score would seem to indicate, and Central Florida is now one win away from potentially clinching the automatic BCS berth out of The American.
Central Florida more than doubled the offensive production of Rutgers (455-221). Blake Bortles completed 21 of 30 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 32 yards and another touchdown while running back Storm Johnson rushed for a team-high 75 yards and two touchdowns. J.J. Worton had 117 receiving yards as well after saving the day, and the season, last weekend in Philadelphia against Temple.
Central Florida can get closer to wrapping up the American’s automatic BCS berth next week with a Friday home game against South Florida. Already with wins over Louisville and Houston, Central Florida owns the tie breakers in the American. With two games to play and a one-game lead in the loss column on preseason favorite Louisville, one win gives Central Florida the first ever American football championship. There are some scenarios that can come in to play that could award the BCS berth to another team, but that does not appear to be likely if Central Florida plays like this again next week.
The blowout win could also throw a wrinkle in to the BCS situation though. Fresno State and Northern Illinois must finish ahead of one automatic BCS conference champion in order to qualify for an automatic BCS berth out of the Mountain West (Fresno State) or MAC (Northern Illinois). But if Central Florida should happen to pass either school in the BCS standings, the chances of clinching an automatic BCS spot become a bit more difficult, needing to finish higher in the BCS standings.
Central Florida, with one loss against South Carolina, is probably not likely to pass either the Bulldogs or Huskies, but if Central Florida is more dominant in their final games than either BCS busting hopeful, it could be something to keep an eye on.
For the first time this year here at Ye Olde CFT, there’s an FCS player involved in a 2020 NFL Draft declaration.
On Twitter this week, Pete Guerriero announced that he will be foregoing his fifth year of eligibility and entering the 2020 NFL Draft. Guerriero said he came to his decision “after careful consideration [and] speaking with family and the people close to me.”
“This has been a dream of mine since I was a child and I look forward to what’s to come,” the Monmouth running back wrote.
This season, Guerriero led all FCS players with a school-record 1,995 yards rushing. He also set an FCS playoff record with a 93-yard touchdown run in a loss to James Madison this past postseason.
Guerriero came in third in the voting for the 2019 Walter Payton Trophy, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman. He was also a consensus All-American and two-time first-team all-conference honoree.
Guerriero will finish his collegiate playing career with 3,974 yards and 35 touchdowns on 610 attempts (6.5 yards per carry). The 5-10, 190-pound back also caught 69 passes for 551 yards and another three touchdowns coming out of the backfield.
“The impact he’s had been on our program has been tremendous,” said Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan. “His explosiveness and big-play ability and game production has helped to get us where are as a team and a program, and because of it we’re appreciative and support [his] decision.”
It appears the Oklahoma Sooners football team will have some depth in its linebacking corps pared.
Thursday, it was reported that Levi Draper is entering his name into the NCAA transfer database, the first step in leaving OU. An Oklahoma Sooners football official subsequently confirmed that Draper will be entering the portal.
The linebacker’s time in Norman hasn’t officially come to an end, however, as he could always pull his name from the portal and return.
A four-star member of Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class, Draper was rated as the No. 5 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma. On the 247Sports.com composite, he was the No. 118 prospect overall. Only three signees in the Sooners’ class that year were rated higher than Draper.
Injuries helped lead to Draper take a redshirt as a true freshman. The past two seasons, Draper played in 28 games. Most of that action came on special teams.
When Draper does find a new school, it should be as a graduate transfer. That would then leave him with two years of eligibility to use.
Draper is one of a handful of Sooners who have entered the portal of late. From the school’s student newspaper:
This is the second Sooner linebacker to enter the portal in the last two days, as Ryan Jones reportedly entered it on Wednesday. Along with the two linebackers, wide receiver Mykel Jones, safety Ty DeArman, defensive linemen Coby Tillman and Troy James will all be transferring.
It’s not all attrition at OU, however. Earlier this week, the program confirmed the addition of UCLA transfer wide receiver Theo Howard. The receiver was honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2018.
Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility at OU this coming season.
The Arizona State football roster is the latest to benefit from a player coming in from a Power Five program.
In early December, Kellen Diesch entered the NCAA transfer database, the first step in a move away from Texas A&M. A month later, Diesch has taken the next step as 247Sports.com has reported that the offensive lineman will transfer to the Arizona State football team.
In fact, the website notes that Diesch is in Tempe and already enrolled in school at ASU.
As a graduate transfer, Diesch will be eligible to play for the Sun Devils immediately in 2020. The upcoming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.
A four-star member of A&M’s 2016 recruiting class, Diesch was rated as the No. 11 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 17 player regardless of position in the state of Texas. The only signee in the Aggies’ class that year rated higher was strongside defensive end Justin Madubuike.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Diesch has played in 21 games the past three years. A dozen of those appearances came this past season.
Despite the recruiting pedigree, the 6-6, 298-pound lineman didn’t start a game for the Aggies.
The NC State football program is the latest to find out first-hand that Jeffrey Gunter may have an issue with commitment.
In January of 2019, Gunter opted to transfer from Coastal Carolina. Three weeks later, he tweeted he was transferring to Syracuse… before deleting the tweet. Two days later, however, Syracuse confirmed the defensive end’s addition to the roster. Feb. 26, though, Gunter reneged on that commitment, tweeting he would no longer be transferring to Syracuse and would instead move on to NC State.
That commitment stuck… for all of 11 months, as it turned out, as 247Sports.com is now reporting that Gunter is listed in the NCAA transfer database
During his one season with the NC State football program, Gunter was the Co-Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year. He had to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
After totaling 14 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2018, Gunter, a two-star 2017 signee, was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference.
It’s worth to note that, in Gunter’s winter of decommitment last year, he had also considered moving to either North Carolina or Oregon. Whether those two schools will be in play this time around is unclear.