Fresno State is looking to build on a Mountain West Conference championship season but must do so while looking to fill some big shoes on offense. That is still going to take some work after losing quarterback Derek Carr, receivers Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse and tight end Marcel Jensen, but as the spring practice schedule came to a close Saturday with the annual spring game, head coach Tim DeRuyter seems optimistic about the depth developing on his roster.
“I think a lot of guys improved,” head coach DeRuyter said. “Offensively, I think our offensive line is starting to gel. The quarterback situation is still wide open. Guys look good at times and not so good at times and consistency is what they are looking for.”
The defense appears to be ahead of the offense heading to the summer. In the spring game, the defense controlled the tempo of the game by shutting down the offense on third-down drills and allowing just two first downs on 12 conversion attempts by the offense. The defense also provided the play of the day when Jamal Ellis returned an interception for a touchdown.
“I thought defensively as a unit we are playing much better with that first group and I thought our secondary improved a ton,” DeRuyter said.
Zack Greenlee was the victim of the pick-six by Ellis, but he shrugged it off to lead the offense on one of the more impressive drives of the game, going 69 yards in 15 plays for a touchdown. Greenlee also led the Bulldogs to another red zone possession that would end with a touchdown run by Darryl Cash, who had a decent showing running the football.
The Fresno State offense is far from where the team left off at the end of the 2013 season, but DeRuyter says they have come a long way since the start of the spring.
“We are light years ahead of where we are today than where we were our first spring,” DeRuyter said, referring to the 2012 spring practices when he took over. “I like where our guys know where we are at as far as the system, but we’ve got to do a lot of work to get it polished.”
Coming off the loss to LSU this past Saturday, it wasn’t a matter of if but how far Alabama plunged in the eyes of wagering establishments. Tuesday, we have that answer.
According to the odds released by one offshore sportsbook, Alabama is listed at 10/1 to win the 2019 College Football Playoff championship. That’s down from 11/4 the week before the LSU loss.
As was the case a week ago, Ohio State, ranked No. 1 in the initial CFP Top 25, is the favorite at 2/1, shortened from 5/2. LSU, which is expected to be the new No. 1 when the playoff rankings are released later on tonight, has moved up to 5/2 (9/2 last week) while Clemson is right behind at 3/1 (11/4).
Georgia (10/1) and Oklahoma (20/1) are next up with shorter odds at 9/1 and 16/1, respectively.
A pair of Pac-12 teams are further back in the wagering pack, with Oregon (16/1) posting longer odds at 15/1 and Utah putting up the same 40/1 they were at a week ago. A pair of unbeatens are even further back — Minnesota at 50/1 (100/1 last week) and Baylor at the same 66/1.
The only Group of Five school listed is Cincinnati, with the Bearcats going from 250/1 seven days ago to 500/1 now.
Following a standout career at Miami, David Njoku was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft. Njoku’s younger brother had hoped to follow in his footsteps at The U, but, as it turns out, that won’t be the case.
On his personal Twitter account Monday afternoon, Evidence Njoku announced that, “after Deep Thought And Discussion I Have Decided To Enter The Transfer Portal To Furthermore Continue My Athletic And Academic Career.” The tight end gave no specific reason for his decision.
“He’s a good young man,” Miami head coach Manny Diaz said. “We wish him well wherever he ends up.”
Njoku was a three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2017 recruiting class who came to The U as a wide receiver before converting to tight end. After playing in eight games as a redshirt freshman last season, he had played in just one game thus far in 2019.
The 6-6, 226-pound New Jersey native finishes the Hurricanes portion of his collegiate p[laying career with just one catch for 11 yards, with that coming in the last year’s regular-season finale against Pitt.
With the 2019 regular season rapidly drawing to a close, Florida has dropped some future scheduling news on the masses.
Early Tuesday afternoon, Florida confirmed that it has agreed to a future home-and-home series with Arizona State. The Gators will travel to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe in 2028, with the Sun Devils making the trek to The Swamp in Gainesville in 2031.
The 2028 game will be played on Sept. 16, while the backend of the series will be played either Sept. 6 or 13 of 2031.
That first matchup in 2028 will mark the first-ever meeting between the football programs.
Arizona State last played at the home of an SEC school in 2009, a 20-17 loss to Georgia in Athens. Florida’s last trip to a Pac-12 school was a 1983 tie with USC. The Gators last played host to a school from that conference the year before, with the Trojans serving as the opponent once again.
Wake Forest lost much more than a football game this past Saturday.
In the fourth quarter of the Week 11 loss to Virginia Tech that, along with Clemson’s win later that night, cost Wake any shot at the ACC Atlantic championship, Sage Surratt went down with some type of upper-body injury and didn’t return. Tuesday, during his weekly press conference, head coach Dave Clawson confirmed that the redshirt sophomore wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2019 season because of the injury, which he again declined to specify.
Clawson added that Surratt will undergo surgery to repair the unspecified damage.
Surratt’s 1,001 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns are the most of any player in the ACC, and are good for fifth and tied for fifth, respectively, at the FBS level. His 66 receptions are second only to Pitt’s Maurice Ffrench‘s 75 in the conference.
In addition to this Saturday’s game against No. 5 Clemson, Surratt will miss regular-season games against Duke and Syracuse as well as whichever bowl at which Wake lands.