Coach refers to FSU’s Sean Maguire as ‘Tom Brady-like’

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In 2001, Tom Brady was a little-known backup quarterback for the New England Patriots. It took extenuating circumstances for Brady to get an opportunity to start and he never looked back. The rest is football history.

But this isn’t New England nor the NFL.

It didn’t stop at least one individual from comparing Florida State’s Sean Maguire to Brady. Maguire’s high school coach at Seton Hall Preparatory School, John Finnegan, told USA TODAY the sophomore signal-caller is “Tom Brady-like.”

Maguire’s performance against the Clemson Tigers Saturday night exemplified the qualities in the young quarterback’s game which invoked the lofty comparison.

“He’s a competitor,” Finnegan. “[Clemson] knocked him on his ass. [Florida State] had no running game. They kept knocking him down, but he kept playing hard. That’s the kind of kid he is. He’s not going to quit.”

Maguire finished the game 21-of-39 passing for 304 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. But the sophomore’s only touchdown pass couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With the Seminoles trailing 17-10 with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Maguire connected with senior wide receiver Rashad Greene for a 74-yard touchdown completion. The Seminoles eventually secured a 23-17 victory in overtime.

The biggest difference between Maguire and Brady (one of many things) is the Patriots quarterback never gave the job back to veteran Drew Bledsoe. At Florida State, Jameis Winston is the team’s starting quarterback. And the school takes on everything that goes with that distinction, whether it be a Heisman Trophy, national championship or a one-game suspension due to spewing vulgarities in the school’s cafeteria.

Winston will return to the lineup Saturday against the undefeated North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Maguire is more like the Brady that played at the University of Michigan and had to wait his turn before he became the program’s starting quarterback during his final two seasons on campus. That is, as long as Winston decides to leave for the NFL after this season.

Alabama sees title odds plunge off loss to LSU

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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.

Miami’s Evidence Njoku tweets decision to enter transfer portal

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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.

Florida announces future home-and-home with Arizona State

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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 loses ACC’s leader in receiving yards, touchdowns to season-ending injury

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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.