Defense rules as Clemson Tigers lead Louisville Cardinals 14-10

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The defenses came to play in “Death Valley.”

The Louisville Cardinals and the Clemson Tigers combined for 165 total yards of offense through two quarters of play. Yet Clemson holds a 14-10 lead.

The difference in the score came from strong special teams play and a late turnover.

After the Tigers shut down the Cardinals during their initial drive, senior wide receiver Adam Humphies returned a punt 72 yards for the game’s opening score. With 7:16 remaining in the half, senior defensive end Tavaris Barnes recovered a fumble for a two-yard score.

Otherwise, the Cardinals have been swarming on defense. And it became even more difficult for the Tigers to move the ball once Cole Stoudt was forced to replace Deshaun Watson at quarterback.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed that Watson suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand during an interview with ESPN prior to entering the locker room at halftime.

Stoudt, a senior who opened the season as Clemson’s starter, was 6-of-11 passing once he was pressed into action. Louisville freshman Reggie Bonnafon didn’t fare any better. Bonnafon completed only four passes for 58 yards.

And neither team could establish the run against these stout defenses. The two teams combined to average 1.5 yards per carry.

Both teams will need to get creative in the second half to finally get the defenses on their heels. A traditional approach from both teams hasn’t proven to be successful. A trick play or two should enter the equation, while one of the quarterbacks needs to step up and make a play to give their squad an edge in the second half.

Knee injury knocks Boston College QB Anthony Brown out for a second season

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Anthony Brown had his redshirt freshman season cut short due to a knee injury, battled back to start all 12 games in 2018 and BC’s first six contests this fall, until yet another knee injury knocked him out for another season.

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio revealed Monday that Brown will miss the remainder of the season with what the school is calling a “lower leg injury.” Brown made a cut avoiding a tackle during BC’s Oct. 5 game against Louisville and immediately clutched his left knee. Boston College lost the game, 41-39, though Brown began the contest 6-of-7 for 193 yards and a touchdown.

“We’re very, very sad for Anthony. He worked hard to get himself where he was. He’s seventh all-time in passing in BC history and heading towards greater things this year. He’s had a great career and he’s prepared and practiced and put so much into it. We’re so proud of him,” Addazio said.

The fourth-year junior from Cliffwood, N.J., finishes his season 81-of-137 for 1,250 yards with nine touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 128 yards and two scores.

“It’s a tough deal, but he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back,” Addazio said. “We’re gonna love him and support him and get him back to where he was, but his season has come to an end.”

Brown can return as a fifth-year senior in 2020, with two year-ending knee injuries under his belt, literally and figuratively.

Virginia loses CB Bryce Hall for the season

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Virginia has lost cornerback Bryce Hall for the season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall revealed Monday.

He suffered an ankle injury in Virginia’s loss to Miami on Friday and underwent surgery on Monday, which will spell the end of his college career. The injury came while Hall was blocking on a punt return. Trainers put the injured ankle in an air cast and, while players on both teams gave him good wishes, ESPN decided the injury was gruesome enough that it would not air replays of the play.

“Bryce Hall is in good spirits,” Mendenhall said. “We expect a good recovery, he sustained a left ankle injury and had surgery Monday. We do not expect him back this season. He is an amazing young person, I am thankful for his efforts and to be his coach. On the bus after the game, Bryce was sitting behind me and he said to me, ‘Coach, I’m a human buoy.’ He has been exemplary in everything he has done here.”

Hall is the best player on Virginia’s roster. The Harrisburg, Pa., senior entered the season a Preseason All-American on multiple lists and led the nation in 2018 with 24 passes defended. He also posted two interceptions and 62 tackles, earning him First Team All-ACC honors.

 

South Carolina apologizes for hedge-ripping after Gamecocks upset of No. 10 Georgia

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South Carolina pulled the upset of the season on Saturday, knocking off then-No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in overtime, in Athens. And the ‘Cocks left Sanford Stadium with souvenirs, claiming some of Georgia’s famous hedges for themselves.

Some hedges were even seen in the hands of South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, a Georgia player and former Bulldog.

While some may call it good, old victory fun, Georgia AD Greg McGarity did not have a sense of humor about his shrubbery getting ripped up.

“I don’t like it all,” he told DawgNation. “We sure don’t do that when we win at an opponents’ venue under Kirby’s leadership.”

McGarity also said his South Carolina counterpart, Ray Tanner, apologized for his team’s postgame celebration.

“Ray just apologized for those actions,” he told the site.

UTSA QB Frank Harris lost for the year

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UTSA quarterback Frank Harris will miss the remainder of the season with an upper body injury, head coach Frank Wilson announced Monday. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.

Harris has not played since originally suffering the injury in a 45-3 loss to North Texas on Sept. 21. He was on the sideline in a sling during the Roadrunners’ loss to UAB on Saturday.

A second-year player from the San Antonio era, Harris has missed most or all of the last three seasons while dealing with injuries. He appeared in eight games as a senior at Schertz Clemens High School, then missed all of 2018 with an ACL injury.

In three full games this season (he did not throw a pass against North Texas), Harris completed 66-of-91 passes for 486 yards with three touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 126 yards.

In Harris’ absence, UTSA has turned to LSU transfer Lowell Narcisse, who went 8-of-19 for 94 yards while rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown in a 33-14 loss to UAB.