No. 10 Georgia rides monster first half to second straight Gurley-less win

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Turns out maybe the biggest detriment to Todd Gurley’s Heisman Trophy campaign is his own backup, Nick Chubb.

Following a 38-carry, 143-yard performance in a 34-0 win at Missouri, true freshman Chubb powered No. 10 Georgia to a 45-32 defeat of Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark.. with a career-high 202-yard, two-touchdown effort. Without the help of Gurley, or fellow tailbacks Keith Marshall and Sony Michel, Chubb has rushed 68 times for 345 yards (5.07 yards a pop) and three scores.

Chubb got most of his work in early, carrying 12 times for 127 yards and both of his two touchdowns (from three and 43 yards) in leading the Bulldogs to a 38-6 lead at the break. Of course, you can’t build a 32-point lead on the strength of just one player. Hutson Mason threw and ran for a first-half score, and the defense produced three sacks and three turnovers, and one of each on the same play as Jordan Jenkins sacked Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen and forced a fumble, which Dominick Sanders collected and returned 54 yards for a touchdown to close the scoring in the first half with 2:08 to play and gave the Dogs a 38-6 lead.

The game looked like anything but a Georgia romp to start as the Hogs accepted the ball to start the game and ate up more than half the first quarter on a 13-play, 75-yard drive (12 rushes, one pass) for a one-yard Alex Collins touchdown plunge. But John Henson’s PAT was blocked, the second consecutive block dating back to last week’s 14-13 loss to Alabama, and it was pretty much all downhill from there for Bielema’s boys.

To its credit, Arkansas showed much more fight in the second half than one might expect from a team headed toward its fourth straight loss. The Razorbacks out-scored Georgia 26-7 in the second half, but never pulled closer than the final margin of 13 points. Allen finished the day with a less-impressive-than-it-looks 296 yards with three touchdowns and two picks (plus the disastrous fumble) on 28-of-45 passing. Jonathan Williams led the way for Arkansas’ running game with 18 carries for 108 yards, while Collins added 11 carries for 31 yards and two scores.

Mason hit a workman-like 10-of-17 passes for 179 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, plus another score on the ground. Chris Conley caught five passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Georgia will now take a week off before meeting Florida in Jacksonville, giving its bevy of injured running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs an extra week to heal and Gurley 13 more days to have his case resolved.

Arkansas, losers of its last 16 SEC games, will see that week stay alive for at least one more week as the Hogs step out of the conference to host UAB on Saturday.

Former four-star Clemson DB enters transfer portal

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A couple of weeks or so before kicking off summer camp, the defending national champion’s depth in the secondary has taken a bit of a hit.

Exiting spring practice, Kyler McMichael was listed as A.J. Terrell‘s back up at one of Clemson’s cornerback slots. However, as first reported by 247Sports.com, McMichael’s name is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.

It’s at this point in the program where we’re compelled to remind readers that McMichael can pull his name from the portal and remain with the Tigers, although entering is, more times than not, the first step toward a transfer. Taking a seat in the portal also affords other programs the opportunity to contact the defensive back without receiving permission from Clemson.

Should McMichael ultimately opt to leave the Tigers, it’s highly likely that he’d have to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules if he lands at another FBS program.

A four-star member of Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class, McMichael was rated as the No. 8 corner in the country; the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 56 prospect overall on 247Sports.com’s composite board. He was the highest-rated defensive back in the Tigers’ class that year.

McMichael picked Clemson over offers from, among others, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

As a true freshman, McMichael played in 12 games. During that action, he was credited with a pair of tackles in just over 100 snaps.

Oh, SHI? Cue Clay Davis because Rutgers announces new football naming rights deal for what will now be known as SHI Stadium

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Cue Clay Davis because the birthplace of college football has a new name and fans probably can’t wait to make fun of it.

Rutgers announced on Friday that they have agreed to a new stadium naming rights deal with SHI International Corp. that will see the Scarlet Knights’ home rebranded over the next seven years into SHI Stadium. The venue was officially known as HighPoint.com Stadium last year but the naming rights deal with what most know as High Point Solutions expired this offseason.

“As the State University of New Jersey, we are thrilled to partner with SHI,” Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said in a statement. “Headquartered right here in Somerset, SHI proudly embraces its strong Rutgers ties. As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of college football here at the Birthplace, we are delighted to partner with a company that shares in our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. This partnership will positively impact athletics, the university and the New Jersey community.”

Terms were not announced by the school but “a person familiar with the contract told NJ Advance Media it’s a 7-year deal starting at $1.25 million and increasing by $100,000 annually to $1.85 million in 2025-26.” At a total of nearly $10 million over the lifetime of the contract, that isn’t quite what other Power Five programs have fetched but a still significant bump over the previous $600,000 a year the school got.

The Scarlet Knights previously played at Rutgers Stadium up until 2011. The first football game at the newly renamed stadium will happen on Aug. 30 against UMass.

Rimington Trophy watch list is out for 2019 and it includes 80 FBS centers

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Are you a starting center for 2019? Good, because chances are high you made the Rimington Trophy watch list.

The Rimington Trophy Committee released their annual pre-season watch list for the award given to the nation’s best center and remarkably, 80 of the 130 FBS teams were represented on the list. While watch lists are always notable for their length and being sometimes too broad, it kind of feels like everybody who is in line to start was granted a place on this year’s edition.

Among the notable names were Clemson’s Sean Pollard, Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz, Michigan State’s Matt Allen, Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey, Notre Dame’s Jarrett Patterson, Stanford’s Drew Dalman, Washington’s Nick Harris and LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry III.

You can find the full list of centers nominated here.

The winner of the award will be announced in early December along with a host of other college football honors. The winner will then be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 18, 2020.

Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam, Oklahoma’s Grant Calcaterra lead off 2019 watch list for the Mackey Award

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Being a tight end in today’s version of college football means you’re a player wearing many hats.

While blocking is emphasized less than ever before, players at the position still need to do it in addition to splitting out wide, running reverses and lining up all over the field in a variety of offensive sets. This year’s annual watch list for the 2019 Mackey Award includes a host of players who can do it all and leave an impact between the lines that can make them a headache for opposing defensive coordinators.

While the entire list includes just about every starter at the position in the country, some of the headliners for the upcoming season include Washington’s Hunter BryantOklahoma’s Grant Calcaterra, Alabama’s Miller Forristall, Memphis’ Joey Magnifico, Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam, Stanford’s Colby Parkinson and Vandy’s Jared Pinkney.

The full list of players on the Mackey Award watch list can be found here.

Last year’s winner was Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson, who later became a top 10 draft pick for the Detroit Lions the following spring.