J.T. Barrett carries Buckeyes to slim first-half lead on Gophers

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If you haven’t already, Braxton Miller, you might want to get yourself familiar with the story of Wally Pipp.

Continuing to play the role of Lou Gehrig Saturday afternoon is J.T. Barrett, the redshirt freshman sensation who is forcefully pushing himself into the thick of the Heisman conversation.  In the first half of a key Big Ten tilt, Barrett accounted for both touchdowns and nearly 90 percent of Ohio State’s total offense as OSU took a scant 17-14 lead on Minnesota into the halftime locker room.

The first of Barrett’s scores was a historic one.  His 86-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter set a school record for a quarterback, breaking the record of 81 yards set by, you guessed it, Miller in 2011.  It was also the third-longest scoring run in the team’s history, behind only an 88-yarder by Morris Bradshaw in 1971 and an 87-yarder by Eddie George in 1995.

The second came on a 57-yard touchdown pass to Jalin Marshall late in the opening quarter.  That scoring toss gave Barrett 36 total touchdowns on the season, tying the school record set last year by, you guessed it again, Miller.

Of the Buckeyes’ 352 yards of offense, Barrett accounted for 310 of them — 168 rushing, 142 passing.  That means Barrett was responsible for an eye-opening 88 percent of OSU’s first-half offense.  The Buckeyes nearly tripled the Gophers’ offensive output, with the home team mustering just 133.

Turnovers, though, played a key role in Minnesota’s second-quarter comeback.

While the Buckeyes jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, the Gophers, in the thick of the Big Ten West hunt, didn’t roll over in the snow and cold (15 degrees at kickoff).  A touchdown early in the second quarter — which came after a Barrett interception, his eighth of the season — cut the lead in half.  Following another Ohio State turnover, this one as the Buckeyes were mere yards away from a touchdown that would’ve pushed the lead to 21-7, Minnesota converted it into the second of running back David Cobb‘s two first-half touchdown runs.

Cobb totaled 96 yards in the first two quarters on 16 carries.  The Gophers were only able to muster 15 passing yards on a pair of Mitch Leidner completions.

A 22-yard field goal off the foot of Sean Nuernberger with no time left in the second quarter accounted for the current score.

The Gophers, incidentally, will receive the second-half kickoff.

Hawaii removes WR Melquise Stovall from program

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Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich has announced the removal of wide receiver Melquise Stovall from the program, effective immediately. While no details about the removal from the program were given, Rolovich noted all players are held to certain standards that, apparently, Stovall was unable to meet.

“There are certain expectations required of a football student-athlete here at the University of Hawai’i,” Rolovich said in a released statement. “We hold all of our student-athletes to these standards and expect them to represent our football program to the highest degree. We wish Melquise the best as he moves forward.”

Stovall appeared in five games for Hawaii this season. In those five games, Stovall caught 18 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns. During his freshman year at Cal, Stovall caught 42 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns in 2016.

Miami’s N’Kosi Perry suffers shoulder injury after returning to starting lineup to replace injured Williams

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Well, this has to sting for the Miami Hurricanes. N’Kosi Perry, who recently was temporarily named the starting quarterback, suffered a shoulder injury in Miami’s loss over the weekend to Georgia Tech. The injury to Perry, a separated shoulder, was revealed to the media Monday by Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos during a press conference according to The Miami Herald.

The shoulder injured is Perry’s left shoulder, his non-throwing shoulder. It is currently unknown how this injury may impact Perry’s availability for Miami’s road game this weekend at Pittsburgh.

“That’s up to our doctors and medical team to establish that,” Enos said.

Perry has started the last two games for Miami while starter Jarren Williams works his way back from his own shoulder injury. Williams did enter last weekend’s game in place of the injured Perry, but it is still unknown just when Williams will be ready to return to the starting role. With Perry’s status also now floating up in the air a bit, Miami could have a tough quarterback situation coming up this weekend against the Panthers. Third-string quarterback Tate Martell, who transferred from Ohio State after Justin Fields joined the Buckeyes from Georgia, would be the next in line for the Hurricanes if needed. But head coach Manny Diaz doesn’t seem to be thinking that will be necessary.

“We still have a package for Tate,” Diaz said. “But when I look at what we’re doing offensively now, and I look at our numbers … when Jarren has played and what N’Kosi has done over the last couple weeks have absolutely given us a chance to win all those games. And that’s nothing against Tate, but those guys are playing well.”

Whoever plays quarterback for Miami against the Panthers this week, it looks as though it will be either Perry or Williams.

Michigan safety J’Marick Woods enters transfer portal, looking to grad transfer

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While the Michigan Wolverines try to regroup and find a way to topple Notre Dame this week after a tough loss at Penn State, safety J’Marick Woods is the early stages of weighing his potential transfer options. Woods has reportedly entered the transfer portal.

As noted by Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic, Woods will be a graduate transfer, which will allow him to be eligible to play for any other FBS program next season. He has one final year of eligibility to use, so wherever he ends up will be for a one-year term.

Woods, a junior, has appeared in four games this season, in which he has recorded four tackles. Woods played in 11 games for Michigan last season and 12 games in 2017. The Alabama native may be better suited to finding a new opportunity as the Wolverines are in solid shape with depth in the secondary, and he was already playing a minimal role in the defense.

By entering the transfer portal, Woods is free to have contact with any other college football program interested in recruiting him to their program. Woods also has the option of pulling his name from the portal to remain at Michigan if he decides to stay put.

Injured Minnesota linebacker a game-time decision vs. Maryland

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The Minnesota Golden Gophers are looking to improve to 8-0 for the first time since winning the national championship in 1941 with an 8-0 record. When Minnesota returns home to face Maryland, a decision on whether or not linebacker Kamal Martin will be made.

Martin injured his right knee in last weekend’s road game at Rutgers, but head coach P.J. Fleck told reporters on Monday there is a chance the injury was not too serious. Fleck said Martin will be a game-time decision after monitoring his progress throughout the week and checking with trainers and medical staff to evaluate his availability.

“I don’t have a specific answer yet,” Fleck said on Monday, according to The Star Tribune. “He’s still got a few more tests. But we got some really good news, and that’s where we’re at.”

It’s possible Minnesota may not need their leading tackler to take care of Maryland at home this week, but having Martin healthy and ready to go for their following game may be essential. Minnesota hosts No. 6 Penn State on Nov. 9. The Gophers will have a bye week after playing Maryland to provide more possible rest for Martin if needed. even if Martin is ruled out for Maryland, it sounds as though Fleck is optimistic Martin will get to play against the Nittany Lions. If things work out, it could be a clash of undefeated Big Ten teams few expected could happen before the start of the season.