Nick Chubb rushes for 269 yards to power No. 13 Georgia by No. 21 Louisville in Belk Bowl

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Georgia running back Nick Chubb finished off an impressive freshman campaign by rushing for a Belk Bowl record 269 yards to help No. 13 Georgia (10-3) put away No. 21 Louisville (9-4), 37-14.

Chubb had a 31-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give Georgia a 17-7 lead, and he had a shorter eight-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to help drive the final nail in the coffin for Lousiville’s postseason experience. Georgia took a 27-14 lead into the fourth quarter and slammed the door on the Cardinals with a 10-0 final quarter.

Georgia did not celebrate a win without losing a couple of bodies along the way. Quarterback Hutson Mason left the game with an undisclosed injury. Wide receiver Michael Bennett also left the game with a possible knee injury.

Louisville was hit-or-miss for much of the night on offense. The Cardinals used quarterback Kyle Bolin for most of the night, completing 20 of 40 pass attempts for 301 yards and a touchdown. He was picked off twice. Despite the rough night for the offense, DeVante Parker had a good showing with 120 yards on eight receptions for the Cardinals. The offense only managed 14 points and 380 yards, but the defense was no match for Georgia’s running game.

It was quite a day for two of the young running backs in the SEC. Before Chubb got a chance to take the field in Charlotte, LSU’s Leonard Fournette turned in a powerful performance against Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl, although that was in a losing effort. Next season should be a lot of fun to watch the resurgence of power running backs between these two alone.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt picked up his ninth career bowl victory, while improving to 9-5 all-time in bowl games, moving him past Vince Dooley for most all-time bowl victories at Georgia. That accounts for about a third of Georgia’s all-time 28 bowl victories. This will be the 11th time since 2001 Richt will coach Georgia to a top 25 finish in the AP poll.

The SEC is now 4-1 in the bowl season, including a perfect mark against power five conference opponents. LSU took a loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl earlier in the day. The SEC is now tied for the best conference bowl record so far with a 4-1 mark. Conference USA is also 4-1 and the Pac-12 is 3-0, with Stanford taking on Maryland in the late kickoff Tuesday night.

The ACC took another loss to drop to 3-5 this bowl season. That record includes a woeful 1-5 mark against power conferences, with two wins against the American Athletic Conference lumped on top to help balance out the wins and losses. All that is left for the ACC is Georgia Tech and Florida State, so there is still a chance to come out of the postseason with a winning record overall, although it will be impossible to record a winning record against power conferences this bowl season.

ACC, Pitt headline Bednarik Award preseason watch list

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The Bednarik Award is the first major honor to release its watch list for the upcoming season.  But it certainly won’t be the last.  Far from it, actually.

In a release Monday, the Bednarik Award announced a 90-player strong watch list that represents every FBS conference in the country.  The Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1996 to the nation’s top player on the defensive side of the ball.

The ACC leads all conferences with 18 watch listers, with the Pac- 12 (13), SEC (11) and Big 12 (10) the only others in double digits.  The Big Ten, the remaining Power Five, placed nine players.

Wit eight, Conference USA led all Group of Five leagues.  Next up was the AAC’s six, followed by the Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference with five each and four for the MAC.

School-wise, reigning national champion LSU, Pitt and USC placed three players apiece.  A handful of other schools put two players each on the watch list:

  • Alabama
  • Appalachian State
  • Cal
  • Duke
  • Florida State
  • Georgia
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Notre Dame
  • Oregon
  • San Diego State
  • TCU
  • Texas
  • UAB
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington

No finalists from a year ago remain as both the winner (Ohio State’s Chase Young) and the two runners-up (Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons) have since moved on to the NFL.  There are, though, three semifinalists for last year’s award that are back this season — Penn State’s Micah Parson, LSU’s Derek Stingley and Florida State’s Marvin Wilson.

For the complete Bednarik Award watch list, click HERE.

Four-star 2021 QB son of Deion Sanders commits to FAU

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FAU football is building up quite the surname legacy within its program. Even as a couple have recently departed.

Last month, Miami transfer tight end Michael Irvin II, the son of former Hurricanes legend Michael Irvin, announced that he was committing to the FAU football program.  A little over a month later, Shedeur Sanders (pictured, left) announced on Twitter that he too has committed to FAU football.

The touted 2021 prospect is one of the football-playing sons of former Florida State All-American Deion Sanders.

Sanders is a four-star 2021 prospect coming out of high school in Cedar Hill, Texas.  On the 247Sports.com composite, the 6-1, 198-pound Sanders is the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the country.  he also held offers from, among others, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.

Sanders’ older brother, Shiloh, will be a redshirt freshman defensive back at South Carolina this season.

While the Sanders and Irvin surnames are in the Owls fold, a couple of famous ones have recently left.  The wide receiver son of Ray Lewis left FAU football earlier this month.  Originally committed to FAU, the running back son of Frank Gore ultimately signed with Southern Miss earlier this offseason.

FAU is coming off a 2019 football campaign in which the Owls tied a school record with 11 wins.  Included in that was a first-ever win in the Conference USA championship game.  And the program’s fourth straight win in a bowl game, a streak that stretches back to 2007.

Almost immediately after the win in the Boca Raton BowlLane Kiffin left to take over as the head coach at Ole Miss.  Kiffin was replaced shortly thereafter by former Florida State and Oregon head coach Willie Taggart.

Les Miles, Kansas ‘heartbroken’ over passing of student manager Jack Roche, who died over the weekend after being hit by a car

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The extended Kansas football family is mourning the loss of one it’s own over the weekend.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, and citing multiple people close to the Kansas football program, Jack Roche died in his hometown of Chicago late Saturday night after being hit by a car.  Roche had just turned 21 in May.  He was also scheduled to graduate from the university the same month next year.

Roche had spent the past couple of years as a student manager for the Jayhawks.  Les Miles just completed his first season as the Kansas football head coach, and mourned the young man’s passing in a tweet Sunday night.

“The KU football family is heartbroken to hear of the passing of Jack Roche,” the coach wrote. “Jack was a tremendous, hard-working young man who embodied what our program is all about. We will remember Jack and he will forever be a part of our family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Roches.”

Roche was beloved by players past and present as well.

“He always had a smile on his face and was genuinely one of the best people in the entire program,” ex-Jayhawk quarterback Carter Stanley said according to the Journal-World. “We’d talk every day, but I’d go in earlier than usual on Mondays and we’d share the results of our fantasy football teams from the day before, which usually gave me a chance to give him a hard time for being a Bears fan.”

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Roche’s way-too-soon passing.

SEC reiterates no decision on football until late July

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As expected, the SEC is going to wait as long as possible until making its next decision when it comes to the fate of football.

Last week, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey warned that “we are running out of time” when it comes to the 2020 college football season.  That said, Sankey reiterated Monday that his conference will still wait to make any type of decision until the end of this month.

Below is Sankey’s statement on the current state of affairs, which came after an expected face-to-face meeting of the conference’s 14 athletic directors.  The biggest takeaway? Sankey allowed that the current trend of COVID-19 positives across the country must begin trending downward in order for there to be a college football season in 2020.

We had a productive meeting on Monday and engaged in discussions on a number of important issues that will contribute to critical decisions to be made in the weeks ahead. The ability to personally interact over the course of an entire day contributed to the productivity of the meeting.

It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis. In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced they are going to a conference-only schedule for football.  The ACC is in line with the SEC in making such a determination at the end of July.  It’s expected the Big 12 will announce its next move around the same time as well.