Today the Miami Hurricanes will begin spring practices. It will be the 12th time the Hurricanes have done so since leaving the Big East for the ACC. And for the 12th spring one of the questions sure to be asked at some point in the perhaps not-so-distant future will be whether or not this will finally be the year Miami plays for an ACC championship.
At the time Miami left the Big East for the ACC, it was widely assumed the addition of the Hurricanes and Virginia Tech would bring a balance to the power of the football conference regularly dominated by Florida State. While the Hokies have more than held up their end of the bargain through the years, Miami has yet to even reach the ACC Championship Game, never mind winning it. Since joining the ACC, Miami has finished as high as second place in its division just four times. Miami’s move to the ACC 12 years later has been a disappointment in terms of on-field football production, and there is no dispute about that. Which is why this spring Miami fans and columnists will be wondering if this can finally be the year Miami can make a run to the top of what could be another wide-open season in the ACC Coastal Division.
Before even bothering with the routine “Is Miami back” or “Is this finally the year for Miami” questions, Golden and his coaching staff have some more important questions to answer in spring practices.
Miami appears to have some reasons for optimism moving into 2015, which will be the critical fifth season on the job for head coach Al Golden. That’s right, Golden is entering his fifth season at Miami. This could be his best yet, but stop me if you have heard this before about Miami. I tend to forgive Golden and Miami for the first two seasons because an NCAA cloud of uncertainty floated above the program before ultimately turning out nothing but bad looks for the NCAA. Regardless, Miami may need to show some improvement in order to ensure Golden’s job will be safe.
Miami went 6-7 last season and the Hurricanes lose running back Duke Johnson, which should lead to a nice competition at running back this spring. Miami also has to replace its top three receivers and fill three spots on the offensive line. One solid position on offense though will be quarterback, with Brad Kayaa giving many following Miami reason for optimism. Kayaa passed for over 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns as a freshman and could be one of the top offensive players in the ACC this season if all goes to plan. Miami improved defensively in 2014 but also loses some key players to open some competition in the spring.
A week after being a game-time decision against Ohio State, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix appears to be heading to a similar fate this week. Only this time, the Hoosiers are hoping to get their starting quarterback on the field this week.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen the likely plan this week will be to leave a decision on whether or not to play Penix as a game-time decision, similar to last week. Just before the Hoosiers kicked off at home against the buckeyes, Penix was ruled out for the game. Peyton Ramsey took over the offense for the game. Ramsey would likely get the starting nod if Penix is ruled out for this weekend’s game against UConn. Jack Tuttle also played for Indiana against Ohio State and could be used as well.
“I don’t foresee it, hopefully, not being a day-to-day thing the rest of the season, but at the same time, for this Saturday’s game, we definitely aren’t going to know for several more days,” Allen said to reporters on Monday. “He probably will eventually be a game-time decision with him, but I don’t expect that to keep being the case every single week.”
The nature of the injury that has sidelined Penix has not been confirmed by Allen. Penix started the first two games of the season.
As reports were swirling around about a possible injury to their starting quarterback, Texas Tech has announced Alan Bowan will be out for “several weeks” as a result of a shoulder injury. The injury occurred during Texas Tech’s road game at Arizona this past weekend.
Bowman was examined briefly on the Texas Tech sideline during a road trip to Arizona last weekend (which resulted in a loss to the Arizona Wildcats). Bowman did not miss any playing time, so news of a potentially lengthy injury comes as a bit of a surprise. Bowman was taken to the ground by a defender. No penalty was called on the play.
The Red Raiders will now likely go with Jett Duffey to lead the offense at the position. Texas Tech is off this week. While Texas Tech has not shared an expected timeline for Bowman’s return, prior rumors surrounding the injury were suggesting it could be anywhere from six to eight weeks before Bowman returns to the field.
If Bowman is out for six weeks, he would potentially miss games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, and Kansas. If absent for eight weeks, tack on a game at West Virginia to the mix (Texas Tech has another bye week between road games at Kansas and West Virginia. That would be quite a tough stretch for Texas Tech to be without its starting quarterback, whether for six or eight weeks.
Bowman has thrown for 1,020 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in three games this season.
As if losing a game to Virginia was not bad enough for the Florida State Seminoles, head coach Willie Taggart announce don Monday linebacker Joshua Kaindoh will miss the remainder of the season. Kaindoh, a former five-star recruit and a starter for the Seminole defense, is out for the year due to a lower-body ankle injury, according to Taggart.
Kaindoh suffered the injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss at Virginia. He was carted off the field. Kaindoh has appeared in every game since his arrival at Florida State in 2017. Because he has only appeared in three games this season, he is eligible to use a redshirt season this year to preserve two more years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA modified the redshirt rule last season to allow players to save a redshirt season as long as they appear in four games or fewer during the season.
With Kaindoh out of action, that will likely lead to Florida State using Janarius Robinson on more plays, as the two had been splitting playing time this season. But depth on the defensive line has become a growing concern for Florida State, who has been dealing with all sorts of issues on defense to start the season.
Kaindoh’s season comes to an abrupt end with nine tackles and a sack.
Taggart also made note that left tackle Jauan Williams is now “week-to-week” while he bounces back from an ankle injury form Week 2, the severity of which is far less troublesome than the injury to Kaindoh.
LSU safety Todd Harris will miss the rest of the 2019 season, head coach Ed Orgeron announced on Monday. Orgeron did not go into specifics regarding the injury to his junior safety. Harris was injured in the first half of Saturday night’s home win against Northwestern State, and he later returned to the field on crutches.
Orgeron only confirmed the injury was a season-ending injury, but he also explained Harris will be able to preserve a year of eligibility.
“We will use this year as a redshirt,” Orgeron said, according to The Advocate.
Because Harris did not appear in more than four games this season, he is allowed by the NCAA to use the 2019 season as a redshirt season, thus giving him two remaining years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA changed the redshirt rule last year to allow players to appear in up to four games without burning a year of their eligibility just for merely stepping foot on the field.
“It’s unfortunate. It was an unfortunate accident,” Orgeron said. “He just landed on the ground wrong.”
As for who replaces Harris on the depth chart, that job appears to be heading to junior safety JaCoby Stevens, who Orgeron noted was going to be used to fill the void.