Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici isn’t Tom Brady, but that doesn’t really matter.
Bercovici primarily played in four games last season, and the Sun Devils finished 2-2 in those contests. However, head coach Todd Graham is prepared to change the team’s offense to fit his new signal-caller’s strengths.
“We have a quarterback that’s fixing to be able to do things that we’ve never really been able to do,” Graham told AZCentral.com’s Doug Haller.
Graham’s ideal offense is an up-tempo system operating a breakneck pace. The next step is fashioning its passing attack after the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. Graham will mold a quick-passing attack around Bercovici.
“What we want to see is – 1, 2, ball’s out on 3,” Graham said.
“Getting people off of you is what they do with their quick passing game, and we’ve got a guy who has a lightening release. I mean, this guy can throw the football. We’re obviously adapting everything to that.”
Graham may be building around Bercovici, but tight end Kody Kohl and wide receivers Cameron Smith and Gary Chambers will benefit the most from the shift in philosophy.
Arizona State ran the ball 53 percent of the time in 2014. That number is expected to drop since the more athletic Taylor Kelly no longer behind center.
Plus, Bercovici’s ability to get the ball out quickly will help mask a rebuilt left side of the offensive line after Arizona State lost Jamil Douglas and Tyler Sulka to graduation.
Clemson’s building spree around campus for the football program isn’t slowing down anytime soon thanks to the Tigers winning two of the last three national titles.
The school’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved a massive $68.7 million renovation of Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium — better known as Death Valley — and a further $7 million devoted to expanding the already impressive football operations building.
“We haven’t had a major redo of the west end since 2006 so it’s time to pay some attention to that side [after] we redid the suites on the north side and created the south club on the south side,” Athletic Director Dan Radakovich told WNCT.
The stadium renovations are pretty typical of schools nowadays as it will add premium seating (i.e. suites), a new video board and upgraded LED lighting that peers like Georgia and Alabama have used to rave reviews in recent years.
New locker rooms at the stadium are also set to be the first thing accomplished in the project, which officials hope will be completely wrapped up prior to the 2021 season.
Given everything the school is doing for the program lately, ‘If you win it, they will build it’ might just be the unofficial motto at Clemson nowadays. Sure seems more accurate in 2019 than ‘BYOG.’
The state of North Carolina opening up beer and alcohol sales at sporting events has had a big impact on the flagship university’s bottom line so far this year.
According to WTVD ABC 11, UNC sold over 43,000 “units” of alcohol (beer/wine/hard seltzers) in the Tar Heels’ first three home games of the year. The end result to all those purchases? The team took in over $1 million in concessions in games against Miami, Appalachian State and Clemson, with all three contests selling more alcohol than soda (and nearly as much booze as water).
The school confirmed a number of figures, including roughly $325,000 in concession sales for the home opener against the Hurricanes and $393,000 against the in-state rival Mountaineers. The defending national champions’ visit on Sept. 28 was the high point however, with $416,000 worth of goods sold and some 15,737 units of alcohol bought.
WRAL reports that all three games exceeded the previous record amount UNC took in from concessions, set back in November 2016 against local rival N.C. State.
Kenan Stadium will host three more home games in 2019 against Duke, Virginia and FCS Mercer. Safe to say all three can already get counted as wins for the bottom line regardless of the result on the field for Mack Brown’s team.
If No. 18 Baylor is going to continue their remarkable pursuit of a Big 12 title in 2019, they’re going to have to do it without their best defensive player.
A school official confirmed to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday that senior linebacker Clay Johnston will miss the rest of the season after injuring his knee in the Bears’ double overtime victory over Texas Tech on Saturday.
The news is a huge blow to Matt Rhule’s defense, which was tops in the Big 12 in a number of statistical categories and the No. 17 scoring defense nationally. Johnston was all over the field against the Red Raiders, racking up 10 tackles (1.5 TFL) and an interception to help edge their conference rivals and remain undefeated.
For the season, which will sadly be Johnston’s last as a senior, he had 58 tackles, 2.5 sacks and that lone pick from Saturday. Freshman Matt Jones is listed as the next man up on the depth chart though given his youth and inexperience, it’s possible the Bears coaching staff will shift over a more veteran option to man the middle of the defense going forward.
Baylor doesn’t ease into the second half of the schedule either as they’ll hit the road to face a dangerous Oklahoma State offense in their first game without Johnston on Saturday.
Tide, Tigers and, oh my, some more Tigers. There was a new No. 2 team in the country thanks to the action in Week 7 and it’s not the defending champions either.
LSU assumed the spot behind No. 1 Alabama in the latest AP Poll — supplanting new No. 3 Clemson — after their big win over Florida on Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Ed Orgeron’s crew even picked up an extra first place vote in the process to give them 12 to Dabo Swinney’s 11 (the Tide had 30, No. 4 Ohio State had nine).
No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Notre Dame all moved up in the poll while the No. 9 Gators and a tumbling Georgia rounded out the top 10.
Interestingly, Utah is the new No. 13 team after leapfrogging No. 14 Boise State. The Utes are a spot behind conference rival Oregon, who will take on new No. 25 Washington in Seattle this upcoming Saturday.
No. 20 Minnesota, No. 22 Missouri and No. 24 Appalachian State were also ranked for the first time this season — replacing Virginia, Wake Forest and Memphis.
The full AP Top 25 heading into Week 8:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Boise State
- Arizona State
- Appalachian State