Behind a true freshman quarterback that played anything like it, No. 13 UCLA cruised past Virginia for a 34-16 victory at the Rose Bowl. Josh Rosen, a California native and No. 1 quarterback recruit in the class of 2015, played flawlessly in his debut, hitting 28-of-35 passes for 351 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions before leaving the game midway through the fourth quarter with victory well in hand for the Bruins.
Virginia opened the scoring with a 42-yard Ian Frye field goal at the 9:19 mark of the first quarter, but Rosen took over from there. He hit Devin Fuller for an easy four-yard scoring strike in the first quarter to give UCLA a lead it would not relinquish, nailed Thomas Duarte for on a gorgeous 30-yard rainbow to put the Bruins up 14-6 midway through the second, and then found Kenny Clark for a three-yard score to push the lead to 31-9 late in the third quarter.
The Cavaliers moved the ball well in the first half but stalled on all three of its scoring opportunities, leading to three Frye field goals and a 17-9 halftime deficit. UCLA’s talented defense, led by lineman Eddie Vanderdoes and linebacker Myles Jack, tightened the screws in the second half. Virginia would not score until the 3:33 mark of the fourth quarter as Matt Johns hit Taquan Mizell for on a 19-yard wheel route to provide the final score.
Mizell provided most of the offense for Virginia, rushing 16 times for 45 yards while also leading the club with eight grabs for 100 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Johns completed 21-of-35 passes for 238 yards with a score and a pick.
Another true freshman, Soso Jamabo, led UCLA in rushing, racking up 79 yards on his nine mom-up carries. Pac-12 leading returning rusher Paul Perkins totaled 59 yards on 14 attempts while leading the club with 58 yards on his five receptions. In addition to making good decisions with the ball, Rosen spread the wealth; 11 different Bruins recorded receptions on the day.
UCLA (1-0) heads to UNLV next week, while Virginia (0-1) heads home to face, gulp, No. 11 Notre Dame in the second of three games against ranked foes in the month of September.
A talented new addition to the Virginia Tech football roster is officially official.
After playing in the first four games of the 2019 season at Rutgers, Raheem Blackshear, a team captain, opted to sideline himself for the remainder of the campaign in order to preserve a year of eligibility. Three months later, Blackshear indicated on Twitter that he has decided to leave RU and continue his playing career with the Virginia Tech football program.
Two weeks after that social media announcement, the Hokies confirmed via Twitter that the running back is signed, sealed and delivered.
In addition to Virginia Tech, Blackshear had also considered a transfer to Temple. A return to Rutgers for the back was in play as well.
It’s expected that Blackshear, a redshirt sophomore, will seek a waiver that would allow him to play immediately for the Hokies in 2020. If that appeal is denied, he would be left with one season of eligibility he could use in 2021.
A three-star 2017 signee, Blackshear ran for 238 yards as a true freshman. The next season, he led the Scarlet Knights in rushing with 586 yards.
Blackshear could also be a significant asset in the Hokies’ passing game.
In addition to being the leading rusher in 2018, Blackshear also led the team in receptions (44), receiving yards (367) and receiving touchdowns (two). Despite playing in just four games this past season, he was second on the Scarlet Knights with 29 receptions (the leader, Bo Melton, ended up with 30) and 310 yards (Melton had 427). His two receiving touchdowns were tied with Melton for the team lead as well.
The extended Mississippi State football family is morning the tragic loss of one of its own.
According to the Associated Press, De’Runnya Wilson was found unresponsive inside of a Birmingham, Ala., home Tuesday evening by a relative. The 25-year-old was subsequently pronounced dead of unknown causes.
The Birmingham Police Department, however, is investigating Wilson’s death as a homicide.
Wilson was a Mississippi State football player from 2013-15. Coming to the Bulldogs as a three-star wide receiver, Wilson, who had one minor off-field incident during his time in Starkville, totaled 1,936 yards and 22 touchdowns on 132 receptions. The touchdowns are second all-time at the school. In 2015, Wilson set career-highs in catches (60), yards (918) and touchdowns (10).
Following that 2015 season, Wilson, who was also Mr. Basketball in the state of Alabama as a high school senior, left his remaining eligibility on the table and entered the 2016 NFL Draft. Wilson went undrafted, and subsequently spent time on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. He was also attached to the Arena Football League’s Albany franchise.
On Twitter Tuesday evening, the Mississippi State football program mourned Wilson’s passing.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” the school tweeted. “Thanks for the many memories you gave us, “Bear.”
The Purdue Boilermakers football team is the latest to make an addition to its coaching staff.
Tuesday afternoon, Purdue confirmed the speculation that had surfaced over the past couple of days by announcing the hiring of Marty Biagi by Jeff Brohm. Biagi will serve as the Boilermakers’ special teams coordinator. According to the school, he’ll also hold an unspecified, as of yet, role as defensive assistant.
“Marty is one of the leading coaches and brightest minds in the area of special teams,” the Purdue Boilermakers football head coach said in a statement. “We are very excited to have him here.”
Biagi has spent the past three seasons as the special teams coordinator at North Texas. Twice, the school noted in its release, Biagi was a finalist for the FootballScoop.com Special Teams Coordinator of the Year.
From the school’s release:
The Mean Green scored six special teams touchdowns, blocked nine punts, four kicks and had 10 players recognized with All-Conference USA accolades during Biagi’s tenure. North Texas won nine games in both 2017 and 2018, appearing in the New Orleans Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl, respectively.
Biagi’s special teams unit at UNT finished in the top 20 in the Football Bowl Division in blocked kicks/punts all three seasons in Denton, tying for 11th in 2017 (4), for 19th in 2018 (3) and for sixth in 2019 (4).
One of those six special teams touchdowns came in a 2018 upset of Arkansas on a wild trick play during a punt return.
Prior to his time in Denton, Biagi was a special teams analyst at Notre Dame. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arkansas.
Thanks to the Stanford Cardinal football team, Marcus Arroyo is closing in on filling out his first UNLV coaching staff.
Tuesday, UNLV announced the hiring of Peter Hansen as Arroyo’s defensive coordinator. The longtime Bay-area coach will also be responsible for the Rebels’ inside linebackers.
Hansen served two different stints as part of the Stanford Cardinal football program over the past decade-plus.
In 2008, Hansen was part of the strength & conditioning staff. From 2009-10, he was a defensive assistant. After a stint in the NFL, Hansen returned to the Cardinal in 2013. The past seven seasons, he was Stanford’s inside linebackers coach.
In between the two Farm stops, Hansen was a defensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. He worked with both inside and outside linebackers during his two years with the NFL club.
Hansen, who played his college football and basketball at Arizona, was born in Palo Alto and began his coaching career at a high school in the city. This will mark the assistant’s first coaching job outside of the Bay area.
Hansen and the rest of the Rebels defensive staff will have their work cut out for them. At least, based on the campaign they will.
This past season, UNLV was dead last in the Mountain West Conference and 108th nationally as they gave up up 33 points per game. In total defense, they were 13th in the conference and 105th in the country as they allowed 442.3 yards per game. In passing defense, they were 13th and 104th.
With the Hansen hiring, Arroyo now has eight of his 10 on-field assistants in place. The others already on the staff are:
- Danny Langsdorf, quarterbacks coach/passing-game coordinator
- Cameron Norcross, offensive line/running-game coordinator
- Scott Baumgartner, running backs
- Jordan Paopao, tight ends/special teams coordinator
- Kenwick Thompson, linebackers
- Damon Magazu, safeties
- Tre Watson, cornerbacks