If Northern Illinois is going to extend its winning streak over Toledo, it may have to do so without two of its most veteran playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
In the second quarter of the Huskies’ game against the No. 24 (College Football Playoff ranking) Rockets, starting wide receiver Tommylee Lewis went down with what looked like a knee injury on a play in which he wasn’t hit by a defender. A handful of minutes later, starting quarterback Drew Hare went down with another non-contact injury.
Neither player could make it off the field under his own power. Lewis’ return has been labeled doubtful, although even that might be overly optimistic. Hare has already been ruled out for the remainder of the game, with the last television picture of him showed him headed off into the locker room on crutches after his father had come down from the stands to talk to him.
As for the game itself, the undefeated Rockets, which have lost five straight to the Huskies coming in, have taken a 17-16 lead into halftime. UT’s running game is the biggest reason behind the lead as they have plowed their way to 198 yards on the ground. Terry Swanson leads with a team-high 108 yards on just eight carries.
Lewis was well on his way to his best statistical game of the season prior to his injury as he had five catches for 125 yards and the Huskies’ lone touchdown; his previous 2015 high was 80 yards. Hare, who had started all nine games this season, has been replaced by Ryan Graham. Prior to this game, the redshirt freshman had attempted five passes this season.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t make note of a couple of quintessential #MACtion moments from the first half:
- With under two minutes left in the first quarter, and immediately after a play that lost 32 yards, Hare completed a 50-yard pass to Lewis on a third-and-39 play. That drive ended in a field goal.
- On a fourth-and-eight from their own 13-yard line, Toledo punter Nick Ellis ran for 18 yards for the first down on the fake, and was summarily blasted at the end of the play. That extension didn’t lead to any points as Ellis was forced to punt four plays later.
I’m not sure if you knew this, but it can get hot in Tampa in the early fall. Humid. Steamy. Muggy. Downright uncomfortable. Sweat is a part of life there, especially if you’re spending your Saturday afternoons running around in full pads and a helmet.
As such, South Florida figured it’d be to their advantage to wear lightweight, breathable uniforms, and Adidas has produced.
On Tuesday, USF debuted a brand new WVN A1 uniform, the German-based manufacturer’s lightest uniform. USF was certain to point out they will be the only team in the threads this season.
“We are very excited that in the second year of our partnership with adidas our football team will be the only one in the country wearing their lightest weight uniforms,” USF AD Michael Kelly said in a statement. “We look forward to the Bulls looking great and feeling great in the new lightweight, breathable material.”
The design itself is slightly different from what the Bulls wore previously, solid green or white with green shoulders, cresting into golden bull horns on each side, above a solid color pant. The metallic material that comprises the golden Bull horn on each shoulder was developed in Israel.
Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to uniforms, but in this set of eyes these kits are a massive step up from the chainmail-style Adidas template South Florida wore previously, shown above.
The new, lightweight uniforms will take the field for the first time on Friday, Aug. 30 vs. Wisconsin (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Kansas State wide receiver Hunter Rison will pursue a second transfer in as many years, according to reports Tuesday from GoPowercat and the Wichita Eagle.
The son of Michigan State great Andre Rison, Hunter signed with his father’s alma mater in 2017 and caught 19 passes for 224 yards as a freshman before transferring to Kansas State. After sitting out the 2018 season, as per NCAA transfer rules, Rison shined in spring practice, but his career as a Wildcat was instantly derailed when he was arrested for domestic battery in April.
Rison was immediately suspended from the team, though he maintains his innocence. Charges have not been filed, and his first court appearance in the civil case related to the charge is scheduled for July 16.
“This will be my only response,” Rison wrote on Twitter at the time. “I will continue to be myself … A man of God, as well as a great student-athlete at this university. I have done nothing wrong.”
Texas linebacker Demarco Boyd will continue to be a UT student but no longer a Longhorn football player, according to Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods.
Boyd, a linebacker out of Gilmer, Texas, was suspended last season after he was arrested for an alleged assault last July.
According to Richardson, Boyd will remain in school until his graduate transfer, when he will pursue a graduate transfer elsewhere. A 3-star member of UT’s 2016 class, Boyd redshirted his first year on campus and played sparingly in his one season on the active roster.
He is the younger brother of former Texas cornerback Kris Boyd, a 2019 seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings.
Particularly on the offensive side of the ball, Sterlin Gilbert‘s first-year roster at McNeese State will have a decidedly FBS look to it.
Earlier this month, the Cowboys announced the addition of four transfers from the FBS level to the roster — fifth-year senior wide receiver Rhashid Bonnette (Louisiana Tech), redshirt sophomore running back D’Andre Hicks (Appalachian State), redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Damien DeGruy (Fresno State) and third-year junior running back Elijah Mack (South Florida). As McNeese State plays at the FBS level, all four of the players will be eligible to play immediately in 2019.
Bonnette also comes to Lake Charles as a graduate transfer from Tech.
During his time in Ruston, Bonnette totaled 1,065 yards and three touchdowns on his 74 receptions. 22 of those catches, 300 of the yards and one of the touchdowns came this past season.
Mack, one of a handful of suspended Bulls ultimately dismissed from Charlie Strong‘s program late last year, ran for 59 yards on 14 carries in 10 appearances during his time at USF and will be a third-year junior this season.
After moving from the defensive backfield to the offensive backfield between the 2017 and 2018 campaigns, Hicks rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown in the first six games last year as a redshirt freshman before going down with a season-ending injury.
DeGruy played in a total of 16 games during his time with the Bulldogs, including a dozen as a true freshman in 2017. During that time, he was credited with eight tackles.