The injury bug has claimed yet another victim shortly before the start of the 2018 season.
According to Rivals.com, Richaud Floyd broke a bone in his right leg during Missouri’s practice Wednesday. As a result, the wide receiver is expected to be sidelined for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the short end of that timeline, Floyd would miss the opener against FCS Tennessee-Martin Sept. 1 as well as the Wyoming game in Week 2. At the long end, he’d be sidelined for the first road game of the year (at Purdue Sept. 15) as well as the SEC opener against Georgia in Columbia Sept. 22. At least at the moment, it appears that, at the latest, Floyd would be able to return for the Oct. 6 game against South Carolina.
Last season as a redshirt sophomore, Floyd caught 14 passes for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns — on just 11 attempts — which tied him for second at the FBS level with seven other players. The punt return scores went for 74 and 85 yards, playing a huge role in his 19.8 yards per return that would’ve been second nationally if he had enough returns to qualify.
For roughly the dozenth time since Chip Kelly took over in Westwood, a player has left his UCLA football program.
Wednesday evening, 247Sports.com reported that Octavius Spencer “has been let go by the program due to a violation of team rules.” Wednesday night, Spencer wrote on his personal Twitter account that “it’s time to move on to another chapter and I will now be looking for a new place to call home.”
In the same tweet, the defensive back posted a letter, signed by athletic director Dan Guerrero, that indicates the university “hereby provides permission for you to discuss a possible transfer in the sport of football with any university.”
Spencer was a three-star member of the Bruins’ 2015 recruiting class. The fourth-year senior played in 35 games the past three years, including 13 last season. All three of his career starts came during what turned out to be his final go-around at UCLA.
The Los Angeles Daily News provided a rundown of all of the players, in addition to Spencer, who have left the team since Kelly took the reins:
… defensive linemen Greg Rogers and Ainuu Taua, defensive back Denzel Fisher, offensive linemen Alex Akingbulu, Paco Perez, Stephan Zabie and Sean Seawards, punter Austin Kent, and linebackers Brandon Burton and DeChaun Holiday. Additional players, including tight end Jimmy Jaggers and offensive lineman Jax Wacaser, announced medical retirements due to concussions.
Don’t quote me on it, but I do believe we have come to the final preseason watch list of the 2018 offseason. Maybe?
Thursday, the Manning Award released its initial list of the top 30 quarterbacks in the country to watch for the upcoming season, although a player not on this initial list is not necessarily precluded from winning the award. This is the only major award, it should be noted, that is handed out after the bowls, and is named in honor of the quarterbacking triumvirate of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.
Highlighting this latest watch list are four of the finalists for the 2017 award claimed by Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield — Penn State’s Trace McSorely, UCF’s McKenzie Milton, Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Arizona’s Khalil Tate.
All 10 FBS conferences are represented, led by the SEC’s five and four each from the ACC and Big Ten. The Pac-12 is next with three, while the remaining leagues — the AAC, Big 12, Conference USA, MAC Mountain West and Sun Belt — come in with two apiece. A pair of football independents, Notre Dame and UMass, are also represented.
Of the 30 watch listers, 17 are seniors and 12 are juniors. The lone sophomore is Virginia Tech’s Josh Jackson.
Below is the complete 2018 Manning Award preseason watch list:
Jake Bentley, Jr., South Carolina
Jake Browning, Sr., Washington
A.J. Erdely, Sr., UAB
Caleb Evans, Jr. UL-Monroe
Mason Fine, Jr., North Texas
Ryan Finley, Sr., N.C. State
Nick Fitzgerald, Sr., Mississippi State
Andrew Ford, Sr., Massachusetts
Ty Gangi, Sr., Nevada
Will Grier, Sr., West Virginia
Justice Hansen, Sr., Arkansas State
Ben Hicks, Jr., SMU
Alex Hornibrook, Jr., Wisconsin
Josh Jackson, Soph., Virginia Tech
Daniel Jones, Jr., Duke
Kyle Kempt, Sr., Iowa State
Brian Lewerke, Jr., Michigan State
Drew Lock, Sr., Missouri
Trace McSorley, Sr., Penn State
McKenzie Milton, Jr., Central Florida
Gus Ragland, Sr., Miami (Ohio)
Malik Rosier, Sr., Miami
Nathan Rourke, Jr., Ohio
Brett Rypien, Sr., Boise State
Kyle Shurmur, Sr., Vanderbilt
Nathan Stanley, Jr., Iowa
Jarrett Stidham, Sr., Auburn
Khalil Tate, Jr., Arizona
Manny Wilkins, Sr., Arizona State
Brandon Wimbush, Jr., Notre Dame
For those who favor Power Five-vs.-Power Five games being played on campus, Thursday was a pretty good day.
Auburn announced earlier in the day today that it has secured future home-and-home series with both Baylor and UCLA. You will have plenty of time to make travel arrangements, though, as those four games won’t be played until 2025-28.
Going in alphabetical order, Auburn will travel to Waco to play Baylor on Aug. 30, 2025. The Tigers will then return the hosting favors the following season as the Bears will make the trek to The Plains for a Sept. 5, 2026, date at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“We are excited to announce a home-and-home series with Auburn,” BU athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity for our student-athletes to compete against a tradition-rich Power 5 opponent and for our fans to enjoy games against a top out-of-conference team.
“One of our goals is to provide a challenging schedule each and every season. Non-conference games like these, in addition to the Big 12’s true round-robin conference schedule, will help us continue to put our teams in position to compete for championships.”
As for the UCLA series, the Tigers will travel to the historic and iconic Rose Bowl on Sept. 4, 2027. On Sept. 2, 2028, Auburn will host UCLA.
The 2027 game will mark the first-ever meeting between the Tigers and Bruins.
The Tigers and Bears (oh my!) have met four times previously, the most recent coming way back in 1976 at Auburn. Those two teams first met in the 1954 Gator Bowl, with Auburn picking up its first and only win in the miniseries as the Bears hold a 2-1-1 lead all-time on the Tigers.