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Arkansas unravels, rallies to top No. 15 TCU in double OT

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In a game the Hogs at separate times had in hand and let slip away, Arkansas mounted a late rally to tie and then overcome No. 15 TCU as quarterback Austin Allen surged into the end zone for a 41-38 double overtime victory in Fort Worth.

Arkansas was seemingly set Fort Worth and beat No. 15 TCU. Thanks to a red zone fumble and a pick-six the Hogs opened up a 13-0 halftime lead, and the lead was set to move to 23-7 with 11:30 to play in the game. All Arkansas kicker Cole Hedlund needed to do was make a 22-yard field goal.

He missed. That was all TCU needed to awaken from its offensive slumber.

The Frogs moved 80 yards in seven plays to pull within 20-14 with 9:44 remaining and, after forcing a three-and-out, raced from their own 16 to the end zone again, mostly on the legs of lightning bug KaVontae Turpin. He returned the ensuing punt 34 yards to midfield, then immediately snagged a 43-yard catch-and-run, setting up a seven-yard Kyle Hicks go-ahead touchdown run.

Arkansas went three-and-out again on its next possession, and again TCU capitalized. Kenny Hill and Derrick Green took turns dicing the Hogs through the ground and air, with Hill finishing off the 8-play, 50-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring dash. Rather than gamble on a chance to go up nine and put the game away, Gary Patterson kicked an extra point to go up 28-20 with 2:05 remaining.

The ramifications of that decision immediately came into effect as Arkansas glided 58 yards in four snaps to pull within 28-26, and a reverse pass from Keon Hatcher to Allen tied the game at 28-28 with 1:03 remaining.

Arkansas, for some reason, kicked to Turpin on the ensuing kickoff, which he returned 64 yards to the Arkansas 27. Hill found Emmanuel Porter for another go-ahead score on the very next play, but the scor was called back for illegal touching. The Frogs instead settled for a 28-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining, which 6-foot-10 offensive lineman Dan Skipper blocked to send the game to overtime.

The Hogs took the ball at the top of the first overtime, and Austin Allen cashed in with a third down touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Hill answered with a third down strike of his own, this one to Taj Williams in the corner of the end zone from 13 yards out.

TCU had to settle for a field goal at the top of the second overtime and, faced with a 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Allen rushed toward the goal line, was stopped short, then surged again into the end zone for a Razorbacks victory. He closed the day hitting 17-of-29 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, plus the game-winning rushing score. Rawleigh Williams III led all rushers with 28 carries for 137 yards.

Hill hit 36-of-56 passes for 377 yards with a touchdown and a pick-six while also leading the Frogs’ (1-1) ground efforts with 15 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Turpin notched seven catches for 126 yards, plus another 169 yards in the return game.

Arkansas (2-0) secured a massive win for a program that struggled to secure close games under head coach Bret Bielema. Of the Hogs’ 11 losses over the past two seasons, seven had come in one score games.

TCU (1-1) heads into a rivalry game with SMU facing major questions about its defense as Big 12 play looms around the corner.

Miami’s Evidence Njoku tweets decision to enter transfer portal

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Following a standout career at Miami, David Njoku was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Njoku’s younger brother had hoped to follow in his footsteps at The U, but, as it turns out, that won’t be the case.

On his personal Twitter account Monday afternoon, Evidence Njoku announced that, “after Deep Thought And Discussion I Have Decided To Enter The Transfer Portal To Furthermore Continue My Athletic And Academic Career.” The tight end gave no specific reason for his decision.

“He’s a good young man,” Miami head coach Manny Diaz said. “We wish him well wherever he ends up.”

Njoku was a three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2017 recruiting class who came to The U as a wide receiver before converting to tight end.  After playing in eight games as a redshirt freshman last season, he had played in just one game thus far in 2019.

The 6-6, 226-pound New Jersey native finishes the Hurricanes portion of his collegiate p[laying career with just one catch for 11 yards, with that coming in the last year’s regular-season finale against Pitt.

Florida announces future home-and-home with Arizona State

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With the 2019 regular season rapidly drawing to a close, Florida has dropped some future scheduling news on the masses.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Florida confirmed that it has agreed to a future home-and-home series with Arizona State.  The Gators will travel to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe in 2028, with the Sun Devils making the trek to The Swamp in Gainesville in 2031.

The 2028 game will be played on Sept. 16, while the backend of the series will be played either Sept. 6 or 13 of 2031.

That first matchup in 2028 will mark the first-ever meeting between the football programs.

Arizona State last played at the home of an SEC school in 2009, a 20-17 loss to Georgia in Athens.  Florida’s last trip to a Pac-12 school was a 1983 tie with USC.  The Gators last played host to a school from that conference the year before, with the Trojans serving as the opponent once again.

Wake Forest loses ACC’s leader in receiving yards, touchdowns to season-ending injury

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Wake Forest lost much more than a football game this past Saturday.

In the fourth quarter of the Week 11 loss to Virginia Tech that, along with Clemson’s win later that night, cost Wake any shot at the ACC Atlantic championship, Sage Surratt went down with some type of upper-body injury and didn’t return.  Tuesday, during his weekly press conference, head coach Dave Clawson confirmed that the redshirt sophomore wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2019 season because of the injury, which he again declined to specify.

Clawson added that Surratt will undergo surgery to repair the unspecified damage.

Surratt’s 1,001 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns are the most of any player in the ACC, and are good for fifth and tied for fifth, respectively, at the FBS level.  His 66 receptions are second only to Pitt’s Maurice Ffrench‘s 75 in the conference.

In addition to this Saturday’s game against No. 5 Clemson, Surratt will miss regular-season games against Duke and Syracuse as well as whichever bowl at which Wake lands.

Chase Young to continue practicing with team as Ohio State awaits resolution on NCAA issue

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When it comes to the Chase Young situation at Ohio State, the football program is still in wait-and-see mode.

Top-ranked Ohio State confirmed last Friday morning that star defensive end Chase Young would not be playing in this Saturday’s game against Maryland.  Per the school, Young will be sidelined for the foreseeable future “due to a possible NCAA issue from 2018 that the Department of Athletics is looking into.”  On his personal Twitter account, Young acknowledged he had “made a mistake last year by accepting a loan from a family friend” that he “repaid… in full last summer.” It was subsequently reported that the loan was used to pay for airfare for Young’s family — or, more specifically, his girlfriend — so they could see him play in January’s Rose Bowl against Washington.

On ESPN‘s College GameDay a day later, Kirk Herbstreit, a former Buckeyes quarterback, stated that, because of the amount of money involved, Young will be slotted for a four-game suspension.  The university will appeal that initial number and it’s expected that the suspension will be knocked down to “two games, maybe three games,” Herbstreit stated, adding, “it won’t stay at four.”

In the three days since, there’s been no update on Young’s status as OSU prepares for this weekend’s in-season conference scrimmage against Rutgers.  During his press conference Tuesday, Ryan Day indicated that there is no new information on Young’s availability moving forward.  Per the head coach, the lineman will continue to practice with his Buckeyes teammates as if he will play against the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway Saturday, even as there is no guarantee he will.

Aside from individual statistics, Young’s availability for Rutgers is inconsequential.  With back-to-back games against No. 4 (for now) Penn State and No. 14 Michigan after RU, though, Young being on the field will be of the utmost importance for playing-minded Ohio State.

As part of Herbstreit’s Saturday report, the college football analyst stated that “OSU expects to hear an answer from the NCAA on the appeal next week.” It should be noted that OSU has pushed back against the accuracy of Herbstreit’s report, specifically that the four-game suspension angle.

Despite missing this past weekend’s game, a blowout win over the Terps, Young still leads the nation in sacks (13½) and sacks per game (1.69).  The junior, widely expected be one of the first players selected in the 2020 NFL Draft if he does the expected and foregoes his remaining eligibility, is also third nationally in tackles per loss per game (1.9).