Oh what a difference a year makes for N.C. State and Louisville.
After a lopsided result that was not in their favor last season, the 24th-ranked Wolfpack are giving No. 17 Louisville everything they can handle on both sides of the ball to lead 17-10 at halftime of an intriguing ACC battle down in Raleigh.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the first quarter, with Heisman winner Lamar Jackson being well contained by that tough NCSU defensive line led by Bradley Chubb. Once the clock ticked over to the second quarter however, both offenses started to get going with some big plays.
Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley (268 yards, one touchdown) kicked things off, lobbing a perfectly thrown pass into the waiting arms of Kelvin Harmon for a 48-yard touchdown. State tacked on a field goal on their ensuing possession following a 79 yard catch and run by superstar all-purpose threat Jaylen Samuels and then scored again just before the break. We’ll see if the team can keep that second quarter momentum up despite losing starting center Garrett Bradbury with a chest injury but their final two drives without him bodes well for them to do just that.
Jackson and the Cardinals also found a little bit of a rhythm in the second frame, as the dual-threat signal-caller racked up 190 yards through the air by halftime. He found Seth Dawkins for the team’s only touchdown early in the second quarter, which was a bobbling affair down near the end zone before the wideout hauled it in for the score.
There are a ton of major sporting events going on Thursday night but the lone college football game on the slate has turned out to be a pretty good one despite the relative low score. We’ll see if either side can make some big adjustments — especially defensively for the higher ranked team — in order to pull out a key win in the ACC Atlantic race.
No. 2 Clemson’s front seven will be at less than full strength as it squares off with a decidedly run-heavy offense this weekend.
Per TigerNet.com, Dabo Swinney Friday confirmed that linebacker Kendall Joseph will not play in Saturday afternoon’s game against Georgia Tech. The Tigers-centric website reported that Joseph suffered a groin injury during practice this week leading up to the Tech game.
It’s unclear when the starting weakside linebacker will return to the playing field for a Clemson team that will face Syracuse and Wake Forest the next two Saturdays after this one.
The fifth-year senior had started the first three games of this season after starting 26 games the past two years (15 in 2016, 11 in 2017). Following the 2017 season, Joseph, a three-star 2014 signee, was named third-team All-ACC.
On the depth chart released ahead of the Tech game, fifth-year senior J.D. Davis is listed as the No. 2 weakside linebacker, while redshirt sophomore Shaq Smith is listed as the No. 3.
It’s been a season of “first times since…” standards thus far this year for the Kansas football program, and the Jayhawks have the opportunity to add yet another one in Week 4.
Saturday afternoon, Kansas will travel to Waco for a Week 4 matchup against Baylor in the Big 12 opener for both schools. Should the Jayhawks head back to Lawrence with a win stuffed into its back pocket, they would do something they haven’t done in nearly 10 full years.
On Oct. 4, 2008, Kansas beat Iowa State 35-33 in Ames. That marked the Jayhawks’ last road win in Big 12 play as they have lost 40 straight conference games away from home since.
All told, Kansas has lost 29 of its last 30 Big 12 games, with the last win coming vs. Texas in 2016.
Already in 2018, Kansas snapped a 46-game road losing streak, which was the second-longest such streak in the history of college football at any level. Additionally, they have won back-to-back games over FBS teams for the first time since 2009.
A win over Baylor would also give Kansas back-to-back wins over Power Five teams for the first time since 2008.
So much for that idea, it appears.
Two weeks ago, a report surfaced that there is an agreement in place between Jalen Hurts and the Alabama football program that would allow the quarterback to take a redshirt for the 2018 season, provided starter Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t go down with an injury.
Hurts appeared in Alabama’s season-opening romp over Louisville at the beginning of the month, and then in the next two as well. Thanks to a new NCAA rule implemented this year, players can appear in up to four games in a season and still retain the ability to take a redshirt; it appeared that the rumored agreement between the player and the football program would’ve been that Hurts would not play in more than four games this season — again, unless Tagovailoa is injured.
With the fourth game of the season fast approaching, it doesn’t seem as if redshirting Hurts is in Nick Saban‘s plans. At all.
From ESPN.com‘s Chris Low‘s interview with the Crimson Tide head football coach:
It’s the same as it’s always been, to use them both,” Saban told ESPN on Thursday. “It evolves a little bit as you go. Our team has evolved. I can’t tell you exactly how it all will play out. It’s going to be whoever helps our team play the best, and they’ve both played a role in doing that. …
We needed both quarterbacks last year, and we’ll need them both again this year.
Hurts, who was 26-2 as the Tide’s starting quarterback entering 2018, is on schedule to graduate from UA in December. It’s widely expected that, at some point afterward graduation, he will transfer from the Tide as the true sophomore Tagovailoa is firmly entrenched as the starter.
Provided he doesn’t actually end u redshirting this year, Hurts would then have one more season of eligibility he can use at another FBS school.
In what’s quickly becoming a trend, Auburn has lost yet another couple of players to in-season moves.
Citing an unnamed source, Rivals.com was the first to report that Nate Craig-Myers is leaving the Tigers and will transfer out of Gus Malzahn’s football program. No specific reason for the abrupt departure of the wide receiver was given.
Despite starting all three games for the Tigers this season, Craig-Meyers had just two receptions for 39 yards. He’ll apparently finish the AU portion of his playing career with 394 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns on his 22 catches.
Craig-Meyers was a four-star member of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 6 receiver in the country; the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 45 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. He was the highest-rated signee on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers that recruiting cycle.
Additionally, 247Sports.com reported that Craig-Meyers’ half-brother, Jayvaughn Myers, did not attend Thursday’s practice and is leaving the team as well. The defensive back was a 2016 signee who played sparingly during his two-plus seasons on The Plains.
Head coach Gus Malzahn subsequently confirmed both of the departures.
Including Craig-Meyers and Meyers, a total of five Tigers have left the program since the start of the 2018 season. Just this week, tight end Jalen Harris took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer. Additionally, cornerback John Broussard Jr. and punter Aidan Marshall parted ways with the team earlier this month as well.
Most, if not all of those players are taking advantage of a new NCAA rule implemented this offseason that allows them to play in up to four games in a season and still be able to take a redshirt and preserve a year of eligibility.