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CFT Previews: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl


WHO: No. 14 Notre Dame (9-3) vs. No. 17 LSU (9-3)
WHAT: The 72nd Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
WHEN: Jan. 1st at 1 p.m. ET on ABC
WHERE: Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
THE SKINNY: There are few bowl matchups that excite quite like name brands Notre Dame and LSU clashing on a neutral field. While both of these top 25 teams enjoyed a bit of a bounce-back campaign in 2017, this year’s rematch of a postseason meeting from 2014 might be more about who isn’t playing in the game than who is.

For the Tigers, injuries have been a recurring theme for this team and fresh faces replacing big names is nothing new. Still, the number of impact guys that will be missing in action includes star pass rusher Arden Key and linebackers Corey Thompson and Donnie Alexander. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is the nation’s highest-paid coordinator for a reason though so no need to pour one out for him, but he still faces quite the challenge against an offense averaging over 35 points a game and rushing for over six yards a carry on the year.

Luckily for LSU, tailback Derrius Guice should be good to go in this one and he could provide a nice boost to a unit that has struggled with consistency at times. That could be one reason why offensive coordinator Matt Canada is reportedly on his way out the door but there’s still plenty of weapons to worry about from wideout D.J. Chark to underrated tight end John David Moore.

Notre Dame likewise has plenty of firepower on the offensive side but will be missing some key pieces after receiver Kevin Stepherson was suspended and the tight end position in particular is extremely thin. That might not matter much if junior tailback Josh Adams can get going running the football after compiling 1,386 yards at a whopping 7.3 yards per carry over the course of 2017. His stellar play has been key to the team’s resurgence from that 4-8 disaster from a season ago and helped starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush (16 TDs, six INTs) grow into the role.

While LSU enters the game trending a little higher than their opponent from the North based on how the end of the regular season played out, Notre Dame will no doubt be plenty motivated to hit the double-digit win plateau to cap a heck of a reversal from what happened last year. The Irish are still capable of playing like a team that was in the top five in the College Football Playoff rankings and have a healthier roster heading down to Orlando so it shouldn’t be surprising at all to see them take home a win over a solid SEC team to ring in the new year.

THE PICK: Notre Dame 31, LSU 23

Iowa DT Brady Reiff arrested for public intoxication

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Iowa defensive tackle Brady Reiff could face some upcoming internal discipline following an arrest over the weekend. Reiff was arrested for public intoxication early Saturday morning by Iowa City police.

According to Hawk Central, Reiff was released from jail at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, a little less than seven hours after his arrest. A statement from Iowa Athletics Director stated the university was aware of the incident and was gathering more information on the story.

At this time, there has been no discipline handed out to Reiff from within the Iowa football program or athletics department, but some form of punishment should probably be expected down the line. A loss of playing time in the season opener would appear to be the most likely result given the misdemeanor caliber of the crime involved.

Reiff recorded 13 tackles, one sack and one interception while appearing in 12 games for the Hawkeyes last season. Reiff is expected to compete for a starting job on Iowa’s defensive line this season.

South Florida shows off new Adidas uniforms

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South Florida is switching apparel providers this season, leaving behind Under Armour for a new deal with Adidas. And with a new apparel partner now officially on board, the time has come to see what Adidas has up their sleeves for the Bulls.

South Florida shared a video on its Twitter account with the first look at the new uniform design, which looks fairly common to what most Adidas uniforms look like. One of the most notable changes to the uniform is the removal of “USF” from the front chest of the uniform and replacing it with text that reads “South Florida.”

The pants read “Bulls” on the legs and the USF “U” logo makes appearances on the hips and wrist bands. The first look at the helmet looks pretty interesting as well, with a chrome green face mask. The details of the helmet can be a bit more difficult to make out, although it appears at one point to be a green USF logo outlined in white (and gold?) on a gray helmet.

Reaction to the new uniforms among USF fans seems to be a bit mixed, but we will have to wait and see how the feelings are when USF reveals the full home and away assortment of uniforms down the road. As with many uniforms these days, it should be expected USF will have some combinations to keep them looking fresh on a weekly basis.

Miami’s signature Turnover Chain could be back in 2018, and WR Ahmonn Richards wants one too

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If you thought it was just a short-term fads designed to inspire Miami’s defense, well, you were probably right. But that short-term fad could very well be appearing once again this season on a Miami Hurricanes sideline near you.

After fielding plenty of questions about the iconic Turnover Chain, representatives of Miami at the ACC Football Kickoff last week showed no reason to doubt the chain will not be back again this fall. The Turnover Chain was a pop culture sensation in the world of college football as defensive players recovering a fumble or picking off a pass for an interception would race to the sideline to have the sparkling turnover chain placed around the necks. People either loved it or loathed it. So get ready to love it or loathe it again this fall.

Miami head coach Mark Richt didn’t shut down the idea while addressing the media at the ACC media day event, and he jokingly called it the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even wide receiver Ahmonn Richards was asked about the turnover chain and the possibility of having an equivalent prize for offensive players.

I think so. I think it’s time,” Richards said, according to The Sun Sentinel. “But those guys work hard, and they’re really enjoying it, and it helps them out, also, wanting to make plays and stuff. So I think we should have something, but it’s not up to me.”

Miami tied for third in the nation with the most takeaways with 31 (Wyoming led the nation with 38; UCF was second with 32 and Miami tied with Memphis and Central Michigan). In 2016, the Hurricanes had just 19 takeaways for the entire season.

Rutgers AD takes to Twitter to support head coach Chris Ash, downplay any hot seat talk

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We’re weeks away from the 2018 season beginning and with media days underway across the country, there’s inevitably some talk of which coaches are on the hot seat and who might be a few losses away from feeling the heat.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd complies a list every year of who might be feeling some pressure and who is safer than can be around the sport. One of the coaches who he listed as ‘start improving now’ (or a 4 on a 1-5 hot seat scale) was Rutgers head coach Chris Ash. The Scarlet Knights job is one of the hardest in football given their place in the Big Ten and while there has been some progress in the rebuild, Ash is 6-18 overall and only picked up his first conference win last season.

It’s only Year 3 of Ash’s tenure though and it seems that kind of pressure isn’t quite reflecting reality from the administration as athletic director Pat Hobbs took to his Twitter account on Saturday to say that there’s no hot seat at all for the young head coach:

We’re sure that Ash appreciates the extra bit of support publicly in what he’s doing with the program but something says he’ll be asked to comment about the whole thing next week at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. The Scarlet Knights certainly looked much improved in 2017 between the lines but digging out of such a big hole for the program is going to only get tougher as they try to get over the hump and make a bowl game in 2018.