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Oakland A’s set to confirm Kyler Murray to play at Oklahoma in 2018, then shift full attention to baseball in 2019

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Not surprisingly, Oklahoma will get just one season’s worth of Kyler Murray as their (projected) starting quarterback.

After Murray was selected surprisingly high in the opening rounds of the Major League Baseball draft earlier this month — he was taken ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics — there was some question as to whether the presumptive front-runner to replace Baker Mayfield under center for Oklahoma would immediately take the stick-and-ball money and run. Later that draft night, Murray was very emphatic that he “will be playing football this season.” A day later, his head coach reiterated that the quarterback would play football for the Sooners in 2018.

A couple of days later, Murray agreed to terms with the A’s, although the contract reportedly contained language that would allow him to play college football for just one more season.  Later this week, the baseball club will officially confirm such language is part of the deal that will pay Murray in the neighborhood of $5 million.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Murray, the A’s top pick in last week’s draft, officially will sign with the team on Friday and will be introduced at the Coliseum the same day, multiple sources told The Chronicle.

As part of the agreement, Murray will play just one more year of football at Oklahoma, one source said. Murray… will report to the A’s complex in Mesa, Ariz., next spring to begin his fulltime baseball career.

Murray has another season of college football eligibility that he could use beyond this year, although he’s obviously decided that he’ll be one-and-done as the Sooners’ starting quarterback.

A four-star member of Texas A&M’s 2015 recruiting class, Murray was rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  In December of 2015, Murray opted to transfer from the Aggies to the Sooners.

After sitting out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Murray served as the primary backup to the Heisman Trophy-winning Mayfield.  In mostly mop-up duty — he did start one game because of Mayfield’s one-series suspension — Murray completed 18-of-21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns this past season for the Sooners.  He added 142 yards on the ground for good measure.

Baylor, Oregon schedule home-and-home series for 2027 and 2028

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If you like neon colors on college football uniforms, boy have we got a future series for you.

In an announcement made on Friday, Oregon and Baylor confirmed the two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series on the gridiron in their first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Bears and Ducks will play at McLane Stadium in Waco on Sept. 11, 2027; while the return game will take place at  Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sept. 9, 2028.

The move certainly beefs up the non-conference slate for both sides after years of rather lackluster scheduling for various reasons. Baylor recently scheduled a series with Auburn for 2025/2026 and Oregon was similarly busy over the summer adding an SEC opponent with a future date with Georgia in 2022.

This series between the Ducks and Bears is the first on either team’s schedule for the 2027/2028 seasons so each has a few more slots to fill nearly a decade ago.

TCU safety Innis Gaines out for Oklahoma showdown and more likely done for season

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TCU will be without a key member of its defense for this weekend’s showdown against Big 12 rival Oklahoma as starting safety Innis Gaines will not play on Saturday — and possibly not again this season.

Speaking on his radio show on Thursday night in the DFW Metroplex, head coach Gary Patterson ruled the junior out against the Sooners and cautioned that he was “likely” done for the year after suffering a leg injury against Texas Tech last week.

Gaines himself seemed to suggest that he also will be out a significant amount of time with the injury in a Twitter post.

Gaines has been a key member of the Horned Frogs defense the past two years and has been one of the program’s best players on defense in 2018, ranking second on the team in tackles (31) and tackles for loss (6.5), as well as recording one interception, a forced fumble and a sack.

Compounding the loss of Gaines is the fact that fellow safety Niko Small has been out since the loss to Texas, leaving TCU fairly thin in the one area that you can typically count Patterson’s defense to be strong in. Freshman La’Kendrick Van Zandt is likely to be elevated into the starting role based on the team’s depth chart but you could also see an increase in playing time for Trevon Moehrig-Woodard as well.

Either way, this is not exactly the kind of news you want to hear just days before facing off against Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense.

Arkansas will reportedly be without starting QB Ty Storey for Tulsa

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Arkansas will continue feeling the effects of its Week 7 loss to Ole Miss on into Week 8.

Ty Storey suffered a head injury in the 37-33 loss to the Rebels this past Saturday, although head coach Chad Morris had been optimistic about the starting quarterback’s availability for this Saturday’s non-conference game with Tulsa.  Friday, however, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, citing a source with knowledge of the decision, is reporting that Storey will not play against the Golden Hurricane.

Storey has started five games this season — the Week 2 loss to North Texas as well as the last four losses in a row.  The junior has thrown for 983 yards and seven touchdowns this season, but his 124.4 pass efficiency rating of 124.4 is 11th among SEC quarterbacks and 89th nationally.

As a team, the Razorbacks are 105th in the country and last in the SEC in passing efficiency at 118.7.

If Storey is indeed sidelined as the reports suggest, either redshirt sophomore Cole Kelley or true freshman Connor Noland would get the start.  Kelley started the opener this year as well as a Week 3 loss North Texas before losing the job a second time to Storey.  Noland has attempted seven passes on the season.

While Kelley certainly has the edge in experience, the Democrat-Gazette writes that “Noland was seen taking first-team reps as media members left at the end of the viewing period on Wednesday.”

Reports: FAU loses Azeez Al-Shaair to ACL tear

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Just past the halfway point of the 2018 season, Florida Atlantic’s defense has taken a very steep and significant hit.

First reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and subsequently confirmed by OwlAccess.com, Azeez Al-Shaair has been diagnosed with a torn ACL.  The linebacker suffered the injury during practice earlier this week.

As a result of the injury, Al-Shaair will miss the remainder of the season.  Additionally, because this is his final season of eligibility, Al-Shaair will see his collegiate career come to an end as well.

This season, Al-Shaair is second on the team in tackles with 43 and tied for the team lead in quarterback hits with three.  The fourth-year senior will finish as the Owls’ all-time leader in tackles.

Al-Shaair was named as the Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year over the summer after leading the league with 147 tackles in 2017.