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Nebraska still working through possibilities for adding 12th game

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Nebraska did not play its scheduled opener against Akron on Saturday night, and the game was not played Sunday, either, after Nebraska offered to house the Zips across multiple dorm facilities on Saturday night.

Huskers AD Bill Moos told reporters Wednesday he would still like to get his team a 12th game, and is still working through the possibility of re-scheduling Akron for Dec. 1. Nebraska is off Oct. 27 and Akron isn’t. Akron is off Sept. 29 and Nebraska isn’t.

But neither team has a scheduled game for Dec. 1, and Moos said that remains the likeliest option at this point.

“I did leave with (Akron athletic director) Larry Williams the options of a 12th game. I thought we had very good dialogue. We kind of left it verbally that we’d like to play the game,” Moos said, via HuskerOnline. “We don’t have a common bye so it’d have to be at the end of the year. If both schools agreed to it, we could play on the Saturday after the end of the regular season barring if either team was in their conference championship game.

“That’s a loose end out there. That’s an option.”

Moos also said Nebraska could schedule an FCS opponent for Oct. 27, however, that would require lining up another team that happens to have a bye week and is willing to take a pummeling on short notice.

There is still the money factor to be worked out as well. For now, Nebraska is holding onto both the gate it made from selling 85,000 or so tickets and the $1.17 million it promised Akron. A no-refund policy is printed on each ticket, so Nebraska’s technically within its rights there, though Moos said it would honor the sold tickets should a 12th game be added. As for the guarantee, it’s not due until March. Moos said Nebraska will definitely cover Akron’s travel expenses, but it remains up in the air as to whether Nebraska would pay the rest for a game that didn’t happen. Akron, obviously, wants the money it was banking on. Nebraska, obviously, doesn’t want to pay for something that never happened.

That’s why the cleanest option for both sides seems to be to reschedule the game for Dec. 1, barring a surprise visit to the conference title game for either side.

Florida State did the same thing a year ago. Hurricane Irma forced the cancelation of the ‘Noles Sept. 9 home opener with ULM, and FSU rescheduled the game for Dec. 2. In one of the most awkward college football games of all time, Jimbo Fisher had already bounced for Texas A&M and it was incredibly obvious the 5-6 ‘Noles only played the game to keep their 36-year bowl streak alive. (And they did, winning 42-10.)

That game wasn’t officially rescheduled until November, so Moos and Nebraska have some time. What will be interesting to watch is both sides’ enthusiasm for a lame duck game if, say, a 7-4 Nebraska is contractually obligated to play a cold, meaningless game against a 4-7 Akron.

Report: Georgia RG Ben Cleveland suffers fractured left fibula

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Georgia starting right guard Ben Cleveland suffered a fractured left fibula in the Bulldogs’ 43-29 win at Missouri, according to Dawgs247.

According to the site, the injury will not require surgery or a cast, but Cleveland will miss “at least a month.” No. 2 Georgia hosts Tennessee on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) and Vanderbilt before a massive visit to No. 5 LSU on Oct. 13. They’ll take Oct. 20 before closing SEC play with Florida, No. 17 Kentucky and No. 10 Auburn.

The fibula is a non-weight bearing bone and, thus, a significantly less damage break than the tibia.

Cleveland is a redshirt sophomore from Toccoa, Ga. He has started Georgia’s last nine games at right guard.

The Cleveland injury is not the only ailment Georgia is dealing with at the moment. Dawgs247 noted starting left tackle Andrew Thomas, who missed the Middle Tennessee game with a left ankle injury and seemingly re-aggravated it in the first half, when a player rolled up on him. He did not return to the game afterward.

Fellow sophomore Justin Shaffer replaced Cleveland at right guard in the Missouri win.

Tennessee LB booted from Florida loss releases statement

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On a night the Vols celebrated their 1998 national championship team, Tennessee played about as far away from national championship-caliber football as you’ll ever see a Tennessee team play. The Vols lost to Florida 47-21 in a game that was simultaneously better and worse than the final score. Tennessee was only out-gained 387-364 and won the first downs battle 18-14, but much of that was due all the short fields the Vols gave Florida after coughing up half a dozen turnovers. When fans started pouring out of Neyland Stadium early in the third quarter, the scoreboard read Florida 33, Tennessee 3.

And that’s not all.

Over the course of the game, head coach Jeremy Pruitt told linebacker Quart’e Sapp to leave the field after Sapp, Pruitt said, declined to enter the game.

“Since I’ve been here, Quarte has been a really good ambassador to our program, he’s done everything I’ve asked him,” Pruitt said. “He left the field because he wouldn’t go into the game when he was asked to go in. I don’t know how things were done before, but when you tell somebody to go in and they refuse to go in, we’re not going to do that around here. So I asked him to leave.”

On Sunday, Sapp released a statement on Twitter saying he did not refuse to go in the game. Sapp’s statement does not clarify exactly what happened, but he expressly denies he was asked to enter the game and refused.

“During the UT vs. UF game I was never asked nor did I refuse to go into the game. There was a sideline confrontation (I’m sure will be resolve internally that occurred and the other party had to be restrained.”

Sapp, a redshirt junior, was listed as Tennessee’s No. 2 weakside linebacker entering the Florida game. Given the praise Pruitt heaped upon Sapp above and the fact Tennessee can’t exactly turn away able bodies with Georgia, Auburn and Alabama coming up in its next three games, but bet here is this spat gets resolved internally and everyone moves on.

Minnesota DB Antoine Winfield, Jr. to miss remainder of season with foot injury

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For the second year in a row, Antoine Winfield, Jr.‘s season ends just four games after it started.

After appearing in 12 games and starting nine as a true freshman in 2016, Winfield was lost for the year four games into his sophomore campaign of 2017. He obtained a hardship waiver to play this season as a redshirt sophomore, but now will miss the rest of the season to a foot injury suffered in a 42-13 loss to Maryland on Saturday.

He will undergo surgery on Monday.

In a statement announcing the injury, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck announced the Gophers will pursue another hardship waiver for Winfield, meaning he would be a fourth-year sophomore in 2019 if approved.

Winfield is the second Gopher to be lost for the season, following running back Rodney Smith.

“We are heartbroken for Antoine,” Fleck said. “Like Rodney Smith, I know he will keep his oar in the water, keep moving forward and will work tirelessly to return to the field next season. We believe Antoine meets the waiver requirement for a sixth year of eligibility and we will file that waiver with the NCAA at the conclusion of the season.”

Winfield led all Gophers defensive backs with 17 tackles on the year while tying for the team lead with one interception. He was also the team’s punt returner, notching a 76-yard score in a 48-10 win over New Mexico State on Sept. 1 and a 31-yard return in a 26-3 defeat of Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 15.

Minnesota (3-1) is off Saturday before visiting Iowa on Oct. 6

Wake Forest fires defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel

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Wake Forest has relieved defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel of duties, head coach Dave Clawson announced Sunday.

After starting the season 2-0 with wins over Tulane and Towson, the Demon Deacons have allowed 97 points in consecutive losses to Boston College and No. 8 Notre Dame.

“This was a difficult decision and not a spur of the moment decision,” said Clawson.  “I want to thank Coach Sawvel for all his hard work with our football program over the last two years.  Coach Sawvel is a very good person and a good football coach.”

Wake Forest ranks 110th nationally in yards per play allowed (6.35) and 106th in scoring (33.5).

With Sawvel out, defensive analyst Tom Gilmore has been elevated to the full-time staff as outside linebackers coach. Coordinator duties will be split up amongst the remaining staff, and specific duties have yet to be assigned. Gilmore joined the Wake staff over the summer; he was formerly the head coach at Holy Cross.

Wake Forest (2-2) hosts Rice on Saturday.