The beginning of the Scott Frost era… did not get off to the start Big Red was expecting. Luckily for Nebraska, there was still plenty of football left in Lincoln to get things back on track.
The Cornhuskers fumbled on their first two drives of the season but rebounded to lead 21-17 at the break as they renewed their historic rivalry with Colorado on an electric Saturday afternoon.
The Buffs wasted no time welcoming Frost to the big leagues, taking over after the initial turnover by marching right down the field in just eight plays and 86 yards before QB Steven Montez found Jay MacIntyre in the end zone for a score. They punched it in again on fourth down after the ensuing fumble to quickly go up to scores and briefly stun the crowd on the road.
After settling down, the Huskers struck back however by running off 21 in a row. True freshman Adrian Martinez showed why he was the correct choice at quarterback by scampering 41 yards around the edge off an option play — somersaulting into the end zone for the very first score of the year after weather resulted in cancelling the program’s opener last week.
The signal-caller finished with 172 total yards and escaped pressure on his next drive to set up another score too, with Devine Ozigbo later sending the crowd into a frenzy after crossing the goal line from eight yards out to tie things up. All told, the Nebraska offense looked night-and-day better than has the last few years and had 329 yards through the first two quarters.
Even more encouraging to the fans at home? The Blackshirt defense picked things up too and responded with three sacks in the half after not doing much on that side of the ball last year.
This rivalry game is shaping up to have a good finish as both sides appear fully into this one after an eight year break in the series.
After going from AU to the ACC, tailback Asa Martin is now ticketed for the AAC.
Per 247Sports, Martin has apparently enrolled at Memphis for the 2019 season. Per transfer rules he’s sitting out the year either way unless there’s some sort of NCAA waiver involved but it’s still the sophomore’s third school in nine months.
Martin was originally a four-star recruit in the class of 2018 and saw action in five games for the SEC Tigers as a true freshman, rushing for 57 yards all told while catching two passes for 36 yards. He entered the transfer portal in late December though, just after Auburn’s season had concluded.
Eventually Martin found a home at Miami and enrolled in time for spring practice. Perhaps he was not thrilled at the situation because come mid-June the tailback was back in the transfer portal looking for a new program to play with.
We’ll see if this latest move to Memphis sticks because we’ve certainly seen that Martin is no stranger to moving around.
Tommy Stevens’ reunion with Joe Moorhead has proven to be a fruitful one.
The Penn State transfer was named the starting quarterback on Thursday by the Mississippi State head coach, ending a camp battle with Keytaon Thompson and others in the bid to replace Nick Fitzgerald under center for the Bulldogs.
Stevens made his way to Starkville rather surprisingly this offseason after spring practice for the Nittany Lions wrapped up. While he was expected to be the heir apparent to Trace McSorley in State College for the 2019 campaign, it seems that a competitive battle with fellow Penn State QB Sean Clifford pushed him to enter the NCAA transfer portal instead.
While some may have questioned the move initially given that Thompson has starting experience at MSU and in Moorhead’s system, things apparently worked out in the end as Stevens takes over for Fitzgerald instead.
A noted dual-threat with the ball in his hands at PSU, Stevens rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns last year while also passing for 110 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mississippi State opens the season against Louisiana-Lafayette in New Orleans on Aug. 31 before their home opener against Southern Miss on Sept. 7.
The non-conference scheduling wheel in college continues to roll.
It has been a particularly busy month for Arkansas in terms of lining up future opponents. Hot on the heels of confirming another home-and-home series with Oklahoma State deep into the future, the Razorbacks announced on Thursday that they have agreed to a 2-for-1 series with old, old rival Tulsa over the next decade.
The Razorbacks will host the Golden Hurricane in Fayetteville on Nov. 21, 2026 and Sept. 1, 2029. The return trip to Tulsa is set for Sept. 4, 2027.
The regional rivals were old foes back in the day and have met 73 times over the years. Arkansas won 23-0 last season in their most recent meeting and will make their first trip to Northwest Oklahoma since 1952 when that 2027 date rolls around.
The Golden Hurricane also had some additional scheduling news from earlier in the week when they announced a home-and-home with ex-CUSA foe Louisiana Tech. The old conference rivals will meet in Ruston on Sept. 21, 2024 and then play a return game the following year on Sept. 27, 2025 at Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Justin Fuente is sticking with what works.
On Thursday, the Virginia Tech head coach confirmed to reporters at a press conference that senior Ryan Willis has kept the starting job and will be QB1 for the team when they open against Boston College in Week 1.
Willis took over early last season when previous starter Josh Jackson suffered a broken leg against Old Dominion. The latter wound up transferring to Maryland while Willis, a transfer himself from Kansas, threw for 2,716 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2018. Though he did keep the Hokies’ bowl streak alive — barely — thanks to a win over rival Virginia in the final week of the regular season, Willis was just 4-6 as a starter overall.
Fuente and company will certainly hope for better play out of the position with another year in the system and can get off to a good start in 2019 with three straight home games against ODU, Furman and Duke following their trip to Chestnut Hill on Aug. 31.