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UCF-North Carolina, WVU-NC State games won’t be played Week 3 because of Hurricane Florence

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The first couple of what’s expected to be a handful of these types of announcements have come down.

On its official Twitter account early Tuesday afternoon, North Carolina confirmed that its Week 3 game against No. 18 UCF has been canceled because of the impending threat of Hurricane Florence.  The game had been scheduled for a noon ET kickoff Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill.

“Hosting a major college football game is a massive undertaking that on a good day involves fans and thousands of state, local and campus personnel, including public safety officials, traveling from all over the area,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “The current forecast for both the impact and aftermath of the hurricane would require those officials to divert critical resources from what could be much more significant duties.

“We can’t know for certain the amount of damage the storm will inflict, but the sensible decision at this time is to not play the game.”

Making up the game at some point this season could prove difficult as UNC’s bye falls in Week 6 while UCF is off during Week 9.  UCF has a conference game against SMU in Week 6, while UNC has its own league game against Virginia in Week 9.  UNC has a Week 11 matchup scheduled with an FCS team, but UCF has another AAC game (Cincinnati) that same week.

It’s possible they could reschedule the game for the weekend of Dec. 1, but UCF, the defending champions, could very well be playing in the AAC title game that Saturday.

There’s also this, if something can’t be worked out between those two schools: Nebraska and its new head coach, Scott Frost, has a bye the weekend of Oct. 27.  UCF, Frost’s former school, has a bye the weekend of Oct. 27.  Just sayin’, is all.

Shortly after UNC’s announcement, North Carolina State also confirmed that its game against No. 14 West Virginia will not be played this weekend.

Per one report, “the NC State game would possibly be played on October 13th. Then WVU’s game with Iowa State would be pushed back to a Thursday night game on October 18th.” In its press release, NC State wrote that, “[s]hould this game be rescheduled or a replacement home game be scheduled, tickets for the West Virginia game will be valid. If this game or a replacement home game is not viable, a refund will be offered to season ticket holders. Details will be communicated at a later date.”

If neither team qualifies for their conference championship games, the weekend of Dec. 1 would also be a possibility.

And, finally, Wake Forest’s matchup with Boston College, scheduled to kick off Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET, will now star at 5:30 the same day.

It had previously been reported that Coastal Carolina’s game against FCS Campbell, scheduled for Saturday, has been moved up to Wednesday because of the looming Category 4 storm.  Additionally, Liberty’s Week 3 game against FCS Norfolk State has been rescheduled for Dec. 1.

Jerry Jeudy, AJ Dillon, Eno Benjamin and more set for State Farm All-Star Football Challenge

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It may fly under the radar for most, but the 22nd annual State Farm All-Star Football Challenge is set to take place on Jan. 31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The skills competition will pit 24 college football stars in a team event. Among those participating in this year’s challenge will be Boston College running back AJ Dillon, Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, and Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

Five teams representing each of the power five conferences will consist of players from those respective conferences: ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. A sixth team of “wild card” players will be comprised of players from the Group of Five or below. This year’s wild card players will come from the Mountain West Conference (Utah State QB Jordan Love, Boise State DE Curtis Weaver), Conference USA (FAU TE Harrison Bryant) and the South Atlantic Conference of Division 2 (Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger).

The individual events included in the competition are a quarterback accuracy contest, obstacle course, strength challenge, and a hands competition. A team event will complete the overall event.

TEAM ACC
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College
Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia
Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina

TEAM BIG TEN
Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa

TEAM BIG 12
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Carter Stanley, QB, Kansas

TEAM PAC-12
Salvon Ahmed, RB, Washington
Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State

TEAM SEC
Nick Coe, DE, Auburn
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Terrell Lewis, LB, Alabama
Riley Neal, QB, Vanderbilt

TEAM WILD CARD
Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

TE Jordan Wilson to transfer from UCLA

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UCLA redshirt junior Jordan Wilson has announced he is leaving the Bruins. In a post on his Twitter account on Friday afternoon, Wilson announced he is entering the transfer portal with the intent of finishing up his collegiate career with some other program.

“[I’d] like to announce that I will be entering the transfer portal, graduating at the end of the Spring quarter, and playing my final year of eligibility somewhere else,” Wilson announced in a statement on his Twitter account.

The decision of Wilson to leave UCLA comes at an unfortunate time for the Bruins. Wilson was likely to be a starter at tight end for UCLA in the fall. Wilson is the third tight end to leave UCLA this offseason. Devin Asiasi previously made the decision to declare for the NFL draft a year early. Matt Lynch also stepped into the transfer portal. Now, UCLA has a wide-open competition for playing time at the tight end spot beginning this spring.

Wilson caught seven passes for 72 yards for UCLA in 2019. He will leave UCLA having caught 25 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns in the past three seasons. As a graduate transfer, Wilson will be eligible to play his final year of eligibility anywhere he ends up this fall.

USC nabs Todd Orlando from Texas Tech

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USC has a new defensive coordinator. The Trojans announced on Friday the school has officially hired Todd Orlando to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Orlando joins USC after coaching the past three seasons at Texas.

Orlando actually joined the Texas Tech program after being let go by Texas following staff changes with the Longhorns. Despite landing a job with the Red Raiders, Orlando remained a top target for USC head coach Clay Helton.

“We are excited to have Todd join our Trojan football program,” Helton said in a released statement. “He is an experienced and successful defensive coordinator who has made an impact everywhere he has coached. He brings a passion, energy, toughness and discipline to his coaching and those characteristics were evident in our discussions. His defensive system poses an extreme challenge to offenses.”

Orlando replaces Clancy Pendergast, who was let go by Helton amid USC’s own staff changes after a down 2019 season. As previously mentioned (HERE), Orlando actually had worse defensive numbers compared to what Pendergast coached with USC last season. However, a contrast of playing styles and offensive outputs between the schedule Texas faced in 2019 (including games against LSU and Oklahoma) and what USC faced could lead to some skewed figures.

Orlando’s first test as a defensive coordinator will be a monster. USC opens the 2020 season in Arlington, Texas against Alabama.

Cal loses assistant Gerald Alexander to NFL job

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Cal assistant coach Gerald Alexander is leaving to coach with the Miami Dolphins. Alexander confirmed in a message posted on his Twitter account he is heading to the NFL for a coaching opportunity. Multiple reports have confirmed it will be with the Miami Dolphins.

Alexander thanked Cal head coach Justin Wilcox for the opportunity to be a part of Wilcox’s first coaching staff at Cal.

Alexander joined the Cal program in 2017 and spent the past three seasons as a defensive backs coach for the program. He has played a role in helping to coach one of the better defensive teams in the Pac-12. He previously coached at Montana State, Indiana State and with Chris Peterssen at Washington. Alexander played for Petersen at Boise State.

This will mark a return to the NFL for Alexander. He previously played in the league for five seasons with the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and, appropriately enough, the Miami Dolphins. Alexander was a second-round draft pick of Detroit in 2007.