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N’Kosi Perry starts at QB but No. 16 Miami rides the Turnover Chain to victory over UNC

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It was going to be hard to upstage the debut of N’Kosi Perry as the new starting quarterback for No. 16 Miami but if anything could do it, it had to be the Turnover Chain. College football’s most famous sideline trinket made six appearances — and even found the end zone three times — as the Hurricanes controlled the game throughout their ACC opener in an eventual 47-10 thrashing of North Carolina on Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium.

Perry, who took over under center from senior Malik Rosier last week, had a solid first half before trailing off a bit as the game wore on against the Tar Heels. The redshirt freshman finished the night with 125 yards passing in limited action with a touchdown and an interception, along with 26 yards on the ground. The electric playmaker also fumbled while trying to avoid a sack but generally picked up where he left off in helping the team move the chains without top receiver Ahmmon Richards for the third straight week.

Just the threat of Perry taking off with the ball and running seemed to open a few things up on the ground too as DeeJay Dallas recorded 114 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Travis Homer added another 88 yards of his own.

The story of the night for Mark Richt, outside of the QB position, was the Canes defense though. While it was a little concerning to see them give up 182 yards rushing, the team responded by breaking out the Turnover Chain six times to raucous applause from the relatively strong mid-week crowd at home. All told, Miami scored the most points (33) in the first half of a conference game in over a decade and their defense alone outscored the Tar Heels with 21 points of their own (tying a school record).

Defensive end Jonathan Garvin kicked things off with a scoop-and-score off a fumble in the first quarter and he donned the Turnover Chain again in the second half with another fumble recovery. Fellow end Joe Jackson wasn’t one to get left out either as he took a pick-six 42 yards not long after to turn the game into a rout. Romeo Finley’s 83 yard interception return for a touchdown just as the fourth quarter began was a cherry on top of the effort Thursday night.

If there was one negative defensively for Miami it was that star linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, who forced the Garvin fumble that was returned for a score, missed most of the second half with what was reported to be an ankle injury.

As for the Tar Heels, just about everything that could go wrong offensively, did. Nathan Elliott got the start at quarterback but threw for only 104 yards and also fumbled. He was replaced by Chazz Surratt under center in the sophomore’s first game back from suspension for selling Air Jordan shoes. It probably would have been better had he actually sat this one out after completing four passes to his own team and three more to the Hurricanes. At least Surratt did find success running the ball with a nice 69 yards rushing and a score in about the only bit of positive film for Larry Fedora to take back to Chapel Hill as his team dropped to 1-3 on the year.

The win, even against a lackluster UNC squad, should give Miami plenty of confidence going into next week’s rivalry game against Florida State. Given Josh Jackson’s injury at Virginia Tech and the rest of the ACC Coastal division looking somewhat shaky, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Canes become the favorite once again to make it to Charlotte and face off against Clemson yet again at the end of the year. The jury is still out on Perry at quarterback long-term but he’s shown enough flashes and will certainly be able to benefit from leaning on one of the most opportunistic defenses in the country.

Western Kentucky’s leading tackler taking grad transfer to Purdue

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A significant loss for Western Kentucky’s defense could prove to be a boon for Purdue on that side of the ball.

In an email to the West Lafayette Journal & Courier, Ben Holt confirmed that he has decided to transfer from Western Kentucky to Purdue and continue his collegiate playing career with the Boilermakers.  As he is expected to graduate from WKU in May, the linebacker will be eligible to play immediately in 2019 for the Big Ten school.

Holt is the son of Nick Holt, who has spent the past two seasons as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Purdue.  Ben Holt’s head coach his first two seasons with the Hilltoppers was Jeff Brohm, who is entering his third year in the same job with the Boilermakers.

This past season, Holt started all 12 games for the Hilltoppers.  He led the team in tackles with 116, tackles for losses with 11½ and quarterback hurries with nine.  His five pass breakups were good for third on the squad in 2018.

All told, Holt played in 38 games his past three seasons in Bowling Green.

Holt becomes the third former Hilltopper to transfer to the Boilermakers since Brohm came to West Lafayette.  Starting linebacker T.J. McCollum followed the coach in February of 2017, with starting offensive lineman Dennis Edwards following McCollum a year later.

Alabama LB Chris Allen undergoes surgery, per report

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The near-complete revamping of Nick Saban‘s coaching staff wasn’t the only football news coming out of Tuscaloosa late this past week.

According to al.com, outside linebacker Chris Allen underwent what was described as a minor surgical procedure on his knee Thursday.  The specific nature of the injury wasn’t detailed.

Allen, who missed the entire 2018 season after tearing an ACL, is expected to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice, which kicks off next month.

A four-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2017 recruiting class, Allen was rated as the No. 4 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Alabama.  As a true freshman, the Baton Rouge native played in seven games.

As noted by the website, Allen is set to be one of the Tide’s top backup linebackers on the outside this coming season.

Minnesota dismisses TE who allegedly punched cop in the face

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Yeah, that’ll do it.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minnesota tight end Max Janes is facing felony charges after allegedly assaulting a police officer very early in the morning of Feb. 8.  It’s alleged that an intoxicated Janes was in the process of breaking into a post office when police officers responded, with the football player ultimately turning violent and allegedly punching one of the cops in the face.

From the Star Tribune‘s report:

According to the criminal complaint: Officers were dispatched to a welfare check on reports of an individual improperly dressed for the cold weather loitering outside the post office. They located Janes just as he gained unlawful entry into the building’s loading dock. Officers placed Janes in their squad car, but opened the rear door after he informed them that he needed to vomit.

Instead, Janes got out and punched an officer — causing demonstrable bodily harm, the complaint says. He was eventually restrained and booked at Hennepin County jail, where he was charged with fourth-degree assault of a peace officer and obstructing the legal process.

As a result of the off-field incident, Janes was dismissed from the football team.

“We have extremely high standards for members of our team and when those standards are not met there are consequences,” head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. “Law enforcement officers speak to our team and educate them multiple times a year, and we greatly appreciate those who protect and serve us on a daily basis.”

A preferred walk-on, Janes played in 13 games as a true freshman this past season.  The vast majority of his action came on special teams.

Wyoming’s OL coach shuffle continues with hiring of Ohio assistant

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Maybe the third time will be a charm?

Following the end of the 2018 season, Craig Bohl parted ways with his long-time offensive line coach Scott Fuchs and embarked on a search for a replacement. That search ended with Wyoming’s hiring of Klayton Adams; less than a month later, another search for a line coach was launched as Adams took a job as the assistant offensive line coach for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

A little over a week later, and while there’s nothing official yet from the Cowboys, Frank Solich confirmed to the Athens Messenger this past week that Ohio’s offensive line coach, Bart Miller, has taken the same job at Wyoming.

“Our coaches loved working with him, our players loved working with him. We appreciate what he was all about and how he helped our team be what it was last year,” the head coach told the Messenger.

Last season was Miller’s first with the Bobcats. As the newspaper noted, this will mark Miller’s fourth different school in as many years as he was on the coaching staffs at Minnesota and Air Force in 2016 and 2017, respectively.