To all those billing a meeting of No. 7 Stanford and No. 8 Notre Dame as a heavyweight matchup, congrats because that’s a spot on description of the way the two rivals played in the first half on Saturday night.
The Irish did all they could to keep the offense rolling from last week’s big win but ran into a counterpunch from the Cardinal on just about every drive as the home team took a 21-14 lead into the locker room in South Bend with a whole bunch of College Football Playoff hopes hanging in the balance the rest of the way.
Making his second start of the season, quarterback Ian Book continued to look impressive throwing the football and went 12-of-14 for 149 yards through the first two quarters. While he was forced to move around the pocket a little more than he did against Wake Forest last week, the promising signal-caller was able to find Nic Weishar for a six-yard touchdown early and Chase Claypool for another with the clock winding down late. Book also scrambled several times for 27 yards as well.
The Notre Dame ground game benefitted from the defense having to defend things from the air. Tailback Dexter Williams (99 yards total) hit the jets right up the middle on his first touch of the season that appropriately became the first score of the game, capping off an 85 yard drive in the end zone. It was quite a moment for the senior, who missed time earlier this year with a suspension but seemingly had no issues taking a bigger share of snaps due to the absence of Jafar Armstrong.
Opposite number Bryce Love was not one to be upstaged under the lights however and promptly answered with a long run past the goal line of his own, making a sharp cut to score from 39 yards out in the first quarter and showing a bit of burst that hasn’t really been there for the Heisman runner-up so far this year. The tailback finished the half with 69 yards and appears to be playing off the Cardinal passing attack well.
Speaking of that attack, K.J. Costello appeared to really find success on intermediate routes while racking up 130 yards on 17 attempts. While he spread the ball around for the most part, it was no surprise to see him find jumpball machine JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a touchdown throw — with the massive wideout straight up posting up a defensive back for what seemed like his millionth score in that manner in 2018.
This is game is more than living up to the early billing and is shaping up to be yet another classic between two rivals who have staged their fair share of those games over the years. An inside track to the College Football Playoff awaits the winner so there should be a fun second half in store on NBC upcoming.
Rutgers is looking for a new head coach and Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead is supposedly the so-called frontrunner for the job, according to reports out of New Jersey. But would the Mississippi State head coach leave the SEC to take on the massive undertaking at Rutgers? For now, at least, the Bulldogs head coach is saying all the things you would expect a coach in a current job to say.
“It’s not something that’s under consideration,” Moorhead said to Paul Finebaum of SEC Network when asked about his potential interest in the job on Friday afternoon. “My focus is here at Mississippi State. This is where we want to be and this is what we want to do.”
Moorhead is in his second season as head coach of Mississippi State. Moorhead’s northeastern roots as a New Jersey native seem like a natural fit to take on the Rutgers coaching job. Whether Moorhead is leaving one program stuck in the bottom half of its own division in the SEC for a chance to be stuck in the bottom half of its division in the Big Ten remains to be seen. Moorhead is saying everything a current head coach should be expected to say, whether he genuinely means it or not.
Rutgers fired Chris Ash at the end of September after a 1-3 start capped by a blowout loss at Michigan. Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile has been serving as the team’s interim coach while the search for a permanent replacement for Ash is found.
As the trend of allowing alcohol at college football games continues to sweep the nation, the state of Idaho has moved one step closer to allowing schools like Boise State to potentially join the trend. According to a report from Idaho Press, the state’s education board has granted preliminary approval to allow universities to decide for themselves if alcohol will be permitted.
The Idaho State Board of Education previously stood in the way of schools within the state from allowing alcohol at collegiate athletic events, such as Boise State football games. Although certain battles have been won in recent years to allow for restricted alcohol availability under certain parameters, the state’s board of education is essentially preparing to step out of the way entirely.
This doesn’t mean Boise State or Idaho Vandal fans will be able to soak in the suds this season though. A revised policy from the board is tentative to be voted on in December for final approval to allow universities to decide for themselves. As it turns out, the decision to pass on the decision-making to university presidents may be more of a way to prevent the board from wasting time on the subject entirely.
“This Board needs to focus on strategic direction for education policy,” board member Andrew Scoggin said, according to the Idaho Press report. “We have very capable and competent chief executive officers at these institutions and there are very clear requirements for safety and security that they will have to meet in order to authorize these permits.”
If the refined policy to pass on the responsibility to individual institutions, that could pave the way for Boise State to have alcohol sales expanded at football games as early as next season if the university is interested in the trend.
Virginia Tech is possibly about to lose a defensive lineman from its roster. Defensive tackle Rob Porcher has entered the transfer portal, a report with confirmation from Virginia Tech confirmed Friday afternoon.
Andy Bitter of The Athletic reported news of the transfer portal development, via Twitter.
Porcher is a redshirt sophomore, so he will have two more years of eligibility at another FBS program. Porcher would have to sit out the 2020 season at another FBS program, per NCAA transfer rules, if he does end up leaving the Hokies. Any player entering the transfer portal is free to have contact with any other college football program as they evaluate their options. A decision to remain in Blacksburg is always possible too, although the report from Bitter suggests that may not be the end-result for Porcher.
Porcher has appeared in five games this season. In that time, Porcher has recorded three tackles with one sack.
The almighty transfer portal has added another college football player’s name to its database. Michigan State tight end Noah Davis has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to Detroit Free Press reporter Rainer Sabin (via Twitter).
Davis appeared in four games for Michigan State this season, but he has not caught a pass this season. Three other tight ends on the Michigan State roster have contributed on offense this season. Senior Matt Seybert is Michigan State’s third-leading receiver with 15 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Dotson and Trenton Gillison have also played a part in the passing game at times this season. Davis did not play in 208 due to injury. Davis will have one final year of eligibility in 2020.
By entering the transfer portal, Davis is free to have contact with any other college football program that may be interested in recruiting him to their program. Davis may also choose to stay with the Spartans.
Davis is the sixth Michigan State player to enter the transfer portal since the season got underway. Previous players entering the transfer portal from Michigan State include running backs Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE), wide receivers Weston Bridges (HERE) and Cam Chambers, and linebacker Brandon Bouyet-Randle (HERE).