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No. 12 Michigan announces itself as B1G, CFP contender in pummeling No. 15 Wisconsin

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Though they led 13-7 at the half, there was a concern all the points No. 12 Michigan left on the field would come back to haunt them in the second half. There was the missed field goal on the first drive of the game. There was the interception return deep into Badger territory that netted only three points. And then there was the Shea Patterson fumble that saw another promising drive come up empty.

Turns out those concerns were unfounded. Michigan’s defense scored enough on its own to lead the Wolverines to victory as Jim Harbaugh‘s crew cruised to a cathartic 38-13 win over No. 15 Wisconsin at the Big House.

Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) accepted the ball to open the second half and marched 75 yards in 10 plays, moving into scoring position on a 25-yard Karan Higdon rush and then finding paydirt on a 7-yard Patterson keeper. Patterson found Nico Collins for a 2-point conversion, putting the maize and blue up 21-7 at the 10:21 mark of the third quarter.

That score would prove to be enough to secure the win, but Michigan wasn’t done there. A 35-yard Quinn Nordin field goal stretched the lead to 24-7 with 11:36 remaining, and then Lavert Hill slammed the door when he intercepted Alex Hornibrook and returned the ball 21 yards for a touchdown. At that point in the game, Hornibrook had completed three passes to Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) receivers and two to Michigan defenders.

The quarterback run game, which earlier sprung Patterson for an 81-yard rush to set up Michigan’s first score, flashed again when backup Dylan McCaffrey broke free for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:16 left in the game.

Though he wasn’t perfect, Patterson was more than enough to win, hitting 14-of-20 passes for 124 yards while rushing nine times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Higdon out-rushed Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, carrying 19 times for 105 yards and a touchdown to Taylor’s 17 carries for 101 yards.

Effective as Taylor was, he couldn’t carry Wisconsin’s offense by himself. Hornibrook completed just 7-of-20 passes for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions; the touchdown and the bulk of those yards came with the Badgers already trailing by 31 points.

Though the Badgers are still the Big Ten West favorites until they’re not, Saturday’s loss eliminates them from College Football Playoff contention and exposed enough cracks to show the Badgers aren’t a real threat to beat whoever comes out of the Big Ten East.

Michigan, meanwhile, now completes Phase 1 of a crucial 3-game stretch over the second half of their season. The Wolverines visit Michigan State on Saturday and then, after an off week, host No. 8 Penn State. Both teams beat Michigan a year ago — just as Wisconsin did.

Lawyer up! Tate Martell to seek waiver for immediate eligibility

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If Tate Martell is sidelined for the upcoming season, it won’t be because he didn’t try to force his way onto the field.

Very early Wednesday morning, Martell took to Twitter to announce that he had decided to transfer from Ohio State to Miami.  It was thought that, because of NCAA transfer rules, Martell would have to sit out the 2019 season.

While that may ultimately end up being the case, 247Sports.com is reporting that the quarterback has “lawyered up” and will seek a waiver from the NCAA that would give him immediate eligibility.  And what case will Martell and his lawyer make? “Early indications are that Martell will try to use Ohio State’s sudden coaching change, from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day, as grounds to be immediately eligible,” the website wrote.

Meyer announced his retirement, effective after the Rose Bowl game, on Dec. 4, with the reins handed over to Day, who served as Martell’s position coach for both of his seasons in Columbus and was the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator/co-offensive coordinator in that span as well.  Why such a situation, when OSU stayed in-house for its new head football coach, would lead the NCAA to grant a waiver is unclear, although 247Sports.com‘s sources stated that Martell has “a better shot than you think” for a successful appeal.

It’s not clear who will be representing Martell as he makes his case in front of the NCAA.  What is clear is that it won’t be Tom Mars, the go-to attorney for such appeals who is representing Justin Fields, the quarterback who transferred from Georgia to Ohio State and triggered Martell’s departure from the Buckeyes.

From a week ago:

If the redshirt freshman Martell wins a waiver, he would eligible to play in 2019 and would compete with N’Kosi Perry, the returning favorite, and Jarren Williams, among others, for the starting job.  If he loses the appeal, he would have two years of eligibility beginning in 2020 that he can use.

FCS school new home for 2017 four-star Texas RB Toneil Carter

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Nearly a month to the day that he announced he was leaving at an FBS program, Toneil Carter announced he’d landed at one at the FCS level.

On Twitter Tuesday, Carter confirmed that he will be continuing his collegiate playing career at Sam Houston State.  On Dec. 14, the running back confirmed on the same social media service that he had decided to transfer from Texas.

Carter was a four-star member of the Longhorns’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 10 back in the country and the No. 26 player at any position in the state of Texas.  After rushing for 252 yards and three touchdowns on 53 carries as a true freshman, Carter didn’t record a stat in 2018.

As the Bearkats play at the FCS level, Carter will be eligible to play in 2019.  Including this coming season, he’ll have three years of eligibility at his disposal.

K-State transfer QB who committed to UTEP now headed to TCU

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In the end, never mind.  Nothing to see here, at least when it comes to El Paso.

In late December, departing Kansas State quarterback Alex Delton announced via Twitter that he would be transferring to UTEP, whose head coach, Dana Dimel, is a former K-State offensive coordinator.  Tuesday night, however, Delton announced a “change of plans,” confirming via Twitter once again that he has instead decided to continue his collegiate playing career at TCU.

It’s unclear what led to Delton’s about-face on the Miners and decision to move on to the Horned Frogs, who have been considered a potential landing spot for Alabama transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts.

As Delton will join Gary Patterson’s program as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the Horned Frogs in 2019.  The upcoming season will be the dual-threat quarterback’s final year of eligibility.

In four years at K-State, Delton, the MVP of the 2017 Cactus Bowl, started six of the 20 games in which he played.  The Kansas native passed for 1,202 yards and ran for another 734 during his time in Little Manhattan.  He’s also accounted for 16 touchdowns — five passing, 11 rushing.

Transferring Ohio State QB Tate Martell tweets move to Miami

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With the going about to get tough in Columbus, Tate Martell is getting going to South Beach.

Very early Wednesday morning, Martell took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to transfer to Miami.  The move comes roughly six days after reports first surfaced that the quarterback’s name had been entered into the NCAA transfer database.

Martell’s move also comes not long after a high-profile transfer joined the Buckeyes’ quarterback room, a development that, at least publicly, didn’t concern Martell.

In the midst of all of the Justin Fields-to-Ohio State speculation, Martell, the presumptive heir to Dwayne Haskins‘ quarterback throne in Columbus, scoffed at speculation that he would transfer if Fields joined the Buckeyes.

Why would I leave for someone who hasn’t put a single second into this program? I have put two years of literally working my ass into something that I’ve been waiting for and a dream I’ve had my whole life. To just run away from somebody who hasn’t put in a single second in at winter workouts and doesn’t know what the program is all about? There’s not a chance.

Jan. 5, it was confirmed that Fields had transferred from Georgia to OSU.  Five days later, Martell has kicked off the process of high-tailing it out of Columbus to avoid what would’ve been a high-profile competition for the starting job, provided Fields is granted immediate eligibility as expected.

Martell was a four-star member of OSU’s 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Martell threw for 269 yards and a touchdown on 23-of-28 passing this past season while also running for another 128 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

Because of NCAA transfer rules, it’s expected that Martell will have to sit out the 2019 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020 season.