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AJ Dillon returns to power Boston College past Miami

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With Doug Flutie in attendance for some ACC action, Boston College (6-2, 3-1 ACC) didn’t need a Hail Mary to knock off  Miami (5-3, 2-2 ACC) on Friday night. AJ Dillon rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown in his return after missing two games and the Boston College defense forced a pair of turnovers that led to 10 points in the second half as Boston College topped Miami 27-14. The win helps keep Boston College in contention for the ACC Atlantic Division and muddies the waters a bit for Miami’s bid for a return trip to the ACC Championship Game.

Once Boston College took a 27-14 lead in the third quarter, the Eagles certainly gave Miami opportunities to get back in the game. But Miami turned the football over on downs after picking off a Boston College pass, and another turnover on downs followed a missed Boston College field goal. Two empty possessions after Boston College failed to tack on to their lead ultimately assured a defeat for Miami, making for a longer trip home than the Hurricanes would have preferred.

Boston College didn’t waste much time getting running back Dillon in action. Dillon took off for a 25-yard run on his first carry of the game and he would create some plays out of nothing a few more times in the game. Boston College also relied on some trick plays to make some big plays in the first half. But in the second half, Boston College didn’t have to dig into the bag of tricks much to put the game out of reach. It was the Boston College defense that helped create opportunities, with an interception of Malik Rosier giving the Eagles just 14 yards to go for a touchdown to create a double-digit lead. One play after Taj-Amir Torres picked off Rosier, Dillon took off to the right side of the field for a 14-yard score.

Rosier started off having a somewhat effective game for Miami as he returned to the starting role, but he ended the night with two interceptions while completing 18 of 35 passes for 149 yards. Rosier also rushed for s team-high 72 yards. Similarly, Boston College’s Anthony Brown completed 15-of-28 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Brown also rushed seven times for 44 yards and caught a 27-yard pass from Jeff Smith.

The win moves Boston College to 3-1 in the ACC, nudging the Eagles just past NC State for second place in the Atlantic Division behind unbeaten Clemson ahead of Saturday’s games. Already having clinched a third straight bowl-eligible season under Steve Addazio, the Eagles will now look to take the next step forward. After two straight years with seven wins, Boston College is in a spot where they can begin focusing on a larger goal. The seventh win could come next week on the road at Virginia Tech, with the Hokies really struggling at home the past few weeks. After that is a big home game against Clemson, the team everyone in the ACC is chasing at the moment. First place in the ACC Atlantic Division could very well be on the line in two weeks in Chestnut Hill. (It’s worth mentioning Boston College has already lost to NC State, so a win by the Wolfpack at Syracuse on Saturday would keep Boston College in third place in the division at the end of the weekend).

Meanwhile, Miami still has a lot of football to be played and is still in the running for the Coastal Division for a second straight season. Two straight losses in ACC play puts the Hurricanes behind the curve and one of the teams they are chasing for the top spot, Virginia, owns a head-to-head tiebreaker with them. It will be all division games from now until the end of the regular season for the Hurricanes though, and they figure to play a significant role in how the Coastal Division is settled. Miami will look to snap out of their losing skid next week at home against Duke.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on March 28, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Suspended Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus not on Badgers spring roster
THE SYNOPSIS: The standout receiver was charged with sexual assault in August of the year before.  After missing the 2018 season because of the legal issue, Cephus was cleared to play in August of 2019.  This past season, Cephus set career-highs in receptions (59), receiving yards (901) and receiving touchdowns (seven). All of those numbers led the run-heavy Badgers as well.  In January of this year, he announced he was entering the 2020 NFL Draft.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Penn State QB Tommy Stevens eschews transfer after exploring options
THE SYNOPSIS: Roughly 14 months after this headline appeared, Stevens transferred to Mississippi State.

2017

THE HEADLINE: USF dismisses player arrested after being shot in road-rage incident
THE SYNOPSIS: This was easily one of the most bizarre stories of any offseason.  Hassan Childs was injured in a shooting.  Childs was subsequently charged in connection to the shooting in which he was injured.  The defensive back was then dismissed after he was arrested in connection to the incident in which he was shot.  College football, y’all.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Five-star Miss. St. signee charged after violent video goes viral
THE SYNOPSIS: Jeffery Simmons was accused of pummeling a woman who the defensive end alleged spoke ill of a dead relative.  Simmons ended up navigating those legal hurdles to be named first-team All-SEC in 2017 and 2018. After leaving Mississippi State early, Simmons was the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

2015

THE HEADLINE: NCAA says no malice involved in Reggie Bush investigation
THE SYNOPSIS: Hey, USC fans.  Wanna get pissed off?  Again?  Click on the above link.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Sun Belt announces it will officially grow by four in 2014
THE SYNOPSIS: Appalachian State and Georgia Southern joined the following year as all-sport members, with Idaho and New Mexico State coming on as football-only members.  Seven years later, the latter two are no longer a part of the conference. Idaho, in fact, is now an FCS program.  New Mexico State, meanwhile, is an FBS independent.

2009

THE HEADLINE: RECEIVING GREAT’S SON WALKING ON AT UCLA*
THE SYNOPSIS: The receiving great would be Jerry Rice.  The son would be Jerry Rice Jr.  The younger Rice ultimately moved on to UNLV.  He finished his collegiate career with 155 yards and a touchdown on 20 receptions.

(*Yes, back in the day, we used to scream out our headlines at our readers in all-caps. The move to NBC a couple of months later mercifully ended that practice.)

Ohio State adds to top-ranked 2021 recruiting class with five-star RB commit

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In the midst of the growing coronavirus pandemic, Ohio State football announced that it would be shutting down recruiting through April.  Recruits, though, aren’t shutting out Ohio State football.

Still.

March 16, four-star 2021 running back Evan Pryor announced he had committed to playing for Ohio State football.  Less than two weeks later, fellow 2021 running back TreVeyon Henderson announced that he too has committed to the Ohio State football team.

Henderson made his commitment with a video posted to his Twitter account.  And made his commitment without taking a trip to the OSU campus, it should be noted.

In a subsequent conversation with 247Sports.com, Henderson explained his decision for his commitment to Ryan Day‘s football team.

“The people there,” Henderson told the website. “They really care about their players and their futures. They set their players up for good opportunities for life after football and things like that. …

“Everything about them has them as No. 1.  Football program is great, school is great, the coaches are great. Especially (running backs) Coach (Tony) Alford. We got a great relationship, he keeps it real about everything! He’s a really great guy.”

Henderson is a five-star 2021 prospect.  He’s the top-rated player at his position (running back) and his state (Virginia) regardless of position.  On the 247Sports.com composite, he’s the No. 11 player in the country.

Henderson is the second-highest-rated commitment to the Ohio State football Class of 2021.  The only commit rated higher is defensive end Jack Sawyer, who is the No. 3 recruit overall.

That OSU class, incidentally, further solidified its status as tops in the country.  Of the Buckeyes’ 15 commits, three are five-stars and 10 are four-stars.  The next 12 schools have three five-star commits.  Combined.

This Ohio State football class has 280.61 points on the composite.  Clemson is next at 220.98.  Clemson’s average, though, is at 95.59 (10 commits). Ohio State’s, meanwhile, is at 95.34 (15 commits).  Only Texas (94.15) is above 94.

For perspective, just five schools the past 10 years have finished with recruiting classes above 94.  Two of those belong to Ohio State football, including the Class of 2017 that, at 94.59, is the highest-rated in history.

On top of Henderson’s and Pryor’s commitments, Ohio State also got a verbal from Trey Sermon this month.  Unlike the other two, Sermon will be able to help OSU in 2020 as he’s coming in as a graduate transfer from Oklahoma.

SEC to begin allowing virtual instruction next week

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The SEC is about to allow coaches to use remote tools to instruct their players, according to a report from Auburn Undercover on Friday.

Citing a memo sent to SEC athletic departments, Auburn Undercover says the new policy will go into effect beginning on Monday, March 30. According to the memo, coaching staff members will be allowed to provide “technical or tactical instruction” to players. Strength and conditioning coaches may still provide players with specific workouts to do on heir own, but no coaches may observe the players while working out.

In these times, having any kind of chance to interact with players is important, even if it must be done through a computer. It’s better than nothing, after all. And while it may not be a perfect substitute for spring football practices, it at least keeps the lines of communication within the program more open.

As previously reported, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley was quoted in a radio interview as having a concern about the Big 12 not allowing coaches to make use of their virtual options the way coaches in the ACC have. Riley noted players in the ACC are able to receive video instruction and training gear through the mail. The Big 12 may change their policies in the next week to be more accommodating for coaches and players in a similar fashion to what the SEC is doing.

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger starts online fundraiser for COVID-19 relief

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If there is one good thing to come out of the ongoing health scare in this country, it is the good show of humanity form some of college football’s brightest stars. Inspired by the effort of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has decided to launch his own online fundraiser to help those in need.

Lawrence re-launched a GoFundMe campaign with his girlfriend, Marissa Mowry, four days ago after the NCAA decided it would not be cracking down on such efforts during the pandemic. A previous campaign had been shut down quickly out of caution from the Clemson compliance office. Once the NCAA made the decision not to crack down on such efforts, the campaign was reorganized and now serves as inspiration for others like Ehlinger to join the cause. Lawrence thanked the NCAA for not interfering with a frivolous investigation process over the campaign.

“I am dedicated to helping families who have been impacted by the current global crisis, and have created a GoFundMe to raise money to assist organizations that are doing incredible work in my community and nationally including the Boys & Girls Club of America, the Central Texas Food Bank, Austin Pets Alive and more,” Ehlinger said on his GoFundMe campaign’s page.

Ehlinger has a lofty goal for the campaign with a target of $1 million. As of the time of this posting, the campaign has raised over $16,000 since being launched two days ago.

Ehlinger says the campaign has been approved by the Texas Athletics Compliance staff.