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Race over: Tua Tagovailoa puts 2018 Heisman Trophy on lockdown


It’s no longer a matter of if, but rather by how much.

Tua Tagovailoa entered Week 10 an overwhelming wagering favorite to win the 2018 Heisman Trophy, with Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray serving as the only player with even a remote chance of catching the Alabama quarterback.

The last two games, though, showed the super sophomore, dealing with a nagging knee issue, wasn’t Superman as he completed just 55 and 65 percent of his passes in wins over Missouri and Tennessee; prior to that, he had a completion percentage below 70 percent just once in his first six games as starter — 68.4 against Arkansas State in Week 2. Add in facing his first “real” test of the season in the form of No. 3 LSU and playing the formidable Tigers in Death Valley, and it was thought that this was the perfect storm for Tagovailoa to come back to the pack.

Yeah, right.

Instead of coming back, it was Tagovailoa putting further distance between himself and the rest of a shrinking Heisman field; hell, he may have lapped them. Twice. Yes, he threw his first interception of the season. Statistically, it wasn’t his best game of the season — far from it, actually.

What stood out most Saturday night, above most anything found on the postgame stat sheet, was Tagovailoa’s pose and composure in the face of one of the most hostile environments in college football, and in a game dripping with SEC and playoff implications. Well, that and the 44-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter that broke the Tigers’ collective backs and showed off some impressive wheels in the process.

Yes, there are still three weeks left in the regular season, plus championship weekend, before Heisman voters have to submit their ballots. Yes, it’s entirely possible the knee issue that flared up at the end of that touchdown run could bloom into a full-blown medical Armageddon. Yes, it’s entirely possible that Nick Saban, in an effort to mix things up generally and mess with the media specifically, could go back to Jalen Hurts as his starter.

Silly, right? Yep, just as silly as anyone thinking that somebody other than Tua will be front and center in New York City when mid-December rolls around. The husky female has not only been singing, but she’s on her way back to the stage for an encore.

Just like it was around this time last year with Baker Mayfield, it’s over. Put a fork in it. It’s done.

The only drama left? Whether Tagovailoa will challenge the record for largest margin of victory in Heisman Trophy history.

WVU WR Tevin Bush enters transfer portal

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West Virginia running back Tevin Bush has entered the transfer portal, head coach Neal Brown has announced.

“Tevin has had a rough few months,” Brown told WV Metro News. “He has had lingering foot and heel issues. He’s going to redshirt the rest of this season and enter the transfer portal. I support that decision. He wants to go closer to home.”

The New Orleans native has spent time at running back and in the slot for the Mountaineers. He played nine games at running back as a freshman in 2017, totaling 20 carries for 81 yards and four catches for 15 yards.

He moved to wide receiver last season and snared 14 passes for 209 yards in 11 games while rushing six times for 103 yards, including a career-long 79-yarder against Baylor. Bush scored one career touchdown as a Mountaineer.

Bush totaled six receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown and three carries for 15 yards in four games this season. He will be able to count this season as a redshirt and play elsewhere in 2020, most likely a program in or around Louisiana.

Four-star 2019 corner tweets transfer from Arkansas

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For the second time today, there’s some Arkansas personnel news on which to touch.

Monday, Chad Morris confirmed that linebacker D’Vone McClure left the team to deal with family responsibilities.  Later that same day, teammate Devin Bush took to Twitter to announce that, “[a]fter speaking with my parents and coaches, I’ve made the decision to officially enter the transfer portal.”

A four-star member of the Razorbacks’ 2019 recruiting class, Bush was rated as the No. 28 corner in the country and the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Louisiana.  The New Orleans native was the highest-rated defensive signee in Arkansas’ class this year.

Because he played in just four games this year, Bush will be able to take a redshirt for his true freshman season.

WR Weston Bridges is fourth Michigan State player to enter portal

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In the offseason, Weston Bridges changed positions.  Midway through the 2019 season, it appears Bridges is now set to change schools.

On his personal Twitter account Monday afternoon, Bridges indicated that he has decided to take his leave of Michigan State and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere.  It has subsequently been confirmed that the wide receiver is headed into the NCAA transfer database.

A three-star member of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class, Bridges was rated as the No. 31 running back in the country and the No. 24 player at any position in the state of Ohio.  During the spring this year, Bridges moved from running back to receiver.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Bridges carried the ball 16 times for 53 yards last season.  He was suspended for a late-September game because of unspecified violations of team rules.

Bridges is the fourth MSU football player to enter the portal since the 2019 season kicked off, joining linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle (HERE) as well as a pair of running backs in Connor Heyward (HERE) and La’Darius Jefferson (HERE).

Louisville’s season-opening QB starter to undergo year-ending surgery

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Jawon Pass began the 2019 season as Louisville’s starter under center.  After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, the redshirt junior will end it on the sidelines.

Pass suffered what turned out to be diagnosed as a case of turf toe in the season-opening loss to Notre Dame.  It wasn’t severe enough, however, to keep the starting quarterback out of the Week 2 win over Eastern Kentucky.

The past four games, though, Pass has been sidelined because of the injury.  Tuesday, it was confirmed by the football program that, as some have speculated, Pass will undergo surgery and, as a result, miss the remainder of the 2019 season.

With Pass sidelined, Malik Cunningham had started all four games in his place.  The redshirt sophomore, though, has been dealing with his own injuries, including a knee issue, that at least temporarily knocked him out of a pair of games.

True freshman Evan Conley replaced Cunningham both times, and was even named as the ACC’s Quarterback and Rookie of the Week for his performance in the upset of Wake Forest this past weekend.

For the season, Cunningham has completed 44-of-66 passes (66.7 percent) for 820 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception.  Conley is at a 64.9 completion percentage on his 37 attempts, throwing for 422 yards, four touchdowns and a pick.  Cunningham is the Cardinals third-leading rusher with 226 yards, while Conley is fifth with 84.

As of today, head coach Scott Satterfield has not named a starter for this weekend’s game against No. 3 Clemson.