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Wild ending allows Wake Forest to top Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl

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The Birmingham Bowl apparently had no issues rebranding into the BirmingHAM Bowl in 2018.

An absolutely bonkers final few minutes saw the lead change three times before Wake Forest survived a missed field goal as time expired to win 37-34 and triumph in the postseason for the third straight year.

The Demon Deacons ran off 20 consecutive points over the final three quarters at one point and improbably put together a six-play, 75 yard touchdown drive in the final 75 seconds that proved to be the game-winning points.

Making just his fourth career start, Wake quarterback Jamie Newman showed why he’s a true dual-threat under center by leading his team in both passing and rushing. The redshirt sophomore finished his first bowl game by throwing for 328 yards and a touchdown (one pick) while also rushing 23 times for 91 yards and a trio of scores as well. He also distributed the ball quite effectively in finding nine different receivers in the game — no small feat considering the team’s best player, Greg Dortch, missed the contest with an injury.

Tailbacks Matt Colburn (61 yards) and Cade Carney (51 yards) also chipped in on the ground while wideout Alex Bachman showed why he wears the No. 1 jersey with seven catches for a whopping 171 yards through the air.

Their efforts were just enough to overcome a big start by Memphis (up 28-10 at one point) and nearly a terrific finish too as the Tigers took nearly five minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter with an 88 yard touchdown drive to take the lead back. After their defense let them down a bit in allowing Wake to come back and score, the offense zipped down the field in just four plays to set up up a potentially game-tying field goal… but a false start backed up Riley Patterson, who sent the 43-yarder just wide.

QB Brady White was hot and cold during the game in throwing for 171 yards and a touchdown (one INT) but did do enough to keep the defense loose for his tailbacks. Patrick Taylor was the workhorse with 110 yards and a score while all-purpose threat Tony Pollard did a bit of everything with 109 yards and a touchdown on the ground to go with a 97 yard kick return — an NCAA record-tying seventh of his career.

The thrilling ending dropped Memphis to 8-6 on the season after holding big leads in each of their past two games (this one and the AAC title game against UCF). While the disappointment was clear on behalf of the Tigers, so too was the jubilation on the Wake Forest sideline after the game as they won three of their final four to close out 2018 at 7-6.

Duke LB Koby Quansah out indefinitely after thumb surgery

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With exactly a week until the 2019 season kicks off, Duke’s depth in its linebacking corps has taken a bit of a hit.

The football program announced Friday evening that Koby Quansah underwent surgery earlier in the day to stabilize a fractured right thumb.  The senior linebacker suffered the injury during practice Thursday.

No timeline for a return has been given as Quansah is officially listed as out indefinitely.

During his time at Duke, Quansah has appeared in 35 games.  In 10 appearances (two starts) during a 2018 season that included a broken foot, Quansah, whose official bio states he’s “[l]isted as the starting middle linebacker,” was credited with 38 tackles.

Earlier this summer camp, Quansah was named as one of the Blue Devils’ team captains.

Temple WR Sean Ryan immediately eligible at West Virginia

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In his first season in Morgantown, Neal Brown will have a new offensive toy with which to play as West Virginia heads into the 2019 season.

Early on in the offseason, Sean Ryan opted to transfer from Temple and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.  In April, the wide receiver settled on WVU as his next elsewhere, announcing on Twitter that he would be transferring to the Mountaineers.

With the start of a new campaign eight days away, it’s being reported that Ryan has been granted an immediate-eligibility waiver that will allow him to see the field in 2019 for the Big 12 school.

https://mobile.twitter.com/GAllanTaylor/status/1164998952040783884

The granting of the waiver is very likely due to the fact that Temple went through some significant coaching upheaval following the end of the 2018 season.

As a true freshman this past season, Ryan played in 10 games.  In that extended action, the 6-4, 195-pound receiver from Brooklyn, NY, caught 12 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown for the Owls.

Illinois beats out Florida, Nebraska, Texas for Miami transfer Derrick Smith

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Some will say that this could be one of the Fighting Illini’s only Power Five wins in 2019, but you won’t hear that from us.

Aug.13, Derrick Smith tweeted that, “effective today, I would like to inform [Miami Nation], I am no longer on the University of Miami football team.” Over the weekend, Smith took to Twitter again to reveal that four schools are under consideration as a potential landing spot — Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and Texas. In the same tweet, the third-year junior defensive back indicated that a new school will be picked at some point this week.

Friday evening, Smith revealed that he will continue his collegiate playing career for Lovie Smith and the Illini.

It’s believed Smith will be ineligible to play immediately for his new team.  He would, though, have two years of eligibility he can use beginning with the 2020 season.

The Orange Park, Fla., native came to The U as a three-star member of the football program’s 2017 recruiting class. The past two seasons, Smith saw action in 25 of the Hurricanes’ 26 games and was credited with 24 tackles, 1½ of which were for a loss.

Prior to his decision to leave, Smith was expected to play an expanded role in the Hurricanes’ secondary this coming season.

Boise State down a few more freshmen as QB Kaiden Bennett and RB Keegan Duncan leave team

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Boise State’s once impressive Class of 2019 is dwindling much quicker than head coach Bryan Harsin would like just as the season arrives on the blue turf.

As per the Idaho Statesman, freshman quarterback Kaiden Bennett and tailback Keegan Duncan have both left the team. In addition to those names, as many as three other members from the most recent recruiting class could fail to suit up for the program this fall.

Bennett was one of several quarterbacks battling for the starting job to succeed Brett Rypien at Boise State so his likely transfer out seems like a clear indication that one of Chase Cord, Jaylon Henderson or even freshman Hank Bachmeier will be the starter when the team opens against Florida State in Jacksonville. While the three-star recruit from Folsom, California was considered a long shot in the race, his departure may just be the first of several after Harsin names a starter.

The loss of Duncan can’t be overlook either as he was considered to be one of the best recruits in the state of Idaho during his senior season and could have provided depth in a fairly young tailback room this season.

Fellow freshman D.K. Blaylock also left the team this month and two junior college transfers have not made it to campus yet according to the Statesman.

Boise State had signed the top class in the Mountain West in February according to 247Sports and a top 50 group nationally but it appears that highly touted group won’t be making quite the impact many expected after these most recent defections.