The War on I-4 is getting a little offseason juice.
At the center of the latest faux controversy drummed up by UCF folks this month is the fact that their conference rival USF had the audacity to schedule a 2-for-1 series with Miami starting in 2025. This replaced a previously set trio of games with Texas for the Bulls and allows a big name from the ACC to visit Tampa and no doubt sell tickets.
While it might seem like a smart move by USF to land an in-state power like the Hurricanes on their home schedule in exchange for two trips to South Beach, the Knights are no fan of teams from the AAC embarking on these kinds of 2-for-1 deals as UCF is trying to hold fast to their own scheduling philosophy of landing home-and-home with major opponents.
“I don’t know what I would do if I was in that (AD) chair,” Knights AD Danny White told an Orlando radio show. “(USF AD) Michael Kelly and I talk about a lot of different things … I’m sure that gate is meaningful for them for that single-game sale for those games. It’s a precedent I don’t like being set in our conference for schools to start doing a lot higher volume of 2-for-1s. We haven’t as a conference been that kind of place. We’ve been successful, historically, of getting home-and-homes with Power 6 opponents, and I’d like to see our conference peers continue to do that as we intend to do.”
Why is White so against 2-for-1’s by his fellow conference opponent? Well, a lot of that has to do with himself getting rebuffed from home-and-homes from Power Five opponents in favor of the three game series. Most notably this has devolved into a war of words between UCF and Florida, which has offered to play the Knights… but only with two of the games in Gainesville.
UCF thinks they’re above such scheduling tactics after “winning” a national championship and earning two Group of Five bids to the New Year’s Six bowls. Their Power Five peers like FSU, Miami and Florida though, still see things a bit differently with the Knights and their AAC brethren.
We’ll see how things play out eventually but something says White, Kelly and the rest of the Florida-based athletic directors will not be sending each other Christmas cards this holiday season after all the banter back-and-forth this spring.
Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich has announced the removal of wide receiver Melquise Stovall from the program, effective immediately. While no details about the removal from the program were given, Rolovich noted all players are held to certain standards that, apparently, Stovall was unable to meet.
“There are certain expectations required of a football student-athlete here at the University of Hawai’i,” Rolovich said in a released statement. “We hold all of our student-athletes to these standards and expect them to represent our football program to the highest degree. We wish Melquise the best as he moves forward.”
Stovall appeared in five games for Hawaii this season. In those five games, Stovall caught 18 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns. During his freshman year at Cal, Stovall caught 42 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns in 2016.
Well, this has to sting for the Miami Hurricanes. N’Kosi Perry, who recently was temporarily named the starting quarterback, suffered a shoulder injury in Miami’s loss over the weekend to Georgia Tech. The injury to Perry, a separated shoulder, was revealed to the media Monday by Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos during a press conference according to The Miami Herald.
The shoulder injured is Perry’s left shoulder, his non-throwing shoulder. It is currently unknown how this injury may impact Perry’s availability for Miami’s road game this weekend at Pittsburgh.
“That’s up to our doctors and medical team to establish that,” Enos said.
Perry has started the last two games for Miami while starter Jarren Williams works his way back from his own shoulder injury. Williams did enter last weekend’s game in place of the injured Perry, but it is still unknown just when Williams will be ready to return to the starting role. With Perry’s status also now floating up in the air a bit, Miami could have a tough quarterback situation coming up this weekend against the Panthers. Third-string quarterback Tate Martell, who transferred from Ohio State after Justin Fields joined the Buckeyes from Georgia, would be the next in line for the Hurricanes if needed. But head coach Manny Diaz doesn’t seem to be thinking that will be necessary.
“We still have a package for Tate,” Diaz said. “But when I look at what we’re doing offensively now, and I look at our numbers … when Jarren has played and what N’Kosi has done over the last couple weeks have absolutely given us a chance to win all those games. And that’s nothing against Tate, but those guys are playing well.”
Whoever plays quarterback for Miami against the Panthers this week, it looks as though it will be either Perry or Williams.
While the Michigan Wolverines try to regroup and find a way to topple Notre Dame this week after a tough loss at Penn State, safety J’Marick Woods is the early stages of weighing his potential transfer options. Woods has reportedly entered the transfer portal.
As noted by Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic, Woods will be a graduate transfer, which will allow him to be eligible to play for any other FBS program next season. He has one final year of eligibility to use, so wherever he ends up will be for a one-year term.
Woods, a junior, has appeared in four games this season, in which he has recorded four tackles. Woods played in 11 games for Michigan last season and 12 games in 2017. The Alabama native may be better suited to finding a new opportunity as the Wolverines are in solid shape with depth in the secondary, and he was already playing a minimal role in the defense.
By entering the transfer portal, Woods is free to have contact with any other college football program interested in recruiting him to their program. Woods also has the option of pulling his name from the portal to remain at Michigan if he decides to stay put.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are looking to improve to 8-0 for the first time since winning the national championship in 1941 with an 8-0 record. When Minnesota returns home to face Maryland, a decision on whether or not linebacker Kamal Martin will be made.
Martin injured his right knee in last weekend’s road game at Rutgers, but head coach P.J. Fleck told reporters on Monday there is a chance the injury was not too serious. Fleck said Martin will be a game-time decision after monitoring his progress throughout the week and checking with trainers and medical staff to evaluate his availability.
“I don’t have a specific answer yet,” Fleck said on Monday, according to The Star Tribune. “He’s still got a few more tests. But we got some really good news, and that’s where we’re at.”
It’s possible Minnesota may not need their leading tackler to take care of Maryland at home this week, but having Martin healthy and ready to go for their following game may be essential. Minnesota hosts No. 6 Penn State on Nov. 9. The Gophers will have a bye week after playing Maryland to provide more possible rest for Martin if needed. even if Martin is ruled out for Maryland, it sounds as though Fleck is optimistic Martin will get to play against the Nittany Lions. If things work out, it could be a clash of undefeated Big Ten teams few expected could happen before the start of the season.