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Roll Bucky: Alabama, Wisconsin announce home-and-home for 2024-25

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Alabama and Wisconsin on Monday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024 and ’25. The initial game will be played Sept. 14, 2024 at Camp Randall Stadium, with the return game slated for Sept. 13, 2025 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“We’re happy to have added another quality non-conference opponent for a home-and-home series in Wisconsin,” Alabama AD Greg Byrne said. “Traveling to Camp Randall, one of the nation’s oldest stadiums, will make for a great road contest early in the 2024 season. Having them return the trip in 2025 to Bryant-Denny Stadium will also certainly provide a boost to our home slate, and we look forward to the opportunity.”

The Badgers and Crimson Tide have met just twice previously. Wisconsin took the inaugural meeting, 15-0, way back in 1928, while Alabama earned long-awaited revenge to open the 2015 season at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. It will be Alabama’s first game inside a Big Ten stadium since a 27-11 win at Penn State in 2011.

Speaking of neutral-site openers, Monday’s announcement was yet another data point in how the program that popularized the modern day neutral site opener is now going back to traditional home-and-homes. The Tide will open this season against Duke in Atlanta, begin 2020 versus USC in Dallas and then opens 2021 in Atlanta against Miami, but after that Alabama’s future schedules return to campus.

Alabama Power 5 Opponents, 2022 and Beyond:
2022: at Texas
2023: vs. Texas
2024: at Wisconsin
2025: vs. Wisconsin
2026: at West Virginia
2027: vs. West Virginia
2028: at Notre Dame
2029: vs. Notre Dame
2030: TBD
2031: TBD
2032: at Oklahoma
2033: vs. Oklahoma

Each of those home-and-home arrangements have been announced within the past year or so. In fact, the Wisconsin announcement is the fourth of 2019 alone.

Said Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez: 

“It’s exciting and healthy for everyone,” enthused Alvarez, the UW director of athletics and Hall of Fame coach. “When we were contacted to see if we would be interested in a home-and-home with Alabama, I told them, ‘Let me check first with (head coach) Paul (Chryst).’

“Naturally, I would be interested.

“So, I asked Paul and he said, ‘Absolutely.’

“And we both really liked the fact that the first game is going to be here.”

To make room for Alabama, Wisconsin pushed a previously-scheduled home-and-home with Virginia Tech back to 2031-32. The Badgers also have future home-and-homes with Washington State (2022-23), Pittsburgh (2026-27) and UCLA (2029-30). Wisconsin will also play a de facto NFC North neutral site/home-and-home series with Notre Dame in 2020-21; the 2020 game will be at Lambeau Field and the 2021 tilt at Soldier Field.

Mizzou confirms Eli Drinkwitz will retain Brick Haley

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After a run on bringing in assistants from Boone, Eli Drinkwitz has gotten about the business of retention in Columbia.

In a press release, Missouri confirmed that Drinkwitz has decided to retain Brick Haley as part of his first coaching staff with the football program.  Haley wil continue on as the Tigers’ defensive line coach, and will carry the title of assistant head coach as well.

“In my short time of being around Brick I know him to be a man of high character who gets the most out of his players,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge with the defensive line is exactly what we’re looking for to motivate young men.”

Haley has spent the past three seasons with the Tigers.  Prior to that, he was the line coach at Texas (2015-16), LSU (2009-14) and Mississippi State (2004-06) at the collegiate level.

From 2007-08, Haley was the line coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue at Mizzou and I’m excited to work with Coach Drink and his staff,” said Haley. “Our family loves Mizzou and being part of the Columbia community, so we’re thrilled to keep stakes in the ground here and I’m looking forward to getting to work on doing great things.”

Alex Hornibrook no longer with Florida State

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It seems Alex Hornibrook‘s college career is complete.

Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins said on Saturday that Hornibrook is no longer with the Seminoles as the club prepares for the Sun Bowl

He will join (former) teammate Cam Akers in that regard.

A graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Hornibrook appeared in five games this season. His peak as a Seminole came on Sept. 28, when he completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. For the year, Hornibrook hit 84-of-122 throws for 986 yards with seven scores versus two picks.

In three years at Wisconsin, Hornibrook threw for 5,438 yards and 47 touchdowns.

SMU WR Reggie Roberson, Jr., to return for senior season

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SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., will return for his senior season in 2020, he announced earlier this week.

Roberson did so through a statement that at first read as if he would leave the Hilltop. “In the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that I am able to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL draft. I want to thank Coach Dykes for giving me the opportunity to come to SMU, and play the game I love in my hometown in front of my family and friends,” it began.

However, like a a classic Roberson open field move, he quickly changed directions and sprinted toward opportunity. “I have decided to come back and play my senior year at SMU. There is a lot of unfinished business that I left on the field that I need to take care of next season.”

A native of DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas, Roberson was one of SMU’s top players before he was lost to a foot injury in October. He caught 11 passes for 180 yards in the Ponies’ opening week win over Arkansas State and hauled in eight passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 drubbing of Temple on Oct. 19.

For the year, Roberson caught 43 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns over seven-plus games. Spread over a 13-game season, he was on pace to end the year in the neighborhood of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Roberson originally signed with West Virginia out of high school.

Zack Moss to play in Alamo Bowl

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It’s become A Thing ever since Christian McCaffrey bailed on Stanford for that Sun Bowl: Draft eligible players announcing whether or not their prep for the next level begins for or after their team’s upcoming bowl game.

For Utah running back Zack Moss, that will begin after the Alamo Bowl.

“I just wanted to play with my guys,” Moss told KSL Sports. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back was to play with these guys and I definitely want to finish it off. I am healthy enough to play and that’s exactly what I want to do.

“I love this team, I love the program, coaching, fans and community, so why not give everyone one last game.”

Moss’s teammate Jaylon Johnson previously announced he will skip the game.

The senior will look to polish off a career in which he’s carried for 4,010 yards and 38 touchdowns.

No. 11 Utah will close the career of Moss and backfield mate Tyler Huntley opposite Texas on Dec. 31 (7:30 p.m., ESPN).