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Villanova scores first TD of 2019 season, nets first win in FCS thanks to upset of No. 13 Colgate

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The waiting is over, college football is officially back.

FCS Villanova seems to have a knack for pulling off upsets to begin the year as they followed up on last year’s win against Temple in the opener by starting 2019 on the right foot with a 34-14 win over No. 13 Colgate in the very first Division I game of the season.

The Wildcats controlled the contest throughout, showing a surprising amount of offensive firepower against a team that sported the best statistical FCS defense in 2018. Sophomore Jalen Jackson kicked off scoring for the entire season when he took a short pass in the flat and turned up field for 18 yards to find pay dirt early in the second quarter:

Jackson would wind up rushing for 64 yards throughout the game and formed a nice tandem with starter Justin Covington (134 yards). Quarterback Danny Smith was a beneficiary from those two churning up yards and keeping the clock going with three touchdown passes and 205 yards through the air. All told Villanova had 444 yards of offense and looked sharp on both sides of the ball during what was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Philadelphia.

FCS All-American candidate Jaquan Amos also made a big contribution in the upset, scoring the first defensive touchdown of the season with this 27 yard pick-six to extend the team’s early lead.

The loss is a disappointing one for a Colgate squad picked to win the Patriot League yet again. While they do have to replace a ton of production on both offense and defense, you could have made a bit of money in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon if you could have predicted the Raiders would allow 6.4 yards per play, 34 points and manage under 300 yards of total offense at the same time.

There will be no rest for Colgate either and little time to regroup as the team heads to Air Force on Aug. 31 in the Falcons’ opener. Villanova returns home to face Lehigh on Sept. 7 during their next contest and may very well find themselves as a ranked team when they do given the size of the upset and how good they looked on Saturday.

While one has to wait a bit longer before Miami and Florida kickoff FBS action, fans from all across the country can at least rejoice that the 150th season of college football is officially underway.

Knee injury knocks Boston College QB Anthony Brown out for a second season

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Anthony Brown had his redshirt freshman season cut short due to a knee injury, battled back to start all 12 games in 2018 and BC’s first six contests this fall, until yet another knee injury knocked him out for another season.

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio revealed Monday that Brown will miss the remainder of the season with what the school is calling a “lower leg injury.” Brown made a cut avoiding a tackle during BC’s Oct. 5 game against Louisville and immediately clutched his left knee. Boston College lost the game, 41-39, though Brown began the contest 6-of-7 for 193 yards and a touchdown.

“We’re very, very sad for Anthony. He worked hard to get himself where he was. He’s seventh all-time in passing in BC history and heading towards greater things this year. He’s had a great career and he’s prepared and practiced and put so much into it. We’re so proud of him,” Addazio said.

The fourth-year junior from Cliffwood, N.J., finishes his season 81-of-137 for 1,250 yards with nine touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 128 yards and two scores.

“It’s a tough deal, but he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back,” Addazio said. “We’re gonna love him and support him and get him back to where he was, but his season has come to an end.”

Brown can return as a fifth-year senior in 2020, with two year-ending knee injuries under his belt, literally and figuratively.

Virginia loses CB Bryce Hall for the season

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Virginia has lost cornerback Bryce Hall for the season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall revealed Monday.

He suffered an ankle injury in Virginia’s loss to Miami on Friday and underwent surgery on Monday, which will spell the end of his college career. The injury came while Hall was blocking on a punt return. Trainers put the injured ankle in an air cast and, while players on both teams gave him good wishes, ESPN decided the injury was gruesome enough that it would not air replays of the play.

“Bryce Hall is in good spirits,” Mendenhall said. “We expect a good recovery, he sustained a left ankle injury and had surgery Monday. We do not expect him back this season. He is an amazing young person, I am thankful for his efforts and to be his coach. On the bus after the game, Bryce was sitting behind me and he said to me, ‘Coach, I’m a human buoy.’ He has been exemplary in everything he has done here.”

Hall is the best player on Virginia’s roster. The Harrisburg, Pa., senior entered the season a Preseason All-American on multiple lists and led the nation in 2018 with 24 passes defended. He also posted two interceptions and 62 tackles, earning him First Team All-ACC honors.


South Carolina apologizes for hedge-ripping after Gamecocks upset of No. 10 Georgia

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South Carolina pulled the upset of the season on Saturday, knocking off then-No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in overtime, in Athens. And the ‘Cocks left Sanford Stadium with souvenirs, claiming some of Georgia’s famous hedges for themselves.

Some hedges were even seen in the hands of South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, a Georgia player and former Bulldog.

While some may call it good, old victory fun, Georgia AD Greg McGarity did not have a sense of humor about his shrubbery getting ripped up.

“I don’t like it all,” he told DawgNation. “We sure don’t do that when we win at an opponents’ venue under Kirby’s leadership.”

McGarity also said his South Carolina counterpart, Ray Tanner, apologized for his team’s postgame celebration.

“Ray just apologized for those actions,” he told the site.

UTSA QB Frank Harris lost for the year

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UTSA quarterback Frank Harris will miss the remainder of the season with an upper body injury, head coach Frank Wilson announced Monday. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.

Harris has not played since originally suffering the injury in a 45-3 loss to North Texas on Sept. 21. He was on the sideline in a sling during the Roadrunners’ loss to UAB on Saturday.

A second-year player from the San Antonio era, Harris has missed most or all of the last three seasons while dealing with injuries. He appeared in eight games as a senior at Schertz Clemens High School, then missed all of 2018 with an ACL injury.

In three full games this season (he did not throw a pass against North Texas), Harris completed 66-of-91 passes for 486 yards with three touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 126 yards.

In Harris’ absence, UTSA has turned to LSU transfer Lowell Narcisse, who went 8-of-19 for 94 yards while rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown in a 33-14 loss to UAB.