Zach Barnett

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Duke, UConn schedule home-and-home for 2023-24


In basketball, a Duke v. Connecticut home-and-home would be a pretty big deal, as far as college basketball non-conference scheduling goes. In football, it’s… another home-and-home.

The Huskies on Monday announced a home-and-home with the Blue Devils for the 2023-24 seasons. UConn will host the first game on Sept. 2, 2023, while Duke will return the favor on Sept. 14, 2024.

The 2024 game will be a celebration of UConn’s 78-77 landmark win over Duke in the 1999 Final Four, marking the rise of Jim Calhoun‘s program — or, since it’s at Duke, probably not.

The two teams have met twice previously, both somewhat recently. UConn scored a 22-20 home win in 2004, then a 45-14 blowout in Durham in 2007.

Duke is already scheduled to host Northwestern and face Notre Dame at a to be determined venue in 2023, while the Blue Devils will visit Northwestern and play Middle Tennessee in addition to their games with Connecticut.

UConn has two other games against ACC opponents for the 2023 season, a Sept. 23 home game against NC State and a Nov. 18 trip to Boston College. The Huskies have no other games slated for 2024.

Maryland adds former Clemson LB Shaq Smith

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Former Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith will spend his final years of college football at Maryland, the Terps announced Monday.

A Baltimore native, Smith graduated from Clemson and will be able to play immediately for Maryland.

The 4-star recruit redshirted as a freshman in 2016, then played in 28 games over the last two seasons. He posted 14 tackles and an interception as a redshirt freshman in 2017, then collected 17 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and a sack on Clemson’s title team of 2018.

For what it’s worth, Smith posted a game-high seven tackles in Clemson’s spring game in April.

As a redshirt junior, Smith will be expected to play and contribute the moment he steps on campus and lead the Terps’ linebacking corps for the next two campaigns.


Terry Bowden joining Clemson staff as intern

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Former Auburn and Akron head coach Terry Bowden will join the Clemson staff as an unpaid graduate intern, CFT has learned. The news was first reported by TigerNet on Monday.

Bowden, 63, will pursue a Master’s degree in athletic leadership at Clemson University and volunteer for Dabo Swinney‘s staff while studying. Ironically, Bowden is connected to the program as his older brother, Tommy Bowden, was Clemson’s head coach before Swinney, and it was his mid-season firing that led to the then-wide receivers coach Swinney becoming the interim head coach for the final seven games of the 2008 season and, a decade-plus later, a future Hall of Fame coach with two national championships and a $93 million contract.

Terry Bowden spent the past seven seasons as Akron’s head coach, going 35-54 with the Zips before his firing last December. His 2015 team went 8-5 and won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and his 2017 team claimed the MAC East Division championship, the program’s first since 2005.

Prior to Akron, Bowden went 47-17-1 as Auburn’s head coach from 1993-98. His 1993 team went 11-0 amid NCAA sanctions, and his ’97 team went 10-3 and appeared in the SEC Championship. Bowden resigned after a 1-5 start to the 1998 season.

Outside of the FBS level, Bowden has been incredibly successful at three different schools. Starting at age 27, Bowden went 19-13 with a West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as Salem University’s head coach from 1983-85, went 45-23-1 with a trip to the Division I-AA semifinals at Samford University from 1987-92, and went 29-9 with three trips to the Division II playoffs at the University of North Alabama from 2009-11.


Former Virginia Tech DB Bryce Watts remaining in ACC, transfers to UNC

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Bryce Watts left a starting role at Virginia Tech to seek a new destination, and now he has that new destination.

“My decision to transfer is not due to any negativities regarding the coaching staff,” Watts said at the time. “I had every opportunity afforded to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.”

Watts (No. 5, above) on Sunday announced via Twitter he has transferred to North Carolina.

Watts was a true sophomore for the Hokies in 2018, starting all 12 games in which he appeared, tying for second on the club with six pass breakups.

Assuming he does not obtain a waiver, Watts would have to sit out 2019 and compete as a redshirt junior for the Tar Heels in 2020.

Ex-Washington QB Colson Yankoff transfers to UCLA

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Former Washington quarterback Colson Yankoff is transferring to UCLA. The Bruins announced his arrival on Tuesday.

A Hayden, Idaho, native, Yankoff was a highly-regarded recruit when he arrived in 2018. He redshirted in his first year on campus — he was named winner of Washington’s Iron Pup Award for the season — but he entered the transfer portal rather than sit behind Georgia transfer Jacob Eason.

Thanks to a new Pac-12 intra-conference rule, Yankoff will have to sit out the 2019 campaign, barring an NCAA waiver, but he would be able to compete as a redshirt freshman for the Bruins in 2020.

With Yankoff no longer on the roster, Washington’s quarterbacks will be Jacob Eason, Jacob SirmonJake Haener and Dylan Morris, all of whom will vie to replace four-year starter Jake Browning. How long do you think it takes Morris, an early enrollee in the 2019 class, takes the same hint that Yankoff clearly got?