Austin Hill

No fly zone: Ducks offense struggles during first half against Wildcats

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This is not the offense college football fans have come to expect from the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

Oregon and the Arizona Wildcats both possess Top 10 offenses entering Thursday night’s game. Yet the score at halftime is 7-3. Neither team is close to halfway to their normal average yards per game through two quarters.

The Ducks continue to suffer from slow starts.

Oregon averaged 555.3 yards per game through the first four games. Mark Helfrich‘s squad only managed 210 yards against a maligned Wildcats defense.

It starts up front.

The offensive line isn’t playing to its usual standard due to injuries. The running game, in particular, suffers due to the Ducks’ inability to get movement in the running game. Oregon eked out 82 yards on the ground through two quarters. The entire offensive scheme is built around its ability to dictate tempo and control the game with an explosive running attack. Instead, the Ducks are stuck in neutral.

Heisman Trophy hopeful Marcus Mariota continues to suffer due to these offensive deficiencies. The junior is only 9-of-16 passing for 102 yards.

The first half’s only touchdown came due to trickery. Mariota bumbled and nearly fumbled his way into the end zone after a 26-yard throwback pass from running back Royce Freeman.

Arizona hasn’t fared much better.

The Wildcats normally average 593.8 yards per game. They gained a meager 172 yards so far.

Unlike Oregon, Arizona’s struggles originate from a lack of a passing attack. Freshman quarterback Anu Solomon wasn’t able to get into rhythm and finished the first half 7-of-13 passing for 70 yards. Oregon’s secondary and linebackers are keeping everything in front of them and rallying to the football.

With these two offenses, it’s usually only a matter of time before they get back on track and start gaining yards in bunches. Oregon will have to rely on Mariota to shoulder the load, while Arizona would be wise to get their top play-maker, wide receiver Austin Hill, more involved in the game.

CFB after dark: Houston falls to in-state underdog, Arizona’s offense still rolling

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Saturday may be the first full day of college football, but quality games were being played into the wee hours Friday night.

The biggest surprise on the night came from UTSA’s stunning 27-7 upset of the Houston Cougars. The Roadrunners are in their fourth season as a program and are led by head coach Larry Coker (remember him?). The program enters its first season as a full-fledged FBS member. Yet, UTSA dominated a Cougars squad that was expected to compete for an American Athletic Conference championship this year and features one of the best young quarterbacks in the nation in John O’Korn.

O’Korn and the Cougars couldn’t get on track on offense. Houston only managed 206 total yards. The Cougars were held to minus-26 yards rushing. The Roadrunners also intercepted O’Korn four times.

The Roadrunners, meanwhile, relied on a strong running game. UTSA accumulated 146 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns.

Coker is now 20-15 overall as he continues to build the Roadrunners program. Despite being 60-15 during his six seasons as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and a national championship, Coker couldn’t be happier than he is today.

“It’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve been involved with as far as coaching is concerned,” Coker told SI.com’s Pete Thamel.

In Las Vegas, the underdog UNLV Rebels didn’t have a chance against the Arizona Wildcats.

UNLV ran into a buzzsaw Friday night during a 58-13 loss to the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona’s redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon starred during his first start. Solomon threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns as the offense rolled up a school record 787 total yards. The performance was stunning after Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez waited until earlier in the week to finally name Solomon the starting quarterback.

During the Wildcats’ impressive offensive effort, two running backs, Terris Jones-Grigsby and Nick Wilson, as well as two receivers, Austin Hill and Samajie Grant, accumulated 100 yards on the ground and in the air.

The Wildcats added an exclamation point to start of their season. Arizona’s next opponent? The UTSA Roadrunners.

50 players named to Walter Camp Award watch list

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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston looks to become the fourth player to win the Walter Camp Award in back-to-back seasons. If he does, he will join O.J. Simpson, Archie Griffin and Colt McCoy in the exclusive group of double winners for one of the nation’s awards for the top player in the country. Winston is one of 50 players included on the watch list for the award, which was released Friday morning.

The Walter Camp Award was the final major college football award to release a watch list for the upcoming season, which means watch list season now comes to a close. Here is this year’s watch list;

RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
WR Nelson Agholer, USC
RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State
LB Chi Chi Ariguzo, Northwestern
DL Vic Beasley, Clemson
DL Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
QB Shane Carden, East Carolina
QB Rakeem Cato, Marshall
DB Landon Collins, Alabama
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
WR Jamison Crowder, Duke
RB Mike Davis, South Carolina
WR Stefon Diggs, Maryland
DB Lorenzo Doss, Tulane
DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
OT Cameron Erving, Florida State
DL Devonte Fields, TCU
WR/KR Devin Funchess, Michigan
QB Everett Golson, Notre Dame
RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
QB Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
DL Randy Gregory, Nebraska
RB Todd Gurley, Georgia
DB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida
DB Anthony Harris, Virginia
DL Brock Hekking, Nevada
WR Austin Hill, Arizona
QB Taysom Hill, BYU
QB Brett Hundley, UCLA
LB Myles Jack, UCLA
RB Duke Johnson, Miami
QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
QB Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
QB Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
LB Qushaun Lee, Arkansas State
WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
QB Sean Mannion, Oregon State
QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
QB Nick Marshall, Auburn
QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State
WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford
OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
QB Bryce Petty, Baylor
LB Terrance Plummer, UCF
DB Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss
QB Keenan Reynolds, Navy
DB Derron Smith, Fresno State
LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia
QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
RB T.J. Yelden, Alabama


Catch up on your watch lists released:

Maxwell Award (best player)

Bednarik Award (best defensive player)

Hornung Award (most versatile player)

Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback)

Biletnikoff Award (best receiver)

Mackey Award (best tight end)

Doak Walker Award (best running back)

Rimington Trophy (best center)

Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)

Lombardi Award (best down lineman)

Butkus Award (best linebacker)

Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)

Lou Groza Award (best kicker)

Ray Guy Award (best punter)

55 receivers named to Biletnikoff watch list

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At this point, 55 names seems like a somewhat reasonable number for a watch list. It’s actually fewer than the number of players on the Rimington watch list, which goes to the nation’s top center — and, of course, teams only have one center per roster as opposed to three or four starting wide receivers.

The preseason Biletnikoff watch list:

Nelson Agholor University of Southern California Jr.
Dres Anderson University of Utah Sr.
Kenny Bell University of Nebraska Sr.
Tyler Boyd University of Pittsburgh So.
Da’Ron Brown Northern Illinois University Sr.
Rashon Ceaser University of Louisiana at Monroe Jr.
Sammie Coates Auburn University Jr.
Amari Cooper University of Alabama Sr.
Jamison Crowder Duke University Sr.
Titus Davis Central Michigan University Sr.
Geremy Davis University of Connecticut Sr.
Devante Davis University of Nevada, Las Vegas Sr.
Quinshad Davis University of North Carolina Jr.
Corey Davis Western Michigan University So.
Stefon Diggs University of Maryland Jr.
Devin Funchess University of Michigan Jr.
Antwan Goodley Baylor University Sr.
Jakeem Grant Texas Tech University Jr.
Deontay Greenberry University of Houston Jr.
Rashad Greene Florida State University Sr.
Rannell Hall University of Central Florida Sr.
Justin Hardy East Carolina University Sr.
Josh Harper California State University, Fresno Sr.
Chris Harper University of California Jr.
Nick Harwell University of Kansas Sr.
Rashard Higgins Colorado State University So.
Austin Hill University of Arizona Sr.
Christian Jones Northwestern University Sr.
Darius Joseph Southern Methodist University Jr.
Jameon Lewis Mississippi State University Sr.
Tyler Lockett Kansas State University Sr.
Matt Miller Boise State University Sr.
Ty Montgomery Stanford University Sr.
Richard Mullaney Oregon State University Jr.
Jamarcus Nelson University of Alabama at Birmingham Sr.
Levi Norwood Baylor University Sr.
DeVante Parker University of Louisville Sr.
Breshad Perriman University of Central Florida Jr.
Jamal Robinson University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sr.
Ezell Ruffin San Diego State University Sr.
Dominic Rufran University of Wyoming Sr.
Wes Saxton University of South Alabama Jr.
Jaxon Shipley University of Texas Sr.
Tommy Shuler Marshall University Sr.
Devin Smith Ohio State University Jr.
Shavarez Smith University of South Alabama Jr.
Daniel Spencer University of Houston Sr.
Jaelen Strong Arizona State University Jr.
Jordan Taylor Rice University Sr.
Laquon Treadwell University of Mississippi So.
Richy Turner University of Nevada  Sr.
Shaq Washington University of Cincinnati Sr.
Jordan Williams Ball State University Jr.
Tyler Winston San Jose State University So.
Shane Wynn Indiana University Sr.

 

Obviously, these are all talented players to make this watch list, but a wild guess at the three guys who ultimately are finalists for the award: Amari Cooper, Deontay Greenberry and Antwan Goodley.

Maxwell Award watch list highlighted by Winston, Petty, Mariota

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The watch list for the Maxwell Award, presented by the Maxwell Football Club, has been released and it includes many of the top offensive players in the country.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was an obvious name to include on the watch list. He is the lone returning 2013 Maxwell Award finalist this season and is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Other 2013 semifinalists appearing on the list include Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 3, 2014. From that group, three finalists will be announced November 24, and the winner of the 2014 Maxwell Award will be announced December 11 during the annual Home Depot College Football Awards Show. The formal presentation of the award will take place during an annual banquet in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 6, 2015.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the top college football player in the country as determined by the Maxwell Football Club on an annual basis since 1937. The winner is not always the same player to win the Heisman Trophy. Where the Heisman Trophy has seen a share of underclassmen win the award over recent years, the Maxwell Award has a knack for going to upperclassmen. Last year’s winner was Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. Penn State and Notre Dame are tied for the most Maxwell Award winners with seven each. Ohio State, Texas and Navy each have four.

Here is the 2014 Maxwell Award watch list:

maxwell-watchlist-2014

The Paul Hornung Award watch list was also released today.