Tray Matthews

Muschamp’s defense making plays as No. 6 Auburn in control of Louisville

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Auburn is hoping to end the regular season in the Georgia Dome in the SEC Championship Game. Auburn is starting the season there as well and showing how valuable the addition of Will Muschamp has been to the defense. Muschamp’s defense has turned in three sacks, forced a turnover and returned a fumble for a touchdown while blanking Louisville in the first half of the Chichbk-fil-A Kickoff game in Atlanta. No. 6 Auburn leads Louisville 17-0 at the break.

Louisville could not have asked for a worse start in the Georgia Dome. Lamar Jackson’s pass on the first play of the game was picked off by Auburn’s Tray Matthews, and the Tigers offense went right to work from the Louisville 26-yard line. Jeremy Johnson completed two passes and finished off the short drive with a short touchdown run to give Auburn a fast 7-0 lead. That lead doubled midway through the second quarter when a promising drive by the Cardinals ended with a fumble returned for a touchdown the other way. Justin Garrett picked up a loose ball at the Auburn 20-yard line and went the distance for the score. Auburn added a 56-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson in the final minute of the half.

As for the offense, Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson has completed five of nine attempts for 60 yards, and he has been picked off twice by Louisville’s equally aggressive defense. Louisville’s defense has done well keeping the Tigers under wraps for the most part, holding Auburn to two third down conversions out of four attempts and just 64 rushing yards. Defense is not the question for the Cardinals this season. It is the offense, which must replace some key players. Early on, it suggests Louisville’s offense will be a bit of a work in progress, and going against a defense showing improvement like Auburn’s is a tough draw out of the gates.

Now let’s see if either offense can make adjustments to get something going in the second half. If not, things look to favor Auburn with the 14-point edge and the defense making plays the way it is.

CFT 2015 Preseason Preview: Key Transfers

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Recruiting is what builds a college football program. Transfers are what patches holes still left to address. It seems as though the transfer game in recruiting has picked up notoriety in recent years, and this past offseason may have been one of the biggest.

This season two programs look to replace Heisman Trophy winners with potential Heisman candidates, while also keeping playoff plans on the table. Other playoff and conference title contenders look to add some key additions as well thanks to the transfer process. Here are some of the more notable transfers taking the field with new teams this fall.

EVERETT GOLSON, QB, FLORIDA STATE
Perhaps the most notable of the offseason transfers saw former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson leave the Irish for Florida State. Golson is expected to replace former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The addition of Golson helps keep Florida State in the running for another ACC title despite filling plenty of starting jobs from a season ago. Golson ran into some trouble with consistency last season but will now be surrounded by plenty of talent and athleticism, and the chance to redeem himself and put another team in the national title hunt will be one worth relishing.

VERNON ADAMS, QB, OREGON
Golson is not the only transfer replacing a former Heisman Trophy winner. Vernon Adams is making the jump from FCS power Eastern Washington to perennial Pac-12 and national title contender Oregon, vying to replace Marcus Mariota. Adams should fit well in Oregon’s system, assuming he wins the starting job in Eugene. Twice a finalist for the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Payton Award, Adams already has a terrific resume. Now he looks for quite the storybook ending.

DEVONTE FIELDS, DE, LOUISVILLE
The former Big 12 freshman defensive player of the year is finally back on the FBS playing field. Now at Louisville, Devonte Fields has a chance to bring havoc in the trenches to opposing ACC offensive linemen and quarterbacks. The former TCU Horned Frog should play a huge role on Louisville’s defensive line. But Fields is not the only player looking to embrace a second chance on the Cardinals defense…

JOSH HARVEY-CLEMONS, S, LOUISVILLE
Former Georgia Bulldog safety Josh Harvey-Clemons landed in the Louisville nest last season but had to sit out the 2014 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Now he is eligible to play and leave an impact on what could be a very good Louisville defense. Harvey-Clemons was often among the best players on the field when he played at Georgia, and that could be the case once again at Louisville if he has not lost a step in his year away from the field.

ALVIN KAMARA, RB, TENNESSEE
Former Alabama running back Alvin Kamara is back in the SEC after a year of junior college. Kamara was one of the top junior college transfers this past year, continuing an impressive recruiting trail for the Vols under Butch Jones. Kamara was a monster at the JUCO level and should be put to work out of the Tennessee backfield along with Jalen Hurd.

CHAD KELLY, QB, OLE MISS
Ole Miss does not have many holes to fill this season with a ton of starters returning, but quarterback is one of them. Fortunately, replacing Bo Wallace should be fairly easy with former Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly in the mix. Kelly is one of many notable players seeking to take advantage of a second chance at the FBS level after being dismissed by Clemson last year. Kelly will have to stay in the good graces of head coach Hugh Freeze to hold down the starting job, but he should manage to come away with the job entering the 2015 season.

JOVON ROBINSON, RB, AUBURN
Auburn’s offense is expected to light up that giant new scoreboard in Jordan-Hare Stadium this season, and the top JUCO transfer Jovon Robinson could be a big part of the reason why. The former Army All-American dominated at Georgia Military Institute and should make for a powerful combo with running back Roc Thomas and quarterback Jeremy Johnson in Auburn’s backfield. Auburn also solidifies some holes in the defensive secondary with the additions of Michigan graduate transfer Blake Countess and former Georgia safety Tray Matthews.

MARQUAVIUS LEWIS, DE, SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina may not have another Jadeveon Clowney on its hands, but Marquavius Lewis is already earning a solid reputation with the Gamecocks. Lewis was named South Carolina’s defensive player of the spring and should help improve what was a weak area of concern for Steve Spurrier last season. The Gamecocks need help on the defensive line and the addition of Lewis could provide it as one fo the top JUCO transfers in the nation.

BAKER MAYFIELD, QB, OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma hired Lincoln Riley to be the new offensive coordinator, which means the Sooners are looking to open things up offensively through the air. Having a quarterback suited well in that offensive mindset is key, and Baker Mayfield may be the best option in Norman. A former Texas Tech walk-on, Mayfield showed glimpses of what he can do with the Red Raiders. Now the Sooners will hope he can take it to the next level. Mayfield will have to win the job from incumbent Trevor Knight, but that may not be too far-fetched of a goal.

Georgia will not suspend DeLoach or Taylor, who enter pre-trial intervention program

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They will not be getting off scot-free, but Georgia will not suspend defensive end James DeLoach or defensive lineman John Taylor for any amount of time during the upcoming football season. According to the Associated Press, both players will receive “significant additional internal discipline,” although the details of those disciplinary actions is unconfirmed.

DeLoach and Taylor were two of four Georgia football players arrested and charged for theft by deception back in March. They, along with safety Tray Matthews and receiver Uriah LeMay, all appeared in Clarke County State Court on Thursday and agreed to complete a pre-trial intervention program in exchange for having the charges dropped.

“Guys aren’t going to be perfect and when they do something that needs discipline, we are going to follow through on it,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said following the arrests. Richt later said he would not rule anything out, including suspensions, but it was important to allow the legal system play out first.

Matthews was dismissed by the university on Wednesday and is now looking over his transfer options. LeMay was previously granted a release from his scholarship and has moved on to Charlotte.