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Fenway Bowl to pit ACC vs. American

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Fenway Park confirmed on Monday that “America’s most beloved ballpark” will indeed host a bowl game this winter, as was reported back in April.

While full details are still forthcoming, the game will pit teams from the ACC and the American.

Fenway Park has hosted a number of games in recent years, but this will be the venue’s first college postseason game. Some might even say Fenway’s entire 107-year history has been building toward the opportunity to host a 7-5 ACC team against an 8-4 American team.

The Red Sox will become the sixth MLB franchise to host a college bowl game in recent years, joining the Yankees (Pinstripe Bowl), Diamondbacks (Cheez-It Bowl), Rays (Gasparilla Bowl), Marlins (the defunct Miami Beach Bowl) and Giants (Redbox Bowl, since moved to Levi’s Stadium).

 

With upset of Boston College, Les Miles becomes first Kansas first-year head coach to start 2-1 or better since 1997

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Kansas brought Les Miles to Lawrence to help change the trajectory of what’s been a historically abysmal football program. Thus far, the Mad Hatter’s addition is paying immediate dividends.

Entering Week 3 as a three-touchdown underdog, Kansas looked every bit the part early on as they trailed Boston College 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. Over the next three quarters of play, however, the Jayhawks looked every bit the part of the better team (!) as the visitors cruised to a 48-24 win.

The win, fueled in equal parts by 325 yards on the ground and three touchdowns through the air by starting quarterback Carter Stanley, marked Kansas’ first road win over a Power Five opponent since beating Iowa State in Ames way back in 2008. As we noted last night, it ended a stunning streak of 48 straight such losses.

Exiting Week 3, KU is now 2-1 on the season after they previously beat an FCS team by seven at home in the opener and lost to Coastal Carolina (FBS member since 2017) in Week 2 at home. That being said, Miles is the first Jayhawks head coach to get to 2-1 or better in his first season in Lawrence since Terry Allen went 3-0 back in 1997. Miles and Allen are also the only two to have hit that 2-1 mark or better since Bob Valesente (!) in 1986.

This is also the second straight year that the Jayhawks began a season 2-1 as they did the same in David Beaty‘s fourth and final season at KU in 2018. Thus, it’s the first time the football program has gone 2-1 in back-to-back seasons since 2013-14, which were Years 2 and 3 of the Charlie Weis era.

Moving ahead to Week 4, Kansas will play host to West Virginia in its Big 12 opener for the 2019 season. For those who need a refresher course: KU is 5-76 — 5-76 — in conference play since 2010, with those five wins coming against TCU (2018), Texas (2016) (I still giggle like a schoolgirl over that one), Iowa State (2014), West Virginia (2013) and Colorado (2010).

Kansas pummels Boston College for first Power 5 road win in 11 years

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Kansas snapped its FBS-record 46-game road losing streak with a 31-7 win at Central Michigan. That streak dated back almost a decade to the day to today, to a 34-7 triumph at UTEP on Sept. 12, 2009.

But both of those wins were Power 5-on-Group of 5 crime. As for KU’s last victory away from home against a Power 5 opponent, you’d have to go back to Dec. 31, 2008 and a 42-21 victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. And to find the last Kansas win inside an opposing Power 5 team’s stadium, that would take you back to a 35-33 win at Iowa State on Oct. 4, 2008.

In all, Kansas had lost 48 straight road games to Power 5 opponents, and the streak stretched to 51 when including neutral site games.

That streak is now over, as Les Miles and company went to Chestnut Hill on Friday night and beat Boston College, 48-24.

A mere six days after the Jayhawks were held to 280 yards and seven points in a home loss to Coastal Carolina, Kansas simply ran wild on an overmatched BC defense. KU ran for a stunning 331 yards on 44 carries and threw for 238 more, racking up 567 yards of total offense on 7.9 yards per play.

The game began as nearly all Kansas games do. Boston College went for 75 yards and a touchdown to open the game, then intercepted KU’s Carter Stanley inside Jayhawk territory and turned that into a 10-0 lead not even four minutes into the game.

But then the Kansas (2-1) offense simply caught fire, igniting in a way it hasn’t since the salad days of Todd Reesing and Mark Mangino. Kansas scored on seven consecutive possessions, a streak of possessions that began at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter and finally ended with 35 seconds to play in the third, in the process turning that 10-0 deficit into a decisive 41-24 lead.

The streak began with a 19-yard pass from Stanley to Jack Luavasa, then continued with a 1-yard Hudson Hall run, tosses of four and three yards from Stanley to Andrew Parchment and a 12-yard Pooka Williams run with two Liam Jones field goals sprinkled in.

Over that 7-drive stretch, Kansas ran 55 plays for 503 yards (9.15 per snap), including four drives of at least 78 yards and three of more than 80.

Kansas completed its scoring with a 6-yard Khalil Herbert run one play after Boston College went for a 4th-and-8 from its own 6 trailing by 17 with 5:50 to play.

Herbert paved the way for KU, rushing for 187 yards and that touchdown on just 11 carries. Williams added 121 yards and a score on 22 carries, while Stanley completed 20-of-27 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. A week ago against Coastal Carolina, Stanley threw for 107 yards on 19 attempts with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Kansas will now go into next week with an opportunity to build a winning streak against a suddenly-quite-beatable West Virginia in Lawrence, while Boston College (2-1) must now regroup to avoid the double-down of losing to Kansas and Rutgers in consecutive weeks.

NCAA denies Boston College transfer QB Matt McDonald a waiver at Bowling Green

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When it comes to the “will he or won’t he” for Bowling Green’s Matt McDonald, a decision has been made that won’t exactly please either the quarterback or the football program.

In late May, it was confirmed that McDonald had transferred from Boston College to Bowling Green.  In the most recent update back in July, both sides were still awaiting word from the NCAA on a waiver that would give McDonald the ability to play for the Falcons in 2019.

In a statement Saturday morning, BGSU confirmed that word had arrived as “[t]he NCAA has officially denied redshirt sophomore quarterback… McDonald’s waiver appeal to play football at BGSU in 2019.”

After sitting out the 2019 season, McDonald will have two years of eligibility he can use beginning in 2020.

McDonald took a redshirt at Boston College in 2017 and then played in just two games this past season. BGSU’s new head coachScot Loeffler, served as BC’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2016-18.

The good news for the Eagles is that another former BC quarterback, Darius Wade, came to the program as a graduate transfer from the FCS level in late July.  In the season-opening win over Morgan State, Wade completed nearly 70 percent of his 32 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns.

No changes to college football schedule due to Hurricane Dorian yet

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With the second week of the season about to be played as Hurricane Dorian moves its way up the east coast, there have been no adjustments to the FBS schedule just yet. While a handful of FCS and lower division games have been moved around, there are still no plans in place that will affect programs like North Carolina, South Carolina, or Duke.

Hurricane Dorian approached the coats line along North Carolina and South Carolina on Thursday, just days before this weekend’s alate of college football. South Carolina will reportedly be hit the hardest through Thursday evening, as the storm attacks North Carolina and Virginia more on Friday and continues up the east coast while moving away from the coast line.

Virginia, coming off their season-opening victory at Pittsburgh in Week 1, is scheduled to host William & Mary Friday night but the game is located far enough from the expected storm path to lead to any potential scheduling hassles. The weather forecast for Charlottesville Friday night has a zero percent chance of rain when the game kicks off. How the storm impacts fans attending the game, however, remains a question with no answers right away. Virginia Tech’s home game against Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon is not expected to be impacted at this time either.

Clemson is preparing to host Texas A&M on Saturday,. While the game is not threatened in any way, Clemson has opened the doors to their facilities to Coastal Carolina after the program had been evacuated from their home in Greenville, South Carolina. Coastal Carolina is playing on the road at Kansas this week. Coastal Carolina was also hosted by Furman to run a practice as well.

South Carolina, looking to regroup after their opening loss to North Carolina, is still scheduled to host Charleston Southern on Saturday.

One program watching the storm’s track closely is Boston College. Although the latest storm tracking has Dorian moving off the east coast, it is still on track to potentially clip parts of Massachusetts, which has triggered a tropical storm alert for parts of the state. Boston College is scheduled to host Richmond on Saturday afternoon, when the storm is tracking to brush the New England region.

“I saw the news this morning and I said to myself “boy, we have to start being proactive on this thing on every front,””, Boston College head coach Steve Addazio told reporters this week, according to The Boston Herald. “You start seeing all these plane flights being cancelled and it’s kind of what we went through at Wake Forest a year ago. You are talking about changing times, changing days and what are we thinking about here. I think it is something must be discussed and addressed right now. You have to take a hard look at everything.”

Boston College and Wake Forest bumped up the kickoff time for their ACC contest last year to squeeze the game in before North Carolina was impacted by Hurricane Florence. The adjusted kickoff time allowed for both teams to play safely and for the Eagles to return home without any troubles.

Georgia State is offering free tickets to their home opener this weekend to anyone who has been displaced from their homes as a result of the storm’s path.

While we hope every game can be played safely for the schools and their fans, this is just a reminder that football should always come second to taking the necessary precautions anytime Mother Nature is on the path of potential destruction.

And for what it is worth, no games have had to be adjusted in the state of Alabama.