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Alabama’s LaBryan Ray undergoes surgery, could return for LSU game

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On the LaBryan Ray front, there was a negative development that surfaced Wednesday as well as a potentially promising one as well.

Nick Saban confirmed earlier this week that LaBryan suffered an unspecified foot/ankle injury in Alabama’s Week 3 win over South Carolina and would be sidelined indefinitely.  A couple of days later, is reporting that the junior defensive end has undergone surgery to repair the unspecified damage and will be sidelined “for a significant period of time.”

However, the same website, citing sources, writes that “there is a chance the junior could return later in the season and maybe even in time for the Crimson Tide’s game against LSU in early November.”

Such a timeline would mean LaBryan would miss, at the very least, the next five games.  That stretch includes conference home dates against Ole Miss (Sept. 28), Tennessee (Oct. 19) and Arkansas (Oct. 26) as well as a road trip to College Station Oct. 12 to face No. 17 Texas A&M.  Following a bye weekend after the Arkansas game, Alabama plays host to No. 4 LSU Nov. 9.

Obviously, he’ll miss this weekend’ game against Southern Miss as well.

Ray, a five-star 2017 signee, saw his true freshman season truncated by a foot injury.  After being named third-team preseason All-SEC over the summer, Ray had nine tackles and a sack prior to his injury.

Florida to host Florida Atlantic in 2021

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Florida will host Florida Atlantic in 2021, FAU announced Tuesday. The game will take place on Sept. 4 and serve as the season-opener for both schools.

The schools have met three times previously, all of them in Gainesville. Florida won 59-20 on Nov. 17, 2007, 41-3 on Sept. 3, 2011, and 20-14 on Nov. 21, 2015.

The game will round out both schools’ non-conference schedules.

Florida will visit USF on Sept. 11, host Florida State on Nov. 27 and has a TBD home game against Samford, most likely on Nov. 20.

Today’s news means Florida has a future game on the schedule with every FBS program in the Sunshine State except UCF and Florida International. Florida beat Miami in Orlando to open this season and will play a home-and-home with the ‘Canes in 2024-25.

Florida Atlantic will follow its Gainesville trip with an excursion to Colorado Springs to play Air Force. After that, the Owls will host Fordham and Georgia Southern to round out September.


Schools reportedly spent an average of $8,200 on hotel rooms before home games last season

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College football coaches love controlling every element that they can in the lead up to a game in order to minimize distractions. As a result, it’s become common place for nearly every football team in the country to spend the night at a hotel before home games.

Now most folks might think it’s strange to have teams shack up in rooms when they can spend the hours before a game at home but that’s not what schools do. And those hotel bills add up to quite a pretty penny in most cases as an investigation into the practice by Gatehouse Media shows.

In 2018 alone, public schools spend a median of $44,000 on hotels and nearly $5 million total across some 109 programs according to the report. That included low spenders like Coastal Carolina (just $2,800 per game) to those rolling in cash like Texas A&M ($278,000 total, or nearly $40k per home game).

Remarkably the Aggies spent so much because the hotel they stay at requires a two-night minimum and they leave the rooms unoccupied for one of those nights.

“We believe we would be breaking sleep routine if we did not stay in a hotel before a football game,” said OSU Associate Athletics Director Jerry Emig told the site after the Buckeyes spent nearly six figures on hotels for home games. “Ohio State has stayed in a hotel the night before every road game and every home game for more than 50 years.”

There’s some interesting sortable data in the full report, which includes noting that the SEC spends the most rooms on average and the Big Ten the least.

So next time you see the buses pull up to your favorite team’s stadium on a Saturday in college football, just remember it cost a decent chunk of change for the school to house those kids in a hotel prior to the game.

Louisville starting QB Jawon Pass ruled out vs. Western Kentucky

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An injury suffered in the season opener will impact Louisville in Week 3.

Jawon Pass (pictured) suffered what’s only been described as a lower-extremity injury in the season-opening loss to Notre Dame.  It wasn’t severe enough, however, to keep the starting quarterback out of the Week 2 win over Eastern Kentucky.

With Western Kentucky on tap for later this afternoon, it has now been confirmed that the injury has gotten progressively worse throughout the week and will sideline Pass for the game.

In Pass’ place, Malik Cunningham will get the start.

A redshirt sophomore, Cunningham will be making his fourth career starts, with the first three coming in 2018.  Last season, Cunningham led the Cardinals with 497 yards rushing and five scores on the ground.

As Pass’ primary backup in 2018, Cunningham completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 473 yards, one touchdown and one interception.  This year, after missing the opener because of his own injury, he’s completed his one pass attempt for 24 yards

Ex-Ohio, Colorado State lineman Desmond Noel transfers to FAU

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Here’s yet another player hoping his third FBS school will be the charm.

This week, the Palm Beach Post reported, Florida Atlantic added offensive lineman Desmond Noel to its football roster. The redshirt junior is eligible to play immediately for the Owls, with Lane Kiffin stating that the versatile lineman will be in the mix for playing time at left guard.

“He has two years so we wouldn’t bring him here just to sit,” the head coach said according to the Post. “We’re trying everything to get him up to pace.”

Noel originally signed with Ohio coming out of high school in Cincinnati, but his time at the MAC school ended because of an off-field incident.

… He was one of three Bobcats arrested after a December 2016 incident when they allegedly broke into a student’s apartment.

The players wielded weapons and wore masks, broke into an apartment and stole $5,000 from another student…

Noel then moved on to Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, playing the past two seasons at the junior college. He then signed with Colorado State — CSU’s line coach, Dave Johnson, served as an assistant at Ohio during Noel’s brief time in Athens — in December of last year before parting ways with the Rams during the 2019 offseason.