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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).

 

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

RB Dae Williams tweets transfer from Louisville

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As evidenced by the first two posts this morning, the portal cares not that a new season has kicked off.

On his personal Twitter account Monday, and in what he described as “the toughest decision of my life,” Louisville running back Dae Williams announced that he has decided to enter the NCAA transfer database. “My family and mentors thought it would be best for me to make a business decision and start early on the recruiting process,” the redshirt junior added in what was a very classy goodbye to his teammates and the football program.

As Williams is set to graduate later on this year, he would be eligible to play immediately for another FBS school in 2020.  That season would serve as his final year of eligibility.

Injuries helped limit Williams to 306 yards and five touchdowns during his time with the Cardinals.  His best season was easily 2017 as he scored three touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards on his 38 carries.

Louisville and Kentucky extend rivalry through 2027, per report

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An in-state rivalry between ACC and SEC programs will continue to be played for at least another few years. According to a report by FBSchedules.com, Louisville and Kentucky have agreed to extend their series through the 2027 season.

A contract that was originally signed for the 2011 season has been revised and extended on multiple occasions, and it appears it has been amended once more. Previously, it was known the series would run through 2022. But now, there are five additional games on the books that will alternate locations between Louisville and Lexington. Per FBSchedules.com, Kentucky will host Louisville on Nov. 25, 2023; Nov. 29, 2025; Nov. 27, 2027. The Cardinals will host the Wildcats in Louisville on Nov. 30, 2024 and Nov. 28, 2026.

By playing each other in the regular season finale, both Louisville and Kentucky satisfy their conference obligations to include at least one game against another power conference opponent in the regular season. As the schedules stand right now, Louisville is the only power conference opponent on Kentucky’s future schedule out of the SEC through 2027. Louisville has multiple power conference opponents scheduled over the same span of time. The Cardinals opened the 2019 season earlier this week against Notre Dame and will travel to South Bend, Indiana next season for a late November matchup in 2020. Louisville is also scheduled to open the 2021 season in Atlanta against Ole Miss and will begin a three-game series with Indiana in 2023 that will be played in Indianapolis (2023) and each school’s campus (at Indiana in 2024, at Louisville in 2025). Louisville also gets Notre Dame on the ACC scheduling rotation with the Irish in 2023, 2026, 2030, 2032, 2033 and 2035.

Kentucky has won two of the last three meetings in the series, including last season’s 56-10 laugher. In-state rivalries between teams from different conferences are a good thing, and college football needs more of them being played.

First-year head coaches (barely) finished above .500 in 2019 debuts

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For those FBS schools that made changes at the top of its program last year and on into early 2019, the results, at least for the opening weekends of the college football season, were decidedly mixed.

Entering Weeks 0/1, a total of 26 head coaches were in their first games (two coaching a second first game) with their respective schools. Of those 26, 15 won their opening matchups while *uses fingers to do the math, takes off shoes when fingers run out* 11 dropped their openers.

Seven of the head coaches new to their current schools — Akron (Illinois), East Carolina (NC State), Houston (Oklahoma), Liberty (Syracuse), Texas State (Texas A&M), UMass (Rutgers) and Utah State (Wake Forest) — led off with Power Five opponents; not surprisingly, all seven of those ended up exiting Week 1 with a loss.  Exactly half of the 26 kicked off against FCS schools, and just one, Western Kentucky to Central Arkansas, failed to come away with a win.

At the other end was Louisville and North Carolina leading off with matchups against Power Five foes, Notre Dame for the former and South Carolina the latter.  The Cardinals extended their nation’s-worst losing streak to 10 in a row while the Tar Heels got past the Gamecocks in Mack Brown‘s return to Chapel Hill.

Oh, and there was Hugh Freeze‘s official return to coaching from a hospital bed up in the coaches’ box in Liberty’s loss to Syracuse.

WIN (15)
Eliah Drinkwitz, Appalachian State (beat East Tennessee State, 42-7)
Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green (Morgan State, 46-3)
Jim McElwain, Central Michigan (Albany, 38-21)
Brad Lambert, Charlotte (Gardner-Webb, 49-28)
Mel Tucker, Colorado (Colorado State, 52-31)
Les Miles, Kansas (Indiana State, 24-17)
Chris Klieman, Kansas State (Nicholls, 49-14)
Mike Locksley, Maryland (Howard, 79-0)
Mack Brown, North Carolina (South Carolina, 24-20)
Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois (Illinois State, 24-10)
Ryan Day, Ohio State (FAU, 45-21)
Rod Carey, Temple (Bucknell, 56-12)
Chip Lindsey, Troy (Campbell, 43-14)
Matt Wells, Texas Tech (Montana State, 45-10)
Neal Brown, West Virginia (James Madison, 20-13)

LOSS (11)
Tom Arth, Akron (lost to Illinois, 42-3)
Mike Houston, East Carolina (NC State, 34-6)
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech (Clemson, 52-14)
Dana Holgorsen, Houston (Oklahoma, 49-31)
Hugh Freeze, Liberty (Syracuse, 24-0)
Scott Satterfield, Louisville (Notre Dame, 35-17)
Manny Diaz, Miami (Florida, 24-20)
Jake Spavital, Texas State (Texas A&M, 41-7)
Walt Bell, UMass (Rutgers 48-21)
Gary Andersen, Utah State (Wake Forest, 38-35)
Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky (Central Arkansas, 35-28)