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Buffalo holds off Miami in shootout, maintains MAC East lead

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Tuesday night MACtion returned to the nation’s television screens — and streaming devices — and, as is ofttimes the case, it didn’t fail to deliver an entertaining appetizer to the weekend’s main course.

On the strength of six total touchdowns from the arm and legs of Tyree Jackson, Buffalo outlasted Miami (OH) in a wild 51-42 shootout to maintain control of the MAC East race.  The game was a back and forth affair throughout, featuring five ties and the same number of lead changes.

The Bulls took its biggest lead of the game at 42-28 with just under five minutes left in the third quarter; however, a 59-yard Gus Ragland pulled the RedHawks to within seven less than three minutes later.  A successful onsides kick after that score led to a Ragland one-yard touchdown run with just 17 seconds left in the third to once again knot the score, this time at 42-all.

Jaret Patterson‘s four-yard touchdown run — the only non-Jackson touchdown of the night for the Bulls — midway through the fourth stretched the lead to 48-42 as the point-after failed;  Adam Mitcheson‘s 37-yard field goal with 3:54 left put the game out of reach thanks to turnovers on the RedHawks’ final two possessions — a lost fumble with just over two minutes remaining and giving the ball back on downs just over a minute later.

The 6-7, 245-pound Jackson threw for a season-high 358 yards and three touchdown passes while adding another three touchdowns on the ground.  Anthony Johnson caught all three of Jackson’s touchdown passes, totaling a career-high 238 yards on his eight catches.

Ragland passed for 313 yards in a losing effort, his second straight 300-yard effort and third of the season. The senior also matched Jackson’s three touchdowns on the ground.

With the win, Buffalo improved to 5-0 in MAC play, while Miami fell to 3-2.  If Ohio can get past Western Michigan (6-3 overall, 4-1 in MAC play) Thursday night, the Bobcats would exit Week 10 a game behind the Bulls at 4-1 in the conference and keep the two East teams on a collision course for a Nov. 14 meeting that will likely decide the division’s representative in the conference championship game.

TCU dismisses WR KaVontae Turpin

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Not surprisingly, the KaVontae Turpin situation in Fort Worth has come to a head rather quickly.

Monday morning, reports surfaced that Turpin was arrested Sunday for assault with bodily harm of a family member.  It was alleged by police that the TCU wide receiver had dragged his girlfriend across a parking lot and slammed her to the ground at an apartment complex in Fort Worth on Saturday night.  Not long after, it was reported that Turpin had been arrested back in March for, among other things, battery of a household member.

Turpin had been suspended Monday by Gary Patterson following the reports of the twin arrests.  Tuesday afternoon, the head coach announced at his weekly press conference that Turpin has been dismissed by the football program.  And, in a twist, Patterson revealed that he hasn’t even informed the player yet of the dismissal, meaning he’ll likely learn of it through someone other than his head coach.

Turpin is currently second on the team in receptions (29), receiving yards (410) and receiving touchdowns (three).  He’s also returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown this season.  Turpin’s 26 yards per kick return average is 19th nationally, while he’s tied for the FBS lead, with Western Michigan’s Jayden Reed, in punt return average at 19.4 yards per.

Reports: Nebraska RB Greg Bell won’t travel to Wisconsin, considering transfer

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Nearly midway through what so far has been a winless season in Lincoln, the personnel upheaval is continuing.  Reportedly.

According to multiple media outlets in the area, Greg Bell will not make the trip to Madison this weekend for Nebraska’s game Saturday against Wisconsin.  Rivals.com is reporting that Bell has decided to leave the Cornhuskers and transfer, although the Omaha World-Herald writes that “NU is not confirming Bell’s departure and will not have a comment on his situation until after the Wisconsin game.”

Bell had started the first three games of the season, but was benched ahead of the Week 5 loss to Purdue and played sparingly last weekend. If the junior were to leave now without playing another down for the ‘Huskers, he’d be able to take advantage of the new redshirt rule and retain a season of eligibility that he could use elsewhere.

Through four games, Bell was third on the team, and second among running backs, with 173 yards rushing on his 35 carries.  Just two of those carries came in the loss to the Boilermakers this past Saturday.

Should he end up transferring, Bell would become at least the 15th player to leave the program since Scott Frost took over last December.  The other 14 are offensive lineman Bryan Brokop, wide receiver Zack Darlington (HERE) offensive lineman Michael Decker (HERE), tight end David Engelhaupt (HERE), quarterback Tristan Gebbia (HERE), linebacker Willie Hampton (HERE), defensive back Will Jackson (HERE), wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey (HERE), fullback Ben Miles (HERE), quarterback Patrick O’Brien (HERE), linebacker Avery Roberts (HERE), tight end Matt Snyder (HERE) inside linebacker Andrew Ward (HERE) and wide receiver Keyan Williams (HERE).  An even dozen of those 14 transferred, while one of the remaining two, Decker, retired from football and the other, Darlington, joined the Army.

Bryce Love, Ed Oliver headline Walter Camp Award preseason watch list

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What is arguably the second-most prestigious award in college football has officially joined in on the watch listing fun.

The Walter Camp Foundation became the last (?) of the major awards to release its preseason watch list, with a total of 50 individuals making the cut as the players to watch for its 2018 Player of the Year Award.  Headling that half-century group is a pair of 2017 Camp All-Americans — Stanford running back Bryce Love and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver.

All FBS conferences are represented, led by nine each for both the Big Ten and ACC.  The ACC (eight) and Big 12 (seven) are next, followed by the Pac-12 (five), AAC (four), Conference USA (three), MAC (one), Mountain West (one) and Sun Belt (one).  Two football independents, Army and Notre Dame, made the initial cut as well.

A total of nine schools placed two players each on the watch list: Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, TCU, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Of the 50 watch listers, 38 come from the offensive side of the ball.  The breakdown of that group goes 17 quarterbacks, 15 running backs, five wide receivers and one tight end.  An even dozen are, obviously, defensive players — seven defensive linemen, three linebackers, two defensive backs.

Breaking down the group by classes, there are 17 seniors, 25 juniors and eight sophomores.

Cam Akers, RB, Sophomore, Florida State
Darius Anderson, RB, Junior, TCU
Rodney Anderson, RB, Junior, Oklahoma
Ben Banogu, DE, Sophomore, TCU
Nick Bosa, DL, Junior, Ohio State #
Spencer Brown, RB, Sophomore, UAB
Jake Bentley, QB, Junior, University of South Carolina
A.J. Brown, WR, Junior, Ole Miss
Jake Browning, QB, Senior, Washington
Devin Bush, LB, Junior, Michigan #
Raekwon Davis, DL, Junior, Alabama
AJ Dillon, RB, Sophomore, Boston College
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Sophomore, Ohio State
T.J. Edwards, LB, Senior, Wisconsin #
Noah Fant, TE, Junior, Iowa
Mason Fine, QB, Junior, North Texas
Ryan Finley, QB, Senior, North Carolina State
Rashan Gary, DE, Junior, Michigan
Myles Gaskin, RB, Senior, Washington
Joe Gilles-Harris, LB, Junior, Duke #
Will Grier, QB, Senior, West Virginia
Justice Hansen, QB, Senior, Arkansas State
Damien Harris, RB, Senior, Alabama
Darrell Henderson, RB, Junior Memphis
Justice Hill, RB, Sophomore, Oklahoma State
Collin Johnson, WR, Junior, Texas
Diontae Johnson, WR, Junior, Toledo
Jaquan Johnson, DB, Senior, Miami (Fla.)
Dexter Lawrence, DL, Junior, Clemson
Brian Lewerke, QB, Junior, Michigan State
Drew Lock, QB, Senior, Missouri
Bryce Love, RB, Senior, Stanford *
Trace McSorley, QB, Senior, Penn State
McKenzie Milton, QB, Junior, UCF
Steven Montez, QB, Junior, Colorado
Ed Oliver, DL, Junior, Houston *
Malcolm Perry, QB, Junior, Navy
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Junior, Miami (Fla.)
Brett Rypien, QB, Senior, Boise State
Kyle Shurmur, QB, Senior, Vanderbilt
David Sills, WR, Senior, West Virginia #
Devin Singletary, RB, Junior, Florida Atlantic
Benny Snell, RB, Junior, Kentucky
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Junior, Auburn
Khalil Tate, QB, Junior, Arizona
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Sophomore, Wisconsin #
Christian Wilkins, DL, Senior, Clemson #
Greedy Williams, DB, Sophomore, LSU
Brandon Wimbush, QB, Senior, University of Notre Dame
Darnell Woolfolk, RB, Senior, Army-West Point

* 2017 Walter Camp All-America First-Team selection
# – 2017 Walter Camp All-America Second-Team selection

Biletnikoff Award watch list highlighted by 2017 finalist David Sills

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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  Yet another watch list.

The latest to release theirs is the Biletnikoff Award, with the honor going to the nation’s top receiver issuing a list consisting of 50 players from all nine FBS conferences as well as one independent (UMass).  Headlining this year’s preseason list is West Virginia’s David Sills, who was a finalist for the 2017 award claimed by Oklahoma State’s James Washington.  One other 2017 semifinalist is included as well, Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown.

A total of seven teams placed two receivers each on the watch list: Cal (Kanawai Noa, Vic Wharton III), Louisville (Dez Fitzpatrick, Jaylen Smith), Nebraska (Stanley Morgan Jr., JD Spielman), North Texas (Jalen Guyton, Michael Lawrence), Oklahoma (Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb), Toledo (Diontae Johnson, Cody Thompson) and West Virginia (Gary Jennings Jr., Sills).

Three conferences totaled seven players apiece, the ACC, Big 12 and MAC.  That trio is followed by five each from Conference USA and four apiece for the AAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt.  The Big Ten and Mountain West each placed three.

Below is the complete list of 2018 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch listers:

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Tyre Brady, Marshall
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Trevon Brown, East Carolina
Ryan Davis, Auburn
Greg Dortch, Wake Forest
Terren Encalade, Tulane
Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville
James Gardner, Miami-Ohio
Jonathan Giles, LSU
Marcus Green, ULM
Jalen Guyton, North Texas
Emanuel Hall, Missouri
Justin Hall, Ball State
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
Penny Hart, Georgia State
Justin Hobbs, Tulsa
Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Gary Jennings Jr., West Virginia
Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Collin Johnson, Texas
Diontae Johnson, Toledo
KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Michael Lawrence, North Texas
Ty Lee Middle, Tennessee
McLane Mannix, Nevada
Scott Miller, Bowling Green
Denzel Mims, Baylor
Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Kanawai Noa, California
James Proche, SMU
T.J. Rahming, Duke
Ahmmon Richards, Miami
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
David Sills V, West Virginia
Steven Sims Jr., Kansas
Jaylen Smith, Louisville
Kwadarrius Smith, Akron
JD Spielman, Nebraska
Cody Thompson, Toledo
John Ursua, Hawaii
Teddy Veal, Louisiana Tech
Jamarius Way, South Alabama
Nick Westbrook, Indiana
Vic Wharton III, California
Malcolm Williams, Coastal Carolina
Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia