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NC State punter enters transfer portal

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Punters, they say, are football players, too, and as such they can enter the transfer portal just like their teammates.

Such is the case of NC State’s Mackenzie Morgan, who announced Sunday that he plans to leave Raleigh for destination unknown.

“After long consideration, I’ve decided to transfer from North Carolina State University so I can seek greater opportunity elsewhere,” he tweeted. “I’m forever grateful to have been here & to have met the people I’ve met over the past year and a half.”

A redshirt sophomore from the burgeoning epicenter of the punting world — Australia — Morgan has yet to boot the ball for the Wolfpack. Having already used his redshirt, he would have to graduate from NC State, receive a waiver or risk losing his junior season and punt just one season for his next school.

Dave Doeren not impressed with Xavier Lyas’ decision to transfer from NC State

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We didn’t start the day with a portal post, but you knew the odds were favorable that we’d get one in sooner rather than later.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, North Carolina State’s Xavier Lyas announced that he has “decided to enter the transfer portal in order for me to reach my full potential both academically and football.”

The defensive end’s head coach, though, didn’t seem very impressed with Lyas’ decision. From Dave Doeren‘s Monday press conference, via Rivals.com:

When did you find out about Xavier Lyas and what does his departure kind of do to depth?

“He came in and see me saw me on Sunday. Wish him luck, rather talk about the guys that are here. Somebody put a great screenshot out today, though, that their girlfriend was in the portal, I thought that was pretty funny. It’s life, some of these kids don’t play as much as they want and how it goes.

“So as far as our depth will be fine. We got enough defensive ends we’ll be good.

Lyas was a three-star member of the Wolfpack’s 2017 recruiting class.  This season, Lyas is currently third in sacks with four and tied for third in tackles for loss 4½.  Additionally, his two forced fumbles are tops on the team.

Sending not-so-subtle message to CFP Selection Committee, No. 5 Clemson destroys N.C. State

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Clemson spent most of this week hearing about the team being ranked fifth in the first set of College Football Playoff rankings. They may even have caught a glimpse at Wake Forest losing to Virginia Tech earlier Saturday to end any likely chance that they’ll finish the regular season with a win over a top 25 opponent.

No matter though, as the Tigers just kept rolling along as they continue to build up steam and look plenty capable of defending their national title once again after suffocating N.C. State 55-10 in a lopsided affair that wasn’t even as close between the lines as the score indicated.

Sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence had one of his best games of the season to power the convincing victory, throwing for 276 yards and three pinpoint touchdowns while also rushing for 59 yards and a score as well. He was out of the ballgame before the third quarter was up and helped lead a balanced attack that had nearly as many rushing yards as passing yards most of the night. Travis Etienne notched 112 of those on the ground and found pay-dirt twice but was overshadowed in the backfield a bit by… his offensive lineman.

Yes, such was the case as Dabo Swinney tabbed John Simpson for a lovely Fat Guy touchdown that really drove the talent disparity on the field home… all part of a 42 point first half outburst that made this one over before it even began.

While N.C. State had little chance in this one, their mounting injury list and the sheer number of young players making mistakes made an uphill climb even steeper. Quarterback Devin Leary had a botched exchange, a straight drop of the football while in the pocket and mishandled a bad snap to contribute to the team’s four turnovers. He wound up throwing for 166 yards while tailback Zonovan Knight notched 139 rushing and a touchdown but it wasn’t pretty in the least on both sides of the ball for the Wolfpack.

As a result, Clemson made it eight in a row in the series that had featured a number of close games in recent years but was not something that transpired in Raleigh this time around. Dave Doeren probably couldn’t have truly expected a win against the reigning champions but the loss does make things much more difficult down the stretch as the NCSU needs to emerge victorious in two of their final three to make a bowl game.

Perhaps more important than the local ACC battle was the statement that was sent as a result of the convincing victory by the Tigers to the CFP Selection Committee. Swinney didn’t even have to run up the score and called off the dogs early but it still was another game where Clemson scored more than 42 and allowed fewer than two touchdowns. In the process they secured a record fifth straight Atlantic Division title and booked their trip to the conference title game barely two weeks into November.

This might not be a team that can really lay claim to the No. 1 spot with Ohio State and LSU looking like they have been but come the next set of rankings, Clemson will surely be in the top four and that has less to do with Penn State’s loss to Minnesota and just as much to do with how the team is playing at the moment.

No. 5 Clemson taking care of business against N.C. State in first half thumping

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Dabo Swinney is probably not going to confirm that he used Tuesday’s No. 5 ranking from the College Football Playoff Selection Committee as a motivating factor but the combination of that and a bad N.C. State team taking the field certainly produced a lopsided result that many could have seen coming well before kickoff in Raleigh on Saturday night.

Clemson seemed to find success on nearly every snap they took in jumping out to a huge lead and never really looking back, pointing up to the scoreboard at halftime up 42-0 over a very overmatched and beat up Wolfpack side.

The Tigers, which led 28-0 in the first quarter thanks to a pair of turnovers inside opponent territory, looked to be firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Offensively, QB Trevor Lawrence was back to being the guy who led his team to a national title last year in throwing for 221 yards and three touchdowns (no interceptions). More than just his big arm though, he was a threat to pull it down and run it too in netting 51 yards on the ground with another score. Tailback Travis Etienne chipped in with 83 yards and a trip to the end zone as well.

Thanks were going so well, even offensive lineman John Simpson scored a touchdown by plunging into pay dirt as a fullback.

Not to be outdone, Clemson’s defense also forced three turnovers, had five tackles for loss, held NCSU to under four yards per play in the first half and just 103 yards total.

Both of those giveaways came mostly at the hand of QB Devin Leary, who fumbled one exchange near his own end zone, straight dropped another ball to the turf that was picked up the Tigers and fumbled a bad snap in the red zone just before the end of the second quarter. The ground game was non-existent (41 yards) while the offense picked up just four first downs in mounting just two drives longer than three plays.

So yeah, it has been a rough game for the home side in this ACC clash but that was probably to be expected given the motivation the top five team likely had coming in and the obvious talent disparity to start with.

Senator announces plans to attach strings to college athletes’ potential NIL paychecks

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The NCAA on Tuesday took the first step toward creating (or, really, accepting) a world where college athletes are allowed to take cold, hard cash simply for being college athletes and not ruin their eligibility. The organization left itself no choice following the efforts of many politicians across the country, primarily state politicians in California.

And if you’ve spent any time at all discussing this issue in a public forum, the dialogue has usually folded itself into one of two streams: “Well, good, they should be able to get a cut of their own jersey sales,” or “Well, if they’re going to get paid like a grown-up they should have to pay taxes like a grown-up! See how they like their scholarship then !!!” In fact, that argument has played itself out in the comments section of this very website countless times, and will no doubt spawn again in the comments of this article.

And on Tuesday afternoon, the latter of those arguments sprung to life in the form of Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).

“If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income,” Burr tweeted. “I’ll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to ‘cash in’ to income taxes.”

Understanding the $300 Skill Player X accepts for promoting College Bar Z on his respective social media channels will itself be taxed, it’s never quite made sense why said college athlete would then have to pay taxes on his books, his apartment and his meal plan and all the myriad other benefits college athletes receive in exchange for being really good at sports. It likely doesn’t make sense to Burr, other than some people don’t like to see power and freedom extended to people who didn’t used to have it.

For what it’s worth, Burr’s idea is not going over well. As of press time, Burr’s tweet is being firmly “ratio’d” — with 4,000 replies and climbing against only 200 retweets. More importantly, it hasn’t been echoed by any other politicians, either in statehouses across the country or in Washington. In fact, Rep. Mark Walker, who shares a home state and a party with Burr and was the first Congressman to formally bring the issue to Washington back in March, struck an entirely different, non-retaliatory tone in his statement.

What will truly kill Barr’s misguided mission is when Duke, UNC and NC State boosters who also contribute to Burr’s reelection campaign call his office and say, “Hey, bud, no one wants this, so can you just not?”