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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).

 

N.C. State receiver C.J. Riley suffers season-ending ACL injury

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The N.C. State Wolfpack are down one key wide receiver for the rest of the season. Head coach Dave Doeren announce don Monday that wide receiver C.J. Riley will miss the remainder of the 2019 season with a knee injury.

According to a report from The News & Observer, Riley has a torn left ACL. The injury occurred in the first quarter of Saturday’s victory over East Carolina when Riley was while on punt coverage special teams duty.

Taking Riley’s place on the depth chart is Devin Carter, a freshman, according to the most recent game notes and depth chart released for this weekend’s game against Western Carolina. Doeren confirmed Riley will undergo surgery and anticipates he will eventually return to the team in 2020. It is the second ACL tear Riley has experienced, however, his previous injury was to the right knee.

Riley caught 28 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns for N.C. State in 2018 and he was expected to see a more significant role in the offense this season. Now, those plans will be on hold for next season.

NC State transfer Tim Kidd-Glass tweets move to Liberty

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Hugh Freeze may be dealing with what was a significant health issue, but he’s still working his first-year roster at Liberty.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Tim Kidd-Glass announced that he “would like to thank God for allowing me to have another opportunity to further my football career… at Liberty University.” The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the safety triggered a move from North Carolina State by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.

As a graduate transfer, Kidd-Glass will be eligible to play for the Flames in 2019.

The past three seasons, the Virginia native played in 33 games for the Wolfpack.  He started nine of those contests, all of which came during the 2017 season.

WR Jakobi Meyers leaving NC State for the NFL draft

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A record-setting season will serve as the final season for Jakobi Meyers, at least at the collegiate level.

New Year’s Day afternoon, NC State announced that Meyers has decided to forego his final season of eligibility and enter his name in the 2019 NFL Draft.  The wide receiver earned his degree in sports management with a minor in business administration in December.

“I came to NC State a kid chasing two dreams,” said Meyers in a statement. “I’m leaving a man with one dream fulfilled and hopefully another on the way. I would like to thank [head coach Dave] Doeren, [wide receivers coach/co-offensive coordinator George] McDonald, my teammates and all the staff here at NC State for helping me get to this position.”

Meyer’s 92 receptions not only led the Wolfpack in 2018, but they were the most in school history.  They were also the 10th-most single-season total ever in the ACC.

Meyer will exit as the fifth-leading receiver in program history with 168.

“It has been a joy to coach Jakobi and watch him mature as a player and a person,” said Doeren. “We wish him the best and know that he will always be a part of the Wolfpack family.”

No. 19 Texas A&M closes Year 1 of Jimbo era by blasting NC State in Gator Bowl

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Jimbo Fisher is still finding his way in the big, bad SEC, but he’s still got this ACC thing figure out. His 19th-ranked Aggies scored the final 45 points to race past NC State 52-13 in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville on Monday night.

Texas A&M opened the game with a 2-play, 71-yard drive that was all Kellen Mond. Texas A&M’s first snap was a 9-yard pass from Mond to Kendrick Rogers, and its second a 62-yard Mond touchdown run.

NC State (9-4) responded with a 13-0 run, aided greatly by a Mond interception inside A&M territory. His tip passed landed in the arms of Wolfpack defensive lineman Eurndraus Bryant at the Aggies’ 27-yard line, setting up a 9-yard Ryan Finley pass to CJ Riley. Two Christopher Dunn field goals, from 43 and 49 yards, put NC State up front 13-7 at the 10:45 mark of the second quarter, but Texas A&M seized the lead back with a run of its own.

A 28-yard strike to tight end Jace Sternberger and a 30-yard rush by Trayveon Williams put the ball at the NC State 2, leading to Williams’ 2-yard plunge to put the Aggies back in front.

After an NC State three-and-out, Texas A&M went 72 yards in 11 plays, closing on a third-and-goal 6-yard strike to Rogers with 32 seconds left in the first half. Mond led all players in passing and rushing, connecting on 13-of-23 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown and a pick while rushing for 82 yards and another score on four carries.

Finley tried to serve up more points to the Aggies by tossing a late interception, but Seth Small‘s 52-yard field goal on the final play of the first half sailed wide right.

That theme continued in the second half, when Finley was picked by A&M linebacker Tyrel Dodson, who took the ball 78 yards for a touchdown.

Williams put the game away for good by posting consecutive touchdown runs on A&M’s next two possessions, a 17-yarder and then a 93-yard that put the Aggies up 42-13 at the 13:56 mark of the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 19 carries for 236 yards and three touchdowns.

After a 35-yard Small field goal, the Aggies closed the game with a rushing touchdown by 12th man Cullen Gillaspia with 22 seconds left in the game.

Texas A&M out-rushed NC State 401-134, while Finley finished his college career hitting 19 of 32 passes for just 139 yards with a touchdown and two picks.

Fisher’s 9-4 debut matches the second-best showing by Texas A&M in seven seasons of SEC membership. The Gator Bowl’s Dec. 31 kickoff was perhaps fitting for the maroon and white, as they close 2018 with a sign that 2019 will become the Year of Jimbo.