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Western Michigan officially adds transfers from Pitt, Michigan State, Nevada

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It was a busy day on the personnel front for the Western Michigan football program.

Friday, WMU announced the additions of three transfers from FBS schools — defensive back Therran Coleman, running back Jaxson Kincaide and running back La’Darius Jefferson.  Coleman (Pitt) and Kincaide (Nevada), come to WMU as graduate transfers.  Jefferson (Michigan State) will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He’ll then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2020.

During his four years at Nevada, Kincaide ran for 894 yards and six touchdowns on 199 carries.  He also caught 38 passes for another 316 yards and three touchdowns.

Prior to his decision to enter the NCAA transfer database in late September, Kincaide played in just four games, which allowed him to use a redshirt and preserve a season of eligibility.  It had previously been reported that Kincaide would be transferring to the Broncos.

In two seasons at Michigan State, Jefferson ran for 280 yards and four touchdowns on 97 carries.  His best season came as a true freshman as he ran the ball 28 times for 255 yards and a pair of scores.

Coleman played in 34 games over the past three seasons for the Panthers and was credited with 18 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.

Mountain West Conference lands rich new TV deal with two TV partners

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The Mountain West Conference has a brand new TV deal locked in, and it’s a big one for the conference. The Mountain West announced it has agreed to terms on a new media rights deal with CBS Sports Network and FOX that will run through 2025-2026. The six-year contract is valued at $270 million for the conference.

The new media contract with CBS Sports and FOX will send 23 Mountain West Conference football games to CBS, CBS Sports Network, FOX, or FOX Sports 1, and an additional 10 games may be added to CBS Sports Network or CBS’s streaming digital platform, which is a paid service. FOX will air game son both network television and FOX Sports 1. FOX will have first dibs on any Boise State home games as part of the deal. FOX will broadcast the Mountain West Conference championship game as part of its package of games on either FOX or FOX Sports 1.

Boise State continues to be a winner in the new deal with a higher percentage of conference TV revenue share. However, it has been noted this will be the final time Boise State gets such an advantage.

Also of note, Hawaii will be keeping its own local rights agreement. In return, Hawaii will hand over conference games as part of the TV deal. Hawaii’s revenue share will be calculated differently as well.

The new media deal is certainly heavy on traditional television outlets as opposed to the push for digital streaming options. Even though the media landscape continues to move away form traditional cable options, the Mountain West Conference going with a relatively shorter contract shows the conference is still comfortable with the media landscape’s stability for the near future. And for how much the conference will distribute to conference members for the next six years, everyone should be pretty happy about the deal. As far as Group of Five conferences go, the Mountain West has a very good deal in place with multiple viewing options to expand the visibility of the conference’s football and basketball brands.

Ohio wins third consecutive bowl game with Potato Bowl victory against Nevada

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Ohio (7-6) let a big lead slip away in the fourth quarter but the Bobcats still held on to beat Nevada (7-6) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Friday. Ohio defeated the Wolfpack 30-21 for its third consecutive season-ending in a bowl victory.

Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke passed for 144 yards and rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown in the win. Demontre Tuggle led all players with 97 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Bobcats. Ohio carried a 30-9 lead into the fourth quarter, which is when Nevada put some pressure on the scoreboard. A lost fumble and a turnover on downs inside the Ohio 10-yard line ultimately prevented Nevada’s comeback attempt from crossing the finish line. Nevada quarterback Carson Strong passed for 402 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.

Ohio head coach Frank Solich now owns five bowl wins with Ohio (5-6 overall). Solich also coached Ohio to a winning record for the fifth consecutive season, and the 11th consecutive non-losing season (Ohio was 6-6 in 2014).

The win by Ohio gives the MAC a chance to have a winning bowl record this year. The MAC is now 3-3 in bowl games played this season with one more to go. Miami Ohio will look to end the bowl season in a winning note for the MAC in the Lendingtree Bowl against Louisiana on Monday, Jan. 6. The MAC went 2-1 against the Mountain West Conference this bowl season. Despite Nevada’s loss, the Mountian West already clinched a winning bowl season. Nevada was the last bowl team to represent the Mountain West this bowl season; the Mountain West was 4-3 in bowl games this season.

Ohio will open the 2020 season at home against NC Central on Sept. 5. Nevada will get an earlier start to their 2020 season with a home game against UC Davis on Aug. 29.

Ohio up 11 on Nevada at halftime of Potato Bowl

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Ohio’s second-quarter scoring outburst turned a tied game into a two-score lead for the Bobcats. Ohio leads Nevada 20-9 at halftime of the Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho on this Friday afternoon.

Bobcats quarterback Nathan Rourke has rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown as Ohio has dominated the running game. Nevada has -1 rushing yards on eight attempts at the halftime break. Nevada has done most of their damage through the air, with Carson Strong completing 15 of 22 passes for 184 yards. Strong has been taken down for a loss of 30 rushing yards as Ohio has swarmed him in the backfield.

Despite a solid passing game, Nevada has been held to just two field goals. Brandon Talton has converted all three attempts, including a 51-yard field goal to handle all of Nevada’s first-half scoring.

Neither team has turned the football over and the only penalty of the half was charged against Nevada for 15 yards. Nevada getting a late field goal just before halftime cut into the Ohio lead and makes the deficit not as intimidating at the break, but the Wolfpack will need to finish a couple of drive sin the second half if they are to prevent Ohio from celebrating on the blue turf in Boise.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Jan. 3 Viewer’s Guide

College Football Bowl Preview
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Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Jan. 3 bowl menu, one that features a single MAC-MWC matchup.

WHO: Ohio (6-6) vs. Nevada (7-5)
WHAT: The 23rd Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
WHERE: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: In the latest edition of the college football bowl preview, we reveal the fact that the MAC has lost each of the last five times one of its teams has appeared in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The last winner?  Ohio, in 20011. …  Both Nevada and Ohio come into this game, the first-ever meeting between the schools, riding a two-game bowl winning streak. Neither program has ever won three bowl games in a row. …  The Wolf Pack won three of its last four in the regular season to become bowl-eligible, while the Bobcats won their last two (by a combined 91 points) to reach the postseason for the fifth-straight season and 10th time the last 11 years. … In his 15th year in Athens, Frank Solich earlier this season became the winningest head coach in MAC history; New Year’s Day, he was given a two-year contract extension.  The 75-year-old coach is 4-6 in bowl games during his time at the school.  Including his time at Nebraska, he’s 6-9. … With another win, it would give Jay Norvell 16 the past two seasons.  That would be the program’s most in back-to-back seasons since winning 20 in 2010-11. … Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke has thrown 20 touchdown passes to just five interceptions thus far this season. He leads the MAC in passing efficiency at 151.7.  That’s also 23rd at the FBS level. … Famous Idaho Potato Bowl fun fact: The last three winners have averaged 49 points per game. … Ohio was the highest-scoring MAC team, and 20th nationally, during the regular season, averaging 34.7 points per game. At 21.3 ppg, Nevada was 13th in the 14-team Mountain West Conference and 111th in the country.
THE LINE: Nevada, +8
THE PREDICTION: Ohio 45, Nevada 24