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Rutgers’ leading rusher AND receiver in 2018 to transfer to Virginia Tech

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By way of Rutgers, the Virginia Tech football roster has seen a rather significant infusion of backfield talent.

After playing in the first four games of the 2019 season, Raheem Blackshear, a team captain, opted to sideline himself for the remainder of the campaign in order to preserve a year of eligibility. Three months later, Blackshear indicated on Twitter that he has decided to leave RU and continue his playing career with the Virginia Tech football program.

According to 247Sports.com, Blackshear chose Tech over Temple. He had also considered a return to Rutgers.

It’s expected that Blackshear, a redshirt sophomore, will seek a waiver that would allow him to play immediately in 2020. If that appeal is denied, he would be left with one season of eligibility he could use in 2021.

A three-star 2017 signee, Blackshear ran for 238 yards as a true freshman. The next season, he led the Scarlet Knights in rushing with 586 yards.

Blackshear is also a significant asset in the passing game.

In addition to being the leading rusher in 2018, Blackshear also led the team in receptions (44), receiving yards (367) and receiving touchdowns (two). Despite playing in just four games this past season, he was second on the Scarlet Knights with 29 receptions (the leader, Bo Melton, had 30) and 310 yards (Melton had 427). His two receiving touchdowns were tied with Melton for the team lead as well.

Mack Brown caps first season back at North Carolina with Military Bowl thumping of Temple

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It’s been a while, but Mack Brown and North Carolina are finally back in a bowl winner’s circle.

Jumping out to a 20-6 halftime led, UNC never allowed Temple (8-5) to get any closer in a 55-13 Military Bowl manhandling of the Owls.¬† The win caps Brown’s first season back at Chapel Hill, pushing the Tar Heels to 7-6 on the season.¬† Prior to Brown’s return, UNC had won a combined five games the previous two seasons.

For Brown, it was his first bowl win since 2012 in his second-to-last season at Texas.¬† For UNC, it was the football program’s first bowl win since the 2013 season.¬† It’s also the most postseason points they’ve ever scored, trumping the 42 put up in the 1998 Gator Bowl.

And, as has been the case most of the season, a big reason for this latest triumph was Sam Howell.

The true freshman quarterback completed 25 of his 34 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns.¬† Howell now has 38 touchdown passes on the year, extending the true freshman record he had broken earlier in the season (Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, 30 in 2018).¬† The all-time freshman record, true or redshirt, is 40, set by Florida State’s Jameis Winston in 2013.

Howell, though, was greatly aided on two of his touchdown tosses by Dazz Newsome‘s acrobatics and athleticism.

In addition to his arm, Howell also used his legs to put up 53 yards on the ground.¬† And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, Howell caught the first touchdown pass of his collegiate career, a two-yarder from wide receiver Rontavius Groves, extending his school’s lead to 41-6 late in the third quarter.

It wasn’t just a one-man effort, though, as the defense also had a hand in the rout.¬† Not only did the Tar Heels hold the Owls to just 2.3 yards per carry, All-Name first-teamer Storm Duck returned an interception 20 yards for a third-quarter touchdown as well.

In his first season with the Owls, Rod Carey fell to 0-7 in bowl games as a head coach — 0-6 at Northern Illinois, 0-1 at Temple.¬† Carey has also won exactly eight games each of the last three seasons and four of the past five.

With UNC’s win, the ACC improves to 2-1 this bowl season.¬† Conversely, the AAC falls to 1-2.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 27 Viewer’s Guide

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Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Dec. 27 bowl menu, one that features five games and schools from every Power Five conference.

WHO: North Carolina (6-6) vs. Temple (8-4)
WHAT: The 12th Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
WHERE: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Temple, +5
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Michigan State (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
WHAT: The 10th New Era Pinstripe Bowl
WHERE: Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
WHEN: 3:20 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Wake Forest, +3¬Ĺ
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Oklahoma State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
WHAT: The 14th Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
WHERE: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
WHEN: 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Oklahoma State, +6¬Ĺ
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: USC (8-4) vs. Iowa (9-3)
WHAT: The 42nd San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
WHERE: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, California
WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
THE LINE: USC, +2
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Air Force (10-2) vs. Washington State (6-6)
WHAT: The 31st Cheez-It Bowl
WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
WHEN: 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: Ye Olde College Football Bowl Preview has decreed that there may be more disparate college football teams than Air Force and Washington State, but it certainly wouldn’t take long to call the roll. The Cougars lead the nation — by a wide margin — in passing, averaging 444.3 yards per game; LSU’s 386.8 ypg is second.¬† The Falcons, meanwhile, are 124th at 131 ypg.¬† Conversely, the military academy is third at the FBS level in averaging 292.5 ypg on the ground. … Average number of runs per game for Air Force: 57.¬† Average number of passes per game for Washington State: 56. … Wazzu’s Anthony Gordon is second in the FBS with 45 touchdown passes this season.¬† In two games (vs. UCLA in September, vs. Oregon State in November), Gordon threw a combined 15 touchdown passes; in 12 games this year, Air Force threw 14. …¬† The Falcons will be playing in their first bowl game since 2016.¬† The Cougars are playing in their fifth straight, and will be looking for back-to-back bowl wins for the first time since the mid-nineties. … A win today would be Air Force’s 11th, which would be the football program’s most since 1998. … A loss for Wazzu would leave them under .500 for a season for the first time since 2014, Mike Leach‘s third year in Pullman. … Coming into the postseason, the Falcons have won seven straight.¬† The Cougars started the 2019 campaign 3-0 before losing six of their last nine, including the Apple Cup to rival Washington. … Wazzu has played in this game once (1992), back when it was called the Copper Bowl.¬† Air Force’s only appearance came three years later. … In addition to the Cheez-It Bowl and Copper Bowl, this game has also answered to names such as Insight.com Bowl, Insight Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and Cactus Bowl. … Regardless of how this game plays out, it can’t possibly match the ugly duck that was last year’s game.¬† In a matchup that featured nine interceptions (nine!!!) and 15 punts, TCU came away with a 10-7 overtime “win” over Cal.
THE LINE: Washington State, +3
THE PREDICTION: Air Force 28, Washington State 34

CFT Previews: Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman

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WHO: North Carolina (6-6) vs. Temple (8-4)
WHAT: The 11th Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
WHERE: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
THE SKINNY:¬†At long last, North Carolina and Temple will meet on the field. It took decades for the Tar Heels and Owls to collide, and they’ll finally do so for the first time in the all-important time slot of noon Eastern on a Friday.

North Carolina won a win-or-stay-home game over NC State to reach this matchup, and expect the Heels to be fired up after losing nine games each of the past two seasons. UNC is led by freshman quarterback Sam Howell, who checked in at No. 28 nationally in passing efficiency in the Tar Heels’ six wins and No. 5 in their six losses, where he fired 19 touchdown passes against just three picks. Nine of North Carolina’s first 10 games were decided by one score.

Temple largely feasted on the worst teams on its schedule and struggled against the best, save for the win over Memphis in October. Quarterback Anthony Russo leads the attack with 2,733 passing yards and 21 touchdowns.

Though they’ve never met on the field and (obviously) compete in different conferences, the teams share one common opponent: Georgia Tech. Temple scored a 24-2 win on Sept. 28, while UNC posted a 38-22 victory a week later. If only the Yellow Jackets knew then the history they helped create.

THE PICK: North Carolina 34, Temple 24

Colorado State hires ex-BC, Temple coach Steve Addazio as head coach

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Colorado State has hired former Boston College and Temple head coach Steve Addazio to be the next head Ram, the program announced Wednesday.

“I would like to thank President Joyce McConnell and Director of Athletics Joe Parker¬†for the opportunity to lead this football program,” Addazio said. “Colorado State University is a world-class institution, and Fort Collins is an incredible city to live in and to be able to recruit to. Our program will be one built on toughness and passion, and we will work tirelessly to develop men of character to return championship-level football back to Colorado State.”

Many had this job pegged for Ohio State super-recruiter (and former Ram running back) Tony Alford from the start. However, the search quickly centered on former head coaches and, after periods where it looked like former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and former Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson would be the hire, Addazio got the job.

Addazio is 57-55 in nine seasons as a head coach at BC and Temple. He went 9-4 upon taking over for Al Golden at Temple in 2011, then never posted anything better than a 7-6 mark in his eight remaining seasons. BC was 6-6 when it announced he would not return earlier this month.

Colorado State went 4-8 under Mike Bobo this season.

Following his exit from BC, Addazio was quickly dogged by accusations of rude and paranoid treatment by former players.

“Throughout his career, Coach Addazio has been committed to the holistic development of student-athletes and of the programs he has led,” Parker said. “He has focused on crafting cultures where his students thrive on the field and in the classroom. We look forward to Coach Addazio leading our football team as we strive to be the preeminent program in the Mountain West.”