Tagged in: NCAA

Joe Burrow ready to compete to be Bengals’ starting QB

The Cincinnati Bengals have their next franchise quarterback. And the duty ahead of him could not be any clearer.

Months of speculation concluded Thursday night when the Bengals selected former LSU standout Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. With this year’s event taking place virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, Burrow celebrated with his family and put on a Bengals hat from his home in Athens County, Ohio.

Shortly after Cincinnati officially added Burrow, Bengals coach Zac Taylor stated the QB will be expected to compete for the team’s starting job. Cincinnati’s new quarterback also had the same understanding.

“That’s exactly how I expect to do it as well,” Burrow stated during a teleconference with local reporters. “I’m going to come in and compete and try to be the best player I can be.”

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Burrow is coming off a historic season at LSU during which he threw for an FBS-record 60 touchdowns as he led the Tigers to a national championship.

He also completed 76.3% of his passes and won the Heisman Trophy.

He inherits a team with an unsure future at the starting quarterback spot. Veteran Andy Dalton, who has been the team’s primary starter since he was drafted in 2011, is entering the final year of his contract. Dalton’s $17.7 million salary will put the Bengals over the cap limit.

Taylor didn’t want to go as far as naming Burrow as the team’s Week 1 starter. Taylor said one of the biggest challenges for Burrow and the rest of the incoming rookie class is adapting to the speed in the NFL, even for players such as Burrow who played at college football’s highest level.

Burrow is the 318th No. 1 overall pick in NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, WNBA and MLS history. But he’s the first to win national player of the year and a national title, and break a single-season NCAA record in his final college season.

Burrow stated he isn’t worried about being burdened by the pressure of leading the Bengals back to playoff success.

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Yale Bulldogs at Pennsylvania Quakers

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Where: Franklin Field, Philadelphia
When: Friday, October 23, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Yale Bulldogs vs. Penn Quakers

The Yale Bulldogs are now playing catchup in the Ivy League conference after losing to Dartmouth a couple of weeks ago. Of course it would help their cause if Harvard and Dartmouth both lose this coming Saturday, but that won’t matter if they were ambushed by the Penn Quakers this Friday.

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The Bulldogs are just fine. After suffering its first loss of the season, Yale got back in the win column with a gutsy 21-10 over Maine on last Saturday.

Yale, which lost to Dartmouth on October 10, got a big hand from Deshawn Salter in the win over Maine, as the sophomore running back went off for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries. Salter can expect a ton of workload again this coming Friday, considering that Penn’s flimsy defense that allows 174.6 rushing yards per game.

The Quakers sure could use a big win for some momentum, as they prepare for a match with Ivy League powerhouse, Yale. Following back-to-back defeats to Dartmouth and Fordham, respectively, Penn managed to put an end to its slump when it crushed Columbia last Saturday, 42-7.

Against Columbia, the Quakers rode a balanced offensive attack to notch just their second win of the season. On one hand, there was quarterback Alek Torgersen, who passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns on 19 pf 29 attempts. Wide receiver Christian Pearson, who only had 66 receiving yards prior to the contest, came out of nowhere and hauled down 10 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown.

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Temple Owls at East Carolina Pirates

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Start Time: 7:00 P.M. ET, Thursday, Oct. 22

Location: Dowdy Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina

Line: East Carolina -3. Over/Under: 52.
Last time the East Carolina Pirates were on the field, they established a balanced attack that defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. James Summers had important action and the defense was heavily involved. Most of Tulsa’s points came in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.

Now the Pirates return to the field to face the most obnoxious loss on last year’s schedule. Last year, the Pirates dominated the Owls statistically but gave away the ball too many times. The result was a Temple win and the beginning of the season’s derailment.

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No. 22 Temple is one of three American teams that has yet to lose, averting disaster last week versus UCF. But East Carolina realizes that it can move to the top of the East Division, replacing the Owls, with an upset Thursday night in Greenville. The Pirates have yet to lose at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in 2015, including a win over Virginia Tech on Sept. 26. And Temple shares similarities with the Hokies, a team whose identity is deeply rooted in a talented and physical defense.

The Tyler Matakevich-led D began the year by shutting down Penn State, and they’ve remained nasty ever since. Temple allows just under 15 points per game, holding opponents to three yards a carry and a 50% completion percentage. And it beats teams up. East Carolina, on the other hand, is No. 10 in American run defense, encouraging news for Owl RB Jahad Thomas, who’s rushed for 756 yards and 10 scores in six games.

East Carolina, in front of its home fans, is going to play with something to prove this week. The Pirates are no strangers to delivering upsets, and the blend of Kemp and Summers could be just what the offense needs to convert in crunch time against the Temple defense. The American will lose one of its unbeaten teams this week, while the East Division becomes a race again.

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College Football

College Football Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajun vs Arkansas State Red Wolves

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 20
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR

The Arkansas State Red Wolves take on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns this week in a game that will feature the SBC’s third-leading rusher, Elijah McGuire (585 yards, 7 TDs). Things have continued to look bleak for Louisiana-Lafayette (2-3), who were on the losing end of two of their last three. The game kicks off Tuesday, Oct 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET

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The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns figured to at least  challenge in the Sun Belt but a 2-3 start has many thinking differently. The Ragin’ Cajuns did open conference action with a one sided 49-27 win versus visiting Texas State behind a 526-351 yardage edge with both teams returning kicks for scores. Elijah MGuire was a force on the ground for the Ragin’ Cajuns with 170 yards on 28 carries with a TD with Torrey Pierce adding 56 yards and another score. Quarterback Jalen Nixon gave ULL an efficient and productive passing game with a 22-29 effort for 238 yards and three touchdowns with Al Riles catching nine balls for 98 yards and a TD while Jamal Robinson snagged a pair of scoring strikes

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The Arkansas State Red Wolves looked dead in the water before a pick six and fumble recovery for another TD led the way to a 49-31 victory at South Alabama. ASU led 345-302 in yardage and forced a whopping five turnovers to win going away. The return of quarterback Fredi Knighten gave the Red Wolves a lift as he completed 10-17 for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns with Tres Houston snagging three balls for 59 and a score. Warren Wand was the best Arkansas State rushing option with 85 yards on 14 touches while Johnston White totaled 46 yards on nine carries with a pair of trips to the end zone.

The under is 4-0 in Ragin’ Cajuns last 4 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and the Ragin’ Cajuns are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Tuesday games while the under is 7-1 in Ragin’ Cajuns last 8 games on fieldturf. The over is 4-0 in Red Wolves last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and the Red Wolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game while the over is 6-0 in Red Wolves last 6 vs. a team with a losing record. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings and the underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings while the  Ragin’ Cajuns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Arkansas State.

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College Football Night

Houston Cougars at Tulane Green WaveHouston Cougars at Tulane Green Wave

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Houston Cougars (5-0) at Tulane Green Wave (2-3)
College Football: Friday, October 16, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Yulman Stadium)
The Line: Tulane Green Wave +19 — Over/Under: 60.5

The Houston Cougars and Tulane Green Wave meet Friday night at Yulman Stadium.

The Houston Cougars look to pick up their third road win in hopes of remaining unbeaten. Greg Ward Jr. is completing 72.5 percent of his passes for 1,302 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. Ward hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in two straight games. Demarcus Ayers and Chance Allen have combined for 726 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Steven Dunbar has 14 receptions. The Houston Cougars ground game is averaging 287.2 yards per contest, and Ward leads the way with 554 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, Houston is allowing 24.2 points and 398.4 yards per game. Elandon Roberts leads the Cougars with 59 tackles, Steven Taylor has eight sacks and Adrian McDonald has two interceptions. Marcus Oliver and Linell Bonner are questionable.

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The Tulane Green Wave look for their first win over a ranked team that will get them to a .500 record. Devin Powell is completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 69 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Tanner Lee will miss this game due to a concussion. Teddy Veal and Devon Breaux have combined for 556 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Sherman Badie has 13 receptions. The Tulane Green Wave ground game is averaging 95.8 yards per contest, and Dontrell Hilliard leads the way with 188 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Tulane is allowing 37.8 points and 419.8 yards per game. Nico Marley leads the Green Wave with 36 tackles, Royce LaFrance has three sacks and Richard Allen has four pass deflections. Colton Hanson and Richard Allen are questionable.

The Cougars are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Friday games and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Green Wave are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games in October and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Cougars are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Tulane and 10-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings overall.

Due to quarterback injuries and a lack of defense, Tulane has been a punching bag this season. That’s not good when playing a Houston team that is looking for style points now that the Cougars are in the top 25

 

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: sportschatplace.com

College Football Night

College Football NightAuburn Tigers at Kentucky Wildcats
Venue: Commonwealth Stadium
Date: Thursday, October 15
Kickoff time: 6 p.m. Central, 7 p.m. Eastern

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The Auburn Tigers travel to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats tonight. Auburn is in the midst of a disappointing season, while Kentucky’s 4-1 record is both a sign of improvement but also a bit of a paper tiger. This pivotal game serves as potential gateways to the second half of the season for both squads. A loss for Auburn will ramp up negative recruiting talking points and could impact player buy-in entering a tough four game stretch. However, Kentucky will be Auburn’s easiest opponent for the next month, and getting a win now will pad Auburn’s current 3-2 record before entering that grinding maw.

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Kentucky has not hosted a Thursday football game in 76 years, so Wildcats players have had their nationally televised matchup with Auburn circled on their calendars for a while now.

While Kentucky had a weekend off to get ready the Southeastern Conference showdown, the Wildcats (4-1, 2-1 SEC) haven’t beaten the Tigers (3-2, 0-2) at home since 1966. After upsetting then-No. 25 Missouri last month, Kentucky players believe this game can help define the program’s quest for respectability.

The Wildcats’ challenge is avoiding stage fright against an Auburn program unexpectedly facing urgency.

Thursday’s result will also direct Kentucky through one of two gateways, although both have rosier overtones compared to the path Auburn would travel with a loss. A win moves UK to five wins and almost certainly assures a post-season berth with lowly Charlotte remaining on the schedule; but importantly, a win against Auburn also opens the realm of possibility for more than six wins. That would cement a three-year reclamation project and make Mark Stoops a candidate for higher profile coaching jobs. A win would also keep Kentucky in the middle of the hunt for the SEC East crown. A loss on the other hand wouldn’t be damning, but the margins will get a bit tighter going forward. The ‘Cats would also miss out on the opportunity to beat a prestigious opponent on a night when they’ll be the main college football game on TV.

Kentucky seeks a second straight 5-1 start and enters its first Thursday night home game at Commonwealth Stadium with a two-game winning streak. Auburn is also coming off a bye as it seeks its first conference win following losses to LSU and Mississippi State.

The Tigers have dominated this series 25-6-1 and won eight straight in Lexington, including a 37-34 victory in 2010. That was the last season the Wildcats went to a bowl game, and they’ve made it clear their goal is getting back to postseason.

Auburn has the same mission, but what seemed like a given when the season started is now a must-win situation for the Tigers.

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Rhode Island Rams at Syracuse Orange

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(foxsports.com )- RACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Year three of the Scott Shafer era at Syracuse is at hand, and there’s nowhere for the Orange to go but up.

In the rearview mirror is a 3-9 record after a 2-0 start, only one win in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and five straight losses to end 2014.

Time to flip the switch.

”I don’t even think about last year. I don’t speak about it,” said senior quarterback Terrel Hunt, who was ejected in the 2014 season opener and missed the last seven games with a broken calf bone. ”We’re just playing. We don’t think we have to put on a show for anybody. Some people are going to like what we do. Some people won’t like what we do.”

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The new season begins Friday night in the Carrier Dome against Rhode Island, and Shafer is prepared for a difficult game, even if the Rams do play at Division I’s second tier.

”Going into the game, they are fired-up and ready to go,” said Shafer, an assistant at Rhode Island for three years in the mid-1990s who was Syracuse’s defensive coordinator four years ago when the Rams visited the Carrier Dome and lost by only a touchdown. ”Playing in the Dome will be a great experience for those kids. We have to have our Ps and Qs together and be ready to roll.”

Syracuse began last season against Villanova, a solid team from the Football Championship Subdivision, and won by one point – in double overtime – on a touchdown pass from punter Riley Dixon.

Hunt watched it all unfold after his ejection in the second quarter and is anxious to begin making amends.

”It’s my first game back, so I just want to slaughter,” he said. ”You can’t say that, but I want to have a really good game because everybody is so stuck on last year. We’re ready to move forward and see what we have this year.”

Some things to know when Syracuse hosts Rhode Island on Friday night:

DEFENSIVE LINE: Syracuse returns only two defensive linemen with significant playing experience at the position, and end Ron Thompson and tackle John Raymon have been hurting. Although both missed a lot of preseason camp, they’ll be available against Rhode Island. ”We’ll have to be careful with the reps because they’re obviously not in football shape,” DC Chuck Bullough said. ”So we’ll have to pick and choose when to play them. They can’t play the whole game.” Bullough expects four freshman defensive linemen to see lots of action, but Thompson and Raymon will be in there if the Orange are behind or it’s close.

TWO DEEP: Syracuse’s lineup includes 11 players who started at least six games in 2014 and 24 who have made at least one career start. It also includes six freshmen, including quarterback Eric Dungey, who will share backup duties with sophomore Austin Wilson. The lone member of Syracuse’s front five without starting experience is right guard Seamus Shanley.

ORANGE CAPTAINS: Hunt, C Rob Trudo, DE Luke Arciniega and LB Zaire Franklin are the new Syracuse captains, elected by a team vote. Hunt is in his third year as the starter and ranks 10th in school history with 2,621 passing yards. He’s also second among active ACC players in total career offense (3,413). Franklin is the Orange’s first sophomore captain in 70 years. ”That’s a long time. That’s heavy,” he said.

RAM POWER: Rhode Island, which finished 1-11 last year, starts junior college transfer QB Paul Mroz, who last year led Victor Valley College in southern California to a 10-0 record, passing for 2,434 yards and 26 touchdowns. Safety Tim Wienclaw recovered four fumbles last season, most in the nation, and also led all Colonial Athletic Association defensive backs by averaging nearly nine tackles per game.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Syracuse has not lost to an FCS team since a 14-13 setback at Holy Cross in 1958, a span of 31 games. The Orange are 13-0 in the Carrier Dome against FCS teams.

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: foxsports.com