College Football Blog

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  • By Steven Lassan, 4 days 7 hours ago

    Louisville’s offense suffered a significant setback on Monday, as top receiver DeVante Parker suffered a foot injury in fall camp and will miss 6-8 weeks.

    Parker was expected to be the Cardinals’ top receiving threat after recording 55 catches for 885 yards and 12 scores last season. Parker was limited some by injury in the middle of the year but averaged 16.1 yards per reception in 2013.

     

    The timetable for Parker’s return is uncertain, but if the 6-8 week span holds true, the senior could miss key ACC contests against Florida State and Clemson.

    There’s no doubt Parker’s absence will be a huge loss for Louisville. However, coach Bobby Petrino is one of the best in the nation at maximizing the X’s and O’s. Expect to see more of sophomore James Quick and seniors Eli Rogers and Kai De La Cruz targeted in the passing game. And senior tight end Gerald Christian should be an even bigger part of the offense and should push for All-ACC honors in 2014.

     

    Parker’s injury is a definite setback for Louisville, but the Cardinals could still be favored to win their first six games.

  • By Steven Lassan, 4 days 12 hours ago

    The quarterback position has been a revolving door for Miami this offseason, but coach Al Golden ended the carousel by naming true freshman Brad Kaaya the starter for the Week 1 matchup against Louisville.

     

    While Golden’s decision to name Kaaya the starter was made easier due an injury to Ryan Williams (torn ACL), and a suspension for Kevin Olsen, this is the right move for Miami in 2014 and beyond.

    Kaaya was competing with Jake Heaps for the starting job this fall, as both quarterbacks enrolled this summer to push for the starting job. Having a veteran like Heaps is beneficial, but he’s struggled in two previous stops (BYU and Kansas).

     

    After throwing 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a true freshman at BYU in 2010, Heaps lost the starting job to Riley Nelson in 2011 and transferred to Kansas to start in 2012. However, Heaps was benched after a slow start, completing only 49 percent of his throws and tossing 10 picks on 261 attempts.

    There’s no doubt Kaaya is going to make mistakes – he’s a true freshman after all. Starting a true freshman quarterback on the road in a hostile environment (Louisville) is tough, but the upside is worth the risk over Heaps. The senior is a known commodity, and he’s been limited some in fall camp due to an elbow injury. Maybe Heaps is a better quarterback than he showed at BYU or Kansas, but it's tough to envision the Washington native being the answer for Miami in 2014.

     

    On the other side, Kaaya is a quarterback with enormous upside. The California native ranked as the No. 141 national recruit by 247Sports in the 2014 signing class and was considered a four-star prospect.

     

    The bar has been set high by freshman quarterbacks in recent years (Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel), and it’s unfair to pin those expectations on Kaaya. However, the gamble and upside of starting Kaaya outweighs the risk.

     

    Could Kaaya be the next star quarterback in Coral Gables? Perhaps. And knowing what Miami has in Heaps, it only makes sense to go with upside and Kaaya’s potential.

     

    2014 isn’t a make or break year for Golden, but the Hurricanes need to take a step in the right direction. Step one is finding a quarterback. Maybe Kaaya is that guy. It’s better to find out now than next season. 

  • By Steven Lassan, 6 days 23 hours ago

    Oklahoma and receiver Dorial Green-Beckham received some bad news on Friday, as the NCAA denied the former Missouri standout’s request for immediate eligibility in 2014.

    Green-Beckham will sit out 2014 due to NCAA transfer rules and will be eligible to play for the Sooners in 2015.

    Green-Beckham was dismissed from Missouri in mid-April after an off-the-field incident and was hoping to use the run-off rule to be eligible in 2014.

    Even though there was some optimism about DGB’s hopes of getting a waiver to play in 2014, the standout receiver will be sidelined until 2015. 

  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 3 days ago

    Notre Dame’s uniforms haven’t changed much in its program history, but the Fighting Irish break out an alternate look for the Shamrock Series every year.

    On Tuesday, the program unveiled its 2014 Shamrock Series uniforms for its Sept. 13 date against Purdue.

    The special edition uniforms feature a helmet with the “ND” logo and alterations to the jersey and pants.

    Here’s a look at Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series uniforms:

  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 3 days ago

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury suffered in practice on Monday. The news of Miller’s injury was reported by the Columbus Dispatch’s Tim May.

    Eleven Warriors has more details on Miller’s injury, which will keep the senior out for the 2014 season. Miller is eligible for a redshirt season and could return in 2015.

    Miller suffered a shoulder injury in the Orange Bowl loss against Clemson and did not participate in contact drills during spring practice.

    The senior appeared to be on track to return after shoulder surgery in February, but he was limited by soreness in his throwing arm this fall.

    With Miller out for the season, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones will compete for the No. 1 job. Barrett recently moved ahead of Jones on the depth chart and would be the favorite to start the opener against Navy.

    With Miller ruled out for 2014, Michigan State is the favorite in the Big Ten. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes in the conference title game last season and is a contender for a spot in college football’s new four-team playoff format.

  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 4 days ago

    Arizona State already has a variety of uniform and helmet choices to sport in 2014, but the program unveiled a new copper-themed look on Monday.

    The uniform helps to honor the state’s history of copper producing and could be worn at some point during the 2014 season.

    Check out Arizona State’s new copper-themed uniform for this season:

  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 4 days ago

    Texas A&M’s quarterback situation was one of the most intriguing battles of the offseason, as the Aggies looked for a replacement for standout Johnny Manziel. And at least for the opener, the starting job in College Station is slated to go to sophomore Kenny Hill. The news of Hill’s promotion to the top quarterback spot was announced by coach Kevin Sumlin.

    Hill played sparingly in 2013, completing 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards and one score. He also rushed for 37 yards on seven attempts.

    The most action in Hill’s 2013 season took place against Sam Houston State, completing 5 of 6 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown.

    Hill has big shoes to fill with Manziel’s departure, but he is surrounded by a strong supporting cast. The Aggies possess one of the SEC’s top offensive lines and receiving corps, while running backs Brandon Williams, Trey Williams and Tra Carson are all capable options.

    Allen – one of the top prospects in the 2014 signing class – will have a chance to unseat Hill as the season progresses. The true freshman should have a good grasp on the offense after enrolling early and could play against South Carolina if Hill struggles.

    One positive for Hill in his first start: South Carolina could use three true freshmen extensively at cornerback in the opener.

    Texas A&M’s high-powered offense may not be as explosive as it was in 2013, but whether it’s Hill or Allen at the controls, expect plenty of points and high-scoring affairs involving the Aggies in 2014.

  • By Steven Lassan, 1 week 4 days ago

    Minnesota became the latest team to unveil an alternate helmet for the 2014 season, as the school released photos of a gold design slated to appear a few games this year.

    The traditional “M” logo appears on the sides, and there’s a stripe down the middle featuring the Ski-U-Mah slogan.

    Check out a full gallery of Minnesota’s new helmets for 2014:

  • By Steven Lassan, 2 weeks 1 day ago

    Tennessee’s three-man battle for the quarterback job is officially down to one. Coach Butch Jones picked Justin Worley as the team’s starter, edging sophomores Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs.

    Worley played in eight games in 2013, throwing for 1,239 yards and 10 scores. He also tossed eight interceptions and completed just 55.6 percent of his throws.

    In three years at Tennessee, Worley has 1,977 career passing yards and 10 starts under his belt.

    Worley has a talented supporting cast at his disposal, including talented sophomore Marquez North and freshman Josh Malone. The running back tandem of Marlin Lane and Jalen Hurd should be solid, but the offensive line has five new starters.

    While Worley won the starting job this fall, it will be interesting to watch what transpires over the season. Can Dobbs or Peterman surpass Worley for the top spot if he struggles?

    Tennessee’s passing offense ranked seventh in the SEC with 211.1 yards per game last season. With more consistency from Worley, along with development on the offensive line, the Volunteers have a chance to take a step forward on offense. 

  • By Steven Lassan, 2 weeks 1 day ago

    Northwestern’s offense suffered a major setback on Wednesday, as running back Venric Mark decided he would transfer from the program, and receiver Christian Jones was ruled out for the year due to a knee injury.

    Mark was one of the Big Ten’s most explosive playmakers in 2012, rushing for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns and was a key weapon on special teams.

    The senior plans to transfer to a school closer to his home in Texas.
     

    With Mark out of the picture, expect senior Trevyon Green to handle the bulk of the carries, with Warren Long and Stephen Buckley providing depth.


    Jones led Northwestern with 668 receiving yards last season and was slated to push for All-Big Ten honors in 2014.

     

    While losing Jones is a big blow to the receiving corps, the offense does have experienced options on the depth chart. Junior Miles Shuler is a key transfer from Rutgers, and senior Kyle Prater was a top recruit coming out of high school. Senior Tony Jones and junior Cam Dickerson also return after combining for 66 catches in 2013.

    Northwestern is a popular sleeper pick to watch in the Big Ten West Division in 2014, but the Wildcats will definitely miss Mark and Jones this season.