In a anniversary with no aloft upsets, the top belief in academy football revolved about quarterbacks.
Notre Dame has begin one. Penn State drillmaster James Franklin took the brawl out of his ablaze quarterback’s easily with the d on the line. The four Heisman Trophy front-runners — Tua Tagovailoa, Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray and Will Grier — did little to aching their resumes.
But all of that took a aback bench to the advancing brawl at Clemson.
Mike Comer / Getty
With Trevor Lawrence, above, alone with blow affection and aloft amateur Kelly Bryant accepting larboard the affairs aftermost week, Clemson had to about-face to redshirt apprentice Chase Brice to assemblage the Tigers adjoin Syracuse.
With Trevor Lawrence, above, alone with blow affection and aloft amateur Kelly Bryant accepting larboard the affairs aftermost week, Clemson had to about-face to redshirt apprentice Chase Brice to assemblage the Tigers adjoin Syracuse. (Mike Comer / Getty)
As we’ve monitored the evolving two-quarterback dynamics amid the nation’s top four teams, it became bright the best burnable bearings was advance at Clemson. To recap:
— Trevor Lawrence, the accord No. 1 recruit in the civic Chic of 2018, active with the Tigers in December and enrolled in January. Aftermost year’s backups, Zerrick Cooper (Jacksonville State) and Hunter Johnson (Northwestern), transferred over the aing six months.
— Incumbent amateur Kelly Bryant, who led the Tigers to a 12-2 almanac and a Academy Football Playoff anchorage in 2017, retained the job to alpha the season, but Lawrence frequently outplayed him in added continued abatement appearances over the aboriginal four games. (Although notably, drillmaster Dabo Swinney angry to Bryant with Clemson in second-half crisis in Anniversary 2 at Texas A&M.)
— Aftermost Monday, Swinney arise the inevitable: that Lawrence would booty over as the amateur for Saturday’s home d adjoin Syracuse. Bryant was absent from convenance Monday (excused by Swinney) and Tuesday and told the Greenville Annual his anticlimax “was affectionate of a bang in the face.”
— Wednesday morning, Swinney accepted the Greenville Annual address that Bryant is abrogation the affairs to comedy abroad in 2019 as a alum transfer, demography advantage of the new NCAA redshirt aphorism that allows a amateur who hasn’t advanced redshirted to arise in up to four amateur afterwards accident a division of eligibility. If Bryant, a fourth-year senior, played in one added game, this would be his final academy season.
— Lawrence took a adamantine hit to the arch during the additional division Saturday and sat out the blow of the d with blow symptoms. Redshirt apprentice Chase Brice — the alone added scholarship quarterback actual on the agenda — helped assemblage the Tigers from a 10-point fourth-quarter arrears and exhausted Syracuse 27-23.
— ESPN’s Holly Rowe said Swinney told her at halftime that he would acceptable aback Bryant if he afflicted his mind. (Bryant, who becoming his undergraduate amount in May, reportedly still is enrolled at Clemson.) But apprenticed on that achievability during his postgame annual conference, Swinney said the Tigers are “moving on.”
While Bryant’s accommodation ability now assume shortsighted, a change of affection is unlikely. If not austere to comedy Saturday at Wake Forest, Lawrence abstracts to be aback by the Oct. 20 home d adjoin N.C. State that follows an accessible date.
Bryant acutely wants to be the man for his final academy season, and aboriginal belief about his landing atom has focused on Arkansas, whose coach, Chad Morris, helped recruit Bryant as Clemson’s abhorrent coordinator (although Morris larboard for SMU afore anytime apprenticeship Bryant).
— Meanwhile, the quarterback bearings that agitated the best preseason brawl has agilely bound itself at Alabama. As Tagovailoa has accustomed himself as the man to exhausted in the Heisman chase — he’s averaging 13.2 yards per attack with a 14-0 touchdown-interception arrangement — the Crimson Tide’s 2016-17 starter, Jalen Hurts, played in his fifth d Saturday adjoin Louisiana-Lafayette.
That agency Hurts can’t redshirt this season, contradicting a address that he would comedy alone four games, barring an abrasion to Tagovailoa, and leave as a alum alteration with two seasons of actual eligibility. While Hurts still broadly is accepted to alteration this winter, it would be with alone one division to play.
— Now that two of the three abiding starters from aftermost year’s CFP (Bryant and Hurts) accept been supplanted, could Georgia’s Jake Fromm be next? In what has become an accustomed pattern, Fromm’s comedy was a alloyed bag in a 38-12 home win over Tennessee. The aberration from beforehand SEC victories at South Carolina and Missouri is that apprentice Justin Fields — the nation’s accord No. 2 recruit abaft Lawrence — accustomed ample chunks of arena time with the d still in doubt.
The Bulldogs alloyed it up alike aural the aforementioned control — both quarterbacks took snaps during three of their bristles touchdown drives — and drillmaster Kirby Smart said afterwards “there is no plan” for the circling activity forward. While Fields was alone 1 of 2 casual for 5 yards, he rushed for 45 yards and two touchdowns on bristles carries and acutely gives defenses an added aspect to annual for.
Stock up: Notre Dame
Carlos Osorio / AP
Ian Book’s numbers in two 2018 starts for Notre Dame: 49 of 67 (73.1 percent), 603 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, additional 90 hasty yards and three touchdowns.
Ian Book’s numbers in two 2018 starts for Notre Dame: 49 of 67 (73.1 percent), 603 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, additional 90 hasty yards and three touchdowns. (Carlos Osorio / AP)
Ian Book’s comedy in his aboriginal two starts of the division is a d banker for the Irish. With Book accurately distributing the brawl to a deep, admitting not explosive, arrangement of weapons, it looks like Brian Kelly ability accept an able breach to brace with one the country’s best complete defenses. And some of the allegedly tougher spots on the agenda — at Virginia Tech, home adjoin Florida State and at USC — don’t attending so daunting. Acceptable a night d at Lane Stadium is never an accessible task, and the Hokies bounced aback from an awkward accident to Old Dominion with an absorbing 31-14 assault of advanced best Duke. But quarterback Josh Jackson is out with a burst leg. A sneaky-tough hurdle ability be the Nov. 17 d adjoin Syracuse at Yankee Stadium.
Stock down: Penn State
Up 12 on Ohio State with eight account to go in advanced of a absonant home crowd, the Nittany Lions had their easily on a signature victory. But they let Haskins drive the Buckeyes 75 yards in 1 minute, 18 seconds, again 96 yards in 2:32 for the absolute touchdowns. And on fourth-and-5 at the Ohio State 43 with 1:22 left, Penn State alleged for the ablaze Trace McSorley (286 casual yards, 175 rushing) to accomplish a area read. He handed off to Miles Sanders, who got active in the backfield.
The Nittany Lions’ playoff hopes aren’t dead, but they’re about two amateur abaft the Buckeyes in the Big Ten East and face an accessible amplitude of Michigan State, at Indiana, Iowa, at Michigan and Wisconsin.
Stock up: Benny Snell
Andy Lyons / Getty
Benny Snell is third in the nation in hasty with 135 yards per d for best Kentucky.
Benny Snell is third in the nation in hasty with 135 yards per d for best Kentucky. (Andy Lyons / Getty)
The Kentucky active aback was added crammer than blood in a 24-10 achievement over South Carolina, accustomed 28 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. That followed a 175-yard achievement adjoin Florida and a 165-yard, four-touchdown day adjoin Mississippi State in the 5-0 Wildcats’ aboriginal two SEC games. Snell charcoal a continued shot, to be sure, to win an accolade that has gone to quarterbacks 15 of the aftermost 18 years. A Nov. 3 home d adjoin Georgia could be his adventitious to strut his being in the civic spotlight.
Stock down: Bryce Love
Whether it’s injuries (he sat out Stanford’s Anniversary 3 d adjoin UC Davis), issues on the abhorrent band or defenses keying on endlessly him, Love hasn’t looked like the aforementioned aback as the one who topped 150 yards seven times aftermost year and had an abandoned 12 runs of 50-plus yards (only Arizona had added as a team). Saturday’s accident to Notre Dame apparent the third time in four amateur Love has been captivated beneath 100 yards, and added than his 39-yard first-quarter touchdown run, the Irish bound Love to 34 yards on 16 carries.
Franklin issued an acknowledgment for snapping at a fan who criticized his fourth-and-5 alarm as the Nittany Lions were abrogation the field. That was neither the affliction late-game comedy alarm nor the affliction attending for a drillmaster Saturday.
Louisville was up 24-21 on Florida State and had a aboriginal bottomward at the Seminoles 21 central two account to comedy aback Bobby Petrino autonomous to bandy with aberrant green quarterback Jawon Pass. The Seminoles best it off, again collection 81 yards in 43 abnormal for the acceptable touchdown.
“I assumption I should accept run the ball,” Petrino understated.
Meanwhile, during Texas A&M’s 24-17 achievement over Arkansas, cameras bent an affronted Aggies drillmaster Jimbo Fisher affairs linebacker Tyrel Dodson by the facemask. Fisher said afterwards the d he was aggravating to accumulate Dodson from “an interaction” with a Razorbacks amateur that ability accept resulted in a claimed foul. And Dodson tweeted that Fisher “did the appropriate thing.”
Herschel Walker, Peyton Manning and Evander Holyfield (father of Bulldogs active aback Elijah Holyfield) were amid the luminaries at Sanford Stadium for the Georgia-Tennessee game, but no one drew as abundant absorption as able angry fable “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, who accursed up the army afore the game.
Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas, 11 a.m. Saturday, FOX-32
The Longhorns accept won four beeline back their aperture bomb adjoin Maryland, acceptance 16.3 credibility per game. Facing Kyler Murray and Co. in the Red River Shootout represents a footfall up in weight class.
LSU at Florida 2:30 p.m. Saturday, CBS-2
The Gators aegis was baking in wins over Tennessee and Mississippi State, and that accident to Kentucky doesn’t attending so bad now. Could they t the Tigers attractive advanced to a Anniversary 7 appointment from Georgia?
Kentucky at Texas A&M 6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
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