NCAA Football

Anthony Jennings Reportedly Will Start LSU's 2014 Season Opener vs. Wisconsin

LSU head coach Les Miles has his man for the Tigers' opening-week showdown with Wisconsin. Jim Kleinpeter of NOLA.com filled fans in on the details:

“LSU sophomore Anthony Jennings will start at quarterback for the Tigers in their season opening game against Wisconsin here Saturday, a source close to LSU told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.”

Jennings won the starting quarterback gig over freshman Brandon Harris in a tightly contested battle during spring practice and fall training camp. Miles actually commented on the signal-caller competition during the SEC coach teleconference, via a separate Kleinpeter report:

It's not something without conception. We understand it. It's (the plan) not something I'm going to reveal. I don't think there's any tremendous magic to it. Both will play.

If a guy separates himself from the other over time we'll certainly give him the nod. He'll be our starter. At this point we'll play two and we're confident in both.

Jennings clearly had the experience edge after playing in nine games last year and starting in the Outback Bowl victory over Iowa. While he only threw for 82 yards and an interception in the bowl game, he did come off the bench to lead a 99-yard, game-winning drive against Arkansas during the regular season.

As for Harris, he impressed during spring practice after enrolling early and actually threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 77 yards and one touchdown in the spring game.

Still, Miles gave the nod to the experience before this critical contest against Big Ten contender Wisconsin.

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports gave his opinion on the quarterback situation and whether LSU will play both competitors:

Of course, just because Jennings is going to start the game, that doesn't mean that Brandon Harris won't see the field. You have to think that if the competition during camp was close enough that it was just decided in the last week that Miles would consider using the four-star recruit should Jennings get off to a rough start.

Jennings will have his work cut out for him against the Badgers, who finished fifth in the nation against the run last year and sixth in scoring defense. However, they lost the majority of their front seven, including superstar linebacker Chris Borland, so there will be some new faces on that end of the field as well.

Jennings will certainly have the pressure on his shoulders considering LSU has College Football Playoff aspirations this season.

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UConn vs. BYU: Live Score and Highlights

BYU 35, UConn 10; FINAL

The BYU Cougars upended the UConn Huskies impressively by a score of 35-10. Quarterback Taysom Hill accounted for 435 yards of total offense. 

Mike Diaco's debut as UConn's head coach didn't go too smoothly. Questions at quarterback and up front will have to be answered in the upcoming weeks. 

A box score of the game can be found here at NCAA.com. 

Bleacher Report appreciates you tuning in with us tonight! Have a pleasant weekend!

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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Florida State Seminoles: Complete Game Preview

The Oklahoma State Cowboys will begin their 2014-15 season with arguably their toughest game of the year, kicking off the schedule with the Florida State Seminoles, who happen to be the defending national champions.

To say the Pokes have a difficult matchup would be an understatement. The Seminoles return a host of talent along with a star-studded recruiting class. Oh, and they just so happen to have the reigning Heisman trophy winner, Jameis Winston.

Can Oklahoma State pull off a monumental upset this week? Or will Florida State roll over a raw, young Pokes squad? Read on to find out.

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Arkansas vs. Auburn: How Razorbacks Can Upset the Tigers

When Arkansas and Auburn square off on Saturday, don’t be surprised if the Razorbacks walk out of Jordan-Hare Stadium reaping the seeds of victory.

No, that isn’t a misprint, nor is it a Skip Bayless-esque prediction of any sort. Instead, it’s merely piggybacking onto the point that any team can win on any given Saturday in college football. One only needs to refer to Thursday night when Texas A&M and Rutgers defeated opponents who were favored to win.

Here’s how Arkansas can do the unthinkable come Saturday.

 

Get Out In Front Early

It may be cliché, but against Auburn, it will be vital for the Razorbacks to do just that.

Also playing to their advantage is the fact that the Tigers will be without starting quarterback Nick Marshall and cornerback Jonathon Mincy to begin the game. Both will start the game on the bench due to off-the-field issues but are expected to play later, per The Montgomery Advertiser’sJames Crepea.

With that said, that means Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson will be making his first start against an SEC foe. The sophomore does have a start, but that was against an FCS opponent, Western Carolina. This will be a different animal for Johnson. Will he play it safe or take some risks?

If Arkansas can jump out to a quick score against the Tigers, it could help quiet what should be a raucous crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Follow that up with a defensive stop or two, and momentum could quickly start building on the visitor’s side.

Once that occurs, there’s no telling what could happen.

 

Run, Hogs, Run

If the Razorbacks want to hang around in this game, they will need to open up strong on the ground.

The rushing attack was something of a bright spot for the team a year ago, as Arkansas accumulated 2,504 yards and 14 touchdowns. The team’s marks of 208.7 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry ranked No. 21 and No. 17 in the nation, respectively.

With another year under their belt, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams should be a lot more explosive and productive in the backfield. The duo combined to record eight 100-yard rushing performances a year ago; they easily give the Razorbacks one of the best—if not the best—rushing duo in the SEC.

It’s no secret that Auburn is lackadaisical when it comes to rush defense. The team conceded 200 rushing yards or more six times last year. Losing Dee Ford and having Carl Lawson sidelined due to injury isn’t going to help matters much either.

If Arkansas can get Collins and Williams going early, it can really put the pressure on the Tigers.

Consider this: In the Razorback’s three victories last year, the team averaged 294.3 rushing yards per game while finding the end zone six times. Collins and Williams both topped 100 yards on the ground in each of those games.

 

Win the Battle of Special Teams

Yes, Auburn’s standout play from 2013 occurred on special teams. But that doesn’t change the fact that the team will have a lot of rebuilding to do.

For starters, the Tigers will need to replace kicker Cody Parkey and punter Steven Clark. In their places, the team will turn to redshirt freshmen in Daniel Carlson and Jimmy Hutchinson, respectively. Not to mention, Chris Davis—the player who gained headlines for returning the missed field goal for a game-winning touchdown against Alabama—has graduated.

With that said, the Tigers could find themselves in a tough bind if the game comes down to a battle of field position or if Carlson is tasked with kicking a game-winning field goal. 

On the other hand, Arkansas benefits from having Korliss Marshall returning kicks. The sophomore returned 19 kicks last year for 422 yards. If he can break some big ones, he could give the Razorbacks excellent field position, or even better, immediately put points on the scoreboard.

Overall, even if Arkansas executes its game plan to absolute perfection, it will still be a tall task to top Auburn.

Then again, stranger things have happened in college football. Who last year really saw the Tigers’ 2013 coming?

 

All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBStats.com.

Sebastian can be reached on Twitter and via email at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com.

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Tennessee Football: 5 Stars Who Will Break Out in 2014

With the Tennessee Volunteers' 2014 season only two days away, the team's biggest playmakers will soon begin to emerge, starting with the team's opening game against the Utah State Aggies. 

Although many fans are looking toward the freshmen who enrolled in the winter and spring as the biggest X-factors on the team, some of the most promising stars are those with a year or more of experience under their belts who are poised to take the conference by storm.

For Tennessee to have a successful season and reach a bowl game, it not only needs its freshman class to grow up in a hurry, but it also needs its established stars to become truly dominant at their positions.

Here are five players on the Tennessee roster who have the best chances of becoming breakout stars in 2014. 

 

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