NCAA Football News

LSU Unveils New Tiger Logo on Football Helmets for Spring Game

With the LSU Tigers set to play in their spring game on Saturday, the team officially displayed its new logo on its football helmets.

The Tigers are changing their logo from the one below.

[Twitter]

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Michigan Spring Game 2014: Recap, Highlights and Analysis

After a 2013 season that failed to meet rising expectations, Michigan's spring game in 2014 wasn't encouraging. The team's offense struggled to make headway throughout the afternoon while the defense reigned supreme.

Incumbent starting quarterback Devin Gardner, who is immersed in a fierce competition for the starting job this upcoming season with Shane Morris, couldn't have gotten off to a worse start. On the first play of scrimmage, Gardner tossed an interception to Jourdan Lewis, as shown by the Big Ten Network:

As pointed out by Kyle Bogenschutz of Michigan.Scout.com, it highlighted Gardner's interception-ridden 2013 campaign in which he tossed 11 passes that ended up in the hands of the enemy:

Gardner continued to struggle early, showing excellent velocity on his passes but failing to hit the mark more often than not. And he wasn't the only recognizable offensive player to run into trouble, per Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com:

These early difficulties highlighted something head coach Brady Hoke said before the spring game in a sideline interview with Lisa Byington of the Big Ten Network: "We need a lot of work. We have a lot of youth on our team [...] as many reps as we can get..."

Gardner did show off his abilities after the initial surge of poor throws, however, with a 30-yard bomb to Freddy Canteen that displayed beautiful touch. Unfortunately, big plays on offense were rare throughout the afternoon.

By the time Morris got his first chance to run the offense, Gardner's stat line looked like this, according to BTN's Matt Shepard: 2-of-7 passing for 53 yards with one interception and zero touchdowns.

Morris didn't fare much better, and Lewis victimized him with his second interception of the day, just as he did Gardner earlier in the scrimmage.

In addition to the passing woes, Larry Lage of The Associated Press noted Michigan's running backs didn't find any running lanes against the team's defensive front:

Baumgardner added:

The offensive line's struggles continued throughout the spring game, culminating with this big play by defensive lineman Willie Henry:

It's always easier for defenses to stand out early in the offseason, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that Michigan's defense showed up stronger than its offense on Saturday. However, given the real struggles this team had scoring the ball last year against top competition, it is a bit worrisome that the offense was so inept.

The fact that neither Gardner nor Morris was able to generate any positive buzz will likely be a deep well of contention for fans to draw from as summer approaches. The offensive line was atrocious from start to finish.

There are still many positions up for grabs, and nobody has any idea what the final depth chart will look like when the Wolverines take on Appalachian State on August 30. 

Thankfully, there is still plenty of time for Hoke and his capable staff to iron out the kinks. That said, given the incredible amount of youth and inexperience, fans should mentally prepare themselves for another frustrating season.

If the team overcomes the obvious offensive woes we saw on Saturday, however, then there's a chance for success—not only within the Big Ten, but nationally as well.

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OSU Mascot Brutus Attempts to Block Field Goal at Student Appreciation Practice

During Ohio State's Student Appreciation practice, Brutus decided to sacrifice his body to make a play.

As you can see in the photo above, Brutus laid out trying to block a field goal in what looked like an incredibly fun day of practice.

[Twitter, h/t BTN.com]

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LSU Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

The first half of the LSU spring game has featured plenty of scoring, some of which has come from the defense. The second half had a running clock, but that did not slow down the passing attack. The white team, which included mostly the first unit players, defeated the purple 42-14.

 

Second half analysis for the LSU Tigers

Pass Offense: Jennings and Harris were both were impressive. Jennings tossed a touchdown pass to Travin Dural for the white team and Harris walked into the end zone off a bootleg. Hayden Rettig looked sharp in his limited snaps. Dural made difficult catches throughout the half in tight spaces. Rob Bolden and John Diarse also caught a pass.

Run Offense: LSU was able to establish some success on the ground  in the fourth quarter, ending a Rettig-lead drive with a touchdown rush from Kenny Hilliard. The offensive line for both the purple and white squads showed much improvement in the second half. 

Pass Defense: LSU's pass defense was not as sharp as it was in the first half, yet still performed admirably. Jennings, Harris and Rettig fit the ball in tight windows. LSU fans should be pleased with the performance of the defensive backs even with a few sitting out due to injury. 

Run Defense: The purple squad defensive line wore down in the fourth quarter, which came to no surprise. They had been on the field for most of the game. The white squad, like it had all day, dominated the line of scrimmage defensively.  

Special Teams: LSU remained perfect on extra points. 

Coaching: Miles switched Jennings back to the white squad and Harris to the purple. They both performed well. Cameron called mostly passes in the third quarter and mainly kept it on the ground in the fourth. Chavis put an impressive Ronnie Fiest at linebacker with the white squad to start the second half. 

First half analysis for the LSU Tigers

Pass Offense: Quarterback Anthony Jennings played for the white team in the first quarter and the purple for the second. He threw a interception to linebacker Debo Jones, which was returned 67 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, Kwon Alexander jumped an out-route for an easy pick-six. Jennings struggled to get in a rhythm and completed only six passes.

LSU's Brandon Harris was first to take the field with the purple squad. He started off 1-for-7 for three yards, but when heated up when he switched over to the white. The freshman impressively finished 8-of-18 for 122 yards and three touchdowns, throwing the ball where only his receiver could catch it. His most impressive trait was was ability to step up in the pocket and let the play develop. 

Run Offense: The Tigers have struggled to get anything going on the ground. LSU has only produced 71 yards on 28 carries from running backs, with no rush of over 10 yards. The Tigers have only three scholarship players taking snaps at running back in Terrence Magee, Kenny Hilliard and Melvin Jones. The offensive line for both teams have been average. The best rush was a Harris scramble for 41 yards.

Pass Defense: The LSU pass defense was dominant in the first half. Jones and Alexander's interception returns were impressive, but the entire secondary for both units showed great physicality in man coverage. The LSU receivers struggled to get separation. Danielle Hunter was a menace on the pass rush, raking in two sacks. All of Harris' touchdown passes were on perfectly thrown passes. 

Run Defense: LSU's run defense has been stout. Defensive tackles Christian LaCouture and Quentin Thomas of the white team and Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore of the purple have done a superb job of holding the point of attack. 

Special Teams: LSU punted eight times in the first half due to the offensive struggles early. To avoid risking injury, plays were blown dead soon after the ball was caught by the returner. LSU had Ed Paris, Tre'Davious White, John Diarse and Dural all catch punts. Paris fumbled his only attempt, which eventually led to a Harris touchdown pass. The LSU kickers were perfect on extra points and no field goals were attempted.   

Coaching: Les Miles had the decision to switch to putting Harris with the white team, which ignited the offense. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron called mostly pass plays, but was able to keep the defense honest with the run. Defensive coordinator John Chavis kept his playbook simple, rarely calling blitzes. 

 

 

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Kevin Dillman to Nebraska: Cornhuskers Land 3-Star QB Prospect

The Nebraska Cornhuskers scored a major recruiting victory on Saturday by landing Swedish quarterback Kevin Dillman during his visit to Lincoln.

Dillman announced his commitment via Twitter:

Dillman told the media during his visit that his relationship with Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck and the overall quality of his visit were strong factors in his decision, according to Mike Schaefer of 247 Sports:

"Me and my family are on a visit and it's been a great visit," Dillman said. "I've had a relationship with coach (Tim) Beck for a long time. They did a great job of recruiting me."

A 3-star composite quarterback out of Denton, Texas (Guyer High School), Dillman was a coveted prospect who received offers from schools such as Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas and California. He totaled 13 offers and was the No. 238-ranked player in the country and No. 9 dual-threat quarterback. 

Standing at 6'4" and 220 pounds, Dillman's dual-threat skill set makes him an ideal fit in the Cornhuskers offense upon arrival. He was once a 5-star prospect at 247 Sports, but an Achilles injury his junior year seemingly impacted the rating as he missed time, according to Adam Boedker ofThe Dallas Morning News.

As ESPN's Max Olson illustrates, Dillman is quite the intriguing story:

Dillman came to America from Sweden as a foreign exchange student his freshman year, impressed coaches, went back and became a full United States citizen and is now the Cornhuskers' next big thing under center.

Speaking of Nebraska, the big signing is the seventh for the Cornhuskers in the 2015 class, which puts them at No. 2 in the Big Ten and No. 11 overall—up four spots in 247 Sports' rankings.

Dillman will have to battle the likes of Tommy Armstrong and others at the position once he arrives on campus, not to mention help to fill the shoes of names of past greats such as Taylor Martinez in one of the nation's top conferences.

 

Note: All info courtesy of 247 Sports.

 

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Oklahoma State Football: 5 Players Who Have Stepped Up This Spring

With the Orange Blitz spring practice blowout happening this weekend, now is the time to assess which players have shown the most improvement during this early portion of Oklahoma State football.

Now, obviously lots of players are going to improve, that's the point of practice; however, I've tried to narrow it down to five players who have either stepped into a new leadership role or shown a surprising spike in development.

Let's get on to the five players who have made a big impact this spring.

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Michigan Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

It's finally here...football season. 

Well, it's spring football season. 

But why fuss with the details? 

As of now, Michigan coach Brady Hoke is probably looking for signs of improvement, especially after 2013's 7-6 effort that was capped by a 31-14 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl loss to Kansas State. 

But forget that—it's time to look ahead. 

Freddy Canteen, an early enrollee, has made a little noise within the past weeks. He's one to watch. 

Devin Funchess, a soon-to-be-junior, should also command attention. As a sophomore, he was one of the best TE/WR combos in all of college football. 

Shane Morris and Devin Gardner are battling for the No. 1 quarterback job. This afternoon's scrimmage should provide insight as to who's the real deal and who's bound for backup duties. 

Of course, the main goal for Team 135 is show to progress on both sides of the ball. 

Catch the televised practice/scrimmage at 2 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network. Keep tabs on this live blog for the latest everything on the 2014 Michigan Wolverines spring football game. 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

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LSU Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

In the form of the 2014 LSU National L-Club Spring Game, football is officially returning to Tiger Stadium and Baton Rouge, La.

Following five weeks of practice, the LSU football team is ending the spring session with the annual intrasquad scrimmage.

The Tigers must replace Zach Mettenberger, Jeremy Hill, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Anthony Jennings and a handful of other key starters next season, so the spring game provides an initial look at how Les Miles and Co. are preparing for the 2014 campaign.

The spring game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. local time), and GeauxZone (subscription needed) is carrying a radio feed of the scrimmage.

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