NCAA Football News

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

It's April and that means college football is back.

Well, it's back temporarily as spring football has taken over the college football world and the Georgia Bulldogs will have their annual spring game today at 1 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised regionally on CSS and it will also be aired on ESPN 3.

The game will give fans a chance to see quarterback Hutson Mason take over the offense full-time. Fans will also get a chance to see what the defense will look like under new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. 

Be sure to keep this blog open for the latest scoring updates, top performers and analysis on the game.

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Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Date, Start Time, TV Info and More

The Ohio State Buckeyes will help turn the page on last season's disappointing finish, as they conclude spring practices with the annual LIFESports Spring Game. 

Essentially, a spring game is a glorified scrimmage. It provides an opportunity for the athletes to show coaches they are ready for a big role in the upcoming season. This game will factor into position battles, and it will be a chance for fans to get a look at some of the new recruits. 

Along with this, it should be an entertaining game. As ESPN's Austin Ward notes, the teams are typically evenly split to help provide a good product and put players in important situations. 

Here are the vitals to catching the action, and then I'll highlight some of the more interesting facets to keep an eye on. 

 

When: Saturday, April 12 at 1:30 p.m. ET 

Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 

TV: Big Ten Network

Rosters: Ohio State tweeted the rosters for the teams: 

 

What to Watch

The Ash Impact

New co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash joined the Buckeyes after handling the defensive coordinator position for Arkansas last year. He will be in charge of the secondary, and the secondary needed a new direction. 

As the Buckeyes dropped two games to finish the season last year, they allowed Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook to combine to throw for 682 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. 

Don't look for Ash to recite those putrid stats, however. 

“I’m not concerned about what’s happened here in the past,” said Ash in a quote captured by Tim May in The Columbus Dispatch. “I’m more concerned about the direction we’re going to go and how we get the players aligned to what our vision is going to be, and that we get better.”

Ash has only had a handful of practices to make his mark, but that won't stop anyone from looking for improvement in coverage. 

 

Battle for Backup QB

Incumbent starting quarterback Braxton Miller had shoulder surgery at the end of last season and won't be suiting up. In the case of this game, his absence works out well. Ohio State has to figure out who will be his backup. 

Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett and redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones are battling for the honor. AsAri Wasserman of the Northeast Ohio Media Group explains it, Jones has a slight edge in the battle, but the scales could easily tip. 

Clevelanddotcomosu caught the two signal-callers in this Instagram: 

Jones has all the physical tools. He is 6'5" and 230 pounds and has plenty of arm strength. Meanwhile, Barrett doesn't match up in tools, but Wasserman noted he has impressed coaches with his leadership. Wasserman passed along Barrett's thoughts on leadership:

My biggest thing is to just lead by example. You can't lead anybody if you're not doing right. You have to have that personal integrity, and I tell that to my guys. I wouldn't actually be able to do it if I didn't do it, so that's biggest thing. Then also developing that trust over time so they can believe in you and believe in what you say. 

The job of Miller's backup is a valuable position for the Buckeyes. Hopefully, Miller will be able to make it through the season, but his style of play puts him in harm's way. The Buckeyes need one of these two talented youngsters to grab the backup job and run with it. 

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Notre Dame Spring Game 2014: Date, Start Time, TV Info and More

After losing two of their last four to end the season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish eagerly look to next season as the team wraps up its spring practices with the annual Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday.

This will give fans a chance to see the ability of some of the new recruits and the progress of returning players who look to play a big role on the team. 

NBCSN will be broadcasting the game live, and it should be a fun and revealing day of football. In the end, the importance of this day is not about which team wins, but which players step up and make coaches and fans take notice. 

 

When: April 12 at 12:30 PM ET

Where: Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

TV: NBCSN

TV Notes:

This scrimmage will get the full TV treatment. According to Broadwayworld.com, Paul Burmeister and Mike Mayock will be in the booth, and Alex Flanagan will be patrolling the sideline. 

During the broadcast, fans will not mistake it for a regular game. That is because fans will have an opportunity to listen in on the action. Head coach Brian Kelly and his quarterbacks will be mic'd up.

In an especially revealing opportunity, Kelly will be talking during the game directly with Mayock and Burmeister. 

 

What to Watch

The Quarterbacks

There is no doubt that Everett Golson has the edge in winning the starting quarterback's job, but it is no certainty. Just ask redshirt freshman Malik Zaire, who is gunning for Miller's job. 

Zaire flashed his self confidence in the following quote tweeted by ESPN College GameDay:

In The Associated Press article in the above tweet, Kelly made it clear that no starting quarterback has been named. Golson is returning from a suspension that cost him all of last season, but he certainly has the experience edge after throwing for 2,405 yards in 2012. 

This will be Zaire's second spring game, and the only other time Irish fans have had a real chance to get a glimpse of him was in last year's spring game. 

Commenting on the same Zaire quote, Black Hat Football's Richard T. Estrada highlights that Zaire made an impression in his limited time with the team heading into last season: 

Unlike last year, Zaire will have all season to try and prove he can be the starting quarterback, but if he wants to make his own prediction of starting the first game of the season come true, he would be well advised to rip it up in this game. 

 

Is Greg Bryant the Real Deal? 

Sophomore running back Greg Bryant entered Notre Dame last year as one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. He then had three carries for 14 yards in three games before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury.

In his absence, classmate Tarean Folston surged to end the season to steal the spotlight that seemed destined for Bryant. Bryant would appear eager to take that spotlight back, and the coaches are noticing. Apparently, as the tweet from CSN Chicago's JJ Stankevitz explains, so did Folston: 

No matter who emerges as the lead back next season, this is wonderful news for the Irish. Bryant is a possible threat in the run and pass game. Whether he starts or not, if his talent starts to shine on the college field, coaches will find a way to get him in the game.

Now we will see if he is ready to grab attention, not just in practice, but in this game setting.  

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Michigan Football: Is Brady Hoke Going Cold on the Recruiting Trail?

Wins on the field are at a premium, but victories on the recruiting trail are, for the most part, plentiful for Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

Since taking over Wolverines football in 2011, his national signing days have become blessed hours of joy, full of wish-granting for the loyal Maize and Blue faithful.

At one point, it seemed as if every 4- and 5-star prospect had Michigan on his list. And, at one point, it seemed as if Hoke had a legitimate chance to land just about anyone he targeted.

Whether it was defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins in 2012, or running back Derrick Green in 2013, Michigan’s cupboards have been healthily stocked with blue-chips thanks to the efforts of the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Football Coach.

However, lately, things have been at a relative standstill—partly because of the recruiting period’s idle time, but also due to plummeting stock caused by 8-5 and 7-6 finishes.

Three years ago, recruits looked at Michigan as a true national contender. Today, some of them are changing their minds and looking elsewhere.

Unfortunately for Hoke, some college football pundits view the Wolverines as pretenders, evidenced by Athlon Sports’ recent ranking of Hoke—who finished at No. 38 in the country and No. 8—yes, No. 8!—in his own league.

Leaders and the best, or (bottom) feeders like the rest? For all intents and purposes, the Big Ten belongs to Mark Dantonio’s Michigan State Spartans and Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes.

Don't agree? Well, once another team says otherwise, the anti-Spartans or -Buckeyes talk carries no weight. It's "put up or..."

Well, you know the rest—right?! 

Nationally speaking, Hoke’s slipping; and the only way to avoid the moderate descent is to remain in line with his recruiting philosophies, which continue to woo prospects regardless of Team 135’s current predicament.

The allure of running onto the field at The Big House remains strong. With Doug Nussmeier—a force in living rooms of 5-stars everywhere—providing a boost, the Wolverines won't (can't?) stay down for long. 

As illustrated by the following table, Hoke's been consistent when measured against the Big Ten. 

Keep in mind that 2015 recruiting will get kicked into high gear this summer. Team 136 is a five-man class at the moment, but it has quality components, such as Shaun Crawford, a 4-star corner back out of Lakewood St. Edward who's ranked among the top 100 juniors (No. 5 in Ohio, No. 9 CB/No. 82 overall). 

Garrett Taylor, a 4-star corner out of St. Christopher's in Richmond, Va., was the latest to give a verbal to Michigan (March 24, 2014). 

Class Battles via 247Sports: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

 

Adios

Every school and coach has the "almost" recruit. You know the type; he's the guy who says he loves the program and the staff, can see himself playing at said school, graduating and having athletic and personal success. 

It all sounds great. But sometimes, it's just talk. 

Instead of going to Michigan, a school he reportedly really liked, Da'Shawn Hand chose Alabama. Apparently, the Tide offered the comprehensive curriculum that Hand, the No. 1 strong-side defensive end of 2014, sought after.

Great for him. Sometimes, it's not all about football (sure...).  

Laquon Treadwell was a must-get. Instead, he joined Ole Miss' Super Class 2K13. 

One of the biggest names of 2015, quarterback Josh Rosen once had mild interest in Michigan. However, his visit was fishy. It was basically a formality before committing to UCLA. Arriving in secret, Rosen's meeting with the Wolverines was short and not sweet. 

Of course, circumstances dictate the outcome of recruiting processes. Rosen, a California kid, was never really an option. Hand was, but his choice to join Alabama shouldn't have shocked anyone. Treadwell was the only "surprise," but even he seemed just beyond Hoke's reach. 

 

Fueling the Fire

It's not all doom and gloom for Hoke, but a quick reminder of the bad news is in order. 

George Campbell, a 5-star wideout from East Lake Tarpon Springs (Fla.), was in the bag. Then he wasn't. He's yet to commit elsewhere, but he doesn't appear to be head over heels in love with the Wolverines.  

Damien Harris, a 5-star running back who happens to be No. 1 of 2015, also gave his word to Hoke. 

But then he decided to explore options. The good news is this: Harris isn't completely out of the picture. 

 

Flexing in the Great Lakes State

It was a near-miss, but Hoke successfully separated Drake Harris, a 2014 early enrollee, from Michigan State.

Initially, the former Grand Rapids Christian standout wideout wanted to play basketball for Spartans coach Tom Izzo. But then decided against it. 

Then he reopened his recruitment.

Then he committed to Michigan, which was a monumental win for Hoke. If Harris develops as forecast, great. If not, no big deal. These types of moves are far more complicated and calculated than meets the eye. If anything, getting Harris sent a message to high schoolers in Michigan: The best go to Ann Arbor, regardless. 

Southfield's Lawrence Marshall, a 4-star defensive end, was recruited by the Buckeyes and Spartans. But he chose to "go blue" instead. 

However, his teammate, Malik McDowell, did not. The 5-star defensive end picked Dantonio.

Securing Brian Cole of Saginaw Arthur Hill would help ease the pain of losing McDowell. Cole is No. 1 in the Mitten, and he's the No. 6-ranked athlete in the country. According to 247Sports, he has "warm" interest in Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. 

Needless to say, that's tough competition for Hoke, who can't win them all—right? 

Most, but not all. 

 

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

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Ed O'Bannon Lawsuit Will Go to Trial After Judge Denies NCAA's Request

Compounding the litany of legal issues already facing the NCAA, a federal judge ruled a lawsuit against college sports' governing body spearheaded by former forward Ed O'Bannon will go to trial in June if a settlement is not reached.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken rejected the NCAA's motion to throw the case out and rule in the governing body's favor before trial, per Reuters' Dan Levine. Without a settlement, the case will be heard by an antitrust court, which will then render a ruling.

More than 20 plaintiffs, each of whom will have file a lawsuit on his or her own behalf, are suing the NCAA for what they claim is unlawful use of their likenesses in video games and other forms of media. The O'Bannon plaintiffs had previously sued Electronic Arts, which used to produce the NCAA Football and NCAA March Madness video games series, before the two sides settled last year.

The NCAA has since sued Electronic Arts.

More than past likenesses, the O'Bannon case is a potential landmark victory for student-athletes—past and present. With the NCAA raking in billions of dollars annually from television rights, merchandising and other revenue forms without compensating the players, a verdict in the plaintiffs' favor would give players—specifically those who play basketball and football—an undetermined piece of the pie.

Donald Remy, the NCAA's chief legal officer, told Reuters he expects the governing body to win the case. 

"The model we have today enables nearly half a million student-athletes at over a thousand schools to compete on the playing field while getting a college degree," Remy said. 

In her ruling, Wilken both opened the door for a full-fledged trial while paring down some of the legal matters in the case. The judge ruled out the NCAA's attempt to use its First Amendment right by claiming live broadcast of games fall under its jurisdiction, per Jon Solomon of AL.com. Wilken also noted some possible culpability from television networks and other forms of media, which use player likenesses in numerous ways beyond live telecasts:

Because the record does not demonstrate that all Division I student-athletes validly transferred all of these rights, the First Amendment does not preclude student-athletes from asserting rights of publicity in live broadcasts or re-broadcasts of entire games. Accordingly, the First Amendment does not preclude the existence of a market for group licenses to use student-athletes' names, images and likenesses in those broadcasts.

The ruling noted that there needs to be a better-established agreement on what constitutes likeness use. Per Solomon, Wilken wrote the signing away of a player's likeness would have to be "a condition of playing so the representative could license the right to televise the athletes' games."

While this is far from a monetary ruling in O'Bannon's favor, an oncoming trial is just the latest piece of litigation that stands to change the college sports landscape as we know it. The National Labor Relations Board granted a motion from Northwestern University football players requesting college athletes be able to form a union. The board ruled that athletes were already university employees due to the long work hours and performance-based contingencies worked into their scholarships.

“It cannot be said that the employer’s scholarship players are ‘primarily students,’” the decision said.

Players have to vote via a majority to form a union. The NCAA has also appealed the ruling, so the litigation in that case is far from over.

Nevertheless, some form of change is afoot whether the NCAA agrees with it or not. The mountain of litigation is only going to get higher as players see revenue made on their hard work going anywhere but their pockets. 

"I don't feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I'm starving," Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier told reporters at the Final Four.

With any luck in the courtroom, the Shabazz Napiers of the future won't have to go to bed "starving" for much longer.

 

Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter:


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Texas Football: David Ash Fractures Foot, What Injury Means for QB Battle

Texas Football announced a major hit Friday when it sent out an injury update about the one position at which the Longhorns cannot afford to lose depth.

Quarterback David Ash suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot during spring practice and will undergo surgery next week, according to a media release sent out by Texas football. He will be sidelined for the remainder of spring, but head athletic trainer for football Anthony Pass expects Ash to return to the field during fall camp.

This is not the first injury Ash has suffered during his three seasons at Texas. In 2012, Ash was sidelined with broken ribs during the Longhorns' game against TCU and suffered a concussion against BYU in 2013, which kept him out for the majority of last season.

Texas currently has one healthy scholarship quarterback on campus in Tyrone Swoopes. Aside from him, the Longhorns have walk-on Trey Holtz and wide receiver, turned tight end, turned quarterback Miles Onyegbule backing up Swoopes for the annual Orange-White spring game April 19.

To say the Longhorns are currently desperate for another quarterback is an understatement. The best option available for spring saw action in six games last season and completed five passes for 26 yards and picked up 20 rushing attempts for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Swoopes clearly did not have much opportunity to show his talents in 2013, so it's too early to determine how good he could be. But the time has come to make a name for himself as the starting QB for the Texas Longhorns, before incoming freshman Jerrod Heard arrives in Austin for summer workouts. 

One scenario to keep an eye on is with former USC quarterback Max Wittek, who took a visit to Texas in February and is currently weighing his transfer options. According to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, Texas appears to be the leading candidate for Wittek.

With news of Ash's injury surfacing, it will be very interesting if Wittek makes a decision over the next couple of weeks and if Texas will be the place he chooses to finish out his college career.

Stay tuned.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and information was obtained firsthand.

Taylor Gaspar is Bleacher Report's featured columnist covering the Texas Longhorns. You can follow her on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar. 

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David Ash Injury: Updates on Texas QB's Foot and Recovery

Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash won't participate in the remainder of spring practice due to a fracture in his left foot.

Longhorn Network's official Twitter account reported the news of Ash's injury on Friday, noting that the to-be senior signal-caller will be back in time for fall camp:

Max Olson of ESPN.com noted the limited experience Texas has under center beyond Ash:

This coming 2014 season marks the best opportunity Ash has had in years to establish himself as the Longhorns' clear-cut starter, having split time with Case McCoy in each of the previous three campaigns. Health issues have played a part in Ash's inconsistency, especially in 2013 when he suffered a season-ending head injury that kept him out of all but three games.

Ash has suffered yet another setback in his bid to carve out a legacy in Austin, Texas, creating a lot of uncertainty at the most important position for first-year head coach Charlie Strong.

If he is indeed able to return for preseason camp, the outlook for Ash still looks bright if he can stay on the field. That's because Strong comes from Louisville and groomed top-tier NFL prospect Teddy Bridgewater in a pro-style offense. Strong's tutelage should help Ash ins his bid to realize his obvious potential.

Strong is bringing an intense but caring attitude to the table at Texas.

"I’ve told the players that now, when you come up, you can just walk right in," said Strong, per ESPN.com's Olson. "I just want them to know who we are. When a young man knows that you care about him, he’ll do everything you ask of him."

To look toward the more immediate future beyond Ash's continual development, though, the Longhorns' spring game is slated for April 19. Someone has to play quarterback, and atop the depth chart is expected to be Tyrone Swoopes, who's thrown just 13 passes in his collegiate career.

Given the experience Ash has, it's unlikely that Swoopes will do enough to unseat him for his job in the future, but Swoopes will be getting valuable, necessary reps in a new system. Ash will have his work cut out once he does return to the gridiron.

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Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Full Preview for Saturday's Scarlet and Gray Action

The 2013 season began with so much promise for the Urban Meyer-led Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio State jumped off to a 12-0 start—winning most games in decisive fashion. Unfortunately, a shaky secondary put the team in shootouts late in the season, resulting in two consecutive losses to finish out the year.

Surely, this team enters the Scarlet and Gray spring game with a bitter taste in its mouth.

There are plenty of changes on hand for the Buckeyes this season. These will all be on display when the team takes the field on Saturday.

To ensure not a moment of the highly anticipated action is missed, let's take a look at the essential viewing information and preview several hot storylines to watch.

 

Viewing Information

The Scarlet and Gray game is an all-around spectacle for everyone in attendance and also for those viewing from home. The Buckeyes coaching staff breaks the team down into two evenly built squads in an attempt to create a competitive atmosphere and evaluate players accordingly.

This is one game that shouldn't be missed, as the 2014 season draws closer.

When: Sat., April 12

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

Channel: BTN

Live Stream: BTN2Go

 

Top Storylines

New-Look Secondary

Chris Ash was made co-defensive coordinator and has taken on the daunting task of improving what was a dismal secondary over the back half of the 2013 season.

During an interview with Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch, Ash spoke of his intentions for this unit:

I'm not concerned about what's happened here in the past. I'm more concerned about the direction we're going to go and how we get the players aligned to what our vision is going to be, and that we get better.

We will put the best players on this football field that will help us win, and we will give everybody an ample opportunity to show that they can do that.

Saturday marks the first chance for members of the secondary to prove their worth against dangerous receivers Devin Smith and Dontre Wilson.

 

No Braxton Miller

As Braxton Miller recuperates from offseason shoulder surgery, backups will see plenty of work on Saturday.

Kenny Guiton is no longer with the team, and there will be an intense battle between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones for the backup position behind Miller.

Jones has been give more of the first-team reps during practices due to his seniority; however, each will have a fair shake of earning the backup role.

During an interview with Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com, Barrett spoke of the ongoing competition:

We're very competitive. But that's also my guy. When he makes a good play, I root for him. If he does well, that's great. I am just working on myself. It is an individual thing, but there is competition.

My biggest thing is to just lead by example. You can't lead anybody if you're not doing right. You have to have that personal integrity, and I tell that to my guys. I wouldn't actually be able to do it if I didn't do it, so that's biggest thing. Then also developing that trust over time so they can believe in you and believe in what you say.

Expect these two signal-callers to put on a dazzling show on Saturday.

 

Who's the Running Back?

Carlos Hyde is getting ready for the 2014 NFL draft. His departure from Ohio State has left a serious void in the backfield.

Hyde was a physical, bruising runner for the Buckeyes, and replacing him will be one of Ohio State's top priorities this offseason.

Running backs coach Stan Drayton spoke of the change at the position during an interview with Austin Ward of ESPN.com:

He has to be replaced. This is The Ohio State University, and it's the next man up. I'm sure if you asked Carlos Hyde, he'd tell you the same thing. It's the next man up. Somebody has to step up and fill the shoes of Carlos Hyde. If it takes more than one guy to do that, I promise you it's going to get done.

The team could certainly look at a committee approach to this year's backfield.

Ezekiel Elliott looked good in a limited role a year ago and provides the same kind of interior pounding approach as Hyde. Senior Rod Smith will look to get things going as well, while Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball and Curtis Samuel figure to factor into the mix as well.

Hyde's replacement may not be set yet; however, Ohio State sure has plenty of depth to work with.

All of these players will be looking to put on a show on Saturday.

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