Feed aggregator

Cole Kmet to Notre Dame: Fighting Irish Land 4-Star TE Prospect

Notre Dame added another highly touted tight end prospect to its 2017 class Friday with a commitment from Cole Kmet.

The Arlington Heights, Ill., native and St. Viator High School star confirmed his school choice with a message on social media:

Tom Loy of 247Sports reports Kmet joins fellow coveted tight end Brock Wright among the Fighting Irish's early commitments for 2017. He notes program sealed the deal with its latest addition after a visit during the season opener against Texas.

"It was an awesome experience," Kmet said. "One I will never forget. I just got the feel for the game atmosphere and how coaches go about things on game day."

Kmet is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 6 tight end and just inside the top 250 nationally for the class of 2017, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also rated as the No. 3 prospect coming out of Illinois.

The Irish will welcome the infusion of talent at tight end when it arrives in a couple years.

They haven't received much production from the position this season with Durham Smythe out for the year after undergoing knee and shoulder surgeries. Alize Jones leads the remaining tight end group with six catches for 75 yards through four weeks.

Bill Reagan of Irish Sports Daily highlighted Kmet as a player on the rise back in July. His above average athletic ability combined with a growing frame led Reagan to the conclusion that "this year's highlight film stands to be much more exciting than that of a year ago."

If Kmet does continue to make that type of steady progress, there's a good chance he'll be able to make a quick impact for the Irish in 2017. 


Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Football: Resurrecting Passing Game Holds Key to Vols Turnaround

Tennessee's wide receiving corps of scholarship players is comprised of 11 pass-catchers who account for 40 total recruiting stars.

That's a talented stable of targets by anybody's standards.

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs is a former 4-star prospect himself, one who burst onto the scene as a full-time starter a season ago and was anointed the leader to take the Volunteers offense back to a quality level.

So why can't all that promise breed production?

It's a question UT fans have to be asking themselves even more frequently this week following a 28-27 loss to Florida that saw the Vols attempt just 19 passes, with only 17 of those coming via the right arm of Dobbs.

Just like they have for much of the season, the receivers struggled mightily, which belies what coach Butch Jones says he wants to do offensively.

Entering Saturday night's must-win tilt against Arkansas at Neyland Stadium, UT's receivers appear (yet again) to match up extremely well with the Razorbacks' struggling defensive backs. But if you're not in show-me mode with the Vols at this point, you've got more faith than most.

They haven't produced for so long that it's difficult to depend on them.

Even so, the Hogs appear to come at just the right time for Tennessee. They're 100th nationally in pass defense and have allowed nine passing plays of more than 30 yards. In losses to Texas Tech and Texas A&M, the Razorbacks allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete an astounding 81 percent of their passes.

For the season, Arkansas sits 123rd nationally in completion percentage allowed (71.6 percent), 119th in yards allowed per attempt (9.1) and 118th in sacks. They aren't getting to quarterbacks, and quarterbacks are making them pay.

In other words, UT must take advantage to turn around its passing-game misfortunes and get back on the winning track.

Starting with this game against the Hogs, Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord must make it a priority to stretch the field to loosen up opposing defenses. If he doesn't, Tennessee is staring straight at a 2-5 start to the season with Georgia and Alabama on the horizon.

As the Vols try to find their identity under a new offensive coordinator, they've strayed too close to being one-dimensional. It's something UT's coaches understand.

DeBord even told GoVols247's Ryan Callahan that he's sure Tennessee's receivers are "frustrated" with the way the Gators game wound up:

I mean, if I was a receiver, I would be, too, because they’re competitors. They want the ball. Everybody wants the ball. And that day's coming, so we're going to get the ball to them. I told them that today. Again, it's what happens in a game. They want the ball. I mean, the receivers want to catch the ball and all that, and I told them today that’s going to happen. … Every game has a story to it. The story was we were running the football very effectively, and we were wearing their defense down. That’s what was going at the time, and we stayed with it.

In fairness to DeBord, Tennessee did run the ball 51 times for 254 yards against the Gators, which was good enough to win.

But decisions at key moments in that game underline a fact that has been obvious all season: Tennessee is reluctant to throw the football down the field.

Whether that's because the coaching staff is concerned that Dobbs can't do it following his 13-for-31 performance against Oklahoma, whether the receiving corps can't get consistent separation or because DeBord is an old-school, run-first coordinator is debatable.

What isn't debatable is that the Vols have to get the passing game going in a positive direction. Now.

"We've got to get our passing game involved," DeBord told Callahan. "We will do that. We're going to do that, and that’s part of it, so we'll see that happen."

Wide receiver worries are nothing new for the Vols. Last year, an injury-riddled group struggled all season. They disappointed again this spring, regularly drawing the ire of Jones.

Now, here it is, a season when the Vols are expected to break out, and they haven't been able to get going.

Marquez North, Pig Howard and Jason Croom have all missed games with injury. Von Pearson and Preston Williams didn't get a bunch of preseason reps because of different issues. Josh Smith is just now getting healthy.

For whatever reason, UT can't get its pass-catchers at full strength. But that shouldn't matter. There is enough talent there that it should be able to put elite targets on the field in every game. Everybody just needs to get on the same passing page.

If anything, maybe passing game coordinator Zach Azzanni is rotating too many players into the game to the point where none of the receivers can get into the flow.

It's a puzzling situation. While Dobbs won't ever be mistaken for Peyton Manning, he is extremely talented and possesses good enough arm strength to provide an offensive balance. 

Nobody expects him to throw BBs down the field, but Tennessee can't expect to just throw horizontal passes all season and keep defenses honest. If they can get things going in the 15-to-20-yard range, it would open things up exponentially. 

DeBord knows what he's talking about when he refers to the running success Tennessee has enjoyed all season. The Vols and Hurd have proved they can generate yards on the ground. But with games on the line and in tight situations, both Florida and Oklahoma loaded the box and dared the Vols to pass.

They didn't, and the Vols went from controlling games to losing them.

With all that talent in the passing game, it's baffling that the Vols can't get more going downfield, and it's up to DeBord and Azzanni to find ways to do it. If they don't start throwing, they're going to wind up throwing away a season full of promise.


All stats gathered from UTSports.com unless otherwise noted. All recruiting information gathered from 247Sports unless otherwise noted. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee lead writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Meet 4-Star 2017 WR Osiris St. Brown: Eclectic off the Field, Electric on It

Not every athlete has the refined resume 2017 California wide receiver Osiris St. Brown has. This includes athletes from high school all the way to the pros.

For starters, St. Brown speaks three languages—English, German and French— fluently. He and his family have lived in France and visit Germany annually. His mother, Miriam Brown, is German and has her children read and converse in German at home.

He doesn't mind doing math or science. When it comes to discussing automobiles, he can tell you all about Aston Martins and Lamborghinis. And when he has free time, St. Brown likes making different kinds of art using Adobe Illustrator.

St. Brown is something of a Renaissance man. That's fitting for a guy with one of the best names in college football recruiting.

"Osiris Adrian Amon-Ra J. St. Brown," he said, proudly announcing his full name. "Osiris is the [Egyptian] god of the underworld, and my dad believes in power in names and numbers. He named all of us with a meaning."

St. Brown is the middle child of three. The oldest is Equanimeous St. Brown, a freshman receiver at Notre Dame. The youngest is 2018 receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who already has four college offers.

Big brother's full name is Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown. The first name stems from "equanimity," which can be defined as being level-headed and calm in pressure situations. Little brother's full name is Amon-Ra Julian Heru J. St. Brown. Amon-Ra is the king of all gods in Egyptian mythology.

Osiris St. Brown and his brothers have names and backgrounds that make them candidates for "Most Interesting Man in the World" tryouts. And then there's Osiris St. Brown the football player. As a 4-star wide receiver, the Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana) junior has established himself as a reliable go-to option.

He's a name to watch on the recruiting trail. St. Brown has 13 reported offers from schools such as Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA, Miami, Texas Tech and Utah.

St. Brown also has an offer from Notre Dame, where his brother is a true freshman for Brian Kelly's undefeated squad entering this weekend's tough road matchup against Clemson.

"It's been going pretty well," St. Brown said of his early recruiting process. "I've been talking to a couple schools recently like Boston College and Colorado. It hasn't been too crazy."

St. Brown is a 6'2", 178-pound receiver who is ranked as a top-100 player in the 2017 class. As the nation's No. 13 receiver, he brings speed, good hands and body control to the field.

He's also been groomed for success. St. Brown's father, John Brown, is a world-class bodybuilder who is a two-time Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. World champion. In fact, it was the father's idea to add "St." to his children's last names as an additional way to make their full names stand out.

For St. Brown, playing to where his name holds equal weight to his game is a goal. The bar was set with his older brother, and he said he thinks about the lofty goal of trying to duplicate his brother's accomplishments, which led him to Notre Dame.

"At the same time," St. Brown said, "I'm already pretty satisfied with how I'm doing. I think there will always be a sense of pressure to do what he did in high school."

St. Brown has made a few visits to schools so far, including Notre Dame, Stanford, Cal, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Illinois, as well as in-state schools USC and UCLA. He doesn't have a favorite yet and is taking the process slowly.

However, he knows what he wants in a winning program. He said academics will play a key role in his decision, as well as the opportunity for early game time as a freshman.

As for teaming up with his older brother, St. Brown said it's something the two have discussed. However, nothing is set in stone.

"It's just as likely as me going to another school; I want to go where I get treated the best," he said. "We've talked about playing college ball together, and it would be awesome, but if I feel another school fits me better, that's where I'll go."

It helps, St. Brown said, to have a big brother who's already been through the recruiting process. He said he relies on Equanimeous for advice.

"He just told me to get a good feel for the schools I'm serious about and to not go to a school just because I liked it as a kid or because the location is good," Osiris said. "I should go where I feel I can do best academically and as an athlete."

It's good advice for an athlete expected to be one of the nation's most sought-after players next season—and someone who plans on adding college-level football success to an already spectacular resume.


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

How Top College Football Teams Have Dealt with Major Injuries in 2015

It's too early in the college football season to call 2015 the "year of the injury," not to mention that's an unfortunate part of the game that happens every year. But it certainly feels like this season has been especially bad on the injury front—and for high-profile, playoff-caliber teams, too. 

Consider the following short list: Michigan State linebacker Ed Davis—done for the year with a knee injury in August. Offensive lineman Jack Conklin is also out for an unspecified period with a knee injury.

Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire: out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle. He joins defensive tackle Jarron Jones, running back Tarean Folston, tight end Durham Smythe, defensive backs Shaun Crawford and Drue Tranquill on the Irish's injury list. 

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes and cornerback Fabian Moreau: done, done and done. 

Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams: out indefinitely with a neck fracture. 

TCU: The laundry list includes safety Kenny Iloka, defensive tackle James McFarland and receiver Ty Slanina. 

Even non-playoff teams have been hit hard by crucial injuries. Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller is done for the year with a knee injury. Similarly, Oregon wide receiver Byron Marshall is likely out for the same period with a leg injury. 


This is when depth charts are truly tested. Depth isn't simply defined by the sheer number of available players, either. Depth is also a matter of skill. Are your No. 2s and No. 3s capable of playing at a high level for an extended period of time? That's what some of these teams are going to find out in earnest. 


The Hardest Hit

For some teams, we've already seen the effects injuries have had, for better and worse. The two most snakebitten teams without a doubt have been Notre Dame and TCU.

Perhaps no team has shown more resiliency early on than the Irish. DeShone Kizer has filled in admirably at quarterback for Zaire, though his toughest test yet comes in Week 5 at Clemson. As Keith Arnold of InsidetheIrish.com writes, the trip to Death Valley is the biggest moment is Kizer's young career: 

For some, the moment could become too large. But Notre Dame’s head coach believes his second-year quarterback will be ready.

“He has a presence about him, a commanding presence that, when he goes out there with the other ten players, you don’t feel like you’re putting a freshman quarterback out there,” [Brian] Kelly said.

“I see that every day he goes out there, he takes control of that offensive unit. It’s not meek. It’s not weak. It’s a presence that he brings when he goes out there, and I think that that’s what he’s brought.”

Kizer isn't the only Notre Dame backup who's played well in relief of others. Running back C.J. Prosise has become one of the pleasant surprises of the season, averaging 150 yards per game. Defensive tackle Jerry Tillery has performed above and beyond expectations for a freshman working in rotation as a replacement for Jones. 

TCU is another team that's been dealing with numerous injuries and general attrition since the early stages in the season. However, it's already clear the impact on the depth chart has translated to the field. In the past two weeks, the Frogs have given up an average of 44.5 points to SMU and Texas Tech. Granted, the Mustangs and Red Raiders can score in bunches, but having to win games in the 40s and 50s might not be a sustainable model for eight more regular-season games. 

It nearly backfired against Tech. The fortuitous Frogs needed a tipped-ball touchdown and the most amazing end-of-game finish that never happened to come out of Lubbock with a win. 

Head coach Gary Patterson can only do so much with the players available. Per Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News

"Some years, you kind of shake your head," Patterson said. "We have to keep plugging them in, and they have to keep getting better."

Case in point: linebackers Montrel Wilson and Travin Howard, each thrust into starting roles that neither expected. Wilson is a freshman; Howard is a sophomore and a converted safety. Each had their moments in a 55-52 win over Texas Tech and each struggled at times, Patterson said.

Can Notre Dame and TCU sustain their success throughout the season with several backups thrust into starting roles? The Irish have a number of key games remaining on the schedule, and the Frogs are already in Big 12 conference play. 


The Fewer, But Major Injuries

For teams like Clemson, Michigan State and UCLA, the pure number of major season-ending injuries has been smaller than the likes of Notre Dame and TCU. But that doesn't mean they haven't had to work around them. 

Davis' injury was the biggest in college football at the time. The Spartans were replacing their longtime defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi along with key members of the secondary. Losing Davis was just another blow to a defense that suddenly looked more and more like a question mark. 

However, the combination of Jon Reschke and Chris Frey has proved to work better than perhaps many expected. No one can replace what Davis brings to the defense—experience and smarts, to start—but Reschke has upped his production and is a versatile option at a couple of spots along the linebacker corp. The sophomore is third on the team in tackles, 11 of which came against Oregon. He's shown flashes of being a capable full-time starter down the road: 

Michigan State may need to win a few games with offense this year, but the defensive replacements have been good enough to make plays when needed. 

The same thing can be said for UCLA, though for how long remains to be seen. Linebacker Jayon Brown has been productive in Jack's absence, but he left the Arizona game with a back injury. His status for Arizona State is questionable, per Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times

How many more injuries on defense can the Bruins take? The early theme for UCLA as been that the team goes as freshman quarterback Josh Rosen goes. Moving forward, however, Rosen and his learning curve might not be UCLA's biggest issue. 

There is no doubt, however, that Williams' injury has been Clemson's biggest problem through three games. Against Louisville, there was little to no deep threat in the passing game. The Cardinals have an excellent defense and were able to get pressure on Deshaun Watson, which made matters worse, but it's clear the Tigers miss the big-bodied Williams down the field. This is a pass-catcher, after all, ranked as the top wide receiver heading into the 2016 NFL draft, per B/R's Matt Miller:

Receiver Artavis Scott is an outstanding weapon in the short-to-intermediate passing game, but he's not going to win many jump balls down the field. The lack of a vertical passing game hurt Clemson's offense against Louisville. Will it be a problem versus Notre Dame as well? There's simply no replicating what Williams brings to the Tigers offense unless someone emerges out of nowhere to become the new downfield threat. 


Who Can Recover?

If Notre Dame and/or TCU goes undefeated this year, you might as well make Kelly and Patterson the 1A and 1B choices for every coach of the year award out there. On that note, give them extensions and raises, stat. Otherwise, there's a good chance the number of injuries each team has already experienced will catch up to them at some point. 

However, just because a team has fewer injuries doesn't mean it's immune to deficiencies. Williams' absence could completely change the look of Clemson's offense. It already has in one game. Long-term, Conklin's injury could disrupt the chemistry of Michigan State's offense, even though the Davis injury has received more attention.

Ultimately, the question is how will these injury-riddled teams do in big games? Can UCLA's shorthanded defense stop, say, USC or Utah? Will TCU be able to win another four to six shootouts? 

Making a playoff and/or national championship run requires many things, one of which is a little bit of luck. Staying healthy, at least relatively speaking, falls under that category. Every single one of the aforementioned playoff contenders can still achieve their goals despite being down key players. But some—like TCU—have already shown what struggles lie ahead. 


Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. All stats courtesy of cfbstats.com

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Bold College Football Predictions for Month of October

With the heart of conference play approaching, the only thing we know about the 2015 college football season is that we still don't know anything.

If we did, we wouldn't have dropped our jaws last week at Utah beating Oregon 62-20. We would have expected Toledo and Texas Tech to upset Arkansas. We would have known to not tout Auburn as the rightful SEC favorite (sigh).

With that in mind, let's ingest what we saw in September, look ahead to October and offer some bold predictions. The seven statements that follow aren't things I assure will happen; they're things that sound far-fetched at first, even though they're not.

It wouldn't be insane if they come true.

Begin Slideshow

Michigan Football Must Continue Recent Dominance in Road Test vs. Maryland

The ascent of the Michigan football program seemed inevitable, but heading into a road test versus Maryland this weekend, head coach Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines playing at a level of dominance recently unseen in Ann Arbor.

Following what can be classified as a "good" loss to Utah during the season opener, Michigan has logged three consecutive victories. But most importantly—and this isn't merely coachspeak—the team has improved each week.

"We've got a battle rhythm right now," Harbaugh said, per MLive's Brendan F. Quinn. "If our team will just keep doing what we're doing—it's great preparation during the week and competition—it's coming. It's coming together."

And for the Wolverines to avoid setting back what's "coming together," a convincing win on the road over Maryland is yet another imperative step toward resurgence.

Under former coach Brady Hoke, Michigan trudged to a putrid 6-12 record on the road, never posting a single-season winning percentage better than .500. Notable—read: bad—losses included Iowa twice, Penn State and Rutgers.

The Wolverines consistently dropped games to programs—whether right or wrong—that were classically deemed inferior.

It's Harbaugh's job to eliminate that trend. He'll have his first chance on Saturday at noon ET.

Last season, Randy Edsall's team used a 14-point fourth quarter to manage a 23-16 triumph, stunning the Big House crowd of 101,717 and sealing Hoke's fate in the process.

But this Maryland squad isn't a good team. Last week, West Virginia obliterated the Terrapins 45-6. This is the type of team a Michigan-that's-back should destroy.

The Terrapins offense checks in nationally at No. 84, while the Wolverines boast the second-best defense of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Maryland's top offensive player is running back Brandon Ross, but Michigan has successfully limited every runner they've faced this year. If the Wolverines can stop him—and recent history suggests they will—Edsall must rely on quarterback Caleb Rowe, who has thrown nine interceptions in 64 attempts.

In the accompanying table, the "2015 average" column represents a respective running back's performance not including the outing against Michigan. Spoiler alert: Ross might not like what happens on Saturday.

Additionally, Maryland enters the Big Ten matchup as the 101st-ranked run defense in the country and fresh off surrendering 304 yards to West Virginia. Michigan, on the other hand, has tallied 254 yards on the ground in each of the last two outings.

Leading rusher De'Veon Smith exited the BYU matchup early due to an ankle injury, but Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News notes offensive coordinator Tim Drevno said he's "feeling really good about" Smith playing against Maryland.

That, of course, is great news because Smith has amassed a pair of 125-plus-yard days this year.

Most importantly for the Wolverines, though, quarterback Jake Rudock assembled the best performance of his brief Michigan tenure against BYU. He completed 14 passes—11 of which resulted in first downs—for 194 yards and one touchdown, adding 33 yards and two scores on the ground.

The offense will continue to thrive while Rudock plays efficient football. That's the ideal quarterback for this squad because of the dominant defense.

Yes, the 14-point underdog Terrapins will be motivated and will test Michigan's ability to win on the road. But the Wolverines should be the only team that can stop the Wolverines on Saturday. Maryland doesn't have enough playmakers on either side to overpower Michigan.

But that's been the case before. The vocal majority of those who bleed maize and blue know how similar stories have ended.

In recent seasons, the Wolverines have consistently dropped a game to a program—whether right or wrong—classically deemed inferior.

It's Harbaugh's job to eliminate that trend. He'll have his first chance on Saturday at noon ET.


Stats from cfbstats.com. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ole Miss vs. Florida Hype: Who Will Rise to the Top?

It's finally coming. The match that everyone has been waiting for. It's the Ole Miss Rebels versus the Florida Gators. The excitement levels are through the roof for this interconference clash. 

Who will rise to the top? Who will take home the victory? Who will go home defeated?

Find out tomorrow night as the Rebels take on the Gators in one of the most anticipated matches of the college football season. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Houston Coach Tom Herman Kicks Boosters Out of 1st Class to Make Room for O-Line

Most offensive linemen are large. Houston's hog mollies are living large.

The Cougars are off to a 3-0 start in coach Tom Herman's first year leading the way. Herman calls his linemen "gladiators," according to reporter Niki Noto Palmer, and treats them like royalty.

Here's Palmer with a story about how Herman moved some boosters to make room for his O-line:

Herman has been very vocal the big fellas getting things done in the trenches will be the driving force behind his team. And for that reason alone he, his coaches, his players and so on will treat them like first class. The offensive and defensive linemen are first in line before others, no matter what they’re doing [eating] or where they’re going [away games]. In fact, up until Coach Herman took the [reins], Houston boosters occupied first-class seats when the Cougars traveled to away games. Not anymore. Louisville marked the first game where it all changed.

Palmer asked Herman if his seat-swapping angered anyone. He doesn't seem to be losing any sleep over it.

"I asked [Herman] if he received any backlash from boosters about the switch, and he candidly conveyed he didn’t care because they deserve it," Palmer wrote. "And they’re the ones who help us win football games."

[h/t For the Win]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football's Best New Starting QBs

If you’re a fan of college football quarterback intrigue, this was one fun spring and summer to follow. Across the nation, high-profile quarterback battles unfolded as teams tried to fill vacancies and find the guy who’d take them to the promised land.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Oregon, among others, all went through quarterback competitions, with varying success. With one month of the 2015 season complete, it’s an excellent time to look at the new quarterbacks and see which new signal-callers are thriving.

Here’s a look at the best new starting quarterbacks. They were selected after examining their stats and measuring their impact on their respective offenses’ success.

Begin Slideshow

Why Ohio State Needs to Root for Michigan to Keep Winning

There is a clock inside Ohio State's practice facility that counts down the days, hours and minutes until the annual clash with rival Michigan.

That clock will hit zero on Saturday, November 28, when the Buckeyes make the 184-mile trip north to Ann Arbor, Michigan. But until that day, Ohio State should be rooting for the hated Wolverines. 

It's a concept that goes against the Buckeyes' nature, of course. Head coach Urban Meyer himself admitted that Ohio State wants to beat Michigan in every aspect of the game, from battles on the recruiting front to games on the field. 

"We do keep score against [Michigan] in everything we do," Meyer said last February, according to Ari Wasserman of the Plain Dealer. "And they're great recruiters, they always have been. The previous staff was great recruiters.  That's gone on for long before us, and will take place long after us. Absolutely you keep score on that one. "

Since 2002, that score has been remarkably one-sided.

The Buckeyes have only dropped two of their last 13 contests against the Wolverines, and Meyer himself is a perfect 3-0 against That Team Up North. The only victory Michigan has come away with since 2003 came against the shell-shocked Buckeyes in 2011, who had lost their head coach in Jim Tressel the previous spring and suffered through one of the worst seasons in school history.

But Ohio State made a quick turnaround the following year. Under Meyer's guidance, the Buckeyes put together an undefeated season that was capped by a 25-21 victory over Michigan. All of that was accomplished despite a deflating postseason ban that kept the Buckeyes from reaching the national title game.

With former coach Brady Hoke out and Jim Harbaugh at the helm, is a similar turnaround in the works up north?

It didn't feel like it on September 3 in Salt Lake City, when the Wolverines looked like the same pushover they were under Hoke. Michigan's offensive line couldn't open consistent lanes in the running game and the passing attack looked uninspired in a 24-17 loss to Utah.

But that wasn't the reality for the revitalized Wolverines. Since falling behind 7-0 against Oregon State in the home opener, Michigan has outscored its opponents 94-7 in three consecutive victories. That includes the 31-0 pasting of No. 22 BYU last Saturday.

That victory catapulted Michigan into the Associated Press' Top 25—it checked in at No. 22 this week—for the first time since Week 7 of the 2013 season

That's good news for the Buckeyes, and not just because they need the opportunity for a quality win at the end of the season. Conference pride is something the SEC has always taken more seriously than the Big Ten, and that won't change anytime soon.

But this isn't about conference pride. It's about one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, and how that rivalry has lost its heat. 

That hasn't happened because Ohio State has dominated the series, though. Jim Tressel owned Michigan during the early Aughts, but The Game was still highly anticipated because the Wolverines were piling up wins before the season-ending showdown.

The truth is great rivalries only exist between two great teams, and over the last decade, Michigan hasn't held up its end of the bargain.

Ohio State should be rooting for that to change. 


David Regimbal is the Ohio State football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Football: 3 Players Who Have Surprised Us in 2015

There’s a reason why Georgia is a two-point favorite over Alabama, according to Odds Shark.

The Bulldogs come into the game with not only an undefeated record, they come into the game with statistically a better scoring offense in the SEC, a better rushing offense in the SEC and, believe it or not, the Bulldogs have a better scoring defense than the Crimson Tide.

So the Bulldogs are off to a good start to the 2015 season. And it’s been the usual suspects that have been key to their success such as Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, the entire offensive line, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins.

However, there are three players that have surprised the Bulldog Nation in the early stages of the 2015 season.


QB Greyson Lambert

And it starts with the guy that was able to win the starting quarterback position after playing at Virginia last season. So far Greyson Lambert has proved he can be a leader on offense for the Bulldogs.

In four games, Lambert has thrown for 733 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He has completed 76 percent of his passes, and in the game against South Carolina, he set the NCAA record for highest completion percentage in a game with 96 percent. If you look at his numbers as starter with Virginia last season, it’s night and day because he threw only 10 touchdown passes and was picked off 11 times.

It will be interesting to see how Lambert plays moving forward because Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and Florida are on deck.  It will be a challenge for Lambert, but he has been impressive in the first part of the season.

[ESPN Video] G. Lambert pass,to M. Mitchell for 23 yds for a TD: Greyson Lambert pass complete to Malcol... http://t.co/1AA0JD8nxF#UGA

— Georgia Bulldogs (@BR_UGABulldogs) September 26, 2015


FS Dominick Sanders

Dominick Sanders had a good debut campaign for the Bulldogs last season as he tallied 34 tackles, three interceptions and five passes defended.

But in only four games in the 2015 season, he already has two interceptions, 20 tackles and three passes defended. He has become the team’s best defensive back when it comes to coverage in man and zone because he’s always around the ball.

#Dawgs Dominick Sanders to the house! #GoDawgs#BeatSpurrierpic.twitter.com/s7hPafFzJ1

— GATA Dawgs (@BassinDawg) September 15, 2015

According to Seth Emerson of Dawgnation.com, Sanders was just a 3-star prospect from Tucker, Georgia that really was not supposed to make an early impact. But after a productive freshman year, he has been defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s go-to guy, which is one reason the Bulldogs pass defense is ranked No. 2 in the SEC.


LB Jake Ganus

When Jake Ganus came to Athens as a transfer from UAB, there were questions as to how much he would be able to contribute, according to Jordan Hill of 247Sports. But Ganus has worked his way to the No. 1 inside linebacker position, recording 19 tackles and one interception through four games.

UGA-Alabama game 'means a lot' to former UAB player Jake Ganus http://t.co/bKB5wLeRc2pic.twitter.com/oMBwVraHu8

— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) September 29, 2015

According to fullback Quayvon Hicks, he has quickly emerged as one of the leaders on defense.

“Jake has been a great guy since he's gotten here,” Hicks said to Hill. “We always refer to him as the quarterback of the defense because he's very smart.”

Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd lead the team in tackles and sacks, but a big reason the Bulldogs defense has been one of the best in the country is the consistent play of Ganus.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Daily Fantasy College Football Week 5: DraftKings Value Guide and Top Sleepers

Week 5 of the college football season offers up some potentially great games—especially in the way of offense.

When undertaking the lineup selection process, one has to take the opponent into account. Does that team have a good passing defense? Rushing defense? Is it on a losing streak? Has something happened to the squad that could act as a deflating force? Statistical analysis should go a long way into determining any choice. 

Secondly, is the money total worth the potential award? One has to fill out a lineup as economically as possible. While an elite (and expensive) player will likely get you a good chunk of points (such as Leonard Fournette), it doesn't mean the selection is the prudent thing to do. There has to be balance when filling out your lineup/roster. Unearthing little-used gems at a low price is one of the most fun aspects of fantasy football. 

Listed below are five players with the potential to impact your prospective lineup considerably. Each could be in line for a big performance—and come at a bargain price-wise. 


QB Drew Lock vs. South Carolina ($4,300)

This contest will mark Lock's first start on the college level. While this fact could cause some concern, Lock's small sample size in 2015 has been impressive. 

He has a higher completion percentage and quarterback rating when compared to suspended first-string signal-caller Maty Mauk. According to David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri has passed 73 percent of the time when Lock has been in the game. 

While this can't be quantified by any statistic, Lock has a stronger arm than Mauk—and can make throws to all portions of the field. Mauk's running ability took away potential plays for his receivers. While Lock isn't immobile, he likely won't be running any zone-read looks versus South Carolina. Those plays instead will be conventional handoffs to running backs—or throws downfield. 

For Lock's price, he could be a big bargain in this game. It also helps him that the game is being played at home. 


QB Sam B. Richardson vs. Kansas ($6,900)

Kansas ranks No. 120 nationally in total defense. The Jayhawks are 0-3 and have been outscored 119-75 on the year. Kansas is one of the worst teams in the country hailing from a Power Five conference.

Richardson has had a very solid start to the 2015 campaign for the Cyclones. The senior signal-caller is completing passes at a 61.3 percent clip and has five touchdowns to only one interception.

Kansas is at a disadvantage from a depth and athleticism standpoint in this contest. It also doesn't help that the game is in Ames. As a result, Richardson should carve up the KU defense with a big day. Look for receiver Allen Lazard to also have a productive statistical output. 


RB Wendell Smallwood vs. Oklahoma ($4,900)

Smallwood has taken the mantle as the top rushing option for the Mountaineers in 2015. 

Last week versus Maryland, the Delaware native ripped off 147 yards on 22 carries. It was his largest involvement of the season from a carries standpoint, and he looked absolutely electric. 

This week, West Virginia faces off against an Oklahoma squad allowing 147.7 rushing yards a contest. The Mountaineers' tempo on offense could pose some problems for the Sooners. There's a real chance Smallwood builds upon the momentum from last week and has another productive outing. He's an absolute steal for only $4,900. 


WR Jay Lee vs. Texas Tech ($5,500)

Baylor's dynamic receiver figures to have a big game in this tasty matchup versus Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have trouble stopping the pass—as evidenced by their ranking of No. 115 nationally in the category. 

While Corey Coleman is Baylor's top target, Lee is second on the team in catches (14) and receiving yards (255). He also has four touchdowns on the year and has accrued a 18.2 yards-per-catch average. 

Both teams will put up a ton of points in the contest. In fact, it wouldn't be shocking to see each score at least 40 points. There will be plenty of opportunities for Baylor in the passing game. Lee will likely be the beneficiary of some of those. 


RB Elijah Hood vs. Georgia Tech ($5,300)

North Carolina's running back is having a sneaky-good year—and a better campaign than the statistics do show. 

Against major competition (Illinois, South Carolina) Hood is averaging 133.5 yards per game on the ground. Versus lowly North Carolina A&T and Delaware, Hood chocked up an average of 58.5 yards. This is misleading, because UNC won those two games by considerable margins. Hood was taken out once the respective contests were firmly in hand. 

Georgia Tech is an example of major competition and is average against the run, allowing 154.3 yards a game on the ground. The game between the two should be relatively close, and that would theoretically signal Hood getting a good amount of touches. 

At $5,300, he seems like a good bet to play this weekend. 

Head to DraftKings and sign up for daily fantasy college football today! From there, you can participate in contests with big cash prizes! Dive for the pylon! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Picks Week 5: Odds and Spread Predictions for Top 25 Teams

Consistency hasn't been in the cards during the first four weeks of the college football season. With some major upsets already occurring, the game's Top 25 polls have taken on different looks all season. 

With five of the Top 25 teams going down in Week 4, the Associated Press poll was shaken up yet again heading into Week 5:

The five teams that lost last week are out of the rankings, and the new schools taking their place inhabit the last five spots of the poll. Some of those newcomers are going to be given stiff tests upon their arrival, as Week 5 is set to offer some enticing matchups. 

Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule for the Top 25, the latest odds and my spread predictions. All odds are courtesy of OddsShark.com


Game of the Week 

No. 13 Alabama at No. 8 Georgia

The best team of the Eastern division of the SEC takes on the fourth-place group in the West. It's a bit odd to say that Alabama is fourth in anything, but a loss to Ole Miss saw the Crimson Tide drop 10 spots in the national rankings a few weeks ago. 

That loss helped create an even spread heading into Saturday, and a major battle on the ground is set to take place at Sanford Stadium. 

Through the first four games of the season, Alabama running back Derrick Henry has recorded eight touchdowns to go with his 422 yards. Georgia head coach Mark Richt is the next man who has to formulate a way to stop him. Richt spoke with UGASports.com's Radi Nabulsi about Henry:

Richt has the perfect answer for Henry in running back Nick Chubb. The Georgia rusher is a yard short of 600 in four games. He's been unstoppable since the middle of last season, recording 12 straight games of over 100 yards rushing, according to SportsCenter.

With two premier running backs, it's up to each team's defense to decide who will come out of Week 5 with a win. Georgia's rushing defense has averaged over 100 yards allowed per game, while Alabama's has averaged less than 60 yards allowed. 

For that reason, Alabama will win a close one 28-23. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

How Florida Set Up QB Will Grier to Be the Present and Future for the Gators

I sat in the press box at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium last Saturday afternoon as Florida quarterback Will Grier orchestrated a miraculous comeback in the final frame—in which he went 11-of-18 over the final two drives, tossed two touchdown passes and led the Gators to a 28-27 win over Tennessee—and one thought kept popping into my mind.

The future is now.

In one short month, Grier has transformed himself from QB No. 2 in Gainesville to the future of the Florida football program, and Saturday's sizzling fourth quarter was the college football equivalent of a teenager getting his driver's license. 

Grier has head coach Jim McElwain—and also former head coach Will Muschamp—to thank.

He came to Florida as the No. 2 pro-style passer in the class of 2014, but there was some doubt on just how good he really was at Davidson (N.C.) Day High School.

Sure, he threw for 14,559 yards and 195 touchdowns, but as Langston Wertz Jr. of the Charlotte Observer noted in 2013, Davidson Day's place in Division III and II during his high school years didn't exactly provide tough competition for the prep superstar.

"In 25 years of working at this newspaper, I can’t think of too many athletes who have been scrutinized more heavily," Wertz wrote. "As Grier burst onto the high school football scene two years ago at Davidson Day, putting up video-game statistics, the critics have been strong and loud. They say he’s too old (he’s not). They say he’s not that good (he is)."

The questions followed Grier to Florida.

The prep star enrolled at Florida in January 2014 with the possibility in mind of earning primary backup snaps behind former Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel and—perhaps—an even bigger role if Driskel struggled.

Instead, former head coach Will Muschamp redshirted the then-6'2", 190-pound Grier partly because Grier needed to put more weight on if he intended to endure the grind and hits that occur in the SEC.

As Andy Hutchins of AlligatorArmy.com noted, he went from 190 pounds in high school to 197 this past spring, to 215 during the fall.

Not bad.

That durability was important last weekend against Tennessee. Grier was knocked around quite a bit by the Vols, but he came up big with the game on the line on those two critical drives.

"Everybody's taken hits. Everybody's beat up. You just have to work through it," Grier said in the press room following the game. "If it ain't broken, you've got to keep going. That's just part of this game. It's a violent game. You have to take a beating and keep going."

What's more, as Mark Long of the Associated Press noted last year, Muschamp could have burned Grier's redshirt last year after Driskel was benched in the win over Tennessee and Treon Harris, who saved that game in the fourth quarter, was suspended.

Instead, Driskel played against LSU, Harris was reinstated and played the rest of the season, and Grier was given the proper time to develop both mentally and physically.

That progression continued with McElwain in the house. 

Grier didn't earn the start in Game 1. That responsibility was Harris'. But as the Gators have won, Grier has slowly but surely evolved into the "starter" in Gainesville.

He started and split time with Harris in Game 2, took every snap of Florida's first SEC road trip in a win at Kentucky in Week 3 and then grew up in front of the eyes of over 90,000 fans at "The Swamp" last Saturday.

"What I liked more than anything was how calm he was in the situations when we needed it most," McElwain said. "That's something we can build on."

McElwain won't anoint Grier as the unquestioned starter. As the Associated Press noted on Wednesday (via: ESPN.com), McElwain is still keeping Harris in the fold as an option now that he has returned from suspension.

Make no mistake, though. That's part of the plan.

Harris' experience and versatility is important to keep in the mix for a Gator team that might need it at times. But Grier has done everything asked of him to become a star, bided his time both as a redshirt and while Harris was more a part of the equation, and came of age Saturday afternoon in Gainesville.

What's more, the weapons around him are players he can grow with.

Freshman Antonio Callaway had 112 yards and that 63-yard game-winning touchdown against the Vols. Sophomore Brandon Powell had 64 yards and caught the touchdown pass late in the fourth to bring the Gators within one score. And Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite are talented backs who are more than capable of taking over once junior Kelvin Taylor moves on.

Saturday's remarkable comeback was just the beginning for Grier.

Despite being only a redshirt freshman, he was brought along slowly, thrived in a big spot and proved that the best is yet to come.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics are courtesy of CFBStats.comBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

ESPN College GameDay 2015: Week 5 Schedule, Location, Predictions and More

With conference play either right around the corner or in full swing for different leagues across the country, there are few remaining opportunities to make a nonconference statement this college football season. 

The undefeated Clemson Tigers have just that opportunity Saturday when the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish come to Death Valley.

With two undefeated, Top 15 teams squaring off, it is only natural ESPN’s traveling pregame show College GameDay will make an appearance. The program announced its impending presence shortly after the Week 4 schedule came to an end:

Make sure you watch because you never know what can happen when the show visits Clemson:

The actual game takes place Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Here is everything you have to know for GameDay and the showdown on the field.


ESPN College GameDay: Week 3 Info

Date: Saturday, Oct. 3

Time (ET): 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Watch: ESPN 

Live Stream: WatchESPN


Preview and Prediction

While both teams have a zero in the loss column, there are still lingering questions about how good they will be against elite competition. Saturday is a chance to provide a resounding answer.

After all, Notre Dame’s opponents are a combined 4-11 on the season (the Georgia Tech win doesn’t look as good after Duke handled the Yellow Jackets, and Texas is not exactly the Longhorns of old), and Clemson looked vulnerable in a narrow 20-17 victory over 1-3 Louisville. The Tigers’ other wins came against overmatched Wofford and Appalachian State.

Another concern for both squads is injuries. Clemson lost standout wide receiver Mike Williams (who tallied 1,030 receiving yards in 2014) to a fractured neck in the season opener, and the Fighting Irish are already without six players due to season-ending setbacks.

Quarterback Malik Zaire and running back Tarean Folston were two of those injuries for Notre Dame, but replacements DeShone Kizer and C.J. Prosise have carried the offense. In fact, Prosise’s 600 rushing yards are the most ever by a Notre Dame running back in the first four games of a season.

Clemson still has its backfield duo intact with preseason Heisman dark horse Deshaun Watson and Wayne Gallman.

Watson boasts 641 passing yards and seven touchdown passes and is also a threat to move the ball with his legs, but Saturday represents a golden opportunity on a national stage to prove the hype surrounding the preseason first-team All-ACC quarterback was merited.

In Clemson’s one game against an opponent of note (Louisville), Gallman rescued the offense after Watson threw two interceptions and looked overwhelmed at times. Gallman tallied 139 rushing yards on the day and has 310 yards and three touchdowns on the ground this season.

The Notre Dame defense that allowed 450 yards to UMass, including an 83-yard touchdown run in the first half, must play better against Watson and Gallman if it hopes to leave Clemson with a road victory. The Fighting Irish also allowed more than 400 yards against Virginia (416) in a game they needed Kizer to engineer a miraculous comeback.

If the defense allows explosive plays to a stronger opponent like Clemson, a comeback won’t be in store. 

Notre Dame’s best chance to move the ball is with Prosise. He is averaging an astounding 8.1 yards per carry, although much of the credit belongs to the offensive line, as Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com highlighted:

Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press wondered if the physicality of the Notre Dame offense would be enough to outlast Clemson:

Ideally for the Fighting Irish, Prosise will pick up chunks of yardage early. In turn, that will open up the passing attack with wide receiver Will Fuller, who already boasts 454 receiving yards and six touchdown catches.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was well aware the Fighting Irish have an explosive offense during his press conference, per ClemsonTigers.com:

I mean, they're disciplined, they're physical, they're fast, they're well-coached. Again, offensively they're really complete. They've got an excellent offensive line. They've got great skill. They just keep coming up with quarterbacks. It's unbelievable these guys they've got playing quarterback. The Kizer kid has stepped in and done a tremendous job. They haven't missed a beat.

The running back, No. 20, he's averaging 8.1 yards a carry. Tight ends are very physical and talented. This is as good an offensive line as we've seen in a long time, so it's just a complete group, and they do a great job with how they call the plays.

Notre Dame may bring plenty of weapons to the table, but Clemson’s defense will be up to the challenge.

It ranks ninth nationally with 260.7 yards allowed per game and swarmed to the ball against Louisville, as it forced two turnovers and made critical stands in the waning minutes to preserve the victory.

Russo mentioned there is a lack of depth up front for the Tigers, but Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, Scott Pagano and Carlos Watkins form a dominant defensive line. Andrea Adelson and Fortuna of ESPN.com praised their ability to step in as four new starters and pointed out opposing runners are averaging a mere three yards per carry against the Tigers. Clemson is also averaging 9.3 tackles for loss a game.

Lawson is a star who will fly into Notre Dame’s backfield on passing downs and pressure Kizer throughout the contest.

Ultimately, Notre Dame’s inexperience with Kizer under center in a hostile environment against this swarming defense will prove to be the difference. It is a meager 2-5 under coach Brian Kelly on the road against ranked teams (both wins occurred back in 2012), and the crowd in Clemson will be raucous from before the opening kick.

The Fighting Irish have enough talent to challenge any team in the country on a neutral field, but Saturday night will belong to Death Valley and the formidable Clemson defense.

Prediction: Clemson 24, Notre Dame 17

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

University of Cincinnati Saxophone Player Goes Down Hard Running onto Field

The University of Cincinnati band directors may need to take a break from teaching their students how to march during their shows and instruct them how to run.

It was just a few years ago that a trumpet player went down hard and lost a mouthpiece while running down the stadium steps. Well, Thursday night at Cincinnati's home tilt with Miami (Florida), another band member ate turf.

This Bearcats saxophone player successfully ran down the stairs, but as he hurried through the end zone, he took a spill.

Give the saxophone player credit. He got right up and continued running to his spot.

[ESPN College Football]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Les Miles Comments on Leonard Fournette Testing NFL Draft Early-Entry Rule

LSU Tigers head football coach Les Miles has dismissed the notion that his superstar running back Leonard Fournette will test the NFL draft eligibility rules and risk cutting his collegiate career in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, short.

Miles spoke on the matter Wednesday night during his weekly radio show and intimated the sensational sophomore wouldn't sit out next year in a bid to go pro, as reported by ESPN.com:

To me, there's a lot of people out there stirring the pot. Just, let's make controversy. Why not? OK? I can't imagine that Leonard would be sitting anywhere inactive for a fall. I just can't possibly imagine it.

I think there's a lot of speculation and a lot of conversation that speaks to 'what if' for someone else. ... What if he's got goals to go down as one of the greatest running backs ever? What if he really enjoys his teammates and enjoys being a part of a college atmosphere? What if he's serious about getting his degree? What if he has a financial position that offsets injury? What if -- I mean, what if, my goodness. You could 'what if' forever.

The current rules mandate that prospective NFL draft entrants be three years removed from high school before making the leap. Some believe it'd be in Fournette's best interest to not play football as a junior to avoid the risk of injury.

Bleacher Report NFL draft expert Matt Miller explained how such a course of action could be problematic:

Fournette, who has rushed for 631 yards and eight touchdowns in only three games this season so far, has said he won't be leaving LSU in the near future, recently writing on Twitter, "I will never jump ship. ... I'm drowning with my brothers."

A cautionary tale that ought to discourage Fournette from challenging the rules involves another running back in Maurice Clarett. The former Ohio State star unsuccessfully attempted to enter the 2004 draft after being dismissed from the Buckeyes program.

Clarett's situation was different, and his legal problems created the ultimate disaster scenario. Yet it's still a past case worth paying attention to.

ESPN's Jemele Hill brought up a more recent example in 2013 No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jadeveon Clowney:

During his last year at South Carolina, Clowney took offense to those who questioned his effort. This plays into the point Miller made about passion for football.

Even though the 6'1", 230-pound Fournette appears to be fully capable of playing on Sundays right now, he is still only 20 years old. Becoming a pro athlete and handling all that goes with it at his age would be a considerable challenge beyond the gridiron.

No matter what he decides to do for the foreseeable future, the NFL will be there for Fournette when the 2017 draft rolls around. This year's draft was the first time a running back was taken in the first round since 2012, but Fournette is the type of transcendent talent who merits an early selection on Day 1.

If Fournette can remain healthy and continue putting up monster numbers in the SEC, there's little doubt he'll be a first-round NFL draft choice in the future. The discussion will then revolve around how high he'll go.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati RB Hosey Williams Disappears Completely into Pile, Re-Emerges for TD

Even though it looked like Hosey Williams was stuck in the pile at the line of scrimmage, the Cincinnati Bearcats running back kept his legs moving and found a way into the end zone.

On 1st-and-10 from the Miami 29-yard line, Williams took the handoff and ran straight at the pile. Hurricanes defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins appeared to have Williams stopped, but the running back didn't give up.

Eventually, he was able to get out of the defender's grasp and break through for the score.

Here's a better look at the run:


Williams' 29-yard touchdown helped give the Bearcats a 7-3 lead less than five minutes into the game.


Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kayden Lyles to Wisconsin: Badgers Land 4-Star OG Prospect

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst is racking up the miles on the recruiting trail on Thursday. First, he secured the commitment of 4-star defensive tackle Garrett Rand, per Badgers247's Evan Flood. Later on in the evening, 4-star offensive guard Kayden Lyles announced he's heading to Madison, Wisconsin.

Lyles confirmed his commitment on Twitter:

Unlike Rand, Lyles won't join the Badgers until 2017. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, he is the No. 4 guard and No. 95 player overall in the 2017 recruiting class.

Flood pictured what members of the Wisconsin coaching staff and roster are doing to celebrate the imminent arrivals of Rand and Lyles:    

Lyles' brother, Kare'—a member of the 2016 class—committed to the Badgers back in March, and Richard Obert of AZCentral.com wrote the connection between the Lyles family and Wisconsin football goes back a generation:

The brothers' father, Kevin, was a tight end on Wisconsin's 1993 team, which beat UCLA in the Rose Bowl.

Former Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst, the new Wisconsin head coach, played quarterback for the Badgers in the late 1980s. His offensive coordinator is Joe Rudolph, who was teammates with Kevin Lyles and captain of the Wisconsin 1993 team. Rudolph also works with the offensive linemen.

Over the years, Wisconsin has seemingly produced an assembly line of massive offensive linemen who have opened up running lanes for the likes of Melvin Gordon, Montee Ball, James White, P.J. Hill, Michael Bennett and Ron Dayne.

In that regard, Kayden Lyles (6'3", 290 lbs) will fit right in with the Badgers. He's a tremendous run-blocker who can overpower opposing defensive linemen in close quarters and also move around in order to open up holes a little further downfield.

Lyles leaves a little bit to be desired as a pass-blocker, but that issue will be mitigated by the fact he'll almost certainly play at guard when he joins the team.

As long as he stays healthy and continues to improve, Lyles should become a key member of the Badgers offensive line in a few years.


Note: Recruit star rankings are courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Teams on High Upset Alert in Month of October

The calendar has shifted to October, which in the college football world means we're getting into the meat of the schedule. The first month had plenty of great matchups but also a lot of dogs, but in October the presence of conference play raises the overall level of each week's schedule.

It also means there are far more occasions when the best teams in the FBS will be on upset alert.

It could be the opponent, the venue or when the game sits on the slate, or some combination of these factors that makes certain games more dangerous than they might appear on paper. It was this weekend last October when it seemed like no ranked team was safe, with Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Wisconsin all losing to unranked or lower-ranked opponents.

Which teams have the most to worry about in this department this October? Take a look at which teams we think should be looking over their shoulders.

Begin Slideshow