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Georgia Football Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

Georgia held its annual G-Day spring game on Saturday.

Here are complete game grades and analysis for the intrasquad scrimmage, where the Red Team (first-team offense) defeated the Black Team (first-team defense) 27-24 at the half.

First-Half Analysis from G-Day

Pass Offense: Offensively, starting quarterback Hutson Mason and his backups (Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey) found success through the air.  An offensive line unit that is far from cemented performed adequately, and a host of Georgia receivers made plays down the field.  Georgia receivers struggled to shake loose on short passes in the flats, but otherwise, the first half was tremendously successful for the passing attack. 

Run Offense: Georgia's first-team offense did not rely too heavily on the ground attack, but Todd Gurley and Brendan Douglas both found room to run.  Interestingly enough, Mason, who is not known as a dual threat, had several long runs on the read-option.  The second-team rushing attack led by redshirt freshman A.J. Turman was equally underutilized, but Turman ran hard and showed promise.

Pass Defense: In some ways, this defensive unit is graded on a curve to account for the prolific nature of Georgia's offense.  In that regard, although Jeremy Pruitt's defense gave up yards in bunches through the air, there were plenty of positives in the first half.  Notably, cornerback Shaq Wiggins made a number of plays, including a pass breakup in the end zone.  The defense also tackled well in space, which was rarely the case in 2013, and the front four put decent pressure on passers.

Run Defense: Pruitt's defense struggled more mightily against the run.  Long runs on read-option plays plagued both the first- and second-team defensive units, and gaping holes were repeatedly opened by an unproven offensive line unit.

Special Teams: Georgia is not kicking off or punting live during the scrimmage, but one field goal (from 33 yards out) was good and a long one as time expired (53 yards) was just off.  All three extra points were successful.  

Coaching: Offensively, coordinator Mike Bobo has not been forced out of his comfort zone, and Pruitt's defense is clearly still a work in progress.  With that in mind, it's hard to discount Bobo's play-calling or drop a hammer on Pruitt.  That being said, both teams were penalized more often than is desirable.  That needs to be cleaned up.

 

Final Analysis from G-Day

Pass Offense: Undoubtedly, Mason was a high point of the day as he demonstrated consistency, accuracy and control while under center.  That being said, the backups encountered more adversity in the second half as the defensive secondary made a number of plays and forced several turnovers.

Run Offense: The Georgia ground attack is what fans expected it to be, and that's not a bad thing.  Gurley, Douglas and Turman all ran the ball well.  The offensive line created holes and the talented Bulldog backs capitalized.

Pass Defense: If nothing else this Georgia secondary seems more opportunistic than last year's squad.  The defensive backs are still plagued by youth, but when opportunities arose, the safeties and cornerbacks made plays in the second half.  Coverage remained streaky (at best), but open field tackling also seems to have improved.

Run Defense: Georgia's defense gave up more yardage on the ground than some would have expected, but some of that can likely be blamed on the new scheme.  Several times too many defenders dropped into coverage or failed to maintain lane integrity.  Because of these miscues, far too many holes for runners were opened.

Special Teams: If a missed field goal from 53 yards out is the only black eye for Georgia's special teams, then it's been a pretty nice afternoon.

Coaching: Bobo did a nice job of working multiple quarterbacks (even true freshman Jacob Park) into various packages and doling out plenty of experience.  On the other side of the ball, Pruitt seems to have established a solid rotation among the front seven and he's truly committed to giving everyone opportunities in the secondary.

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Notre Dame Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

On a beautiful South Bend afternoon, Brian Kelly's offense burst out of the gate and ran away from Brian VanGorder's defense, with the 85th annual Blue-Gold game ending in a 63-58 win for the offense. 

With our first extended look at new coordinators Mike Denbrock and Brian VanGorder, let's go through our final game grades and analysis as we critique a new depth chart on both sides of the ball.  

First, here's the unique scoring system Brian Kelly established for each team.

OFFENSE

Field goal: 3 points
Touchdown: 6 points
Extra Point: 1 point
2-point Conversion: 2 points
Big Chunk Pass (20+ yards): 2 points
Big Chunk Run (15+): 2 points
Two consecutive first downs: 2 points

DEFENSE

Defensive Stop Before 50-yard line: 4 points
Defensive Stop After the 50-yard line: 2 points
Turnover Forced Before 50-yard line: 7 points
Turnover Forced After 50-yard line: 3 points
Forces a Field Goal (Make or Miss): 1 point
Three-and-out: 2 points

Final analysis for the Fighting Irish

Pass Offense: If there's a big surprise it's been the productivity of Malik Zaire. Looking more composed and poised than veteran Everett Golson, Zaire completed 15 of 19 throws for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first half. 

He looked good checking the football down. He made a very nice long throw to Will Fuller that set up a touchdown. He showed touch and then a great fastball when hitting Amir Carlisle on a short slant for a red zone touchdown. 

In the second half Zaire slowed down, but still finished the afternoon 18 of 25 for 292 yards and two touchdowns, making it known that Zaire wasn't living in a parallel universe when he thought himself capable of winning a starting job. 

In his return to the football field after a season away, Golson was far from bad, but did miss a few early throws and found himself abandoning his reads and fleeing the pocket. Golson finished the afternoon 13 of 24 for 154 yards, an average day at the office for a quarterback playing behind mostly backups on the offensive line. 

If there was a positive that matched the quarterback's production it's the multitude of receiving options that the quarterbacks had. Rising junior Chris Brown caught five balls for 105 yards. Corey Robinson made another highlight reel catch on a deep throw. CJ Prosise and Amir Carlisle looked at home in the slot, with Prosise supplying one of the game's "wow" moments when he showed off his sprinter speed and ran away from the Irish secondary for a 39-yard touchdown. 

An uninspired second half—not to mention a running clock—kept the yardage totals mostly flat after the first half. But a combined 31 for 49 for 446 yards between Golson and Zaire, with zero turnovers, is a great day at the office. 

Rush Offense: After splitting series in the first half, Greg Bryant exploded after halftime, breaking loose on a 51-yard run and hitting his stride to power the ground game. Bryant's run helped him pace the rushing attack, with 12 carries for 101 yards leading the way. 

Folston looked very smooth as well, running for 38 yards on seven carries, but exploded in the passing game with 54 yards on five first half catches, including a few very well executed screen passes. 

Cam McDaniel was his reliable self, rushing nine times for 33 yards and a touchdown while catching two passes, including a clutch third down reception on a back-shoulder throw. But Saturday's performance highlighted the youth on the roster, with Bryant and Folston looking like both the present and the future of the Irish's ground game.  

Pass Defense: It's hard to be too kind to a defense that gave up 388 yards in one half of football, but there were some nice moments. Cole Luke had a nice breakup on a deep pass to Torii Hunter Jr. Elijah Shumate made a solid hit on Amir Carlisle, causing an incompletion. 

Walk-on cornerback Connor Cavalaris was beaten by Corey Robinson on a long ball that didn't seem fair. Josh Atkinson was victimized a few times as well, but also broke up two passes.

If there's a plus, it doesn't appear that the Irish pass rush is lacking. Romeo Okwara paced the pass rush with three sacks (though with quarterbacks untouchable, it was a subjective measurement). Andrew Trumbetti, Isaac Rochell, Jacob Matuska and Chase Hounshell were credited with sacks as well.

One of the stories of spring was John Turner, and the safety-turned-linebacker added six tackles as an athletic coverman. Matthias Farley looked good after a shaky start in the slot, tallying five tackles. James Onwualu had three tackles, his first game playing defense for Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly chuckled during the broadcast when Alex Flanagan asked him if Brian VanGorder's defense was showing his offense a lot on Saturday. So while the stats don't look too pretty, there's reason for optimism.  

Rush Defense: The rush defense stood strong outside of Bryant's long run. And while we didn't see much of Sheldon Day or Jarron Jones, senior Kendall Moore had a strong game in run support.

Perhaps the defensive highlight of the day was a beautiful tackle by Jaylon Smith. With Tarean Folston having the corner, Smith used his elite speed to close ground on Folston and wrap him up for a short gain. 

Tallying in sack yardage, the defense held the offense to a meager 2.7 yards per carry on 47 touches. Against the trio of Bryant, Folston and McDaniel, the defense gave up 4.5 yards a carry. A solid but not spectacular performance by the rush defense. 

Special Teams: The good: Kyle Brindza made a 50-yard field goal. The bad: Everything else. Brindza clanked a 33-yarder off the left upright and then missed badly when given a chance at a 58-yarder as the half ended. His punts looked no better, with both landing short without a return. 

Coaching: Outside of miscalculating what would make for a competitive game (in the first half), there's nothing to complain about from a coaching perspective. You've got to like the fact that the Irish screen game, terrible last year, looked really good. 

After talking about spreading the ball around to multiple weapons, the Irish have done exactly that. There were 14 different players with catches. Ten players caught two balls or more.

Down by 50 at half, the defense used the running clock and a better pass rush to close the gap to a respectable 63-58. And while it's too soon to tell about Nicky Baratti's shoulder injury, it looks like the Irish might have gotten out of the Blue-Gold game without any major injuries, either.  

 

 

 

 

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Miami Hurricanes Football Players Go Nuts over New Uniforms

The Miami Hurricanes football players anxiously awaited the unveiling of their new jerseys for the 2014 season, and it looked like it was worth the wait.

Watch the video above as the entire team gets hyped up after the big reveal. Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press got a glimpse of the jerseys and seemed thoroughly impressed.

Once a video that actually shows the jerseys is posted, we'll make sure to add.

[Youtube, h/t College Spun]

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Florida State Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

Garnet 10, Gold 7—Late 2nd Quarter

The Florida State Seminoles have returned to Doak Campbell Stadium for the annual Garnet and Gold spring game.

ESPN is carry the game and Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and analysis throughout the spring game. As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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South Carolina Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

Keep it locked here for updates as Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks give fans a preview of the 2014 South Carolina Gamecocks. 

Pass Offense: As a whole, the passing game looked sharp, particularly when starting quarterback Dylan Thompson was  in the game. Thompson completed eight passes in 11 attempts for 129 yards and a touchdown. Connor Mitch also was sharp, completing five passes in six attempts for 99 yards. The quarterbacks did a good job of spreading the ball around. Seven different receivers caught one pass each in the first half.

Rush Offense: The running game also looked sharp.Redshirt freshman David Williams carried four times for 20 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Seldom-used Devin Potter has 22 yards on four carries. Collectively, the running game produced 102 yards on 26 carries.

Pass Defense: South Carolina's secondary, particularly at cornerback, looked weak. Of course the Gamecocks are thin at corner, so it was somewhat to be expected. Also, according to the rules of the spring game, blitzing was not allowed, which certainly didn't help the secondary.

Rush Defense: The Gamecocks rush defense fared a little bit better. JUCO transfer Abu Lamin looked good at defensive tackle.Otherwise, the rush defense did a good job of not allowing any long runs fro scrimmage. 

Special teams: The return game was more or less taken out of the equation. Place kicker Elliott Fry made one field goal from 22 yards and missed one from 48 yards. Tyler Hull punted once for 40 yards.

Final analysis

Pass Offense: Thompson sat out the second half, turning things over to Mitch, Perry Orth and Brendan Nosovitch. Mitch looked the best of those three and will likely head into the offseason penciled in as the backup to Thompson.

Rush Offense: With starter Mike Davis limited, redshirt freshman David Williams looked the best of the remaining tailbacks. However, Shon Carson must have had a better body of work over the course of the spring. Carson was honored as most improve tailback of spring practice.

Pass Defense: South Carolina's weakest area by far, although Jamari Smith, converted from tailback to cornerback in the spring, did have an interception. South Carolina will have to wait for more help at corner when the incoming recruiting class arrives.

Special teams: The Gamecocks did not punt or try a field goal in the second half. Look for punter Tyler Hull to face a challenge for his starting job in the fall.

 

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Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

The Gray team, led by redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, defeated the Scarlet team 17-7 in Ohio State's spring game Saturday afternoon. Check out the final grades and analysis below.

Gray 17, Scarlet 7, Final

 

 

Final analysis for the Ohio State Buckeyes

Pass Offense: Both teams produced relatively pedestrian numbers. Cardale Jones had a very rough day, completing just 13-of-29 passes for 106 yards. J.T. Barrett made a number of good throws, going 15-of-33 for 151 yards, but neither quarterback completed a pass longer than 30 yards or threw a touchdown.

Run Offense: With Carlos Hyde and four senior starters along the offensive line gone, Ohio State wants to get the ball to the perimeter more this season. With few opportunities, though, the Buckeyes' ball-carriers showed good speed and vision.

Pass Defense: Ohio State's defense gave up 268 passing yards per game last season, which ranked No. 110 nationally, but the secondary looked very sharp running new co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash's aggressive scheme.

Run Defense: The Buckeyes ranked ninth nationally in rush defense last year, and that domination spilled over to the spring game. Ohio State was active up front as neither side gained much traction on the ground.

Special Teams: Freshman Sean Nuernberger and Junior Kyle Clinton are battling for the starting kicker spot. Meyer gave both a number of opportunities, but Nuernberger showed more accuracy and leg strength. Punter Cameron Johnston was sensational, much like he was last season.

Coaching: The offensive coaches were dealing with a depleted roster and a limited playbook, so the uninspiring stats are somewhat understandable. The defensive staff has to be thrilled with what they saw as their unit played very well. 

First half analysis for the Ohio State Buckeyes

Pass Offense: The Buckeyes went with a pass-heavy offense by design. Cardale Jones struggled to find a groove, completing just six-of-15 passes of seven yards, but J.T. Barrett and the Gray team moved the ball pretty well through the air. Barrett connected on 15-of-27 passes for 112 yards.

Run Offense: With the play-calling slanted toward the passing game, there weren't a lot of opportunities in the running game. The Gray team, led by Barrett and running back Bri'onte Dunn, got things going in the second quarter.

Pass Defense: Ohio State's defensive front was very active in the first half, especially on the Scarlet Team, causing havoc when the quarterbacks dropped back. Neither team allowed a passing touchdown.

Run Defense: The Buckeyes weren't challenged very much on the ground, but even with the limited opportunities, Ohio State's defense played well against the run.

Special Teams: With no kickoffs or returns, Ohio State primarily worked on punting and field goals. Cameron Johnston had a number of excellent punts, including a 41-yard boot that pinned the Gray team at the 1-yard line. 

Coaching: The playbooks on both sides of the ball were very limited—the offense rarely ran and the defense didn't blitz—but the Scarlet team didn't execute their sets as well as the Gray team.

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Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

Welcome, Buckeye Nation, to our live coverage of the Ohio State 2014 spring game.

We'll be bringing you all the action taking place in Columbus Saturday, as Cardale Jones leads the Scarlet squad against J.T. Barrett and the gray team.

For full spring game rosters, check out OSU's official release.

We'll break them down below leading up to the game, which is set for a 1:30 p.m. EDT kickoff and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Thanks for clicking in. Comment below with your own thoughts and questions on OSU's spring and upcoming 2014-15 campaign.

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Tennessee Family Dresses in Style for Orange and White Game

If you're going to go to a sporting event, you might as well dress in style.

With the Tennessee Volunteers playing in their annual Orange and White game, one family decided to rock the team's colors, with the dad and kids wearing full suits complete with canes. 

It's safe to say that the Stubblefield family will turn some heads at the game.

[Twitter, h/t Extra Mustard]

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East Carolina Football Team Reveals New Logo on Helmets and Field

With so many teams revealing new logos this offseason, the East Carolina Pirates have unveiled their new logo for both their helmets and on the middle of their field.

You can see a few pictures of the logo below:

After a strong 10-3 season last year, the Pirates are looking to make another strong push in Conference USA.

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

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Notre Dame Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

The Notre Dame spring game is finally underway!

Are you excited? 

Note: Scoring isn't traditional, as points will be scored various ways. Please make sure to follow along for score updates, news and anything else regarding the game. 

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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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