Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Fruitcake Day!

Fruitcakes have long been tied to the holiday season, whether as a treat, or as target of jokes and ridicule. The earliest recipes for them date to Roman times, where pomegranates, pine nuts, and raisins mixed with barley hash were used. Fruitcakes became popular in Europe, where the fruits and nuts used in them were a delicacy. Thus, they came to be served primarily on special occasions such as weddings and during Christmas. Honey and spices were also common ingredients in fruitcakes in Europe in the Middle Ages. Their popularity in Europe rose with the importation of cheap sugar from the colonies in the sixteenth century, which allowed fruit to be better preserved. Native fruits such as plums and cherries were better preserved, but this allowed more fruits to be imported from around the world as well. Recipes proliferated all over Europe; recipes varied by country and changed over time. By the early nineteenth century, a typical recipe would be made up of citrus peel, pineapple, dates, pears, and cherries.

SU News

Camping World Bowl: With SU’s Robinson Out, Now What? - West Virginia University Athletics (; Antonik)

News out of Syracuse earlier this week that top pass rusher Alton Robinson will not play in this year's Camping World Bowl game against West Virginia could significantly impact how the Mountaineers deal with the Orange defense.

Robinson ranked second in the ACC in sacks this year with 10 and third with 17 tackles for loss, was credited with 11 quarterback hurries and forced three fumbles in 12 regular season games.

Those are some very impressive numbers.

Consequently, the consistent pressure Robinson generated from the outside helped Syracuse lead the ACC in turnover margin at plus-14 and rank second in interceptions with 17.

A 10-sack, 17-TFL guy is an automatic double team, which was going to mean less pass routes and more pass protecting for emerging Mountaineer tight end Trevon Wesco, arguably one of West Virginia's more effective offensive weapons during the latter part of the season.

"Yeah, we had some things in to help us out on the edge so I don't know if that changes it up and we'll keep it in the game plan, but I know there was that extra little protection on the edge to try and slow him down," junior offensive tackle Colton McKivitz said Tuesday afternoon.

Beat writers unanimously pick Syracuse to win Camping World Bowl (DO; Staff)

No. 20 Syracuse (9-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) and No. 16 West Virginia (8-3, 6-3 Big 12) haven’t played a game in over a month. But on Dec. 28, the two will meet in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Orange are playing in their first bowl game in five years and are one win away from its first 10-win season since 2001. The Mountaineers are coming off a high-scoring loss to Oklahoma, 59-56, and will be without their starting quarterback Will Grier, who is sitting out the game for his NFL Draft stock.

Here’s who our beat writers have taking the win, and why.

Andrew Graham (10-2)

Country road, take me home

Syracuse 45, West Virginia 34

Will Grier sitting out this game is about the best early Christmas present head coach Dino Babers could ask for: the opponent’s best player is not playing. In a game with two teams that love to air it out and score, this should still be an exciting evening. But for a West Virginia team that had legitimate playoff aspirations, this feels like more of a consolation. Syracuse, the team that hasn’t played in a bowl in half a decade, is hungry. The seniors have never played in a bowl, and it’s hard to imagine Eric Dungey and company don’t go out on a win against what may be an undermanned and unmotivated West Virginia side. SU will finish with 10 wins or more for the seventh time ever and the expectations for 2019 climb just a little bit higher.

Josh Schafer (10-2)

No will to win

Syracuse 52 West Virginia 38

In many ways, Syracuse plays Big 12 Conference style football. I’d expect that to pay dividends in this year’s Camping World Bowl. Both Syracuse and West Virginia ranked in the top-15 in scoring offense and allow more than 25 points per game. With WVU quarterback Will Grier sitting out because of his high draft prospects, the edge falls to Syracuse. The Orange seniors have waited their entire careers to play in a bowl game while the Mountaineers have played in one each of the last five seasons. In bowl season, sometimes it’s those random factors that matter. Syracuse’s offense will thrive against an exposable defense and hold off a second-string quarterback long enough to secure its first bowl victory since 2013.

Syracuse defensive lineman Kendall Coleman says Orange eager to show off their progress during Camping World Bowl (; Carnahan)

Syracuse defensive lineman Kendall Coleman says it’s the beauty of life and nature that inspires him to write poetry when he’s not chasing after opposing quarterbacks.

“Being down here in Florida, there’s a lot of inspiration,” Coleman said Wednesday before the start of practice at Camping World Stadium.

No. 20 Syracuse (9-3) makes its return to the college football postseason Friday against No. 16 West Virginia (8-3) in the Camping World Bowl. The game kicks off at 5:15 p.m. and will air on ESPN.

It’s the first bowl game for the Orange since 2013 and the program’s first trip to Orlando since playing in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2004.

For players like Coleman, the bright lights of bowl season serve as an ideal stage for showcasing a program on the rebound.

“I feel like there’s art in everything,” Coleman said when asked about poetry about football. “When that helmet gets put on it’s kind of a different mentality. It’s a different environment when the crowd is around you and you can’t hear anything because you’re just so focused on your team and your family right there next to you. All of that is pretty artful. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, and it’s like that with all sports, too.”

The season for Syracuse has been a work of art in many ways under the direction of third-year coach Dino Babers, who after going 4-8 in back-to-back years has the Orange on the verge of a 10-win season for just the seventh time. The turnaround comes after suffering five losses by nine points or less in 2017.

CNY Sportsperson of the Year Dino Babers on passion and a remarkable rebuild (PS; Carlson)

When Dino Babers arrived at Syracuse in 2015, he told Central New York to close its eyes and visualize.

The relentless defense. The well-coached special teams. The offense that wouldn’t huddle. The electric Carrier Dome.

It took just three years for Dino Babers to keep his word. And delivering on that promise made him an overwhelming choice for the | Post-Standard’s first-ever CNY Sportsperson of the Year Award, beating out a field of strong candidates.

Nine candidates for 2018 CNY Sportsperson of the Year

We'll announce the winner on Thursday, Dec. 27.

There were recruiting challenges. Financial challenges. Facility challenges. Oh, and there were annual games against college football powerhouses Clemson and Florida State.

Despite that, Babers' program earned a national ranking and a chance at a 10-win season. None of those have happened here since 2001. Some wondered when they would happen again.

More than anything, Babers brought back the belief that Syracuse football program was capable of producing a consistent winner as the Orange prepares to take on West Virginia at 5:15 p.m. Friday in the Camping World Bowl.

Syracuse-West Virginia: Camping World Bowl prediction, preview, time, TV channel | (; Myers)

If West Virginia quarterback Will Grier was playing, this game would likely lead the most intriguing bowl games outside the New Year's Six games. Regardless, the upstart Syracuse Orange provide plenty of reasons to watch on its own.

Syracuse-West Virginia: Camping World Bowl time, TV channel

No. 16 West Virginia (8-3) plays No. 20 Syracuse (9-3) on Friday, Dec. 28 at 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Syracuse-West Virginia: Camping World Bowl prediction, preview

These former Big East opponents are heading into their first meeting since 2012 with two top-10 offenses.

Grier is sitting out of the Camping World Bowl in preparation for the NFL draft in the spring, so West Virginia will have to find a way to generate its explosive offense without the nation’s third-ranked player in passing yards per game.

MORE: 2018-19 Bowl Schedule

In place of Grier will likely be Jack Allison, who has attempted just 10 passes this season. Without Grier in its bowl game last season, West Virginia lost 30-14 with just 153 yards of offense. This is a great look at what West Virginia could look like in the future with Allison behind center.

Syracuse starting quarterback Eric Dungey will be playing in the Camping World Bowl and has been one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks that no one has talked about much of this season. In his fourth year as a starter, Dungey has finally played a full season and is averaging close to 275 total yards per game for the nation’s 16th-best offense.

SU Football Players Give Back to Kids Before Bowl Game (; Vivacqua)

They say Orlando is a place where everyone can be a kid again. Wednesday, some of the Syracuse University football players were feeling that way while giving some young football fans an experience they won’t soon forget.

A Day for Kids gives players from both SU and West Virginia, who will meet Friday in the Camping World Bowl, the opportunity to spend quality time with less fortunate children from the Central Florida community.

As part of Kids Day, players spent some time at Andretti’s Indoor Kart and Gaming. Kids got to meet some of the players, get pictures and of course, play their hearts out.

Players from both teams said this experience is cool for them as well.

Following their experience, the SU players had to get back on the field for practice as they continue to prepare for Friday’s bowl game against West Virginia.

Orange fans head south to Orlando for bowl game (

Christmas is over and now football fans are headed to Orlando to cheer on the Syracuse Orange. The team will take on West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl on Friday.

Several fans told NewsChannel 9 they already had plans to catch a plane south this week and are making the Bowl Game a part of their trip.

This is the first bowl game for the Orange since the 2013 Texas Bowl and only it's sixth bowl game since 2000.

"We were going to Tampa anyway for our end of the year vacation," said Mike Polacek from Baldwinsville. "As soon as it was announced that Syracuse was going to the Camping World Bowl we decided to make it a part of the vacation."

A large charter flight of Orange fans left this morning. The university announced last week, all the tickets allotted for Orange fans sold out.

If you aren't one of the lucky ones traveling to Orlando to see the Camping World Bowl in person, NewsChannel 9 has you covered. Our coverage begins tomorrow with a special bowl edition of Orange Nation. Steve Infanti and Darius Joshua host from Orlando at 7 p.m. on NewsChannel 9.

On Friday, Steve and Darius will have a live pre-game edition of Orange Nation from Orlando starting at 4 p.m.

Watertown Daily Times | College football: Syracuse’s seniors committed to winning bowl game against West Virginia (; St Croix)

Syracuse University’s football seniors will resist a growing national trend to sit out bowl games and savor their long-awaited moment in the sun Friday to cap off a breakout season for the program.

The nationally-ranked No. 17 Orange (9-3 overall) will face No. 15/16 West Virginia (8-3) in the Camping World Bowl at 5:15 p.m. Friday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

SU enters as a one-point favorite for the matchup featuring two of the nation’s most high-powered offenses, which will be televised on ESPN.

The Orange will compete in its first bowl game in five years, looking to secure the seventh 10-win campaign in program history and first since 2001.

“It’s an incredible opportunity that we have in front of us,” said senior quarterback Eric Dungey, who started all 12 regular-season games for the first time in his career to help guide the program back to prominence after three consecutive four-win seasons.

“We can get to 10 wins for the first time in a long time, and really for just the senior class, we’ve been through a lot together,” he added. “No one really believed in us except for us, so it’s been great. I’m just happy that we’re moving it in the right direction for these younger guys and I’m excited for their future here.”

Three seniors for the Mountaineers have joined a group of about 15 players around the country that opted to sit out their bowl game to focus on NFL Draft preparation and avoid potential injury.

Star WVU quarterback Will Grier, who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, and left tackle Yodny Cajuste revealed their intentions soon after the matchup was announced. They were recently joined by wide receiver Gary Jennings Jr., who caught 13 touchdowns to finish second to teammate David Sills V in the Big 12 Conference.

Syracuse vs. West Virginia: Camping World Bowl preview and predictions (; Bromberg)


Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse: If you’ve seen a Syracuse game this year, you know who Dungey is. We’re not going deep by pointing him out. But the Camping World Bowl is his last in a Syracuse uniform and he’s been spectacular this season. Dungey plays with a reckless abandon and that playing style has typically limited him to eight or nine games a season. While he missed most of the Notre Dame game, Dungey played in all 12 games for the first time in his career. He’s 205-of-343 passing for 2,565 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’s also the team’s leading rusher with 732 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Jack Allison, QB, West Virginia: Welcome to bowl season, Jack Allison. Here’s your first career start. Allison is starting for Will Grier, who is sitting out the game to get his prep started for the 2019 NFL draft. Grier threw nearly 400 passes for over 3,800 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2018. Allison threw 10 total passes this season. He completed six of them for 75 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Those 10 passes are the only ones the sophomore has thrown. He sat out the entire 2017 season as a freshman.

Allison won’t have star wide receiver Gary Jennings Jr., either. He’s sitting out the game citing an ankle injury. All-Big 12 left tackle Yodny Cajuste is sitting out too.


Syracuse: The Orange haven’t been to a bowl game since the 2013 season. And Syracuse hasn’t had a 10-win season since the 2001 season under Paul Pasqualoni.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers are going for a bowl victory for the first time since the 2015 Cactus Bowl. A win means a 9-3 season and just the second nine-win (or more) season since 2011.


Nick Bromberg: Syracuse 38, West Virginia 27
Sam Cooper: Syracuse 33, West Virginia 28
Pat Forde: Syracuse 43, West Virginia 31

Syracuse Football 2018 Regular Season Recap | CitrusTV (; video)

With Syracuse’s Camping World Bowl matchup against West Virginia right around the corner, let’s take a look at how the Orange got to Orlando in our 2018 Regular Season Recap!

Make sure to follow @CitrusTVSports and @AdamUnger28 on Twitter to catch all of the coverage from the Camping World Bowl on Friday, December 28.

Syracuse football players participate in indoor karting and games

The team spends the morning with kids ahead of the Camping World Bowl. (video courtesy of SU athletics)

Syracuse's Dino Babers, a wanderer who's found a home (madison/com; AP; Kekis)

When Dino Babers was fresh from being named the football coach at Syracuse, he introduced himself to the Orange faithful at halftime of a basketball game. It's a moment forever etched in his memory.

"It's two minutes before I'm going to go out there and I'm on the phone like, 'I don't know what I'm going to say. I don't know why I'm doing this," Babers recalled. "All I remember is telling them that we will win. I might have said a lot of stuff, but all I remember is, 'We will win.' "

Those were his last words that January night in 2016 inside the Carrier Dome, and after a couple of 4-8 seasons Babers has delivered on that promise. The high-scoring Orange (9-3) are ranked No. 17 and chasing only the seventh double-digit win season in program history as they get set to face No. 15 West Virginia (8-3) in the Camping World Bowl on Friday in Orlando, Florida.

"Winning nine games with a chance to win 10 is a huge deal for a program like Syracuse that had fallen on hard times," said Dick Tomey, who coached Babers in college and gave him his first coaching job more than three decades ago. "I just think it's a tremendous accomplishment. I think it's certainly something that many of us that knew him expected."


How Will Syracuse Fare Without Two Defensive Starters? – Orange Fizz – Free Syracuse Recruiting News (; Aki)

Syracuse’s defense took a massive blow when it lost All-ACC defensive end Alton Robinson and defensive tackle McKinley Williams for the upcoming Camping World Bowl against West Virginia. Both are out due to personal reasons and did not make the trip down to Orlando with the team, according to an SU Athletics statement.

While all eyes are on the offenses in this game, the defense is the one that could ultimately decide it. Both teams check in at top 10 in the country in scoring offense. But Syracuse’s defense has been far superior in a number of categories over that of West Virginia’s. The Orange is the third ranked team in the country in turnover margin, while the Mountaineers aren’t too shabby themselves at 26th. Robinson is a big reason why with his three forced fumbles this season. He also ranks inside the top 10 in the country in sacks per game. His absence off the edge is certainly going to be a noticeable one. The Orange had the best sack duo off the edges in the ACC with Robinson and junior Kendall Coleman. The duo often faced double teams throughout the season off the ends. Their success warranted the respect of Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott who claimed that SU had the best defensive ends of anyone the Tigers had faced all season.

Meanwhile, Williams is a defensive staple for the Orange. The junior started nine games and appeared in all 12 that SU has played this season.

Can West Virginia football hold off red-hot Syracuse without Will Grier? )saturdayblitz.xom; Lunnen)

West Virginia football faces old Big East foe Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl. Can the Mountaineers win without Will Grier?

West Virginia earned their fifth straight bowl bid after going 8-3 this season. They will take on surprising Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl. The last time these two former Big East foes met was in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl. The Orange took the victory, 38-14.

The Mountaineers started the season hot, going 5-0 before being derailed by Iowa State mid-season. They would go on to win their next three, including a big victory at Texas. West Virginia was in position for a potential playoff spot when they lost at Oklahoma State. A spot in the Big 12 championship game was still within reach, but the Mountaineers lost a shootout to Oklahoma.

Syracuse surprised many this season, going 9-3 overall and and 6-2 in the ACC. They lost a close one to Clemson, a game they led by 10 points as late as the fourth quarter. They also lost to another playoff team in Notre Dame and ACC Coastal division champion Pitt. A solid season overall for Dino Baber’s third year. This is the Orange’s first bowl appearance since the 2013 season.

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier has decided to not play in bowl and get ready for the NFL Draft instead. What will the Mountaineers offense look like without him?

Date: Friday, Dec. 28
Time: 5:15 PM ET
Location: Orlando, FL
Venue: Camping World Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN or FuboTV

Keys to Victory

As mentioned, the big loss for West Virginia will be Will Grier’s absence. The Mountaineers will also be without the services of Big 12 lineman of the year, left tackle Yodny Cajuste. In Grier’s place will be sophomore Jack Allison. It will be his time to shine. Will 15 bowl practices be enough? Luckily he still has some good receivers surrounding him with Gary Jennings, David Sills, and Marcus Simms. These guys will need to help out the young Allison if the Mountaineers are to have a chance.

West Virginia vs Syracuse Preview - TSJ101 Sports! (; McCurry)

Here we go! Its time to get ready for West Virginia Mountaineer Football. The Mountaineers will head to Orlando, Florida and take on the Syracuse Orange. The Mountaineers and the Orange will play each other in the Camping World Bowl. Where did the teams finish their season, to get this far? Let’s take a look at the West Virginia vs Syracuse preview.

West Virginia vs Syracuse

West Virginia

The Mountaineers finished up the regular season 8-3, after a 59-56 loss to Oklahoma. Quarterback Will Grier had 539 passing yards during the game against the Sooners. It was the longest in his career ever! Grier also had 4 touchdowns against the Sooners. Running backs Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway had a total of 31 carries, 157 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns. Wide receivers Gary Jennings and David Sills had a total of 15 recieves, 356 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.


The Orange of Syracuse finished up the regular season with a record of 9-3, after a 42-21 win over the Boston College Eagles. Quarterback Eric Dungey had 363 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Running backs Dontae Strickland and Moe Neal had 30 carries with a total of 166 rushing yards. Wide receivers Sean Riley and Jamal Custis had 8 receives with a total of 212 yards with 2 touchdowns.


Duke QB Daniel Jones May or May Not Play Against Syracuse in 2019

Duke seeks consistent performance against Temple in Independence Bowl (; Wiseman)

Questions surround Duke’s football team that go far beyond its ability to end its current two-game losing streak.

Thursday’s Independence Bowl game could be Daniel Jones’ final game in a Blue Devils uniform since NFL scouts have a high enough opinion of the redshirt junior quarterback that he could enter the 2019 draft.

Redshirt junior Joe Giles-Harris, an all-ACC pick at linebacker the past two seasons, could also enter the NFL a year early. The larger question about Giles-Harris is will he play at all against Temple in the last game of his junior season?

Giles-Harris suffered a knee injury during Duke’s 20-12 win at Miami on Nov. 3. He missed Duke’s last three regular-season games, including back-to-back losses to Clemson and Wake Forest.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Giles-Harris has practiced some over the last two weeks but the Blue Devils have prepared other players, most notably junior Koby Quansah, to play.

Toughest job in college football: Defensive coordinator :: (; AP; Russo)

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables began his coaching career at Kansas State in the mid-1990s, trying to come up with ways to stop Nebraska's power option. The Cornhuskers were predictable, but often darn near unstoppable.

So as far as Venables is concerned, coaching defenses has always been challenging. Over 25 years in the business, the challenges have only increased as offenses have become more varied and creative and most every rules tweak has made it harder to play defense. Touchdowns and yards have never been more plentiful. FBS records for yards per play, touchdowns per game and points per game set last season are again being challenged in 2018.

"I love the challenge," said Venables, who has had a top-20 defense each of the last five years at Clemson. "Doesn't mean I always like the result, but I love the challenge."

Clemson | Post and Courier - Charleston, SC (; Sapakoff)

It’s as ho-hum as a new Stetson hat and shiny Tony Lama boots accenting business wear along Elm Street in downtown Dallas. Clemson is a double-digit favorite going into Saturday’s Cotton Bowl, the smart pick to advance to the College Football Playoff national championship game.

Of course.

These are the Dabo Swinney winning-machine Tigers. Almost everyone expected Alabama-Clemson in August and an undefeated Notre Dame team isn’t changing that.

But four playoff appearances and a national title ago Clemson wasn’t such a December dandy. The Tigers were vulnerable going into a Dec. 29 Russell Athletic Bowl matchup with Oklahoma in Orlando.

Clemson DL Clelin Ferrell on preparing to play without Dexter Lawrence (; video; Connolly)

Clemson DL Clelin Ferrell on preparing to play without Dexter Lawrence

Clemson Football || The Vlog (Season 3 Ep 22)

Seniors "everything" to U.Va. football's progress (; Teel)

Ask Bronco Mendenhall a question and he’s apt to answer with a book review. Not a tome about football, mind you. Or one written by a fellow coach.

No, leadership and organizational management are Mendenhall’s preferred themes, and that’s certainly the case when he discusses Virginia’s seniors this season.

“There’s a fantastic book called ‘Change or Die,’” said Mendenhall, the Cavaliers’ third-year head coach. “It talks about the psychology of change, some of the things that are necessary. Ultimately, the existing players have to believe in the new leader, and that has to be established over time.

“That’s point one. But point number two is they also have to believe in the methodology and the strategy to deliver the leader’s vision. Those two things are separate and distinct. They need constant care and nurturing and tending to. We meet every morning as a team and basically keep addressing those things.”

Written by business journalist Alan Deutschman, a professor at Nevada Reno, the book helped Mendenhall sell his vision, witness U.Va.’s first winning season since 2011 and first back-to-back bowl appearances since 2004 and ’05.

But no matter how persuasive the pitch, the targets have to be willing. They have to listen; they have to believe.

Texas A&M football: Scouting report for NC State Wolfpack (; Shull)

Head Coach: Dave Doeren (66-37, 44-33 with NC State)
2017 finish: 9-4, win over Arizona State in the Sun Bowl
Key 2018 Statistics:
Yards per game – 478.7 (11th)
Points per game – 36.6 (16th)
Rushing yards per game -149.4 (85th)
Passing yards per game – 329.4 (6th)
Yards allowed per game – 381.6 (49th)
Points allowed per game – 23.5 (40th)
Rushing yards allowed per game – 104.2 (7th)
Passing yards allowed per game – 277.5 (125th)

Players to Watch

Quarterback Ryan Finley
Finley is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and might be licking his chops to get after the Aggies No. 111-ranked pass defense. He finished the season with 3,789 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also completed 68 percent of his passes. The Wolfpack were No. 6 in the nation in passing offense and Finley was selected as the quarterback for the 2018 All ACC First Team.

Leading Rusher Reggie Gallaspy
The focus will be on NC State’s pass defense, and for good reason, but the Aggies can’t take their eyes off Gallaspy. He finished 2018 with 1,014 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground, plus a respectable 4.7 yards per carry. He was named to the All ACC Third Team.

Receiver Jakobi Myers
Normally Kelvin Harmon would be the player to watch as a receiver but he’s elected to sit out the game in preparation of the NFL Draft. That will make the Aggies’ job easier, but not easy. Myers put up monster numbers as the 1B to Harmon’s 1A in their passing attack. He finished with 89 catches 1,028 yards and four touchdowns and was an All-ACC First Team selection.

A look at Pittsburgh vs. Stanford in the 2018 Sun Bowl (; Chavez)

Statistical Leaders

Rushing: Qadree Ollison 1,190 yards rushing, 11 TDs; Darrin Hall, 1,021 yards rushing, 9 TDs
Passing: Kenny Pickett, 1,833 yards passing, 12 TDs
Receiving: Taysir Mack, 489 yards receiving; Maurice French, 466 yards receiving
Interceptions: Jason Pinnock and Damar Hamiln 2 apiece
Tackles: Damar Hamlin, 86 tackles, Qluwaseun Idowu, 74 tackles
Field Goals: Alex Kessman: 11 of 14 field goals,

Rushing: Bryce Love, 739 yards rushing, 6 TDs, Cameron Scarlett, 236 yards rushing, 6 TD's
Passing: K.J. Costello, 3,435 yards passing, 29 TDs
Receiving: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, 969 yards receiving, 14 TDs, Trenton Irwin 685 yards receiving 2 TDs
Tackles: Bobby Okereke, 91 tackles, Sean Barton 84 tackles
Interceptions: Paulson Adebo 4
Field Goals: Jet Toner 14 of 15 field goals

Stanford Quick Facts
Location: Stanford, California.
Enrollment: 16,424
Founded: 1885
Nickname: Cardinal
Colors: Cardinal Red, Cool Grey, White and Black
President: Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Athletics Director: Bernard Muir

... (; Ratcliffe)

It was 6:30 on a Saturday night a few weeks ago when Virginia’s coaching staff was hosting a recruiting function at the McCue Center football offices. On their way to the gathering, they happened upon one lone Cavalier player in the building studying film.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, it was Bryce Hall.

Bronco Mendenhall said that he’s had only a handful of players during his coaching career that prepared as well as the junior cornerback from Harrisburg, Pa.

“There are some times in sports and in life when the public accolades warrant and reflect the preparation and the diligence, and this would be one,” Mendenhall said of Hall, who was named to several All-America teams this month. “His preparation is really what he ought to be All-American for. He’s played well. His preparation is exceptional.”

Hall has been named to the Walter Camp All-America (second team), the FWAA (second team), Athlon Sports (third team), College Football News All-America (honorable mention), and the Pro Football Focus team (honorable mention). The All-ACC first-teamer made a huge impact his third year for the Wahoos, who take on South Carolina in the Belk Bowl on Saturday.

Heading into the bowl, Hall is No. 1 in the nation in pass breakups (PBUs) with 20, and No. 2 nationally in passes defended with 22, along with two interceptions.
... (CFN; Fiutak)

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Thursday, December 27
5:15, ESPN, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Wisconsin vs. Miami

– Never go back from your first answer. The ACC is bad, Wisconsin is better than it showed for most of the season, and the Hurricanes should lose to the Badgers for the second year in a row.

– But be careful. The quarterback situations are too iffy, with Miami going back to Malk Rosier, and Wisconsin needing to play Jack Doan with Alex Hornibrook out. You’re not happy with any part of any of this no matter what side you’re on.

– No matter what Miami players are trying to say, the weather will matter. It’ll be around 80ish in Coral Gables for the next few days. With the slight wind, and at night, it’s going to feel like it’s around 32ish in New York City on Thursday evening. That’s not good against a Badger team that’s going to ground and pound from the start.

– It’s not an amazing play, but if you like the Badgers – and you should – the +115 money line isn’t a bad way to go. But it stinks that the line went down from Miami -3.5 to -2.5. Even so, if you liked Wisconsin before, you’re in love with it considering the chill factor.

– The 46.5 point total hasn’t budged. If you really want to dive into this, go with the over. Neither offense brings anything special, but hanging around the mid-20s for both teams shouldn’t be an issue.

– Staying with the anti-ACC theme, Wisconsin is the safer play as then underdog, but Miami should come out hotter. Slow and steady should win this race as the game revolves around the Bucky O line.
...; Chansky)

The ACC is set up to have a big bowl run, maybe even 11-0.

After Wake Forest’s comeback win over Memphis last Saturday, the ACC continues its bowl schedule for every day college football will be played for the rest of this season and even has a chance to run the table.

Of course, Carolina, Florida State and Louisville, which combined for 26 losses this season, are the three of the ACC’s 14 football schools that did not get bowl bids, and rightfully so. UNC went 2-9 and fired Larry Fedora after two dismal seasons. Louisville canned Bobby Petrino before the Cardinals finished their 2-10 disaster. And Florida State would have fired Willie Taggart after losing to Florida 41-14 and finishing 5-7 if it wasn’t his first season. Taggart is already on the clock for 2019.

The other 10 ACC teams are all favored or have decent chances in their bowl games, and Clemson will likely be playing for the national championship for the second time in three years. Here is the ACC’s bowl schedule, which is set up beautifully.

Boston College is a 2½-point underdog to Boise State in the today in Dallas. But the Eagles still have one of the best defenses in college football. Georgia Tech takes on Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl, and the Yellow Jackets want to win in coach Paul Johnson’s last game before he retires. Tech is a slight favorite.

On Thursday, Duke is smart enough not to let a trip to Shreveport keep it from winning the Independence Bowl over Temple. And Miami, with its turnover chain defense, could upset Wisconsin of the Big Ten in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Friday, in the Camping Bowl in Orlando, Syracuse can continue its surprising season by beating West Virginia of the Big 12. This could be one of the best bowl games of the year with the 9-3 Orange playing the 8-3 Mounties in what will be a big-time shootout.

Saturday, of course, is Final Four day in college football. But it gets started with another great game between Virginia and South Carolina at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. ‘Cocks are favored but watch the Wahoos! And then comes Clemson versus Notre Dame in Dallas. No contest for Tigers.
... (; Rosvoglou)

After spending one season with the Louisville Cardinals, Jordan Travis will transfer to another ACC program. Despite having an uncharacteristically abysmal year, the Florida State Seminoles have just added an intriguing option at quarterback.

Travis is a former three-star recruit from the 2018 class, and unfortunately he never saw his chance on the field with the Cardinals. Considering that Louisville will undergo an entirely different regime this upcoming season, the dual-threat quarterback is looking out for his best interest.

Josh Newberg of 247Sports broke the news, as Travis revealed his future destination today.

Louisville transfer QB Jordan Travis tells me he has committed to play at Florida State. More to come on

— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) December 26, 2018

It should be noted that Travis’ brother, Devon Travis, played baseball for the Seminoles before making his journey to the MLB. (RX; HM)

ESPN has gone to battle with Verizon Fios, and look what's at stake!

ESPN, Disney channels could go dark for Verizon Fios customers

Verizon Fios is trying to renew its carriage agreement with Disney, which owns several television networks, including ESPN... The current deal expires at the end of 2018. If no new deal is reached, the Disney channels could go dark on Fios.

...per a letter Verizon Fios sent to its customers:

Disney is currently proposing that Verizon pay hundreds of millions of dollars more for its programming, despite the fact that many of its key networks are experiencing declining viewership. In addition to the proposed rate increase, Disney is also demanding we include, and pay for, another regional sports channel, the ACC Network, in order to continue bringing you all the other Disney and ESPN networks we do today. The rising cost of programming is the biggest factor in higher TV bills and we are standing up to networks like Disney, refusing to accept these huge increases.

We’ve given Disney a reasonable offer to continue providing you access to its networks. Unfortunately, as of today, they have rejected our offers and there is a possibility that we won’t be able to reach an agreement with them prior to our contract expiration on December 31, 2018 at 5pm EST.

The timing of this contract and the bowl schedule means that Fios customers will be able to watch the CFP playoff games Saturday, December 29th, and bowls up through Monday's Military Bowl (Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech) at noon, and maybe the first half of the Liberty Bowl (Missouri vs. Oklahoma State) at 3:45 PM, but will miss the Gator Bowl (NC State vs. Texas AM) Monday night, as well as all of the New Year's Day bowls on ESPN - Outback, Fiesta, Rose and Sugar Bowls - unless there is a new contract in place by then.
... (; Kendall)

In many ways, Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall has tried to build his football programs in what has long been considered the SEC model — on a foundation of tough defense and a reliable running game.

For the first time on Saturday, Mendenhall will get a chance to see the real thing in person. His Cavaliers (7-5) will face South Carolina (7-5) in the Belk Bowl in Bank of America Stadium at noon. The 14-year coaching veteran who started his career at BYU will be facing an SEC team for the first time.

“We know about the SEC brand,” Mendenhall said. “I think all of us do in college football. So many times what bowl games do is give a chance for comparison. Not only are you playing against a team but you glimpse of what another conference might be.”

South Carolina’s players are optimistic about how the comparison will shake out well for them. The Gamecocks held their first on site practice for the game on Wednesday morning at Charlotte Latin School.

“Every game we go out we are trying to send a message that the SEC is much tougher than the ACC or any other conference,” South Carolina tight end Kiel Pollard said. “We are trying to play the big guy role. You are supposed to beat up on smaller opponents. I feel like we’re the bigger opponent.”

This is the third time South Carolina has faced an ACC team in a bowl game. The Gamecocks lost to Florida State 26-17 in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl and beat Miami 24-21 in the 2014 Independence Bowl.
... (

Georgia Tech was doomed by slow starts in each half of a 34-10 loss to Minnesota in the 2018 Quick Lane Bowl on Wednesday evening at Ford Field.

Georgia Tech (7-6) went three-and-out on its first two offensive series of the game and Minnesota (7-6) scored on each of its first three possessions to build an early 13-0 lead, as the Yellow Jackets were outgained 124-3 in the first quarter of the game.

The Yellow Jackets appeared to grab some momentum by driving 44 yards in 18 seconds before halftime, setting up a 44-yard field goal by Wesley Wells on the final play of the first half that cut the Jackets’ deficit to 13-3.

However, that would be as close as Tech would get, as Minnesota scored touchdowns on each of its first three possessions of the second half to stretch its lead to 24 points.
... (RX; HM)

The Yellow Jackets lost to the Gophers... badly. 34-10 bad.

All you really need to know is summed up in this little table:

Statistic Minn GT
Rushing Yds 260 206
Rushing Atts 43 44
Yards/rush 6 4.7
Possession 30:43 29:17

Yes, the Jackets were out-rushed by the Gophers.

In fact, this game highlighted why GT went with Geoff Collins instead of another triple-option guy to replace Paul Johnson. The Minnesota team was too big and strong for the Yellow Jackets today - especially on the offensive and defensive lines, where size matters most.

Final from the @quicklanebowl in Detroit. #ACCFootball

— ACC Football (@ACCFootball) December 27, 2018

Paul Johnson's triple option attack was effective at times against speed teams - like you'll find in the ACC and the SEC. In fact, Coach PJ as we was affectionately called had many great wins over Southern teams like Georgia, Clemson, Florida State, even Mississippi State. However, when he went up against a team with size, he didn't do as well.

Coach PJ (2008-18) vs. Big Ten - only 2 games:

01/05/2010 GT 14, Iowa 24 Orange Bowl

12/26/2018 GT 10, Minnesota 34 Quick Lane Bowl

Now, it will be up to Coach Geoff Collins to recruit bigger, stronger players - if he can.
... (RX; HM)

F1rst Responder Bowl: Boston College 7, Boise State 0 - CANCELLED

From SBNation:

The First Responder Bowl was canceled after 9 minutes and 52 seconds of play and a weather delay of about an hour and 20 minutes on Wednesday. The bowl announced on its Twitter account that it would be ruled a no-contest

So BC won't get the win, at least not officially (if you saw the first drive for each team you know the Eagles looked dominant on both sides of the ball though!). I can only assume the players get to keep the swag, the schools get to keep their bowl payouts, and the fans get to keep... their airline boarding passes? Ugh!

According to SBNation:

Bowl cancellations almost never happen. This is the first in a long time...

The NCAA lists the 2000 BCA Classic, a season kickoff game it classifies as a bowl, as being canceled due to weather. It notes that the 1941 Hawaii Rainbows had a postseason game canceled due to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The 2013 C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl was canceled due to weather, but that’s not an FBS bowl.
... (; Forde)

The Notre Dame campus was largely empty on the morning of Dec. 15. The last students were rolling suitcases and carrying bags toward cars, headed home for winter break. But one building was humming with activity.

It was the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, home base for the Fighting Irish football program. The players were staying around to prepare for their College Football Playoff semifinal game against Clemson in the Cotton Bowl, and they weren’t alone. Visitors were checking out the facilities as well.

Sixteen prospective recruits were on campus for unofficial visits, all of them Class of 2020 or younger. The same day, not coincidentally, Notre Dame was hosting its on-campus media day for the Cotton Bowl. That spotlight provided compelling context for the recruits walking around beneath the Golden Dome.

“There’s a lot of excitement around the program,” said recruiting coordinator Brian Polian. “I don’t think it’s earth-shattering news — if you’re winning, it’s easier to go into schools and into living rooms.”

And to get recruits on campus. The excitement stems from a 12-0 record and the program’s first playoff berth, but Notre Dame’s recruiting rankings suggest it shouldn’t be here, among the most exclusive quartet in college football.

The recruiting rankings for the last five Irish recruiting classes, which make up the current roster: 11th in 2014, 11th in ’15, 13th in ’16, 13th in ’17 and 11th in ’18. That’s consistently good, but never great.
...; Niederhoffer)

Camping World Bowl: No. 16 West Virginia University (8-3) vs. No. 20 Syracuse University (9-3) – Friday, Dec. 28 at 5:15 p.m. EST on ESPN

West Virginia QB Will Grier, who was on the fringe of the Heisman conversation for most of the season, won’t be suiting up for the Mountaineers. He’s skipping the bowl game so he can avoid potential injury and get a head start on preparing for the NFL draft. Grier threw for almost 3,900 yards at a 67 percent clip with 37 touchdowns and just eight picks. His replacement, Jack Allison, has only thrown 10 passes this year.

David Sills V, one of the nation’s best wide receivers, could also have opted not to play in order to protect himself and get ready for the NFL draft, but he said he is committed to playing. That will make life a lot easier for Allison. Sills and fellow senior Gary Jennings Jr. accounted for 28 of the Mountaineers’ 38 touchdown receptions.

A player who had an incredible season but flew under the radar for the Mountaineers is linebacker David Long Jr. The Big 12 coaches picked him as the Defensive Player of the Year. He leads the conference in tackles for loss and is also top five in both sacks and tackles.

Syracuse QB Eric Dungey holds so many career records for the Orange, it might be easier to find the ones he doesn’t have. He threw for 2,565 yards in his senior season with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also added another 732 yards on the ground along with 15 rushing touchdowns. He’s a really fun player to watch.

A couple of freshmen had monster seasons for the Orange. Andre Cisco, a true freshman safety, had seven interceptions, tied for most in the country. Meanwhile, Andre Szmyt, a redshirt freshman kicker, kicked a school-record 28 of 32 field goals and became the first Syracuse kicker to win the Lou Groza Award, the award given to the nation’s best field goal kicker. Szmyt was named a consensus All-American, the first Syracuse player to earn that honor since Dwight Freeney back in 2001. The kid started the season as a walk-on, earned a scholarship, and finished the year as the best kicker in the nation. Such a cool story.

The Line: West Virginia (-1.5)

My Pick: Without Grier, West Virginia might struggle to get its normally prolific offense going. I’m picking Syracuse to win.


a2b_heritage_hillpaventi_heritage_hill_11.jpeg (PS; Paventi)

Farm-to-table dining is seemingly everywhere, but it's rare when you can find a table at the farm.

The windows at Heritage Hill Brewhouse & Kitchen overlook Palladino Farms, a third-generation family-owned livestock and crop farm. Dan Palladino inherited the farm after his father's passing, and co-founded the brewery with high school friend Tim Frazee.

Heritage Hill opened in mid-October, and a fresh wood scent permeated the air from the bright pine walls. The rustic imperfection of tree trunk tabletops married with the a-frame windows to create a warm feel on our December Saturday visit, where windblown snow whipped through the valley behind the farmstead. A wood-burning stove took the edge off the cold, as did the beer.

The kitchen is helmed by noted local chef, Alicyn Hart. The restaurant's beef is raised a few hundred feet away from the kitchen. Bacon was made from pork raised on the farm, which will also supply produce during the growing and harvest months.

It takes quite a bit of confidence to keep only two regular items on the menu. The Killer Burger ($14) had a high fat content, rendering a thick and juicy patty cooked perfectly to medium. It was topped with cheese and a housemade bacon-onion jam and served on a homemade challah roll, which crumbled and progressively fell apart after each bite.

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