Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football

sutomcat

Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
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Welcome to Museum Comes to Life Day!


Hear that? It’s your museum coming to life! On June 24, museums across the globe, or at least across the U.S. are supposed to become even more exciting and interactive to celebrate Museum Comes To Life Day.

Sadly, it seems that few museums actually celebrate this on June 24, while others pick random days throughout the year to pull out all the stops. (Actually I couldn’t find any celebrating June 24, 2012, which is just awful! If you know of one, please comment and let me know!)

So, if no museums near you are holding special parties, how can you celebrate? I suggest visiting a favorite museum anyway, or exploring one you’ve never been in. You can choose anything, from a local city/county history museum to a modern art gallery. Then in the evening, grab the popcorn, because I know you want to watch “Night At the Museum.”

SU News

SU's Hawaiian ties hooked OL Kauhi: ‘That’s something I was looking for' (PS; Bailey)


Syracuse football’s Hawaiian roots are deeper than some in Central New York might think.

Dino Babers has mentioned ‘Ohana’ in public addresses through his five years as a means of reflecting the family culture he’s tried to build. But behind the scenes, there are relationships to support that sales pitch.

When Kamehameha Kapalama (Honolulu) High School offensive lineman Austyn Kauhi was offered by the Orange in early April, he had two people in his school alone who could provide direct references to SU offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh.

Kamehameha’s head coach, Abu Ma’afala, played defensive line at UH for three seasons of Cavanaugh’s five-year stint as the Rainbow Warriors offensive line coach from 1999-2004. College counselor Marques Kaonohi was an offensive lineman during that same 2002-04 stretch.
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Orange to Host Wagner in 2022 - Syracuse University Athletics (cuse.com)

The Syracuse University football program on Wednesday announced the addition of FCS opponent Wagner to its 2022 non-conference schedule.

The Orange will host the Seahawks on Sept. 24, 2022 in what will be the third meeting between the two Empire State schools.

The addition of Wagner completes Syracuse's 2022 non-conference schedule, which also features home games with Purdue (Sept. 17) and Notre Dame (TBD), as well as a road game against Connecticut (Sept. 10).

The Orange are 2-0 all-time against Wagner. In 2013, the Orange shut out the Seahawks 54-0. Syracuse topped Wagner 62-7 in 2018.

Wagner, located on Staten Island, is a member of the Northeast Conference. The Seahawks were 1-11 last season under former head coach Jason Houghtaling. Wagner hired Tom Masella to replace Houghtaling as head coach on Dec. 7, 2019.

Dates for Syracuse's matchup with Notre Dame and the ACC portion of its 2022 schedule will be announced at a later time.

2022 Schedule
Sept. 10 at Connecticut
Sept. 17 vs. Purdue
Sept. 24 vs. Wagner
TBD vs. Notre Dame

ACC home games: Florida State, Louisville, NC State, Virginia
ACC away games: Boston College, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest


How Do the Oddsmakers View Syracuse’s Chances in the ACC? – Orange Fizz – Free Syracuse Recruiting News (orangefizz.net; Amendolara)

College football is in the spotlight for so many unusual reasons right now. The empowerment of players has been building as a storyline for years now. The NCAA agreed to accept an Olympic model for name and likeness, meaning for the first time ever players will be able to profit on their ability in financial ways. In the middle of the movements for social equality, players at Oklahoma State, Texas and UCLA have challenged their coaches and programs to change old ways of thinking. And on top of all that, will a season be played during this time of uncertainty regarding COVID-19?

There are many factors being taken into play during this pandemic. What are the health logistics of getting every player and staff member tested? How expensive will the testing be for players, and how often will they get tested? Will wealthier schools with deeper pockets have an upper hand on smaller schools with limited budgets?

After eight states reported on Saturday their highest single-day case counts since the pandemic began, concerns began bubbling. These were some of the nation’s highest daily totals in more than seven weeks, and even though the optimism has taken a hit, and chances of a disruption to holding a season are increasing every day, SBD’s betting section is still releasing odds. If there is a season, what will it look like? There’s still hope that football can be played this fall, so let’s take a look at the ACC odds.

As expected, Clemson is by far the leader in winning the conference. The Tigers are -500 after yet another dominant run in the league last year, and a spot in the national championship game. Clemson went 8-0 in the league, and buried Virginia in the title game.

Miami and Virginia Tech are the closest competitors at +1200. Part of the reason most likely is because they play on the other side of the ledger. If either the Canes or Hokies won the ACC championship they could afford to lose games in the regular season and just find a way to beat the Tigers in the title game. To show just how shallow the depth is in the conference, Miami was a sub-.500 team last year that lost to FIU, yet have the second best odds to win the ACC. UNC felt a jolt in Year One under Mack Brown, and the oddsmakers put them at +1400.

FSU and Louisville are both trying to restart their programs with relatively new coaches, and they come in next at +2000. Pitt, UVA and Wake are all at +4000. Next up is Syracuse, who along with Duke, comes in at +6600. SU was just 2-6 in the league last year after being a trendy pick to challenge Clemson as a Cinderella in the ACC. That never materialized and the Orange were hampered by injuries, upset losses and scattered quarterback play. Could SU be sneaky good value? Only if the Orange fix their myriad of problems from last year, and somehow find the magic of ’18. But in a crazy season like the upcoming one where a million questions may make every Saturday a total crapshoot perhaps the Orange are worth throwing a small wager on.
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SU needs to reconsider playing out its series with Liberty (Axe) (PS; Axe)

It’s time for Syracuse University to decide if it is really worth keeping the Liberty Flames on its football schedule.

First, let’s reset what’s on the table.

Syracuse won the first of a three-game set with Liberty last season in a contest you may recall included Flames’ head coach Hugh Freeze calling signals from a hospital bed.

The Orange and Flames are scheduled to play two more games. One is scheduled for the Carrier Dome on Oct. 17 of this year and the next for September 25, 2021, also in Syracuse.
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Michigan Football: Predicting the final 8 commitments of 2021 class (gbmwolverine.com; Peterson)

4-star DE/DT George Rooks

There’s no doubt that Michigan needs to add a defensive tackle or two to the 2021 class and one of the favorites to join is four-star defensive tackle George Rooks out of New Jersey.

Rooks makes a lot of sense for U-M for a couple of reasons. For starters, the Wolverines love bigger defensive ends and at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, Rooks could wind up as a big defensive end.

Yet, he could grow into a 290-pound three technique too, so that’s one thing that intrigues me. He’s out of Jersey City, New Jersey and Michigan has done well in the state.

The Wolverines own all of his crystal ball projections and since his sister played basketball at Michigan, he’s been on campus before. Syracuse, where his dad played is the biggest contender, but all signs point to him being a Wolverine.
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Syracuse Football makes talented DE Robert Jackson’s top ten, decision date soon (itlh; Mlodzinski)

Class of 2021 prospect Robert Jackson has released his top ten schools and decision date. Syracuse football is right in the mix for the young star.

Syracuse football has had an impressive recent track record with defensive ends going to the NFL. It looks like that’s starting to pay off, as 2021 three-star prospect Robert Jackson listed the Orange in his top ten, with his decision date set for July 27, according to 247sports.

The 6-foot-6, 245 pound Jackson, who hails from Warminster, Pennsylvania, is being recruited by mostly power-six conference schools. He speaks highly on the likes of Cincinnati and Arizona State, among others, but SU is still in the mix for him.

However, one plus for the Orange is that they were the first school to offer him a scholarship back on January 17.

If he does choose to play for Syracuse football, Jackson would make the third defensive end commitment for the class of 2021, joining two other three-stars.

The class of 2021 has seemed to be very positive for the Orange so far, who currently rank 55th nationally, a slight uptick from the 2020 class. However, Jackson is rated 86.93 on the 247sports composite model, better than any of the 12 current commitments in the ‘Cuse class for 2021. Thus, if Jackson does decide to go the route of the Orange, one would have to think Dino Babers and crew would be pretty excited.

His highlight tape below really points to his strength on the defensive line. Jackson can both get to the quarterback for sacks, but also has a knack for stopping rushing plays in the backfield.
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Syracuse.com reporter Stephen Bailey hosts a panel of former Syracuse football players Zaire Franklin, Keon Lyn and KJ Ruff to talk about systemic racism in America, the state of the nation and more.



Glenbard West's Hoeh chooses Syracuse (dailyhearald.com; Schmit)

Wes Hoeh and his father flew to New York for an impromptu recruiting visit.

Their hunch turned out to be a good one.

The Glenbard West offensive lineman committed last week to play football at Syracuse University, choosing the Orange among 17 scholarship offers. Even though Hoeh was unable to get a full look at the campus that's closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw enough to sway him.

"I loved the campus so I figured why wait any longer," Hoeh said. "I just wanted to see it sooner rather than later and I loved it there."

Hoeh endured an interesting recruiting process due to the pandemic, but the offers from around the country still poured in. Everyone from the Mid-American Conference to the service academies to the Ivy League wanted the 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior-to-be.

With about a week's notice in late May, Hoeh and his father made the decision to fly to New York. After boarding a plane wearing masks and joining about 30 passengers on a jet meant for 80, a near-empty campus awaited them.
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ACC Football 2020 Predictions (athlonsports.com; Lassan)

The 2020 ACC predictions look a lot like previous seasons, as Clemson is the heavy favorite to win the league this fall. And as seen in previous years, there's a big gap between the Tigers and the second-place team in the conference. North Carolina and Virginia Tech headline the second tier in Athlon's projections, as the Tar Heels are a slight favorite to win the Coastal Division. The middle of the ACC features a handful of solid teams, including Louisville, Pitt, Miami, Virginia, Florida State and Wake Forest. NC State, Syracuse, Duke and Boston College should contend for a bowl trip this season, while Georgia Tech is trending in the right direction under coach Geoff Collins.

Athlon projects the order of finish for the ACC in 2020:

ACC 2020 Predictions
Atlantic Division

1. Clemson*
The Tigers have won five consecutive ACC championships, so it's no surprise coach Dabo Swinney's team is a heavy favorite to claim No. 6 in 2020. Clemson also is a popular pick to win it all in this coming season. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne headline an explosive offense, while a favorable schedule should give coordinator Tony Elliott plenty of time to find the right answers up front and break in a couple of new receivers after Justyn Ross was lost for the year due to a neck injury. Frank Ladson, Joseph Ngata, Amari Rodgers and tight end Braden Galloway headline the list of targets for Lawrence on the outside. As usual, Clemson will have one of the nation's top defenses. Coordinator Brent Venables brings back a loaded line, and cornerback Derion Kendrick anchors a rebuilt secondary. The Tigers are likely to be favored by double-digits in all 12 games this fall.

2. Louisville*
The Cardinals showed marked improvement in coach Scott Satterfield's debut. After a 2-10 record in 2018, Louisville went 8-5 and finished second in the Atlantic Division last fall. Exceeding eight victories and finishing in the top 25 is within reach if Satterfield's team shows improvement on defense after giving up 33.4 points a game and over 200 rushing yards a contest. Seven starters are back on defense, but stopping the run, generating pressure on the quarterback and secondary play remain a concern. There are fewer question marks on the other side of the ball. Quarterback Micale Cunningham, running back Javian Hawkins and receiver Tutu Atwell form one of the nation's top trios for an attack that averaged 33.1 points a game - up from 19.8 in 2018. Replacing standout left tackle Mekhi Becton is likely to be junior Adonis Boone. With Florida State and Wake Forest coming to Louisville, Satterfield's team should have a favorable path to second in the Atlantic.

Related: ACC Football 2020 All-Conference Team

3. Florida State*
The Seminoles are just 18-20 over the last three years, but there's new hope in Tallahassee with Mike Norvell at the controls. After a successful stint at Memphis, Norvell inherits a roster that has talent but has underachieved in recent seasons. While challenging Clemson for ACC supremacy is unrealistic, some improvement should be notable in Tallahassee. Florida State brings back 10 starters on defense, including All-America tackle Marvin Wilson and rising star cornerback Asante Samuel. After giving up 27.8 points a game in 2019, new coordinator Adam Fuller has to get this group to play up to its potential. Norvell's background on offense is a huge plus for a team that enters 2020 with question marks at quarterback and along the offensive line. Junior James Blackman is the front-runner under center, but freshmen Chubba Purdy and Tate Rodemaker and sophomore Jordan Travis will push for the job. FIU transfer Devontay Love-Taylor and the continued development of guard Dontae Lucas are two factors to suggest the offensive line could show some small improvement this fall. Receiver Tamorrion Terry is among the best in the nation, and Texas A&M transfer Jashaun Corbin will help fill the void left behind by Cam Akers.

4. Wake Forest*
For the first time in program history, the Demon Deacons have played in four consecutive bowl games. Coach Dave Clawson's squad should extend that streak in 2020. With Jamie Newman transferring to Georgia, 2018 starter Sam Hartman is set to take over once again at quarterback. Top target Sage Surratt (1,001 yards in nine games) leads the way for Hartman on the outside, with redshirt freshman Donavon Greene primed for a breakout year. Restocking the offensive line is Wake Forest's biggest question mark, but the addition of Maryland transfer Terrance Davis should help. Defense has been an issue the last couple of years in Winston-Salem, but there's optimism for improvement with nine starters back. End Carlos Basham Jr. (10 sacks) is one of the ACC's top defenders, with Ryan Smenda and Ja'Cquez Williams back at anchor the linebacker position. The secondary - especially at cornerback - remains a concern going into the fall. Matchups against Notre Dame and Appalachian State await in non-conference play.

Related: College Football Top 25 for 2020

5. NC State*
Last year's 4-8 record marked the program's first losing season since 2013 under coach Dave Doeren. Injuries and roster turnover from a team that won nine games in back-to-back years played a huge role in last season's regression. While the Wolfpack are unlikely to rebound to nine wins in 2020, better luck in the health department, along with a correction in turnover margin (minus-13 last fall), should equal a trip to a bowl. New coordinator Tim Beck inherits some promising pieces on offense, including running back Zonovan "Bam" Knight, receivers Emeka Emezie and Devin Carter, along with four starters back on the line. Quarterback Devin Leary (8 TDs to 5 INTs) is expected to get the nod under center and should be better in his second year as the starter. New defensive coordinator Tony Gibson is switching the group to a 3-3-5 approach, which should work well with some of the pieces coming back, including tackle Alim McNeil and linebackers Payton Wilson, Vi Jones and Isaiah Moore. Injuries took a toll on the secondary last season and was a big reason why NC State allowed quarterbacks to complete 64.3 percent of their passes. A schedule featuring toss-up games against Duke, Boston College and Wake Forest should be enough for the Wolfpack to find a way to get to six wins in 2020.

6. Syracuse*
The Orange took a step back last fall, regressing from a 10-3 record in 2018 to a 5-7 mark in '19. Coach Dino Babers is counting on two new coordinators - Sterlin Gilbert (offense) and Tony White (defense) to help get the program back on track, but only nine starters are back for 2020. Syracuse ranked as one of the ACC's top offenses in '18 but took a major step back last year. Improvement on that side of the ball starts with better play up front after surrendering 50 sacks, and quarterback Tommy DeVito must take a step forward in his second season as the starter. The receiving corps also needs new playmakers to emerge after No. 1 target Trishton Jackson left. The return of tackle McKinley Williams from injury adds to help to a front featuring just one returning starter (end Josh Black) and a new group of linebackers. Safety Andre Cisco is one of the best in the ACC. With NC State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Florida State visiting Syracuse, Babers' team has a favorable home slate to find a way to get to six victories.
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ACC Football & Beyond - Breakdown of Wake Forest & Georgia Tech - Chris Landry Football (landryfootball.com; podcast; Landry)

ACC Football & Beyond – Breakdown of Wake Forest & Georgia Tech

Improving perception of other programs in ACC helps Clemson football (rubbingtherock.com; Benedict)

for gbo

Clemson football fans should be okay with the Tigers not being seen as the best at every position group in the ACC.

Once again, Clemson football fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure the someone else in the ACC being given some pre-season love. Rich Cirminiello, the Director of College Awards for the Maxwell Club, stated that while the ACC did have the best defensive line group in 2020, it was Pittsburgh football and not Clemson.

Given the grief that Clemson football has been given over the last couple of years, it’s okay that other ACC teams are given love and recognized, all that does is give more significance to what Clemson accomplishes by running through the league.

We see this every year in the SEC, sure Alabama has been the best team for most of the last decade, other SEC teams are seen as competitive and are oftentimes given credit for having better position groups. This allows SEC fans to point to the laughable “competitiveness” of the conference when in fact there really isn’t any.

There is no doubt that the 2020 Clemson football defensive line is stacked and deep but there is some work to do with that group and getting three freshmen ready to play without a normal offseason will be difficult.

This year's top college D-line comes out of the ACC (but it's not Clemson)
Group of Five:
3. Buffalo
2. San Diego St
1. Cincinnati
Power Five:
10. USC
9. Florida State
8. Oregon
7. Ohio State
6. Michigan
5. Penn State
4. Miami
3. Alabama
2. Clemson
1. @Pitt_FB
— Rich Cirminiello (@RichCirminiello) June 23, 2020
Pitt has something Clemson football doesn’t in 2020 – a lot of experience on the defensive line.

The Pitt Panthers have four guys across the defensive line that could have gone to the NFL in 2019 and instead chose to come back. Three of those four players are redshirt seniors and they have a redshirt junior as well. Not only are they talented, but they are seasoned and have a lot of games under their belt.

When you look at their reserves, they have three redshirt juniors and a redshirt sophomore, again a lot playing time and experience.

Clemson is more talented as a group, but they have just two seniors, a junior, a redshirt sophomore, and then a bunch of underclassmen.
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My Preseason 2020 Bowl Predictions (RX; HM)

My Preseason 2020 Bowl Predictions

Here's my official stab at preseason bowl picks. Try not to laugh too loud!

First, a reminder of the bowl tie-ins:



Keep in mind that some bowl sponsors have changed. The Camping World Bowl is now the Cheez-It Bowl, while the Belk Bowl is now the Duke's Mayonnaise Bowl.

Also, I'm using the bowl-eligible teams as predicted by CFN - see "2020 Preseason Predictions (CFN)" for more details.

One thing the ACC cannot control is the opponent it will face in the Orange Bowl - so I've made 2 tables to cover the most likely possibilities.

If the Orange Bowl opponent comes from the Big Ten...

BOWL GAMETEAM
PlayoffsClemson
Orange BowlN Carolina
Outback BowlNotre Dame
Cheez-It BowlFlorida State
Duke's MayoVirginia Tech
Holiday BowlMiami
Fenway ParkSyracuse
PinstripeVirginia
Sun BowlNC State
Gator BowlLouisville
Military Bowln/a
Gasparillan/a
or Birmingham or 1st Responders

I assumed that the Outback Bowl would want Notre Dame over any ACC team not named Clemson.
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2021 Recruiting Update - Deep Analysis 6/24/20 (RX; HM)

2021 Recruiting Update - Deep Analysis 6/24/20

Time for another recruiting ranking update, but this time I wanted to dive much deeper than usual and into the actual player rating and total recruiting points numbers.

First, let's look at the rankings just the way 247Sports does them:
2021 Football Team Rankings
Last updated on 06/23/20 at 6:30 PM CST

RankTeam NameTotal5*4*3*other
1Ohio State1941131
2Clemson1411210
3Tennessee2319130
4North Carolina1601150
5U.S.C.1601060
6Oregon141940
7Michigan181890
8Florida2001181
9Texas131831
10Miami160790
11Wisconsin1505100
12Iowa1703140
13L.S.U.110911
14Minnesota1704130
15Notre Dame111640
16Maryland1603130
17Georgia91710
18Louisville1802160
19Rutgers2101191
20Florida State120480
21Penn State120570
22Auburn100550
23Baylor1500150
24Alabama82510
25Texas A&M100640
26Pittsburgh1601150
27Boston College1800171
28Virginia1500150
29Oklahoma90540
30Missouri1401121
31Georgia Tech1501131
32Arkansas1201110
33West Virginia110380
34Cincinnati1600151
35Memphis1400140
36Northwestern120390
37NC State120291
38Wake Forest1500141
39Oklahoma St1101100
40Iowa State1400140
41Nebraska100280
42S.M.U.1101100
43Washington101171
44Duke1200120
45UCLA100190
46Toledo1800153
47Kansas1200120
48Colorado State2100165
49South Carolina110191
50Mississippi St90180
51Kansas State100190
52Appalachian St1600124
53Virginia Tech1100101
54Kentucky110182
55Syracuse1200120
56California80440
57Michigan St1100101
58Texas Tech80260
59Miami (OH)1600106
60Illinois1000100
61Purdue90180
62Indiana90171
...

Offseason Q&A with AJ Black of BC Bulletin (shakingthesouthland.com; Kantor)

As we inch closer to college football at a excruciatingly slow pace, we’ve connected with several colleagues at other college sports sites to get their take on ACC football, where their team stands, and how it impacts Clemson. In this installment we’ve connected with AJ Black, the editor and publisher of BC Bulletin. You can follow him at @AJBlack_BC and his site at @BostonCollegeSI

STS: Boston College was respectable under Coach Addazio, but they may have hit their ceiling with him. In comes new Coach Jeff Hafley, the former co-DC from Ohio State. What are your thoughts on the decision to move on from Addazio and then to select Hafley to take over? What’s the general tenor of the fan base on the move?

AJ: I think the timing was right, Addazio as you had mentioned had shown his ceiling at seven wins. Getting to bowls was nice, but he had one total Top 25 win in seven years (and the only one, USC, he won was due to the ingenious play calling of then OC Ryan Day). He was running an offense that worked against similar or weaker opponents, but never worked against teams that had more talent. The fans were ecstatic for the hire of Jeff Hafley, and moving on from Addazio. Hafley immediately provided a shot of adrenaline into a program that was stagnant, and fans were rushing to get season tickets.

STS: Uncharacteristic from what we expect out of Chestnut Hill, BC’s defense was awful last season. They struggled to pressure quarterbacks and the secondary didn’t create turnovers. Clemson scored 59 and Kansas tallied 48 points against the Eagles. How much of this can be rectified in year one under Jeff Hafley? What are the keys to doing it?

AJ: I think there were a few factors at play last year. BC graduated quite a bit of their defense from 2018, and most of the playmakers especially up front and in the secondary. Hafley is going to have quite a chore in front of him, but I think he has some guys to make them respectable. The linebacker group is stacked. Max Richardson may be one of the best linebackers in the ACC, while Isaiah McDuffie who missed most of 2019 will be looking to have a bounce back year. I like the secondary, and the talent is there, Hafley, a former defensive back coach will just need to coach them up a bit and not be afraid of moving on to guys that fit his scheme. Brandon Sebastian has lock down corner potential, while Josh DeBerry, Jason Maitre and Elijah Johnes should give him some options on the other side. If they can improve, the linebackers play to their potential, the defense shouldn’t be such a liability this year.
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David Bailey has the table set for big season at Boston College in 2020 - ACCSports.com (accsports.com; Geisinger)

With the departure of All-ACC running back AJ Dillon — now a member of the Green Bay Packers — there are big shoes to fill at Boston College. However, David Bailey seems up for the task, and it’s one of the reasons he’s poised for a monster 2020 season.

While Dillon carried an absurd workload, Bailey found utility over the last two seasons as a solid backup and spot starter. Similar to Dillon (6-foot, 250 pounds), Bailey is massive running back: 6-foot-1, 240 pounds.

During his sophomore season, Bailey ran for 844 yards and seven touchdowns on 148 carries — 5.7 yards per tote. Bailey put together two monster performances, too: NC State (16 carries, 181 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Syracuse (16 carries, 172 yards, 2 touchdowns). In the win over Syracuse, Bailey averaged 7.4 yards after contact, according to Pro Football Focus.

Only two players in the ACC last season had at least one game with 170+ rushing yards on 20 or fewer carries. Bailey hit those numbers twice, while Clemson’s Travis Etienne did it three times.

Good friends to have

As an entire conference last season, ACC offensive lines struggled — with two notable exceptions: Clemson and Boston College. The Eagles are once again set up to dominate along the line. First-year head coach Jeff Hafley is set to benefit from the work of Steve Addazio — recruiting and developing a strong line.

Last season, only 17.1 percent of Boston College’s carries were stopped for a loss or no gain, per ESPN. That percentage ranked second in the ACC, behind Clemson (15.1 percent). Boston College running backs averaged 6.13 yards per carry when seven or fewer defenders were in the box — one of two ACC position groups to eclipse the six-yard benchmark. (Clemson was the other: no duh.)
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Virginia Tech football season preview (collegiatetimes.com; Shepard)

As of right now, we are only three months away from the start of the college football regular season if all goes well. It has been a while since we last saw football in Blacksburg, and with a lot of new faces on the field and the sidelines, it’s time to take a look at the team and set expectations for the upcoming season. The team went 8-5 last season, returns 17 starters and has high hopes for 2020. Can head coach Justin Fuente finally get the team over the hump in his fifth year or will the Hokies fail to meet expectations in the ACC?

What happened last season:

Senior quarterback Ryan Willis, the incumbent starter, started the season for the Hokies and got off to a rough start. Through the first four games, Virginia Tech went 2-2 and Willis turned the ball over five times. After a 45-10 thrashing by the Duke Blue Devils, coach Fuente made a change at quarterback and inserted redshirt sophomore Hendon Hooker into the lineup. Hooker sparked the offense, leading the team to a 6-2 record throughout the rest of the regular season and accounting for 17 touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Hokies season would end on a sour note with a loss to rival UVA and a bowl loss against Kentucky.

Names to know for this season:

QB Hendon Hooker:

Hooker stepped into the lineup last season and stabilized the position. As the likely starting quarterback for 2020, his play will be extremely important in determining whether or not this team will be successful. Hooker is a smart quarterback with good accuracy who doesn’t turn the ball over, (only two interceptions last season). However, he lacks aggressiveness with the ball and doesn’t have the greatest arm in the world. If Virginia Tech gets down and can’t run the ball, this will be an issue (as evidenced by the UVA and Kentucky games last season). Hooker’s best asset may be his legs, as he is a highly elusive runner at quarterback, running for five touchdowns last season.

WR Tré Turner:
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Most overrated college football team in each Power 5 conference for 2020 (saturdayblitz.com; Williams)

All we might get this year is a college football preseason. That being said, let’s take a look at one preseason winner from each Power Five conference.

Every single year, certain teams are given undue praise because of the history of their program or their recent recruiting class. Or sometimes just because people like them.

I, for one, am not a huge fan of preseason rankings. They’re fun to look at, but usually they’re pretty inaccurate and nothing short of a waste of time.

To add onto that, this season might not even happen, so those preseason heroes such as Michigan and Notre Dame might find themselves starting and finishing with a high ranking for the first time in a while.

Of course, those are just a couple of the teams that find themselves atop preseason rankings almost every single year and fail to perform up to that standard. Some teams aren’t even highly ranked, but are given a ranking nonetheless and underperform anyway. As a Michigan State fan, I know this all too well over the past four seasons.

So now it’s time. Time to look at all of the teams that probably won’t even play come 2020. And this time I’m not talking about the pandemic, they just might as well not show up on the field, as they’re just setting up their fans for disappointment.

ACC: Miami Hurricanes

I thought I’d just get this one out of the way early. Compared to most years, I wouldn’t actually say that Miami is that overrated. I mean, they’re overrated, but nobody thinks they’ll be a top 10 team or anything. At least I hope not.

But for some reason, Miami is still seen as a team that could win nine or 10 games, despite the program having taken somewhat of a nose dive the past 15 years. Miami has won double-digit games just one single time since 2003 and the 2019 squad looked a long way from that.

They have a 13-13 record the past two seasons and no signs point to the fact that they’ll win any more than seven games this year. None of this matters though, since Clemson would probably trash them as soon as they made it to the ACC Championship Game.
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Way-too-early bowl projections for 2020 season (247sports.com; Crawford)

...
Gasparilla Bowl

Syracuse vs. Houston (SEC vs. ACC or American)

Bahamas Bowl

Southern Miss vs. Ohio (C-USA vs. MAC)

Camelia Bowl

Buffalo vs. Louisiana (MAC vs. Sun Belt)

LendingTree Bowl

Eastern Michigan vs. Troy (MAC vs. Sun Belt)

Cheez-It Bowl

Michigan State vs. Iowa State (Big Ten vs. Big 12)
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Chargers 90-in-90: OL Koda Martin (boltsfromthe blue.com; Peterson)

Offensive tackle Koda Martin is a holdover from last year’s class of undrafted free agents as a developmental prospect who plays a position that is constantly in need.

The Manvel, Texas native starred on both sides of the line for Manvel High School, earning multiple all-district and all-state honors as a defensive end. As a junior, Martin totaled 71 tackles with nine sacks and three forced fumbles. As a senior, he finished with 72 stops, 12 tackles-for-loss, nine sacks, and seven forced fumbles.

Martin started his collegiate career with the Aggies of Texas A&M. He played a reserve role as a freshman in 2015 but worked into the starting lineup as sophomore, registering four total starts (3 at LT, 1 at TE).

His 2017 season saw him earn his first starting job, collecting 12 starts in 13 games. Just after solidifying his role for the Aggies, Martin graduated early and transferred to Syracuse to play for head coach Dino Babers.

Fun story here: Martin is now married to Babers’ daughter, Jazzmin, who was an All-American volleyball player for A&M. Martin’s father, Kirk, is also on the Orange’s staff.

In his final collegiate season, Martin started 13 games for the Orange at right tackle, earning Third-Team All-ACC honors. He finished his career with 29 starts while participating in 47 total.

Basic Info

Height: 6’7
Weight: 300
College: Texas A&M/Syracuse
Experience: 1
Years with team: 1

Contract Status

“Koda Martin signed a 3 year, $1,764,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $9,000 signing bonus, $9,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $588,000. In 2020, Martin will earn a base salary of $610,000, while carrying a cap hit of $613,000 and a dead cap value of $6,000.” - Spotrac.com
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Destiny USA retailers react to mall not being allowed to reopen in phase 4: “It’s devastating” (PS; Moriarty)


Destiny USA tenants reacted with extreme disappointment Tuesday to the news that malls will not be allowed to reopen under phase four of the state’s regional economic reopening plan.

“I’m more than disappointed,” said Mike Theiss, owner of University Sports Shop at the Syracuse mall. “It’s ludicrous.”

His store, which sells Syracuse University clothing and novelty items, has been closed since Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the interior portions of shopping malls to close March 19 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the mall’s nearly 250 tenants are closed under the order.

“How can he lump all the malls together?” said Theiss. “It’s devastating. I’ve been closed for three months, and there’s no end in sight.”

Cuomo’s representatives told regional officials on Tuesday the interior portions of malls will remain closed in phase four, which could start as early as Friday in Central New York. Retailers outside of malls and mall stores that have exterior entrances have been allowed to open in regions, including Central New York, that entered phase three on June 12.
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Hokie Mark

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Mea Culpa: I left Pitt off my 2020 preseason bowl projections (and I do project them to be bowl-eligible). It's fixed now, with 'Cuse going to Fenway and Pitt to the Pinstripe (although I could also see it reversed). Oops!
 

sutomcat

Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
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Mea Culpa: I left Pitt off my 2020 preseason bowl projections (and I do project them to be bowl-eligible). It's fixed now, with 'Cuse going to Fenway and Pitt to the Pinstripe (although I could also see it reversed). Oops!
I would be surprised if either of these bowls are played this season. Combine bad weather, bad venues and a pandemic likely to be going strong in these congested and cold regions and it sounds like a recipe for disaster. Can't imagine a lot of people would go even if they allowed 100% capacity. Would play bowl games in empty stadiums? Could they possibly make money doing this?

So maybe there is hope for an ACC school to be placed at the Gasparilla Bowl after all.
 

upperdeck

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well since the bowl might be played in phase 2 of football in march there is a shot it gets played..
 

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