JUST IN:


College Football: Flyers buoyed by return of quarterback Jeske

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 8:31 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:28 AM


            Dayton quarterback Alex Jeske fires a pass during a FCS playoff game vs. Western Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Welcome Stadium. Staff photo/John Boyle
Dayton quarterback Alex Jeske fires a pass during a FCS playoff game vs. Western Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Welcome Stadium. Staff photo/John Boyle

It took a little longer than expected, but the Dayton Flyers (1-4, 0-2) are hoping that Alex Jeske will be worth the wait when he takes the field Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa against Drake (3-2, 2-0).

The fifth-year senior quarterback was cleared to play by team doctors earlier this week and it didn’t take Rick Chamberlin long to move Jeske back in to the starting lineup.

»ARCHDEACON: UD family helps Yingers cope with tragedy

“I think that Alex will be mentally prepared to get back in there,” Chamberlin said this week. “I’m sure that it won’t be perfect because he hasn’t scrimmaged or done anything like that, but Alex is a seasoned veteran and he’s been there before.”

Jeske broke a bone in his foot during a workout a week before summer camp started. Doctors removed his foot from a protective boot three weeks ago, but the Dayton medical staff has been cautious with the comeback.

The Flyers are 1-4 with Kyle Kaparos as the fill-in quarterback. The redshirt sophomore from Columbus has improved since he took over, but the coach says Jeske has some intangibles that can’t be denied.

»RELATED: Dayton volleyball off to strong start in A-10

“Alex has a lot of confidence in what he’s able to do, plus physically his arm is stronger than Kyle’s, and with three years experience he can read defenses faster,” Chamberlin said.

The Flyers will need every advantage they can get on Saturday. While Dayton has a 25-8 record in the all-time series, most of those wins have come at Welcome Stadium.

“We haven’t done real well out there since 2009,” Chamberlin said. “Just like any (Pioneer Football League) opponent, it’s tough to win on the road.”

For the second week in a row the Dayton defense will face one of the best quarterbacks in the league

Grant Kraemer has thrown 11 touchdown passes in the first five games, averaging nearly 300 yards a game through the air.

Dayton is riding a three-game losing streak. The Flyers haven’t lost four in a row since 2006.

“I know that everyone wants to get that next win,” Flyer defensive back Andrew Lutgens said. “I don’t think there is panic or urgency.

“The coaches do a great job keeping us on an even keel…we just have to keep grinding and getting better. You don’t want to ever start worrying or panicking or changing too much because that’s when you get in a lot of trouble.”

SATURDAY’S GAME

Dayton at Drake, 2 p.m., AM 1290, News 95.7 WHIO

The latest QB update and a final look at Florida football as the bye week nears its end

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:15 AM

Florida Gators football is the No. 1 topic in Good Morning, Gators every day —  but we cover news, notes and analysis from across the Gators sports world. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Florida football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Should a QB change be coming?

With all of Florida’s offensive struggles, could graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire get a shot during the back half of the season over Feleipe Franks? Our Ryan Young takes the stance that, at the very least, Zaire should have a chance. An excerpt:

“Maybe [Zaire] doesn’t know the offense inside and out either after arriving in June, but he’s in his fifth year of college football and played in some big games during his time at Notre Dame. That experience is what Franks is lacking and part of the reason he looks overwhelmed on the field, struggles to move off his primary target and struggles with situational awareness.

And let’s be honest, the offensive game plan hasn’t looked all that complex these first six games. Surely Zaire could replicate the steady stream of screen passes and short slants the Gators have relied on almost exclusively from a passing standpoint.”

MORE: Click here to sign up for the Good Morning, Gators newsletter!

Florida stock report

The Gators’ bye week is nearing its end and Florida is getting ready for a pivotal game against No. 3 Georgia next week to begin the back half of the season. Before that happens, though, we took a closer look at which players have seen their stock rise since the season began and who the Gators need to see more production from in the final five games of the year.

Matt Corral Q&A

In this SEC Country exclusive, Class of 2018 quarterback and Florida commit Matt Corral talks recruiting, early enrollment and Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

In other Florida football news

In the polls

The Florida men’s basketball team checked in at No. 7 in the first edition of the USA Today coaches poll, which was released Thursday.

Soccer breaks losing streak

After dropping its past two matches, the No. 20 Gators soccer team defeated Kentucky 2-0 in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Thursday.

Your weekend in Florida athletics

Let’s keep talking

Want to keep the conversation going? Hop over to our free Florida message board. Sign up today and join the discussion here.

What they’re saying on Twitter

Linebacker Vosean Joseph:

Quarterback Jake Allen:

Quarterback Luke Del Rio:

Defensive lineman CeCe Jefferson:

Miss a previous edition of Good Morning, Gators? Get caught up here .

Arkansas football would love to make everyone eat crow at this point

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:15 AM

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

Arkansas can shock the world … or, at least, the Razorbacks fan base

Only the most strident of optimists are picking Arkansas to beat Auburn on Saturday inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas is a two-touchdown underdog to the Tigers and, based off the way the Razorbacks have played, almost no one expects them to show anything other than why they’re underdogs.

My colleague Trent Shadid and I both picked Auburn wins. Trent by 13 and me by 18. Our SEC Country Arkansas podcast host, John Nabors, who also happens to be our resident Arkansas fan, also has the Razorbacks falling, but by even more. He has it 48-21, Auburn.

Nabors’ prediction is not dissimilar to others I have seen from the fan base. All over Facebook and Twitter, Arkansas fans are predicting the worst. Part of that is the nature of fandom. Things are either happy and positive or gloom and doom. There is very little in-between with ardent supporters. Write something negative when things are up and you’re persona non grata. Write something positive when things are in the dumps and you’re a jock-sniffing homer. Trust me, I know.

Arkansas fans aren’t giving Arkansas a chance. Arkansas media isn’t giving Arkansas much of one, either.

But the Razorbacks need not prove or show anything to us, any of us. They believe they can win. They believe they can go bowling. So, they’re going to do everything they can to make us all eat crow.

Hope for Arkansas’ future with 2018 class?

There is no quick fix for the Arkansas football team. There are lots of depth issues at several different positions.

But that doesn’t mean Arkansas is about to fall off the map.

My guy Shadid was asked if the 2018 recruiting class can be expected to jump in and immediately contribute. Or, rather, how many can.

It’s a decent question, too, because it looks like the Razorbacks, defensively and on the offensive line, especially, could use all the extra bodies they can get.

Time to get a first look at Arkansas basketball

So many people have mentioned to me how they’re just finished with the football season. An Arkansas win over Auburn wouldn’t even save them. Not really. They’re just waiting on basketball.

I caution them on that. The Razorbacks are good, no doubt, but they lost a lot and the SEC is loaded. Arkansas was picked sixth in the conference during SEC Media Day on Wednesday. Lots of fans cried foul, the pushing of North Carolina to the final minute still fresh in their minds.

Well, for those who are ready for hoops, you can head out to Bud Walton Arena on Friday night. The Razorbacks have their annual Red-White scrimmage a day before football looks to upset Auburn.

Admission is free and doors open at 5:45 p.m. Tip is at 7 p.m. The school is asking fans to bring a nonperishable food item to donate.

See you out there.

ICYMI

Tweets and the like

• The past with the future here. Former Arkansas and current Texas A&M coach Gary Blair and former Arkansas assistant and current Razorbacks head coach Mike Neighbors met up at SEC Media Day for women’s basketball. Neighbors was Blair’s assistant when the latter was coaching in the early 2000s in Fayetteville.

• For what it’s worth, Memphis’ coach is Mike Norvell, who played at Central Arkansas and has connections to Tulsa, as well. Cough, cough.

• Might want to skip the 2016 Auburn-Arkansas game, though.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.

Ohio State football: 3 named midseason All-Americans, Urban Meyer named to watch list

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:14 AM

Ohio State football-Ohio State Buckeyes-Urban Meyer

Ohio State football is the No. 1 topic in Wake Up Sloopy every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

3 named midseason All-Americans

Ohio State has three players who were selected as midseason first-team All-Americans by various publications.

  • Defensive end Nick Bosa by The Sporting News and The All-American
  • Center Billy Price by The Associated Press
  • Cornerback Denzel Ward by CBS Sports

While those honors have no relevance compared to the end-of-season honors, it’s a sign those players are in the midst of dominant campaigns.

Urban Meyer makes watch list

Urban Meyer coaches at Ohio State, which means he won’t be winning the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award. But that hasn’t stopped national outlets from recognizing successful Ohio State coaches, and Meyer is in the midst of another great season.

As such, Meyer was one of 20 coaches named to the Dodd Trophy midseason watch list released Thursday. The award goes to “the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy.”

Big visitor for Ohio State-Penn State

There will be a lot of elite recruits on hand for Ohio State’s game against Penn State on Oct. 28 and another big name was added to the list Thursday.

Waldorf (Md.) North Point tackle Rasheed Walker will take an unofficial visit to see the Buckeyes in person. Walker is a 4-star prospect and ranked No. 108 overall in the 247Sports composite rankings.

What else we wrote

A brief look at what we recently published:

Other news to note

We’re not the only site that covers the Buckeyes. Some items from our friends at other outlets.

Let’s keep talking

Want to keep the conversation going? Hop over to our free Ohio State message board to get Buckeyes analysis from Jeremy Birmingham, Austin Ward and me. Sign up now and join the discussion here.

Twitter talk

Oversleep and miss a recent Wake Up Sloopy? No worries. We have all our past editions here.

The post Ohio State football: 3 named midseason All-Americans, Urban Meyer named to watch list appeared first on Land of 10.

Heisman campaign of Penn State’s Saquon Barkley hangs in the balance; Mike Gesicki befriends John O’Korn’s mom

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:12 AM

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Next 2 weeks critical to Saquon Barkley, too

Mark Wogenrich of The (Allentown) Morning Call spoke with ESPN’s Joe Tessitore, who since 2009 has run a “Heisman Watch” poll.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is listed as the favorite, and Tessitore agrees, telling Wogenrich that Barkley is “the best player in college football.” But Tessitore believes the No. 2 Nittany Lions’ game Saturday night against No. 19 Michigan, as well as the visit next week to No. 6 Ohio State, will be critical to his candidacy.

Frank Fitzpatrick of Philly.com offers another Barkley profile, traveling to his old stomping grounds in the Lehigh Valley and reviewing his rise from 160-pound sophomore non-prospect to weight-room warrior to college star.

“No one expected him to be the elite back he is today,” Whitehall coach Brian Gilbert told Fitzpatrick, “when he was growing up.”

Scrambled eggs, and loyalties

Fitzpatrick’s Philly.com colleague, Joe Juliano, writes about the friendship that has developed between Nittany Lions tight end Mike Gesicki and Paula O’Korn, a server at a State College breakfast spot he frequents known as the Naked Egg. She also happens to be the mother of Michigan quarterback John O’Korn – and, Gesicki said, “a great lady.”

Ricky Rahne, waiting in the wings

Tight ends coach Ricky Rahne was on a conference call with reporters Thursday, and Mike Gross of LNP Media Group theorized he wouldn’t be the worst choice to succeed Joe Moorhead as offensive coordinator, if and when Moorhead decides (as many expect) to pursue a head-coaching job. “Eventually, one day, if I’m lucky enough to call my own plays, great,’’ Rahne said, per Gross. “If not, if I’m a tight end coach the rest of my life, trust me, I’m still a pretty happy dude.” That involves sitting up in the pressbox during games, with the windows mercifully closed. “Sometimes,” Rahne said, per Gross, “my vocabulary can dip in some areas I wish it didn’t.”

Handling the havoc

Andrew Callahan of Lions247 reports on a new statistic making the rounds – havoc rate – which measures how often a defense records a tackle for loss, forced fumble or pass deflection. The Wolverines are second in the nation in that department, the Nittany Lions third, and Callahan believes whichever offense can extricate itself from the opponent’s defensive web might emerge with the victory Saturday night.

Shareef Miller, survivor

The tale of defensive end Shareef Miller has had many twists and turns, and Rich Scarcella of the Reading Eagle/Times reports on another – he was robbed at gunpoint three months ago in Philadelphia, his hometown. “My life’s too important to fight over a phone or a wallet,” he told Scarcella. “I could have gotten killed right there.”

Hoops talk

The Big Ten Network tweeted out video of an interview with men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers and two of his players, Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens, at the conference’s media days. The Nittany Lions have all five starters back from a 15-18 team, and as Chambers told Dave Revsine, “I think we’re gonna learn from the experiences of last year.”

Tailor-made

Audrey Snyder of DKPittsburghsports.com tweeted out a photo of a fan who managed to transform the jersey of former Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Matt Barkley into one of Saquon.

Also in the Land of 10

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.