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Three takeaways from Senior Bowl Saturday

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

With the understanding that it’s a college All Star Game, there were some individual performances and moments Saturday afternoon in the 2018 Senior Bowl that are worth noting.

First, Wyoming QB Josh Allen, whom many are drooling over because of his size and arm, did not disappoint in his time commanding the North squad. He tallied 9-13 for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns, including this beautiful touch throw in the 3rd Quarter:

WR Durham Smythe of Central Michigan was there to haul in the score, as the North squad stayed in the game at that point.

As for Allen, there are many reputable draft analysts that believe that he will go in the top 10 of the upcoming draft and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projected him at #1 to Cleveland in his first mock draft of the winter.

The Dolphins, who are picking #11, but are unlikely to go QB that early, were on hand this week to watch Allen in the practices and even met with him, as well. Stay tuned on the hype around him.

Another player that we wrote about leading up to the game, who could be a factor later in the draft for both the Buccaneers and the Dolphins is RB Rashaad Penny of San Diego State.

Penny did not disappoint in the game with nine carries for 64 yards, but it was this moment in a broken play, where also showed his ability as a game breaking receiver, too:

Again, Penny is likely going to be a day three (3rd-7th round) prospect, but he could also move up, as the process continues from the NFL Combine to individual workout day, etc.

Finally, we wondered about whether WR Tre-Quan Smith of UCF (photo above) would make an impact during the game Saturday, and he showed up with the games first TD:

Smith finished with five catches for 79 yards and including hauling in a 42 yard pass from Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta in the third quarter of the game.

Just like Penny, he showed what teams wanted to see in game action on Saturday, and his second round mock draft status may, eventually rise towards the first round, too.

Once more, it’s an All-Star game, but still, it’s better than the upcoming Scouting Combine that that doesn’t have scrimmage, much less live rep action in helmet and pads to judge guys on, either.

And, Allen, Penny and Smith all appeared to help themselves.

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CFB

Bulls travel to Illinois as part of Saturday College Primer

Florida Football Insiders

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another Saturday of college football in September and two of the state’s teams travel on the road in the biggest matchups of the weekend.

USF will take on Big Ten power 5 team Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago at 3:30 Eastern.

The Bulls are fresh off a 49-38 defeat opponent Georgia Tech last weekend. In that game, quarterback Blake Barnett (above) played solidly. And, special-teams speedster Terrence Horne raced two kick off returns back for touchdowns in the first quarter alone, to help the Bulls get a win over a Power Five conference team.

For his efforts, Horne was named Special Teams Player of the Week in the American Conference.

Meanwhile, it has been a struggle for Illinois and former Buccaneers and Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Winless in the Big Ten a year ago and now in his third season, Illinois struggled to get by two easy opponents to start this season. His team is going with a Young quarterback in A.J. Bush and the oddsmakers have the Illini as 12 point underdogs at home.

The pressure is on Smith to get something going, particularly in conference play in a bad outing maybe a bad omen.

The next biggest game of the day comes up at Noon Eastern time when Florida State travels to Syracuse in an ACC game at the Carrier Dome.

As we wrote earlier in the week the Seminoles better have their track shoes on, as this one is likely to be and up and down the field high-scoring game.

Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is excellent dual threat, and probably better at running the football. FSU’s defense has really struggled in the first two games with Virginia Tech and Samford and has to get themselves back on track.

Meanwhile, quarterback Deondre Francois, running back Cam Akers and the Noles offense know that they have to put the points on the board, as well. They did so in the second half of last week’s come back when over the Bulldogs at Doak Campbell Stadium.

New coach Willie Taggart needs a good showing to qwell the growing criticism early on of his hire.

The Miami Hurricanes, they are in Toledo, Ohio taking on the MAC’s Rockets, also in a Noon Eastern Time game. Canes had no trouble with Savannah State last week in a 77 – 0 blowout win.

Quarterback Malik Rosier played only part of the first have that’s coach Mark Richt was able to get some playing time for two of his backups as the game went on.

Toledo actually played Miami tough for a half last year at Hard Rock Stadium leading 16-10 at intermission before Miami pulled away in the second half.

Toledo’s home stadium, known as the Glass Bowl seats 25,000, and they have been waiting for this game for two years. Let’s see if the Hurricanes have some struggles.

And finally, the Gators play host to Colorado State at the swamp at 4 p.m. Florida is still smarting from their upset loss at home last week to Kentucky in the SEC opener. As you probably know, the Wildcats napping 31 game losing streak to the Gators completely out playing them especially in the second half.

Florida’s defensive line in particular struggled for much of the night to do anything to stop the Wildcats rushing offense.

A while this will not be an easy task has Colorado State comes in having knocked off SEC West team Arkansas at home last week behind quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels, who has already thrown for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in three games for the Rams.

Ironically, this is a game being played because former coach Jim McElwain and the University of Florida worked out a deal with Colorado State to help let him out of his contract, if they would host the Rams in a game.

Of course McElwain was dismissed in late October last season, and now the new coach, Dan Mullen, is trying to regain some swagger after last week’s stinging defeat.

Gators cannot get caught looking ahead to next week showdown at Tennessee.

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CFB

Week two Saturday college football primer

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a hot September Saturday in Florida and all five of the prominent state school teams will be hosting games this week.

For FSU, Miami and UCF, they have easy opponents and should win convincingly. For the Gators, it’s the SEC opener with a team that has been their slave for four decades (Kentucky) and USF plays the game with the most intrigue this weekend, as they host perennial ACC contender Georgia Tech.

First for the easy ones, Florida State will look to bounce back from their 24-3 defeat Monday night against Virginia Tech on a short week against Samford. Look for the Noles to score early and often tonight in this one with a much easier level of competition.

Miami is still smarting from their Sunday night lost to LSU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Canes will get an easy game today with Savannah State at Hard Rock Stadium. Quarterback Malik Rosier has got to get himself back on track to open this season.

And in Orlando, UCF puts the nation’s longest winning streak on the line at 14 in a row, and will easily make it 15 in a row in a game with South Carolina State. Look for QB McKenzie Milton and Co. to light them up and not play much in the second half of this one.

For USF, they have the noon Eastern Time start with the Yellow Jackets, as we wrote earlier this week the toughest task is defending their triple option. It will be difficult on USF defense to stop quarterback Taquon Marshall and all of their assorted runners in the backfield.

Bulls quarterback Blake Barnett threw for three scores and ran for another against easy competition in Elon. However, this will be a step up in competition for him as well, against Tech.

And finally tonight in Gainesville, the Gators open SEC play against Kentucky, a program that they have owned since 1986. Our Matt Zemek took a unique look many different parts of life and pop culture that started 32 years ago when the Wildcats last beat the Gators.

In the present day, quarterback Felipe Franks Franks looks to follow up on his five touchdown first half performance last week against Charleston Southern. The Gators will also try to use running back Jordan Scarlett more this week as well. Florida is heavily favored to be 2-0 and 32 for 32 against the Wildcats.

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Former Gators now Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer suspended

Florida Football Insiders

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Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The controversy that began with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer  not answering questions at Big Ten Media Days last month about multiple domestic violence allegations against a now former assistant of his, has resulted in three game suspension for him.

The former Gators coach, who won National titles in 2006 and 08 in Gainesville, and later with the Buckeyes in 2014, will miss the opener with Oregon State, then games with Rutgers and TCU.

This was after a ten hour Wednesday meeting of the Ohio State Board of Trustees.

It all stems from a two week independent investigation, while Meyer was placed on administrative leave, after Meyer’s receivers coach Zach Smith was investigated multiple times for domestic violence and yet, was still allowed to coach in Columbus.

The story was broken in July by college football insider Brett McMurphy and he posted a link the story on his Facebook page.

In his full detail exclusive story that includes text messages and photographic verification, Smith’s wife Courtney alleges that he began abusing her in July of 2009, while with the Gators.

Here’s is the excerpt from McMurphy’s post about the Gainesville incident:

The first time Zach Smith allegedly physically abused his wife was June 21, 2009 in Gainesville, Fla. Courtney Smith, then 24, was 8-10 weeks pregnant.

On June 20, 2009, Florida was coming off its second national title in three seasons under Meyer. Urban and his wife threw a party before their hard-working staff members left for summer break. After the party, Courtney said she went home, while Zach went out with some buddies. Courtney said Zach returned home drunk around 3 a.m. with a female co-worker, who Zach called “baby,” pleading with Courtney to let the woman spend the night with them, according to a Gainesville police report.

Courtney said the woman was Amy Nicol, who at the time was Meyer’s secretary at Florida. For the past six years Nicol has been director of internal operations for Ohio State’s football program and a member of Meyer’s staff a total of 10 seasons. According to the police report, Zach said that night Amy “was upset from breaking up with her boyfriend” and needed a place to stay.

Courtney refused and drove Amy home. Upon returning “a heated argument ensued in the upstairs bedroom. Courtney stated she tried to get Zach out of her bed, which he refused and then forcefully grabbed her,” according to the police report.

The report said Zach Smith, then 25, “picked (Courtney) up, by grabbing her T-shirt and threw her against the bedroom wall.”

It was the Smith’s one-year wedding anniversary.

Zach Smith, then in his fourth year on UF’s staff, was handcuffed and arrested for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim. Meyer said last week at Big Ten Media Days that in 2009 he and his wife Shelley “advised for counseling and wanted to help” the couple.

Smith left Gainesville in 2010 becoming an assistant at Marshall University.

However, he had been back with Meyer at Ohio State since he took the job in 2012 and up until the latest domestic violence allegations of 2015 surfaced.

That’s when Meyer was questioned at Big Ten Media Days (shown above) and claimed to have had no prior knowledge of Zach Smith’s 2015 domestic violence allegations.

Meyer then fired Smith, as a media firestorm ensued.

It was later revealed in August by media coverage that Smith also had a DUI in the Columbus area in 2013 that he never revealed to anyone. This further fueled the belief that some kind of punishment was coming Meyer’s way.

Athletic Director Gene Smith was also suspended for three weeks for failing to follow compliance rules involving the incidents and possible investigations that should have happened.

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