It's officially spring game szn. This weekend over 20 FBS spring games went down across the country and below we'll take a look at the biggest storylines from coast to coast.
Gone is projected first-round pick Daniel Jones and in steps senior dual-threat QB Quentin Harris. Under the Friday night lights, Harris showed out throwing for a touchdown and rushing for two more. Duke returns 15 starters from last seasons squad that won eight games and the Independence Bowl. If Harris plays next season like he did the spring game, David Cutcliffe could lead the Blue Devils to at least eight wins for the fourth time during his time in Durham.
The Red Raiders handle their spring structure a little different than most programs. Instead of one "game" at the end of spring practice, Texas Tech opts for three scrimmages in three different locations. Two weeks ago, the Red Raiders were in the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium, last weekend they took the show on the road to Midland, TX and this coming Saturday they'll be in Frisco, TX.
It will be interesting to see who first-year head coach Matt Wells goes with at QB. Alan Bowman and Jett Duffey both started games last season and put up nice stats. Bowman did lead the Red Raider quarterbacks, completing 11-of-23 passes for 119 yards, while Duffey finished 9-of-14 for 97 yards and a touchdown.
The national champs returned to Clemson Memorial Stadium and were welcomed by 60,000 fans.
Star quarterback Trevor Lawrence looked sharp completing 19-of-34 passes for 232 yards with one touchdown. Oh yeah, Lawrence made this jaw-dropping throw. Also, not sure what that tweet is talking about because Lawrence definitely already took the college football world by storm.
While star wide receivers Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross return, it was two early enrollees who lead the Tigers in receiving Saturday. Five-star recruit Joseph Ngata hauled in five passes for 127 yards and Frank Ladson Jr also broke the century mark on five catches.
The Tigers also dropped one of the coolest videos you'll see all season.
From one Death Valley to another, an LSU team that enters the 2019 season with high expectations held their spring game as well.
Tyrann Mathieu was in the building and fired up the defensive backs prior to the game.
Chris Curry delivered the best run you'll see in the spring.
Chris Curry Of #LSU does his best version of Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch) in today’s Spring game.— Josh Lemoine (@LsuFBallTruth) April 6, 2019
I was very high on the 4⭐️ RB out of Florida. LSU looks to have found another good one at the position.
Joe Burrow looked good making something out of nothing. Also, can college players be allowed to celebrate? A + stuff from Justin Jefferson here.
Also, five-star recruit Derek Stingley Jr. is going to be the next star LSU corner. Here he is picking off the aforementioned Burrow.
Derek Stingley, football player. pic.twitter.com/0torrUGfog— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) April 6, 2019
Willie Taggart’s “Gulf Coast” offense shined Saturday inside Doak Campbell. Both offenses combined for 923 total yards, six touchdowns and 17 passes of 15 or more yards.
Back in January, James Blackman put his name in the transfer portal. Now, he's got the keys to the offense after Deondre Francois was dismissed from the team. Blackman responded Saturday throwing for 415 yards and three touchdowns.
Like some other schools in this article, the Trojans don't hold a full out game, but instead more of a glorified practice. However, it was a good chance to get a look at Graham Harrell's air-raid attack.
Amon-Ra St. Brown should be dynamic in this new offense.
Redshirt freshman Markese Stepp looked incredible and should make an already explosive backfield that much more dangerous.
Drake Jackson. Learn the name. The four-star early enrollee had one of the best pick sixes you'll ever see.
With two new coordinators with plenty of head coaching experience, Rich Rodriguez (offense) and Mike Mike MacIntyre (defense), Ole Miss will be going through a big transition this year. Fans got their first look at the new look Rebels in the annual Grove Bowl which the defense came out on top of, 29-25.
Despite the defense getting the better of the offense, that's to be expected when you lose DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Greg Little, Dawson Knox, and DaMarkus Lodge to the NFL Draft. Former four-star quarterback Matt Corral also played well throwing for 240 yards and a score.
Check out complete highlights from the game.
Who will replace four-year starting quarterback Brett Rypien? That's the Broncos biggest question this off-season. Five quarterbacks saw action Saturday, but Jaylon Henderson appears to be the front runner. Henderson was 9-of-13 for 187 yards and a score. Henderson was the only quarterback with more than eight attempts and had the most passing yards. The highest total among the other four quarterbacks was 57.
The Hogs are coming off a 2-10 season, but there's optimism in Fayetteville heading into the 2019 season. A lot of that comes from a 23rd ranked recruiting class by 247 Sports and two of those recruits made huge plays Saturday.
Four-star early enrollee Devin Bush with a pick six.
On the offensive side of the ball, four-star early enrollee wide receiver Trey Knox was the one turning heads taking this short pass to the house.
Trey Knox, ladies & gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/VDHwGzw1PB— Arkansas Razorbacks Football (@RazorbackFB) April 6, 2019
However, a big question mark still remains at quarterback. SMU transfer Ben Hicks was just 8-for-18 for 100 yards and a score, John Stephen Jones lead the way in passing yards with 112 and a score but also threw the pick six. More contenders for the job are on the way though as four-star dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson will get to campus this summer as will Texas A&M grad transfer Nick Starkel. If the Razorback get good quarterback play, this could be a team that could possibly get back to a bowl game.
Coming off a disappointing 7-6 season, the Gamecocks will look to return to the nine-win form of 2017. Inconsistent quarterback play had a lot to do with last year's record. While Jake Bently is the incumbent starter he will be pushed by early enrollee and four-star recruit Ryan Hilinski and redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner. The two freshmen combined to throw for over 300 yards and a score Saturday.
Check out highlights from Columbia. Props to the video editing team for using the Bill Ray Cyrus remix of Old Town Road.
We got that vibe 🤙 pic.twitter.com/tb4RGFvsHd— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) April 6, 2019
Also, nothing beats a good surprise scholarship announcement.
Another spring game, another school with a QB battle on their hands. NC State must replace three-year starter Ryan Finley. Matthew McKay, Devin Leary, and Bailey Hockman will battle well into fall camp for the starting spot.
In Saturday's spring game all three quarterbacks threw for over 100 yards and had at least one touchdown. The star of the show was early enrollee four-star running back Zonovan Knight. Knight carried the rock 17 times for 139 yards and a score.
Spring Game 🧨— NC State Football (@PackFootball) April 7, 2019
📹 highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/BLE5yPv8Mz
Gone is David Blough which means Purdue has a quarterback battle on their hands and it's wide open. Fifth-year senior Elijah Sindelar is likely the front runner but missed the game due to injury as did the only other quarterback on the roster who has completed a pass in a game, Nick Sipe. Jack Plummer, Aiden O’Connell, and early enrollee Paul Piferi were the stars of the show and will very much contend for the starting spot.
Jeff Brohm sounds off on the game.
Fun fact: Rondale Moore got his braces off.
The Eagles are coming off a 7-5 season and return two of their best players, quarterback Anthony Brown, and star running back AJ Dillon. If Brown can take a jump like he did last season and Dillon stays healthy, Boston College could be in contention to win 9 games. Check out highlights from Saturday.
Coming off an 11 win season, UAB will have to replace two-year starter A.J. Erdely, but based on his spring game performance, Tyler Johnston appears to up to the challenge. Johnston threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns in leading Green to a 34-0 victory over Gold on Saturday afternoon.
Coming off their first bowl win since 2008, the Deamon Deacons are in good hands with quarterback Jamie Newman returning. Newman took control of the starting job towards the end of the season a year ago and was outstanding in the bowl win over Memphis. Newman looked even better Saturday going 15-of-18 for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
RIP TCU & North Texas Spring Games
North Texas cancelled their spring game due to some serious thunderstorms that swept through the Denton area. TCU on the other hand, cancelled their spring game because they didn't have enough healthy players. Thoughts and prayers to the Horned Frogs and Gary Patterson.
We'll be back next week to recap the ridiculous amount of spring games going down next weekend.