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NCAA Football News and Notes: Tua’s Season Over

As we enter week 13 of the college football season, things are getting real for those at the top. While the play is getting exciting on the field, let’s take a look at some stories from around the NCAA football world this past week:

Tua Out For The Season

Tua Tagovailoa has arguably, when healthy, been one of the best quarterbacks in college since he made his first start. In fact, it was widely believed that he would be a top-five pick in next year’s NFL draft, if not the overall top pick. That may have changed last week, though, as Tagovailoa was forced to leave the game after suffering a dislocated hip in Alabama’s win over Mississippi State. That injury, which has required surgery, has ended the quarterback’s season.

The tough question is, what’s next for Tua? Some believe that he will still enter the draft, where he will likely be a first-round pick, although likely not as high due to the uncertainty of his injury.

For others, they are wondering if it is better for him to wait a year and prove he is healthy for the 2021 draft. While doctors say that they expect a full recovery, it is a troublesome problem for both Tagovailoa and NFL scouts.

This season, the junior quarterback played in nine games, going 180 for 252 for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also rushed for an additional two touchdowns.

In the NFL, a league desperate for solid quarterback play, this was a recipe to get Tagovailoa not only drafted high but likely an immediate star. Now, it appears that his future is as murky as ever and that his ability to recover will play a major factor in his future in football.

Minnesota May Be Missing QB

Minnesota has had quite a season, with the highlight likely being an upset of then-No. 4 Penn State. After last week’s loss to Iowa, though, the Gophers have fallen to 9-1 and are now ranked 10th in the country.

While the loss was already bad enough for Minnesota last week, it appears that there may be lingering effects from the game as well. Quarterback Tanner Morgan is questionable for Minnesota’s game at Northwestern this weekend after a pair of sacks towards the end of last week’s game may have given him a concussion.

As of right now, he is truly deemed questionable as he is currently in concussion protocol and has not been cleared as of yet. If he can’t go, it is a big blow for the Gophers, but one they will likely be able to overcome given that Northwestern has struggled to the tune of a 2-8 record thus far.

On the season, Morgan is 156 for 229 for 2,468 yards. The sophomore quarterback has thrown for 22 touchdowns versus just four interceptions.

Regardless, it will be a tough call for head coach P.J. Fleck as Morgan has led Minnesota all season, but his availability after this week may be more important than his availability for what should be a winnable game even without him.

Just Young Men

College football is certainly high stakes, as it is profitable for the universities and for sports betters around the world. Even aside from the money, people are loyal to their universities and oftentimes take their fandom to immeasurable levels.

Sadly, though, sometimes, this fandom can turn ugly for the young men that go out there every weekend to compete at the highest level and do not even get paid for their services. This was certainly the case for Penn State’s quarterback Sean Clifford recently.

As reported by Yahoo Sports, Clifford received death threats after Penn State lost to Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. The then-No. 4 Nittany Lions would drop in the polls, and their chance at the College Football Playoff likely dropped with it.

For Clifford, it wasn’t his best game against Minnesota. While he threw for 340 yards, he also had a trio of interceptions and just one touchdown. Sadly, when hearing of stories like this, it should remind us that football is just a game and that these young men are trying their hardest. Unfortunately for some fans, that still doesn’t seem to be enough.

Taylor Continues To Set Records

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is just a junior, but he is already breaking NCAA records. His most recent one is the record for most rushing yards through one’s junior year in college.

This was a record that was previously held by Georgia’s Herschel Walker, but Taylor has rushed his way past it and still has plenty of season left to add to it.

Thus far, Taylor has rushed for 5,634 yards throughout his college career. In addition to this record, he is also now second on the all-time list, again as a junior, in Big Ten rushing yards.

This season, Taylor has been exceptional, rushing 233 times for 1,463 yards (averaging 6.3 yards per carry). He also has a whopping 17 touchdowns on the ground. In addition to his ground game, Taylor has a career high in receptions with 20 for an additional 162 yards and four scores.

Needless to say, Taylor is pretty darn good and is a significant reason that Wisconsin is 8-2 and ranked 12th in the nation.

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