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NCAA Football News: November 13, 2018

Bobby Petrino Out At Louisville

This season has just been a train wreck for the Louisville Cardinals.  They are 2-8 on the season and have struggled to both score and to stop the opposition from scoring all season long. In fact, they have lost seven in a row, and in the last three Louisiville has allowed 50 points or more. On Saturday, the Cardinals lost 54-23 to number 13 Syracuse.  In the loss, the Cardinals gave up five touchdowns on the ground and another one in the air.
Petrino has struggled since former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson left, and it ultimately cost him his job.  Over the last five seasons, Petrino is 36-26.  At 2-8 this season, he was winless in the Atlantic Coast Conference. While he may be riding off into the sun, he won’t be doing it empty-handed.  Petrino has a buyout that is approximately $14 million.  Not a bad payday to sit at home and watch football.
While this season has not been ideal, Louisville is still a good job and it will be interesting to see what coaching candidates are looked at to fill the vacancy.  While Lorenzo Ward will be the interim coach, there are already rumors that Louisville may look to Jeff Brohm as a replacement.  While he is coaching at Purdue, he has roots in Louisville and will likely have interest in the job.

Tua Leading The Way In Heisman Race, But Will His Knee Hold Up?

Tua Tagovailoa has been far and away the best offensive player in college football this season and is likely a clear-cut Heisman Trophy winner if he can stay healthy.  On the season, he is 146 for 215 with 2,525 yards, 28 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Additionally, he has rushed 37 times for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The main problem, though, will be his knee.  Even though Alabama crushed Mississippi State on Saturday, it wasn’t without drama.  Tagovailoa had to leave the game after aggravating a nagging knee injury.  While third-stringer Mac Jones was able to finish the game out, it did show that Alabama is not without its flaws.  As few and far between as those flaws may be, without Tagovailoa, that team might be a lot less intimidating, particularly with backup Jalen Hurts struggling with injury as well.  Time will tell what will happen for Alabama, who seems destined for another national championship, but Nick Saban and company will be hoping that Tagovailoa can finish the season without anymore hiccups.

Notre Dame Just Fine Without Ian Book

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was unable to play this last week with a rib injury, but that didn’t stop Notre Dame from demolishing Florida State 42-13.  Brandon Wimbush, who was Notre Dame’s week one starter, took the call under center. On the season Ian Book is 152 for 204 with 1,824 yards, 15 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.  Wimbush, on the other hand, is 54 for 101 with 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.  One week without Cook was fine, but the Fighting Irish are hoping to get him back for next week’s matchup with Syracuse.
Even without Cook, Notre Dame relied on a strong rushing attack.  On the season, running back Dexter Williams has rushed for 770 yards and 10 touchdowns on 113 attempts.  In addition to Williams, Terry Jones Jr. (74 rushes, 367 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Jafar Armstrong (67 rushes, 359 yards, 6 touchdowns) have also had success.

AP Top 25 Stay Constant At The Top

With not much in the way of upsets or major matchups, the top 7 of the AP Top 25 remained the same this week with Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan leading the first four.  While the top did not change much, there was some shuffling towards the bottom. Ohio State and LSU fell to numbers 9 and 10, respectively.  Syracuse moved to number 12 and Texas moved to number 13.  There were a few other changes, but for the most part, it was a pretty uneventful week.

Northwestern Wins Big 10 West

Despite all odds, coach Pat Fitzgerald continues to have success with his Northwestern Wildcats.  On Saturday, that success translated to them winning the Big10 West and a ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game.  Northwestern shockingly beat number 21 Iowa 14-10 on Saturday, but to clinch the West, they needed some help.  Help is exactly what they got as Wisconsin lost to Penn State and Purdue lost to Minnesota.  With a season full of ups and downs, including losses to Duke and Akron, as well as the loss of their running back Jeremy Larkin earlier in the season, who had to quit after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis, the Wildcats persevered, exactly as Pat Fitzgerald has taught his program to do year in and year out.

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