College Football Today: Bryson Daily Outplayed
Bryson Daily (13) had a rough second half of the season. (Army West Point)
Ohio St. WR Marvin Harrison Jr., who fell short in his Heisman bid, is still mulling whether to declare for the NFL draft or return to the Buckeyes; Clemson LB Barrett Carter will return for his senior season; and Florida RB Trevor Etienne — the Gators’ leader in rushing TDs this year — has entered the transfer protocol. Here are some other stories we’re following heading into Bowl season…
Army Hangs On to Beat Navy
Last week, in the 124th version of the Army-Navy game, Army managed to cover a 2.5 point spread for a 17-11 win, although surprisingly it was not the Black Knights’ expected superiority at quarterback that propelled them to its first victory in this series since 2020.
It took a goal-line stand in the dying seconds to preserve the win.
In fact, you could rightfully argue that Army QB Bryson Daily was outplayed by Navy QB Tai Lavatai, both in the air (Daily completed just half of his 14 passes for a mere 54 yards with one TD — see video below — and no picks, compared to Lavatai going 16-for-26 for 179 yards with one TD and no picks) and on the ground (Daily rushed for 84 yards, but just 3.1 YPC, while Lavatai managed 74 yards on 19 carries for a more efficient 3.9 YPC).
After a strong start to his junior season (and first campaign as the starter), Daily only had one stellar effort over the final half dozen games of the season, so small wonder the Black Knights’ offense wasn’t exactly dynamic this year. The Texas native is not considered an NFL draft prospect at this time.
Eagles Hope to Soar in Opening Bowl Game
Ah yes… a sure sign that winter is nearly here is the beginning of college football bowl season. This time around, the festivities kick off with the Myrtle Beach Bowl, pitting the Georgia Southern Eagles against the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday morning.
Despite their less than impressive 6-6 record, the Eagles are currently 3.5-point faves as per odds at FanDuel.
Leading the charge for Georgia Southern is senior running back Jalen White, who this year managed to nearly duplicate his 2022 breakout campaign. He probably would have enjoyed his first 1,000-yard effort had he not: (a) been less than efficient in three of the last four games; and (b) missed the season finale.
White, named to the third team All Sun Belt Team last year, runs a 4.53 40-yard dash. He has a solid build with average high end speed, but at this point is projected to go undrafted next year. Still, a huge showing in the Myrtle Beach Bowl will definitely enhance White’s chances of winding up as an undrafted free agent on some NFL team.
SMU Pins Hopes on Kevin Jennings
The 24th-ranked SMU Mustangs carry a nine-game winning streak into their December 28 matchup vs. Boston College in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl. It is just us, or does that sound like a Japanese dish that would likely include clams?
The Mustangs won the AAC championship in their last season in the conference; for 2024, they’re headed to the ACC, and the move to a more prestigious conference is already helping recruiting efforts (through the transfer protocol, SMU recently landed former Georgia DL Jonathan Jefferson).
This addition should help an already stout defense be even better next season.
On the other side of the ball, SMU freshman QB Kevin Jennings was forced onto centre stage in the AAC title match. With starter Preston Stone out, Jennings had his moments in his first career start, going 19-for-33 (57.6 per cent) for over 200 yards with one TD and two picks.
Obviously, those interceptions took the sheen off Jennings’ performance, but he compensated with 63 rushing yards on 15 carries. He saw more action this season than he did as a redshirt freshman in 2022, but wasn’t quite as sharp (just 7.5 YPA compared to 9.3 in 2022 with a much lower completion rate).
With Stone (broken leg) done for the year, Jennings will get another chance to show what he can do, this time on an even bigger stage. Jennings has been lauded for his calm demeanour, but we’ll have to see what he can do as a full-time starter before assessing his chances as an NFL draft prospect.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Big Audio Dynamite‘s name is often abbreviated as BAD. Here’s yet another track from their 1989 album, Megatop Phoenix — “The Green Lady,” which includes a sampling of the Pretty Things‘ classic “S.F. Sorrow Is Born.”