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Hot Reads: Fall Camp Ends, Game-Prep Begins

August 19, 2019

We're getting down to it now. We'll have actual football on our televisions this Saturday. Miami and Florida face off Saturday night in Orlando (6 p.m., ESPN) and Arizona visits Hawaii a little later (9:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network). You can also watch Bo Pelini's Penguins of Youngstown State take on Samford at 2 p.m.

Nebraska will make the change from fall camp to game-prep at some point this week, a transition that's happening all around the country. With that in mind, here's one last roundup of the news for Nebraska's 2019 opponent. If a team isn't here, well, it needs to make more news or its coach needs to say more interesting things.

SOUTH ALABAMA: Cephus Johnson, a one-game starter in 2018, is likely to win the quarterback job for the Jaguars. Somebody had to. Per, the three candidates for the job are a combined 44-for-81 (54.3%) passing for 294 yards with one touchdown and seven interceptions. Also of interest, coach Steve Campbell seems to have been studying his analytics this offseason.

ILLINOIS: The Illini lost one of their top true freshmen last week. Marquez Beason, a 4-star athlete who was getting second-string snaps at cornerback in fall camp, went down with what Lovie Smith deemed a "significant" knee injury. No timetable on his return yet.

OHIO STATE: Coach Ryan Day is planning to name the Buckeyes' starting quarterback today

NORTHWESTERN: The Wildcats keep things pretty quiet during fall camp, but Northwestern did unveil a new alternate last week.

MINNESOTA: No big news out of Gophers' camp. True freshman safety Tyler Nubin might be a name to put on your radar.

INDIANA: The Hoosiers are expected to announce the winner of their three-man quarterback race by the end of the week. The Daily Hoosier predicts Peyton Ramsey, the incumbent, will hold off Michael Penix and Jack Tuttle. I like Ramsey, but I will admit that Indiana becomes a little more intriguing if someone else wins that job.

PURDUE: The Boilermakers open the season on Friday, Aug. 30 at Nevada and have already moved into game-prep mode according to the Lafayette Journal-Courier. Get used to hearing the name George Karlaftis. The blue-chip defensive end from West Lafayette was a huge recruiting win and according to reports he has more than lived up to the advance billing in August. Could Purdue have the biggest impact freshman in the Big Ten two years in a row? Yeah, maybe.

WISCONSIN: The Badgers might not name a starter at quarterback ahead of the Aug. 30 season opener at USF, but all signs point to Jack Coan, the experience option, getting the first snaps of the season. Also, Wisconsin has an alternate that looks like Northwestern's, which the Badgers will wear against the Wildcats.

MARYLAND: Maybe it's just a fall-camp gambit, but coach Mike Locksley was splitting first-team quarterback snaps last week. Josh Jackson, the former Virginia Tech star, was the presumed starter but Tyrrell Pigrome is reportedly pushing for the starting spot. Pigrome was Maryland's starter in 2017 before a knee injury sidelined him for the season. 

The Grab Bag

  • Derek Peterson’s Monday morning column hits on Alex Davis, a new Blackshirts mentality and depth on the defensive line.
  • Austin Allen has been a pleasant surprise for tight ends coach Sean Beckton.
  • There was a little late-night recruiting news courtesty of Greg Smith who has information on a pretty big official visit for the Huskers. (Premium)
  • Our staff came up with some over-under propositions for 2019 and offered our picks.

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