September 11, 2018 / 8:22 PM / 9 months ago

College football notebook: Hurricane Florence forces cancellations

Three major nonconference football games have been called off this weekend as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas.

No. 14 West Virginia’s visit to North Carolina State, along with No. 18 Central Florida’s game at North Carolina, were nixed from Saturday’s schedule because of concerns about the forecast path of Hurricane Florence, which was elevated to a Category 4 storm on Tuesday.

No. 13 Virginia Tech also won’t play its home game against East Carolina University on Saturday. The Pirates opted not to travel to West Virginia for the game, citing safety concerns.

Meanwhile, the ACC game Thursday night between visiting Boston College and Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been moved up two hours to a 5:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Hurricane models project landfall by Thursday.

—Stanford star running back Bryce Love will miss Saturday’s game against UC Davis with an undisclosed injury, coach David Shaw announced.

Love left in the fourth quarter of Stanford’s 17-3 victory over Southern California last Saturday due to the injury.

Love, a senior, rushed for 136 yards on 22 carries before exiting. In his absence, senior Cameron Scarlett is expected to be the main ball carrier.

—Georgia Tech junior running back KirVonte Benson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson said at a press conference.

Benson will undergo surgery next week. Johnson didn’t detail the nature of the injury but said the MRI exam results came back and displayed it was a season-ending ailment.

Benson rushed for 1,053 yards and six touchdowns while earning second-team All-ACC honors in 2017. He had 116 yards and two scores on 15 carries this season before sustaining the injury in Georgia Tech’s loss to South Florida on Saturday.

—Michigan State senior punter Jake Hartbarger will miss the next six to eight weeks as the result of a leg injury sustained in the Spartans’ loss to Arizona State on Saturday.

MSU coach Mark Dantonio told reporters that Hartbarger is dealing with either a bone bruise or a fracture. Hartbarger was injured when a Sun Devils player hit his leg on a play that was deemed dead after a false start penalty was called.

Redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi filled in for Hartbarger for the rest of the game, totaling 32 yards on his one punt. Lombardi, the team’s backup quarterback, is expected to assume starting punter duties.

—Junior quarterback Quentin Harris will get the call for his first career start when Duke visits Baylor on Saturday.

Harris’ promotion comes after junior Daniel Jones suffered a broken left collarbone in last Saturday’s victory over Northwestern. Jones underwent surgery on Sunday and is out indefinitely.

Harris has thrown 15 passes — he completed both throws against Northwestern — with one career touchdown pass. He has spelled Jones in the past to bring a running element to the offense, and he has 104 career rushing yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries.

—Vanderbilt athletic director and vice chancellor David Williams II announced that he is stepping down from his posts.

Williams will hold the positions until his replacement is hired. He then intends to become a full-time law professor and will establish a Sports, Law & Society program at Vanderbilt Law School.

Williams was the first African-American athletic director in the Southeastern Conference. During his 15-year tenure, the Commodores have won four national championships between bowling, baseball and women’s tennis. The Vanderbilt football team has played in five bowl games in that time, ending a 26-year drought in 2008.

—Four-star defensive back Joey Porter Jr. announced his commitment to Penn State.

Porter is the top-ranked player in the 2019 class out of Pennsylvania. He is the son of former linebacker Joey Porter of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

Porter Jr. also considered offers from LSU, Miami, Nebraska and Pittsburgh, according to His signing marks the second straight year the Nittany Lions have landed the top-ranked prospect in their state.

—Field Level Media

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