Friday TV - Two solid games on tonight
Pittsburgh and Syracuse on tonight as well as Utah State and BYU. Should be a couple quality games.
All times eastern.
Pittsburgh at Syracuse - 7 - ESPN
Utah State at Brigham Young - 10:15 - ESPN
Teach your kids to coach defense
If you listen to the media, and some of the coaches lately, college football these days is whoever has the ball last wins fifty something to forty something.
For example, listen to what Mack Brown had to say today to Jim Rome.
To paraphrase Mack, all anyone thinks about these days is throwing and catching...and scoring touchdowns.
When the market swings this far it's good to think about taking the other path.
Looking for job security for your kids down the road...teach them to coach defense. Seriously, sit your twelve year old down, look him square in the eyes and say, "Son, I'm gonna teach you to love to play defense." In a few years Muschamp, Saban, Gary Patterson, etc... will all be begging him to come play there...a few years later he's the D-Coordinator at some BCS program, quickly snatched up by the Patriots. Trust us on this one. "Defense, defense, defense"
Indiana AD gives Kevin Wilson a vote of confidence
Kevin Wilson and his staff had Indiana off to a solid start, beating Indiana State and UMass in their first two games.
However, during their game against UMass, their starting quarterback broke his leg and they later found out that he will miss the rest of the season. Through those first two weeks they were ranked in the top 20 in total offense and sacks allowed. Very few programs in the country have the type of depth needed at quarterback to sustain their momentum after a loss like that.
Their next two games resulted in losses to Ball State (39-41) and Northwestern (29-44).
Despite having three wins through his first 19 games, Hoosier athletic director Fred Glass is standing beside Coach Wilson.
“We absolutely have the right guy and absolutely have the right staff. I gave him a seven-year contract and we’re going to stick with him. For a variety of reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily, we haven’t stuck with a football coach since Bill Mallory." Glass told the Indy Star this week.
“Our goal was to find the right guy, give him the resources to be successful and then stick with him so we get the benefit of building something. And I absolutely believe we have the right guy in Kevin Wilson."
This weekend the Hoosiers will look to get back on track against Michigan State, who has dropped two of their last three (with losses against Notre Dame and Ohio State). Kickoff is scheduled for noon ET and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
Jimbo: "Our quarterbacks won't be allowed to talk this week"
Heading into their game this weekend at NC State, Jimbo Fisher and the staff are making sure that they goe the extra mile to make sure that the offense is prepared for a rowdy crowd. This road trip will mark the Seminoles first game outside of Florida.
On top of the noise and music being pumped into practices, the quarterbacks have been told that they are only allowed to whisper during practice this week.
Fisher notes that whispering will force players to be more alert and focused on the field.
“We’ll make our quarterbacks whisper. They won’t be allowed to talk. Making our guys read lips, making them see things. We’ll have the noise out there making all that ruckus, making it as loud as we can. We’ll have to be able to communicate by sign language.”
“The whispering, you’ll be shocked how much that helps. It makes guys pay attention, they have to focus. Sometimes you do it you can even get better on the road. You really get guys focused and attention on things.” Fisher explained.
Interesting coaching strategy.
Louisville AD on Charlie Strong: "We will match anybody's offer"
Yesterday, Charlie Strong told the Jim Rome Show that he has no intention of leaving for the Arkansas job, noting that he's "just not cut like that."
Later Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich stated that he's not worried about the rumors, and is prepared to match the offer of any college program. He made it clear that he wants to keep Coach Strong a Cardinal.
"I will match anybody's salary. I will match anybody in college." Jurich said.
"I will be supportive of whoever's here. Do they want to be here? When someone is being talked about, that's a compliment to our program. I've had it where you have coaches, and they're not talked about."
If it comes down to money, any other school that wants Strong is going to have to pony up some coin. A year ago, Strong signed a seven year contract extension that bumped his salary up from $1.6 million to about $2.3 million per year.
Hoke: "Wearing a headset is overrated"
Brady Hoke is one head coach that you won't catch wearing a headset on game day.
“It is overrated,” Hoke told 97.1 (WXYT-FM) during his weekly radio appearance. “You ever watch guys on headsets? They don’t say a word. This gives me an opportunity to coach kids during the course of a game."
"The game is a mental game. It’s a game of emotion and enthusiasm, a game of teaching. Not wearing a headset, I get to teach on the sideline, and I get to be a real part of it." Hoke explained.
One of the co-hosts of the show asked Hoke if having a headset on would have changed the halfback pass call that resulted in an interception in the red zone during the Notre Dame game, suggesting that Hoke isn't fully aware of what the coordinators are calling.
"I do know what the calls are, because there’s a guy standing right behind me who tells me every call that’s going in.”
Hoke elaborated by explaining that he allows his coordinators do what he hired them to do.
"Al and I had talked about the halfback pass. We had run the toss earlier, which was really the only time we had run the toss this year, just setting it up to watch the safety and see how he played. Then when you got down in the red zone, it’s the perfect time for the play.” Hoke said about Borges' play call.
This weekend Hoke and the Wolverines take on Purdue (3-1), who bring in the #2 ranked scoring offense in the conference (averaging nearly 43 points per game). The rest of their schedule includes teams who have gone a combined 29-10, with Illinois as the only team on their remaining schedule with a losing record (2-3).
Meyer and Freeze weigh in on Saban's no huddle comments
Yesterday, Nick Saban made a comment about the no huddle that created quite a buzz.
During yesterday's SEC teleconference, Saban noted that the no huddle needs to be looked at, stating "We should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety."
Saban explained that when no huddle teams are pushing the tempo and putting together extended drives, the defense doesn't have a chance to get lined up and there's a much higher chance of getting hurt.
"I just think there's got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?" Saban added.
So later on during the day, no huddle proponents Urban Meyer and Hugh Freeze weighed in on Saban's comments. Urban explained that he thinks that the no huddle is great for college football and all of the different personalities in coaching.
"I think it’s great for the game. There are so many different personalities in college football, and I’ve had guys on my staff who either played in the pros or coached in the pros, and the one thing about NFL football, I’m obviously not an expert because I don’t get to see it that much, but you don’t see the multitude of different offenses that you see in college. You can go from wishbone, spread-option to throwing it 50 times a game to pro style."
"I love it, because I love watching it. I love getting that film and using other people’s ideas, so I think it’s great for college football."
Hugh Freeze, who played Alabama last weekend and lost 33-14 (the 14 points is double what Alabama's scoring defense normally gives up per game), had a more humorous take on the tempo advantage that Saban described.
“I think we’re going to get hurt because they’re so big and physical. Obviously I’m for it. I think it’s an equalizer and it’s something I believe in. I have great respect for Nick and what he says but of course we’re going to be on opposite sides of this debate.”
The bottom line here is that the game is always evolving, and coaches at every level will always be looking for a new wrinkle to give their guys an advantage. Seeing teams like Oregon or Oklahoma State break a huddle now would just look silly anyway.
This defensive coordinator has seen success against Oregon
The Washington defense has improved almost 80 slots in total defense from where they sat last season. Credit much of that to new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
Through the first 5 weeks of 2011, the Huskies were 4-1, with their only loss against Nebraska. Their defense during that stretch was allowing 427 total yards per game (102nd in the nation). Through five games this season, the Huskies are allowing over a hundred yards less, and now rank 23rd nationally with an overall record of 3-1 (their only loss coming to LSU).
Their most impressive performance so far this season was against Stanford, where they held the Cardinal to 68 yards rushing, and just 238 yards of total offense.
Yesterday, the Oregonian did a nice piece that highlighted Wilcox's coaching journey ranging from his switch from safety to corner during his playing days at Oregon, to his first job as a graduate assistant at Boise State, and his first full time job as a linebackers coach at Cal before returning to Boise State at 29 years old as the defensive coordinator.
With Oregon on their schedule this weekend, we are reminded of the successful games that Wilcox has had against his Alma mater. Back in 2009 while at Boise State, Wilcox held Chip Kelly's first Oregon team to 31 yards rushing and just 152 total yards, leading the Broncos to a big 19-8 win. Kelly later evened the score in 2010 against a Wilcox coached Volunteer defense with a 48-13 victory where the Ducks racked up 333 total yards and 182 rushing yards.
Late last December, when Wilcox left the Tennesse staff for Washington, he packed only one bag, and had the rest of his stuff moved later.
"I brought one bag. I packed a hanging bag. That was it. I never went back. I just had my stuff moved." Wilcox said of his return to the Pacific Northwest.
Sark called Wilcox on a Saturday, and by Monday morning Wilcox was on campus at Washington, ready to hit the ground running at his first recruiting meeting. Now, through their first four games, there has been some major improvements.
Wilcox and the Huskies will square off against Oregon this weekend at 10:30pm ET on ESPN.