Pigskin Palooza is back at Texas A&M

Pigskin Palooza is back for its second year at Texas A&M.

Following the Aggies’ practice on April 14th, Texas A&M students can take the field to participate in drills with the players.

Want to catch passes from starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill?  Get it line.

Want to throw a pass to All Big-12 wide receiver Jeff Fuller?  Get it line.

There will be food, drinks, and plenty of opportunities to win prizes such as sideline passes to home games against SMU and Oklahoma State.

It's an interesting way to get the student-body involved in Spring practice.  The Pigskin Palooza event even has its own Facebook page and YouTube video.


Skip takes USF through 170 play scrimmage

Skip Holtz put his team through a 170 scrimmage on Saturday.  The Bulls have 39 practices remaining before heading to South Bend to play Notre Dame in the season-opener.  (Who is Dr. Lou going to pick?)

Holtz said, “I wanted to make sure we got a great evaluation of some of the young guys and redshirts.  This wasn’t a scheme scrimmage.  This was about personnel.  We’ll probably release a depth chart by Tuesday or Wednesday.”

“This was a physical day for them.  They will be sore.”

“We are light years from where we where a year ago.”

Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said, “We are nowhere near where we need to be.  The overall tackling is just not where we need to be.  The bar has been risen and we are going to push to get there.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch echoed the theme of the day by adding, “We are way ahead of a year ago, but not where we want to be.”

USF opens at Notre Dame before hosting Ball State, FAMU, and UTEP.

Dan McCarney offers blunt explanation

North Texas head coach Dan McCarney warned us at his introductory press conference, "I’m a real passionate guy. I don’t sugar coat it.”

Ever since, McCarney has made it clear that he has a plan and that plan includes building a tough football team.

With the first day of full pads looming, McCarney offered a rather blunt description of what he’s looking for out of his players.

McCarney explained, “This is when we will really find out. You have to be a physical football player to have a chance to play. You can lift, you can run, you can be accountable, you can learn the offense and defense, but if you are not ready to make physical plays when contact starts, you are not going to play for me and this staff.”

It sounds pretty clear to us and it’s not surprising to hear from McCarney, a former assistant under Urban Meyer.

Just last Fall as the Gators were struggling, Meyer said, “Obviously, we’re down. We got to build this thing back up. How do you rebuild it? Tough-ass players and tough-ass coaches.”

North Texas will practice this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  According to the North Texas website, Friday's practice session is set to begin at 6 am.  

Boy, I bet the players are fired up for that one.

Saban posts signs in facility: Never forget. 28-27.

"Never forget. 28-27."

That is the sign in the Alabama weight room, locker room, and around the practice facility.

With Spring practice underway in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban isn’t letting his team forget how and why his team lost the Iron Bowl to Auburn.

Saban says, “We left points out there by errors that we made. And then to not be able to control the game in the second half was just as disappointing. You put the 24-0 score up there and then put the final score up, 28-27, and you say, ‘Are we ever going to let this happen again in terms of our psychological disposition to compete for 60 minutes?'”

It was fundamentals, too.  And that’s what the Crimson Tide coaching staff is preaching this Spring.

Saban says, “The most important thing that you do in the spring is establish fundamentals. We lost games last year because of lack of fundamentals, and I’m talking about something as simple as how you carry the ball, which got punched out in the Auburn game. The ball wasn’t being carried right.” 

“That’s an issue. That’s a fundamental. We made too many mental errors last year.”


Lembo bringing back Bill Lynch as honorary coach

We noticed on this Friday afternoon that Ball State head coach Pete Lembo is embracing the history of Ball State football by selecting former head coach Bill Lynch and Paul Schudel as honorary coaches for the Spring game.

Lynch, who is now an associate athletic director for development at Butler University, led Ball State to a MAC championship in 1996.

Although Lynch is unsure if he’ll end up coaching again, we’ll guess he’s having fun in New Orleans as he watches the Butler Bulldogs once again DO WORK in the NCAA tournament.

Lynch explained, "I don't know. I'm looking forward to this, obviously it’s easy to go sell Butler, I have a passion for the place and spent a lot of time here, growing up and going to school here and playing and coming back as a coach. It's a great opportunity and I know Barry wants to get a lot of things done and I want to be a part of it."

It’s certainly a nice gesture by Lembo, who landed the Ball State job after going 35-22 in five seasons at Elon University.  Before serving as the Elon head coach, Lembo led Lehigh to five consectutive seasons of 8 or more wins.

We’ve heard local referees in Muncie have been warned of potential explosive sideline blowups during the April 23rd Spring game.

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