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Narduzzi: "I made a dumb coaching error against Ohio State"

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi admitted to reporters after practice yesterday that he made a "dumb mistake" during their preparation for Ohio State and dual threat quarterback Braxton Miller at the end of last month.

That mistake Narduzzi was referring to was not making the offensive scout team quarterback live, instead they protected him from contact. This week, Narduzzi ensured that they didn't make that mistake twice, as they prepare to take on Denard Robinson and Michigan.

Asked about what worries him about the Michigan offense, Narduzzi simply responded "Denard Robinson."

Robinson currently ranks #4 nationally with 134 rushing yards per game (101 carries for 804 yards), and 6th nationally with just over 8 yards per play.

There's no doubt that in order for the Spartans, and every defensive staff that faces the Michigan offense, will have to find a way simulate Denard Robinson during practice in order to be successful. Just finding a guy on the practice squad to duplicate Robinson's skill set is much easier said than done, but making the quarterback live in practice is definitely a start.

 

"The same storyline every week means you're not getting better"

Pittsburgh's Paul Chryst is a little tired of getting in front of the team and reporters every week with the same basic message of, "We're doing some good things, but we have to put it all together."

As Chryst explains in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, at a certain point that means that your not improving as a team.

“It is the midway point of the season. But I also think it’s a time where, you know what, they’re getting tired of me standing up...the same as you (reporters)...and saying, ‘We’re doing some good things; we have to put it together."

“You can’t have the same storyline all the time. That means you are really not getting better. The time is now where we have to get things going.”

This weekend, Pitt will look to get things going against Buffalo, and we noticed a few interesting notes on the match up. The Panthers are 28-3 all time against MAC Schools, and an impressive 20-0  in the past eleven seasons when scoring at least one defensive touchdown.

So far this season under Chryst, Pitt is 0-4 when the have failed to force a turnover during the course of a game, and 2-0 when they've been able to force multiple turnovers in a game.

Mike London defends his assistants

After two straight wins to open the season, Mike London and Virginia (2-5, 0-3) have dropped the past 5 in a row to teams that are a combined 21-10, including last weekends loss to Maryland (27-20). Through this point last season the Cavaliers were sitting at 4-2 overall.

Earlier this week, London was asked about their struggles, particularly on the offensive side of the ball and special teams. London responded by sticking up for offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and special teams coordinator Anthony Poindexter. 

Against FBS teams, Virginia has only eclipsed the 21 point mark once this season (a 38-44 loss to Louisiana Tech), and have ran for a total of two touchdowns against FBS teams so far this season, and both of those were in one game (at Duke).

In five of their seven games, Virginia has put up over 350 yards of total offense, including the past four games in a row. Turnovers seem to be hurting them the most, as they rank 119th in turnover margin (-1.86 per game). The Cavaliers have thrown at least one interception against every FBS opponent and multiple interceptions in four of those six games.

“I know that the plays that are called are called to be successful. What happens when they’re not successful, then everyone knows it. I think that Bill on a couple of occasions, if he could, maybe he would do it over again. But these guys go into the game with the best plans available, best options, best opportunities. They look great when they work. When they don’t, they’re up for discussion." London explained.

The special teams have also been an area where the team has struggled. After assessing where their special teams personnel is from a talent and execution standpoint, London and Poindexter (who also coaches the safeties) have decided on simplifying things. 

“When you assess your team to see where you are talent-wise, execution-wise, sometimes you got to say, All right, let’s just make it simple. I think that’s to the point of where we are right now, is just making it simple.”

All the remaining games on Virginia's schedule are against teams currently .500 or better, starting this weekend with Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3) at home. The game can be seen on the ACC Network at 12:30pm ET.

 

 

 

Major Applewhite mic'd up at Texas

Good video here from The Longhorn Network profiling co-offensive coordinator / running backs coach Major Applewhite.

Mack Brown and a handful of players weigh in on what makes Coach Applewhite an asset to the Texas program, and how his experiences as a player have helped him become the type of coach that he is today.

This weekend, Texas will look to rebound from their two straight losses (to West Virginia and Oklahoma) and get back on track against Baylor. Kickoff is scheduled for 8pm ET on ABC.

Thursday TV - Two FBS games and a NFL game

We've got a total of five college games on tonight (two FBS games) and a NFL game.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

Seattle at San Francisco - 8:20 - NFL Network

College:

Hampton at NC Central - 7:30 - ESPNU

North Alabama at West Georgia - 7:30 - CSS

Houston at SMU - 8 - FSN Affiliate

New Haven at Stonehill - 8 - CBSSN

Oregon at Arizona State - 9 - ESPN

High School:

No games

 

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