Butch Davis on Broyles Award: Give it to my guy or do away with the award
UNC head coach Butch Davis says defensive coordinator Everett Withers should win the Frank Broyles Award or they should do away with the honor, which recognizes the nation’s top assistant coach.
Davis says, “I don’t know how many people are aware of the fact that in college football they give out an award called the Frank Broyles award, and it is annually given to the assistant coach of the year. I love all of my assistant coaches and I think they do a phenomenal job of coaching and recruiting, but I can’t think of one single person in the country that has faced more adversity or challenges every single week to put a game plan together, to inspire kids and to teach them and to get the performances that we’ve gotten than what Everett Withers has done this year for North Carolina… If Everett doesn’t win it, they should never give out that award again.”
With a depleted roster, UNC is ranked 45th nationally in scoring defense and 46th nationally in total defense. The Tar Heels are 6-4 with games remaining against NC State and at Duke.
In 2009, Withers was honored by FootballScoop as the Defensive Backs Coach of the Year.
Army's Rich Ellerson talks about playing Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium
Four tickets behind home plate at Yankee Stadium will run you $236 on StubHub for the Notre Dame - Army game on Saturday night.
If you’re sitting behind home plate, you’re right behind the goal posts. Kick-off is set for 7 pm EST on NBC. Army enters the game with a 6-4 record opposed to Notre Dame’s 5-5 mark.
Army head coach Rich Ellerson believes just being mentioned alongside Notre Dame is good for his program. Ellerson says, “It would first and foremost be that goal to win the next game, but obviously we’re a program that’s trying to say we belong. If we can routinely say Army and Notre Dame in the same sentence and think we’re talking about something that resembles a fair fight that would have meant that we’ve joined the proper company. That would be huge for our self image. There is a generation or two here of football players from back in the day, and that’s what they’ve always expected. That’s the way it was, but it hasn’t been that way recently.”
Ellerson says Army beat out Notre Dame for a recruit this past year, then humorously pointed out the prospect didn’t get a walk-on invite to Notre Dame.
“We have a guy in this class, that’s a freshman right now, who we think is going to be a really good player, it was us and Notre Dame. The deal was, could he walk-on at Notre Dame? If he could walk-on at Notre Dame, he was going to Notre Dame, but they didn’t have a spot for him in the 105 and we got him, and we think he’s going to be wonderful. That’s still the pecking order in the recruiting world. I still think there are young men out there that will choose this path not because it’s Notre Dame or Army. West Point and Notre Dame are so unique. The West Point path – the Army is a destination, that young officer is a destination, is in stark contrast to what any civilian institution, much less Notre Dame, is offering. Over the years, there will be a handful of guys that this is what they want and they won’t be seduced by the bright lights and Hollywood factor.”
In Ellerson’s second year, the Black Knights are bowl bound already, but a win on Saturday night over the Irish would be huge.
“We’ve all heard so much about that, it would be a wonderful thing. We slow it down and look at the tape of ourselves and we say, ‘Whoa, we’ve got a ways to go, we’ve got to get a lot better,’ but the fact that we’re on that path and we have an opportunity to step into a venue like this with a good football team, one of the great football programs in America, and see if we can measure up, that’s great stuff.”
Mack Brown talks about staff, Bob Toledo considers kicking it out of bounds
Mack Brown responds to outside talk that running backs coach Major Applewhite is now having more influence in the offensive decisions: "No, we haven't changed anything. We've been working hard to beat Florida Atlantic, but there have been no staff changes. Nothing adjusted or anything else."
“I evaluate my staff after every season. I have changed some coaches when we have won because I felt like something in an area needed to pick up and it wasn't.”
"At the end of the year, coaches are usually tired. You are so focused on the kids and trying to win that you do not want to drift and start looking at other things. That is why I will get with myself, I will get with some people I trust at the end of the year and try to make some proper evaluations like I always do.”
"That is really no different than any other year. There is just more attention put on it by you all this year because we have not done well."
Muschamp talks about what last week’s challenge of defending Oklahoma State: “We went into the game knowing we couldn’t give up explosive plays. When you play an offense that throws the ball well and play what I call a rhythm quarterback, the ball is out quick. People talk about why we didn’t pressure more. Well, when they are in 20-personnel, they are in seven-man protection - you are not going to get there. In a lot of their 10-personnel passing game the ball is out quick. So you have to cover more and mix pressure, which we did. And we felt like, and you look at the game, we had ten hits and 12 pressures on the quarterback, and that is out of 45 attempts. So one out of every four times he drops back. So our pressure was not bad. We just need to tie up some technical issues on the backend as far as how we were playing some things, especially with one personnel grouping going into the game, which is on me.”
Tulane head coach Bob Toledo says his kickoff team is so bad, they have considered just kicking it out of bounds: “Yeah, we did and we have talked about skying it and we did not even do that good. Here is an interesting thing. We practice on our field and I say kick the ball to the 25 yard line on the numbers. Well those pro numbers in the Dome are different. So we get to the Dome and our kids are kicking it to the 25 yard line where those pro numbers are and that is way too far in the middle of the field to kick it. It struck me to say, ‘Hey, do you realize the slashes out there are the numbers, not the number themselves?’ So we had a horrible sky kick, we had a horrible squib kick, right to the guy on a line drive. We did not kick the ball well in those two cases, but we did kick the ball well enough in the other cases. We just didn’t do a good enough job of running down there in our lanes, getting off blocks, breaking down and making the tackle. There were several times we should have had them inside the 25 and we missed tackles. We missed nine tackles on kickoffs. We are going to do some things to change that. We spent 15 minutes on kickoff yesterday alone.”
(In his fourth year, the Green Wave is 4-6 and hosts UCF on Saturday) “There are a lot of big games but I am not too concerned with the bowl thing. I talked to our team and said let’s not even worry about that. Lets worry about beating these guys because if we don’t then it’s a moot point. I think let’s just go out and play this game and play as good as we can. As far as the biggest game, there are so many big games so I would not say it’s the biggest game, but it is a big game.”
Records of the third-year head coaches:
Nebraska - Bo Pelini (28-9)
West Virginia - Bill Stewart (25-11)
Georgia Tech - Paul Johnson (25-12)
Navy - Ken Niumatalolo (25-12)
Houston - Kevin Sumlin (23-14)
Arkansas - Bobby Petrino (21-14)
Northern Illinois - Jerry Kill (21-15)
Southern Miss - Larry Fedora (21-15)
Hawaii - Greg McMackin (20-17)
Texas A&M - Mike Sherman (17-18)
UCLA - Rick Neuheisel (15-18)
Michigan - Rich Rodriguez (15-19)
Baylor - Art Briles (15-20)
SMU - June Jones (14-21)
Colorado State - Steve Fairchild (13-23)
Duke - David Cutcliffe (12-22)
Washington State - Paul Wulff (3-31)
Chip Kelly attends Seahawks practice, and latest from Les, Fitz, Harbaugh
Les Miles says LSU should pass TCU and Boise State if the Tigers win out: “I only know this about this conference. The highest ranked team to come out of this conference should well have an opportunity to play in the national championship game.”
CBS’s Verne Lundquist says Les boosts ratings: "We look forward to having LSU on because it means we've got Les on the air. There's a quality that Les has that makes him compelling to watch."
"I hate to use the word 'entertaining,' because that sounds very trite, and I don't mean that to be demeaning to him at all. I'm one of those who thinks he's a pretty good coach."
Chip Kelly attended Seattle Seahawks practice on Wednesday: "According to Seattle officials, Kelly talked with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, his former rival at USC, as well as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch during practice."
Pat Fitzgerald says Wrigley Field setup is a recipe for disaster: "It will definitely be a factor. I don't think we're going to be trying to run a lot of go routes. It's a recipe for disaster.”
"We talked already about [having a] 'Going-east red-zone game plan', [and a] 'Going-west red-zone game plan.' You have to adjust to it. It's kind of like having the elements, whether it's rainy or snowy or windy, sometimes you have to adjust your game plan."
Jim Harbaugh compliments Cal’s defense: "Cal's defense can knock you back. They have great speed and athleticism. This is the biggest test for our youngsters this season. Cal was dominant on defense against Oregon."
Lane Kiffin upset with USC practices this week: “I don’t know whether it’s guys feeling good about themselves after a couple wins [and] not remembering [that] why we’ve played well lately is because we’ve practiced extremely well.”
Herm Edwards compliments Mike Canales: "Mike's a quick study, a good communicator and was well-respected when he was coaching for me. He has the skills and can deal with the alumni. He just needs an opportunity to develop his plan to be a head coach."
Not quite Jim Mora's "Playoffs," but Zook's "bowl game" rant is pretty good
Illinois is 5-5 with remaining games against Northwestern (Wrigley Field) and at Fresno State.
Ron Zook’s team missed out on a huge opportunity to secure their sixth win of the season when the Fighting Illini lost to Minnesota 38-34, last week.
Following the loss to the Gophers, the Zooker shared his thoughts on “the bowl game.”
Remember Jim Mora’s “Playoffs!” Well, here’s the Zooker:
Video: Fake field goal helps Lane Kiffin get to 7-3, Oregon State is next
Leading 14-7 in the second quarter on the road at Arizona, Lane Kiffin dialed up a fake field goal that led to a touchdown.
USC has struggled kicking field-goals this season, and Lane wanted to “get up on these guys and take the crowd out of the game.”
This isn’t your ordinary fake field goal. The Trojans use a very unusual formation and take advantage of having a player like Mitch Mustain.
At 7-3, USC travels to Oregon State this Saturday. Kiffin says, “Turnover margin (is my biggest concern at Oregon State). You better pack your defense and you better pack your run game. It’s happened there before.”
Take a look at the fake field goal, as explained by Lane:
Still alive in the ACC, Ralph Friedgen tweets...
We were hanging out in the FootballScoop Twitter Center when we noticed a tweet from @CoachFridge…“A quick message from two of our Terps…” (see video at bottom)
At 7-3, Maryland has a chance to get to nine wins if the Terps can win their remaining two home games against Florida State and NC State.
Part of the Terps’ success is credited to their turnover margin of + 1.30 per game. Don Brown’s defense has helped create 21 turnovers, while the offense has turned it over just 8 times this season. Maryland ranks #3 nationally in turnover margin.
Linebacker Andrian Moten describes the Terps’ weekly defensive goals…"Our top four goals are to win, have more [forced] turnovers than they [the opponents] have touchdowns, and get at least get two fumbles a game. And every 15 passes, we've got to get a pick. We're doing pretty good with that."
Give credit to Coach Friedgen and the staff at Maryland for a fine turnaround this season.
Friedgen says,"Here we are with two games to go in the season and we have a shot to win our division. We were picked to finish last by all of the experts and that itself is an accomplishment. We're not looking to stop there though. We have a huge game this week and we're coming home so hopefully we'll get a lot of people to come out and support us. Who knows what could happen? We have some issues like everybody does at this time of year but we also have kids that are playing their hearts out right now. As a coach, you can't ask for more than that. They just laid it on the line. We have very good leadership from not just our seniors, but also our juniors and sophomores."
Let’s see how the Terps finish. Will a blackout help?
A head coach with 36 wins in previous 4 seasons defends his staff
At 4-5, with remaining games against USC, at Stanford, and Oregon, the season hasn’t gone as planned for Oregon State head coach Mike Riley.
The Beavers are 92nd nationally in total offense and 65th in scoring. Defensively, Oregon State is 87th nationally in total defense and 66th in scoring.
Unbelievably, a head coach (Riley) who has won 36 games in the previous four seasons, had to stand up for his coaching staff.
Riley said, “It hasn’t been that long ago that we played a good overall game (against California), a game that appeared to be a turn-the-corner game. I’m not going to lose the faith that we don’t have the potential to play that kind of a game.”
“We don’t live in that world where we’re trying to defend or make a statement or anything like that. We just work. We know it’s not going good as a coaching staff. I’ve got veteran coaches, a lot of ’em have been with me a long time and have been a part of good seasons here and good teams and winning games, and big games.”
“When you commit as much as we commit to what we do, then it’s going to hurt badly when you are where we are right now. No matter how bad everybody else feels out there, there’s nobody who feels worse about it (than the OSU coaches) but we’ve got a job to do.”
"It's up to them and our staff," Riley said. "Our staff has to be the adults here. They must set the tone for preparation and not go crazy. We are not in a blame game here. We are not going to go to a player or a coach and say ‘It's your fault.' That's stupid. It's everybody's fault. We are in this together."
Kick-off against USC is set for 8:00 pm EST on ABC. You can see the entire weekly TV schedule right here.