Tough season continues for Troy
Troy lost last night in overtime to FIU 23-20. The loss drops Troy to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
This in uncharted territory for the Trojan program, who have won at least a share of the past five league titles.
Since joining the Sun Belt in 2004, Troy has been the staple of consistency, reaching at least 8 wins in six of seven years (and each of the last 5). Since their first season as an FBS school in 2001, Troy has only lost more than 5 games twice. Those two seasons came as an Independent in 2002, and in 2005 as a member of the Sun Belt when they went 4-7.
Offensively, the Trojans are still able to throw it all over place, ranking #16 in the country in pass offense. Defensively they are generally sound, but we noticed their defensive coordinator, Jeremy Rowell, mentioned last night that each game they have given up a couple of big plays.
Troy's defensive end #94 Jonathan Massaquoi really caught our eye last night. In his first season as a DI starter last season, after transferring from Butler Community College, Massaquoi racked up 13.5 sacks. This season he was named Sun Belt pre-season player of the year, which shouldn't come as a huge surprise given his genes. Jonathan's cousins Mohammed Massaquoi and Visanthe Shiancoe are both in the NFL. Troy has a history of sending some great DEs to the league. Give defensive line coach Maurea Crain some credit for getting the most out of these guys.
The Trojans next game will take them to Navy on November 5th. Navy has lost their last 5 straight, and four of those five losses have come by a combined 8 points.
Hopefully Larry Blakeney, in his 21st year with Troy, can get them back on the track.
Big East matchup (well, this year it is...[poor realignment joke]).
All times are eastern.
UConn at Pitt - 8 - ESPN
Eastern Illinois' Bob Spoo to step down
Bob Spoo announced at the end of last season that 2011 would be his last on the sideline for the Panthers.
Spoo has built an impressive coaching resume over the last 50 years at the high school and college level, and holds a 140-113-1 record during his 25 years at Eastern Illinois. He is currently tied as the 4th longest tenured coach at one school.
In his tenure, Spoo has led Eastern Illinois to nine playoff appearances and eleven top 25 rankings. From 2000-2009 the Panthers won 72 games and 5 conference titles, and Spoo was named Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year 4 times.
Although they have struggled this season, Spoo has built a proven winner at Eastern Illinois, and the next head coach should have great community support and rich tradition to build on. A large part of that tradition and support includes alumni like Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton, and Tony Romo.
The Panthers will travel to take on Austin Peay Saturday in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Kentucky unveils all black uniforms
Kentucky rolled out some new black on black uniforms during their team meeting today.
Joker Phillips mentioned he had been catching some heat from the players, media, and fans about wearing all black for a while, and just feels like now is the right time.
"Just anything we can do to get some excitement. I think there will be more excitement if we’re making plays in those black uniforms. I explained to them that uniforms do not make plays. The people in them have to have the right attitude.” Joker said.
While everyone was busy raving about the new look, Joker added "If we don't play well, we won't see them again".
Spurrier on how to stop jumping offsides
South Carolina is headed to Neyland to play Tennessee Saturday night (7:15 on ESPN2).
Spurrier says Neyland can get loud at times and he noted that regarding the snap count when in the gun, they have gone to "lifting the foot". He says they've even gone to that at home.
Spurrier joked that his center, TJ Johnson, was saying that he couldn't hear the quarterback's voice from the gun, "TJ Johnson is playing well; but sometimes his hearing's not too good....so we said [to the quarterbacks] pick your foot up and we'll all go when TJ's ready...that does eliminate jumping offsides."
We like the Colts way of doing it...same concept, different implementation.
Spurrier's comments on this are in the last minute of this video
Cincinnati defensive staff getting it done
There have been only 10 performances this season where a defense has held their opponent to negative yards rushing. Cincinnati (6-1) has two of those impressive performances.
The first of those came against North Carolina State, where Cincinnati held the Wolfpack to -26 net rushing yards. The next week the Bearcats took on Miami (OH) and allowed -3 net yards rushing in a 27-0 shutout win.
Not only it is impressive to hold two teams to negative rushing yards, but co-defensive coordinators Tim Banks and John Jancek, defensive line coach Steve Stripling and the rest of the Cincinnati defensive staff, found a way to do it in back to back weeks. Very impressive.
Cincinnati is 2nd in the nation in rush defense and 17th in scoring defense. Defense is doing it's part in helping Cincinnati to a 6-1 overall record thus far, 2-0 and leading the Big East.
Jerry Kill's new agreement
Jerry Kill was hired in December 2010 to be the new head coach at Minnesota. At the time, the "agreement" was a very short "Memorandum of Agreement"...typically one or two pages. Not unusual.
Today, Minnesota announced that Kill has signed the definitive agreement...7 years.
We spoke with sources at Minnesota who confirmed our belief, the administration has been so impressed with Kill during the 10 months he's been on the job that they asked him to sign up for 7 years rather than the 5 they had originally offered.
The results haven't shown up yet in terms of wins and losses; but Kill is doing great things with that program. Given time (which he clearly has), Kill will build that program into what the administration wants it to become.
Athletic director Joel Maturi said, "This contract represents a significant commitment to Coach Kill and our belief in his vision for Gopher football. He has proved over the past 10 months what a great fit he is at the University of Minnesota and I have been very impressed with him both as a coach and a person. We are lucky to have him and I am thrilled that we now have an agreement in place that has secured Coach Kill as our head football coach well into the future."
Order the statue today!
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck has been on the job for 16 months. During his short tenure, he has accomplished 3 things that while in the short term might have ruffled some feathers, in the long term have to be considered homeruns for the Mountaineers.
1. He hired Dana Holgorsen.
2. He got approval to sell beer at home games.
3. He apparently has struck a deal for West Virginia to join the Big 12.
He also found some time to watch his son Andrew play quarterback at Stanford.
Nice 16 months. Somebody in West Virginia go ahead and reserve a place on campus and order the bronze for the statue...