Using an iPad on the sidelines
You probably don't know this, but the Portland TrailBlazers have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season. After a 33-49 finish to last season, Portland is off to a 13-2 start, riding an 11-game winning streak to the third-best record in the NBA. Why does this matter? Why are we writing about this on a football website?
The Blazers made a key off-season acquisition that spurred their white-hot start. The iPad. Portland now shows players in-game video from the bench, and they say it's turned into a major competitive advantage.
"It does [help] because you get to see it [again], and in the game everything happens so fast," shooting guard Wesley Matthews told Blazersedge. "You ask yourself, 'Did I rush it? I felt like I rushed it.' [The video can tell me] when I'm in that same situation -- off a flare screen, when Nic [Batum] passes over the top -- [if] I have more time to get the shot off or [if] I have to shoot it at that speed again. Or, could I have driven it?"
We understand that using any sort of live video during games is nearly universally banned throughout football (although at the high school level, some states are beginning to allow this in some form). But, can you imagine what the likes of Chip Kelly, Bill Belichick and Nick Saban would do if they could immediately review game film on the sidelines?
The NBA allowing it sure does make us think this is coming...and probably sooner than you think. Will be fascinating to see.
The Aggies have something insane up their sleeves
The zubaz trend is older than every player currently on your roster. But it looks like Texas A&M might try to bring it back - at least for one week.
Yesterday, Texas A&M recruiting Twitter account tweeted the following:
Then, Wednesday morning, Adidas sent out this picture of Kevin Sumlin's personal recruiting helicopter, lovingly known as the Swagcopter.
On one hand, zubaz is awful. On the other, recruits will probably love it. They don't have fashion scar tissue from the late 80's and early 90's to fight through.
Ultimately, though, you're currently reading an article about the uniforms Adidas will outfit Texas A&M in for their trip to Missouri on Saturday night. Guess who wins? Adidas.
UPDATE: It appears the helicopter tweet was too good to be true. But, still, the Aggies will have some special uniforms on Saturday.
A younger Steve Spurrier?
You've got to love rivalries.
A few weeks back, first-year Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild went on a local radio show and said the following: “UVa should not lose to Virginia Tech. I’ve been on both campuses, and I’m new to the area and I’m just giving you kind of an unbiased feel here.”
A coach says his current school should not lose to its rival. Nothing shocking about that. That quote would have blown away with the wind, as most do, were it not for Virginia Tech associate head coach/running backs coach Shane Beamer.
As Hokies beat writer Andy Bitter notes, the younger Beamer takes pride in being the Cavaliers' nemesis.“It bothered me, greatly,” Beamer said. “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t
“I thought it was odd for an assistant coach to say that statement. If you feel that way that you shouldn’t lose to Virginia Tech, more power to you if you feel that way about your team. That’s your decision. But I had a problem with the ‘you’ve been on both campuses part’ of his interview. ‘I’ve been on both campuses and there’s no reason for us to ever lose to Virginia Tech.’ I have a problem with that statement.”
This is far from the first time Beamer has fired shots toward Charlottesville. A few of the highlights:
- On Sept. 7, he tweeted that Virginia Tech drew the largest crowd in the state for a home date with Western Carolina. He didn't happen to mention that Virginia also hosted Oregon on Sept. 7, though he didn't have to.
“I’m sorry, but recruits follow me on Twitter, and if I can’t point out we had more fans in the stands than they did, I don’t think that’s taking a shot at UVa,” Beamer said.
- The time he tweeted good luck to the Mississippi State baseball team before it faced Virginia in the NCAA Super Regional. As Beamer said, he was only thinking about the Bulldogs' baseball staff he got to know from his time in Starkville.
- Beamer tweeted good luck to the Mississippi State baseball team last summer right before it took on Virginia in the super regional, although he said that was simply wishing well the Bulldogs staff he got to know during his time as a coach at MSU.
- The time he called Virginia's crowd of 8,000 for its spring game a "nice little crowd".
There are two issues at play here. First, there's likely no one on Earth with more Hokie pride than Shane Beamer. He attended Blacksburg High School. He played at Virginia Tech from 1995-99. He's worked there since 2011. And, of course, his father is the greatest coach in the history of the school.
Second, he spent four seasons working for the Ultimate Troll Master in college football history. "I spent too many years around Steve Spurrier," Beamer says, "that's my problem."
Virginia Tech heads to Charlottesville on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU). The Hokies have won nine straight in the series and 13 of the last 14.
UPDATE: Fairchild has called for a cease fire.
#UVA OC Steve Fairchild on Shane Beamer being upset with his radio comments: "I was just having some fun with some guys on the radio."— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) November 27, 2013
Florida HS playoff game ends in 74-73 shootout
Clay HS and Bishop Kenny HS threw down in a 5A playoff game last Friday that will have the entire state of Florida talking for decades.
It was one of those games that is every defensive coordinator's worst nightmare, and every offensive coordinator's dream.
Down 60-44 at one point the game, Clay escaped with a 74-73 shootout victory that went down to the wire. The winning score (a run by Clay quarterback Wes Weeks around the right edge with 10 seconds remaining) capped off a 72 yard drive that started with just two minutes remaining. Considering how the game went, it was a fitting ending between the two offensive juggernauts.
On the losing end when the final buzzer sounded, Bishop Kenny quarterback John Wolford still managed to put up video game like stats, throwing for 539 yards, rushing for 234 more, and accounting for 10 total touchdowns on the night (seven throwing, three rushing according to ActionJaxNews.com). Wolford also finished his high school career as Florida's all time leader in passing yards, completions, passing touchdowns, and overall touchdowns (some of those were set by Tim Tebow). Something tells me we'll be hearing his name on Saturday's in the near future.
The two teams combined for a total 1,472 yards and shattered the previous scoring record by a losing team back in 2006 (a 63-62 Clearwater Christian victory over Indian Rocks Christian).
The video below is a great recap of the game's highlights. Defensive coordinators beware, the clips that would make you happy are pretty scarce in this one.
Video: Behind Michigan State's AWOL mentality on the defensive line
In his first season in East Lansing, Ron Burton has been the man tasked with turning the Spartan defensive line loose, and the results have been impressive. Taking over a unit that ranked in the top 8 rushing defenses last season (#8 at 98 ypg), Burton has taken over a unit that has improved by nearly 40 yards per game, allowing less than 60 rushing yards per contest, by far the best in the country.
Burton brought with him a defensive mantra that he and his players refer to as AWOL (standing for Animals WithOut a Leash). Players explain it as playing with a "controlled, wreckless abandon", and Burton himself says that it centers from playing with a "controlled rage".
Either way you want to look at it, it's production that matters, and his unit has everything you look for.
Here, in the latest Spartan All Access video, Burton dives into the AWOL mindset and explains how it has helped mold them into one of the most productive units in the country.
Update at UConn
Desmond Conner covers UConn football for the Hartford Courant. He covers the program year round, attends the games, plenty of practices and frequently does inside pieces on the coaches and the administration. In short, he should have a good ear for what is going on with regards to the search.
Earlier today Desmond rifled off a few tweets (seemingly in response to some media reports) about the status of the search and what he's hearing locally. Without further adieu... (but with the disclaimer that the info from Desmond is his info, our inserts are in one tweet and at the bottom)
@desmondconner Keep an eye on Dave Clawson (Bowling Green)— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) November 26, 2013
Ron Prince, Jeff Tedford, Lane Kiffin, Turner Gill, all no-gos for #UConn head coach— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) November 26, 2013
Also hearing there could be as many as 10 candidates interviewed for #UConn Football head coaching position but realistically 6-7...— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) November 26, 2013
I heard Houston Nutt a no-go for #UConnFootball head coach— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) November 26, 2013
For what it's worth, sources tell us that Ambrose is unlikely. Do have to admit seeing the tweet about Mullen being in play made us chuckle a bit. As always, we'll keep you posted.
Dark and light: uniform updates at Northern Illinois and Mississippi State
Northern Illinois will be special "Dark Dog" uniforms for their season finale tonight against Western Michigan (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
They didn't ask, but if it was up to me this would be Northern Illinois' regular look from here on out. Really sharp.
On the other side of the coin, Mississippi State unveiled a new chrome helmet the Bulldogs will wear Thursday night against Ole Miss. This will be the third different helmet the Bulldogs have worn this year.
On the plus side, though, if Mississippi State chooses to sell miniature versions of this helmet it would make a nice Christmas tree ornament or a great additional rear-view mirror for your car.
2013 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year - Finalists
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards, presented by ProGrass, are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. Finalists were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors and other athletic department personnel. The winner will be chosen by the previous winners of this award and will be announced on Wednesday December 11th.
The 2013 FootballScoop Coaches of the Year will be recognized and will receive their awards at an event held in their honor at the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in January.
Previous winners of the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year award are James Shibest (Ole Miss, 2008), Mike Tolleson (Texas, 2009), Joe Robinson (LSU, 2010), John Baxter (USC, 2011) and DJ Durkin (Florida, 2012).
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