Friday TV - St. Petersburg Bowl

Ball State and Central Florida face off tonight in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

Eastern time listed.


No games


St. Petersburg Bowl - Ball State vs. UCF - 7:30 - ESPN

High School:

No games

Gary Andersen explains his decision to leave

Hear what he has to say. Just released video from Wisconsin. 

Andersen addresses his decision to accept the job and describes what he wants to do on offense and defense. 

He also explains how they intend to recruit the midwest. 

Jim Mora: 'I've always thought that good coaches are good coaches'

With plenty of coaches changing jobs across the country, many of those new jobs require a title change, too. Jim Mora did just that when he arrived at UCLA. Upon his arrival, Mora retained offensive line/recruiting coordinator coach Angus McClure but McClure's new role on the new UCLA staff would come with a twist. He would keep his recruiting coordinator role, but after coaching offensive line and tight ends at Sacramento State, Nebraska, Buffalo, among other places, as well as for five years in Westwood, McClure was asked to move to the defensive line. 

"I've always thought good coaches are good coaches, and no matter where you put them, they're going to work hard to learn the techniques and they're going to make their players successful at that position," said Mora.

McClure proved Mora correct this fall. The Bruins' defense improved substantially from 2011 to 2012, jumping from 95th to 54th nationally in rushing defense and leaping Olympic gold medal triple jump levels in sacks (112th in 2011 to 7th in 2012) and tackles for loss (102nd to 15th) from year to year. McClure's coaching proved to be a major difference in UCLA's improvement from 6-8 a year ago to 9-4 with the Holiday Bowl still pending. 

"I think the first thing he did was connect well with the players and gain their trust. When you're switching positions from offensive line to defensive line, there might be a little apprehension initially but Angus is a really good football coach and he understands line play from both sides of it," Mora explained. "I think besides just being a really good technician, he was able to give them a perspective that's unique given the fact he's coached offensive line so well."

Mora's perspective provides evidence for four things: A) His eye for coaching talent, B) McClure's coaching ability and C) Evidence for assistant coaches tasked with changing positions and D) Head coaches considering asking assistant coaches to switch positions. 

Barry Alvarez institutes the band system

In the most recent installment of Wisconsin's "Path to Pasadena" the film crew provides a look inside of the bowl suite where players use a point system to pick out their bowl gifts. 

Players had their choice of everything ranging from a La-Z-Boy recliner to Beats by Dre headphones. Pretty solid selection, especially for players making a repeat trip to Pasadena and have already cashed in on the recliner in years past.

At the end of the clip, Alvarez addresses the team and explains the bands that the coaches are wearing that read "I'm In and I'm on". He then explains how players can earn a band of their own.

"Once your committed and can say 'I'm all in coach', and not only that, but 'I'm going to be good in that game". When your coach feels that you're to that point, you'll get a band."

"I don't expect us to go very without everybody having a band."

The Scoop on the Poinsettia Bowl - BYU vs. San Diego State

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - BYU vs. San Diego State (8 p.m. ET Thursday, ESPN)

Bowl season starts up again on Thursday and, with games coming fast and furious after that, we thought we'd get a head start on previewing the upcoming games.

Rocky Long has closed strong in year two of his tenure in San Diego. The Aztecs have won seven straight, claimed a share of the Mountain West title, and became the first team to win at Boise State and Nevada in the same season in more than two decades.

San Diego State's defense has turned the corner in the second half of the year. The Aztecs allowed 31.8 points per game in their 2-3 start, which included a 38-34 loss to San Jose State and a 52-40 setback to Fresno State. Since then, San Diego State has limited opponents to 19.3 points per game.

San Diego State gets a de facto home game against BYU, as the Poinsettia Bowl is held in the Aztecs' own Qualcomm Stadium. BYU has won five straight in the series. This year marks the first time in program history that the Aztecs have played in three straight bowl games. A win would give San Diego State its first 10-win season and first eight-game winning streak since 1977.

BYU doesn't have as much historical significance riding on Thursday's game, but there's still a lot on the line for Bronco Mendenhall's team. A loss would snap the Cougars' three-game bowl winning streak and drop BYU to 7-6, a clear step backward from last year's 9-3 campaign.

BYU has a clear statistical edge on defense, ranking in FBS's top five in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense. However, the Cougars went just 1-4 against bowl bound teams in 2012, only cracking the 20-point barrier twice in six tries. BYU will attempt to keep the score low against the 15th-ranked rushing attack in college football.

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