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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:

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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? 

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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.”

“I don’t think any of ’em have gotten dumb or stopped working. I’ve got a real sense of confidence in how they do their jobs and how they feel about this.”

“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.




Quick hits with Stock, London, Nix, Willie T, GP, and the Zooker

Rick Stockstill’s team at MTSU is (-20) in turnover margin, on pace to finish the worst in 13 years in D1 football: “It’s going to hang over me this offseason anyway and until it gets corrected. Since I’ve been in this profession, I’ve preached (winning the turnover battle), and I’ve talked about it more than anything.”

 

Mike London not too happy that Virginia ranks 118th in penalties: “It's not just a linemen, it's maybe the wide receivers on the edge, trying to capture the edge with their hands outside. You look at things like this and you make sure you address it by getting an umpire to stand back there (during practice) and officiate up front what's going on. If you see anything close to a hold, throw (the flag). But that's all part of that process of learning.”

“The lack of discipline would be personal fouls, unnecessary roughness with your head or sideline warnings. As animated as I am, I never got called for a bench foul, and that's been called in the conference.”

“So is that a discipline thing as far as players handling themselves? I think we have to do a better job of teaching hand placement with receivers, offensive linemen or anyone that's blocking on the perimeter. So we'll continue to learn. You'll see we'll do better. I'm responsible for that.” 

 

Ole Miss defensive coordinator says “put it down that we’re going to make plays.” : “The plays are going to start going our way. So if you want to quote it, put it down that we're going to make the plays on Saturday (at LSU)."

"Our attitude. Our attitude. We haven't quit. We haven't given up and we worked harder today than we had all year."

 

WKU head coach Willie Taggart appreciated text message following 36-35 win over Arkansas State: “Oh I received a lot of them. I got some pretty interesting texts, too. It was good. Some of them called me a stud, gutsy call, some other things that aren’t appropriate. They were jacked up for me and happy about it. Some said ‘I wouldn’t have done that, that’s a little Jim Harbaugh right there.’ ”

“The ones that mattered the most were the ones I got from the Harbaughs. I got one from all those guys and that always means something to me. They’re always watching and supporting and that means a lot (to me).”

 

Gary Patterson begins lobbying for TCU: "It's very hard to be undefeated. If it was so easy there'd be a whole lot of people that did it. We'll go play anybody who's in that top 10. Whoever wants to play, let's go. We've never backed up from anybody. You can look at our schedule; we're still not backing up."



Quoting Ron Zook heading into game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field: “I think we've just got to go back and play the way we played in the past, like I said the first eight games. There're some things I think we can do to help that. I think we've got it rectified, now we'll find out if it works.”

“Well, I don't know if mystified is the right word. But once again, they are the same guys, the same coaches, that played in those first eight games. They're still a good defense, they're still good coaches and they're still going to play the way they are capable of playing. I believe that and we're going to go from there."




Gundy explains big win at Texas and celebrates with team

Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State are now 9-1 with remaining games at Kansas and against Oklahoma.

After defeating Texas 33-16 in Austin, Gundy said, “Honestly, it means nothing to me from a personal stand point because I’m thrilled for the players and the commitment they have made this year.  Coaches, this is our job and this is what we do. So we understand.  I wanted it for the team for the commitment they’ve made since January.  The hard work and the effort they’ve put it…It’s really good for everyone in the organization to be able to come down here, obviously Texas isn’t playing as good as they want to this year, but they don’t just give them away down here.  You’re still coming down here in front of 97,000 people and have to earn it.” 

“He (Blackmon) was in about 55 plays and I’m going to get he was bracketed on 45 plays, and he still comes up with 9 catches.  Pretty amazing for a guy that gets bracketed like he does.” 

“You don’t come in here and average 5 yards a carry, so I think it was one of his (Kendall Hunter) better games.”

“Special teams…Joe DeForrest did a great job.  He had an unbelievable game plan.”

Following the game, Gundy told his team:

“That’s another complete game in all 3 phases.  You practiced well.  You played physical football.  I’m telling you right now, your special teams coach, offensive coaches, defensive coaches did a great job.” 

“It’s so enjoyable for me to sit back and watch you guys buy in.  You only need to worry about tomorrow’s practice.  That’s what you’ve done all year.” 

You can see Gundy's pre-game and post-game speeches right here:

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