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Lane Kiffin borderline depressed after morning practice

Talking about depressed.  That could have summed up Lane Kiffin’s mood today following the Trojan’s thirteenth spring practice.

Kiffin wasn’t in the mood to make any headlines either, despite reporters trying to get Lane to touch on some interesting topics.  

At one point, Lane said, “Basically, you’re looking at 10 scholarship players that haven’t practiced this spring.  When you add the 24 coming in, that’s 34 new scholarships players coming, it helps your depth, but it makes your practices better.  It makes your players better because right now we’re finding some players coasting a little bit because we have nobody behind them.  Regardless, they can’t get demoted so hopefully it’s something we’ll fix in the fall.”

A reporter then asked Kiffin for his opinion on why certain schools but not USC were having their spring games nationally broadcasted.

Kiffin said, “Yeah, they had 92,500 people too.  It makes it a little bit different environment.  It’s the difference in the South than being out here.  It is what it is.  I go back to..we had 51,000 at our spring game at Tennessee and 40,000 two hour before for the walk.  It doesn’t make it good or bad.  It’s just very different.”

What about the new rule banning subscriptions to recruiting websites?

Kiffin responded, “It didn’t matter to me.  It doesn’t affect anything we do.”

What about these schools that are paying $20,000 to $25,000 for recruiting services?

Once again, not in the mood to make headlines, Kiffin responded, “We have enough of our own issues.  I’m not worried about other people.”

Asked if he’s ever paid $20,000 for a recruiting service, Lane simply responded, “No.”

USC will finish spring practice on Saturday with a scrimmage in The Coliseum.

Dave Clawson: We dropped 13 balls in the spring game

It’s only 135 days until Bowling Green at Idaho.

Who isn’t fired up?

Today, Bowling Green wrapped up spring practice with a morning practice.  Head coach Dave Clawson set up the spring schedule to allow for one practice following this past Saturday’s spring game.

After practice, Clawson recapped the spring game and spring practice in general.

Clawson was pleased with the defensive line on Saturday, explaining, “Defensively, I liked the way our defensive line played.  We got the ball, created penetration, we rushed the passer.  We were very disruptive and that had a lot to do with the defensive success.   The only thing I didn’t like about the defense was that we gave up 4 big plays.”

“We dropped too many balls.  We dropped 13 balls in the spring game.  Whether it’s wind weather, we’re going to have to play games in those conditions. We have to be able to function better than that.”  (Boy, don't you know offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Warren Ruggiero and wide outs coach Mark Carney were in a pleasant mood after that performance.)

Overall, “Offensive line has made progress, but isn’t where we need it to be.  It’s no secret we need help on the offense line.  That’s why we brought in three mid-year guys, but we needed some younger guys to step up.”

What’s next?

“This is where the leadership in your program has to take over. Teams that have good leadership get a lot done in these next three and a half months.”

After the trip to Moscow (Idaho), the Falcons will host Morgan State and Wyoming.

Gruden still working at 3:30 am: It's a grind, man

In case you missed Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp last night with Jake Locker and Andy Dalton, you missed some great entertainment.

Parts of Gruden's feature with Andy Dalton were priceless.

Today, the former Super Bowl winning head coach talked about his experience with the show.

“It’s been a blast.”

“I get more people talking about this than anything I did as a human.  They love these shows.  They wish there were more of them.  They wish I’d yell at ‘em.  But there’s a lot of rules and regulations when you’re on TV (pause), I guess.”

“The video is the big project.  It’s relentless, never ending.”

“It’s tedious.  You get in here at 3:30 in the morning and get done at noon…and try to have somewhat of a life.  I feel like a bat.  What are those things that live in dark places?  I don’t know.  It’s a grind, man.”

Stan Drayton explains decision to leave Florida for Ohio State

When Stan Drayton decided to leave Will Muschamp’s staff at Florida for the opportunity to coach at Ohio State, the decision was a head scratcher for some coaches in the profession.

Why would you leave a situation with a new head coach at Florida…the warm weather, no state income tax, a traditional power, not to mention Drayton would be coaching an unfamiliar position (wide receivers).

The veteran running backs coach, Drayton had already moved 11 times in 18 years.  His career included stints at Syracuse, Bowling Green, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Villanova, Penn, Eastern Michigan, Allegheny, and with the Green Bay Packers.

Veteran coaches tell you don’t ever make a lateral move.

What people didn’t know is that Drayton’s decision came down to family.  Drayton’s parents both live in Ohio and his wife’s parents live a few hours away from Columbus in Detroit, Michigan.

Drayton told Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch, "When you're not in your hometown or not near family, you just depend on each other. If we wanted a babysitter, we'd put them through an interview, and my wife doesn't trust people with our kids very well. So just to be able to get our kids around their grandparents and cousins, I think that does wonders for them, and for us."

Moving is ideal, “But in this business, sometimes opportunities present themselves that take you out of your comfort zone. And for me, when the dust clears off, it's always turned out to be positive situation."

Drayton’s first game coaching the wide receivers for the Buckeyes will be against Akron.  Ohio State will host Toledo the following week before a trip to Miami (FL).

Sound bytes galore: Reporters in Morgantown enjoying Holgorsen

Reporters in Morgantown are enjoying talking with Dana Holgorsen.  

You are going to get some worthy sound bytes, a little bit of Leach, and some sarcasm mixed in with humor.

Following Saturday’s practice, reporters spent nearly 17 minutes on the field asking questions to West Virginia’s offensive coordinator.

Here's one from Holgorsen...”I haven’t done anything with tight ends right now just cuz we don’t have any.  If we had 3 tight ends laying around, we’d probably use a couple of tight end sets.  Last year, we ran tight end sets about 5% of the time, but it’s hard to do that when you don’t have any.”

Or, when asked about his emphasis on body language…”We figured this out last year.  It’s the difference between lethargic and vivacious.  You’re looking for guys with bounce that have energy, that line up quick, that are anxious and alert, and are ready to make a play.”

Then, when asked how he can teach going against a 4-man front when all he sees during spring practice is the 3-3 stack…”You don’t.  Right now, you just play football.  Technique and assignment are way more important than obsessing over that.  You’re asking the wrong guy if you think I’m worried about it.”

“That’s why you meet.  We were able to meet a lot with them prior to spring.  We went over a lot of the different fronts and calls.  Then you get out here and you just play.  You coach effort, you teach ‘em what it’s like in the red zone, you get really mad when they turn it over….just the things that are important in football.”

“You worry about that kind of stuff and not the stuff you can’t control.”

Over here at FootballScoop Headquarters, we must admit that Holgorsen is pretty entertaining.  We'll try to keep you up to date.

Spring game attendance figures released

Three more spring football games will be televised this coming weekend.

Navy plays this Friday night at 7 pm (CBS College Sports).  The Big Ten Network will air the Ohio State spring game at 1:30 EST on Saturday, while Oregon plays at 4 pm EST on ESPN2.

According to CNBC sports business analyst Darren Rovell, a number of schools have drawn big attendance figures this spring.

Here’s are some of the attendance figures thus far:

Alabama (92,310), Nebraska (66,784), Florida State (53,818), Auburn (53,209), Florida (51,000).

Georgia (43,177), Arkansas (42,000), Mississippi State (36,357), Tennessee (35,891), South Carolina (29,451).

Texas (29,541), Ole Miss (28,000), Notre Dame (27,863), Clemson (27,000), Oklahoma (25,598), LSU (25,032).

Some of these figures tend to become exaggerated.  

One Ole Miss beat writer tweeted during the Rebels' spring game, "Just polled reporters for their crowd estimates. Got everything from 7,500 to 18,000."



Gundy and Whittingham experience totally different scrimmages

Oklahoma State treated roughly 16,000 fans to a 49-46 shootout on Saturday inside Boone Pickens Stadium.

Things weren’t exactly similar over in Utah, where the Utes played to a 7-0 final.  One of the 12,000 fans in attendance at Rice-Eccles Stadium assured us it true barn burner.

Utah quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson told The Deseret, "We'll be fine. I'm confident in that. We've got a lot of good players. We've got a good scheme. It's proven. It works. So we'll be ready to go."

Quarterback Jordan Wynn did not play.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Todd Monken said, "We have good players. We have good coaches. The biggest thing is to work, to stay sharp and not to get complacent. Human nature is to get a little complacent when people start telling you how good you are.”

"At the end of the day it's all about finding a way to win the Big 12 and that goes with beating the guys south of here.”

Mike Gundy and Whittingham were both glad to finish spring practice relatively healthy.

Here are some highlights from the Utah scrimmage.  Check out the new PAC-12 logo on the field.

By the way, we should note that the Oklahoma State scrimmage was "thud only."  

Sark jacked up following 100-play situational practice

Steve Sarkisian was very encouraged following Washington’s 100-play situational practice on Saturday. 

In total, the Huskies went goal line (11 snaps), blitz pick-up (10 snaps), 7 on 7 (20 snaps), and open field (60 snaps).  

Overall, Sark was jacked about the play from the corners and the ability to rush the passer.  The defense played the run surprisingly well and the offense didn't turn the ball over.  

Sarkisian stated, "I thought, all in all, it was a good physical practice for us. I thought both side flashed at times."

He said, “I love the fact that we are able to rush the passer.  That put a smile on my face today.  We may have had 7 sacks in that (open field period).”

“What I appreciated the other way was our ability to lean on the run game to get right and then Chris ultimately snapping off a long run after maybe have a little bit of a frustrating day prior to that.”

“I was overly impressed by them (defense) with their ability to defend the run, especially early in the scrimmage.  We defended the run better than I anticipated.”

“Offensively, I’m encouraged there were no turnovers after 100 plays.  On the flip side, we have to create more (on defense).  Hopefully, with those 7 sacks, somewhere in there the ball is coming out when those sacks are coming, but we are blowing it down (whistle).”

Washington opens with Eastern Washington.  The Huskies host Hawaii in the second week before traveling to Nebraska.