Brian Johnson credits their win to calling the game from the field
Utah offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, the youngest offensive coordinator in major college football, helped the 3-5 Utes (1-4 in the Pac 12) to their best offensive point total of the season last weekend, putting up 49 points on Cal and snapping their four game losing streak.
The Bears hadn't given up that many points since an week three loss to Nevada in 2010 (52-31).
Johnson credits part of their success on Saturday with being able to make the move from the press box down to the field while passing game coordinator Aaron Roderick took his place up in the box.
According to the Deseret News, for Johnson, the move was all about being able to look his guys in the eyes and being able to communicate with his quarterbacks as soon as they come off the field, both of which can't be done over the headphones.
That's a much different vantage point than Ohio State offensive coodinator Tom Herman shares, who credited their overtime win over Purdue a few weeks ago to being in the box away from the emotion of the game.
"You can talk to someone on the headphones, but it’s not quite the same as being there face-to-face. It’s give-and-take, though you lose a little bit of a vantage point with your coordinator being down." Johnson explained.
Kyle Whittingham added, "Fortunately we have Aaron Roderick, who has experience being in the box as a coordinator and is a good set of eyes for Brian up there.”
The win was not pretty (by any stretch) for the offense. However, even though they were outgained by the Bears, they were somewhat efficient, and the bottom line is that they found a way to win (and put up nearly 50 points in the process). The Utes managed to run for 188 yards and 4 touchdowns and completed 67% of their passes (16 of 24) for 156 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
Each staff has their own strengths and weaknesses and it's just a matter of time until everyone figures out their role and how to effectively handle those roles on game day. Coach Whittingham seems to think they've found their formula and plans to keep the coaching assignments the same moving forward.
“It seemed to be something that was a positive for us. We made the move with just those hopes in mind,” Whittingham explained. “Moving forward we anticipate leaving it the same way and don’t anticipate that changing unless we run into another reason to take a look at it,” he said.
Utah will look to remain on the winning track against Washington State (2-6, 0-5) this weekend, before hitting the road to take on Washington (4-4, 2-3) next weekend. They'll wrap their season up, looking to get bowl eligible, with games against Arizona (5-3, 2-3) at home, and Colorado (1-7, 1-4) on the road.
Purdue AD issues statement on football program
Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke issued a statement Monday detailing the state of the Boilermakers football program.
Purdue is mired in a four-game losing streak, with only one game decided by less than 15 points. At 3-5 on the season, the Boilermakers must win three of their final four contests to reach bowl eligibility.
"Everyone around our football program has high expectations for the 2012 season," Burke said. "We have worked very hard over the past four years to improve our personnel, facilities and every phase of our program, which is evident.
"Our student-athletes, alumni, fans, coaching staff and administration all expect to see the program move forward and take a step up the postseason ladder," he said. "Currently, our performance has kept us from reaching our goals. But we have a third of the season left to play, and our focus is to achieve that consistency over the remaining four games. We need to press forward, converting potential into results and having fun playing Boilermaker football."
After leading Purdue to a win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl last season, Hope received a two-year contract extension lasting through the 2016 season. In his fourth season after taking over for Joe Tiller, Hope is 19-26 at the helm for Purdue.
Ole Miss motivational video
We've heard the speech used at at the beginning of this clip in previous videos (and it's a good one), but take a look at the official motivational video that Hugh Freeze and his staff showed the team before the Arkansas game.
This one had the them ready to play.
Ole Miss put up 21 points in the second quarter and kicked a field goal (the kicker's third of the game, which included a 53 yarder earlier in the fourth quarter) as time expired to give the Rebels the win in Little Rock.
Freeze and his staff have the Rebels sitting at 5-3, and 2-2 in conference play in his first season in Oxford, which is a far cry from how they've competed the past few seasons. The last time that the Rebels had five wins at this point in the year was 2009, when they finished 9-4 and wrapped the season up with a bowl victory over Oklahoma State.
The Rebels now only need one win against their four remaining opponents to become bowl eligible. That will be easier said than done though, as their remaining schedule includes Georgia (7-1, 5-1) this weekend, followed by a home game against Vanderbilt (4-4, 2-3), and then hitting the road to take on LSU (7-1, 3-1), before finally wrapping up the regular season with a home game against Mississippi State (7-1, 3-1).
That's a tough stretch.
The Scoop on stats - Week 9
Another week of crazy finishes, both gutsy and questionable decisions, undefeated teams falling, and eye catching stats, is officially in the books. It's a shame that college football season is entering the final few weeks of the regular season.
Here's what we noticed over the weekend. Let us know if you saw anything worth mentioning.
- Oregon has been ranked in every BCS standing since Chip Kelly became the head coach. That streak includes 24 appearances in the top 10.
- Will Muschamp is 0-6 in the Cocktail Party match up. He is 0-4 as a player, and 0-2 as a head coach.
- Minnesota scored more points on Saturday (44) than they had in their first three Big Ten games combined (39).
- After going up on Colorado 28-0 after the first quarter, the Ducks have outscored their last three opponents 71-7 in the opening quarter.
- Only one player, Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson, is averaging over 30 carries per game.
- Texas' game against Kansas marked the first time in 20 quarters that the Longhorn defense had shut out an opponent for an entire quarter.
- Utah State is allowing teams to convert on only 85% of their extra point attempts.
- Alabama (8) and Notre Dame (7) are the only defenses in the country to have allowed single digit touchdowns. Colorado is dead last with 49 allowed touchdowns.
- Kent State is snagging an average of 2 picks per game (16 interceptions through 8 games).
- Air Force is STILL yet to allow a sack. The Falcons have four games remaining on their schedule. Washington State is giving up over 4 sacks per game.
- East Carolina and Temple have recovered 9 of out 10 fumbles this season. Temple has done it in two less games (seven compared to East Carolina's nine).
- Maryland is allowing 9 tackles for a loss per game (124th nationally). That doesn't figure to get much better with an inexperienced quarterback under center this weekend.
- Washington State has more first downs via penalties (28) than they have rushing (27).
- Rutgers is the only team in the country to have not allowed a fourth down conversion this season (teams are 0 for 7). On the flip side, South Florida is allowing teams to convert at an 86% clip (6 for 7).
- LSU and Kansas State are the only offensive units that are perfect on fourth down. LSU is 3 for 3 and K-State is 2 for 2.
- Navy has allowed just two first downs via penalties this season. Air Force ranks second with just four first downs allowed via penalty.
- Division III Mount Union has allowed just one rushing touchdown through 8 games. They've given up a total of three all season. Tuskegee (D-II) has also allowed just one rushing TD on the season.
- Of the offenses that lead the country in long scrimmage plays of 20+ yards, five of the top ten are working under first year offensive coordinators at the school. (#1 Texas A&M, #3 North Carolina, #T7 Arizona State, #T7 Fresno State, T#7 Houston).
- Cheyney (D-II) has lost 19 fumbles on the season (last nationally in D-II). Martin Luther (D-III) has lost 21 (also last nationally in D-III).
- Indiana remains the only team in the country to have not lost a fumble (three fumbles - zero lost). Clemson has lost just one out of ten. Both Coe and Wisconsin-Oshkosh (D-III) have yet to lose a fumble. Akron, on the other hand, has coughed up the ball seven times, and has not recovered it once.
Tuesday TV - No games until Thursday
Games will resume on Thursday night when some MACtion (Eastern Michigan at Ohio) and an ACC (Virginia Tech at Miami) and NFL games (Kansas City at San Diego).
Eastern time listed.
Spurrier picked wrong opportunity to mock Dabo
At a rally today to celebrate Marcus Lattimore's birthday; and really all that is good about Marcus, ol' ball coach brought up comments Dabo Swinney had made earlier in the day. On his conference call Dabo took time to speak very nicely about what a great person Lattimore is... "It took my breath away, Swinney said. I was watching it and it just breaks my heart. I mean I just hurt for him and his family and his teammates. This is a guy that to me represents all the good things that college football should be about. He’s a guy I know personally, he’s a class young man and so is his family. I know how hard he has worked."
For whatever reason, Spurrier felt this was another good time to flame the rivalry fire with Clemson. Hear what he had to say below.
Dabo said he was "embarrassed" for Spurrier today, regarding The Visor's comments— Travis Sawchik (@travis_sawchik) October 30, 2012
This was not the right time and we're sure Coach Spurrier has recognized that since making the crack.
Iowa AD Gary Barta: "I have full support for Kirk Ferentz"
Iowa athletics director Gary Barta issued a statement of support to Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz on Saturday following the Hawkeyes' 28-17 loss at Northwestern.
The loss, Iowa's second straight, dropped the team to 4-4 on the season.
“Obviously, we’re not playing very well right now,” Barta said following the game. “We’ll get ready for next week. I have full support for Kirk (Ferentz) and the players.
“If I’m a fan, if I’m a coach, if I’m a player, and as the athletic director, it’s tough right now,” Barta continued. “Right now, the only focus is to get ready to play next week.”
Ferentz signed a contract extension in 2010 that pays him more than $3 million annually through 2020. Ferentz's buyout is reported to be worth more than $20 million.
Iowa must win two of its final four games to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes' remaining schedule closes with the top two teams in the Big Ten's Legends Division - at Michigan on Nov. 17 and home versus Nebraska on Nov. 23.
Iowa visits Indiana (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN). Oddsmakers have made the Hooisers a consensus 1.5-point favorite.
High school coach reaches 600 win milestone
When you think of the most successful coaches in football around the country today, Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Chris Petersen immediately come to mind. Included in that same train of though would likely be small college coaches like Larry Kehres (Mount Union) and Lance Leipold (Wisconsin-Whitewater) or even John Gagliardi (St. John's).
One coach, John McKissick of Summerville (S.C.), reached a milestone of success that none of those other coaches have come close to. McKissick collected his 600th win this past Friday. His career record is an impressive 600-148-13 with 10 state titles in a total of 61 seasons.
To really put things in perspective, take a look at the other high school coaching legends from around the country. Even fellow legends can't come close to comparing wins. J.T Curtis of John Curtis Christian School (LA) hit the 500 win mark last season, and is still a good 80 wins short of 600. Gagliardi (who we mentioned earlier) has collected 487 wins in 64 years.
Other coaching legends like Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached 57 seasons, won 314 games and Don Shula won a professional record 328 games.
Let's take Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, for example. Petersen has won an average of 12 games per season (and 92 percent of his games) since being named the Broncos' head coach back in 2006. Taking Petersen's current win total of 80 games into account, it would take him an additional 43 years, continuing to win an average of 12 games per season, to get to McKissick's 600. That would make Petersen 91 years old by the time he reached the milestone.
McKissick is currently 86 years of age and says that even with all those wins, he continues to focus on one game at a time.
“All I’ve ever thought about since I started coaching is to try and win that first game," McKissick said. "Then win the next and next and whatever it adds up to, that’s good. I’ve never looked ahead to anything. You have to have a purpose in life. But, sure, I think about retirement, but that’s about it.”
He explains that part of his success is due to bringing coaches (many are former players) on board and giving them the freedom to coach their own way, within the offensive and defensive systems that they have in place.
“I stay with the X’s and O’s. I’m coaching coaches more than players now. I go from group to group and monitor everything that is going on.” he told The State.
In his 61 years of coaching McKissick has had only two losing seasons, 1957 and 2001. With plenty of gas still in the tank, Coach McKissick has already put together an impressive career, and more importantly, touched countless lives in the process.