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The Scoop on the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl - UCF vs. Ball State

The fifth annual Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl will take place on Friday night under the roof at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., as Central Florida battles with Ball State (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). 

Outside of two slip ups to Tulsa, George O'Leary's team has not lost since Sept. 29., scoring 41.3 points per game in the process. Quarterback Blake Bortles has been hot, connecting on 70-of-128 passes for 912 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions over his last five games. Senior running back Latavius Murray has also come on strong, after missing three games he has run for 927 yards and 13 scores over his last eight outings. 

The Knights' backfield duo will attack a Ball State defense that ranks 103rd nationally in rushing defense and 106th in total defense. 

Ball State has won six straight entering Friday's game, although Pete Lembo's team is doing it in spite of its defense (as alluded to above). The Cardinals allow 31.5 points per game (89th nationally) and has managed to rip off half a dozen consecutive wins despite allowing 25.7 points per game during the streak. 

Ball State's offense has scored 31 points or more in 11 games this year. Northern Illinois is the lone MAC team to compile more yardage than Pete Lembo's team this fall. Sophomore running back Jahwan Edwards trigers the Ball State offense with 125 rushes for 786 yards (6.29 ypc) and nine touchdowns over the second half of the season.

Central Florida makes its return to the postseason after a one year absence, while Lembo guides Ball State to its first bowl game since 2008, when the Cardinals started 12-0 but lost its last two games in Brady Hoke's final season. 

Kirby Hocutt explains why they announced Kingsbury via twitter

Kirby Hocutt's announcement of Kliff Kingsbury as the new head coach at Texas Tech was a great example of the power of social media. Even though the sideways video was a little awkward.

In a recent interview with the Avalanche-Journal Hocutt explained the reasoning behind making the announcement via Twitter. He said that the idea came from associate athletic director for media relations Blayne Beal.

“I’m more traditionalist and old-fashioned, but Blayne said, ‘Kirby, you really need to do this. The excitement and the unexpectedness of that would be the right thing to do.’ So I have to give it to him, that that was good counsel," Hocutt said. "I’m just happy that we were able to shoot the video and tweet it. I wasn’t sure I could pull that off.”

To land a former player who has seen so much success in a relatively young coaching career was a huge coup for Hocutt and the Red Raider fan base. But the excitement that they've experienced as an athletic department since the announcement has exceeded even their initial expectations.

“I anticipated it would create excitement, but the tremendous amount, I think, is unprecedented," continued Hocutt. "I have not experienced anything like this before."

Hocutt added that they've sold 1,200 new season tickets since introducing Kingsbury and have added over 150 individuals to a waiting list for their (already sold out) club-level seats.

It all started with a tweet.

Un/Underemployed Coaches: Round One

Earlier this week, we posed the following question on Twitter:

 

The feedback we received was heart warming. Here is a look at some of the men who were recommended by their peers as hidden gems in college football. By no means is this a definitive list, think of it more as a starting point. 

To avoid confusion... Some of these guys are happily employed. However, their peers recommended them to us as "underemployed". We could add a hundred different coaches to the list, but again, these are a handful of guys that were recommended by their peers.

Chad Walker - Defensive Coordinator, Mississippi College. Walker got his start as a student assistant under Nick Saban at LSU in 2000. GA positions at ULM and West Virginia brought him back to LSU, where Walker ultimately followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins, where he worked under Will Muschamp as a defensive quality control assistant. He spent two years as the defensive coordinator at Bryant before arriving at Mississippi College, where he has developed two All-America cornerbacks and a conference Rookie of the Year at safety.

Brian Crist - most recently: Wide Receivers, Massachusetts: Every Sunday when you watch Victor Cruz streaking down the field and salsa dancing in the end zone, remember that it was Brian Crist who developed him at UMass. One former player said of Crist, who has been out of the game for a year, "if a head coach wants an assistant coach that can recruit with passion, develop talent and inspire young men, he's your guy."

Jimmy Lindsey - Defensive Line, Furman. Lindsey has produced great results Chattanooga, Tennessee - Martin, Miami (Ohio), Gardner-Webb and, most recently, Furman. He was described to us as someone who "recruits the Atlanta area as well as anyone on any level."

Chris Malone - most recently: Offensive Line, James Madison. Malone's offensive fronts put James Madison's attack at the tops of the CAA offensive charts annually. He also developed a handful of all-conference honorees, including former Pittsburgh Steeler Dorian Brooks. Malone also helped produce fantastic results at VMI, Massachusetts, Virginia Tech and Fork Union Military Academy.  

David Braun - Co-Defensive Coordinator, Winona State (D-II - MN): Braun has spent most of his adult life in the Winona State program, wearing the Warriors' purple as a player, graduate assistant and now as a co-defensive coordinator. He made one-year stop as the defensive coordinator at Culver-Stockton, where his unit created 25 sacks and 25 turnovers. Braun helped produce multiple all-conference honorees in his first season back at Winona State.

Penn State guys - Tom Bradley, Kermit Buggs, Galen Hall, Bill Kenney, and Jay Paterno, that led an 8-1 team before scandal hit State College last November.

Vernon Hargreaves - most recently: Defensive Ends/Special Teams, South Florida: Hargreaves spent a dozen years coaching linebackers at Connecticut and coached linebackers during the Butch Davis/Larry Coker glory days at Miami. His NFL proteges could fill a Pro Bowl roster. But he has bounced around since leaving Miami in 2005, spending one year at FIU, a spring at Bowling Green, three years at East Carolina and three seasons on Skip Holtz's staff at USF.

Dave Johnson - Tight Ends, Cincinnati. Johnson developed a number of NFL tight ends at Georgia before coaching at West Virginia, his alma mater, under Bill Stewart. Johnson has spent the last two seasons on Butch Jones' staff at Cincinnati. 

There certainly are plenty more excellent coaches out there who should be working at a higher level. Who needs to be on here next time? Email us at  with your suggestions.  

'If my mom were rounding third base, I'd trip her'

Instant classic one-liner here from Nick Aliotti describing his competitive nature after practice yesterday.

"When I was four years old playing little league baseball, I'd cry if we lost." Aliotti explained.

"If my mom was rounding third base for the winning run, I'd trip her."

Friday TV - St. Petersburg Bowl

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

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College:

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

High School:

No games

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