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Kiffin: Stanford's offense is abnormal

After practice this morning Kiffin was asked about this weeks match-up with Stanford, and what makes them so difficult to defend.  In his response, Kiffin didn't focus on Andrew Luck. Instead he turned his focus to Stanford's selection of personnel and formation.

In response to a question about Stanford using 3 tight ends and extra linemen as well, Kiffin offered: 

They go goal line, sometimes in the middle of the field, so all your corners and safeties have to work on their fits and be able to tackle at the line of scrimmage...and you have to worry about play action because they have the whole field to work....I don't think anybody is [doing this], this is just abnormal. The 6, 7 or 8 offensive linemen in the middle of the field on 1st and 10. They've started a game on their minus 20 with no receivers in the game. So I don't think anybody's ever done that, at least not in the last 50 years.

At the end of practice, Kiffin held an open tryout for the kicker position. One of his defensive lineman said he had kicked in high school. Kiffin's response, "We're not going to do that."

 




J.T. Curtis seeking 500th win tonight

J.T. Curtis, the head coach at John Curtis Christian school in New Orleans is going for career win 500 tonight against Clark High School. Trust us, he'll get it.

Coach Curtis has won 23 state titles in 30 trips and is 499-54-6 for his career.

Curtis is in his 43rd year at the high school, and trails only John McKissick of Summerville High (SC) who is in his 60th year at 85 years old.  McKissick has 592 career wins.

Curtis has placed countless players on college teams and regularly has his guys that have made it to the league come back and spend time on campus. 

Congratulations on the milestone Coach. 




Brian Billick: Coaching changes are inevitable

While inevitable, Billick says, "You would like to think that class and dignity would be the order of the day [when it happens], but history tells us differently."

"There is no easy way to do this. I have yet to hear the coach that says, 'They fired me, but they did it very well.' The mantra that this is an 'unfortunate side of the business' (right up there with 'going in another direction') dehumanizes what is a gut-wrenching, emotional experience for all the coaches, assistants, and their families."

Billick's article, on NFL.com, is a good read.




Pitt took advantage of their bye week

A bye week was just what Todd Graham and the Pittsburgh offense needed as quarterback Tino Sunseri went 29 of 42 for 419 yards last night against Connecticut.

Pitt had managed only 120 total yards of offense (50 rushing and 70 passing) in their most recent game against Utah.

Last night, after losing the nation's second leading rusher four minutes into the game, Pitt had some impressive success on early downs.  The Pitt offense rattled off gains of 22, 19, 17 and 21 yards on first down, and 15, 40, 28, 14 and 13 yards on second down during the first half.  

If your keeping track, the Pitt offense had more yards on first and second down of the first half last night (189 total yards), than they managed in their entire game against Utah (120 yards). Pitt had that success while starting their fourth different offensive line combination in six games.

Given their offensive line struggles (ranked last of all FBS teams allowing almost 5 sacks per game), and the loss of running back Ray Graham, Coach Todd Graham and the offensive staff did an impressive job making adjustments last night. 

Pitt is now 4-4 in Todd Graham's first season. They've still got games vs. Cincinnati, at Louisville, at West Virginia and vs. Syracuse. 




Brian Kelly wants Notre Dame to create a great atmosphere

Some might argue that the atmosphere at Notre Dame is great, revered actually; but Brian Kelly thinks the stadium needs some updating.

Kelly told reporters yesterday that he would like to add a JumboTron to help build on the great atmosphere.  The 81 year old stadium has maintained it's historic setting, resisting to add permanent lights until just before the 1997 season.

This past weekend against USC, Notre Dame piped in music during moments like 3rd down, and the stadium was filled with thousands of twirling towels. Kelly has also made his interest known in adding field turf. At yesterday's press conference, Kelly continued to talk about making changes to the atmosphere.

“I hope that we continue to move forward creating an incredible atmosphere in there. It won’t be my decision to make. I don’t think it’s a mystery that we would like that. But it’s not going to be my call. They know how I feel".

Ultimately, Kelly understands the decision is in the hands of the Notre Dame administration. The atmosphere made some good strides last weekend that Kelly has been focused on building on as the Irish move forward.

This weekend Notre Dame welcomes Navy to South Bend for a 3:30 kickoff on NBC. 




Thursday TV

Thursday TV.

All times are eastern

NFL:

No games

College:

Virginia at Miami (FL) - 8 - ESPN

Rice at Houston - 8 - FSN

Augustana (DII - SD) at Minnesota State Mankato (DII) - 8 - CBSSN

High School:

Aledo (TX) at Birdville (TX) - 8 - ESPNU

Madison Central (MS) at Northwest Rankin (MS) - 7 - Fox Sports 




We like how Tubs thinks

With the recent conference realignments, Tommy Tuberville was asked his thoughts on adding a few teams to the Big 12.

Tubs led off by saying that he would favor adding Louisville over West Virginia based on travel.  Louisville would also add a bigger TV market than Morgantown does as well.

"A lot of people would think I’m crazy, but I would go after San Diego State and I’d go after Tulane. They both have great stadiums. Both would grow immensely if they went to a conference like this. I know right now, one, San Diego State is doing pretty good. Tulane is not, but they’ve got the Superdome, they’ve got New Orleans for people to go in and out. I think you look at things like that and TV markets".

In a study of the 210 media markets, New Orleans ranked #52 in the "number of TV households", and San Diego ranked 28th. Louisville is ranked 50th, and after a thorough search, we couldn't find Morgantown anywhere on the list (which means it ranks below both Juneau, and Fairbanks, Alaska).

At the end of the day coaches aren't driving the decisions, but it's always fun to hear Tubs take on pretty much anything. San Diego and New Orleans sure do sound like more fun that some of the other alternatives.  




FIU is putting together a nice season

Mario Cristobal and FIU started the season with 3 straight wins, but had lost 3 of their last four games before last night's win over Troy. FIU had the lead going into the 4th quarter in two of those losses, and was only down 5 with 14:06 left against Louisiana-Lafayette .  

Last night defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and the defensive staff did an impressive job against Troy holding them to 3-14 on 3rd down conversions and putting the defense in great position to get off the field. Leading up to last night's game, Troy was running an average of 92 plays per game.  FIU held the Trojans to a third of that, only allowing them to run 59 plays.

Cristobal has made some impressive progress at FIU since being hired in 2006, and has a great opportunity to build on this season with his final 4 games coming against teams with losing records. If Cristobal is able to win 3 of those next 4 it would get FIU to 8 wins and would mark the best season since joining the FBS, topping last seasons 7-6 record.