Bronco explains Cougars significant improvement
BYU didn’t start out the season 1-4, but Bronco Mendenhall has the Cougars now 5-5 with remaining games against New Mexico and at Utah.
We watched the Bronco Mendenhall Show and the Cougars’ head coach said, “There is no one, myself included, that will ever underestimate how much work it has taken. For anyone to say says it’s random or lucky or happens to answer by chance, they have no idea what’s going on how hard we are working as a staff or players to reach our potential. Only the players on this team know how hard we’ve had to work to get out of that hole.”
Mendenhall also credited quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman for the tremendous improvement of true freshman QB Jake Heaps.
“Jake has tremendous potential and he came prepared at level that I haven’t seen from any freshman. We struggled early with a very difficult schedule and a coach, in myself, that was trying to decipher between quarterbacks and limiting reps and probably dividing his productivity. I think he is really doing a nice job, but I also think Coach Doman is having a huge influence on Jake and he is being tutored, I think, by one of the best there is.”
Kiffin says reality is starting to soak in about no bowl, compares Pac-10 and SEC
After defeating Arizona 24-14, USC is now 7-3 under Lane Kiffin. The Trojans have three games remaining, but Kiffin admitted that reality is starting to soak in that the Trojans won’t be playing in a bowl.
Kiffin said, “As I mentioned after the game, obviously it’s unfortunate, especially for our seniors, to have the bowl game taken away from them. I used the word sad. And it is pretty sad. As we get closer to that, it becomes more of a reality. You see it. You look at them. We motivate them just for the remaining games without the benefit at the end of it. So we’re going to do our best coaching.”
Kiffin was asked to compare the Pac-10 this year against the SEC last year.
“I think last year was a great year in the SEC, you can tell that by the draft. Obviously, Alabama won the national championship. Florida lost to them. That was kind of similar with two teams at the top. The SEC was the best conference in the country last year…the rankings show that, the power ranking and the draft shows that huge as you go back and study the draft. This year, for whatever reason, the SEC is a little down with some teams. Now, the power ranking show the PAC-10 is best conference and it feels like that. So, great timing for us (my coaching staff).”
USC travels to Oregon State, hosts Notre Dame, and finished at UCLA.
In the meantime, Ed Orgeron exploded when USC's sports information department didn't credit USC will a blocked field goal against Arizona. The film showed the ball was tipped, so the USC sports information director has made a correction to the stats that will appear next week. Orgeron is known to take a tiny bit of pride in field goal block. His "explosion" has not been confirmed.
Schiano: Whether it's play-calling or playing, whatever it is, we didn't do it
Rutgers is 4-5 with games remaining against Cincinnati (A), Rutgers (H), and West Virginia (A).
Coming off a disappointing 13-10 loss at home to Syracuse, head coach Greg Schiano said, "Whether it's play-calling, whether it's playing, whatever it is, we didn't do it. There's plenty of theories to go around, I'm sure. I have plenty of thoughts of my own. But we need to get that done."
The Scarlet Knights have struggled to run the ball outside of their Wildcat package.
Schiano said, "I thought we ran the ball more effectively than we have all season. Sometimes people say the Wildcat doesn't count because (it's not a conventional) running game. But if that's how you choose to run the ball then that is your run-game. (Saturday) that's how we chose to run it."
Another 4 sacks allowed on Saturday brings the season total to 39. Rutgers ranks 120th nationally in sacks allowed with 4.33 per game.
Kick-off on Saturday at Cincinnati is set for 7:30 pm EST.
Mike Riley talks about dismal season for Beavers
Oregon State is 4-5 on the season after suffering a 31-14 home loss to Washington State.
It doesn’t get any easier for head coach Mike Riley. The Beavers play USC, at Stanford, and host Oregon to finish the season.
Riley says, “There’s going to be talk about bowl eligibility and I suggested we don’t even worry about that until we just take care of business. We’ve just got to try and win a game and then we’ll see what happens after that.’’
“The rhythm, the confidence of which we played a couple weeks ago compared to yesterday was worse than night and day.’’
“It’s probably not saying it harshly enough, but it’s like we’re in just a dang slump. We’ve got to get out of it. It’s a spiral.’’
“We’ve had three games where all of us didn’t do our job and we lost them all, and (Saturday) was the worst of them. We’re in a hole we have to dig ourselves out of it. There’s no other way to say it. Everybody knows it.’’
Patterson hypes Aztecs, brings up Auburn's brutal defense
Gary Patterson, who is likely aware that Herbstreit is pushing Boise State, is now defending the Horned Frogs 40-35 win over San Diego State.
Patterson said, "I was telling people all week [how good the Aztecs are]. They're probably going to end up 9-3 and go to the Poinsettia Bowl and probably win it. But there's no doubt it's our fault that we allowed it to happen. But no one said anything about Auburn allowing however many points they allowed."
Really, coach? Are you talking about the same Aztecs that defeated New Mexico 30-20 and defeated Colorado State 24-19? Are you talking about the San Diego State team that lost to BYU?
Come on, GP. The Aztecs most impressive win this season comes against a 7-4 Air Force team.
“ESPN is already putting the seed in that the BCS doesn't have to take two non-automatic qualifying schools to a BCS game," said Patterson.
"That's the only thing I'd question is we played without our starting tailback and other people. The bottom line is people just looked at the score and didn't look at who was out. People are going to vote the way they want to vote."
For the record GP, we think you would battle anyone to the wire in a national championship game. We're just on you for hyping SDSU.
Dabo strongly defends his offensive coordinator
Dabo Swinney stood up for his offensive coordinator Billy Napier during a Sunday teleconference.
After losing a number of players to the NFL (y’all ever heard of Spiller or Jacoby Ford?), Napier has received plenty of criticism from Clemson fans for a struggling offense. The Tigers have dipped to 82nd nationally in scoring offense and 89th nationally in total offense.
It doesn’t help either when your dynamic starting tailback Andre Ellington has missed the past few games with an injury. Nor does it help when your placekickers are 7 of 14 on the season.
Swinney explained, "Billy Napier is a heck of a football coach, and we are lucky to have Billy Napier. He is a great person. He coaches his guys and puts everything he has into it. He is very prepared and very detailed. He is the same coordinator that we had last year when we scored more points than any team in Clemson history.”
“We are just missing a few little things this year and misfiring on a couple of opportunities. I can assured you that nobody wants to win more. I don't pay any attention to what some people on a message board may say. That is totally irrelevant to what reality is.”
“Yes it is easy say they are 5-5 and you are not happy about that and you got to put the blame on somebody. The blame goes to me. I am the head coach. I've got quality people on this staff, quality coaches who are working extremely hard who are doing everything they can to put these guys in position to win. There will come a time where we'll look back at this and we'll say, 'Wow, we've made a lot of progress.' And that's what I'm looking forward to."
Clemson is 5-5 with games remaining at Wake Forest and against South Carolina.
Anybody ever notice the job Pat Fitzgerald is doing?
Northwestern's 21-17 win over Iowa ensures the Wildcats third consecutive 7-win season. In 2008, Pat Fitzgerald's team won nine games. A year ago, the Wildcats won eight games and lost to Auburn on the dead last play of the game in the Outback Bowl.
Yet, outside of Colin Cowherd's "Fitz might be the single best coach in college football," @CoachFitz51 probably doesn't get as much credit as he should.
Following Northwestern's win on Saturday, Fitzgerald said, "I could not be more proud or pleased of our senior class. They will now be tied with last year's class as the winningest class in program history during the modern era. What a special day for them. They've earned it and they deserve it. We lift up this game to them and to all the seniors that have been here before us. It's been a long road for us to build a consistent winner, and to get to number seven gets us into postseason play, so we move forward from there.”
Iowa finished 2 of 14 on third-down opportunities. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa finished 32 of 43 passing including a number of drops. In reference to our “Come on, Fitz. Great Player, But ‘War Daddy?” article…Persa was much closer to “War Daddy” status than Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn, who was completely gassed in the fourth quarter and finished with 2 tackles and 1 sack (-2).
Kirk Ferentz gave credit to Northwestern by saying, "If you look at the last two games going backwards, we turned it over and they didn't. Today, they just outplayed us. It was a good game, both teams played hard, and they're a good football team. I said that earlier in the week. If you look at [Northwestern's] seasons from the past two years, they've had two good football teams. They've played extremely well against us, they played well against Missouri in a bowl game, they played well last year against Auburn."
"They're well coached and they've got good players who make the plays you need to make. Two 7-3 teams today, and they were the better team today, that's for sure."
Unfortunately, Persa ruptured his Achilles and is now out for the year.
Willie Taggart goes for 2: I thought, 'Why not?' We needed a spark
Trailing 35-34 in overtime at Arkansas State, Willie Taggart opted for attempt a 2-point conversion to steal a win on the road.
Taggart’s decision worked out well for Western Kentucky as Derrius Brooks took a reverse around the left side for the 36-35 win.
Taggart said, “I told our guys earlier in the week that all we were missing was a come-from-behind win. Our guys came out and were relentless. They haven't quit all year. I'm proud of these guys, our coaching staff, and everyone just sticking together and believing in each other."
"The way our season has been going, I thought, ‘Why not?’ We needed a spark, and our guys wanted it."
Interestingly, Western Kentucky ran 93 plays, converted 9 of 22 third-down opportunities, and converted 3 of 5 fourth-down conversions. The Hilltoppers won the turnover margin, 5-1.
Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts said, "Obviously, you have to give Western Kentucky credit for the way that they played. Their kids have played hard all year and played with tremendous emotion today, and it showed in the way they jumped on us and in the way that they won. We came out flat and got it going too little too late. We allowed them to make the big plays."
The win notches Taggart his second win as a head coach. WKU is now 2-8 on the season.