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David Shaw: "I didn't pray for a made kick. I prayed for him to do his best"

If this one doesn't (at least) give you chills, you need to check your pulse.

The clip starts off with a good video highlight of Stanford's win over Oregon, but then switches gears to an emotional locker room where David Shaw addresses his team and commends the "resolve" that they showed all game.

The best part of the clip is when Shaw explains why he closed his eyes and bowed his head before his kicker, Jordan Williams, lined up for the game winning field goal in overtime.

"I said a prayer. I didn't pray for a win, I didn't pray for a made kick. I prayed for Jordan Williamson to do his best."

That, ladies and gentlemen, is why David Shaw is so highly regarded among our profession. Genuine care for his guys and staff. 

Great message.

 

Navy's uniforms for the Army game

Nike has come out with some nice new threads for the Midshipmen to wear against Army to wrap up the season December 8th.

Some may not be a fan of the chin-to-chin gold horizontal stripe on the helmet, but we think it's a nice addition that you don't see every day. The Nike Dri-FIT is also well done.

Take a look and let us know your thoughts.

NavyHelmet

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Tackling issues? Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable has a drill for you

As a defensive coordinator, one of the most frustrating things to see is missed tackles, especially after spending countless time on it throughout the week.

After losing a nail biter to UConn (24-17), Pitt defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable decided that enough was enough. Their missed tackles was something that needed to be addressed during their bye week if they were going to finish the season strong.

According to TribLive reporter Jerry DiPaola, Huxtable dug deep into his desk for a drill to fix the issue and came up with something interesting. In the drill Huxtable and his staff have since implemented, players lock their arms behind their backs and knock over ball carriers using nothing but their pads.

The drill may initially sound puzzling to some coaches, but Huxtable explains the rationale, noting how the drill addresses the most common mistakes in a missed tackle.

“In our last football game, we didn’t tackle very well. The whole drill is teaching them to take that extra step to contact. One of the biggest mistakes in tackling is defenders stop their feet. They leap off the launching pad and the first thing they do is reach with their arms."

"We are doing a drill to take the arms out of it and step on the toes of the ball carrier."

In theory, the drill definitely makes sense. However, we'll let the Panthers defensive performance in their last two games against Rutgers and South Florida be the real barometer of the drill's success.

Al Borges: "The third play makes a great quarterback"

With the status of starting quarterback Denard Robinson's in limbo for the Wolverines match up with Ohio State this weekend, the media focus for Al Borges' weekly press conference turned to backup quarterback Devin Gardner, who has stepped in admirably in Robinson's absence.

One of the strengths for both of those Michigan quarterbacks is their ability to improvise when things break down, and still manage to come up with enough yards for a first down. Whether that means taking off and running, or getting the ball into the hands of another open playmaker, Borges explains that type of improvisation is a valuable skill set for offensive coordinators because it eases the pressure to call the perfect play every snap.

"The key is to keep the chains moving so that you can call more plays," Borges explains. "When people complain 'Well how come this guy isn't touching the ball more?' and 'How come this guy isn't touching the ball more?' it's generally because you're not getting first downs. You don't get the turns and you don't get the calls out."

"There's just no way that you can call everything perfect. You can't do it. So what's going to happen when you don't?"

"I know when I started studying what is commonly called the West Coast offense, you don't catch me using that term very often, I talked to Bill Walsh. I asked him 'What makes a good quarterback and what makes a great quarterback?'":

Walsh responded by telling Borges that it's the third play that makes a great quarterback. System quarterbacks can make the first and second play, but when things break down on the third play, that's when you know whether you have a good quarterback or a great one.

Hear more from Borges on his conversation with Bill Walsh below.

The Scoop on Stats - Week 13

Last night was the last week night of mid week MACtion, and with many teams wrapping up the college football season on Saturday, it's hard to believe the season has gone by so fast.

Here's a look at some of the interesting statistics we've come across through week 13 of the season. If you see anything else worth noting, please let us know.

- Minnesota is the only team in the country to yet to give up a 50+ yard play on defense.

- Baylor is the only team in the country who has had more than 20 passing plays of over 40 yards (21). Clemson is the only team with double digit passing plays of over 50 yards (10).

- Houston has three players (linebackers Phillip Steward and Derrick Mathews, and defensive back Trevon Stewart) who rank in the top 11 players in the country in tackles. No other team can say that.

- "Jack of all trades" player Tavon Austin broke the individual rushing record against the Sooners on Saturday by a impressive 109 yards, finishing with 344 yards on the ground. Austin was the 10th player to eclipse the 200 yard mark against OU, and four of those players went on to win the Heisman. Pretty elite company.

- Florida State is the only team in the nation to average 8 or more punt returns per game (8.2).

- Western Michigan has thrown 21 interceptions on the season, and are -14 in the turnover margin (last nationally). On the flip side, Kent State has intercepted 21 passes this season (1st nationally).

- Mississippi State is the only team in the country allowing negative punt return yardage. The Bulldogs have allowed 11 returns and have given up -1 yard.

- Army and New Mexico have yet to hit the 1,000 yard mark passing, and with one game remaining each, likely will not hit that milestone.

- Boise State has allowed just three passing touchdowns all season (first nationally). On the other end of the spectrum, Colorado has allowed 38 (124th nationally).

- Florida State is the only team in the country to allow less than 5 yards per pass attempt (4.9). West Virginia is giving up twice that yardage per attempt (10).

- The Notre Dame defense has allowed just 2 rushing touchdowns all season (1st nationally).

- The nations leading passer, Marshall's Rakeen Cato, has more passing yards (3,883) than the bottom four teams combined. New Mexico, Army, Navy and Air Force have combined for 3,867 yards passing. 

- Wake Forest's starting punter Alexander Kinal, has punted nearly 20 more times than the next closest player. Kinal has 90 punts on the year compared to Colorado's Darragh O'Neill who has 72.

-USC's Marqise Lee is the only player in the country with over 100 receptions (107).

- UAB and Army have attempted the most onside kicks this year (5). 45 teams have not attempted a single one.

- Kent State's Dri Archer is averaging 10.27 yards per carry, and is the only player in the country in double digits in the category.

- Ball State allows just under three tackles for a loss each game (first nationally).

- The nation's leader in rushing touchdowns, Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon (who is also a freshman), has more rushing touchdowns than 97 teams have been able to run for all season.

- Eight offenses have yet to reach the 1,000 yard rushing plateau as a team. 35 individuals have reached the 1,000 yard mark rushing this season. Army and Kent State each have two individuals who have reached that milestone.

- Three teams (Southern Miss, Kansas and Army) are completing less than 50% of their passes. Only three teams (San Jose State, Texas Tech, Louisville) have completed 70% or more of their passes.

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