Borges: Success, or a lack of success, is never due to one thing

After losing one of the nation's most dynamic play makers in Denard Robinson on Saturday, Michigan's offense started to struggle behind an ineffective run game and a backup quarterback. Those two things are never a good combination for any offensive coordinator.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges was asked about the recent offenses struggles yesterday, and responded with a quote that he had heard from Bill Parcells years ago.

"The media and everybody always want to blame it on one thing, whether it's depth, or the playcalling or whatever. I heard Bill Parcells say this years ago, 'It's never one thing, it's always a bunch of things.'"

"As you go through and you critique a tape, and you look at the play calling, and you look at the blocking, it bears it out. Seldom is it the same guy making the error time and time again. I won't say that never happens, but it's usually a combination of issues that prevent you from succeeding, just like it's a combination of issues that help you when you do succeed."

Earlier in the interview, Borges noted an interesting statistic that should catch the attention of offensive coordinators. In the years that his teams have been most successful in the red zone, they've ran for 60% of their red zone touchdowns. 

Video tour of Iowa State's new facility

Almost two years ago, head coach Paul Rhoads gave the architects of the new 60,000 square foot Bergstrom Football Complex five pages of hand written notes that detailed his vision for the new facility down to the smallest of details.

"We wanted it to be designed with a blue collar work ethic in mind, that's exactly the finished product that we had, with plenty of "wow" to go on top of it." Rhoads told the media.

Above is a video tour of the nearly finished, $20.6 million facility, done by the video staff at Iowa State, along with a clip below from IowaStateDaily.com that has some great insight from coach Rhoads and his staff on their input for the project.

The "front porch" of the new facility ethic is the 11,000 square foot football-only weight room. We saw a note earlier that some of the equipment in the weight room is powered by hydraulic racks, allowing players to life safer, faster, and more effectively. Director of strength and conditioning Yancy McKnight explains how their loss to Missouri led to the plan and layout of the new weight room, and explains, "We were very hands on in the whole design, as far as the room. I have no one to complain to about anything except myself if I don't like it. It would be my fault."

You can definitely see the "blue collar" work ethic in the details that Rhoads was aiming for, and there's definitely still that "wow" factor that will impress recruits and their families.

Interesting note at the end of the clip below. Listen carefully to what Ben Bruns, the project manager from The Weitz Company, has to say about the facility at the end.

"It could be bigger, we could have spent more, but it is as efficient as you could have ever imagined it to be, and that's what you want. People design kitchens and they think 'I want my kitchen to be really big.' Well that makes it harder to cook. So this thing is designed to cook the right way." Bruns explained.

Nice analogy.

Wednesday TV - Games back on tomorrow night

Games will be back on tomorrow night (both NFL and college).

Eastern time listed.


No games


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High School:

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Seventeen staffs coaching for bowl eligibility this weekend

Earlier this week we touched on the note that 18 staffs will play for bowl eligiblity this weekend in First and 10. (We originally counted 20 bowl eligible teams, but the number is actually 18. Penn State is ineligible and Cincinnati, though it has five wins, needs two more wins to reach a bowl. The 18th team, BYU, is off this week.) With that in mind, here are the scenarios facing each of the 17 staffs looking to strike gold. 

Air Force: at Army (12 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network). Last non-bowl season: 2006. Outlook: Air Force has only lost to Army twice since 1989. The Black Knights are struggling again this season (1-7), so the forecast looks good for a sixth straight bowl trip. 

Arizona: at UCLA (10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks). Last bowl appearance: 2010. Outlook: The Wildcats are riding high on a two-game winning streak, including Saturday's thriller over USC. Arizona won this game last season, 48-12, but with two new coaching staffs this year's meeting won't bear much resemblance to the 2011 game. 

Arizona State: at Oregon State (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Last non-bowl season: 2010. Outlook: The Sun Devils have missed their first two chances to reach six wins with a loss to Oregon and last week's shootout loss to UCLA. A visit to the Coliseum to face USC follows this week's game, so it's entirely possible Todd Graham's team may have to wait until Nov. 17 vs. Washington State to lock in a bowl game. Arizona State had better not pass that chance up, because their season to be on the line when they close the season in Tucson. 

Arkansas State: at North Texas (5 p.m. ET). Last non-bowl season: 2010. Outlook: Mark Gus Malzahn among the group of first-year coaches looking to toast a successful debut season. The Red Wolves' offense has clicked in recent weeks, scoring 34, 36 and 50 points in their three-game winning streak. North Texas has an improved defense but will struggle to match Arkansas State's firepower. 

East Carolina: vs. Houston (12 p.m. ET, FSN). Last bowl appearance: 2010. Outlook: It's hard to believe a team very much contending for a conference championship can not be bowl eligible entering November, but that's the state of things in Conference USA. Nevertheless, Ruffin McNeil's group fell an overtime loss short of going bowling last year, so the Pirates would treasure a win on Saturday. 

Iowa State: vs. Oklahoma (12 p.m. ET, ABC). Last non-bowl season: 2010. Outlook: Paul Rhoads continues to make strides at Iowa State, and clinching back-to-back bowl trips for the first time since 2004-05 would demonstrate that. 

Michigan: at Minnesota (12 p.m. ET, BTN). Last non-bowl season: 2009. Outlook: This is one of many games pitting teams on the brink of bowl eligibility against each other. 

Michigan State: vs. Nebraska (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2). Last non-bowl season: 2006. Outlook: 2012 has been a rollercoaster ride for Mark Dantonio as the Spartans' last five games have been decided by four points or less. Michigan State won't return to the Big Ten Championship this season but they will play in a bowl for the sixth straight year.

Middle Tennessee: at Western Kentucky (9:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU on Thursday). Last bowl appearance: 2010. Outlook: Leaving Bowling Green, Ky., where the Hilltoppers have won five of six, will be a tough task. But if Rick Stockstill's squad is unable to clinch bowl eligibility on Thursday, a trip to South Alabama next week should do the trick. 

Minnesota: vs. Michigan (12 p.m. ET, BTN). Last bowl appearance: 2009. Outlook: With three wins in each of their past two seasons, Minnesota's next win will be a much-celebrated one. Jerry Kill's team will look back on a 30-27 triple-overtime win over UNLV as its saving grace.

Navy: vs. Florida Atlantic (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network). Last bowl appearance: 2010. Outlook: Credit Ken Niumatalolo with one of college football's best in-season turnaround jobs. After a 2-7 finish to 2011 and a 1-3 start this year, the Midshipmen have won four straight. Carl Pelini's program is still gathering its footing in year one, so Navy could be celebrating on Saturday evening.

N.C. State: vs. Virginia (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Last non-bowl season: 2009. Outlook: Virginia has struggled in ACC play, so all signs point to go for Tom O'Brien and co. locking up a bowl for the fourth time in five years.

Oklahoma: at Iowa State (12 p.m. ET, ABC). Last non-bowl season: 1998. Outlook: It's only a matter of time before the Sooners lock up their 14th straight bowl trip under Bob Stoops. Paul Rhoads' team will provide an interesting test after an emotional loss, but Oklahoma is in no danger of missing a bowl game.

Oklahoma State: at Kansas State (8 p.m. ET, ABC). Last non-bowl season: 2005. Outlook: Saturday begins a month-long proving ground for Mike Gundy's team with the first of four consecutive ranked opponents on tap. A sixth win may not come at Bill Snyder's No. 2 ranked Kansas State, but it will happen at some point.

Ole Miss: at Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS). Last bowl appearance: 2009. Outlook: Just getting to this point is a testament to the work of Hugh Freeze in his first season in Oxford. Predicted to finish last in the SEC West, the Rebels still have three top 15 teams left on the slate, so next week's date with Vanderbilt is paramount.

TCU: at West Virginia (3 p.m. ET, FOX). Last non-bowl season: 2004. Outlook: TCU will look to beat their new conference-mates to the punch to secure a place in the Big 12's bowl lineup. Things don't get easier from here for Gary Patterson's team with dates ahead against Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma to close the year.

West Virginia: vs. TCU (3 p.m. ET, FOX). Last non-bowl season: 2001. Outlook: Dana Holgorsen and co. will look to snap a two-game losing skid after taking a week off. 

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.




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