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Be smart about what you put on film

Former North Carolina offensive coordinator John Shoop is taking the year off and using his time to watch game film, not football on TV, which he hopes will “ease some of the pain of not coaching a team”.

Shoop is also writing a column focusing on UNC, Duke and NC State football for a local website. 

This week Shoop has an outstanding take on how teams should approach facing a lesser opponent, particularly early in the season. He advocates focusing on strategy and not statistics and views these types of games as “an opportunity to create tendencies that would give an advantage later.”

Shoop references a matchup in 2010 against FCS opponent William & Mary, the week before UNC traveled to Florida State. Shoop was confident his team was good enough to win and as opposed to trying everything they could to win convincingly, the Tar Heels took a different approach. They ran the football 37 times with a deliberate intent to mess with the minds of the Seminoles, who would be studying the game film. "I kept calling running plays from a lot of two tight end sets knowing that FSU would spend lots of time fitting those runs. The computer reports that the defensive coaches at FSU were looking at said what our staff wanted them to say. In a handful of identifiable formations the Tar Heels were going to run the ball."

UNC squeaked out a 21-17 win that Saturday, but their planning and preparation set them up for success the following week in Tallahassee. FSU was set to stop the Tar Heels rushing attack, but what they got instead were passing plays out of the previous weeks rushing formations. QB TJ Yates set a school record with 439 passing yards as the Tar Heels beat the Seminoles.

This week UNC faces an 0-4 Idaho in Chapel Hill, before traveling to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech. Shoop believes Carolina may follow a similar strategy as they did back in 2010, being careful what they put on film for the Hokies to see. 

Smart strategy from a good coach. Some staff will be wise to scoop Shoop up this off-season.  

Friday TV - Hawaii at BYU

Hawaii and Brigham Young in the prime time slot tonight.

Eastern time listed.

NFL:

No games

College: 

Hawaii at BYU - 8 - ESPN

High School:

No games

New law in California provides "Student-Athlete Bill of Rights"

On Thursday, California became the first state to sign into law financial protection for collegiate student-athletes.  The Student-Athlete Bill of Rights will require universities that generate average media revenues greater than $10 million per year to cover medical costs for low-income students who sustain injuries playing college sports. Today, this law will affect just four of California’s 17 universities that participate in Division I or II athletics: USC, Cal, UCLA and Stanford.

A majority of the financial protections put in place by the new law are intended for student athletes who suffer career-ending injuries. These schools are now required to provide academic scholarships to students who lose their athletic scholarships because of an injury. The law also requires universities to cover insurance deductibles and pay health care premiums for low-income athletes.

Law makers hope that in the event a student-athlete is unable to continue playing their sport due to injury, they would still be encouraged to remain at the university to complete their course work and graduate. Thousands of student-athletes are injured while training or competing at the collegiate level every year. The NCAA and the Journal of Athletic training recently completed a 16 year study that showed in football alone, there were 30,797 injuries from games and more than 53,298 from practice sessions. Many of these injuries are career ending.

“I am big fan of collegiate athletics. But I am also concerned that the vast amount of money in collegiate sports has distracted us from the primary purpose of our colleges. With billions of dollars in television revenue gained on the backs of student-athletes, it is shameful that so few student-athletes actually graduate” says California Senator Alex Padilla. All four schools impacted by this new law compete in the Pac 12 and are scheduled to earn at least $30 million per year with the new 12 year, $4.3 billion TV deal with ESPN and FOX.

For coaches, this new law should provide piece of mind to them, their players and their player’s families. Parents no longer need to be concerned should their child be injured competing that they would then be forced to pay out of pocket for medical care or education expenses that they may not be able to afford in the first place. Coaches could also see an improvement on their graduation rates. Providing this new financial protection to those athletes who can no longer compete will allow them to stay in school and continue earning their degrees, no longer negatively affecting graduation rates or APR.

It will be interesting to see the success that the Student-Athlete Bill of Rights has in California and if other states soon follow suit. Have to think coaches recruiting on behalf of the universities impacted by this new law will pitch this as an additional benefit for the prospective student athletes. 

High School catch of the year?

A few weeks ago we ran a story about former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving a pre season speech to Excelsior Springs HS (MO), his high school alma mater, and the team had since gone on to win their first four games. The previous year the team had won two games the entire season.

Today, we caught wind of this catch from Excelsior Springs, which has since been featured on SportCenter in what many Kansas City news outlets are calling the catch of the year. After watching it, we find it hard to argue.

Not only is it an amazing catch, but the receiver then has the composure and frame of mind to finish the play off with a touchdown. Pretty impressive.

Chip Kelly explains how he uses his offense to land defensive recruits

Oregon is known for their uniform combinations, and high octane offense that's executed with some of the fastest skill players in the country.

However, last week against Arizona it was the defense that got the job done, finishing with a shutout despite the Wildcats taking six trips inside the red zone.

Kelly noted on Sirius XM radio today that he's been bragging about his defense since he was hired as the head coach, people just weren't listening.

Kelly was then asked about the recruiting pitch that he sells to defensive players (specifically defensive lineman and linebackers) when he sits down in front of them, trying to sell the Oregon defense.

"That's easy," Kelly explained. "Our whole philosophy is speed, speed, speed whether your on offense or defense."

"Our job is real easy, you go into a defensive lineman's home and ask him if you want to rush the quarterback...Because you're going to play on a team with one of the most explosive offenses in the country, and your going to get to rush the passer. People have more passing attempts against us than they do against most people because people are usually down when they play us."

"If kids want to pin their ears back and go after the quarterback, then come here because you'll have an opportunity to do it more here than you will anywhere else." he said.

Kelly also says that the fact that their defense is on the field for more snaps per game compared to a lot of other teams is another selling point.

"I don't know how someone can go into a kid's home and say 'Hey, we run a great ball control offense, we hold the ball for 40 minutes a game, and you're going to get to play 25 or 30 snaps on defense...Come play for us!'" 

Oregon takes on Washington State this weekend up in Pullman. Kick off is scheduled for 10:30pm ET, and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

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