The latest from Sonny, Mullen, Cubit, and Fedora

Sonny Dykes really disappointed with LA Tech performance against Fresno State: “We probably had more three-and-outs than we’ve had in the last three or four games combined.”

“I’m surprised we had a chance to win the game, as poorly as we played. I think had we not played Fresno we could have won the game – against a lesser opponent. I think we’re good enough maybe to play against somebody who is not as good as those guys and win — but not those guys.”

Dan Mullen on if he is ahead of schedule at Mississippi State and if he’ll stick around Starkville: "I don't know. Maybe ahead of schedule for this season. But our goal this year was to compete for the SEC West championship. Mathematically, we are still in the hunt. We may not get there this season, but we wanted to improve off of last year. We have done that by two games at least, but there still is a lot of football to be played. If we win out and finish 10-2 and get to a great bowl game, maybe we would be ahead of schedule.”

"As of right now, they like me a lot, so they may keep me here for a while. I don't know. Hopefully, I can make it through the 12-year gauntlet that seems to be about the lifespan of a coach. Someone told me you have a two-year grace period, and every year after that, you kind of upset about 10 percent of the alums. And you never win them back. I am two years in, so in 10 years, I will have annoyed 100 percent of the people here and they will be ready to get rid of me.”


Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit on the 26-22 lost to CMU: "It's the sickest I've ever felt as a coach."

(on WMU fans) "They're right about one thing: Losing to Central Michigan five straight years is unacceptable."


Larry Fedora points out that every team in CUSA now runs the a version of the spread offense: “Tulane and UCF were really the last two teams to go to the spread, and you see both of them are having a lot more success offensively now. It’s another thing that is difficult to defend. UCF is No. 1 in our league scoring in conference games. People are scoring points in the league, there is no doubt as everyone in this league with a spread offense has shown they can score points.”

Larry Porter talks about issues at Memphis

Larry Porter’s first year as head coach of the Memphis Tigers hasn’t turned out as he expected.    Porter inherited a team without much talent, but it seems the Tigers have gone further downhill.  On Monday, Porter talked about the Tigers’ issues with Sports56 Radio in Memphis.

Porter said, “When I look at our issues, it is a number of things.  We can say injuries, we can say youth, no chemistry, no continuity.  Also, we again as coaches have to put the load on our shoulders as well.  In any situation, you have to start with yourself…not just me, but our coaches as well.”

“The momentum of losing and to turn it is difficult.  Once you get it turned, then you can go back and analyze how, what, when, where, all those things and allow yourself to keep going.  Losing is not the only things they are dealing with in life right now.  Some of them are stressed about life, some are stressed about class, some are having issues at home, so it encompasses all.  I tell them now that playing football at University of Memphis is a job.  So when you look at it that way, then you look at the other demands in life, surely it can bring out a lot of frustration and it’s not all about football.”

At 1-8, Memphis travels to Marshall on Saturday.

Lane Kiffin says SC special teams making a difference

There is a lot of talk on the west coast that USC is playing better on special teams this season than any year under Pete Carroll. 

USC ranks 6th nationally in punt return average (17.6) and 29th nationally in kick-off returns (29.3).  The Trojans are 30th nationally in net punting (38.3).  Only 8 punts have been returned against the Trojans this season.  USC has also blocked five kicks and scored twice on returns.

Lane Kiffin says, “To see it pay off, all the way back to spring ball, we dedicated more time to special teams than any of our staff had ever been around.  To see it pay off again, so many times this year it has, and as we said from the first day that with these sanctions and reduced roster, we’re going to have to play great special teams down the stretch for 3 or 4 years, until we can get the roster back to full strength. And obviously we still want to play well at that time.” 

In USC's 34-33 win over Arizona State, the Trojans blocked an extra point attempt that ended up being the difference in the game.  Arizona State head Dennis Erickson was irate.  Erickson said, "It's ridiculous, it's accountability to do your job all the time regardless whether you are playing three plays or whether you are playing 70 plays. You got to be accountable every time the ball is snapped and obviously we didn't block it correctly."

Obviously, special teams coordinator John Baxter deserves a great deal of credit. 

USC (6-3) travels to Arizona this weekend.  The Trojans finish at Oregon State, Notre Dame, at UCLA.


Gundy wants to make sure his assistant gets a head coaching job

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has the Cowboys ranked 3rd nationally in total offense (549 ypg) and scoring offense (46.3 ppg).

Holgorsen, however, says the Cowboys shouldn’t feel like they’ve got things figured out. 

The Mike Leach disciple said yesterday, “No, they found out in the third quarter when we were up 35 points and we fumbled and then we 3 & outted and I was extremely pist.  So they kind of knew what to expect from me.  When it doesn’t look good, I tell them it doesn’t look good.  They shouldn’t ever feel like they’ve got things figured out, that’s for sure.  When you do, that’s when you get beat.” 

“I thought Coach Gundy did a great job yesterday.  It’s the same people that said we were going to win 5 (games) that are telling us that we’re good now.  The one thing we’ve done a good job this year of is worrying about ourselves.” 

(about rankings) “It’s good exposure for the program.  You can talk about how rankings don’t matter, but the truth of the matter is they do.  It’s good notoriety for the program.  It’s good for recruiting, good for fanbase, and all the rest.”

The 8-1 Cowboys travel to Texas this weekend to play the 4-5 Longhorns. 

Mike Gundy says retaining Holgorsen is a top priority in the off-season.  "I want to make sure that he is taken care of. And then ...we're going to do everything we can to help him when he wants to become a head coach. There's no question in my mind that he can leave here and be a head coach.”

Gundy added, "I don't know how many jobs would open this year, but if we do well on offense next year ...(head-coaching offers) would probably start for him next year."


A happy Rich Rod: We've got sirens, people screaming, countdown clock, all that stuff

After all he has been through, we couldn’t be happier for Rich Rodriguez.

Coming off the 67-65 (3OT) win over Illinois, Rich Rod was asked today, “With such a long game, do you spend extra time breaking down that film?”

Rodriguez responded happily, “We’re not breaking no rules.  Nah, we’ve got our 4-hour limit today, so they lifted for about 50 minutes or so and that gives us 3 hours and 10 minutes.  We’ll use all 3 hours we have left from 2:30 on.  In fact, when it gets close to that 4 hour limit, we’ve got sirens going off, people screaming, countdown clock, all that stuff.  Normally, we’re shorter than that.  We don’t even cut it close.  Boy, if we’re at that 3 hours and 50 minutes, coaches are running in the building now.  (Smiling) I’m messing around.”

A reporter then asked, “Does it feel good to joke about that now?”

“Yeah, but I’m not joking.” (Huge laugh from everyone)

“Last week was a good week.  It was good to get that process over.  A lot of people are relieved we got that over.”

It was great to see Rich Rodriguez in such a good mood.

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