With Texas Tech’s head pirate, Mike Leach, currently out of college football, somebody needs to run the high octane, no huddle offense Leach made popular in the college game.
Enter Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson, who is looking to shake things up with his Sun Devil offense.
“It’s going to be a huge turning point offensively in our program,” Erickson said. “It’ll be completely different than what people have seen, and you’ll see it in the spring from day one. Our speed is way better than it’s ever been… You’ll probably see as fast an offensive team that you’ve seen in a long time here, and us taking advantage of all that speed. We’ve got the right guys to do this.”
Erickson is entrusting new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone to install the up-tempo offense, reuniting for the first time since Mazzone coordinated Erickson’s offense at Oregon State in 2002. Mazzone spent the last three seasons in the NFL, coaching wide receivers for the New York Jets, but spent 1995-2005 coordinating college offenses at Ole Miss, Auburn, Oregon State, and NC State.
“I’m excited to be here,” Mazzone said. “This is a great opportunity. There is talent here.”
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah