Luck introduces Dana Holgorsen as WVU head coach, addresses rumors (sort of)

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In a matter of a  day, West Virginia officially moved on from the Bill Stewart era and into a new direction with offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who was named the school’s 33rd head coach this evening by athletic director Oliver Luck.

A full audio file of the press conference can be heard HERE.

The decision for Stewart to resign comes several days after rumors began circulating that Stewart tried to undermine Holgorsen by asking reporters to “dig up dirt” on him.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Luck in the press conference.  “I do want to thank him for his dedication to Mountaineer football.”

Luck would not address the allegations against Stewart, but said the university could not validate them.

“I’d rather not discuss any of the allegations,” Luck said. “That’s in the past.”

Luck said the university would adhere to Stewart’s contract by paying him an undisclosed amount of money as part of the buyout agreement. Looking back, Luck felt the coach-in-waiting decision made “good management sense” at the time, but admitted that hindsight often tells a different story.

Holgorsen took the podium next, saying he will still run the offense and act as head coach. No plans have been made to hire an offensive coordinator for this season. When asked about the expedited move to name him head coach and what he would do going forward, Holgorsen said he’s simply taking it a day at a time.

“What’s our first game, Marshall?” Hologorsen asked rhetorically. “I’m taking it one day at a time.”

Holgorsen also alluded to the fact that the expectations for him on and off the field have risen. Holgorsen was kicked out of a Cross Lanes casino last month for belligerent behavior while reportedly intoxicated.

“I understand what the expectations are to wear the blue and gold and those expectations both on and off the field are something I look forward to living up to,” Holgorsen said. “We’ll be united as coaches, united as players, as administrators and as fans to help bring championships here to Morgantown.”

“He is ready for this challenge and understands the enormous responsibility that goes along with it,” Luck added. “I have a 100 percent confidence in Coach Holgorsen and in our offensive and defensive assistant coaches.”

Asked about injury to Shy Tuttle, Butch Jones rants about fake news

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A clear cut sign when a coach is feeling the heat is when he scolds the media for focusing on negative stories instead of sharing the plethora of positive news happening all around the program.

In a purely unrelated note, Butch Jones is 3-1 this season with a tight win over Georgia Tech, a Hail Mary loss to Florida and a way-closer-than-it-should-have-been escape over Massachusetts on Saturday. The Vols host No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, and a loss there will almost certainly doom Tennessee to a 10th straight season without winning the SEC East, including all five seasons of the Jones era.

Jones was asked about an injury to defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, who suffered a broken orbital bone. Asked about a rumor that Tuttle was injured by a teammate, Jones launched into a rant that included chastising the media for “fake news.”

I think it’s safe to say Jones is wound just a little tightly these days.

Broken ankle takes Washington WR Chico McClatcher out

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Washington has been chugging along quite nicely in the early portion of the 2017 college football season, but the Huskies may have to continue through Pac-12 play without a key wide receiver on the field. Chico McClatcher, a junior, could potentially be done for the remainder of the season after breaking his ankle Saturday night against Colorado.

Washington head coach Chris Petersen announced McClatcher will be out for an undetermined amount of time, but the fear is a broken ankle could keep him out for the rest of the season.

In three games this season, McClatcher caught 10 passes for 128 yards. He did not play in a Week 3 game against Fresno State. On Saturday against the Buffs, McClatcher caught four passes for 44 yards in the 37-10 victory in Boulder.

Petersen did note McClatcher can still preserve a year of eligibility by utilizing a possible redshirt to his advantage.

Alabama and Clemson remain top two national title favorites according to Bovada

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Alabama and Clemson appear to be on a collision course for a third straight meeting in the College Football Playoff national championship, and the Crimson Tide and defending national champion Tigers remain the top two favorites to win the national championship this season, according to the latest updated odds from Bovada.

Alabama’s odds have moved to 19/10 after being 2/1 last week. Right behind Alabama is Clemson at 9/2 a week after having 11/2 odds. Despite having one loss on their record already, the Ohio State Buckeyes remain in the thick of the race as well with the third-best national title odds after four weeks of play. Ohio State is listed at 7/1 by Bovada, staying ahead of USC (15/2) and Oklahoma (8/1) despite a head-to-head loss to the Sooners in Columbus in Week 2.

Penn State comes in at 10/1, followed by Michigan at 12/1. Georgia is on the rise as well with 14/1 odds to stay ahead of Washington (16/1). The biggest drop of the week was by Oklahoma State, who fell from 9/1 to 20/1 after a home loss to TCU. The Horned Frogs jumped up from 75/1 to 33/1 this week.

Bovada also updated their Heisman Trophy odds, with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley moving to the top of the board.

Saquon Barkley ascends to top of Bovada’s Heisman Trophy board

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Coming off a monster performance against Iowa, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is now the new leader in the clubhouse for the Heisman Trophy, according to Bovada at least.

Bovada’s weekly updated Heisman odds put Barkley atop the Heisman board with 7/4 odds. He moves ahead of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, USC quarterback Sam Darnold, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville, and separates himself from Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph.

Barkley has rushed for 518 yards with four rushing touchdowns in the first four weeks of the season. That alone would not be worthy of such high Heisman praise, of course, but Barkley has shown how good he is by contributing to the Penn State passing game. Barkley currently leads the Big Ten with 23 receptions and a conference-leading 335 receiving yards. Barkley has also added some yards on special teams returns, although he has not broken loose for a significant kickoff return just yet.

Barkley is not the only running back moving up Bovada’s board, however. Stanford running back Bryce Love went from 66/1 up to 33/1 following a big performance against UCLA. LOve is currently the nation’s leading rusher.

Two players were dropped from the Bovada board this week. Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins went from having 25/1 odds last week to off the board this week. I’m not entirely sure why Dobbins fell off the map so quickly, but he’ll have a chance to pop back on the board in the coming weeks. LSU running back Derrius Guice also fell off the board this week after having 50/1 odds last week.