Two days after Ted Roof left as Auburn’s defensive coordinator for the same position at UCF, another potential replacement has surfaced.
Citing a source familiar with the search, the Birmingham News is reporting that AU has made contact with Florida State coordinator Mark Stoops and has held preliminary discussions with the brother of current Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops.
Mark Stoops has overseen a defense in Tallahassee that’s made tremendous strides in his two years with the Seminoles. FSU was 94th in the country in scoring defense at 30 points per game the year prior to Stoops’ arrival; in 2010 the ‘Noles were 20th at 19. 6 ppg and jumped to fourth at 15.2 ppg this season.
For comparison’s sake, AU gave up 29.3 and 24.1 ppg in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
In addition to Stoops, South Carolina’s Ellis Johnson and North Carolina’s Everett Withers have been mentioned as potential candidates on The Plains.
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”