After giving up 56 points and more than 500 yards of total offense in a 21-point upset loss to Arizona Saturday night, Oklahoma State certainly could use the return of its veteran defensive coordinator.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, it appears all signs are pointing to just that.
Late last month, it was announced by OSU that coordinator Bill Young would miss 7-10 days after undergoing an unspecified medical procedure. Young was away from the team for the opener against Savannah State and the loss to the Wildcats.
With Louisiana-Lafayette on tap this weekend, and with Young having returned to the football offices recently, the long-time assistant told the Daily Oklahoman Monday that he’s “anxious to get back,” with the paper reporting that Young is back on the job full-time. Young declined to get into any medical specifics, but did say his health is not an issue as he prepares for what appears to be a return to the sidelines Saturday.
“I feel great,” Young, who had only missed two games as a player or coach over the past four-plus decades, said. “I had no symptoms going into this procedure; I have no symptoms coming out. I’m no different today than I was three weeks ago. I have some tremendous doctors.”
Young wasn’t able to watch the Debacle in the Desert — the game was on DISH, the coach doesn’t have it — so he was forced to listen to the game on the radio. After listening sans video, then watching tape of the game three times since, Young was succinct in his assessment of how the defense performed in his absence.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Young said. “We beat ourselves. And when you say that, you certainly don’t want to take anything away from Arizona. They beat us, there’s no question.
“But we had all those penalties. And we had some missed tackles. We got out-gapped a bit. There’s plenty of blame to go around.”
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.
In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.
This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.
It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.
The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.