Pittsburgh v Connecticut

Pitt stays in-house for new defensive coordinator

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In mid-December, Dave Huxtable left his job as Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator for the same position at North Carolina State.  Two months later, Paul Chryst looked within for a replacement.

As part of a release on staff assignments, Pitt announced Monday that Matt House has been named as the Panthers’ new defensive coordinator.  House spent last season as Chryst’s secondary coach.

“I was very impressed by Matt’s work last year in the secondary,” Chryst said. “He has been a great fit for our program as a coach, recruiter and teacher of the game. His experiences and work ethic have more than prepared him for this opportunity to be a coordinator.”

This will mark House’s first stint at the collegiate level as a coordinator.

In addition to House’s promotion, Chryst also announced the hiring of John Palermo as defensive ends/linebackers coach.  Palermo is a 38-year coaching veteran whose stops include 15 years at Wisconsin (1991-2005), two seasons with the Washington Redskins and this past season with Tennessee.

He was also a defensive assistant at Notre Dame in the late eighties.

“John quite simply is a great football coach,” Chryst said. “I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him again. J.P.’s wealth of experience is going to benefit our entire program, both coaches and players alike.”

And, finally on the Pitt coaching front, former Panthers defensive back Hank Poteat has been brought on as a grad assistant and will work specifically with cornerbacks.  Poteat was a two-time first-team All-Big East selection prior to a 10-year career in the NFL.  He spent the past two years as defensive backs coach at Kentucky Christian University.

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”

Illini’s leading rusher, Josh Ferguson, officially ruled out vs. Iowa

Josh Ferguson, Jordan Italiano
Associated Press
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If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.

On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa.  The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.

Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.

Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team.  He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.

With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn.  Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.