College kickers, right? We take extra points for granted but every now and then when a team misses one of those assumed extra points it comes back to loom large. That is what happened Thursday night in Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah State lost to in-state rival Utah 30-26, thanks in part to a missed extra point attempt by Utah State kicker Nick Diaz.
Diaz’s unfortunate moment came early in the third quarter. Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton ran 15 yards, tip-toeing the left sideline and stretching for a truly athletic touchdown minutes out of halftime. The score gave the visiting Aggies a 23-14 lead and figured to set the tone for the second half right out of the break. But Diaz missed his PAT and the momentum switched sides almost instantly. Utah would later kick a field goal to cut the lead to 23-17, and the Utes then recovered an onside kick and capitalized. Karl Williams capped the possession with a two-yard touchdown run and Utah did not miss their PAT to take a 24-23 lead.
Diaz did actually give Utah State the lead again int he fourth quarter, successfully kicking a 24-yard field goal for a 26-24 lead,but Utah answered with a 19-yard field goal to regain the one-point advantage at 27-26. Utah added another late field goal for a four-point advantage.
It would be impossible to predict what would have happened with the outcome had Diaz not missed his third quarter extra point attempt. Utah still scored 30 points, which would have meant Utah State would have needed one extra field goal regardless to force overtime. Keeton launched a last second deep pass for the win but it fell incomplete.
In close games like this, kickers will take the brunt of the fallout. It goes with the territory.
Spring practice is already underway in Tucson but it took until the end of this week for Arizona to finally have a complete offensive coaching staff.
The Wildcats announced on Saturday that Theron Aych would be taking over as the team’s new receivers coach, filling a vacancy created when Tony Dews left for West Virginia.
Aych helped provide a nice boost to the Miners’ passing game in his one season in El Paso and spent five seasons at Division II Angelo State prior to that. He served as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach with the Rams during his five-year stint before moving up to the FBS level.
The Pac-12 is no new experience for Aych though, as he served as a graduate assistant at Washington over a decade ago.
Aych should have his work cut out for him this spring with the team featuring plenty of young players at the receiver position while also dealing with the loss of standouts like Trey Griffey and reliable veteran Nate Phillips both gone.
Just in the nick of time, Mike MacIntyre has rounded out his new defensive staff for the 2017 season.
The Buffaloes announced on Friday evening that former Purdue defensive coordinator Ross Els would be joining the program and serving as inside linebackers coach. The release notes that Els’ paperwork was completed in time for him to join the team for their second practice of spring ball.
“Coach Ross Els brings a lot of energy,” MacIntyre said. “He has great experience as a coordinator, positions coach and special teams coach, and we’re really excited about having his expertise in those phases in our program.”
Els adds plenty of experience to Boulder, having coached linebackers at New Mexico State, Ohio and Nebraska. In addition, he was the Boilermakers’ defensive coordinator and safeties coach last season.
The move completes the staff for the Buffs after seeing a number of coaches depart to Oregon with former coordinator Jim Leavitt.
Spring practice is just around the corner but Maryland coach D.J. Durkin is still tinkering with his coaching staff.
The school announced on Saturday afternoon that Fordham offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen is joining the Terps as the team’s new OL coach. Bowen is no stranger to the program, having played for the school for three years before becoming a student assistant coach for then-head coach Ralph Friedgen in 2010. He also served as a graduate assistant with the Terps for two seasons.
That’s not the only move being made by Durkin however, as former offensive line coach Dave Borbely is remaining in College Park. According to the school’s release, the coaching veteran will remain on the staff — but in an off-the-field role as Special Assistant to the Head Coach.
Adding Bowen as an on-field coach is the bigger news for the program though. With current Maryland OC Walt Bell still calling plays, the two should be an interesting mix and give the Terps two bright young offensive minds to lead that side of the ball as the team tries to build on a surprising turnaround season from 2016.
They always say a quiet offseason is a good offseason in college football. That appears as though it will not be the case for Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops this year however.
According to booking information and a preliminary police report released by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas, Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing the scene.
The report also states that Mayfield was booked at 8:21 a.m. CT on Saturday morning and released at 11:07 a.m. A preliminary hearing on the case has been scheduled for 8 a.m. in Fayetteville District Court on Monday.
Mayfield has been a star for Oklahoma the past two seasons in leading the team to back-to-back Big 12 titles. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist a season ago and is expected to be a front-runner for the award in 2017 as a senior.
An Oklahoma statement on the matter said they are aware of the matter but are still gathering information. The Sooners are set to begin spring practice on March 21st and open the season against UTEP before traveling to Ohio State the second week of the year for what is likely a top five showdown.