Well hello, college football. Oh how we’ve missed you. And, Saturday’s slate, you have one helluva act to follow.
Twice during Ole Miss’ Big 12-esque 39-35 win over Vanderbilt, the Rebels reached down and came back from 11-point deficits — and that was after Vandy fell down 10-0 in the first quarter.
With just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter of the back-and-forth affair, Ole Miss held a four-point lead before Jordan Matthews turned a fourth-and-18 into a 42-yard gain — one play after vomiting all over the Vanderbilt Stadium turf as Twitter concussion specialists cried foul — and Steven Scheu turned a busted coverage the next play into a 34-yard touchdown catch-and-run.
35-32 Commodores with just 1:30 remaining and, after the ensuing kickoff, the Rebels 75 yards from a game-winning touchdown. Following an incomplete pass on first down, the Vandy defense proceeded to pull its best Matthews, coughing up a 75-yard touchdown run (pictured) to Rebels running back Jeff Scott with just over a minute left.
As deflating as that turn of events was, Vandy still had the opportunity to shock Ole Miss late in back-to-back seasons. A facemask penalty on the kickoff return following Scott’s TD stunner handed the ‘Dores the ball just shy of midfield, at their own 49. On a third-and-four with 30 seconds or so left, a tipped Austyn Carta-Samuels pass was intercepted by the Rebels, sealing the Ole Miss win in the SEC opener for both schools.
The player who tipped the final, catchable pass? Jordan Matthews, which just makes ya sick to your stomach.
While there will be plenty of pundit bloviating over Matthews and whether he should’ve been in the game, there is one certainty coming out of Nashville very early Friday morning: that was college football at its finest between two very solid teams. And, it should be noted, a warning shot across the bow of the rest of the SEC that neither Ole Miss nor Vandy will be easy outs in 2013.
Tom Herman, the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns, has come a long way in his career. It was just a few years ago Herman was the hot assistant coach on the rise who would soon lead the Houston program to a New Years Six bowl game and a 22-4 record to make him a leading candidate for the Longhorns job. As he prepares for the biggest job of his career, Herman reflected on one of his previous jobs from his high schools days and explained how he got fired from the job.
Herman was employed by a Subway sandwich stop, and he apparently had a thing for pastrami. Having had the pastrami at Subway before, I can understand his craving. Unfortunately for Herman, his love for pastrami would be his undoing as he got caught eating as much as he could in secret. He explained the ordeal to The Dallas Morning News;
“I used to love the pastrami,” he says. “They had those big walk-in refrigerators. I was standing in there one day, with the door shut, just throwing pastrami in my mouth.
“It was like something out of a movie. I’ve got this bin of meat, throwing meat in my mouth, the door swings open and it’s the owner.
“He goes, ‘Get out. Don’t come back.’ “
Herman held many jobs before getting into the coaching business including at a tuxedo shop, a batting cage, multiple radio positions (he remains no stranger to making headlines on radio airwaves to this day) and even as a highlight coordinator for NFL on FOX.
“This was back when they recorded games on those big laser discs. I was a highlight coordinator. My job was to go in and watch games, watch and type. Basically every time the camera frame changed, I had to log it as something: ‘Emmitt Smith rushed for 4 yards. . . . Close-up of Jimmy Johnson on the sidelines . . . 37-yard field goal.’
“That way, when you’re watching Packers vs. Vikings, young Tom Herman has his eyeballs on the Cowboys vs. Redskins game. When J.B. (James Brown) and Howie (Long) cut into your game and say, ‘Let’s give you a quick update,’ you’d see highlights and they would read information I typed.”
That time spent breaking down highlights may have come in handy.
Troy Calhoun‘s coaching staff is once again whole.
The service academy announced in a press release Wednesday that Calhoun has added Bart Miller and Taylor Stubblefield to his Falcons staff. The former will coach tight ends while the latter will handle wide receivers. Steed Lobotzke, who had previously coached tight ends, will move to the offensive line.
The moves were made to replace Clay Hendrix, who left to become the head coach at Furman, and Jake Moreland, who has joined the staff at Western Michigan.
Stubblefield, an All-American receiver at Purdue, spent the 2016 season as an assistant in the CFL. His last job at the collegiate level came at Utah (2014-15). He’s also coached at the FBS level at Eastern Michigan (2008), Central Michigan (2011), New Mexico (2012) and Wake Forest (2013).
Miller’s last coaching job came as the line coach at Minnesota at 2015. He’s also spent time on staffs at Wisconsin, New Mexico State and Florida Atlantic.
Well-traveled doesn’t remotely begin to describe this particular FBS assistant coach.
With Willie Taggart taking over in Eugene, Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick left the Ducks in December to take over as the wide receivers coach at Ole Miss. Exactly 12 days later, Lubick left Oxford to become the offensive coordinator at Baylor.
Less than two months later, Lubick is on the move again, with Washington announcing the assistant has been added to the Huskies’ coaching staff. Lubick will coach wide receivers and will also carry the title of co-offensive coordinator.
“I am excited to add Matt to our coaching staff,” UW head coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. “He has earned a national reputation as an innovative coaching mind and a successful recruiter. Equally as important, we believe he will be a terrific fit with our staff, players and the University of Washington.”
Lubick replaces Bush Hamdan, who left last weekend for an NFL job with the Atlanta Falcons.
Greg Adkins didn’t remain on the coaching unemployment line for long.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma State fired Adkins as its offensive line coach. Less than three weeks later, Adkins has been hired to fill the same role for the Charlotte 49ers.
“Greg brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at all levels to our offensive line,” said head coach Brad Lambert in a statement confirming the hire. “He’s coached in the NFL, at the Power Five level and at the Group of Five level. He’s an excellent recruiter and has served as a recruiting coordinator. He’s coached different aspects, like the defensive line and tight ends — all things that can benefit our offensive line play and our offense moving forward.
“He’ll be a huge asset to our program. We see a lot of benefits in him and see him as being able to influence our young guys in a positive manner.”
Adkins had spent the past two seasons at the Big 12 OSU. He and Lambert have also worked together on the same coaching staffs at both Georgia and Marshall.
From 2003-08, Adkins served as an assistant at Tennessee under Phillip Fulmer.
“Greg is an outstanding football coach, person and recruiter — one of those guys you want to be in the trenches with,” the former Vols head coach said. “He’ll do an outstanding job with (the 49ers) program.”