Who’s the best at cashing in once in the red zone?

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Despite having their struggles against West Virginia last weekend, Oklahoma State moves in to October as the best team inside the red zone. No team is scoring a higher percentage of touchdowns inside the red zone this season so far than the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who come away form inside the 20-yard line with a touchdown 93.75 percent of the time. Only one other school is averaging a red zone touchdown percentage higher than 90 percent. Take a guess which school.

Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute.

Odds are you are wrong with your guess. It is Wyoming. Wyoming has scored 20 touchdowns on their 22 red zone trips this season, a 90.91 touchdown percentage. The numbers at times can be skewed of course, as UMass is one of the top ten teams in the country when it comes to red zone touchdown percentage. The Minutemen have reached the red zone just five times, but they make the most of their limited opportunities with four touchdowns.

Below is a look at the top 10 teams* in red zone touchdown percentage. Perhaps somewhat surprising, there are no teams from the SEC or Pac 12 in this list. Three ACC teams, two Big Ten and two Big 12 teams crack this list. some of the nation’s top offenses also do not make the cut, which may raise an eyebrow. but then again, when you are scoring points on big plays as often as Baylor and Orgeon do, red zone percentages may not be a real big concern after a small sample size.

Top Red Zone Touchdown Percentage Rates in College Football

School, Touchdowns out of Red Zone Opportunities (Red Zone Touchdown Percentage)

1. Oklahoma State: 15 out of 16 (93.75 percent)

2. Wyoming: 20 out of 22 (90.91)

3. Ohio State: 21 out of 24 (87.50)

4. Clemson: 15 out of 18 (83.33)

5. East Carolina: 16 out of 20 (80.00)

6. Georgia Tech, Penn State: 12 out of 15 (80.00)

7. Rice: 8 out of 10 (80.00)

8. UMass – 5 – 4 – 80.00

9. Duke: 18 out of 23 (78.26)

10. Iowa State: 7 out of 9 (77.27)

 

* It is actually 11 teams because two teams are tied with the same exact red zone touchdown numbers so far.

Source: CFBStats.com.

Second Vols player this week could be on his way out

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Attrition is hitting Tennessee’s depth on the defensive side of the ball this early on in the spring.

Tuesday, reports surfaced that safety Stephen Griffin had decided to transfer out of Butch Jones’ Volunteers football program.  Two days later, it appears one of Griffin’s former teammates, linebacker Gavin Bryant, is headed toward a similar departure.

The football program has not addressed Bryant’s with the Vols moving forward.

A four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Bryant (pictured, taking a knee to the helmet) was rated as the No. 10 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama. After redshirting as a true freshman, Bryant played in 21 games the past two seasons as a reserve linebacker.

Griffin, meanwhile, was a three-star 2015 prospect who played in 10 games last season. He started one of those contests.

D-II head coach to reportedly take RBs coach job at Syracuse

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It appears Dino Babers is on the verge of, once again, completing his Syracuse coaching staff.

FootballScoop.com is reporting that reporting that Justin Lustig (pictured, left) is leaving his job as the head coach at Div. II Edinboro (Pa.) College to take over as running backs coach at Syracuse.  Additionally, Lustig will serve as special teams coordinator for the Orange.

This will mark Lustig’s first job at a Power Five program.

Lustig replaces Mike Hart, who left earlier this month to take the running backs coach job at Indiana.  Tom Kaufman, who oversaw Syracuse’s special teams as well as coached linebackers, took the defensive coordinator job at an FCS program two weeks ago.

Hired in January of last year, Lustig took over an Edinboro team that finished 0-11 in 2015 and turned them into a 9-2 squad one year later.  For that turnaround, he was named the Div. II Coach of the Year.

Lustig’s last job at the FBS level came at Ball State, where he served as running backs coach/special teams coordinator from 2011-15.  He also earned the title of assistant head coach prior to the start of the 2015 season.

Former Baylor TE Tre’Von Armstead arrested in connection to 2013 sexual assault

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The cloud habitually hovering over the Baylor football program continues to get darker.  And more ominous.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, “[f]ormer Baylor football player Tre'Von Armstead was arrested Wednesday… on three second-degree felony sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged 2013 sexual assault while he was a member of the Baylor football team.” While the alleged rape occurred in mid-April of 2013, the case was suspended by the Waco Police Department, ESPN.com writes, “after the alleged victim chose not to pursue charges against Armstead and former Bears running back Myke Chatman, who she accused of sexually assaulting her at her apartment.”

The victim in that alleged assault, a former “Baylor Bruin” recruiting hostess for the football program, filed a lawsuit in late January of this year in which it’s alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape over a four-year period starting in 2011.  It was further alleged in the lawsuit that BU assistant football coaches, including current Florida Atlantic assistant Kendal Briles, contributed to what was described as a “culture of sexual violence” around the football program.

“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players,” Briles, the son of disgraced former BU head coach Art Briles, told one recruit according to that lawsuit, one of many the university is currently facing as a result of the sexual-assault scandal.

Despite the 2013 allegations of Armstead being involved in a sexual assault, he remained with the football program until his dismissal in September of 2015.  A little over a week ago, Armstead was arrested on multiple charges in Las Vegas after he allegedly physically assaulted a woman.

Louisville clarifies titles for revamped defensive coaching staff

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The offseason shuffling of Bobby Petrino‘s defensive coaching staff appears to be complete.

Thanks to Todd Grantham‘s move to Mississippi State earlier this offseason, Petrino was forced to overhaul his staff on that side of the ball.  Peter Sirmon, who Grantham replaced at MSU, was hired by the U of L as defensive coordinator in mid-January.

As the Cardinals kicked off spring practice this week, the football program detailed the responsibilities for the defensive side of the staff.

New defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon announced on Wednesday that he has finalized position changes on his defensive staff. Sirmon will mentor the defense, but will also coach the outside linebackers. Lorenzo Ward will coach the secondary, while Cort Dennison will now mentor the inside linebackers. L.D. Scott will stick with coaching the defensive line.

Last season under Grantham, the Cardinals were 31st nationally and sixth in the ACC in scoring defense (23.8 points per game).  They were 14th and third, respectively, in total defense (319.6 yards per game).