Stat Talk: Is Tulane’s Lorenzo Doss college football’s top ball hawk?

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The sport of football has evolved to benefit the passing offenses at the pro and the college level. Offensive records have been dropping like flies over the last few years as the passing game has exploded. This makes it all the more important for defenses to have a playmaker in the defensive backfield, players that can come up with an interception and then perhaps do something with it.

Tulane — yes, Tulane —  may have the best in the country.

Tulane’s Lorenzo Doss is only a sophomore so his potential NFL future is still down the road, but if he continues to play at this level he will draw some attention. The 5′-11″, 175 pound sophomore Doss is tied for second in the nation with six interceptions this season. Doss leads the nation in interception return yards with 185 yards, an average of roughly 32 per interception. Doss is also tied for the nation’s lead with two interceptions returned for a touchdown. He shares that last distinction with seven others.

Doss is also a home town star. The New Orleans native started 12 games last season for the Green Wave and helped his high school team win a district title as a senior. Here is how he ranks compared to other top defensive backs around the country, according to the stats.

2013 College Football Interception Leaders

  1. D’Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic (7 interceptions)
  2. Lorenzo Doss, Tulane (6)
    Anthony Harris, Virginia (6)
  3. Deone Bucannon, Washington State (5)
    Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (5)
    Steven Nelson, Orgeon State (5)
    Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech (5)

2013 College Football Interception Return Yardage Leaders

  1. Lorenzo Doss, Tulane (185 yards)
  2. Issaih Newsome, Louisiana-Monroe (175)
  3. Blake Countess, Michigan (149)
  4. Damante Horton, Washington State (146)
  5. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (146)

2013 College Football Interception for Touchdown Leaders

  1. Lorenzo Doss, Tulane (2 touchdowns)
    Isaiah Newsome, Louisiana-Monroe (2)
    Damante Horton, Washington State (2)
    Tra’Mayne Bondurant, Arizona (2)
    Khalil Mack, Buffalo (2)
    Collin Ellis, Northwestern (2)
    B.J. Lowery, Iowa (2)
    Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama (2)

Stats courtesy of CFBStats.com, as of November 8, 2013. Photo curtesy Tulane Athletics.

UCLA reportedly nabs Boston College o-line coach

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UCLA head coach Chip Kelly may have his offensive line coach. According to multiple reports on Thursday, UCLA will add Justin Frye to the coaching staff to fill the vacancy at offensive line coach. Football Scoop was among the first to report the news, and Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated has also reported the same development via Twitter.

Frye served as the offensive line coach at Boston College, where the Eagles have established themselves with a strong running game behind an improved offensive line. Frye will be expected to produce similar results with the Bruins as Kelly looks to bring the program up to a conference championship pedigree as quickly as possible.

Phil Trautwein was recently named as a new member of the Yale coaching staff in the Ivy League, where he was to be the offensive line coach. Now, he will instead return to Boston College, where his coaching career started. Trautwein was a graduate assistant at Boston College from 2013 through 2015 before spending two seasons as a special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Davidson. The former NFL player and Florida Gator spent four seasons in the NFL with brief stops with the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers.

UCLA’s previous offensive line coach, Hank Fraley, has moved on to the NFL to coach the position with the Detroit Lions.

SEC rolls out four-day media day schedule

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The SEC may be packing up their media day extravaganza and moving from Alabama to Atlanta, but this year’s media day schedule shows the SEC will still carefully roll out plenty of storylines over the course of a four-day love fest for the conference.

The SEC is setting up shop at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which feels like a great landing spot for the new media day fun for the SEC. The conference has established Atlanta as a destination point for the end of the regular season and the city just played host to the first College Football Playoff national championship game between two teams from the same conference, the SEC (Alabama and Georgia). So why not kickstart a new football season with the media in Atlanta too?

New Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher will be the headline act for the first of the four media days for the SEC. Fisher will make his SEC Media Days debut as head coach of the Aggies on Monday, July 16. Other coaches speaking that day will be LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops. Day 2 will be an interesting one with Georgia’s Kirby Smart in the spotlight coming off the SEC championship last fall and new Florida head coach Dan Mullen addresses the media for the first time as the Gators coach, although the former Mississippi State head coach is no stranger to the SEC media day circuit by now. Day 2 will also be the first SEC Media Day introduction for new Arkansas head coach Chad Morris and second-year Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke (Luke took over as head coach in Oxford after SEC Media Days last summer following the removal of Hugh Freeze not long after media days).

But when is Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaking, you ask? Day 3 (Wed., July 18 for those keeping track). Saban headlines the third day of the media day event for the SEC. Two other coaches speaking that day will be new head coaches in the SEC with former Saban assistant Jeremy Pruitt representing Tennessee and Joe Moorhead of Mississippi State stepping to the SEC podium for the first time. Missouri’s Barry Odom is also scheduled on day three. Day 4 will feature Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, and Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason.

Player representatives for each school in addition to any other speakers will be announced at a later time.

Report: Ex-South Alabama coach Joey Jones heading to Mississippi State

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After stepping down from his position as head coach at South Alabama, Joey Jones will remain in the coaching game this fall. According to a report from Steve Robertson of 247 Sports, Jones will join the Mississippi State coaching staff and serve as the special teams coordinator for head coach Joe Moorhead.

Jones was the head coach of the upstart South Alabama program from 2008 through 2017. As head coach of the Jaguars, Jones was 52-50 and the program played in two bowl games. Among the highlights for Jones during his time at South Alabama, ironically, was a 21-20 upset victory over Mississippi State to open the 2016 season. South Alabama was a four-touchdown underdog against the Bulldogs and survived for an upset win after Mississippi State kicker missed an extra point attempt. Mississippi State held leads of 17-0 and 20-7 in the game before letting it slip away.

The hiring of Jones continues a trend for Moorhead in building his first coaching staff with the Bulldogs. Although Moorhead has his own experience as a head coach prior to his arrival at Mississippi State, Moorhead has been building his coaching staff with assistants with previous head coaching experience as well. Tight ends coach Mark Hudspeth and quarterback coach Andrew Breiner each bring head coaching experience to the program that, in theory, will make for a more competent coaching staff on the sidelines this fall and moving forward.

Jones will replace Scott Fountain, who left Mississippi State for Georgia amid the coaching carousel this offseason.

Chris Ash plucks new Rutgers assistant from Indiana

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In filling a hole on his Rutgers coaching staff, Chris Ash turned to a fellow Big Ten school to do it.

RU confirmed Thursday morning that Ash has added Noah Joseph as one of his 10 Scarlet Knight assistants.  Joseph has been named as the football program’s co-defensive coordinator and will also serve as safeties coach.

Joseph had spent the past four seasons coaching safeties at Indiana.  He was also that program’s defensive recruiting coordinator.

“I’d like to welcome Noah and his family to our football program,” said Ash in a statement. “His extensive experience coaching defensive backs in the Big Ten will be a tremendous asset for our players. He is a great teacher and outstanding recruiter.”

Prior to his time in Bloomington, his first on-field job at the FBS level was at North Texas as safeties coach from 2012-13.