Big Ten paces Broyles Award finalists

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If one of your favorites isn’t included in the Broyles Award’s list of finalists, it wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of the award.

The honor that goes to the nation’s top assistant coach revealed its list of finalists Wednesday, with that group topping out at a whopping 40 candidates.  The award is in it 18th season and is named in honor of the legendary former Arkansas head coach, Frank Broyles.

Of the 40 finalists, 20 are from the offensive side of the ball, 19 from the defensive side and one special teams coordinator.  There are 18 offensive coordinators represented, along with 18 defensive coordinators as well.  Western Michigan running backs coach Charles Huff is the only pure position coach listed among the finalists.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with seven finalists, followed by the SEC and ACC with six apiece, the Pac-12 with five and the AAC and the MWC with four apiece.

t year’s winner was Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.

Alabama – Doug Nussmeier, Offensive Coordinator
Arizona – Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
Arizona State – Mike Norvell, Offensive Coordinator
Arkansas State – Kent Riddle, Assistant Head Coach, TE’s/Special Teams
Auburn – Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator
Ball State – Rich Skrosky, Offensive Coordinator
Baylor – Philip Montgomery, Offensive Coordinator
Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brigham Young – Nick Howell, Defensive Coordinator
Central Florida – Brent Key, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
Colorado State – Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
Clemson – Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator
Duke – Kurt Roper, Offensive Coordinator
Florida State – Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator
Fresno State – Dave Schramm, Offensive Coordinator
Georgia Tech – Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator
Houston – David Gibbs, Defensive Coordinator
Indiana – Seth Littrell, Offensive Coordinator
Iowa – Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator
Louisville – Vance Bedford, Defensive Coordinator
LSU – Cam Cameron, Offensive Coordinator
Michigan State – Pat Narduzzi, Defensive Coordinator
Minnesota – Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
Missouri – Josh Henson, Offensive Coordinator
Nebraska – Tim Beck, Offensive Coordinator
Ohio State – Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
Oklahoma State – Glenn Spencer, Defensive Coordinator
Ole Miss – Dan Werner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Rice – Chris Thurmond, Defensive Coordinator
San Jose State – Jimmie Dougherty, Offensive Coordinator
South Carolina – Lorenzo Ward, Defensive Coordinator
South Florida – Stu Holt, Special Teams Coordinator
Stanford – Derek Mason, Defensive Coordinator
Texas State – Mike Schultz, Offensive Coordinator
UCLA – Jeff Ulbrich, Assistant Head Coach/LB’s/Special Teams
Utah – Ilaisa Tuiaki, Defensive Line
Utah State – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Virginia Tech – Torrian Gray, Defensive Secondary Coach/Pass Game Coordinator
Western Michigan – Charles Huff, RB Coach
Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator/LB’s

Houston expects WR D’Eriq King to be available for Texas Tech game

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As Houston prepares for a game that could quickly become a shootout of sorts with Texas Tech, the Cougars could have one more wide receiver good to go this weekend. D’Eriq King is expected to make his season debut for the Cougars this week after missing the past two games coming off an offseason knee injury.

Houston head coach Major Applewhite announced on the radio he feels his young wide receiver option is finally ready to get back at it, and it could come at no better time.

As a freshman in 2016, King caught 20 passes in 10 games for 228 yards and a touchdown. King was expected to be a contributor to the offense this season. Having a healthy receiver is going to be key against a Texas Tech offense that will not shy away from the pass.

Derrius Guice ‘very questionable’ for LSU vs. Syracuse

Associated Press
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LSU could very well be without its most potent offensive weapon when it looks to bounce back from an embarrassing Week 3 loss.

Late in the third quarter of Saturday’s 37-7 loss to Mississippi State, Derrius Guice sustained an injury to his left knee.  The star running back hasn’t practiced at all this week, even as Ed Orgeron downplayed the severity of the injury.

On the SEC teleconference Wednesday, however, the head coach acknowledged that it could be much worse than he’d been letting on, so much so that the Guice could miss the Week 4 game against Syracuse.

“I don’t know if Derrius is going to play,” Orgeron said. “He didn’t dress out yesterday in pads. He’s very questionable right now.”

Through three games, Guice leads the Tigers with 300 yards rushing and is tied for tops on the team with four rushing touchdowns.  His rushing yards are currently fourth in the SEC; last season, his 1,387 yards were tops in the conference.

Should Guice be unable to go, Darrel Williams (28-159-4) would likely be next in line to shoulder the running-game load.

Baylor gets back 2016 leading rusher, two starting DBs for Oklahoma game

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They may be winless, but at least Baylor will be getting some much-needed reinforcements for their game against No. 3 Oklahoma this weekend.

According to head coach Matt Rhule, three projected starters — running back Terence Williams (pictured), safety Taion Sells and cornerback Grayland Arnold — are all expected to play in the Week 4 game against the Sooners. Neither Williams nor Arnold have played this season because of injury, while Sells completed a three-game suspension last week.

Williams led the Bears last season with 1,048 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. The junior underwent offseason shoulder surgery, leading to his absence for the first quarter of the year.

With Williams rehabbing the injured joint, John Lovett currently leads the 0-3 Bears in rushing with 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns. As a team, BU is averaging just 150 yards per game and slightly less than five yards per rush; last season, they were at 241.8 and 5.0.

“I think it takes a little bit of the pressure off the young guys,” the first-year head coach, by way of the Associated Press, said of Williams’ much-anticipated return. “I think Terence gives us the physicality and a presence running the football that you can clearly see on tape. … He brings us that ability to run you over and make you miss.”

Arnold started four games last season and was listed as the starter heading into summer camp before breaking his left arm in August. After starting four games in 2015, Sells sat out the 2016 season because of an injury. Prior to the suspension for unspecified violations of team rules, Sells too had been listed as a starter in camp.

Mother’s health — and playing time — triggered Byron Cowart’s Auburn departure

Associated Press
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Initially, there was no known reason for one of the top recruits in the Class of 2015 left his original college football home. Not long after, the window of insight was cracked a bit.

Tuesday, Byron Cowart was granted a release from his Auburn scholarship, one day after requesting it from the football program. In an interview with al.com, the defensive lineman revealed that his mother in Florida is going through an unspecified health situation and, as an only child, he wanted to be closer to her to help her through it.

Additionally, he acknowledged that, yes, his playing time, or lack thereof, played a role in his decision to leave The Plains.

“I’m happy with my decision and I know that this ain’t it for me,” Cowart told the website. “My main reason was my mother’s health is more important. Me being an only child, got to get back to home to her. Plus I already wasn’t playing enough and contributing to the team.”

In a separate interview with 247Sports.com, Cowart also acknowledged that he has twice previously considered leaving the Tigers, the last coming this past summer.

Cowart also indicated that, very soon, he will be starting up classes nearer his home in Seffner, Fla., presumably at a junior or community college. After that, he’ll decide where to continue his collegiate playing career at the FBS level.

“I’ll see what options I have and what the NCAA allows me to do,” the junior lineman told al.com. “This isn’t over for me and this definitely is not the end of my college career. … I can guarantee you football is not over for me. I still love the game, I love everything about football.”

A consensus five-star signee, Cowart was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 while 247Sports.com had Florida product as the No. 3 player overall on its composite board. In 26 career games, Cowart was credited with 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He was one of four Tigers arrested for marijuana possession in May of last year.

This past spring, Cowart was moved from end to tackle in an attempt to jumpstart his career. In three games at his new position this season, he had three tackles and half a tackle for loss in three games.