Blowout loss to Iowa adds heat to Bo Pelini’s seat

13 Comments

For those members of ‘Husker Nation looking for additional ammunition against Bo Pelini continuing on as Nebraska’s head coach, you got it Friday afternoon.  In spades.

Down to its third-string quarterback and handing the opposition prime field position time after time, Nebraska stumbled, bumbled and tripped its way to a 38-17 loss to Iowa.  At home, no less.

It was the Cornhuskers’ third loss in the last six games, with a Hail Mary the only thing standing between that number moving to four of six.

The Hawkeyes’ five touchdown drives totaled just 156 yards, with the longest coming from 41 yards out.  Two of those scores came courtesy of NU’s three official turnovers, while a third TD came after an inexplicable decision — one that reeked of coaching desperation — to fake a punt on fourth and three from their own 32-yard line.

Ron Kellogg, making his first career start under center for the Cornhuskers, threw a pair of interceptions.  When Kellogg wasn’t coughing up turnovers, the senior was being harassed and pummeled by a punishing Hawkeye defense.

The loss will make it extremely hard for school officials to bring Pelini back for a seventh season, despite the fact that Nebraska has not won fewer than nine games his first five seasons in Lincoln.  Part of the problem, though, is that they haven’t won more than 10 and have finished every season with four losses under Pelini.

Then, of course, there was the off-field controversy that still eats at some members of the football community despite an apology from the coach.

This season, the Huskers are 8-4 — they avoided the best teams in the Big Ten, Ohio State and Wisconsin — and a bowl loss away from what would officially be the program’s worst season with Pelini as coach.  Provided he makes it to the bowl game, that is.

All season long, athletic director Shawn Eichorst has steadfastly refused to address either Pelini’s status or offer up a vote of confidence.  A review is expected at the end of the season, although said review could commence (continue) this weekend.  And could result in an interim head coach guiding the Huskers through bowl practices and their postseason game.

Four-star 2015 signee second Aggie to leave Texas A&M this week

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With a new head coach in town, it’s far from surprising to see somewhat of a personnel exodus in the spring.  In that vein, Jimbo Fisher‘s first-year Texas A&M roster is the latest FBS football program to see such attrition.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, offensive lineman Koda Martin announced that he would be transferring from A&M to Syracuse.  On the same social media website a day later, teammate Kemah Siverand announced that he too will be leaving College Station as a transfer.

Unlike Martin, Siverand (pictured, left) did not reveal his next college football home in the tweet.

As Siverand will be leaving the Aggies as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2018 if that’s the tack he takes.

Siverand was a four-star member of A&M’s 2015 recruiting class.  After beginning his collegiate career as a wide receiver, the Cypress, Tex., native moved to defensive back between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.  He caught two passes for 16 yards in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, then was credited with six tackles in 12 games last season.

Iowa LB Aaron Mends to miss extended time with injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Talk about a hard-luck story.

After never starting a game at Iowa, Aaron Mends (pictured, blocking punt) had earned a starting job at outside linebacker during practice this spring.  With football being the cruel mistress that it can be at times, the Hawkeyes announced Friday night that Mends “will miss an extended period of time due to injury.” The program offered no details as to the specific nature of the injury, although it’s believed to involve the knee.

According to the school’s release, the fifth-year senior suffered the injury during the final week of Iowa’s spring drills.

Mends was a three-star member of the Hawkeyes’ 2014 recruiting class.  He was the highest-rated linebacker in Iowa’s class that year.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Mends has played in 38 games the past three seasons.  A baker’s dozen of those appearances came during the 2017 season.

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, James Franklin and Clay Helton among 15 CFB coaches attending NFL Draft

Getty Images
1 Comment

We’re less than a week away from former college players officially finding out their new homes with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is palpable no matter if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan or somebody who dons the cardinal and gold of USC.

Naturally this is a big deal for the players’ former programs as well and their recent head coaches will be taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity to future recruits by stopping by the draft itself at AT&T Stadium for the festivities. The NFL released a list of 14 college football coaches and one recent one on Friday as being confirmed to attend the event and there are a few notable names beyond the big ones we’re used to seeing every year:

In addition, Stanford head coach David Shaw will serve as a draft analyst on NFL Network for a seventh year in a row and even ESPN’s College GameDay is getting involved with a pregame show outside the stadium they are quite familiar with from big games over the years.

Georgia DB Mark Webb tears meniscus in practice but expected back before fall camp

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Georgia’s injury luck this spring isn’t getting much better as the defending SEC champions move toward their annual G-Day spring game over the weekend.

Head coach Kirby Smart confirmed with reporters after Thursday’s practice that sophomore defensive back Mark Webb suffered a knee injury earlier in the week and tore his meniscus. He already had the knee scoped and is expected back before fall camp after the rather minor procedure.

Webb originally landed in Athens as a wideout but made the move to the secondary just as the season was getting going. He appeared in 13 games in 2017, mostly on special teams, but was expected to challenge for one of the starting spots at cornerback heading into the upcoming campaign.

The absence of Webb in the lineup for the final week of spring adds to a growing list of injuries for the team during practice as they do a little bit of roster building toward the future. Receiver Michael Chigbu’s career may be over due to lingering injuries and defensive back Divaad Wilson tore his ACL not long after enrolling this semester.

Safe to say that G-Day on Saturday might not be as physical as Smart and the coaching staff would otherwise like as a result of trying to keep the team healthy as they prepare to head into a big offseason.