WHO: 7-5 Ohio (MAC) vs. 9-3 East Carolina (C-USA)
WHAT: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (6th year)
WHERE: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
WHEN: Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. ET
WHY: The MAC and Conference USA meet up in a battle of two teams that seem to be headed in opposite directions.
East Carolina won five of its last six to close the season while Ohio lost three of its last four. The Pirates have a chance to get to 10 wins, which would be the second-best win total in their history. The Bobcats are looking for their third consecutive bowl win and fourth-straight eight-win season.
ECU has a prolific offense led by quarterback Shane Carden, who threw for 3,866 yards and 32 touchdowns while also adding 10 scores on the ground. His top target is Justin Hardy, who caught 105 passes for 1,218 yards and eight touchdowns. Ohio counters with gritty quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who owns 21 school records and is 103 yards shy of becoming Bobcats’ first 9,000-yard career passer. He threw for 2,623 yards and 20 touchdown passes this year.
Ohio is in this game only because the AAC couldn’t fill its allotted bowl slots. If not for close losses to Virginia Tech (15-10) and Tulane (36-33), ECU could be 11-2 and in a more prominent bowl. The Pirates have the clear advantage.
PREDICTION: East Carolina 42, Ohio 21
The addition of an early signing period in college football has altered the sport in many different ways this year, from super quick coaching searches to an ever changing recruiting calendar and process. While you can debate the merits of the new Dec. 20th date all you want, there’s no denying that the entire process has been accelerated much more so than in past seasons.
That is also very true when it comes to ‘crootin rumors.
Apparently there have been a few such rumors floating around that veteran Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson was set to retire at some point in the not too distant future (i.e. after the season). The coach is one of the best in the business and highly regarded for his recruiting abilities so naturally he made things very clear on Twitter Friday morning that he will be in Columbus and wanted to set the record straight that he would not be leaving the staff.
You could probably chalk up the rumors and grumblings to a bit of negative recruiting from some rivals given that the coach is in his mid-sixties but it’s great news for the Buckeyes that he will indeed be the team’s line coach for the forseeable future.
Missouri has their new offensive line coach and they didn’t even have to look outside their own division to find one.
The Tigers announced on Friday that they had hired Brad Davis to be the team’s new offensive line coach after he spent the past season at SEC East rival Florida coaching the same position group
“I’m very pleased to have Brad and his family join our program,” head coach Barry Odom said in a statement. “He’s a tremendous teacher and mentor, and he’s been lights out on the recruiting trail with his approach to building true relationships with kids. Brad has experience in the SEC and he has worked hard to earn a great amount of respect among his peers. I’m excited to have him with us, and I know he is going to do a great job helping us move forward offensively and continue building,”
Davis was not retained by new Gators coach Dan Mullen but the former Oklahoma offensive lineman has experience from prior stops at East Carolina and North Carolina over the years. He replaces Glen Elarbee, who left as Missouri’s offensive line coach to follow Josh Heupel to UCF.
Texas megabooster Red McCombs getting involved in a coaching search is nothing new. McCombs pushing Art Briles as a candidate at a small Texas college however, well that’s a bit eye-opening.
The San Antonio Express-News caught up with the billionaire on Friday and he confirmed that he had spoken to the University of the Incarnate Word’s board of trustees and was lobbying them to hire the disgraced and scandal-plagued former Baylor coach to run the program.
“You not only will be getting the best football coach available but also the best man,” McCombs told the paper of what he said to the UIW trustees. “In two years’ time, he would leave them with an unbelievable program in place and then could go to the big time, because that’s where he should be in the first place.”
A source close to the search told the Express-News that Briles is not being considered for the job, which opened last month after a 1-10 season for the FCS program.
Briles was of course fired by Baylor in 2016 after numerous sexual assault allegations were brought against the school. Subsequent lawsuits over the past few years have rendered the former Bears coach as nearly un-hireable at the college level and the scandal has even cost him a job in the CFL after just a few hours of outrage.
That’s why it’s downright shocking, especially given the dozens upon dozens of reports and negative headlines about what went on in Waco under his tenure, that McCombs would call the evidence against Briles a “bunch of baloney…a bunch of garbage,” according to the paper.
Luckily it sounds like Incarnate Word isn’t even entertaining the idea of hiring him and this is just some rich guy trying to help a friend… but the whole scenario and comments outlined by the Express-News are not exactly what you want to have associated with a coaching search. Yikes.
Oregon’s big No. 73 is changing jersey numbers for the Las Vegas Bowl and he’s doing so for a great cause.
Vegas native and Ducks offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby announced on Friday that he would not be playing his final game with the team in his normal jersey and would instead be donning No. 58 for Saturday’s bowl against Boise State. The reason is not to simply change numbers on the way out the door however, as the senior is pointedly making the move to honor the 58 victims of the horrific mass shooting that happened in the city in early October.
“This is so much more than a game to me,” Crosby told the school’s website. “I take a lot of pride in being from Vegas — especially being a football player from Vegas.”
Several college football teams, especially UNLV and Nevada, have done tributes to honor the victims of the attack and the first responders who heroically rushed to their aid in the wake of the deadly mass shooting just off the Strip. There figures to be several more tributes during Saturday’s game at Sam Boyd Stadium between the Ducks and Broncos but kudos to Crosby, one of the team’s best players, for going the extra mile and doing something special for the game in his hometown.