With quarterback Jeff Driskel set to return from a broken leg and a new offensive coordinator in place, Florida is hoping going out of the shotgun makes its offense more dynamic than it was in 2013.
That won’t exactly be difficult — the Gators’ 4.79 yards per play average last fall ranked 110 out of 125 FBS teams — but for Will Muschamp to keep his job, the offense has to make a significant improvement. Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is hoping a step toward that improvement is getting Driskel into more shotgun formations, in which he can be more effective as a dual-threat quarterback.
“I think he’s more comfortable in the gun,” Muschamp said, via the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson. “A lot of the reason why we went to this was because of Jeff and as we move forward at the quarterback position.”
Thompson throws in some pretty damning stats about Driskel going under center or out of the shotgun that don’t exactly make ex-offensive coordinator Brent Pease look good. But Roper brings with him to Gainesville a more modern offense, and that — along with avoiding another year of brutal injury luck — could wind up turning things around for Florida.
Stacy Coley reportedly clear in Miami’s exotic car flap
An off-field issue that enveloped and ultimately spit out three of his defensive teammates apparently won’t have the same ending for Miami wide receiver Stacy Coley.
Citing a source with knowledge of the matter, Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post reported earlier Tuesday that, “barring any new information surfacing in the luxury rental car situation… Coley will not be suspended and will remain with the team.” A week and a half ago, reports surfaced that an investigation into Miami football players’ involvement with a luxury car rental agency had been expanded to include Coley as well.
That investigation ultimately led to the dismissal of a pair of defensive starters, defensive lineman Al-Quadin Muhammad and linebacker Jermaine Grace, three days ago. Linebacker Juwon Young was indefinitely suspended by The U in connection to the alleged NCAA violations involving the agency, and eventually transferred to Marshall.
It was alleged that those players had received preferential treatment from the agency in exchange for future promises based on their potential earnings as football players. The owner of the agency in question has since publicly claimed that the players involved received no discounts or special treatment because they were football players.
The fact that Coley apparently won’t get caught up in the situation is a significant boon for The U’s offense moving forward in 2016.
Coley was second on the Hurricanes last season in receptions (47), yards (689) and receiving touchdowns (4). He opted to pass on the NFL draft to return for his senior season this year.
Baylor suspends dog-beating WR for three games, makes him give canine ‘to animal-friendly home’
After a couple of weeks of outrage over yet another incident involving one of its football players, Baylor has finally pulled the trigger on actually doing something of substance.
In a press release Tuesday evening, Baylor announced that wide receiver Ishmael Zamora has been suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season. The suspension comes 12 days or so after a video surfaced that showed Zamora beating his dog with a belt and kicking the animal. The incident happened in June, and ultimately resulted in a citation for misdemeanor animal cruelty.
In addition to the suspension, the university also levied the following punishments on the wide receiver: “Zamora must perform 40 community service hours in a manner that will teach him kindness and respect toward animals, must undergo counseling and must relinquish the dog to an animal-friendly home.”
The player agreed to release the details of his punishment as it’s not university policy to divulge such information publicly, the school made sure to note in its release.
Last season, Zamora caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore has been expected to play a bigger role in the Bears’ passing game with the departure of All-American Corey Coleman, as evidenced by the fact that, just yesterday, Zamora was listed as a starting wide receiver on the depth chart released by the Bears.
The suspension will cost the receiver games against FCS Northwestern State, SMU and Rice. Zamora will be eligible to return for the Sept. 24 Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State.
Below are the statements released by the university in connection to this development.
ZAMORA “I am sorry that I took out my frustration on my dog and accept the punishment that comes with it. This incident will never, ever, happen again. I truly love my dog, however, I know that my actions showed differently and I know that I made a big mistake.
“I apologize to my family, teammates, Baylor University and our fans for my actions.
“Eventually, I hope that everyone can see who I really am and that I am not a terrible person. This incident does not and will not define me, and I know that I am the one who will have to prove that to others in the days ahead.”
INTERIM HEAD COACH JIM GROBE “Our football program does not condone this behavior by anyone. We are deeply saddened by it and have worked together with the University to hold Ishmael accountable for his actions.
“We have received communications about this incident from many passionate individuals over the past 10 days, and I am aware of their concerns. Our goal is for this discipline to be educational and restorative, and I believe that we have taken corrective measures to help Ishmael learn from his actions and to better understand the behavior we demand of all students at the University.”
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MACK RHODES “Ishmael’s behavior toward his dog is disheartening, and is not condoned. We believe with proper counseling and training Ishmael can learn from this and I expect that of him. I’ve conveyed to him my expectation that his actions and his service will illustrate his commitment to change.”
Dee Dowis, Air Force’s all-time leading rusher, killed in car wreck
Air Force is today mourning the loss of one of the most beloved players in the football program’s history.
The service academy confirmed Tuesday that Dee Dowis was killed in a vehicle accident in Gwinnett City., Ga., Monday. Dowis was 48 years old, and is survived by his wife Tracie and two children.
Dowis was a three-year letterman and graduated from the Academy in 1990.
“I don’t have adequate words to describe what a personal loss this is for me,” Dowis’ head coach, Fisher DeBerry, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “It’s a sad day for Falcon football. I’m sure so many people who enjoyed watching him play feel as empty as I do today. …
“I am shocked. So saddened. My heart’s broken. It bleeds for Tracie and Madeline and Grant, Dee’s mother and family and for all our Falcon brothers. What a legacy he leaves for all of us and what it means to be a wonderful husband, devoted father, a Christian businessman and leader like he was. But he has secured his eternal home and one day we’ll be able to relive a lot of those Falcons days that we all had together.”
Dowis came to the Falcons as a 150-pound quarterback in the mid-eighties and left as the academy’s all-time leading rusher with 3,612 yards rushing, a record that still remains. His sixth-place finish in the 1989 Heisman Trophy voting is the highest finish ever for a Falcon, and made him one of three service academy players to finish that high in the voting since Roger Staubach of Navy took home the honor in 1963.
The season that led to that finish, 1,286 yards rushing and 1,285 passing, marked just the fifth time a player had topped 1,000 yards both passing and rushing in the same season. In 2009, Dowis was a member of the second class inducted into the Air Force Athletic Hall of Fame.
One of Dowis’ teammates during his time at the Academy was Troy Calhoun, the Falcons’ current head football coach. Obviously, Dowis’ passing had a significant impact on the coach.
“He was the most electric, dynamic and exciting football player probably in the history of service academy football, ever. And yet a better person,” Calhoun told the Gazette. “You just knew he was going to be quite, quite accomplished no matter what he did. Hands down the nicest and most humble human being, period.”
Our prayers and thoughts are with the Dowis and @AFFootball family. We lost a great American & one of the best QB’s of all time. RIP brother
And now we know a little more of the rest of the story, and it’s potentially serious for one member of the USC football program.
Monday night, Clay Helton revealed that Osa Masina has been suspended for his team’s season opener against Alabama this weekend. The head coach gave no specific reason or reasons for the sanctions being placed on the linebacker, although a school official subsequently described it as an unspecified violation of team rules.
However, the FOX affiliate out of Salt Lake City is reporting that Masina, a Utah native, is being investigated over sexual assault allegations. The probe stems from an alleged incident or incidents that allegedly took place over the summer in Salt Lake County.
From the television station’s report:
Cottonwood Heights Police have confirmed the ongoing investigation but have not released details about the alleged crime.
Cottonwood Heights PD, with the help of the Los Angeles Police Dept., served a search warrant last week at a USC practice facility in Los Angeles.
At this point, no charges have been filed. All questions to Masina’s parents were referred to the defense attorney representing their son.
Masina (pictured, left) was a five-star 2015 recruit who was the top-rated player at any position in the state of Utah. He played in 12 games as a true freshman last season and was credited with 25 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, with the highlight of his first year as a Trojan coming on a fumble return for a touchdown in the season-opening win over Arkansas State.
On the preseason depth chart released a week ago, Masina was listed as a backup to starting inside linebacker Michael Hutchings.