The Iowa Hawkeyes have one of the top defensive tackle tandems in college football with seniors Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat. However, the team’s depth along the defensive interior is now in question after junior Darian Cooper required season-ending surgery.
The exact nature of the injury has yet to be divulged, but Cooper announced he will miss the entire season on Facebook.
Cooper played in all 25 games the past two seasons as a backup defensive lineman. In 2013, Cooper recorded 18 tackles and a sack.
With Cooper out of the lineup, the Hawkeyes will have to rely heavily on sophomore Jaleel Johnson as the team’s third defensive tackle.
“Coop has got some good skills,” defensive line coach Reese Morgan told The Gazette’s Marc Morehouse prior to fall camp. “We would like to have some guys inside that have some girth that can stand up against the run.”
Cooper is listed at 282 pounds, while Johnson is 6-4 and 310 pounds. Redshirt freshman Nathan Bazata will likely serve as the Hawkeyes’ fourth defensive tackle with Cooper out of the lineup. But Bazata is much closer in size to Cooper than he is Johnson.
The team’s depth up front is crucial for Iowa’s defense. First, the ability to keep Davis and Trinca-Pasat fresh is important for both seniors to play at a high level. Plus, Iowa’s relies heavily on the play of its linebackers for the defensive scheme to work properly. If Johnson and Bazata can’t hold the point of attack and allow blockers to get to the linebackers, Iowa’s defense will be gashed when the backup defensive tackles are on the field.
Cooper was an important piece to the puzzle for the Hawkeyes this season. Unfortunately, his role now will be to recover, rehabilitate and prepare to replace either Davis or Trinca-Pasat as a starter next season.
A pair of signs that developed Wednesday are pointing to Nick Saban possibly needing to replace his long-time defensive boss this offseason.
According to Yahoo Sports‘ Pat Forde, current Houston head coach Tom Herman, who has a significant raise on the table from his current employer, is no longer a candidate for the same job at South Carolina as he’s withdrawn his name from consideration. Forde writes that “Herman had been the school’s top choice to replace Steve Spurrier, sources said, and third-party discussions had been extensive.”
Nearly simultaneously, Bruce Feldman of FOXSports.com reported that ‘Bama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart “has emerged as the frontrunner for the South Carolina head coaching vacancy.” Forde also mentioned that Smart could be the Gamecocks’ Plan B, while ESPN.com wrote that the 39-year-old “has emerged as one of the leading candidates” for the vacancy in Columbia.
Smart has had a handful of opportunities to leave Saban’s staff since joining it in 2007, but has thus far chosen to remain in Tuscaloosa.
If Smart is indeed USC’s top candidate, a fellow SEC East rival could throw a wrench in those plans. Should Georgia and Mark Richt decide to part ways, Smart, who played his college football at UGA, would be a likely candidate to replace the long-time head coach. In addition to playing for the Bulldogs, Smart began his career as an administrative assistant at his alma mater and coached running backs there in 2005 before joining Saban with the Miami Dolphins and, ultimately, the Tide.
An investigation into an alleged sexual assault at the home of three current Nebraska football players will not result in charges, Lancaster County (Neb.) officials announced Wednesday.
An unidentified 20-year-old female claimed she was raped Nov. 15 at the residence of NU quarterback Tommy Armstrong (pictured, left), tight end Trey Foster and wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp (pictured, right). The subsequent investigation could not prove that any type of an assault had taken place.
“Filing charges would require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That simply is not there,” district attorney Joe Kelly stated in announcing the decision. Armstrong had previously claimed that “[f]rom what we’re hearing, everything was consensual.”
The university’s athletic department released a statement in the wake of today’s announcement.
We are aware of this morning’s announcement by the Lincoln Police Department and the Lancaster County Attorney. There is no change in the status of any student-athletes. We will continue to follow University policies.
The school is in the midst of conducting its own investigation into the situation. As it stands now, all three players will be available for Friday’s game against No. 4 Iowa..
If Baylor’s designs on a national championship are to come to fruition, it appears the Big 12 school will be forced to go the Ohio State route and do it with their third-string quarterback.
The university has reportedly confirmed Wednesday that Jarrett Stidham sustained a broken bone in the back of his ankle in the second quarter of Saturday’s win over previously unbeaten Oklahoma State. As a result, the true freshman will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
Stidham had started the last three games in place of Seth Russell, who will miss the rest of 2015 as well because of a broken bone in his neck.
With Stidham and Russell sidelined, the Bears’ title hopes will fall in large part to Chris Johnson. The redshirt sophomore had been moved to wide receiver during summer camp before becoming Stidham’s backup a month ago. In the win over OSU, Johnson completed five of his 10 passes for 138 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Should Johnson find himself injured, the only other player listed as a quarterback on Baylor’s roster is Zack Bennema. A true freshman, Bennema joined the Bears earlier this year as a walk-on.
Baylor will travel to TCU and host Texas to close out the season. Because of a loss to Oklahoma earlier this month, the Bears will need a Sooners loss in Bedlam in addition to winning its last two in order to claim a Big 12 title and, potentially, a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Every year I type a headline that I never thought I’d have to type. Welcome to at least the third one of those in 2015.
Tuesday, 24-year-old Donte Faison, the subject of a manhunt led by the U.S. Marshals Service, was arrested following a six-hour standoff that involved the Boulder Police Department SWAT team. Faison was wanted in connection to a shooting in Baltimore — he’s facing first-degree attempted murder charges once he’s extradited — although the fact that the standoff took place at the residence of a current, unnamed member of the Colorado Buffaloes football team brings this under the CFT purview.
According to a statement from the university, Faison is “a childhood acquaintance” of the unnamed Buffs player, and neither the unnamed player nor any of the other CU players who interacted with him since his arrival in the state Monday were aware of his status as a wanted fugitive.
Mr. Faison is a childhood acquaintance of a CU football player and recently asked to reconnect and stay in his home with other players. Every indication we have is that the players had no knowledge that law enforcement agencies had an active warrant for Mr. Faison’s arrest. Our players are cooperating with Boulder police during this investigation.
Faison is originally from Washington D.C.; three current Buffs, defensive backs Ken Crawley and John Walker and defensive lineman De’Jon Wilson, claim the nation’s capital as their hometown on the football program’s official online roster.
Exactly two weeks ago, athletic director Rick George very publicly stated that Mike MacIntyre, 10-26 overall and 2-24 in Pac-12 play, “is going to be our coach next year.“