Holy War? Try Holy Moly.
BYU and Utah played a game of hot potato to renew the regular season edition of their gridiron rivalry on Saturday evening, with the Utes narrowly jumping out to a 14-13 lead at halftime thanks to a late scoring drive.
Things got weird early and didn’t seem to let up at all before both teams went to the locker room in Salt Lake City. BYU’s first play of the game was intercepted off a tipped pass, which Utah linebacker Sunia Tauteoli snagged out of the air before running 41 yards to the end zone for the first point of the game.
That would turn out to be about the best thing to happen for the Utes until the final few seconds of the half considering the team’s offense turned the ball over four times. Quarterback Troy Williams threw two interceptions — one in the red zone — and the team fumbled twice to end a pair of first quarter drives. If there was any individual bright spot, tailback Troy McCormick rushing for 60 yards on just nine carries was likely the extent of it until Williams found Tim Patrick in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown and the late lead.
Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill did rebound from his first pass of the game, throwing for 69 yards in the first half and scrambling for 39 on a touchdown run in the closing minutes of the 2nd quarter. Safety Kai Nacua was all over the field for BYU in the first half and recorded the two interceptions off of Williams.
Both head coaches appeared to be visibly upset with their teams heading into the locker room and one can certainly understand why after such a sloppy first half from each side.
It appears Auburn’s search for a new offensive line coach may not take very long.
Tuesday, reports surfaced that Herb Hand was leaving The Plains to take the line job at Texas. The veteran will also be adding to title of co-offensive coordinator with the Longhorns.
One day later, UConn confirmed in a press release that its line coach, J.B. Grimes, has resigned his position, effective immediately. It just so happens that Grimes spent three seasons (2013-15) coaching at Auburn before moving on to Cincinnati for the 2016 season and, ultimately, UConn.
“I want to thank J.B. for his efforts during his time with us,” head coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. “I wish J.B and his family nothing but the best.”
Grimes spent one season with the Huskies.
It appears the door is at least slightly ajar for Jauan Jennings‘ return to Rocky Top.
A University of Tennessee spokesperson confirmed to the Knoxville News Sentinel that Jennings is enrolled in classes for the current semester. Jennings has met with both new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and athletic directors Phillip Fulmer about the possibility of being reinstated to the Vols football program.
“I think (Pruitt has) put some parameters around it,” Fulmer stated during a radio interview late last week, “and I guess everybody has got to figure out what those are and if they’re really going to do it. That’s up to them.”
The wide receiver’s status with the football program remains up in the air, nearly two months after Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.
In early September, prior to the off-field issue, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game.
Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.
So much for a Primetime renewal in Tallahassee.
Late last month, just prior to Florida State’s Independence Bowl matchup with Southern Miss, speculation surfaced that there was mutual interest in Deion Sanders joining Willie Taggart‘s first FSU staff as defensive backs coach. During an in-game interview, the College and Pro Football Hall of Famer was asked about the speculation but did little to quash it.
Nearly a month later, that potential reunion has reportedly been quashed.
Sanders, whose NFL career ended in 2005, has never coached at the collegiate level. He started his own ill-fated charter school in 2012 and coached the football team there, while he served as the offensive coordinator at a private school in Texas this past season.
The former Seminole great currently serves as an analyst for the NFL Network.
As the Washington State family begins to mourn and attempts to process this tragedy, several of Tyler Hilinski‘s teammates and coaches used social media to help sort through the tangled gamut of emotions they’re running through.
Overnight, word surfaced that the redshirt sophomore quarterback had been found dead of what’s believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “He was an incredible young man,” head coach Mike Leach said in a statement, “and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it.”
On both Twitter and Instagram, heartbroken Cougar football players and coaches dealt with the devastation left in the suicide’s wake.
And this might be the most important message to come out of this tragedy. Maybe in death, Tyler Hilinski can help someone find the hope and the help they need.
R.I.P young man.