Associated Press

Buffs lose starting LB, K to season-ending injuries; starting QB’s status up in the air

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Colorado lost more than a game this past weekend.

Linebacker Derek McCartney and place-kicker Diego Gonzalez, the football program confirmed Monday, will miss the remainder of the 2016 season because of injuries sustained in the Week 3 loss to Michigan. The former sustained a torn ACL, the latter a torn Achilles tendon.

The injury to McCartney, the grandson of legendary CU head coach Bill McCartney, came shortly after the starting ‘backer returned a fumble for a touchdown that, briefly, gave the visiting Buffs a 14-0 lead.

“I just kind of landed funny and my knee buckled on me,” McCartney said according to the Denver Post. “I felt something that felt weird. I didn’t go back in because it didn’t feel right, and the doctors figured (an ACL tear) was probably what had happened.”

Last season as a sophomore, McCartney was second on the team with five sacks.

As for Gonzalez, he had connected on 3-4 field goals and all 16 extra point attempts this season. Last year, he was 18-29 and 35-35.

With no disrespect meant to the aforementioned pair of players, though, the situation regarding Sefo Liufau bears the most attention.

The starting quarterback, who missed the last two games of the 2015 season because of a foot injury, sustained an injury to his right ankle in the third quarter of the loss. Prior to the injury, the Buffs trailed 31-28; after the injury, the Wolverines outscored the visitors 14-0 in the 45-28 win.

Liufau did not practice Monday, and his status for this weekend’s game against Oregon will be determined later in the week.

“If he’s moving good enough to play, we’ll play him,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “If he’s not moving good enough to play then we won’t play him. We’ll know as the week goes along on that.”

Should Liufau be unable to go, Steven Montez would get the start. After replacing the starter, the redshirt freshman failed to complete any of his seven passes.

For perspective as to what Liufau’s absence would mean for the CU offense, he is currently seventh nationally and second amongst Pac-12 quarterbacks in passing efficiency.

Dick MacPherson’s grandson one of six added to Sean Lewis’ first Kent State staff

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Sean Lewis‘ first staff at Kent State will come armed with a famous coaching surname.

The football program announced Monday that Lewis has hired a total of six new assistants. One of the coaching sextet is Mackey MacPherson, the grandson of former Syracuse head coach Dick MacPherson.

The younger MacPherson will coach the Golden Flashes running backs after spending the past two seasons as an offensive graduate assistant with the Orange.  Both Lewis and MacPherson were on Dino Babers‘ staff at the ‘Cuse.

The other full-time assistant hired by Lewis are as follows:

Zac Barton — special teams coordinator
Brian Cochran — defensive line
Jon Cooley — safeties coach
Matt Middleton — wide receivers coach
Bill O’Boyle — offensive line

Nearly two weeks ago, Lewis announced the hiring of his coordinators on both sides of the ball.

Western Kentucky’s Joel Iyiegbuniwe declares early for draft

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There’s a new leader in the clubhouse for “Early Entrant With the Most Vowels in his Surname.”

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Joel Iyiegbuniwe announced that he is leaving Western Kentucky early and making himself available for the April NFL draft. The linebacker, a native of Bowling Green, Kent., stated that he came to his decision “[a]fter much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, coaches and advisors.”

This past season, Iyiegbuniwe led the Hilltoppers in tackles with 117, tackles for loss with 11.5 and forced fumbles with three. He was named first-team All-Conference USA following the regular season.

Including last season, Iyiegbuniwe had started 27 straight games at outside linebacker for the Hilltoppers.

Today is the deadline for draft-eligible players to inform the NFL of their intentions.

Kent State announces signing of ex-Auburn QB Woody Barrett

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One day after Woody Barrett announced that he has found a new college football home, the school has confirmed as much.

Kent State sent out a press release Monday evening acknowledging that Barrett has signed with the football program. After spending the 2017 season at a Mississippi junior college, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

Counting this coming season, Barrett will have three years of eligibility remaining.

“We’re excited about Woody’s potential, his ability and his raw tools both throwing and running the football,” new Golden Flashes head coach Sean Lewis said in a statement. “And we’re excited to have him on campus to be training with our team as we get ready for spring ball.”

A four-star member of Auburn’s 2016 recruiting class, Barrett was rated as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the country that cycle. He took a redshirt as a true freshman, then opted to transfer from the Tigers in May of last year, ultimately ending up at the JUCO level.

At Copiah-Lincoln Community College this past season, Barrett passed for 1,294 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games, adding another 485 and six on the ground.

Michigan confirms hiring of Sherrone Moore as TEs coach

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One hole on Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff has been filled.

The football program confirmed Monday that Sherrone Moore has been hired and will serve as Harbaugh’s tight ends coach. Moore will replace Greg Frey, who moved on to a job on Willie Taggart‘s staff at Florida State.

The 31-year-old Moore — he’ll turn 32 in early February — spent the past four seasons coaching tight ends at Central Michigan. This past season, he added the title of assistant head coach as well as taking over as the MAC program’s recruiting coordinator.

Moore began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant at Louisville from 2009-12. He was promoted to tight ends coach in 2012, spending that season as well as 2013 in that role.