All week Clemson has heard about how the team has lost five straight at Georgia Tech and haven’t won in Atlanta against the Yellow Jackets since 2003. If they paid close attention to some media members, they probably heard that Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney has never beaten his opposite number Paul Johnson there either.
Consider the message received — and corrected — by Clemson after a Thursday night victory over Georgia Tech that was not as close as the 26-7 final score indicated.
The Tigers gave the 1985 Chicago Bears a run for their money in the first half, limiting Tech’s triple option to just 22 total yards before heading to the locker room and kept things up in the second half by holding Georgia Tech under 100 yards rushing for the game. Freshman defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was disruptive from the first snap (a huge tackle for loss) and forced just about everything on the ground outside to his teammates. Linebacker Dorian O’Daniel was even more impressive, flying all over the field on his way to a nine tackle and one sack night.
About the only positive on the night for the Yellow Jackets offense was freshman running back Dedrick Mills getting going for 75 yards and a score.
As impressive as Clemson’s defense was, the team’s offense wasn’t too far behind. Quarterback Deshuan Watson returned to his 2015 form in the first half after a slow start this season by throwing for 304 yards and two scores on the night. He did toss an ill-advised interception into the end zone following a miscommunication with a receiver but the play ended up as a safety for the Tigers after a miscue by Tech’s defense.
The win by Clemson sets up a massive top five clash next week at home with Louisville that very much could be for the ACC title and a berth in the College Football Playoff. The Tigers seemed to take the foot off the gas in the second half, and had a few issues up front along the offensive line, but otherwise put together a second straight impressive victory.
Things will get much, much tougher next Saturday when they try to slow down Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals however but at least Clemson will head into that matchup with a few days of extra rest and will be fresh off their best defensive effort in a long time.
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.