Notre Dame has officially parted ways with embattled defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.
“This is a difficult decision,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for Brian as both a person and football coach, but our defense simply isn’t where it should be and I believe this change is necessary for the best interest of our program and our student-athletes.”
Notre Dame has allowed 134 points through their first four games and are just 1-3 after extremely high preseason expectations. This was VanGorder’s third season in South Bend but the Irish have regressed significantly and ranked 101st in FBS scoring defense after Saturday’s home loss to Duke.
Defensive analyst Greg Hudson, a former Notre Dame linebacker who has served as defensive coordinator at Purdue, East Carolina and Minnesota, was elevated to fill VanGorder’s role.
“It’s never easy to make a change on your staff, but I’m confident in Greg’s ability to lead our defense,” Kelly added. “As a former player at Notre Dame and an experienced defensive coordinator, he not only understands the expectations necessary to compete at the highest level, but he’ll bring a fresh perspective to our sideline, practice field and meeting rooms.”
The move to make staff changes on the defensive side of the ball isn’t exactly surprising to Irish fans who have seen the team play this year but the timing is notable. Kelly remarked that the coaching was not the problem on defense after the loss to the Blue Devils but still opted to make a change on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if a very young defense will respond, and perhaps even rally, now that a big message has been sent.
Notre Dame plays Syracuse on Saturday at noon ET.
The injury-plagued career of Jordan Sherit (pictured, right) has come to an end because of, you guessed it, another injury.
Sherit suffered an injury in last Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M that dropped Florida 1½ games behind Georgia in the SEC’s East division. Wednesday, Jim McElwain confirmed that the starting defensive end will miss the remainder of the year after undergoing season-ending hip surgery because of the injury sustained in that game.
As this is the lineman’s final season of eligibility, the collegiate portion of his playing career is over as well.
“It’s a bad deal, man,” the head coach said of the situation.
Sherit’s 2.5 sacks are currently second on the Gators, while his five tackles for loss are tied for third. The redshirt senior missed a handful of games in the 2014 and 2016 seasons because of a variety of injuries. He also missed the last half of his senior season of high school because of a torn ACL
Over the past calendar year, Seth Collins hasn’t caught many breaks health-wise. This week, that unfortunate luck continued.
Oregon State has announced that Collins will be sidelined indefinitely because of what was described as a health-related issue by the football program. The wide receiver did not play in last Saturday’s game because of an unspecified illness.
Per the school, this illness is not related to the unspecified health event last season that left him hospitalized and caused him to miss not only the last two games of 2016 but spring practice this year as well.
“Losing Seth sucks,” quarterback Darell Garretson said according to The Oregonian. “I love that kid to death. It brings me a bunch of pain and a lot of emotion thinking about it. Obviously, I hope he gets his year back. I think he is going to.”
The good news, such as it is, is that Collins, a true junior, could pick up another season of eligibility as he missed the first three games of this year because of an injury unrelated to the twin illnesses.
Despite missing more than half of the Beavers’ games, Collins is currently tied for fifth on the team in receptions with 12 and sixth in receiving yards with 130. Prior to the latest illness cropping up, he set a season-high with 91 yards in the Week 6 loss to USC.
Last season, his first as a receiver after converting from quarterback, Collins was second on the team in catches (36) and yards (418).
In terms of accomplishments as a college football player, few coaches have the resume of Scott Frost.
After all, the now-UCF head coach won a national title back in 1997 with Nebraska and compiled a 24-2 record as a starter with the Cornhuskers. What made him so dangerous? Well, he was the perfect fit for the team’s triple option offense and was one of the best in terms of using his arm and his legs in leading the team to all those wins.
“I love option football,” Frost told the Associated Press “I lived it. I feel like option quarterbacks now are kind of like giant pandas, they only exist in zoos and military academies now.”
That’s particularly relevant this week, as his Knights are set to play Navy on Saturday in a huge AAC matchup that will have an impact on who receives this year’s Group of Five bid. Given how well the boss is at running the option, it seems he decided to put on a helmet and run the scout team offense to better prepare his defense for what they’ll see out of the Midshipmen and signal-caller Zach Abey.
From the looks of things, Frost still has it even if he’s got 20 years on his players.
Recruiting never stops, even for a blue-blood like Ohio State. That’s one reason why the team is reportedly set to go with an all-gray alternate uniform for the team’s biggest game of the year when Penn State rolls into Columbus.
Team site Eleven Warriors posted that they have obtained images of the retail uniforms the Buckeyes are set to wear, which includes a top that is completely gray with only a sliver of scarlet for the team’s logo on the chest:
OSU opting for alternate uniforms in big games is nothing new for the program under Urban Meyer, especially since a new Nike deal kicked in a while back. They donned some for the Michigan game last season and have worn several versions in other contests. This latest monochrome look, which is still a report and subject to change mind you, still seems a bit bland all things considered.
If nothing else, it could make things very hard for the broadcasters despite all eyes being on the horseshoe for one of the most important Big Ten games of the year.