MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 08:  Deondre Francois #12 of the Florida State Seminoles looks to pass during a game  against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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No. 23 Florida State blocks game-tying PAT to drop No. 10 Miami for seventh straight year

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In the storied history of kicking woes in the rivalry between Florida State and Miami, there should be room for one more. No. 23 Florida State (4-2, 1-2 ACC) blocked an extra point attempt by No. 10 Miami (4-1, 1-1 ACC) with 1:38 to play to hold on to a 20-19 lead. The Seminoles managed to run the clock out to win for the seventh straight time against Miami.

It was a wild swing of emotion as Miami fans thought for sure they had just tied the Seminoles following a beautiful pass on fourth and five by Brad Kaaya into the sure and steady hands of Stacy Coley. The touchdown was the first score of the second half for the Hurricanes, who had seen a 13-0 advantage morph into a 20-13 deficit in the second half. Just moments after the defense came up with a big stop and Miami got a fantastic punt return to setup shop inside the red zone, everything was slanted in favor of Miami. Until the PAT attempt played out.

Michael Badgley‘s PAT attempt was blocked and skirted left, leaving Miami down by one. With three timeouts to spare, it would be up to the Hurricanes to make one more stop on defense, but Florida State did not let that happen. Deondre Francois picked up a first down on a 10-yard run and Dalvin Cook added an 11-yard run on the ensuing possession to force Miami to use their final timeouts. Francois ended his night completing 20 of 34 pass attempts for 234 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Francois also was on the receiving end of a number of rough hits, one which sent him out of the game in the first half for a stretch. Cook rushed for 150 yards in the win as well.

Kaaya had the big touchdown pass toward the end, but Florida State did a good job of making sure he wasn’t on target for much of the evening. Kaaya completed 19 of 32 pass attempts for 214 yards and two scores, but was also intercepted once.

For Florida State, the win is the seventh in a row over Miami in the rivalry, dating back to 2010. Miami’s last win against Florida State came in 2009. Since Miami joined the ACC, Florida State is 10-3 against the Hurricanes. Prior to Miami joining the ACC, Miami had won five straight in the series as a member of the old Big East.

Late in the game, things got a little ugly, or trashy if you will. A controversial targeting penalty on Miami’s Jamal Carter led fans to litter the field with their garbage, causing a brief delay in the game.

Florida State snapped a two-game losing streak with the win, although it still remains unlikely Florida State makes a run for the ACC Atlantic Division. Florida State will return home next week to play Wake Forest (who is off to a 5-1 start). Miami will slip behind Virginia Tech in the ACC Coastal Division for now but they get a chance to change the outlook of the Coastal in the next few games. Miami hosts North Carolina next week and travels to Virginia Tech the following Thursday. Those will be two huge games for Miami.

Washington State coach Mike Leach fires a shot at the SEC

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Washington State coach Mike Leach is known across the country as one of college football’s most interesting characters, rambling on from time-to-time about everything from pirates to the history of Geronimo. The latest subject the quirky head coach has turned his sights on? The big ol’ SEC.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger spoke to Leach recently as part of a profile on new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo, and let’s just say the Air Raid guru of the Palouse didn’t hold back when discussing the state of offenses in the league widely considered to be the best in the sport.

“I’ve got bad news for all these levels people,” Leach said. “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special. All this different level this, different level that. That’s crazy.

 

“This is a great time to be in the SEC, everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves  and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

Leach, who coached in the league at Kentucky, also added some other, more colorful language to describe his impression of the SEC and the offenses teams run. While he did play at Auburn with the Cougars a few years ago, he clearly hasn’t kept up with the way things are trending down south as even pro-style stalwarts like Alabama and Arkansas are using more and more tempo and spread principles on a weekly basis.

Either way, let’s hope the Washington State athletic director is already making calls to schedule an SEC opponent in the coming years. If nothing else, any future appearance by Leach on the Paul Finebaum Show should be must-see entertainment.

Willie Taggart completes Oregon coaching staff with familiar face from USF

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: South Florida Bulls head coach Willie Taggart during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images)
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It probably took a little longer than most to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, but Willie Taggart has completed his coaching staff at Oregon and the latest addition is a familiar face.

The school announced Thursday afternoon that Raymond Woodie would be taking over as the Ducks’ new special teams coordinator, having previously spent the past four seasons at USF with Taggart and three more before that together at Western Kentucky.

Woodie most recently served as the Bulls’ defensive coordinator this past season but has been a linebackers coach dating back to 2012. He is regarded by many to be a quality recruiter with good ties to the state of Florida in particular and has also coached the defensive line. While his title makes him responsible for the third phase of the game for Oregon, he figures to also help out new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt in some fashion as well.

The announcement is a bit of positive news for Taggart and the Ducks this week after a considerable bit of bad press for the program stemming from the revelation that multiple Oregon players wound up in the hospital following offseason workouts. New strength coach Irele Oderinde (who also came over from USF) was eventually suspended for one month without pay by the school as a result..

Despite Auburn interest, Texas A&M OC Noel Mazzone staying put in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 14:  The Texas A&M Aggies offense huddles against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on October 14, 2006 in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 25-19. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Gus Malzahn’s quest to find a new offensive coordinator has zigged and zagged in the past few days since the surprising departure of Rhett Lashlee to UConn. One place it will not be going however, is to a fellow SEC West school.

Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reports that despite some interest in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, the Aggies’ coach is staying put in College Station.

Mazzone arrived at A&M prior to this past season from UCLA and found early success with the Aggies and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight before a late slide in 2016. Travis Haney of 247Sports reported earlier Thursday that he could be considered the leader in the search to replace Lashlee, but it appears that will not be the case.

The longtime coaching veteran’s name being linked to Auburn isn’t too surprising considering he was the OC there from 1999-2001 but Mazzone’s hefty salary and likely high buyout figure provided some big obstacles if he wanted to reunite with the school.

Instead, it’s on to the next one for Malzahn and company.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coaches ride go-karts with five-star recruit in Georgia

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 27-23.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is just around the corner and that means a flurry of in-home visits by coaches across the country trying to lock up the next class of impact players for their program.

We’ve seen plenty of unique attempts by coaches to impress prospects over the years as a result, from often used cookie cakes to sleepovers and limo rides. When it comes to this subject though, few have been as creative as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. This week, he certainly cemented that reputation.

According to the Detroit News, Harbaugh and several Wolverines coaches took an in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon out of Leesburg, Georgia and went bowling with the recruit’s family before finally racing go-karts together.

And even better, there’s video via ESPN:

Solomon is also strongly considering Alabama and Georgia in addition to Michigan, but something says neither Nick Saban or Kirby Smart will be heading to the race track with the big defensive tackle on their visit. You have to love recruiting either way.