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Florida State escapes Wake Forest late to avoid worst start since 1976


Florida State was staring at an 0-3 start for the first time since 1976 — over four decades ago when the Bobby Bowden era was just getting started.

Then, just when the team needed its lackluster passing game to come alive most, the Seminoles snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat to stun Wake Forest and escape on the road with a 26-19 victory that was the team’s first of the season.

Outside of his final pass, freshman quarterback James Blackman would probably like to forget his first road start behind center after throwing for just 121 yards on 11 completions (including just 31 entering the final quarter). On his final drop back however, the young signal-caller looked like a capable veteran and lobbed a perfect pass into the hands of Auden Tate for what proved to be the game-wining touchdown pass.

The Seminoles couldn’t get much going offensively prior to that surprising final drive otherwise, and needed some heroic efforts from Jacques Patrick (120 yards, one touchdown rushing) and fellow tailback Cam Akers (58 yards on the ground) to move the ball at all most of the afternoon.

Though mistakes and injuries along the offensive line played a role in those struggles, give credit to the Deacs’ defense for being stout at the line of scrimmage and making life difficult at the backend as well. They recorded a school-record with 17 (!!!) tackles for loss and sacked Blackman five times. Despite a generally impressive outing, everybody in Winston-Salem will be talking about the lapse that allowed the final touchdown from 40 yards out.

The effort overshadowed an efficient performance by quarterback John Wofford after he threw for 271 yards and was the team’s leading rusher with 63 yards on the ground and Wake’s first touchdown. Were it not for two turnovers on the day, it’s probably safe to say that the team wouldn’t even have been in a position to lose a game like that.

But they were and suffered a devastating last-minute loss that prevented a 5-0 start for the first time at the school in over a decade. We’ll see if a win like that can help jump-start Florida State ahead of their big rivalry game against Miami next week but it’s safe to say that both sides will head home tonight wondering about what could have been, and what was, after a wild ACC game.

Reports: Bob Diaco finalizes deal with Oklahoma

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It appears Lincoln Riley has all but officially gotten his man.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Bob Diaco was expected to take a job on Riley’s Oklahoma football staff. Friday, Pete Thamel of tweeted that Diaco has finalized a deal to join the football program.‘s Adam Rittenberg subsequently confirmed the initial report.

With all 10 of Riley’s on-field assistant slots filled, Diaco will serve as a defensive analyst for the Sooners.

Diaco spent the 2017 season as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, let go after that one year following the firing of head coach Mike Riley.  Prior to that brief stint in Lincoln, he was the head coach at UConn for three seasons before being fired after going 11-26 during his time with the Huskies.

Prior to that, he was the coordinator at Notre Dame for four seasons from 2010-13.

Florida’s athletics facilities upgrade scheduled to be completed in 2021

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Dan Mullen is just breaking in his new office chair, but it will be a few more years until the new head coach to truly be able to get comfortable in his new digs. The University of Florida is scheduled to begin a complete overhaul of the athletics facilities in Gainesville this summer. When it is complete, a brand new state-of-the-art football training facility will be among the highlights of the $130 million project.

The new football facility is planned to occupy a space currently used by Florida’s baseball stadium. WOrk on the football facility will have to wait until the baseball program can move into its new stadium that is part of the renovation plans at Florida.

“With the change in facility locations for both baseball and football, we will now adjust the sequencing for these projects,” Florida AD Scott Stricklin said in a press release, according to Gridiron Now. “Baseball will need to be built first, which will allow us to repurpose the current baseball site and put the stand-alone football complex in that space.”

The new football training facility will take up a good chunk of the renovation costs with an estimated price tag of $65 million for a 130,000 square foot structure. Florida won’t have to wait until 2021 to use the facility, however, as the Gators should be expected to be able to start using the new complex as early as 2019 while the construction and renovation continues.

Michigan high school coach shuts doors to EMU football following shutting down of athletic programs

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Eastern Michigan University made some tough decisions this week when it cut four athletic programs. Although cutting football was not deemed to be an option by AD Scott Wetherbee, the decision is already having some ramifications for the football program moving forward as one high school in the state of Michigan says the Eagles are no longer welcome on their premises.

Noel Dean, who coaches both the football and wrestling programs at Lowell High School, stated in a public letter addressed to EMU head coach Chris Creighton that he will no longer welcome Creighton or anyone else associated with EMU to his high school for recruiting purposes if the university goes through with cutting the wrestling program. Dean also issues a warning to Creighton in the letter, suggesting it may not be long before the university takes another hard look at the value of the football program.

“I can’t stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program,” Dean wrote in his letter, which was shared by Michigan Grappler. “Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.

“If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings.”

That is most certainly a hard line in the sand putting EMU on notice. If one school in the state of Michigan decides to close its doors to EMU and this message spreads throughout the high school coaching community in the state of Michigan, EMU would be in some serious trouble.

Helmet sticker to The Detroit Free Press.


Ed Warinner goes from $250K Michigan analyst to $525K U-M line coach

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Ed Warinner‘s bank account might want to consider sending Jim McElwain a thank-you note.

In January of this year, Warinner left Minnesota to take a job as a senior offensive analyst at Michigan. However, a month later, McElwain was added as U-M’s wide receivers coach; in an unsurprising twist to that move, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tim Drevno officially stepped down from his twin posts eight days after McElwain’s hiring and ultimately ended up back at USC.

McElwain, as had been widely expected before he was officially added to Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff, took over Drevno’s coordinating duties. Warinner, meanwhile, was officially named as Drevno’s replacement as line coach earlier this month.

According to, Warinner has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $525,000 in 2018 and $550,000 in 2019. His scheduled salary for his role as an analyst with the football program? A “measly” $250,000.

Warinner spent the 2017 season as the offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota. Prior to that, He was the line coach at Ohio State from 2012-16. In 2015, he added the title of co-offensive coordinator.