Associated Press

Devin Singletary sets C-USA touchdown record as FAU rolls in Boca Raton Bowl

2 Comments

We understand why the respective conferences have their reasons for not launching a Group of 5 playoff, but it sure would have been nice to see Florida Atlantic play UCF, Toledo, Troy or Boise State on Tuesday night. Because the 7-win champions of the MAC East were no match for Lane Kiffin‘s Owls, as Florida Atlantic cruised to a 50-3 win over Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Quarterback Jason Driskel and running back Devin Singletary starred for the 11-3 Owls, who closed the year on a 10-game winning streak that saw Florida Atlantic win by an average score of 46-21. Driskel completed 17-of-23 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing 13 times for 67 yards and two more scores. Singletary broke the Conference USA single-season rushing touchdown record — a mark held by former Central Florida running back and now Singletary’s position coach, Kevin Smith — with his first rushing touchdown and racked up 26 carries for 124 yards and three touchdowns.

Singletary, a sophomore, finished the season with 299 carries for 1,920 yards (6.42 a carry) for 32 touchdowns, five shy of tying Barry Sanders‘s FBS record.

After both teams missed field goals to open the game, Florida Atlantic opened the scoring with a 13-play, 79-yard drive that culminated in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Driskel to Willie Wright, putting FAU up 7-0 with 1:08 to play in the first quarter.

Akron answered with a 12-play march that killed more than five minutes but ended at the FAU 2-yard line. Rather than go for a fourth-and-goal from the FAU 2-yard line, Terry Bowden opted for a 19-yard Nick Gasser field goal.

Florida Atlantic responded with another long drive, this time consuming five and a half minutes over 14 plays before scoring on a 3-yard Driskel run with 5:38 left in the first half. The Owls forced a punt on Akron’s next possession, and on the first play of FAU’s next touch Driskel hit Kamrin Solomon for a 63-yard connection. Devin Singletary finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds left before halftime, giving him 30 on the season — which set the Conference USA single-season record, breaking a tie with former Central Florida running back and current Florida Atlantic running backs coach Kevin Smith — to push the score at 21-3 at halftime.

Florida Atlantic forced a turnover on downs to open the second half, then notched Singletary’s second touchdown of the night, a 2-yard rush. That pattern continued for the rest of the night. Akron did not mount a serious threat, while Driskel and Wright added another touchdown connection (plus a Wright 2-point conversion) to push the lead to 36-3 to close the third quarter, Driskel rushed for a second score to open the fourth quarter, and Singletary closed his season with a 26-yard score to put Florida Atlantic at the half-a-hundred mark with 10:47 still to play.

As a team, Florida Atlantic racked up 577 yards of total offense with 29 first downs, while Akron (7-7) gained 146 yards of total offense with 11 first downs. Kato Nelson completed 9-of-15 passes for 80 yards while Manny Morgan led the Zips with 41 yards on 17 carries.

Colorado makes hiring of Boise State’s Ashley Ambrose official

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A familiar face has returned to the Colorado coaching staff.

Following up on reports that surfaced earlier this week, CU confirmed that Mike MacIntyre has hired Ashley Ambrose as the Buffaloes’ new cornerbacks coach.  Ambrose spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Buffaloes, first as a defensive assistant and then, after a very brief stint as wide receivers coach, he took over CU’s defensive backs.

“We’re really excited about Ashley Ambrose coming to the University of Colorado, he brings great expertise for our corners that he’ll be coaching,” MacIntyre said in a statement. “He was here before, loved it then and I am glad to have him back now. Not only does he bring great coaching experience over the last few years, but he also brings phenomenal playing experience from being in the NFL, so he’ll add a lot to our secondary.”

Then past two seasons, Ambrose was the defensive backs coach at Boise State.  He’s also had collegiate stops at Cal (2011-12), Idaho (2014), Texas State (2015).

Ambrose, a second-round pick in the 1992 NFL draft, spent 13 seasons at that level of football.

Report: Oklahoma State adding Bob Stitt as offensive analyst

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
1 Comment

Bob Stitt, who has become a bit of a cult hero in the college football coaching world over the last few years, is moving on up. Oklahoma State will reportedly add Stitt as an offensive analyst, according to a report from Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, via Twitter.

Stitt was fired by Montana after this past season after missing the FCS playoffs for a second consecutive season and a second-round exit in his first season with the program in 2015. Stitt had become a rising star in the lower levels of college football after reshaping the offensive strategies with Colorado Mines in Division 2. The Nebraska native has coached a Harlon Hill Trophy winner (Division 2’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) and has coached Colorado Mines to three conference championships. Stitt gained notoriety after being given credit for his offensive strategies by West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.

Stitt being let go by Montana came as a bit of a surprise after just three seasons with the program. Offensively speaking, Oklahoma State rarely needs any assistance in moving the football and scoring, but Mike Gundy is wise to bring in a mind like Stitt to add to the expanding of the offensive schemes in Stillwater.

As an offensive analyst, Stitt will be prevented from doing any on-field coaching and instead will focus on prepping the game plan and breaking down film. However, having Stitt on the staff in some capacity leaves a door open for a future position on the 10-man coaching staff should a position open at some point.

Jeff Banks looks to make Alabama’s special teams a strength

Alabama Athletics
1 Comment

If there is any crack in Alabama’s championship foundation, it may be on special teams. Looking to patch things up with the special teams, Alabama head coach Nick Saban has brought on new special teams coordinator Jeff Banks. The former Texas A&M special teams coordinator was officially announced as Alabama’s new special teams coach on Thursday.

“We are pleased to be able to add a coach the caliber of Jeff Banks to our staff as special teams coordinator,” Saban said in a released statement. “Jeff is well-respected across the country for his knowledge of the game and his ability to recruit. He is a great teacher and someone who will help our football team be successful.”

Banks comes to Alabama after five years at Texas A&M under former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, who was recently hired by Arizona. Special teams was one of the more consistently reliable aspects of the Aggies program under his watch, so Alabama hopes that can carry over to Tuscaloosa.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join Coach Saban’s staff at The University of Alabama and work with such a talented group of student-athletes,” Banks said. “Coach Saban has built an unbelievable program that has a long tradition of success. I’m really excited to get out on the road recruiting, and I look forward to doing my part to help continue the success this program has enjoyed.”

Alabama ranked 90th in the nation last season in field goal percentage and 50th in the nation in punting average. Obviously, this has not hurt Alabama’s chances of competing for and winning national titles over the course of Saban’s time at Alabama, but it is somewhat remarkable just how many times special teams seems to make things just a little more difficult for the Crimson Tide. I suppose something has to at some point, right? In the recent College Football Playoff national championship, Alabama had to beat Georgia in overtime after a last-second field goal attempt at the end of the fourth quarter was missed.

The rich just keep getting richer at Alabama.

Temple prepares for next step in quest for new on-campus football stadium

Temple Athletics
1 Comment

With time running out on the current lease at Lincoln Financial Field appearing on the horizon, Temple University continues to move forward with exploring their plans for a potential multipurpose facility that could be used to host Temple football on Temple’s campus. The school is now preparing to take the next step forward with the idea by presenting the plans to the City Planning Commission with the hope of being given the approval to continue pushing toward breaking ground on a new facility on Temple’s campus.

“We have said from the start that our first priority has been to engage with our neighbors and local leaders to determine the potential for, and impact of, this facility,” Temple president Richard Englert said in a released statement. “After more than two years of these discussions, and in light of the project’s tremendous value for Temple and North Philadelphia, I have concluded that the time is right to take this step.”

One of the biggest concerns about any on-campus football stadium is the reaction from the neighboring community that has been reluctant to embrace a football stadium being dropped right in the neighborhood.

Englert said in a released statement the university “will continue our conversations with neighbors to address concerns over the impact of the project.”

The football stadium would, in theory, be able to serve multiple purposes in addition to football and will be designed with surrounding economic opportunities in mind. Space for retail locations will be a part of the master plans to help inject some revenue into the surrounding area, and educational facilities will be included in the plans as well.

In all, the plan is currently estimated to cost roughly $130 million. Temple recently negotiated a short-term extension on their lease to use Lincoln Financial Field through 2019. If Temple is given the approval to move forward with their stadium plan, they could theoretically be able to play a true home game on their campus beginning in 2020.