Category: Temple Owls

Houston sinks Navy for AAC West Division crown; will host Temple or USF for AAC title

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With a chance to clinch the AAC West Divison and home-field advantage in the conference championship game, Houston (11-1, 7-1 AAC) was led by quarterback Greg Ward Jr. throwing and running the football to take down No. 15 Navy (9-2, 7-1 AAC), 51-31. Houston will wait to see if it will host Temple or South Florida next week in the conference championship game.

Houston’s gameplan against Navy was simple in philosophy and strategy but masterful in execution. Big plays and well-designed ball-control was the key to the game for Houston. The Cougars rolled up over 500 yards of offense and kept the Navy defense on the field for a majority of the game. That led to some big play opportunities for Houston, and with players with the skill and talent of Ward Jr., Brandon Wilson and Demarcus Ayers, it proved to be too much for Navy to handle for 60 minutes. Wilson rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown and Ayers hauled in 161 yards and a score and even got involved with a passing touchdown in the first half, a 29-yard strike to Steven Dunbar. Considering how much Ward Jr. was forced to play through injury, it was a remarkable effort by Houston against a Navy team that has shown some good defense this season. It just was not there today against the AAC’s most talented offensive team.

Houston converted 15 of 18 third-down attempts, and went two-for-two when they chose to go for it on fourth down. Houston was without a turnover and committed just three penalties.

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds may have seen his late Heisman Trophy campaign take a dent with the loss, but he may still prove worthy of an invite to New York City for the presentation of the award. Reynolds tied the FBS all-time career touchdown record previously set by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball with his fourth quarter touchdown run. Whether he receives an invite to New York or not, there is no question he is among the classiest of college football players and it was clear he never allowed the Midshipmen to pack it in when Houston started to separate itself from Navy.

Houston will host either Temple or South Florida in the first American Athletic Conference championship game next Saturday, December 5. The game, scheduled to kick off at noon, will see its AAC East representative determined tomorrow when Temple plays Connecticut. If Temple defeats the Huskies in Philadelphia, the Owls will make the trip to Houston for the conference championship game. A loss by Temple and it will be South Florida representing the East thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker over Temple. USF won Thursday night to force Temple to win against UConn to win the division. Houston has not played either AAC East Division contender this season.

Navy is not done this regular season, of course. The Midshipmen will make the trip to Philadelphia for the traditional Army-Navy Game in two weeks. Navy has beaten their rivals from West Point 13 straight times for the longest winning streak in the series.

34 assistants in running for Broyles Award honor

Tom Herman
Associated Press

If your school is in the market for a head coach, and they’re going to go the assistant coach route, there’s a fairly decent chance that the new sideline boss appears somewhere on this recently-released list.

Wednesday afternoon, the Rotary Club of Little Rock announced the 34 nominees for the 2015 Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding assistant coach.  Two former winners made the cut this year — Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (2009) and North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik (2004, while at Auburn).

Of the 34 finalists, 19 come from Power Five conferences.  The AAC, ACC and SEC lead all leagues with five nominees each, while the Big Ten has four.  The MAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt claimed three nominees apiece, with the Big 12’s two is tied with the Mountain West for fewest among all conferences.

There are 16 defensive coordinators on the list and 13 offensive coordinators, along with one special teams coordinator (Utah State’s Dave Ungerer).  Only four non-coordinators made the cut: Georgia Southern running backs coach Dell McGee, Mississippi State quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, North Carolina State defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen, USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin.

Last year’s winner was Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, now the head coach at Houston.  Five finalists for this year’s award will be announced Nov. 30, with the winner being revealed Dec. 8.

• Alabama – Kirby Smart, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
• Arkansas – Dan Enos, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Arkansas State – Joe Cauthen, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Baylor – Kendal Briles, Offensive Coordinator
• Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Bowling Green State – Sean Lewis, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Central Michigan – Greg Colby, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers
• Colorado State – Will Friend, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Florida – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
• Florida State – Charles Kelly, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• Georgia Southern – Dell McGee, Running Backs
• Georgia State – Jesse Minter, Defensive Coordinator
• Houston – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
• Indiana – Greg Frey, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Iowa – Greg Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
• Louisiana Tech – Tony Petersen, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Marshall – Chuck Heater, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• Memphis – Brad Cornelsen, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Michigan – Tim Drevno, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Mississippi State – Brian Johnson, Quarterbacks
• Navy – Dale Pehrson, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
• NC State – Ryan Nielsen, Defensive Line
• North Carolina – Gene Chizik, Defensive Coordinator
• Ole Miss – Dan Werner, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• South Florida – Danny Hope, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Run Game
• Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
• Toledo – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator
• UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
• USC – Tee Martin, WR/Pass Game Coordinator
• Utah State – Dave Ungerer, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
• Washington State University – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
• Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator

Oklahoma, Iowa move into top four in latest College Football Playoff rankings

C.J. Beathard, Zach Poker, Mike Caprara
Associated Press

The fourth set of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Clemson is No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week. Alabama remained second, and Oklahoma leapt from seventh to third after winning their second consecutive game against a top-20 team. Iowa moved up a spot from fifth to fourth, and Michigan State jumped from No. 9 to No. 5 after its massive road win over Ohio State.

Ohio State fell from third to eighth due to that loss. Baylor passed the Buckeyes for No. 7 following their decisive win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth after a close win a Boston College.

Washington State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Toledo and Temple jumped into the rankings, while LSU, Houston, Memphis, USC and Wisconsin fell out.

The full rankings:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Notre Dame
7. Baylor
8. Ohio State
9. Stanford
10. Michigan
11. Oklahoma State
12. Florida
13. Florida State
14. North Carolina
15. Navy
16. Northwestern
17. Oregon
18. Ole Miss
19. TCU
20. Washington State
21.  Mississippi State
22. UCLA
23. Utah
24. Toledo
25. Temple

AP Top 25: Clemson gobbles up first-place votes, Alabama gets small slice of pie

Deshaun Watson

As expected, the No. 1 Clemson Tigers remain on top of the latest Associated Press Top 25, and they gathered a number of first-place votes previously being awarded to Ohio State. The Tigers received 55 first-place votes in this week’s poll to be the clear number one team in the country according to the voters. No. 2 Alabama moved up one spot and received six first-place votes despite having one loss.

No. 8 Ohio State tumbled six spots in the poll this week, while undefeated No. 3 Iowa was bumped up three spots. No. 6 Michigan State, who handed Ohio State its first loss of the year, was moved up three spots. No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 Oklahoma each moved up two spots. No. 7 Baylor moved up three spots as well, while No. 9 Oklahoma State was dropped five following their loss to the Bears. No. 10 Florida dropped two spots after avoiding an overtime upset at home against FAU.

No. 11 North Carolina and No. 12 Michigan each moved up two spots following road victories, and No. 13 Stanford moved up three spots. No. 14 Florida State moved up two spots this week. No. 15 TCU dropped four spots after coming up just shy of stunning Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs remain one spot ahead of No. 16 Navy, the highest-ranked Group of Five program in each of the major polls. Navy is followed by No. 17 Northwestern (up three), No. 18 Oregon (up five), No. 19 Ole Miss (up six) and No. 20 Washington State (up four) in the top 20.

No. 21 Houston fell eight spots but remain ranked after losing at UConn. Houston stays ahead of No. 22 UCLA and No. 23 Mississippi State. Toledo (No. 24) and Temple (No. 25) returned to the AP top 25 this week after previously appearing and dropping out earlier this season.

Here is the latest AP Top 25, with first-place votes noted where applicable.

  1. Clemson (55)
  2. Alabama (6)
  3. Iowa
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Michigan State
  7. Baylor
  8. Ohio State
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Florida
  11. North Carolina
  12. Michigan
  13. Stanford
  14. Florida State
  15. TCU
  16. Navy
  17. Northwestern
  18. Oregon
  19. Ole Miss
  20. Washington State
  21. Houston
  22. UCLA
  23. Mississippi State
  24. Toledo
  25. Temple

Coaches Poll: No. 1 Clemson a clear top pick, No. 3 Iowa picks up first-place vote

Kirk Ferentz

When defending national champion Ohio State took a loss in the final seconds at home against Michigan State and Baylor handed Oklahoma State its first loss of the season, you knew there was going to be a new look to the latest top 25 polls. The latest coaches poll, released today, has No. 1 Clemson as a clear favorite now with 58 of a possible 64 first-place votes going to the Tigers. No. 2 Alabama picked up five first-place votes while moving up one spot in the coaches poll, and the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes received the last available first-place vote while remaining undefeated.

No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Michigan State and No. 7 Baylor all moved up in the poll this week, as expected. Ohio State fell down to No. 8 in the latest coaches poll, down six spots from last week. No. 9 Florida fell a spot despite winning, but having to go to overtime to beat FAU rarely helps move a team up in the polls. No. 10 Oklahoma State still lands in the top 10 after losing at home to Baylor Saturday night.

No. 11 North Carolina continues to climb, although it is a slow and steady pace. The Tar Heels moved up one spot this week after an overtime win at Virginia Tech. No. 12 Stanford moved up three spots as they closed out Pac-12 regular season play with a win against rival Cal. Stanford takes on Notre Dame this week. Stanford tied in the poll for the No. 12 spot with Michigan. Both remain ahead of No. 14 Florida State. No. 15 Navy moved up four spots this week, taking advantage of another loss to No. 16 TCU (down five spots). No. 17 Northwestern, No. 18 Oregon, No. 19 Ole Miss all had nice bumps in the poll this week as well.

Here is a look at the latest coaches poll, with first-place votes noted where applicable;

1. Clemson (58)

2. Alabama (5)

3. Iowa (1)

4. Notre Dame

5. Oklahoma

6. Michigan State

7. Baylor

8. Ohio State

9. Florida

10. Oklahoma State

11. North Carolina

12. (t) Stanford

12. (t) Michigan

14. Florida State

15. Navy

16. TCU

17. Northwestern

18. Oregon

19. Ole Miss

20. Houston

21. Mississippi State

22. UCLA

23. Temple

24. Utah