Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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Duke promotes Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri to co-DCs after Jim Knowles departs for Oklahoma State

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David Cutcliffe not surprisingly stayed in-house to find a new defensive coordinator.

The school announced a slew of staff changes on Friday and the most notable among them was the promotion of Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri to co-defensive coordinators. Albert will remain the defensive line coach while Guerrieri will shift slightly from handling safeties to being responsible for the entire secondary.

The moves come after Jim Knowles left to be Oklahoma State’s new defensive coordinator last month. Additionally, Lanier Goethie was named linebackers coach for the Blue Devils and Derek Jones earned the title of Assistant Head Coach [Defense]/Cornerbacks.

“First off, I’m really proud of how our defensive staff has handled this situation,” Cutcliffe said in a statement. “We’ve had not good, but great conversations regarding staff organization and responsibilities, and I’m proud of how unselfish Ben, Matt and Derek all have been throughout the process. All three coaches are deserving of their new roles and I’m looking forward to watching them lead our defensive unit starting with spring practice next month. And as for Zac (Roper), his impact on our program goes well beyond coordinating our offense and coaching the quarterbacks. His efforts have been and will continue to be instrumental to our overall success, both on and off the field.”

Goethie heads to Durham after spending the past two years at Louisiana Tech but is plenty familiar with the way Cutcliffe runs a program after having played linebacker for him during their time at Ole Miss. The move to bring him aboard at Duke completes the 2018 coaching staff with a full complement of 10 assistants.

Ex-LSU lineman Willie Allen headed to Louisiana Tech

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After a brief pitstop elsewhere, Willie Allen is back in the state of Louisiana.

According to 247Sports.com, Allen has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech. The offensive lineman will be eligible to play immediately for the Bulldogs as he spent the 2017 season at a Texas junior college.

In June of last year, Allen took to Twitter to announce that he had decided to transfer from LSU. TCU was looking to be a likely transfer destination at the time, although Allen was blocked from such a move as LSU believed the Big 12 school had impermissible contact with the lineman.

A four-star 2016 signee, Allen was rated as the No. 10 player at any position in the state of Louisiana and the No. 17 tackle in the country. Only one lineman in the Tigers’ class that year, guard Donavaughn Campbell, was rated higher than Allen.

An unspecified leg injury suffered in the midst of summer camp sidelined him for his true freshman season and led to Allen taking a redshirt for 2016.

Allen will have three years of eligibility that he can use at Tech.

Ex-A&M, Nebraska assistant Terry Joseph hired by Notre Dame

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Notre Dame has added a very experienced Power Five assistant to Brian Kelly‘s coaching staff, with the football program announcing the hiring of Terry Joseph Tuesday.

Joseph comes to Notre Dame after spending one season as the defensive backs coach at North Carolina.  In fact, Joseph has spent the eight seasons as the defensive backs/secondary coach at Power Five programs, including stops at Texas A&M (2014-16), Nebraska (2012-13) and Tennessee (2010-11).

“Having the chance to coach at Notre Dame is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Joseph in a statement. “There are a lot of great programs in the nation but there is truly only one Notre Dame. I’m looking forward to working with Coach Kelly, the rest of the staff and embracing the opportunity to compete on a national stage in pursuit of this program’s mission: to graduate all of its players and win a national championship.”

“Terry has an excellent reputation as a quality teacher and coach, as well as a committed recruiter,” Kelly said. “He has developed all-conference caliber players at each of his earlier stops, including Power Five programs North Carolina, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Tennessee. Our players will certainly benefit from Terry’s teaching in terms of football, but I’m probably more excited to see our players benefit from his leadership skills away from football.

Joseph’s first job at the FBS level came as the secondary coach at Louisiana Tech from 2007-09.  He also served as the recruiting coordinator for the Bulldogs during his time in Ruston.

Conference USA releases 2018 schedule

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Conference USA released its 2018 schedule on Tuesday, confirming that once again the league will play football this fall.

The league slate kicks off Sept. 8 with FIU’s visit to Old Dominion, while the first game involving a C-USA team is set for Aug. 25, when Rice hosts Prairie View A&M. Conference games are scattered throughout the month of September, with the first full Saturday slate coming on Oct. 6 with Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic, UAB at Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee at Marshall, North Texas at UTEP and UTSA at Rice.

While the MAC has opted for a full embrace of midweek football, Conference USA has gone in the exact opposite direction. Not one C-USA game is scheduled as of today for a weeknight — Thursday or Friday included — and only one game will be played on a day other than Saturday, a Friday, Aug. 31 visit to Wisconsin by Western Kentucky.

The most-anticipated non-conference games involving C-USA teams are Florida Atlantic’s opener at Oklahoma and on Sept. 1 and the Owls’ Sept. 22 visit to reigning American and Peach Bowl champion UCF. North Texas also has two shots to win nationwide respect for the league in its opener against SMU on Sept. 1 in Denton and a Sept. 15 visit to retooling Arkansas.

The highlight of the league schedule comes on Nov. 17 with a rematch of the 2017 title game when Florida Atlantic visits North Texas. The Owls won both meetings last season by a combined score of 110-48.

The 14th C-USA Championship will be held on Dec. 1 at the home of the division winner with the best conference record. FAU will look to become the second straight back-to-back C-USA champion, joining Western Kentucky in 2015-16.

NC State lines up home-and-homes with BYU, USF, La Tech

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NC State has lined up a series of home-and-homes with three future opponents, though, as of this writing, the Pack haven’t talked about any of them.

Their opponents have, though.

First up is South Florida. The Wolfpack and Bulls have inked a 2-game series calling for USF to visit Raleigh on Sept. 2, 2021 and NC State to visit Tampa on Sept. 14, 2024.

“We are excited to add N.C. State, a high-quality program that has played in four straight bowl games, to our football schedule,” USF AD Mark Harlan said in a statement. “Bulls football is sustaining a run of tremendous success and we will continue to seek exciting, top-level opponents to challenge during the non-conference season and bring to Raymond James Stadium.”

The two sides have met three times previously, with NC State holding a 2-1 edge and a win in their last meeting, a 49-17 blowout in 2014 in Tampa.

Next up is Louisiana Tech. NC State will actually play three future games with the Bulldogs, also beginning in 2021. NC State will host Louisiana Tech on Oct. 2, 2021 and Sept. 7, 2024, and visit Ruston, La., on Sept. 6, 2025. The Wolfpack and Bulldogs have played just once previously, a 40-14 NC State win to open the 2013 season.

Finally, NC State has also agreed to a home-and-home with BYU, calling for BYU to visit Raleigh on Nov. 9, 2024, and NC State to return the favor on Aug. 29, 2030.

NC State and BYU have never played previously.

The 2030 game is not the furthest out game on the NC State schedule. As per the Irish’s agreement with the ACC, NC State is slated for a TBD visit to Notre Dame at some point in the year 2037. The freshmen in that game have yet to be born.