UCLA’s longest-serving assistant may no longer be patrolling the sidelines in Westwood anymore.
Both FootballScoop and SI’s Bruce Feldman are reporting that Bruins tight end coach Angus McClure, who was retained by new coach Chip Kelly, is moving on to take a spot on the Nevada coaching staff handling the offensive line.
McClure has been a fixture at UCLA for over a decade, having first been hired by Karl Dorrell back in 2007. He’s coached just about everywhere for the Bruins, including defensive line, offensive line and special teams. Most recently, he served as the team’s recruiting coordinator for the past few years and has developed a reputation as a quality recruiter.
The move to the Mountain West will reconnect McClure with Wolfpack head coach Jay Norvell after the two were on the same staff in Westwood during Dorrell’s final season with the school. The veteran assistant is no stranger to Reno either, having coached tight ends in 1996 at Nevada. Interestingly, McClure might not be the only assistant that Kelly loses this week as there are reports that Bruins’ offensive line coach Hank Fraley has interviewed with the Detroit Lions.
At long last, our national nightmare is over. Penn State is finally going to meet Nevada and San Jose State on the gridiron, and the Nittany Lions are going to kill both birds with the same season.
Penn State on Monday announced it has scheduled future games with Nevada, San Jose State as well as Bowling Green. Penn State hosts Nevada on Sept. 5 for its 2020 season opener and hosts San Jose State on Sept. 19. The Nittany Lions will visit Virginia Tech on Sept. 12 of that season, meaning all three of Penn State’s non-conference opponents in 2020 will be first-timers.
Penn State last played a Mountain West opponent on Sept. 26, 2015, a 37-21 win over San Diego State in State College.
The Nittany Lions also added a Sept. 7, 2024 game with Bowling Green to be played at Beaver Stadium. Penn State has played Bowling Green twice before, but not since 1998 — a 48-3 Penn State win.
Alex Grinch isn’t the only member of Mike Leach’s staff who is ticketed out of Pullman this offseason.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Oregon had poached Washington State assistant Jim Mastro to be the Ducks’ new running backs coach and run game coordinator.
Mastro has been with the Cougars since joining Leach’s initial staff at Wazzu back in 2012 and has quite a bit of experience out west, including 11 seasons at Nevada and a year at UCLA. He replaces Donte Pimpleton, who followed former Oregon coach Willie Taggart to Florida State several weeks ago.
Interestingly, this is the third straight offseason that the Ducks have poached an assistant from their Pac-12 North rivals. Quarterbacks coach David Yost left for Eugene back in 2015 while Taggart hired defensive line coach Joe Salave’a last year. Mastro should have plenty to work with upon arrival with senior Tony Brooks-James and youngster Darrian Felix likely leading the way on the ground.
Lamar Jackson may not be stiff-armed good this season, but he’s still really damn good.
In Louisville’s win over Virginia Saturday, Jackson passed for 195 yards and ran for another 147. That gives the reigning Heisman Trophy winner 3,003 passing yards and 1,173 yards rushing this season.
Last year in his run to the Heisman, Jackson was at 3,543 passing and 1,571, which means he’s the first quarterback in NCAA history to hit the 3,000/1,000 mark in back-to-back seasons.
It’s highly unlikely that Jackson will make it back-to-back-back seasons of hitting that standard as he’s expected to leave the Cardinals early and make himself available for the 2018 NFL draft.
Last season, Jackson became the eighth to reach that 3,000/1,000, joining Clemson’s Deshaun Watson (2015), Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel (2012), Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch (2012), Northern Illinois’ Chandler Harnish (2011), Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick (2010), Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour (2007) and Texas Vince Young (2005). Young left UT early for the NFL and never had the chance to repeat the feat, while Kaepernick and Lynch did it in their final seasons of eligibility. All of the others had at least one more season — LeFevour had two — to match it but failed. Lynch actually came the closest as he ran for a record 1,920 yards in 2013, but finished with just 2,892 yards passing that year.
Should Jackson throw for at least 997 yards in the Cardinals’ last three games, he would join Watson as the only quarterbacks in the 4,000/1,000 club.
Out of all of the things that happened this weekend in college football, this is one that should add a bit of levity to a national hot-button issue but probably won’t for most.
Before Colin Kaepernick became THE lightning rod of all lightning rods in the NFL, he was a quarterback at Nevada. And, as the starting quarterback at Nevada, he faced Boise State four times.
The first three games resulted in losses for the Wolf Pack; the last, in late-November of 2010, was an overtime win that snapped the No. 3 Broncos’ 24-game winning streak and ruined their Mountain West rival’s BCS title hopes. It was a crushing and unexpected blow for the Little Program That Could, as well as its fans.
While that loss was nearly seven years ago, it still doesn’t sit well with a Broncos’ fan base that clearly has a very good and extensive memory.
Very well-played, sir.
In doing some digging on the Kaepernick-Boise connection, though, there’s this somewhat ironic quote from a player — who some say is being blackballed for his sitting/kneeling during the national anthem last season being turned into an NFL-wide movement this year — when he was asked how he dealt with the late-game stress in 2010, which included two missed field goals by the Broncos that could’ve potentially won the game.
“To be honest, I was on a knee on the sideline praying, hoping we’d get another shot.”