Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Appalachian State extends Scott Satterfield’s contract through 2021

1 Comment

Appalachian State rewarded head coach Scott Satterfield with a contract extension this week, with the formal approval of the board of trustees making it official. Appalachian State’s contract extension for Satterfield keeps him under the contract through the 2021 season.

“Scott Satterfield continues to take App State football to new heights,” Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a released statement. “In four seasons at App State, he has orchestrated one of the most successful transitions to FBS football and continues to build App State football for long-term sustainable success on a national level. Under Scott’s leadership, our football program is 27-5 over the last 32 games, which ranks among the nation’s best.”

Appalachian State shared the Sun Belt Conference championship with Arkansas State last season (the teams had identical conference records and did not play head-to-head for a tiebreaker), and the Mountaineers finished in second place in the Sun Belt with a 7-1 record in 2015 (trailing only undefeated Arkansas State). Appalachian State also finished in third place in the Sun Belt in 2015, their first year in the conference, but were ineligible for postseason play despite a record of 7-5 due to playing in a transition year after making the move up from the FCS. Appalachian State started their first year in the FBS with a 1-5 record that included a home loss to FCS Liberty, but the program then went on a run to close out the season on a six-game winning streak.

Satterfield is pretty much Mr. Appalachain State. The 44-year old coach from Hillsborough, North Carolina got his coaching career underway at Appalachian State in 1998 a few short years after wrapping up his college career with the program as a quarterback. Satterfield played and coached for legendary Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore and was a part of the coaching staff with the program when the former FCS juggernaut upset Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2007. Satterfield held various assistant coaching roles with the Mountaineers from 1998 through 2008, including wide receivers coach, running backs coach, and quarterbacks coach. He took an opportunity to coach Toledo in 2009 as part of the staff led by former Toledo coach Tim Beckman. After one year with the MAC program, Satterfield headed south to take on the role of offensive coordinator at FIU under former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal, where he worked with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

After two seasons at FIU, Satterfield returned home to Appalachian State to be the program’s offensive coordinator in 2012, and he took on the role of head coach the following season for his first head coaching opportunity. Under Satterfield, Appalachian State has completed the transition from the FCS to the FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. In three seasons in the Sun Belt, Appalachian State has played in, and won, two bowl games and had no worse than a seven-win season. Appalachian State has gone 28-10 in its first three years in the Sun Belt.

“Appalachian is home and it continues to be a dream realized to be the head coach at my alma mater, a place at which I have spent most of my life,” Satterfield said in a  statement. If he continues to produce wins at Appalachian State, his name will begin to float around in the rumor mill during coaching carousel season, which is why the contract extension is a comforting piece of news for Appalachian State for now.

Louisiana Tech RB Jaqwis Dancy finds out he’s cancer-free

Louisiana Tech athletics
1 Comment

Instead of some of the normal crap that passes for offseason college football news, how about something positive?  Check, that, positively excellent.

In mid-October last year, Louisiana announced that sophomore running back Jaqwis Dancy had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Fast-forward four months and chemotherapy sessions every few weeks at St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and Darcy, in a phone call Thursday evening, received the absolute best news possible — he’s cancer-free.

“It felt amazing when I heard the news that I am cancer-free,” Dancy said in quotes provided by the school. “It was something I have been waiting to hear since I was diagnosed and I can’t wait to share my happiness with all my teammates. I especially want to thank the LA Tech family and everyone who supported me in this fight. The support I have received since the beginning has been amazing. My biggest goal right now is to get back on the field with my teammates.”

Darcy is not completely done with his treatment, it should be noted, as he will still need to undergo a couple of rounds of radiation to ensure there are no lingering cells that are cancerous.  It’s unclear whether Darcy will be available for spring practice, and his status for the 2017 season wasn’t addressed.

That, though, is the least important facet of this encouraging development.

“We are thrilled about the positive news and to hear about the progress he has been making in his battle against cancer,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “It has been a tough fight for Jaqwis and his family. There is still work to do, but this is certainly positive news to celebrate. As much as anything, I am thrilled for him and his mom for what they have been through. At this point, it is nice to know he is cancer-free and we are optimistic, but we know he still has some work to do.”

As a true freshman in 2015, Dancy played in all 13 games and, while he didn’t record a carry, he did return 17 kicks for 296 yards.  An ankle injury, then the cancer diagnosis, prevented him from playing at all last season.

USC QB Sam Darnold, Houston DL Ed Oliver headline FWAA Freshman All-America Team

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

USC quarterback Sam Darnold and Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver were the stars of the FWAA’s Freshman All-America Team for the 2016 season, and Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente and USC head coach Clay Helton shared the award for First Year Coach of the Year.

The FWAA’s Freshman All-America Team, announced today, includes 20 true freshmen including Oliver, Ohio State running back Mike Weber, Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill and Florida State defensive lineman Brian Burns.

Fuente is coming off his first season as the head coach at Virginia Tech after a successful stint as head coach at Memphis, with an ACC Coastal Division championship and appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Helton overcame a rough start to coach USC into a top 10 finish and a Rose Bowl victory over Big Ten champion Penn State. Both have been head coaches before, of course, but the FWAA First Year Coach of the Year is open to any coach in his first full season as a head coach at his current school.

OFFENSE

  • QB Sam Darnold, USC
  • RB Mike Weber, Ohio State
  • RB Benny Snell, Kentucky
  • RB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
  • WR Ammon Richards, Miami
  • WR Demetris Robinson, California
  • WR Ty Lee, Middle Tennessee
  • TE Isaac Nautta, Georgia
  • OL Michael Jordan, Ohio State
  • OL Jawaan Taylor, Florida
  • OL Ryan Bates, Penn State
  • OL Thomas Shoaf, BYU
  • OL Ben Bredeson, Michigan
  • AP Donnie Corley, Michigan State

DEFENSE

  • DL Ed Oliver, Houston
  • DL Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
  • DL Brian Burns, Florida State
  • DL Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
  • DL Reggie Walker, Kansas State
  • LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming
  • LB Troy Dye, Oregon
  • LB Leo Lewis, Mississippi State
  • LB Josiah Tauaefa, UTSA
  • LB David Reese, Florida
  • DB Xavier Crawford, Oregon State
  • DB Javon Hagan, Ohio
  • DB Taylor Rapp, Washington
  • DB Jessie Bates, Wake Forest
  • DB Clifton Duck, Appalachian State

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • K Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
  • P Tom Sheldon, North Carolina
  • KR Tony Pollard, Memphis
  • PR Malik McGue, Army

Rainbow Warriors roll in Hawaii Bowl win over Middle Tennessee

AP Images
Leave a comment

Being home for the holidays sounded pretty good for Hawaii, as few things could compare to having a bowl game win as a nice present under the tree.

The Rainbow Warriors continued their hot play down the stretch and used a couple of Middle Tennessee turnovers to capture a 52-35 Hawaii Bowl win in a wild one on Saturday night.

After the Blue Raiders jumped out to a 14-0 lead just a few minutes into the first quarter, the home team decided to wake up and join the postseason party, turning three first half takeaways into three touchdowns and come roaring into the lead. Quarterback Dru Brown threw for 274 yards and four scores on the night overall (and added another rushing) as the offense threw a little bit of everything at their opponents to keep them on their heels.

Warriors running back Diocemy Saint Juste also had one of his best outings in a Hawaii uniform, rushing for 170 yards on 25 carries and helping power the team over the 500 yards of total offense mark.

As good as the offense was though, it was the defense for the home team that really helped them regain momentum with a fumble recovery in the red zone and a pair of interceptions in the first half, one of which was returned for a 68-yard pick six.

Despite those issues holding onto the ball, MTSU was still able to move down the field fairly effectively. Quarterback Brent Stockstill returned to action for the first time in nearly two months since breaking his collar bone and would have had a pretty nice game if it weren’t for those turnovers, throwing for 432 yards and four touchdowns. Richie James was the target of most of his passes (nine catches for 175 yards, two scores) while I’Tavius Mathers was contained fairly well with just 57 yards on the ground.

But none of that trio could get the Blue Raiders over the hump after a big early hole. Although they threatened down the stretch, ultimately Hawaii had an answer at every turn to capture the program’s first bowl victory in a decade, dating back to a blowout win of Arizona State on this same date and game back in 2006.

That puts the Warriors back at .500 for the season and caps off an impressive turnaround for first-year head coach Nick Rolovich after the team had just seven wins the past two seasons combined coming into 2016.

Louisiana Tech tops Navy in wild Armed Forces Bowl shootout

AP Images
3 Comments

Louisiana Tech and Navy have opposite approaches to offense… but they both agreed to score plenty of points on Friday.

The Bulldogs managed to put up just a tad more in the Armed Forces Bowl and won 48-45 in an fun postseason shootout on Friday.

Quarterback Ryan Higgins kicked off the scoring for Tech back in the first quarter with a rushing touchdown but did most of his damage with his arm, passing for 409 yards and four scores. Tailbacks Jarred Craft and Boston Scott both added a combined 96 yards on the ground while the latter also found the end zone.

Receiver Trent Taylor — FBS’s third-leading receiver coming into today — closed his career out in style with yet another remarkable performance for the senior. He finished the bowl game with 12 catches for 233 yards and two touchdown receptions and was a tough cover despite some mucky conditions in Fort Worth, Texas. Fellow wideout Carlos Henderson also chipped in with another 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Navy quarterback Zach Abey did all he could to deliver a victory but ended up just a little short operating the triple-option and was knocked out of the game with an injury with just four minutes to go in the game. The third-stringer made his second start and threw for 159 yards and a touchdown while topping the century mark on the ground with 114 yards rushing and two more scores.

The Midshipmen wound up with over 450 yards of offense and averaged over seven yards a play for the game but simply couldn’t come up with enough stops on the defensive end to capture the win.

Instead it was the Bulldogs who emerged victorious in a high-scoring affair between the runners-up of the American and Conference USA that was certainly one of the better bowl games so far this year.