Report: Syracuse’s Doug Marrone to interview for two NFL jobs

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There’s coming out of left field, and there’s this latest report concerning a current coach at the FBS level.

Doug Marrone has been at Syracuse the past four seasons and has guided the Orange to a respectable 25-25 mark, made all the more respectable by the fact that the program had won just 26 games in the seven years prior to his arrival.  That said, Marrone hasn’t been an on-the-radar candidate for any of the big-time collegiate jobs that have come open during his time at Syracuse.

The NFL, though, has apparently taken notice.

According to ESPN.com‘s Adam Schefter, at least two NFL clubs have an interest in Marrone.  So much so, in fact, that he will interview for the head-coaching vacancy with the Cleveland Browns this week as well as the opening with the Buffalo Bills.

The fact that the Browns would be looking at a coach from the collegiate level is not surprising as that beleaguered organization has been connected to Alabama’s Nick Saban, Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien over the past several weeks.

While Marrone has been with the Orange the past four years, he does have recent, albeit relatively scant, experience at the NFL level.  He was a position coach with the New York Jets from 2002-2005 before being named the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints in 2006.  After spending three seasons in that job, Marrone was named as his alma mater’s head coach.

UConn releases update on hospitalized LB Eli Thomas

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On Wednesday, Connecticut linebacker Eli Thomas was rushed to a hospital before a team-wide weightlifting session. The school did not say why Thomas was hospitalized, only that he was in stable condition. UConn said in a release that it “will not share additional details at this time.”

Now, five days later, the school has revealed that Thomas suffered a stroke and that he is “making good progress” toward recovery.

“Thank you all for your love and well wishes for Eli,” Mary Beth Turner, Thomas’s mother, said. “TO say we are stunned by this turn of events is an understatement! A strong, healthy, 22-year-old man having a stroke is not anything we anticipated. However, Eli will fight back as he has with every challenge that has come his way with ‘Eli Style.'”

Turner’s statement begs the question why this healthy 22-year-old suffered a stroke. That detail was not revealed Monday, perhaps because it is not known at this time.

“Every day, you just never know what can happen,” UConn coach Randy Edsall. “Things like this are just very unfortunate. It’s one of those things where [you take it] one day at a time and do the very best you can every day because you just never know what can happen.”

A redshirt junior from Elmira, N.Y., Thomas first played at Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Pa., before arriving at UConn in 2017. He sat out last season while rehabbing an ACL injury and collected 11 tackles, one TFL and one sack in four games as a linebacker and defensive end this season. He injured his neck in a Sept. 22 loss to Syracuse and missed the Huskies’ losses to Cincinnati and Memphis.

Thomas figures to miss UConn’s trip to No. 21 South Florida on Saturday as well.

Ole Miss loses WR D.K. Metcalf for the season

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Ole Miss has lost standout wide receiver D.K. Metcalf for the season to a neck injury sustained during the Rebels’ win over Arkansas on Saturday. Rebels head coach Matt Luke made the announcement on Monday.

“(Metcalf) hurt his neck, and it’s worse than we originally thought,” Luke said. “He’ll be done for the season. Long-term, he’ll bounce back and he’ll be fine. We’ll make sure he gets the very best care.”

A sophomore from Oxford, Miss., Metcalf paired with junior A.J. Brown to give Ole Miss one of the best passing attacks in the SEC. While Brown leads the club in catches (50) and yards (650), Metcalf is the Rebels’ big play threat, hauling in 26 catches for 569 yards and a team-high five touchdowns. His 21.88 yards per reception average trails only Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy among all players with at least 25 grabs.

Metcalf posted two games of at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown grab this season and provided Ole Miss’s only points in a 62-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama earlier this year, hauling in a 75-yard touchdown grab to open the scoring.

Dana Holgorsen calls fans rushing the field ‘very unprofessional’

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The war on fans rushing the field continued Monday. In addition to LSU getting a fine of $100,000 from the SEC for their fans rushing the field after the Tigers beat Georgia, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen shared his opinions on the matter just days after he experienced the same situation on the road at Iowa State.

Calling the action “very unprofessional,” Holgorsen said it was quite a hassle just getting his players off the field as Iowa State fans rushed the field to celebrate the big win over the Mountaineers.

To be fair, Holgorsen has a point. Fans rushing the field is a dangerous situation for any team, especially the road team, to be caught up in. The concerns extend to basketball as well, as similar concerns by Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has long been speaking out against it. (Although, there are some rules that can be applied.) Storming the playing surface may be more of a hazard for opposing teams in basketball where the space is more condensed compared to a football field, but the dangers and hazards are the same for both sports.

Our job is to keep players safe,” Holgorsen explained, per a Des Moines Register report. “We didn’t have time to get (players) off the field. That was not good. No one was hurt that I’m aware of. It was dicey for a while.”

This video watching the Iowa State fans rushing the field after Saturday night’s win, handing West Virginia its first loss of the season, has someone commenting in the background there was a fight taking place on the field as fans lefts the stands.

At this time, Iowa State has not been penalized by the Big 12 for allowing fans to rush the field in such fashion. The Big 12 does not have a standardized penalty system for field and court rushings the way the SEC has, and each case is reviewed internally by the league office.

Five of eight undefeated teams play on the road in Week 8

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Another week in the books, and three more teams suffering their first loss of the year. With Georgia, West Virginia and Colorado all falling for the first time this season on the road, we are now left with just eight undefeated teams in college football. In addition to the three teams taking their first loss, there were also some close calls for Texas, UCF, and South Florida. Even Ohio State had a tough time putting Minnesota out of reach for a while and Notre Dame looked to be in danger at home against Pitt. No team appears to be safe on any given week, unless you just so happen to be Alabama, although the Crimson Tide will have to make a trip to Baton Rouge to play LSU in a few weeks. That could be interesting, right?

The Big 12 and Pac-12 each lost their last remaining undefeated teams in Week 7, leaving the ACC, Big Ten and SEC as the only conferences with an undefeated team in the mix. The ACC has two, but one of them is going down this weekend.

The remaining undefeated teams in college football are:

  • Alabama
  • Cincinnati
  • Clemson
  • NC State
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • South Florida
  • UCF.

With Clemson and NC State set to play this week and Cincinnati, South Florida and UCF all scheduled to play division games against one another, we are left with a maximum of five teams that can possibly end the regular season (including conference championship games) without a loss. They are:

  • Alabama
  • Ohio State
  • Notre Dame
  • Clemson or NC State
  • Cincinnati or South Florida or UCF

ON TAP FOR WEEK 8

Notre Dame is off this week, so they’ll be safe for another week after their scare at home against Pitt. While the Fighting Irish are off, there will be five undefeated teams hitting the road this week. Will the road be as unforgiving this week as it was for three undefeated teams last week?

Cincinnati at Temple: The Bearcats head to Philly to play a Temple team that has shaken off a rough start to the season and won three of their last four games.

Alabama at Tennessee: Tennessee ended a bunch of droughts on Saturday with their win against Auburn, but can they pull off a massive upset in Neyland against the best team in the country?

Clemson vs NC State: Something has to give. The last two undefeated teams in the ACC collide in a key division game, setting up the winner to take the inside path to a possible ACC championship.

UCF at East Carolina: Don’t expect much of a challenge from the Pirates in this one.

South Florida vs. UConn: The Bulls had a close call in Week 7, but the Huskies should not be a threat.

Ohio State at Purdue: The Boilermakers are rolling with three straight wins. Can they keep the hot streak going enough to give the Buckeyes a scare?

Do you think any of these teams will take a loss for the first time this weekend?