After beating Washington State 62-38 on Saturday, Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti went off on Mike Leach for having quarterback Connor Halliday throw 89 times, including during garbage time. Aliotti called Leach’s gameplan “bull****” and “low class,” but apologized for those remarks on Sunday.
“The bottom line is, I’m sorry,” Aliotti said in a statement released by Oregon (via CSN Northwest). “I’m embarrassed that I got caught up in the moment after the game. There’s no excuse, but sometimes right after the game the adrenaline is still flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment. I wish I could take it back, and I promise it won’t happen again.
“I’d like to apologize to Mike Leach and (Washington State AD) Bill Moos, Washington State and its fans, and Oregon and our fans.”
Halliday threw for 557 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions against Oregon. It was the third time this year Halliday’s attempted over 60 passes in a game — he threw 65 in Washington State’s season opener against Auburn, and 67 in a 22-point win over California Oct. 5.
The 89 pass attempts set a new FBS record, with Halliday breaking Drew Brees’ previous mark of 83 passes in a 1998 game against Wisconsin.
The early signing period is still a day away, but Kent State’s defense for next season has already been bolstered.
On his social media accounts recently, Matt Bahr announced that he has been granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA. The linebacker will be able to use that sixth season in 2019, which will serve as his final year of eligibility.
Bahr didn’t play at all as a true freshman in 2014, then was sidelined for all but two games of the 2017 season because of injury.
Bahr’s 91 tackles this season were tied for the team lead, while his 5½ tackles for loss were tied for third and his three sacks tied for second. He was also tied for third on the Golden Flashes in pass breakups with six and led with a pair of forced fumbles.
This year, Bahr was named as a semifinalist for both the Wuerffel Trophy and Campbell Trophy, the latter colloquially referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”
Nevada’s secondary loss will turn into BYU’s gain.
In early December, it was reported that Nephi Sewell will be transferring from Nevada. Less than two weeks later, Sewell took to Twitter over the weekend to announce that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at BYU.
The move serves as a homecoming for Sewell as the defensive back played his high school football in the state of Utah.
As a sophomore this season, Sewell started all 10 games in which he played after starting eight games in 2017. His 53 tackles in 2018 were good for sixth on the team.
Sewell’s older brother, Gabe Sewell, is a junior linebacker for Nevada and currently leads the Wolf Pack in tackles with 85. His younger brother, Penei Sewell, is a freshman offensive lineman at Oregon.
When it’s all said and done, Josh Allen is going to need a bigger trophy cabinet — or at least significantly expand his current one.
Monday, it was announced that the Kentucky senior was named as the 2018 recipient of the Jack Lambert Award. That trophy is handed out annually by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (OH) and given to the national linebacker of the year.
Previously this awards season, Allen had been named as the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award (HERE) and Chuck Bednarik Award (HERE) as well as the recipient of the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy (HERE). He also earned unanimous first-team All-American honors.
Allen’s 14 sacks this season set the football program’s single-season record, while his 28.5 career sacks are the most ever for a member of the Wildcats.
For the second time since the 2018 regular season came to an end, Kyle Whittingham has seen one of his assistant coaches leave for a head-coaching job.
Exactly a week ago, Utah State announced that Utah associate head coach Gary Andersen was returning to again lead the Aggies. Monday, Sacramento State announced that Troy Taylor has been hired as the FCS program’s next head football coach.
Taylor, who spent two seasons as Whittingham’s offensive coordinator, was the starting quarterback at Cal in the late eighties after playing his high school football in the state of California. He also began his coaching career at the high school level near Sacramento.
“I am thrilled to be the new head football coach at Sacramento State,” Taylor said in a statement. “My family and I are excited to move back home and take on the challenge of building the Hornet Football program into something the city can be very proud. I want to thank President Nelsen, Mark Orr and the rest of the search committee for giving me this opportunity.”
With bowl season left, Utah is sixth in the Pac-12 and 67th nationally in scoring 28.7 points per game. In Taylor’s first season in charge of the offense, they averaged 29.5 ppg.
Whittingham has already replaced Andersen with former Ute football player Sione Po’uha.