‘Zona holds off game Roadrunners, claim hard-fought road win


In the end, the clock struck midnight on Cinderella — but not before she threw a helluva scare into the wicked Power Five stepmother.

Taking a scant four-point lead out of the locker room and into the third quarter, Arizona pushed that lead to 10 points very early in the fourth quarter and hung on for a hard-fought 26-23 win over scrappy UT-San Antonio.  The Roadrunners had been seeking their first win over a Power Five school in the program’s brief history; they’ll have to settle instead for their closest loss to such a team, besting the 56-35 loss to Oklahoma State in September of 2013.

What could’ve been, though.

A three-yard touchdown run by Dan Glasco II with roughly 7:30 minutes left pulled UTSA to within three at 26-23.  That could’ve actually been the tying score as a 25-yard field goal attempt a few minutes earlier sailed (just barely) wide right.

UTSA had a pair of final chances to at least tie the game, beginning with a forced three-and-out with just over five minutes remaining.  On the ensuing possession, however, the Roadrunners were also forced to punt after just three plays.  After forcing yet another three-and-out and taking over at their own 15-yard line, UTSA’s last-gasp drive died out four plays later on a very ill-advised and inexplicable shovel pass off the right hand of quarterback Tucker Carter.

“Well, obviously a very disappointing loss for us. Really proud of our team. They fought hard,” head coach Larry Coker said, one day after the third anniversary of the football program’s first-ever win. “They were down in the middle of the mat, got off the mat, fought back, got ahead, had some chances, and really proud of the way we played. I think the thing we’ll learn a lot from this game. I think we improved a lot in some areas. As I told our team, I see glimpses of what can be.

“I think we got some special things going here, and I see that, and I want them to see it. But now we can’t take a step backwards, we’ve got to keep on moving forward. Schedule doesn’t get any easier. We’re going to Stillwater next week, and I saw them play the No. 1 team in the country to the hilt.”

Offensively, the Wildcats were led by Nick Wilson.  The four-star true freshman, making his first career start in place of an injured Terris Jones-Grigsby, rushed for 174 yards on 30 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run late in the first half that gave the Wildcats their halftime lead.  Jared Tevis‘ fourth-quarter interception sealed the game for the Wildcats, while he also led the team with 16 tackles.

The win pushes UA to 2-0 on the young season, with a home date against Nevada next Saturday.  UTSA, now 1-1, will look to exact revenge on the OSU Cowboys in Stillwater the same weekend.

Missouri WR Kam Scott steps into transfer portal

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One of Missouri’s top wide receivers from 2019 could be on the move. Kam Scott has reportedly entered the NCAA transfer portal, allowing him to begin evaluating potential transfer options for the upcoming season.

By entering the transfer portal, Scott is now free to have contact with any other college football program interested in recruiting him. Scott is also free to pull his name out of the portal and remain at Missouri, but Missouri is no longer obligated to hold his scholarship. If Scott does transfer to another FBS program, he will be required to sit out the 2020 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Of course, a potential relaxed waiver process could make a path to immediate eligibility in 2020 a realistic possibility if the NCAA does approve a new waiver process.

Scott caught 17 passes for 328 yards in 11 games last season for the Tigers. He was Missouri’s third-leading receiver in 2019 behind Jonathan Nance and Tyler Badie.

Penn State and Paterno family resolve their issues

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It seems there is peace between Penn State University and the family of former head coach Joe Paterno. Or, at the very least, the two can go their separate ways without any more hostile feelings.

On Friday, the Penn State Board of Trustees announced the university and the Paterno family have reached a resolution on their ongoing issues. The Paterno family has agreed to drop all outstanding claims against the university and Penn State will cover some Paterno family expenses.

“The University recognizes and takes great pride in the many contributions made by Joe Paterno, not just to the football program, but to the academic advancement of this institution and to countless charitable causes in the community as well,” a statement from Mark Dambly, Penn State Board of Trustees chair, said. “We are pleased that the Paterno family has indicated that they will not support public or private advocacy efforts to revisit the past, through further review or release of investigative materials, or otherwise.”

“The last eight years have been difficult, made more so by the opinions in the Freeh Report, which my family and I believe was deeply flawed, reached unsupported conclusions about Joe and unjustly criticized the culture of Penn State,” a statement from Sue Paterno, the wife of Joe Paterno, said. “The University has made clear that Mr. Freeh’s opinions about Joe were never endorsed by Penn State. By confirming this position and reaching this understanding, the leadership of Penn State has acted in the best interests of the University, and for this I am grateful.”

The Paterno family has taken public aim at the Freeh Report, a report commissioned by the Board of Trustees following the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that rocked the university and community in 2011, which ultimately led to the dismissal of Joe Paterno as head coach of the Penn State football program and landed the program on hefty NCAA sanctions (which were later removed in part due to the Paterno family fighting the NCAA in court). Given the Paterno family’s long-time association with the university and the tension that arose with Paterno amid the Sandusky scandal, there were plenty of bitter feelings to go around.

As both the university and Paterno family stated, the real victims in this tragedy have been the ones truly suffering, and the hope is the university and Paterno family putting their differences aside can help keep the focus on what is really important in all of this.

And no, we’re not talking about the whereabouts of the Paterno statue.

Butch Jones getting a new job title at Alabama

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Former Cincinnati and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is moving up the ranks on the Alabama football staff. Jones will be promoted from analyst to special assistant to the head coach, according to a report from Al.com.

Jones joined the Alabama program in 2018 as an offensive analyst after his tenure at Tennessee ended in 2017. As a number of Alabama assistants and analysts tend to be, Jones has been a candidate for some potential jobs on the market since arriving at Alabama. the 2020 season will be Jones’ third with the Crimson Tide, as his name will likely continue to circulate the coaching rumor mill once the coaching carousel picks up again. With a new title at Alabama, it is expected jones will not be a candidate for the vacancy at Colorado.

What jones will do as the special assistant to the head coach, Nick Saban, can be pretty broad, but it will certainly be more than simply getting coffee (although the image of Jones as a coffee boy sounds entertaining). Jones will assist Saban in many parts of the operation of the program, taking some of the load off Saban’s shoulders where needed.

Just remember that Jones is not the assistant head coach, but he is the assistant TO the head coach. But if there is an Alabama spin-off of “The Office” in production, we’d certainly like to see it.


Ted Gilmore leaves Wisconsin for job at Michigan State

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Mel Tucker has continued to quickly assemble his first Michigan State football coaching staff.

Friday, MSU announced the addition of Ted Gilmore to Tucker’s first staff in East Lansing.  The 25-year veteran of the profession will serve as the Spartans’ tight ends coach.

“Coach Gilmore is a great teacher and excellent motivator who brings high energy,” said the new Michigan State football head coach in a statement. “He’s a proven developer of players and a very effective recruiter. He’s a true difference-maker.”

Gilmore comes to the Michigan State football program armed with recent and extensive experience in the Big Ten.  The past five seasons, Gilmore worked at Wisconsin as wide receivers coach.  From 2017-19, he carried the added title of passing-game coordinator for the Badgers.  From 2005-10, Gilmore was the receivers coach at Nebraska.  The last three seasons with the Cornhuskers, he was also the assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.

In between those two stints, he worked as the receivers coach at USC (2011) and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders (2012-14).

Gilmore has also served as the receivers coach at Colorado (2003-04), Purdue (2001-02), Houston (2000) and Wyoming (1997-98).  In 1999, Gilmore was the tight ends coach at Kansas.  He played his college football at Wyoming, and began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant (1994-96).

The hiring of Gilmore is the seventh officially announced by the Michigan State football program.

This past weekend, it was confirmed that Ron Burton and Mike Tressel would be retained.  Shortly thereafter, Chris Kapilovic officially followed Tucker to MSU from Colorado.  Wednesday, former first-team All-Big Ten wide receiver Courtney Hawkins returned to East Lansing to coach the same position he played for the Spartans.  A day later, Jay Johnson was confirmed as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and Harlon Barnett was brought back as defensive backs coach.