This is the end, Brady Hoke, the end.
It started so beautifully for Hoke as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines were 11-2 during Hoke’s first season at the helm of the program. He’s now lost three of team’s last four contests against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Utah Utes and Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The final straw, which may ultimately determine Hokes fate, may be Saturday’s 30-14 loss Saturday to the Gophers. Jerry Kill‘s squad dominated the contest from start to finish.
In fact, the Wolverines’ start to this season is the worst in the school’s history.
It wasn’t simply that the Wolverines lost the Little Brown Jug for the second time to the Gophers in 23 years. It was how the team lost.
First, Michigan was dominated physically by the Gophers at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Gophers ran the ball 47 times for 206 yards. Senior running back David Cobb ran over, through and past the Wolverines to the tune of 183 yards.
On the defensive side of the football, Minnesota harassed Michigan’s quarterbacks all game. It got to the point where first-time starter Shane Morris had to be pulled due to an injured ankle.
There was even one point when Hoke put Morris back into the game, and it wasn’t clear whether or not the quarterback suffered a concussion from a massive hit.
Hoke is out of excuses after the Morris debacle. The young quarterback was billed as the future of the program. The coach decided to pull his senior signal caller Devin Gardner after a poor outing last week. But the sophomore didn’t provide the answer the team was looking for.
There is no where else for Hoke to turn. The Wolverines are 2-3, and their record indicates exactly the level of football program they are at the moment. That’s a direct reflection on its coaching staff.
At the end of the regular season, Herm Edwards fired the bulk of Arizona State’s offensive staff. Nearly two weeks later, the reshaping of the assistants on that side of the ball has commenced in earnest.
Following up on speculation that had been growing in recent days, ASU on Saturday announced that Zak Hill has been hired as Edwards’ new offensive coordinator. Hill will replace Rob Likens, who was a part of the post-regular-season purge.
“Zak is very well versed in offensive football,” the head coach said in a statement. “He comes from winning programs and he played the quarterback position. I like that. He’s good at building an offense around the personnel that he has available to him. He will force the defense to adjust with multiple formations and personnel groups. His style fits the DNA of what we want on our coaching staff. He’s an excellent teacher.”
The past four seasons, Hill served as the coordinator at Boise State. Prior to that, and aside from a one-month stop at Hawaii, Hill spent seven seasons as the passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at FCS power Eastern Washington.
“I am really excited about this opportunity and I truly believe it is a great situation for me at ASU,” Hill said. “I appreciate Coach Edwards believing in me and having the trust to bring me on and I am thankful to Ray Anderson and the Sun Devil administration for their support in making this happen. I am really excited to get down there and I know we have some exciting weapons on offense. I look forward to putting together an explosive, fun offense that our fans will love to watch.”
“I am humbled at this opportunity. I also want to thank everyone at Boise State for a great four years and I am grateful for all the support I have received from Bronco Nation,” he added. “I would especially like to thank Coach Harsin for his leadership and my years at Boise State and the opportunity he afforded me to grow as a coach.”
In addition to Hill’s, uhhh, addition, ASU also confirmed Derek Hagan and Prentice Gill as offensive assistants. Their specific titles and responsibilities were not detailed.
Hagan, who played wide receiver for the Sun Devils and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2015, was an offensive analyst at ASU this past season. Gill served in the same role at Oregon.
Jeff Scott spent a dozen years at Clemson, including the last five seasons as co-offensive coordinator, before taking the head job at USF earlier this month. Despite his importance to Dabo Swinney‘s success, there won’t be too much change for the defending national champions moving forward.
Friday, Swinney confirmed that he will not be filling Scott’s co-coordinator position and will instead allow Tony Elliott to serve as the sole coordinator. Elliott and Scott have shared coordinating responsibilities each of the past five seasons.
Quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter will maintain his current responsibilities as well as add the title of passing-game coordinator.
Additionally, Tyler Grisham, who played for the Tigers from 2005-08, has been promoted to wide receivers coach, a responsibility previously held by Scott. Grisham had been serving as an offensive analyst for the program.
“We have a good plan for all that stuff and have a great group of people here,” the head coach said. “We’re excited about getting it all settled out.”
Swinney also reiterated that, as had previously been laid out, Scott will return to the team next Thursday and will remain through however long the Tigers’ postseason run lasts. Clemson will face Ohio State Dec. 28 in one of the two College Football Playoff semifinals.
You say the tears aren’t even dry yet from Joe Burrow‘s acceptance speech and we’re already looking ahead to 2020? You’re damn right we are.
Saturday night, Burrow claimed the 2019 Heisman Trophy in record-smashing fashion, with the quarterback becoming just the second LSU Tiger to claim the most prestigious trophy in the sport. Quarterback Justin Fields finished third in the voting, one of three Ohio State Buckeyes to land in the top six in the voting.
Speaking of Fields, one online sportsbook has the sophomore listed as a 5/2 favorite to win the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Fellow sophomore Trevor Lawrence of Clemson is right behind him at 3/1.
The next closest is Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at 7/1.
A handful of the players who finished in the Top 10 in the voting — Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, Ohio State running back JK Dobbins, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa — have eligibility remaining, but are expected to leave early for the NFL draft. If any of them opt to remain in school, that would obviously change the odds moving forward.
Jack Sears may have left USC, but it doesn’t appear he’ll end up leaving the state of California.
After finding himself fourth on the quarterbacking depth chart, Sears announced on his personal Twitter account in late August that he had decided to enter the NCAA transfer database. A little over three months later, and after a flirtation with Oregon State, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that “Sears has committed to San Diego State as a graduate transfer who would enroll during the spring semester.”
As a graduate transfer, Sears would be eligible to play for the Aztecs in 2020. He would also have another season of eligibility he could use in 2021 as well.
As of yet, the Mountain West Conference school hasn’t confirmed Sears’ intentions.
Sears was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country. After redshirting as a true freshman, Sears completed 20-of-28 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown the following season.