Special teams, defense key No. 7 Baylor to 28-7 defeat of Texas

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The perfect way to encapsulate the gap between Baylor and Texas right now is to examine Bryce Petty’s stat line and then look at the final score. Baylor’s senior Heisman Trophy candidate completed only seven of his 22 passes, and for a scant 111 yards. And the Bears won by 21.

Crucial special teams play and a defense patient enough to allow Texas’ offense to self-destruct pushed No. 7 Baylor past Texas 28-7 in Austin.

Let’s start with Petty’s numbers – or lack thereof. Part of Petty’s silence was Texas’ defense, which took away the middle of the field and kept the Baylor passing attack out of rhythm for most of the day. It definitely wasn’t in the game plan for Petty to complete 4-of-11 passes for 43 yards in the first half.

Baylor took a 14-0 lead, and thus effectively put the game away, on the strength of its special teams. Beau Blackshear blocked a Nick Rose field goal, which Terrell Burt returned 62 yards to put the Bears up 7-0 at the 9:02 mark of the first quarter. That was the only score of the first half, although it should not have been.

The Texas defense mounted a goal line stand, stuffing Petty millimeters from the goal line on fourth-and-goal, and then promptly marched 98 yards in 14 plays, seemingly putting itself in position to forge a 7-7 tie with half a minute remaining until halftime. But Tyrone Swoopes lost Jake Raulerson’s snap and – who else? – Blackshear hopped on the loose pigskin to preserve a 7-0 lead and send Texas into its locker room with a steel-toed gut kick.

On Baylor’s second possession of the second half, punter Spencer Roth tucked the ball and ran 19 yards on a 4th-and-5, giving the Bears new life at the Texas 48. A clearly shocked Texas defense then allowed plays of 10, eight and 30 yards, the last on a Petty scoring strike to Antwan Goodley, to push the lead to 14-0.

Texas did have one chance after the goal line catastrophe to make Baylor sweat, on the possession before Baylor eventually notched its second touchdown. Taking over at the Baylor 36, Swoopes found John Harris between two Bears defenders for a 34-yard gain, but Harris was hit with an utterly ridiculous taunting penalty pushed the ball back to the 45. Three plays and one penalty later, and William Russ was punting from his own 44.

Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson dominated the rest of the game, gashing the interior of the Texas defense and shedding tackles to the tune of 39 carries for 220 yards and one touchdown.

Texas got good production behind its tandem of Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray with 138 yards and a two-yard garbage time touchdown on 26 carries, but inconsistent decision making and execution by Swoopes (15-of-33 for 142 yards with two interceptions, 13 carries for 38 yards) doomed every Texas drive but the last one.

The most alarming development for Texas: Swoopes played his best in his first start against UCLA, and has regressed in the two games since.

Baylor, which will surely rise to the Top 5 in tomorrow’s polls following losses by No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 6 Texas A&M (with No. 5 Auburn still in action as of this writing), has now beaten Texas is four of the past five seasons, with the last three wins coming all coming by 20 points or more. It gets more difficult from here, though, as Baylor hosts No. 25 and rising TCU on Saturday, while Texas faces off with No. 4 and dropping Oklahoma in Dallas.

Purdue turns to Air Force for new D-line coach

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For the second time this week, Jeff Brohm has a new addition to his Purdue football coaching staff.

Tuesday, Marty Biagi was hired as special teams coordinator. Two days later, Terrance Jamison was hired as defensive line coach.

Jamison will replace Reggie Johnson, who wasn’t brought back for the 2020 season after three years with the Big Ten school.

“Terrance is a talented coach with a great background in defensive line technique and skill development,” the Purdue football head coach said in a statement. “He is an outstanding addition to our staff.”

Jamison spent the past two seasons as the defensive line coach at Air Force.

From Purdue’s release on Jamison’s hiring:

Jamison worked with an Air Force unit that finished in the top 20 in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision in a number of categories, including rushing defense (7th, 100.5), defensive touchdowns (12th, 3), total defense (17th, 319.6) and scoring defense (20th, 19.8).

Jamison has also spent time as line coach at Texas Tech (2017-18) and Florida Atlantic (2014-16). He’s also served as a defensive staffer at Wisconsin and Cal. With the Badgers, Jamison combined to serve four seasons as a student assistant (2008-09), quality control assistant (2011) and a graduate assistant (2012). With the Golden Bears in 2013, he was a quality control coach.

Minnesota’s Phillip Howard shifts gears, pulls name from portal

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For the third time in two days, this time to the benefit of the Minnesota Gophers football program, a player has reversed course on his portal intentions.

First, linebacker Andrew Pryts opted to return to Stanford. Then, it was wide receiver Kobay White shifting gears and making his way back to Boston College. Now, it’s Phillip Howard’s turn to pull his name out of the transfer database as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has reported that the cornerback will remain a part of the Minnesota Gophers football team.

Howard had first entered the portal earlier this month. On his Instagram account Wednesday, Howard seemed to intimate a change of heart by posting a picture of himself in a Gophers uniform.

 

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Trials and tribulations… My story different ⏳

A post shared by Phillip Howard (@_philllyyy) on Jan 22, 2020 at 3:37pm PST

Howard was a three-star member of Minnesota’s 2016 recruiting class. He took a redshirt his true freshman season.

As a wide receiver, Howard started seven of the 11 games in which he played in 2017. That season, he caught 11 passes for 132 yards. The following season, he caught two passes for five yards.

In between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, however, Howard moved to the defensive secondary. This past season, Howard played in 11 games as a cornerback. He had one interception and one forced fumble.

On social media, QB Jarren Williams confirms intent to transfer from Miami

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For Jarren Williams, his move on from Miami is unofficially official.

Late Thursday afternoon, it was reported that Jarren Williams had signaled his intention to leave Miami by putting his name into the NCAA transfer database.  The news surfaced three days after Houston transfer D’Eriq King, now the overwhelming favorite to win The U’s starting job heading into the offseason, transferred to Miami.

Thursday evening on his Instagram account, Jarren Williams confirmed in a statement that his intent is indeed to transfer from Miami.

First, I want to start by saying that these decisions are never easy. But, after prayer and counsel, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal.

“I want to thank all of my teammates for that everlasting brotherhood, the coaching staff for giving me an opportunity and the diehard fans for their support for UM. I cam here with dreams of winning National Championships and my only regret is that I will not be able to achieve that goal.

“Life is a journey and in this world you will be confronted with a fork in the road. I am at that fork and sometimes you can’t look back. I am looking forward to what God has in store for me next. With that being said, I wish UM all the best and a Championship year! #GoCanes

History would suggest there’s the slightest of possibilities that Jarren Williams could return to Miami. In December of 2018, the true freshman quarterback was set to transfer before being talked out of it by then-head coach Mark Richt.

It was the first of many ups and downs for Williams at the school.

Following a much-discussed quarterback competition, Williams began the 2019 season as Miami’s starting quarterback.  After starting the first five games, a shoulder injury knocked the redshirt freshman out for the next two; a non-football issue sidelined him for another.

Williams regained the job in the week leading into the Florida State game, helping the Hurricanes to its most lopsided win over its rival since 2001 and triggering the firing of FSU’s head football coach.  A week later, Williams led Miami, 2-3 at one point in the season, to its third straight win and fourth in five games as The U overwhelmed Louisville 52-27.

It was a historic performance for Williams personally in the win over the UofL as he threw six touchdown passes in just 21 attempts.  The half-dozen scoring tosses set the football program’s single-game record.

For the season, Williams threw for 2,187 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  The Hurricanes went 4-6 in games he started.

With Williams’ departure, Miami could head into spring practice with five quarterbacks on the roster: King, rising redshirt junior N’Kosi Perry, rising redshirt junior Tate Martell, rising redshirt freshman Peyton Matocha and true freshman Tyler Van DykeEspecially when it comes to Martell, that sinal-calling roster is most certainly subject to change.

Michigan, USC added to Fresno State’s future schedules

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A common opponent has been added to the schedules of both the Michigan and USC football teams.

Thursday, Fresno State announced that it has reached an agreement with the Michigan and USC football programs for future games.  The Wolverines game will be played in 2024 while the Bulldogs will face the Trojans.

Obviously, both of those contests will be road games for Fresno State.

The game against Michigan will mark the first-ever meeting between the schools.  Fresno State and USC have met five times previously, the first coming the first in 1992 and the most recent in 2019.  The Trojans own a 4-1 record in the mini-series, with that lone loss coming in the first-ever meeting.

This past season, the Trojans got past the Bulldogs but lost starting quarterback JT Daniels to torn ACL.

Fresno State and USC had also been scheduled to meet again in 2022 and 2025.  According to USC, that 2025 game has been moved to 2026.