No. 15 Georgia blasts No. 9 Auburn, but Gurley leaves with possible knee injury

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No. 15 Georgia (8-2, 6-2 SEC) was well on its way to a 34-7 victory over No. 9 Auburn (7-3, 4-3 SEC) and keeping its SEC East hopes alive for at least another week. None of that seemed to matter with just about five minutes and change to play. It was at that point time stood still for Georgia fans as Todd Gurley went to the ground with what appeared to be an injury to his left leg.

Gurley was taken off the field with some help from the medical staff and was seen placing ice around his left knee. It was not a good look, but it is too early to suggest the extent of the injury. Fortunately for Georgia, the Bulldogs have learned to win without Gurley and Nick Chubb is a big reason why. On Saturday night between the hedges, Gurley was the story by returning after a four-game suspension, but it was Chubb who had the slightly more significant impact on offense. Chubb rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns to go with Gurley’s 138 yards and one touchdown. It was a perfectly balanced ground game that Auburn never stood a chance of slowing down, especially the way Auburn tackled (or didn’t tackle).

Auburn opened the scoring with a touchdown on the opening possession of the game, but it was all Georgia from there. Having a balanced running game with Gurley and Chubb was just too much for Auburn to handle, as it would be for any team lining up on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Georgia went on to run away with this game on the strength of the running duo’s production and 34 unanswered points.

With the Georgia running game working so effectively, Hutson Mason never had to do too much under center other than hand the ball off. Hutson ended his night completing 10 of 19 attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown. His counterpart for Auburn, Nick Marshall, was not much better with 11-of-23 attempts and one interception. Marshall also rushed for 41 yards.

Georgia still needs Missouri to lose a game in SEC play in order to make a trip to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. Missouri entered the week with a one-game lead in the division, and Georgia is now done with SEC play.

Georgia will host Charleston Southern next week in non-conference play before prepping for a rivalry game with Georgia Tech. Georgia gets their rivals from the ACC at home, and both teams could be playing in their respective conference championship games the following week.

Auburn will host Samford next week before playing on the road at Alabama in the final week of the regular season. Auburn will have a good chance to play spoiler in that game as Alabama could be locking down the SEC West and a trip to Atlanta in addition to remaining in the College Football Playoff driver’s seat.

USC makes hiring of Virginia’s Vic So’oto official

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The massive renovation of Clay Helton’s USC football coaching staff has taken another official step.

Last week, it was reported that USC was expected to poach Vic So’oto from Virginia.  As Clint Sintim‘s hiring as So’oto’s replacement was announced a few days later, the latter’s move to the Trojans was a mere formality.

Tuesday, USC football confirmed So’oto’s addition to Clay Helton’s staff.  As he did with the ‘Hoos, So’oto will serve as the Trojans’ defensive line coach.

The 32-year-old So’oto was the line coach at Virginia for the past three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a defensive graduate assistant at the ACC program.

So’oto played his college football at BYU, ending his four-year career in 2010.  After his NFL career ended, So’oto began his collegiate coaching career as a football intern at his alma mater.

For those unaware, So’oto is the second cousin of USC football legend Junior Seau.

LSU confirms hiring of Scott Linehan as new passing-game coordinator

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LSU football has officially replaced one of the hottest young coaches in the sport.

Not long after LSU football claimed the 2019 national championship, Joe Brady left to take over as the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Earlier this month, it was reported that Scott Linehan was expected to be hired as Brady’s successor.

Tuesday, LSU confirmed that Linehan has indeed been named by Ed Orgeron as the Tigers’ new passing-game coordinator. The 56-year-old Linehan has spent the past 17 seasons he’s been a coach at the NFL level.

Linehan was out of coaching this past season.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge to our offense,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “We wanted to bring in someone who will expand our passing game and with Scott’s experience as an NFL head coach and offensive coordinator we feel this is the best move for our offense. After talking to numerous people with NFL experience and interviewing Scott we knew he was the right fit for the LSU Tigers.”

In 13 of those seasons in the NFL, Linehan served as an offensive coordinator.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 2015-18
  • Detroit Lions, 2009-13
  • Miami Dolphins, 2005
  • Minnesota Vikings, 2002-04

In the other four NFL seasons in which he wasn’t a coordinator, Linehan was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and passing-game coordinator for the Cowboys (2014).

Linehan’s last job at the collegiate level came as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville (1999-2001). From 1996-98, he was the coordinator at Washington.

American announces 2020 schedule

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The American Athletic Conference will again play football in 2020, the conference confirmed on Tuesday.

The American revealed its 2020 conference schedule, a 44-game slate that completes the 88 total games AAC teams will play in 2020. As a reminder, UConn is no longer an American member, meaning the conference will have 11 football-playing members for the foreseeable future. All 11 teams will still play an 8-game league schedule, and the conference will still hold a title game.

The 2020 season will also be the conference’s first under the new rights agreement it struck with ESPN in March. As such, at least 40 American home games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks, and at least half of those will be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The conference will play a total of 12 games on Thursday or Friday nights.

“We are excited to announce our 2020 schedule as we enter the next phase of our longstanding relationship with ESPN,” said commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the continued success our schools have had, I have no doubt that we will once again provide our fans, and ESPN, with compelling matchups throughout the season in both conference and nonconference play. We look forward to another outstanding season of American Athletic Conference football.”

The season will begin on Saturday, Aug. 29 when Navy “hosts” Notre Dame at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. That game will be shown on ESPN with College GameDay in tow as part of the network’s season kick-off effort. While the full schedule can be viewed here, highlights include:

  • North Carolina at UCF, Sept. 4 (Friday)
  • South Florida at Texas, Sept. 5
  • Temple at Miami, Sept. 5
  • Houston at Washington State, Sept. 12
  • Cincinnati at Nebraska, Sept. 26
  • TCU at SMU, Sept. 26
  • Memphis at SMU, Oct. 1 (Thursday)
  • UCF at Memphis, Oct. 16 (Friday)
  • Memphis at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
  • Memphis at Navy, Nov. 14
  • Cincinnati at UCF, Nov. 21
  • UCF at South Florida, Nov. 27 (Friday)

The 2020 American season will conclude with the sixth annual American Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks to wear No. 7

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George Costanza was never much of a college football fan. He was a New Yorker, after all. But he was a fan of the No. 7, and so he would have a new favorite college football player in 2020.

A product of Orlando’s Jones High School, Sevyn Banks has been a member of Ohio State’s defensive backfield since 2018. The former 4-star recruit has received limited playing time in the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive backfield, but figures to compete for a starting spot in 2020.

And now he’ll do so in his namesake number.

Banks announced Monday he will switch from No. 12 to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

The No. 7 had been claimed by linebacker Teradja Mitchell, who is now switching to No. 3, opening No. 7 for, well, Sevyn.

Banks appeared in all 14 games for Ohio State last season, collecting 11 tackles and one interception.

He’ll hope to get more burn in 2020, with some support from a fictional New Yorker.