No. 16 Georgia Tech fends off No. 9 Georgia 30-24 in overtime

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In a game filled with wild swings of momentum, costly fumbles and blocked kicks, No. 16 Georgia Tech held off No. 9 Georgia 30-24 in overtime, giving the Yellow Jackets their first win in this heated series since 2008.

We’ll start in the first half, where Georgia moved the ball to within the doorstep of Georgia Tech’s goal line three times, but fumbled the ball away twice, settling for a 7-7 tie. The first fumble came right at the 1-yard line, as Nick Chubb lost the ball while heading in for a score that would have given the Dogs a 14-0 lead. Sony Michel then compounded the mistake with a fumble of his own, this time on a 13-yard dash after the ball was popped out by Georgia Tech’s Quayshawn Nealy and recovered by Isaiah Johnson in the end zone.

Georgia Tech controlled most of the second half, but committed two charitable acts of its own, both by quarterback Justin Thomas. The first came in the third quarter with the Yellow Jackets threatening to take a 14-7 lead; Thomas was piled up at the goal line and the play kept going and going and going and eventually Georgia’s Damian Swann ripped the ball from his hands and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. Watching the play on replay, Thomas’ forward progress was stopped for more than four seconds – an eternity in that situation – but the officials’ collective whistles were swallowed in their small intestines.

Georgia Tech stormed back to take a 21-17 lead on two Zack Laskey runs – the Ramblin’ Wreck ran for 280 yards in the second half alone – and appeared to have the game salted away after hopping on a kickoff at the Georgia 27 with 4:22 to go. But after rushing for a first down, Paul Johnson got cute. Georgia Tech pounded Georgia up the middle continuously in the second half, but he called for Thomas to take the ball around the end on a second-and-nine, which lost three yards, and then on a third-and-12, where he lost his second fumble of the half, this time on a play where he pump-faked but lost control of the ball.

Georgia recovered and marched down to score a go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard pass from Hutson Mason to Malcolm Mitchell with 18 seconds left, but the Bulldogs left juuuust enough time for Harrison Butker to knock in a 53-yard field goal as time expired to send the game to overtime. (Adding salt to the wound? Mark Richt called an ice-the-kicker timeout on a play where it appeared Georgia Tech wouldn’t have gotten the snap off in time.)

Georgia Tech opened overtime by rushing five times – four by Laskey – for a touchdown, but the ensuing extra point was blocked, Georgia’s second blocked kick of the day.

Now with a second chance to win the game with a touchdown and extra point, Georgia moved the ball to the Georgia Tech nine, but Mason was intercepted by D.J. White, sealing the win for the Yellow Jackets.

Chubb rushed 25 times for 129 yards and a touchdown and Mason threw for 194 yards, but Georgia couldn’t handle Georgia Tech’s onslaught running game. The Yellow Jackets pounded and pounded and pounded the Dogs to the tune of 70 carries for 399 yards and three touchdowns. Laskey was the star, rushing 26 times for 140 yards and three touchdowns.

Georgia Tech has beaten Georgia five times since 1991 – and four of those wins have come in Athens.

Georgia Tech improves to 10-2 on the season, and will prepare for No. 3 Florida State in the ACC championship. Georgia, meanwhile, has a month to reconcile a terrible 24-hour period; yesterday’s Missouri win knocked the Bulldogs out of the SEC championship, and today’s loss drops them to 9-3, costing them any shot at a New Year’s Six bowl.

Bob Shoop and Brian Jean-Mary join Michigan coaching staff, Jay Harbaugh promoted to special teams coordinator

Brian Jean-Mary and Bob Shoop are the newest members of Michigan's coaching staff.
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Michigan has officially introduced two new defensive assistants to the staff. Brian Jean-Mary and Bob Shoop were added to the defensive side of the coaching staff on Saturday as Michigan continues to retool its coaching staff this offseason.

According to the release from Michigan on Saturday, Shoop will take on the role of safeties coach for the Wolverines. Jean-Mary will serve as linebackers coach. In addition, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh promoted his son, Jay Harbaugh, to special teams coordinator. Harbaugh will continue to coach the running backs as well.

“I am excited about the addition of Brian and Bob to our defensive coaching staff,” said Harbaugh. “Brian and Bob are well-respected, experienced coaches who represent great fits for the University of Michigan. Both coaches have experience coordinating some of the best defenses in the country, and their development of all-conference and future NFL players throughout their careers will benefit our program and student-athletes. Michigan Football looks forward to having Brian, Bob and their families join the University family.”

Jean-Mary joins the Michigan program after three seasons with former USF head coach Charlie Strong at USF. Jean-Mary has been a longtime assistant under Strong, coaching with Strong at Louisville and Texas prior to USF.

Shoop previously was the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State. This will mark a return to the Big Ten for Shoop. Shoop previously coached at Penn State under James Franklin. Shoop went to Penn State with Franklin after three seasons at Vanderbilt. Shoop left Penn State for Tennessee after the 2015 season and coached the Vols defense for two seasons for former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Shoop and Penn State also carried on a bit of a legal squabble over Shoop’s contract and his exit from the Nittany Lions. Shoop took a job at Mississippi State when Joe Moorhead was hired (in the same coaching carousel that saw a coaching change at Tennessee and the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt, a former defensive coordinator himself).

Joe Burrow reportedly passing on Senior Bowl

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will not attend the 2020 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, according to a report.
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LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will reportedly be passing on the opportunity to play in next week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Ben Baby, who covers the Cincinnati Bengals for ESPN, reported the Burrow Senior Bowl news, via Twitter, Saturday morning.

The Senior Bowl is the highest-regarded college football all-star game and is the last major offseason event on the NFL Draft schedule before the annual scouting combine. Many of the nation’s top seniors will arrive in Mobile, Alabama next week to begin a week of workouts instructed by coaches from the NFL. This year’s Senior Bowl teams will be coached by the staffs from the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions.

The Bengals own the top draft pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and they just so happen to be a team many believe might draft Burrow to inject some life into the Bengals offense. The Lions own the No. 3 overall pick. The Senior Bowl is attended by scouts and coaches from around the NFL, and with the top tier of seniors typically at the Senior Bowl, the whole week is a terrific opportunity for seniors to impress their future employers.

Of course, Burrow not playing in the Senior Bowl will be made out by some to be a negative on his draft profile, but that should not be the case. Burrow admitted to playing the national championship game against Clemson with a rib injury. Coming off a historic season that saw Burrow break the NCAA record for most passing touchdowns in a single season (and doing so in the SEC), missing out on the Senior Bowl shouldn’t be a concern. The Heisman Trophy winner has done more than enough to raise his draft stock for 2020 off the wild successes of the 2019 season. Burrow will still get a chance to focus on the scouting combine and decide what’s best for him in Indianapolis.

LSU students will go to class on Saturday to make up for national title game

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LSU students who got to skip class for the national title game (and the ensuing celebrations…) were hit with a dose of reality returning to Baton Rouge on Friday.

According to an announcement from the university, classes that were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday for the championship game have been rescheduled. As a result, students will have to go to class on Saturday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 8.

So yes, Saturdays in the fall have resulted in a few Saturdays of work in the spring.

The school had received a bit of criticism when it was announced that classes were cancelled on the dates surrounding the championship game. While the practice has happened elsewhere, the nature of the game being less than an hour from campus in New Orleans certainly made things unique for the Tigers and their large fan base.

While some students no doubt had hoped that the classes at the time were indeed cancelled, it turns out they were in fact just being rescheduled. Going to school on a Saturday probably isn’t what many had in mind when signing up for the spring semester but there’s probably not a soul in purple and gold will take issue with the change given that it comes as a result of hoisting the ultimate football trophy on Monday night in the Big Easy.

Virginia safety Chris Moore enters transfer portal

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The transfer portal has claimed another name.

As first noted by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Virginia safety Chris Moore has entered his name into the database as he explores a move out of Charlottesville.

Moore started five of his nine appearances for the Cavaliers in 2019 and wound up recording 42 tackles. While he was in line to become one of the key members in the secondary going forward, a prior  suspension for violating team rules back in November may have wound up playing a role in his departure and standing with the team.

The safety had previously missed all of the 2018 season with an injury as well.

Moore was originally a three-star recruit out of Ashburn, Va. in 2016 and, assuming the redshirt senior has a degree, likely has a season remaining as a grad transfer.