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No. 3 TCU survives a thriller in Lubbock, topping Texas Tech 55-52

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TCU is down seven starters from an already inexperienced defense. But the Frogs do have quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson. And for one wild afternoon-turned-night in Lubbock, that was enough. Boykin threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns and Doctson racked up 267 yards and three of those scores as the third-ranked Horned Frogs outlasted Texas Tech, 55-52.

Doctson tied a Big 12 single-game record with 18 catches but, typical of this game, it was the one he didn’t make that secured the win for TCU. Facing a do-or-die 4th-and-goal from the Texas Tech 4, Boykin’s pass deflected off Doctson’s hand and into the waiting arms of TCU running back Aaron Green, who found himself alone in the back of the end zone for just his third catch of the year and the biggest, by far, of TCU’s season.

The game saw nine lead changes, and it was the first that proved most crucial. With the game tied at 7-7 in the first quarter and Texas Tech at its own 20, a snap sailed past an unsuspecting Patrick Mahomes and into Texas Tech’s end zone, giving TCU an easy safety and a 9-7 lead. Those two points allowed TCU to go for two and take a 48-45 lead with 8:22 remaining. TCU converted even though Shaun Nixon‘s pass appeared to split Boykin’s arms and hit the turf but was ruled complete on the field; the call held up under review.

TCU led 33-28 at the half but Texas Tech claimed two fourth quarter leads, the first on a one-yard DeAndre Washington run that capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive, and the second on a 50-yard pass from Mahomes to Justin Stockton that gave Texas Tech a 52-48 lead with 5:55 remaining. The Red Raiders’ defense forced a three-and-out on TCU’s ensuing possession but, with a chance to put the game out of reach with a touchdown, Texas Tech answered with a three-and-out of its own. TCU scored the game’s winning touchdown on the next possession.

The teams combined for 1,357 yards of total offense and 69 first downs on 187 plays from scrimmage. TCU rushed 47 times for 247 yards and three touchdowns, led by Green’s 28 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Boykin added 42 yards on the ground while completing 34-of-54 throws for 485 yards and four scores.

Texas Tech, meanwhile, rushed for 215 yards and five scores on 39 carries. Washington, who extended his lead as the Big 12’s top rusher thus far, racked up 188 yards and four scores on 22 carries. Mahomes connected on 25-of-45 throws for 392 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 36 yards and a touchdowns while fighting through a bum knee. Jakeem Grant led the Raiders with eight grabs for 126 yards and a touchdown.

TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) returns home to face Texas next week, while Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) looks to pick up the pieces of its broken heart against, gulp, No. 5 Baylor next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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.