AP Photo

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

4 Comments

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.

Greg Schiano completes Rutgers coaching staff by hiring Adam Scheier as special teams coordinator

Rutgers football
Getty Images
1 Comment

Nearly two months after returning as the Rutgers football head coach, Greg Schiano has put the finishing touches on his second first staff.

Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights announced that Adam Scheier has been hired as Schiano’s special teams coordinator. Scheier has spent the past two decades working with special teams in various capacities.

“Adam is an accomplished, veteran special teams coach who will be a great asset to our coaching staff,” the Rutgers football head coach said in a statement. “In our time working together, I saw how passionate Adam is about teaching and mentoring young men. We look forward to welcoming Adam, his wife Erica and their children to our Rutgers family.”

Scheier has spent time as a special teams coordinator with three different FBS programs:

  • Texas Tech (2018)
  • Wake Forest (2014-16)
  • Bowling Green (2009-13)

Last season, Scheier served as a special teams consultant at Mississippi State.  In 2017, Scheier worked at Ohio State as a special teams quality control coach.

In Scheier’s lone season at OSU, Schiano was in the second of his three seasons as the Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator.

“I am fired up to be back home,” the Bronx native stated. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Schiano and I look forward to working with him again. I appreciate the opportunity he has given me to coach at Rutgers in the great state of New Jersey.”

With this hiring, Schiano has now filled all 10 positions on his 10-man on-field coaching staff.  The others whose hirings have already been announced are:

  • Sean Gleeson — offensive coordinator (HERE)
  • Nunzio Campanile — offensive assistant (HERE)
  • Augie Hoffman, offensive assistant (HERE)
  • Tiquan Underwood — wide receivers (HERE)
  • Andrew Aurich — offensive line (HERE)
  • Robb Smith, defensive coordinator (HERE)
  • Jim Panagos — defensive line (HERE)
  • Bob Fraser — linebackers coach (HERE)
  • Fran Brown — co-defensive coordinator/secondary (HERE)

Exactly two dozen UConn football players have hit the transfer portal this cycle

UConn football
Getty Images
2 Comments

When it comes to the transfer tote board, there’s been another update for the UConn football program.

Last week, it was confirmed that three members of the UConn football team, redshirt junior offensive lineman Cam DeGeorge, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Garrison Burnett and junior defensive back Oneil Robinson, had entered their names in the NCAA transfer database.  That trio pushed the number UConn football players who had entered their names into the portal to 23.

Monday, that number officially reached an even two dozen.  According to 247Sports.com, running back Donevin O’Reilly has now made his way into the portal to kick the number of potential transfers up to 24.

O’Reilly originally walked on to the UConn football team just after the start of the 2017 season — he carried the ball once and returned a pair of kickoffs that year — before breaking out during spring practice the next offseason, not only earning a scholarship from the university but also claiming a majority of the reps with the No. 1 offense during summer camp. Unfortunately for the running back, however, his Cinderella story ended because of a torn ACL in his left knee.

In 2019, O’Reilley ran for 17 yards on five carries.

Among those who have entered the portal before this current quartet is Tyler Coyle. This past season, the starting safety led the Huskies in tackles (86), pass breakups (10) and forced fumbles (two).

In the third season of his second stint as the UConn football head coach, Randy Edsall went 2-10 in 2019. The Huskies have just six wins since Edsall returned in 2017; that’s the worst three-year stretch in the program’s FBS history.

In June of last year, it was confirmed that UConn football would be leaving the AAC following the 2019 season and playing as an independent in the sport.

Alabama the favorite to reel in North Carolina transfer TE Carl Tucker

Alabama Crimson Tide football
Getty Images
1 Comment

In the coming days, it might not just be high school signees who will be bolstering the Alabama Crimson Tide football roster.

Earlier this offseason, Carl Tucker took the first step in transferring from North Carolina by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database.  As a graduate transfer, the tight end would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2020.

Over the weekend, Tucker took a visit to the Alabama Crimson Tide football facilities.  Following said visit, it was reported that the Tide is “in good shape” to land the transfer.  If nothing else, the player’s dad came away impressed.

“The visit was awesome,” Tucker’s father, Carl Tucker Sr., said according to al.com “Obviously the stature of Alabama football is so huge that we really didn’t know what to expect, but we knew it would be something that we hadn’t seen before. … But it was really good. They really wanted to figure out what questions and concerns we had for Alabama. And they did a really good of explaining why they wanted Carl, what they saw in Carl and where they felt he would be able to help Bama. …

“He could see himself playing at Alabama.”

Alabama was the second school Tucker has visited, with Florida State being the first.  Tucker took a trip to Tallahassee the weekend before last.  Missouri, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Washington have also expressed interest. At this point, it’s unclear if Tucker will take any additional visits.

Tucker was a three-star 2015 signee for the Tar Heels.  He was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.

In 38 career games, the North Carolina product caught 36 passes for 549 yards and four touchdowns.  His most productive season came in 2018.  That year, Tucker totaled 265 yards and two touchdowns on 16 catches.

Tucker started 20 games during his time with the Tar Heels.  Four of those came in 2019.

FCS coordinator suspended over Adolf Hitler comments

College football Adolf Hitler
Getty Images
1 Comment

I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say, to college football coaches in this case, it’s best not to invoke the name of Adolf Hitler.  In any form or fashion.  Ever.

On Jan. 20, Morris Berger was hired as the offensive coordinator at Grand Valley State after a stint at Texas State.  In an interview published by the FCS school’s student newspaper three days after the hiring, Berger, who has a degree in history, was asked, “If you could have dinner with three historical figures, living or dead, who would they be?”

Berger’s response?

This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say Adolf Hitler. It was obviously very sad and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second-to-none. How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that. Bad intentions of course, but you can’t deny he wasn’t a great leader.

Monday, the day that the interview went national, was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

As a result of the uproar over the coach’s response in the interview, Grand Valley State announced that Berger has been indefinitely suspended.  The school has also launched a probe into the situation.

The comments made by Offensive Coordinator Morris Berger, as reported in The Lanthorn student newspaper, do not reflect the values of Grand Valley State University. Berger has been suspended and the university is conducting a thorough investigation.

In October of 2008, former Notre Dame and South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz, in his role as a college football analyst for ESPN, caught heat for lauding Adolf Hitler as “a great leader.” In February of last year, the controversial head coach of a “Last Chance U” school, Jason Brown, resigned after texting “I’m your new Hitler” to a German player on the junior college team.