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Bearcats crank up the heat on Al Golden’s Hurricane seat


Let the #FireAlGolden banner fest commence in earnest.

Beginning the day with such a sign flying high overhead in enemy territory, Al Golden‘s Miami Hurricanes did nothing but give the head coach’s detractors a cornucopia of ammunition, looking embarrassingly outclassed in a 34-23 loss to Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.  The offensive play calls, particularly in the second half, were head-scratching; the defense was unable to get stops when it’s flailing offense needed it; and the flailing offense could do nothing in the second half against a UC defense that was shredded by Memphis just seven days ago.

It was a bad look all around for a Miami team that, despite entering 3-0, exits it feeling — and even looking — like it’s a 1-3 squad instead of the 3-1 team its record says it is ahead of a huge matchup with Florida State.

Trailing just 27-20 coming out of the half, UM’s defense held UC’s offense scoreless for the first 24 minutes or so of the second half.  The only problem, though, was the Bearcats’ defense limited the Hurricanes’ offense to a mere field goal in that same span.

Up 27-23 in the middle of the fourth, Hayden Moore connected with Tyler Cogswell from to push UC’s lead out to 34-24 with 6:54 remaining.  The ‘Canes moved inside the 10-yard line on the ensuing drive, but four Brad Kaaya pass attempts fell incomplete to hand the ball back to the Bearcats with just over four minutes remaining.  That would be the last time the Hurricanes would see the ball as the Bearcats were able to move down the field and drain the remainder of the clock.

So, where do the ‘Canes go from here?  Physically, they’ll travel to Tallahassee to face unbeaten FSU next Saturday.  Mentally, especially after nearly blowing a huge lead against Nebraska last week and with the speculation swirling around Golden’s job status once again, this is a team that is, as has been the case the past couple of years, on the verge of unraveling.

The scheduling gods did them no favors either.  After facing FSU, they’ll go back-to-back-to-back against teams in which they’ll likely be underdogs: Virginia Tech, No. 12 Clemson and at Duke.  The U is a program that’s teetering on the precipice, and if it tumbles in the ensuing weeks it’ll take Golden and his tenure with it.

For Cincinnati, this win was absolutely crucial for any outside hopes it still entertained for the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bid after splitting its first four games.  At 3-2 it’ll still be an uphill climb to get that prime bowl slot, but the Bearcats are in a heck of a lot better place than if they had dropped a game in which they were underdogs.

SMU fills staff vacancy by hiring Texas staffer with Dallas ties

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SMU lost an assistant coach late last week when Brett Diersen left to rejoin Rod Carey at Temple, and now Sonny Dykes has filled that vacancy with a smart hire.

The Mustangs will hire Texas staffer Ra’Shaad Samples to coach the club’s wide receivers, a source tells CFTalk. The news was first reported by Pony Stampede and Inside Texas.

A former wide receiver at Oklahoma State and Houston, Samples has been on Tom Herman‘s staff since last February as assistant wide receivers coach and an on-campus recruiting specialist. The son of Reginald Samples, head coach of the powerhouse Duncanville High School located just south of Dallas, the younger Samples quickly became a key cog in UT’s recruiting machine, establishing ties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Only 24 years old, Samples will now move on the field for the first time as a college coach, working to tutor the Mustangs’ wide receivers while also bolstering SMU’s recruiting efforts inside its own backyard. Only two of SMU’s 10 commits in its 2020 class hail from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Davey O’Brien Award releases 2019 watch list

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The Davey O’Brien Award released its 2019 watch list on Tuesday and, unlike the Maxwell and Bednarik awards, it did not seemingly include every player in college football. Only half of them.

In truth, 30 players were selected to the 2019 watch list, which means 100 eventual starting quarterbacks were not. Chief among them is Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, possibly because the O’Brien Foundation took the directive from Lincoln Riley that Hurts is not OU’s starter, yet.

On the list are 2018 finalist Tua Tagovailoa as well as semifinalists Ian BookMason FineJake FrommJustin HerbertD’Eriq KingTrevor LawrenceJordan Love and Shea Patterson. The SEC led the way with six representatives, followed by the Pac-12’s five and the Big 12’s four. California had the most native sons with seven, followed by Texas’ six.

The list will be whittled down to 16 semifinalists on Nov. 13 and three finalists on Nov. 25. The winner will be named as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 12.

The full list:

Jake Bentley, South Carolina
Ian Book, Notre Dame
Alan Bowman, Texas Tech
Charlie Brewer, Baylor
Joe Burrow, LSU
K.J. Costello, Stanford
J.T. Daniels, USC
Sam Ehlinger, Texas
Mason Fine, North Texas
Feleipe Franks, Florida
Jake Fromm, Georgia
Justin Herbert, Oregon
Kelvin Hopkins Jr., Army West Point
D’Eriq King, Houston
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Jordan Love, Utah State
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
Cole McDonald, Hawai’i
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Steven Montez, Colorado
James Morgan, FIU
Shea Patterson, Michigan
Bryce Perkins, Virginia
Brock Purdy, Iowa State
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Nathan Rourke, Ohio
Nate Stanley, Iowa
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Khalil Tate, Arizona
Zac Thomas, Appalachian State

Marshall, North Texas tabbed as C-USA favorites

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Conference USA released its preseason poll on Sunday, and the league’s media sees some change at the top. UAB topped Middle Tennessee to win the conference crown a year ago, but voters don’t see either team repeating atop their respective decisions this season.

In the East Division, Marshall is a moderate favorite, garnering 14 first-place votes, ahead of FIU’s nine and 2017 C-USA champion Florida Atlantic’s three. In the West, North Texas was far ahead of the pack with 20 first-place votes, far outpacing Southern Miss’ four. Defending champion UAB earned three first-place votes, but Bill Clark‘s Blazers actually came in fourth place overall, behind Louisiana Tech.

1. Marshall (14)
2. FIU (9)
3. Florida Atlantic (3)
4. Middle Tennessee
5. Western Kentucky
6. Old Dominion
7. Charlotte

1. North Texas (20)
2. Southern Miss (4)
3. Louisiana Tech
4. UAB (3)
6. Rice

North Texas has yet to win the conference since joining the league in 2013, though Seth Littrell did guide the Mean Green to the West title in 2017. Marshall won the conference in 2014 and took the East Division in ’13.

One Nebraska DB cited for weed, another for driving under suspension following traffic stop

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One of these days, every single state in the Union — along with the federal government — will fall in line and come to their senses when it comes to weed.  Until then, we’ll continue bringing you stories like this one.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, two Nebraska football players, safety Marquel Dismuke (pictured) and walk-on defensive back Jeramiah Stovall, were cited by Lincoln Police Department officers Friday night. Stovall was cited for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana while Dismuke received a citation for driving on a suspended license.

The twin citations came after Dismuke’s vehicle was pulled over for failing to display  a front license plate.

“We are aware of the incident and are addressing it,” a Nebraska official said in a very brief statement.

After playing in 19 games (one start) the past two years, Dismuke is a front-runner for a starting job entering summer camp. This past season, Stovall was named as NU’s Special Teams Player of the Year.