Coaches say all the time it’s not how you start a game, it’s how you finish it.
No. 19 Utah took that to heart on Wednesday night in the Foster Farms Bowl, following up an opening kickoff fumble with a game-winning field goal in the final 90 seconds to top Indiana 26-24 in a wild finish.
Running back Joe Williams was once again the focal point for the Utes offense and caused plenty of the late game drama in the first point by fumbling in Hoosiers territory to setup a go-ahead touchdown for Indiana. That put the team in a perilous position with minutes left in the clock but the veteran tailback churned his way for some big gains down the stretch — finishing with 222 yards and a touchdown — before setting up kicker Andy Phillips, who sneaked the game-winning ball inside the left upright from 27 yards out.
The Utah defense came up with one final stop after that to seal a victory on a night where they also recorded three sacks and three takeaways.
Richard Lagow had a rough outing over on the West Coast as the Indiana quarterback finished just 14-of-39 for 188 yards with one score and one interception. He was under siege most of the game by that tough Utes front seven, which only tailback Devine Redding was able to move the ball effectively through on his way to a 72 yard, one touchdown night on the ground.
There was plenty of fight in the Hoosiers in this one though and they came ever so close to capturing the program’s first bowl victory in 25 seasons. In the end though, it wasn’t enough to get past the Utes, which started slow but finished when it counted in the final minutes.
The playing career of one injury-plagued Boise State football player has come to an end. At least, in Idaho it has.
According to 247Sports.com, DeAndre Pierce has made the decision to move on from the Boise State football program. A BSU football official subsequently confirmed overnight that the defensive back’s name is listed in the NCAA transfer database.
No specific reason for the parting of ways was given.
If Pierce follows through and transfers away from Boise State football, he would do so as a graduate transfer. That would allow him to play at another FBS school immediately in 2020. If that’s the tack he chooses, of course.
Pierce was a three-star member of the Broncos’ Class of 2016. The California native took a redshirt as a true freshman. In 2017, Pierce started 11 of the 14 games in which he played. He earned honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference honors for that season.
Then, the injuries hit.
The safety started four of the first five games in 2018 before a lacerated spleen sidelined him for the rest of the season. In 2019, Pierce started five games… but missed the other nine because of various injuries.
When healthy, Pierce was credited with 144 tackles, seven tackles for loss, six passed defensed, one sack and one interception.
Even as the off-field aspect was cleared up for one member of the Texas Longhorns football program, there’s still no clarity as it relates to him getting back onto the field. And likely won’t be clarified for a few months.
In August, Joshua Moore was arrested on a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon. Thursday, the wide receiver pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge. Moore avoided jail time with the plea, with the Austin American-Statesman writing that “[t]he deferred adjudication agreement states [Judge Nancy] Hohengarten will not enter a guilty finding if Moore stays out of further legal trouble over the next year, completes 60 hours of community service and fulfills any counseling conditions the probation department recommends.”
Because of the off-field situation, Moore was not permitted to play in games for Texas Longhorns football last season. He was, though, allowed to practice with the rest of his UT teammates.
A Texas Longhorns football official stated after the player’s plea that a decision on whether Moore will be permitted to play in games in 2020 won’t be determined until closer to the season kicking off.
A four-star 2018 signee, Moore played in the first six games as a true freshman before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury. In that half-season of work, the 6-1, 180-pound receiver totaled 53 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.
If he’s cleared to play in games — the odds are very much in his favor, provided he doesn’t violate the terms of his plea agreement — Moore is expected to take on a bigger role in the Texas Longhorns football passing game in 2020.
Karl Dorrell‘s first Colorado football coaching staff will have a decidedly Mel Tucker feel to it.
Feb. 12, Tucker left Colorado football to take over as the head coach at Michigan State. Eleven days later, Dorrell was the surprise hire as Tucker’s replacement. Dorrell’s first hirings four days his official hiring will actually be retentions as the program announced that four of Tucker’s former assistants will remain as part of the new coaching staff.
Those four are:
- Darrin Chiaverini (wide receivers coach/assistant head coach under Tucker)
- Darian Hagan (running backs coach)
- Brian Michalowski (outside linebackers)
- Tyson Summers (defensive coordinator/safeties)
According to the release from Colorado football, the holdovers’ “exact responsibilities will be determined once the remaining six assistant positions are filled, which Dorrell hopes to conclude sometime early next week.” It’s believed that Chiaverini will serve as Dorrell’s offensive coordinator, although, obviously, that hasn’t yet been confirmed.
“It’s always important if you can maintain some continuity during a coaching change,” the new Colorado football head coach said in a statement. “I’ve been around enough college and professional teams where doing so offers some stability. I had great conversations with all four and while I haven’t determined their exact roles as of yet, I am excited that we share the same goals and vision for the program. I am excited about all four and am looking forward to working with them.”
Both Chiaverini and Hagans have been a part of the Colorado football program for the past four seasons. Both Summers and Michalowski were in their first years in Boulder.
Prior to his departure for East Lansing, Tucker had just completed his first season in Boulder, going 5-7. Since a 10-4 2016 season, the Buffaloes have gone 5-7 each of the past three seasons. That 2016 season is the program’s only winning record since 2005.
Another day, another football staff change with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama added former NFL linebacker Max Bullough to the football staff as a graduate assistant.
Bullough was actually on the staff at Cincinnati last season as a graduate assistant. Bullough got his coaching career undwrway with the Bearcats in 2019 a year after his last dip in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns. Bullough originally signed wiht the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
Bullough did not play for Nick Saban in college, although the former Michigan State Spartans did play for a former Saban assistant, Mark Dantonio. With the Spartans, Bullough was part of two Big Ten championship runs in 2010 and 2013. In the 2010 season, Bullough and Michigan State lost to Saban’s Alabama in the Capital One Bowl, 49-7. In 2013, Bullough and Michigan State upset No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, 34-24, to hand former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer his first loss with the Buckeyes. The win sent Michigan State to the Rose Bowl, where they were victorious over Stanford.
Alabama recently lost long-time strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran to an on-field coaching role at Georgia. The Tide also lost soecial teams coordinator Joe Houston to the New England Patriots. Alabama did add former Louisville, Texas, and USF head coach Charlie Strong as a defensive analyst. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian ended up sticking around and offensive analyst Butch Jones has been promoted to special assistant to the head coach.