Rematch revenge! Clemson knocks off Alabama to win the 2017 National Championship Game

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In order to be the champions, you had to beat the champions. Mission accomplished for Clemson.

A historic rematch for the ages lived up to the hype thanks to a wild and career-defining fourth quarter that saw the Tigers win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game in dramatic fashion 35-31 over Alabama.

The two defenses dominated the game early and often as many predicted given the number of stars on that side of the ball. Neither team found much success on third down (just nine combined conversions) and the passing game was inconsistent for both teams outside of a few big plays.

The Crimson Tide jumped out to an early lead behind the strong running of tailback Bo Scarbrough, who continued to abuse opponents with his punishing running style. He found the end zone early in the first quarter by scampering off to the left side of his big offensive line and finding pay dirt after 25 yards for the game’s first points. His second touchdown was even better than the first, using a few key blocks from his tight end and left tackle to hit the edge and scamper 37 yards for the score, running over a few defenders and carrying a few more on his back into the end zone.

Unfortunately the sophomore was injured in the third quarter with a leg injury, putting all the pressure on young quarterback Jalen Hurts. While he never looked too much like a true freshman, passing the ball was a struggle most of the night until he found a wide-open O.J. Howard for a 68-yard touchdown that had plenty thinking back to last year’s title game where he had a career outing.

That wasn’t enough to contain a determined Deshaun Watson in the final quarter however, as the signal-caller marched his team 88 yards in just six plays before leaping into the end zone for the first Clemson lead of the ball game with just under five minutes left. It was a vintage performance from the college superstar (who finished 36-of-56 for 420 yards and three touchdowns), which included several key hookups with receiver Mike Williams and a few key runs that moved the chains.

The Tide didn’t seem phased however, answering right back in a wild sequence of events. They broke out of their offensive malaise with a surprising trick play that found Howard for a big gain once again to enter Clemson territory. That’s when Hurts finally used his legs to find the end zone, scampering 30 yards to the goal line as he weaved and ducked out of numerous tackles.

Watson wasn’t done yet though, and saved his best for last with the game and his legacy on the line.

Facing a defense that was operating at a historic level coming into the game, Watson sliced and diced the Tide for a nine play, 68 yard march toward the end zone. With a make or break play coming up, the game’s offensive MVP dropped back and smoothly found ever reliable target Hunter Renfrow wide open in the end zone with just one second left.

That set off a wild celebration among the Clemson faithful as the school celebrated its second national title — and first since 1981 — in the sweetest of fashions. It was a game for the ages given the ending and tense final moments but will no doubt be remembered for an incredible drive that culminated in a championship for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers.

Oklahoma State QB John Kolar announces transfer to Iowa State to play with brother

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Oklahoma State should have a bit of a quarterback competition going into the 2019 season, but John Kolar will not be a part of it. Kolar announced his decision to transfer to another Big 12 school on Sunday night. He’s heading to Iowa State, where his brother Charlie Kolar plays tight end.

“Beyond excited to announce my commitment to finish my academic and athletic career at Iowa State University,” Kolar announce din a brief statement on Twitter. “The opportunity to play alongside my brother in a program as special as this one was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Kolar appeared in just one game in his time at Oklahoma State, in which he attempted two passes with one completion for eight yards and rushed twice for a gain of 18 yards for the Cowboys in 2016. Given his history at Oklahoma State, it stood to reason he was not going to be a factor in the Oklahoma State offense in 2019. How much of a role he ends up having at Iowa State is also a question as the Cyclones are pretty set at the quarterback as well with freshman Brock Purdy showing what he can do this season and sophomore Zeb Noland still in the mix as well. But, as his statement suggests, the chance to close out his college career with his brother is pretty special too.

Charlie Kolar was Iowa State’s sixth-leading receiver this season with 11 receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was also just given a contract extension, and should the situation present itself, it would be nice if Campbell finds an opportunity to allow the Kolar brothers to connect for a touchdown next season.

As a graduate transfer, John Kolar will be eligible to play at Iowa State next season.

Mel Tucker looks to be keeping some Colorado assistants on board in Boulder

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It is not uncommon for a new head coach to wipe the slate clean with a coaching staff once he takes on a job, but sometimes there will be some assistants retained from the previous staff. Such appears to be the case at Colorado where new head coach Mel Tucker appears to be keeping a couple of familiar faces from the previous staff in the program moving forward.

Colorado co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini took to Twitter to confirm the news regarding his status himself by expressing his pride in remaining a part of the Colorado coaching staff moving forward with Tucker.

However, it is not quite known just what role Chiaverini will be taking on with the Buffs. A report from Football Scoop on Monday morning states Tucker will add Jay Johnson as an offensive coordinator. Johnson would be following Tucker to Colorado from Georgia, where he was an offensive analyst and quality control coach with the SEC’s Bulldogs. Chiaverini also held the responsibility of coaching the wide receivers and was Colorado’s recruiting coordinator. Continuing in those roles at the very least may be a likely outcome as the staff roles are defined.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic also reports, via Twitter, running backs coach Darian Hagan is expected to remain on the staff as well.

Hagan, a former Buffs quarterback on Colorado’s 1989 and 1990 teams, has been on the Colorado staff for a total of 14 years between multiple stops in Boulder. Hagan worked with player development from 2013 through 2015 and has worked as director of player personnel and running backs coach under multiple coaches. Having a coach that is as connected to the program as Hagan would be an asset to any new head coach at Colorado, so keeping Hagan in town would be a good move for Tucker.

Scott Loeffler hires Brian VanGorder to initial staff at Bowling Green

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Bowling Green’s new head coach now has his staff in place and ready to go. Scott Loeffler completed the final pieces of his new coaching staff with the Falcons with the additions of Brian VanGorder and Julian Campenni to the coaching staff. VanGorder will take on the role of associate head coach and linebackers coach. Campenni fills the role of the defensive line coach.

VanGorder comes to Bowling Green from a brief stint at Louisville. A head coaching change at Louisville left VanGorder on the market for a job less than a year after taking the job with the Cardinals under former head coach Bobby Petrino. Louisville added VanGorder, a former defensive coordinator at Notre Dame and defensive analyst with Georgia and Oklahoma State, in January to take on the role of defensive coordinator. Loeffler and VanGorder worked together at Auburn in 2012 when Loeffler was the offensive coordinator and VanGorder was the defensive coordinator for the Tigers under former head coach Gene Chizik.

With VanGorder as defensive coordinator, Louisville turned in the nation’s 122nd-ranked defense, allowing 483.5 yards per game this fall. The Cardinals ranked 128th in scoring defense out of 130 FBS teams by allowing 44.1 points per game. Bowling Green allowed 40.0 points per game this season.

Campenni is following Loeffler from Boston College. Campenni was a graduate assistant the past two seasons at Boston College, where he assisted with the offensive line. He previously was a defensive line coach working at Wyoming Area High School in Exeter, Pennsylvania in 2016.

Missouri defensive end Tre Williams arrested for suspected second-degree domestic assault

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Missouri defensive end Tre Williams has been suspended by the Missouri football program following his arrest on Sunday morning. According to The Kansas City Star, Williams was arrested for suspicion of second-degree domestic assault.

“We were made aware of the situation yesterday, and Tre was immediately suspended indefinitely from all team activities,” Missouri head coach Barry Odom said in a released statement. “We will provide an update if his status changes.”

The arrest was made by Columbia police at Williams’ off-campus apartment, but the details regarding the alleged incident have not been reported at this time.

Williams has been suspended in accordance with the Missouri student-athlete handbook’s policies regarding any arrests on felony charges. The charge levied against Williams is classified as a Class D felony in the state of Missouri, according to The Kansas City Star. Williams has reportedly been released on a $4,500 bond.

Williams, a redshirt sophomore from Columbia, Missouri, has played in 12 games for Missouri this season, in which he has recorded 20 tackles with 2.5 sacks. Though he has started for the Tigers this season, Williams has been listed second on the team’s official depth chart at defensive end behind sophomore Akial Byers in the last few games of the regular season.

On a much less significant note, this arrest would seemingly put Williams’ availability for Missouri’s bowl game in jeopardy. Missouri will play Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.