Getty Images

Nebraska AD: Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh ‘running a little bit scared right now’

8 Comments

This is just the cutest, bless his heart.

As evidenced by the record-breaking spring game earlier this month, there’s an air of excitement once again surrounding the Nebraska football program, thanks in very large part to the return of Scott Frost as the head coach.  Riding that wave of optimism, new NU athletic director Bill Moos was a speaker at an Omaha Press Club luncheon Tuesday and, well, let’s just say that he may have initially been planning on dipping his toes into the feel-good spring pool but instead ended up doing a cannonball into the thing.

From the Omaha World-Herald:

We’re gonna run that uptempo offense we saw (at the spring game), and we’re gonna get the Blackshirts back to being Blackshirts. And that’s extremely important,” Moos said. “You’ve got Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh thinking, ‘We better put a little more into that Nebraska game coming up.’ And that’s the way we want it. They’re running a little bit scared right now. And they won’t admit it. We’ll leave that at that.

Nebraska will face both Michigan and Ohio State this season, with each of those serving as road games for the Cornhuskers.  Given the heat that seems to be growing under the highly-paid Harbaugh’s seat — finishes of third, third and fourth in the Big Ten East in three seasons in Ann Arbor — mentioning the U-M coach might be apropos.  But Meyer?  In his six seasons in Columbus, Meyer’s Buckeyes have lost three games combined in conference play; in three meetings under Meyer, OSU has woodshedded NU by a combined score of 181-55.

Perhaps, instead of the Big Dog of the conference, Moos should focus these early public comments on Paul Chryst, whose Wisconsin Badgers are the class of Nebraska’s division — Big Ten West champs three of the last four years — and have beaten the Cornhuskers in five straight meetings (three under Chryst) dating back to the 2012 Big Ten championship game.  Or even Kirk Ferentz, whose Iowa Hawkeyes have won three in a row in the rivalry, and by a collective 96-24 score the past two seasons.

Maybe start by finishing higher than fifth in your own division, where you were a season ago, and then work your way up?  Just a thought.

As the kerfuffle over Moos’ comments began to gain traction, the athletic director told the Associated Press in a text message that his words were “[a] bit tongue in cheek.”

“Meant to point out that the competition is aware that there’s a renewed energy at Nebraska and we aim to get back in the hunt,” Moos added in an apparent attempt to cram the toothpaste back into the tube.

Miami’s highest-rated 2018 signee injures knee in practice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The most heralded member of Miami most recent recruiting will be watching the rest of his Hurricanes teammates from the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday afternoon, The U confirmed that Lorenzo Lingard suffered an unspecified injury to his left knee during practice Monday.  The running back will undergo surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future, most likely toward the end of this week.

According to the school, “a timetable for his return will be determined after surgery.”

In a tweet, Lingard addressed his impending medical procedure.

A five-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2018 recruiting class, Lingard was rated as the No. 2 running back in the country; the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 26 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Lingard was the highest-rated signee in The U’s class this year.

In six games this season, Lingard has rushed for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries.  Because he played in more than four games, he will not be able to take advantage of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule.

TCU dismisses WR KaVontae Turpin

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Not surprisingly, the KaVontae Turpin situation in Fort Worth has come to a head rather quickly.

Monday morning, reports surfaced that Turpin was arrested Sunday for assault with bodily harm of a family member.  It was alleged by police that the TCU wide receiver had dragged his girlfriend across a parking lot and slammed her to the ground at an apartment complex in Fort Worth on Saturday night.  Not long after, it was reported that Turpin had been arrested back in March for, among other things, battery of a household member.

Turpin had been suspended Monday by Gary Patterson following the reports of the twin arrests.  Tuesday afternoon, the head coach announced at his weekly press conference that Turpin has been dismissed by the football program.  And, in a twist, Patterson revealed that he hasn’t even informed the player yet of the dismissal, meaning he’ll likely learn of it through someone other than his head coach.

Turpin is currently second on the team in receptions (29), receiving yards (410) and receiving touchdowns (three).  He’s also returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown this season.  Turpin’s 26 yards per kick return average is 19th nationally, while he’s tied for the FBS lead, with Western Michigan’s Jayden Reed, in punt return average at 19.4 yards per.

Oregon WR Bryan Addison serving ‘in-team suspension’

Getty Images
Leave a comment

That’s certainly a new way to describe it.

Monday, Mario Cristobal announced that Oregon freshman Bryan Addison is serving what he labeled as an “in-team suspension.” The only reason given for the punitive measure was an unspecified violation of team policy.

“He’s part of the team,” the head coach said of the wide receiver according to 247Sports.com. “But he will be practicing with the team in a couple of weeks as long as he abides by what he needs to.”

Addison had played in the first three games of the 2018 season, but hasn’t taken the field in any of the last four.  He has one reception for 12 yards, which came in the Week 2 win over FCS Portland State.

A four-star 2018 signee, Addison was rated as the No. 1 player at any position in the talent-rich state of California.  Only one signee, offensive lineman Penei Sowell, was rated higher than Addison in the Ducks’ class this year.

After less than two months at Pitt, Jeff George Jr. ascends to No. 2 QB

Getty Images
Leave a comment

That certainly didn’t take long.

In late August, after summer camp had closed, Jeff George Jr. was confirmed to have transferred to Pitt. Through the first three weeks of the 2018 season, the son of former Illinois great Jeff George wasn’t even listed on Pitt’s depth chart; the last five weeks, he’s been listed as the Panthers’ No. 3 quarterback.

On Monday, however, Pat Narduzzi confirmed that George has been elevated to the No. 2 spot behind starter Kenny Pickett. George’s ascension comes at the expense of Ricky Town, the former USC quarterback who transferred to Pitt late last year.

“Jeff’s come in and really picked stuff up well,” the head coach said, adding, “We have confidence in Ricky as well.”

The move up the depth chart continues a roller coaster that’s been George’s last few months.

It was confirmed in mid-August of this year that George had decided to transfer from Michigan.  The quarterback announced two months earlier that he had decided to transfer to U-M, which came approximately five months after he decided to transfer from Illinois.

In starting five games last season, George was the Illini’s leading passer after throwing for 1,273 yards.  He accounted for seven of the Illini’s eight touchdown passes on the year, as well as 10 of their 19 interceptions.

All told, George started nine games during his time in Champaign.  His first career start? At Michigan in October of 2016, a 41-8 loss that saw George complete four of his 15 passes for 95 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Pickett’s 117.8 pass efficiency rating is currently 10th among ACC quarterbacks and 103rd nationally, which raises the specter that George could ascend to the starting job for the 3-4 Panthers before it’s all said and done.