Seth Littrell has done a great job turning around the program at North Texas but fans getting a look at the 2018 edition of his team will notice something right away that’s different when they take the field for the home opener: new turf. The Denton Record Chronicle reports that UNT is ponying up $625,245 for the latest “FieldTurf CoolPlay” turf at Apogee Stadium.
“We are excited about the turf,” Littrell said recently, according to the paper. “It was much needed. That turf has been used a lot and has gotten worn down. The new field will improve safety and will be a great resource for our kids.”
The old turf had a good run at the stadium after being installed back in 2011 but obviously the summer heat and 300+ pound bodies playing football will cause a little wear and tear. The Record Chronicle says that “North Texas” and “Mean Green” will be the end zones text while the midfield school logo will include a “dark green outline of the state of Texas.”
Completion of the project is expected to be done well in time for the first game against SMU in September. The school has released some shots of Apogee Stadium without the old turf and it certainly looks kind of wild to see a stadium sans a playing field:
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.
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 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.
Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen added one more piece of hardware to his 2018 collection on Sunday night when he was named the recipient of this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy.
The award is presented to college football’s best defensive player who is determined to have the biggest impact on his team based on integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity, as outlined by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. Allen is the first player from the SEC to win the award, and the fourth overall, since Glenn Dorsey of LSU won the award in 2007. The award was first presented in 2004 to Georgia’s David Pollack and Alabama’s DeMeco Ryans won the award in 2005.
Last week, Allen was awarded the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player. Allen was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous First Team All-SEC player. Allen has said he will play in Kentucky’s upcoming Citrus Bowl against Penn State before moving to the NFL.
In addition to Allen winning the award, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will donate $25,000 to the general scholarship fund at the University of Kentucky.