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Nebraska still working through possibilities for adding 12th game

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Nebraska did not play its scheduled opener against Akron on Saturday night, and the game was not played Sunday, either, after Nebraska offered to house the Zips across multiple dorm facilities on Saturday night.

Huskers AD Bill Moos told reporters Wednesday he would still like to get his team a 12th game, and is still working through the possibility of re-scheduling Akron for Dec. 1. Nebraska is off Oct. 27 and Akron isn’t. Akron is off Sept. 29 and Nebraska isn’t.

But neither team has a scheduled game for Dec. 1, and Moos said that remains the likeliest option at this point.

“I did leave with (Akron athletic director) Larry Williams the options of a 12th game. I thought we had very good dialogue. We kind of left it verbally that we’d like to play the game,” Moos said, via HuskerOnline. “We don’t have a common bye so it’d have to be at the end of the year. If both schools agreed to it, we could play on the Saturday after the end of the regular season barring if either team was in their conference championship game.

“That’s a loose end out there. That’s an option.”

Moos also said Nebraska could schedule an FCS opponent for Oct. 27, however, that would require lining up another team that happens to have a bye week and is willing to take a pummeling on short notice.

There is still the money factor to be worked out as well. For now, Nebraska is holding onto both the gate it made from selling 85,000 or so tickets and the $1.17 million it promised Akron. A no-refund policy is printed on each ticket, so Nebraska’s technically within its rights there, though Moos said it would honor the sold tickets should a 12th game be added. As for the guarantee, it’s not due until March. Moos said Nebraska will definitely cover Akron’s travel expenses, but it remains up in the air as to whether Nebraska would pay the rest for a game that didn’t happen. Akron, obviously, wants the money it was banking on. Nebraska, obviously, doesn’t want to pay for something that never happened.

That’s why the cleanest option for both sides seems to be to reschedule the game for Dec. 1, barring a surprise visit to the conference title game for either side.

Florida State did the same thing a year ago. Hurricane Irma forced the cancelation of the ‘Noles Sept. 9 home opener with ULM, and FSU rescheduled the game for Dec. 2. In one of the most awkward college football games of all time, Jimbo Fisher had already bounced for Texas A&M and it was incredibly obvious the 5-6 ‘Noles only played the game to keep their 36-year bowl streak alive. (And they did, winning 42-10.)

That game wasn’t officially rescheduled until November, so Moos and Nebraska have some time. What will be interesting to watch is both sides’ enthusiasm for a lame duck game if, say, a 7-4 Nebraska is contractually obligated to play a cold, meaningless game against a 4-7 Akron.

Amidst reports of transfers, including QB Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech issues statement

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This is certainly an odd development that, given the plethora of transfers that only continues to rise, could actually become the norm.

Tuesday night, a pair of Virginia Tech football players, including second-leading receiver Eric Kumah, took to Twitter to announce that they had decided to transfer/enter their name into the NCAA transfer database.  A day later, it’s being reported that Josh Jackson, who, after going through a tumultuous offseason, began 2018 as the Hokies’ starting quarterback only to suffer a season-ending injury, has placed his name in the transfer database as well.

Given all of the abrupt roster upheaval, Tech head coach Justin Fuente issued a statement Wednesday afternoon somewhat addressing the developments over the last 24 hours or so.

Pitt announces hiring of ex-Maryland WRs coach Chris Beatty

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Nearly three weeks after clearing out a pair of spots on his offensive coaching staff, Pat Narduzzi has filled in those self-created holes.

Jan. 4, Shawn Watson was fired as Pitt’s offensive coordinator, replaced a little over a week later by former UMass head coach Mark Whipple.  The same day Watson was fired, Kevin Sherman was dismissed as wide receivers coach; Wednesday, Pitt confirmed that Chris Beatty has been hired as Sherman’s replacement.

Sherman spent the past three seasons at Maryland as receivers coach.  He also served as co-offensive coordinator and held the title of associate head coach while with the Terrapins.

“Chris is an absolutely outstanding addition to our staff,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “His expertise goes well beyond one position on the offensive side of the ball. That diverse experience is going to be an incredible asset for our players and entire coaching staff. He is also a highly driven recruiter with valuable contacts in so many key areas. We are looking forward to welcoming Chris, his wife Kris and his son Aaron to both Pitt and Pittsburgh.”

Prior to Maryland, Beatty spent time on Power Five coaching staffs at Virginia (2015), Wisconsin (2013-14), Illinois (2012), Vanderbilt (2011) and West Virginia (2008-10).  In addition to receivers, he’s also coaching quarterbacks and running backs.

Cadillac Williams returning to Auburn as RBs coach

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A legend is coming home to The Plains.  Reportedly.

According to and among others, Cadillac Williams is set to be named as the next running backs coach at Auburn.  Williams would replace Tim Horton, who moved into an off-field role earlier this month.

An official announcement on Williams’ hiring could come as early as today.

Williams played running back for the Tigers from 2001-04, finishing with 3,831 yards and 45 touchdowns on 741 attempts.  The carries were the most in AU history at the time of his departure, while the yards and touchdowns were second to Bo Jackson.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Williams the fifth pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, and he went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.  H ended up playing seven years in the NFL before retiring following the end of the 2011 season.

The 36-year-old Williams’ coaching career began in 2016 as an offensive graduate assistant at Div. II West Georgia.  He went to IMG Academy in Florida as running backs coach before moving on to the same position the Birmingham franchise in the newly-created Alliance of American Football.

UPDATED 2:36 p.m. ET: Based on a tweet from Auburn football’s official Twitter account, Williams’ return to the Tigers is official.

Police investigating death of FCS player as a suicide

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Sadly, there’s more tragic news involving a college football player on which to report.

According to multiple media outlets, University of Montana Grizzly football player Andrew Harris was found dead at his residence in Missoula Tuesday.  The Missoulian writes that “police are investigating the scene as a suicide.”

Harris was just 22 years old.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Andrew’s family and friends at this difficult time,” university president Seth Bodnar said in a statement sent out to the Missoulian. “The entire UM family mourns his loss and our hearts go out to all who knew him.”

A redshirt junior, Harris was a defensive lineman who played in 11 games during his time with the Griz.  Our thoughts, prayers and condolences going out to all of those impacted by Harris’ passing.

And for those in the reading audience: The phone number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.  Please, pick up the phone and call that number if you ever get to the point where you feel like you just can’t go on.  Or call somebody, anybody.