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No. 5 Oklahoma avoids massive upset with overtime win over Army

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If you woke up this morning and thought there was any chance Army (2-2) was going to come away with a win on the road against No. 5 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), then you are probably the most optimistic of Army football fans there may be. Army did not pull off a major upset of the Sooners, but boy did they come closer than anyone realistically could have imagined.

Oklahoma avoided being upset at home by Army with a 28-21 victory in overtime Saturday night. The game got off to a wild start with the two teams exchanging touchdown drives on the first five possessions of the game, with Oklahoma holding a 21-14 lead by the time the first punt was made by Army in the second quarter.

Army’s valiant effort in the second half to force the game to reach overtime was highlighted by the defensive effort to stand tall in times of need. Army intercepted a pass by Kyler Murray on Oklahoma’s first possession after halftime and capitalized with a 19-play drive covering 85 yards and ending with a short touchdown run by Andy Davidson to draw the game even at 21-21. The defense again made a big play with a fourth down stop on the goal line on Oklahoma’s ensuing possessions. The Sooners had three plays run from the five-yard line and in, but were stuffed on fourth down to give Army a chance.

Army managed to run out away from the shadows of their own end zone but was unable to take its first lead of the ballgame. With one final chance to avoid overtime, Oklahoma missed a 33-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.

Unfortunately for Army, the dream of a colossal upset that would shake up the College Football Playoff picture quickly disintegrated in overtime. Murray completed a touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb on the second play of overtime to give Oklahoma a touchdown lead, and Army’s Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had a fourth-down pass picked off by Parnell Motley to seal the win for Oklahoma.

Enough cannot be said about the effort shown by Army. It is not often a service academy gets a chance to take a highly ranked team and a playoff contender the distance, but Like the original Rocky movie, Oklahoma had just a little more to score the decision in their favor. Army dominated the time of possession with their offensive style gobbling up nearly three full quarters of the clock with 339 rushing yards and 26 first downs. Oklahoma was just too efficient early on with their offense and Army was unable to get an early stop.

Oklahoma will take a 4-0 record back into Big 12 play for the remainder of their regular season, beginning next week at home against Baylor. The Bears are 3-1 after their Big 12 opener victory against Kansas, snapping a two-game winning streak for the Jayhawks.

Army will be back on the road next week to play Buffalo. The MAC program is 4-0 after their demolishing of Rutgers on the road earlier in the day.

Army may have lost, but this is a game that will not soon be forgotten by Army fans around the country and the world.

USC makes hiring of Virginia’s Vic So’oto official

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The massive renovation of Clay Helton’s USC football coaching staff has taken another official step.

Last week, it was reported that USC was expected to poach Vic So’oto from Virginia.  As Clint Sintim‘s hiring as So’oto’s replacement was announced a few days later, the latter’s move to the Trojans was a mere formality.

Tuesday, USC football confirmed So’oto’s addition to Clay Helton’s staff.  As he did with the ‘Hoos, So’oto will serve as the Trojans’ defensive line coach.

The 32-year-old So’oto was the line coach at Virginia for the past three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a defensive graduate assistant at the ACC program.

So’oto played his college football at BYU, ending his four-year career in 2010.  After his NFL career ended, So’oto began his collegiate coaching career as a football intern at his alma mater.

For those unaware, So’oto is the second cousin of USC football legend Junior Seau.

LSU confirms hiring of Scott Linehan as new passing-game coordinator

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LSU football has officially replaced one of the hottest young coaches in the sport.

Not long after LSU football claimed the 2019 national championship, Joe Brady left to take over as the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Earlier this month, it was reported that Scott Linehan was expected to be hired as Brady’s successor.

Tuesday, LSU confirmed that Linehan has indeed been named by Ed Orgeron as the Tigers’ new passing-game coordinator. The 56-year-old Linehan has spent the past 17 seasons he’s been a coach at the NFL level.

Linehan was out of coaching this past season.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge to our offense,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “We wanted to bring in someone who will expand our passing game and with Scott’s experience as an NFL head coach and offensive coordinator we feel this is the best move for our offense. After talking to numerous people with NFL experience and interviewing Scott we knew he was the right fit for the LSU Tigers.”

In 13 of those seasons in the NFL, Linehan served as an offensive coordinator.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 2015-18
  • Detroit Lions, 2009-13
  • Miami Dolphins, 2005
  • Minnesota Vikings, 2002-04

In the other four NFL seasons in which he wasn’t a coordinator, Linehan was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and passing-game coordinator for the Cowboys (2014).

Linehan’s last job at the collegiate level came as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville (1999-2001). From 1996-98, he was the coordinator at Washington.

American announces 2020 schedule

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The American Athletic Conference will again play football in 2020, the conference confirmed on Tuesday.

The American revealed its 2020 conference schedule, a 44-game slate that completes the 88 total games AAC teams will play in 2020. As a reminder, UConn is no longer an American member, meaning the conference will have 11 football-playing members for the foreseeable future. All 11 teams will still play an 8-game league schedule, and the conference will still hold a title game.

The 2020 season will also be the conference’s first under the new rights agreement it struck with ESPN in March. As such, at least 40 American home games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks, and at least half of those will be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The conference will play a total of 12 games on Thursday or Friday nights.

“We are excited to announce our 2020 schedule as we enter the next phase of our longstanding relationship with ESPN,” said commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the continued success our schools have had, I have no doubt that we will once again provide our fans, and ESPN, with compelling matchups throughout the season in both conference and nonconference play. We look forward to another outstanding season of American Athletic Conference football.”

The season will begin on Saturday, Aug. 29 when Navy “hosts” Notre Dame at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. That game will be shown on ESPN with College GameDay in tow as part of the network’s season kick-off effort. While the full schedule can be viewed here, highlights include:

  • North Carolina at UCF, Sept. 4 (Friday)
  • South Florida at Texas, Sept. 5
  • Temple at Miami, Sept. 5
  • Houston at Washington State, Sept. 12
  • Cincinnati at Nebraska, Sept. 26
  • TCU at SMU, Sept. 26
  • Memphis at SMU, Oct. 1 (Thursday)
  • UCF at Memphis, Oct. 16 (Friday)
  • Memphis at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
  • Memphis at Navy, Nov. 14
  • Cincinnati at UCF, Nov. 21
  • UCF at South Florida, Nov. 27 (Friday)

The 2020 American season will conclude with the sixth annual American Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks to wear No. 7

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George Costanza was never much of a college football fan. He was a New Yorker, after all. But he was a fan of the No. 7, and so he would have a new favorite college football player in 2020.

A product of Orlando’s Jones High School, Sevyn Banks has been a member of Ohio State’s defensive backfield since 2018. The former 4-star recruit has received limited playing time in the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive backfield, but figures to compete for a starting spot in 2020.

And now he’ll do so in his namesake number.

Banks announced Monday he will switch from No. 12 to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

The No. 7 had been claimed by linebacker Teradja Mitchell, who is now switching to No. 3, opening No. 7 for, well, Sevyn.

Banks appeared in all 14 games for Ohio State last season, collecting 11 tackles and one interception.

He’ll hope to get more burn in 2020, with some support from a fictional New Yorker.