It was just another day at the office for Jalen Hurts and No. 6 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 big 12). The Sooners won their conference opener against Texas Tech (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) the way that has come to be expected, with big numbers on offense. Hurts passed for 415 yards and three touchdowns and CeeDee Lamb was responsible for 185 receiving yards and all three of the touchdowns thrown by Hurts.
If there is a better quarterback-receiver combo in the country, they may be playing in the NFL. Hurts and Lamb were essentially unflappable against a Texas Tech team that had their defensive unit abused from start to finish. Poor tackling led to big plays, and Lamb getting space to hit fifth gear was lethal for the Red Raiders as well.
Hurts has now thrown for 1,295 yards this season with 12 touchdown passes. After just four games in an Oklahoma uniform, Hurts is easily on pace to have a career season. His career-high for season passing yards is 2,780 yards at Alabama in 2016, which is also when he threw career-high 23 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. Hurts may pass that touchdown total in the next 3-4 games, and the season-high passing mark could be passed by the end of October too.
Oklahoma’s offense put up 644 yards in the game, more than doubling the offensive output by the Red Raiders. Texas Tech clearly has a different offensive approach under new head coach Matt Wells. The Red Raiders rushed for 192 yards in an attempt to have the clock work in their favor, but Oklahoma’s offense was too explosive to allow for that gameplan to work out in Texas Tech’s favor.
The win moves Oklahoma into the 900-win club in college football. Nebraska joined the elite club last week, and Notre Dame can rejoin the club this afternoon with a win over Virginia. The Sooners are the second Big 12 school with 900 all-time wins. Texas (911 all-time wins) got there first.
Oklahoma will look to go 2-0 in Big 12 play next week when they head to Kansas. Texas Tech will look to regroup next week at home against Oklahoma State.
For its newest assistant, Texas A&M football turned to an ACC school. And, a familiar face for that matter.
Thursday, A&M announced that Tyler Santucci has been hired by Fisher as linebackers coach. Santucci will replace Bradley Dale Peveto, who was still under contract but won’t return for the 2020 season.
Santucci’s hiring marks a homecoming of sorts as the assistant spent the 2018 season as a defensive analyst for the Texas A&M football program.
Last season, Santucci was the linebackers coach at Wake Forest. That was his first on-field job at the Power Five level. His first on-field job at the FBS level came as linebackers coach at Texas State in 2016.
In 2017, Santucci was a defensive analyst at Notre Dame. During that brief stint in South bend, Mike Elko was the Fighting Irish’s defensive coordinator, the same position he’s held with the Aggies since he was hired in January of 2018.
The first coaching job for Santucci, who played his college football at Stony Brook, was at his alma mater as safeties coach.
In Jimbo Fisher‘s second season in College Station, the Aggies posted an 8-5 record. A&M has won both bowl games since Fisher took over the program. After finishing tied for second in the SEC West his Fisher’s inaugural season, the Aggies dipped to fourth in 2019.
After one semester at Michigan, freshman running back Jordan Castleberry has transferred to Maryland. Castleberry announced his transfer decision on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Castleberry originally committed to West Virginia during his recruiting process out of high school. Shortly after his commitment to West Virginia, Michigan became a more likely recruiting victor. Castleberry enrolled at Michigan in July 2019.
Castleberry did not play for Michigan in 2019, so he can use the 2019 season as a redshirt year to preserve a year of eligibility. However, NCAA transfer rules will force Castleberry to sit out the 2020 season. This will not make Castleberry eligible for Maryland until the 2021 season, at which point he will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Family will always be more important than football, which is why Ruffin McNeill will be putting football on hold for an undetermined amount of time. Oklahoma announced on Thursday that assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach McNeill will leave football to help take care of his father.
“This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” McNeill said in a statement released by Oklahoma. “But in the end, being near my dad was a necessary choice. Right now I need to be a son again and I need to help my brother and other family members take care of my dad, who is battling significant health issues. This is not retirement for me. I still want to coach in some form or fashion. But right now that can’t be the case. My focus needs to be on my dad back in North Carolina.”
“Ruffin means so much to me and to my family, and his family means so much to him,” Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said in a statement. “I know his decision to leave OU was a very difficult one, but was one he felt he had to make.”
Although McNeill said this is not a retirement decision and expressed a desire to continue coaching when the time is right, Riley confirmed the Sooners will be looking for a replacement on the staff.
“I still want to coach in some form or fashion,” McNeill said. “But right now that can’t be the case.”
McNeill joined the Oklahoma coaching staff under Riley in 2017.
As we are quickly learning with the new day and age of college football, the minute a new quarterback arrives on the scene by way of a transfer, another may soon be on the move. Case in point, the current situation at Miami. Quarterback Jarren Williams will be entering the transfer portal, according to a report from Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter).
This news is hardly shocking given the attention given to the arrival by D’Eriq King from Houston earlier this week. King, a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility for this fall, is widely expected to step in and be Miami’s starting quarterback in 2020. Naturally, that would reduce the playing time Williams or any other Miami quarterback would be likely to see in the fall.
As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Williams was Miami’s leading passer with 2,187 yards and 19 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Williams is the only Miami quarterback who played in as many as 12 games last fall. If not for the addition of King, Williams may have been Miami’s most likely starter this season.
If Williams, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2018, does indeed enter the transfer portal and ultimately decides to leave the Hurricanes for a new school, he will have to sit out the 2020 season. He would then have two years of eligibility left to use beginning in 2021.