The formula for No. 13 Oregon is a simple one each week: play swarming, lockdown defense and let quarterback Justin Herbert cook in the passing game. When it works to perfection, as it did on Friday night in a 45-3 rout of visiting Colorado, it makes you think that all that talk about the Ducks being the Pac-12’s lone College Football Playoff hope has something to it.
Not everything went Oregon’s way with a host of key players going down along the way but it was still the team’s best overall effort of the season against a Power Five opponent and could carry a lot of weight going into a huge matchup against rival Washington next weekend in Seattle.
In front of a number of NFL general managers and over two dozen scouts, Herbert was sharp in throwing for 261 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers would have been better had there not been a few drops and the score not gotten out of hand early but he once again looked like the first round caliber signal-caller many expected to see this season. His strong start helped loosen the Buffs defense and allowed UO’s offensive line to take over the rest of the game, paving the way for a ground attack that rolled over their opponent as things wore on.
C.J. Verdell played a big role in that as the tailback racked up 171 yards on just 14 carries, looking quite healthy after leaving last week’s game against Cal with a minor injury. Cyrus Habibi-Likio vultured three touchdowns from his fellow tailback while Jaylon Redd scored on the ground and through the air (four catches, 75 yards and the score receiving).
Defensively, the Ducks were as good as they have been all season in posting four turnovers (leading to 21 points the other way) and limiting a pretty good Colorado offense to just 299 yards. There was some concern on the injury front however, as Herbert’s top target in TE Jacob Breeland was injured going out of bounds (later seen on crutches) and safety Jevon Holland (seen with a boot on in the second half) got hit by his own man and exited the field on a cart.
There was actually some good news for the Buffs despite the final score as they got back top receiver Laviska Shenault from injury. His impact was limited to just four catches for 70 yards in limited action though as the passing game was tough to watch at times. QB Steven Montez tossed a career-high four interceptions (on just nine throws over the 2nd and 3rd quarters) and finished with just 131 yards passing. The rushing attack did average close to five yards a carry at one point but the margin was so great that it didn’t really matter as the team dropped to. 500 on the year.
Oregon, meanwhile, improved to 5-1 on the season to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Pac-12 North. They remain the league’s best hope of making a dint in the national radar, even if the injury report wound up being a little longer than Mario Cristobal would like coming out of an easy win over a conference rival.
For the fourth time in roughly a week, a Nebraska football player has left Scott Frost‘s program.
Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday morning Jaylin Bradley is set to leave the Cornhuskers. A short time ago, a Nebraska football official confirmed that the redshirt sophomore running back is listed in the NCAA transfer database.
At this point, it’s unclear if Bradley will be leaving as a graduate transfer. If Bradley has to sit out the 2020 season, he would then have one season of eligibility to use in 2021.
A three-star member of Nebraska’s 2017 recruiting class, Bradley was rated as the No. 3 player in the state of Nebraska regardless of position. Showing promise as a true freshman, Bradley ran for 93 yards on 24 carries as well as catching four passes for another 38 yards in seven appearances. He also returned six kicks for 124 yards.
The next two seasons, however, Bradley played in just one game. He carried the ball twice for eight yards in his lone 2019 appearance.
In addition to Bradley, cornerback Tony Butler announced on Twitter late last week that he has entered the transfer database. On top of that, linebacker Pernell Jefferson, a three-star 2016 signee, entered the portal last Wednesday. Days before that, offensive lineman John Raridon decided to retire from football to pursue a career in architecture.
According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, all of the departures leave Nebraska football with 84 players on scholarship. That’s one under the NCAA-mandated limit of 85 scholarship players.
If seeing Deion Sanders roaming the sidelines as a college football head coach is on your bucket list, the man himself says it’ll happen. Soon.
Twitter in general and the college football world specifically was set ablaze in early November as a report emerged that Deion Sanders was a candidate for the Florida State head-coaching vacancy. Subsequent reports stated that Sanders was not a candidate for the job at his alma mater, with the Hall of Famer himself stating that he had “not spoken to anyone from Florida State regarding” the job that ultimately went to Mike Norvell.
At the time, though, Sanders made it perfectly clear that coaching at the collegiate level is in his future.
“But let me assure you, I am 100 percent — 100 percent — desiring to coach at the next level. And I will.”
In that vein, Sanders appeared on the Dan Patrick Show earlier Tuesday. During the interview, Sanders very emphatically stated that he will be a college football head coach “next year.” He also claimed that he had a second interview for a job this cycle with an unnamed school that wasn’t FSU.
Last January, it was reported that there was mutual interest between Sanders and the man Norvell replaced, Willie Taggart, in the former joining the latter’s first FSU staff as defensive backs coach, although that never came to fruition.
Sanders, whose NFL career ended in 2005, has never coached at the collegiate level. He started his own ill-fated charter school in 2012 and coached the football team there — “[t]he school was plagued by ethical, legal, and financial issues, and closed on January 30, 2015, due to financial insolvency” — while he served as the offensive coordinator at a private school in Texas while his sons, now at the collegiate level, were players there.
Nearly two months after returning as the Rutgers football head coach, Greg Schiano has put the finishing touches on his second first staff.
Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights announced that Adam Scheier has been hired as Schiano’s special teams coordinator. Scheier has spent the past two decades working with special teams in various capacities.
“Adam is an accomplished, veteran special teams coach who will be a great asset to our coaching staff,” the Rutgers football head coach said in a statement. “In our time working together, I saw how passionate Adam is about teaching and mentoring young men. We look forward to welcoming Adam, his wife Erica and their children to our Rutgers family.”
Scheier has spent time as a special teams coordinator with three different FBS programs:
- Texas Tech (2018)
- Wake Forest (2014-16)
- Bowling Green (2009-13)
Last season, Scheier served as a special teams consultant at Mississippi State. In 2017, Scheier worked at Ohio State as a special teams quality control coach.
In Scheier’s lone season at OSU, Schiano was in the second of his three seasons as the Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator.
“I am fired up to be back home,” the Bronx native stated. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Schiano and I look forward to working with him again. I appreciate the opportunity he has given me to coach at Rutgers in the great state of New Jersey.”
With this hiring, Schiano has now filled all 10 positions on his 10-man on-field coaching staff. The others whose hirings have already been announced are:
- Sean Gleeson — offensive coordinator (HERE)
- Nunzio Campanile — offensive assistant (HERE)
- Augie Hoffman, offensive assistant (HERE)
- Tiquan Underwood — wide receivers (HERE)
- Andrew Aurich — offensive line (HERE)
- Robb Smith, defensive coordinator (HERE)
- Jim Panagos — defensive line (HERE)
- Bob Fraser — linebackers coach (HERE)
- Fran Brown — co-defensive coordinator/secondary (HERE)
When it comes to the transfer tote board, there’s been another update for the UConn football program.
Last week, it was confirmed that three members of the UConn football team, redshirt junior offensive lineman Cam DeGeorge, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Garrison Burnett and junior defensive back Oneil Robinson, had entered their names in the NCAA transfer database. That trio pushed the number UConn football players who had entered their names into the portal to 23.
Monday, that number officially reached an even two dozen. According to 247Sports.com, running back Donevin O’Reilly has now made his way into the portal to kick the number of potential transfers up to 24.
O’Reilly originally walked on to the UConn football team just after the start of the 2017 season — he carried the ball once and returned a pair of kickoffs that year — before breaking out during spring practice the next offseason, not only earning a scholarship from the university but also claiming a majority of the reps with the No. 1 offense during summer camp. Unfortunately for the running back, however, his Cinderella story ended because of a torn ACL in his left knee.
In 2019, O’Reilley ran for 17 yards on five carries.
Among those who have entered the portal before this current quartet is Tyler Coyle. This past season, the starting safety led the Huskies in tackles (86), pass breakups (10) and forced fumbles (two).
In the third season of his second stint as the UConn football head coach, Randy Edsall went 2-10 in 2019. The Huskies have just six wins since Edsall returned in 2017; that’s the worst three-year stretch in the program’s FBS history.
In June of last year, it was confirmed that UConn football would be leaving the AAC following the 2019 season and playing as an independent in the sport.