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No. 12 Baylor stays undefeated after triple OT victory at TCU

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No. 12 Baylor (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) nearly saw their undefeated record go down in a battle of field goals, but the BEars topped TCU (4-5, 2-4 big 12) in a 29-23 triple-overtime game Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth. Grayland Arnold intercepted a fourth down pass in the third overtime to put the finishing touches on Baylor’s big win that puts them in a terrific spot to play for a Big 12 title.

Baylor kicker John Mayers converted a 51-yard field goal in the final minute of the fourth quarter to help send the game to overtime, which is when the two teams decided that kicking field goals wasn’t fun any more and opted for touchdowns instead. Baylor scored first with JaMycal Hasty running for a short touchdown to open the overtime. TCU answered with Max Duggan completing a 24-yard pass to Te’Vailance Hunt on a 4th & 9 play. The TCU touchdown was not initially called but a video replay overturned the call on the field to credit the Horned Frogs for the score, so they played on.

After the teams exchanged touchdowns in the second overtime, Baylor took a 29-23 lead on a Charlie Brewer pass to Denzel Mims on the second play of the third overtime. TCU looked to be in great position to force a fourth overtime when they moved the ball to the Baylor one-yard line, but a run for a loss of three yards was followed by an incomplete pass. A holding penalty on TCU pushed the football back 10 more yards and later led to a fourth-down try to keep the game alive before falling into the hands of Baylor’s Arnold.

Not every win needs to be pretty, and this one certainly wasn’t. But what this game demonstrated for Matt Rhule is his team is not about to quit on any game. The offense had a rough outing against TCU, but they made the plays they needed the most once they got into overtime. Baylor trailed TCU 9-0 at halftime as this game was dictated by the defenses. Baylor turned the football over twice, but forced three TCU turnovers. Baylor also only managed to get 294 yards of offense against the horned Frogs. Is that good enough? Ordinarily, no, but it was enough to get the job done and go home with an important win for Rhule and the Bears.

Baylor not only remains undefeated but sits atop the Big 12 standings with just three games left to play. Baylor’s next game is a big one. The Bears will host Oklahoma in a battle for first place in the Big 12. It could also be a potential preview of the big 12 championship game, a scenario that became more likely with the win against TCU. Baylor has a one-game lead on Oklahoma in the conference standings, and Baylor will be guaranteed to come out of next week’s matchup with the Sooners no worse than second place in the Big 12. Baylor also owns a head-to-head tiebreaker with Kansas State, who sits in third place in the Big 12 at the start of the day (Kansas State plays at Texas today).

TCU will travel to Lubbock next week to play Texas Tech. The Red Raiders won at West Virginia on Saturday, 38-17.

Southern Miss offensive coordinator leaves to join Georgia staff

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How big is the gap between the SEC and Conference USA? So big that Buster Faulkner would evidently rather be an analyst in the SEC than a coordinator in C-USA.

The Southern Miss offensive coordinator is leaving Hattiesburg to join Kirby Smart‘s staff in Athens. Smart has already hired former Todd Monken (ironically, a former Southern Miss head coach) to be his offensive coordinator, and there are no spots open on Georgia’s on-the-field staff. So, according to Dawgs247, Faulkner will join as an analyst.

While nothing has been announced, Faulkner on Monday confirmed his departure out of Hattiesburg.

“Thank you Coach Hop for allowing me to be a part of something special in Hattiesburg,” he tweeted. “I was able to work with some incredible men on this offensive staff! To the players-I love you guys, thanks for everything. I had a blast working with y’all. I wish you guys the best.”

A former Valdosta State quarterback when Smart was on the coaching staff, Faulkner spent just 2019 at Southern Miss after spending the previous three at Arkansas State. He helped the Golden Eagles fly from 109th to 48th in yards per play.

Kerry Coombs set to return to Ohio State

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Ohio State has an opening for a defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach now that Jeff Hafley is Boston College’s head coach. And Ryan Day has found the perfect guy to fill that role — Ohio State’s old defensive backs coach.

Ever-popular assistant coach Kerry Coombs is set to return to Columbus as the Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, according to multiple reports on Monday. (Letterman Row first reported the news.)

An original member of Urban Meyer‘s Ohio State staff, Coombs coached the Buckeyes’ defensive backs from 2012-17, a period that saw Ohio State rank among the top 13 nationally in pass efficiency defense four times, including 2017. Ohio State immediately slunk to 42nd in 2018, leading to Day’s hiring of Hafley. Ohio State immediately rocketed to first (they were second until LSU shredded Clemson last Monday), which led to Hafley’s hiring at BC and, now, Coombs’ return.

“I told the [defensive backs] last year at this time: ‘I am going to go get the best guy in the country.’ They didn’t know who Jeff Hafley was,” Day said last month. “Now they love him, they’re going to miss him. Going to do the same thing again next year, go get the best there is. You call around to different people that you respect. But usually the people you bring in are people that you know really well and you trust.”

Day spent the past two seasons as the defensive backs coach for the Tennessee Titans, and he’ll now return to a senior role he never would’ve gotten had he not left in the first place.

Phil Snow officially following Matt Rhule to Carolina

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise given he’s spent the past four years working for the man, but Phil Snow is officially following Matt Rhule to Carolina.

The team made the announcement Monday.

Snow had coordinated Rhule’s defenses at Temple and Baylor, and in 2019 became one of the most highly-regarded coordinators in the sport. A finalist for the Broyles Award and winner of the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year, Snow would have had options had he chosen to remain in the college game. (Returning to Baylor likely not an option, with Dave Aranda now installed as the top Bear.)

Baylor was the only Big 12 team to hold opponents under 20 points per game and under five yards per play.

He has spent only four years of his four decade coaching run in the NFL, serving as linebackers coach for the Detroit Lions from 2005-08.

“I’ve coordinated in high school, junior college, I-AA, I-A,” Snow said. “My last challenge is the National Football League.”

“I haven’t won a game as a head coach without him as my defensive coordinator,” Rhule said of Snow.

Snow will pair with another hot college name in Joe Brady to serve as Carolina’s coordinator tandem, and Rhule likely isn’t done pillaging college football, either, as reports indicated Monday that Baylor defensive tackles coach Frank Okam will follow Rhule and Snow from Waco to Charlotte.

Ex-Georgia DB Otis Reese lands at Ole Miss

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Lane Kiffin landed a recruit over the weekend in the form of Georgia transfer Otis Reese.

A 4-star member of Kirby Smart‘s 2018 class, Reese appeared in 25 games in silver britches, including all 14 this season. He collected 16 tackles as a Bulldog, though he played primarily on special teams.

“Even in my darkest times, I have always believed, the light would shine & it’s TIME!!!” he tweeted over the weekend.

The Leesburg, Ga., native will presumably compete for playing time in the defensive backfield at Ole Miss.

Barring a waiver, he will have to sit out a year and will first compete for the Rebels in 2021.