A matchup of the two most recent Conference USA champions could have been like a title bout between two prized fighters, but instead, FAU (10-3, 7-1 Conference USA) knocked UAB (9-4, 6-2 Conference USA) out early en route to a 49-6 victory. If the Owls were distracted by coaching rumors surrounding Lane Kiffin, it certainly did not show.
Chris Robison passed for 299 yards and four touchdowns, BJ Emmons rushed for two scores and the defense controlled UAB from the start in a game that was never remotely close. FAU had over 500 yards of offense while UAB was limited to just 223 yards. UAB had two turnovers with just 13 first downs to show for their effort. FAU had an even offensive output with over 286 rushing yards as a team, and 299 passing yards. Emmons There was no aspect of the game that favored UAB, the defending Conference USA champions from 2018. This was a flat-out stomping by the Owls.
Things definitely got chippy as the game continued, leaving UAB head coach Bill Clark searching for answers after a rather undisciplined season from the Blazers. UAB averaged just over 69 penalty yards per game this season and was flagged 11 times for 83 yards in this one. This was certainly a frustrating way to see this season end for Clark and the Blazers, although they will still be heading to a bowl game for a chance to end the season on a winning note. The fact UAB has a shot at a 10-win season is still a remarkable show of just how great a job Clark continues to be doing with his program.
The future of Kiffin will now be a significant story. With the Conference USA championship behind him, reports that Kiffin could be close to finalizing a deal to become the next head coach at Ole Miss could move across the finish line. Kiffin has a record of 26-13 at FAU with two Conference USA championships in his three seasons with the program. Success at FAU was always likely to lead to Kiffin receiving offers from some power conference programs, so it was only a matter of time before this inevitably unfolded. For Kiffin, a chance to return to the SEC, where he was briefly the head coach of Tennessee and worked under Nick Saban as an offensive coordinator prior to his arrival at FAU, will certainly be among the biggest coaching headlines of the offseason.
Whether Kiffin sticks around to coach FAU in the bowl game remains to be seen.
UPDATE (5:44 p.m. ET): Kiffin has officially been announced as the next head coach at Ole Miss.
The transfer portal has giveth for Miami football and it’s taken away.
Less than a week after Hurricanes got a big pickup in the form of Temple grad transfer DL Quincy Roche, the program learned that veteran defensive end Scott Patchan had entered his name into the transfer portal via an announcement on social media:
Patchan started six games last season and played in all 13 for Miami in 2019. He recorded 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks while in the lineup but ultimately took a back seat to star pass rusher Greg Rousseau and a host of others.
The loss of Patchan certainly hurts the depth head coach Manny Diaz has to play with but is by no means a killer given what will return in 2020 along the line. In addition to Rousseau (coming off a 15.5 sack campaign) and former AAC Defensive Player of the Year Roche, rising sophomore Jahfari Harvey saw action and former five-star Jaelan Phillips will be eligible after transferring from UCLA.
Patchan, who received a waiver from the NCAA for a sixth-year after injuries hampered his career, will be immediately eligible for his new school.
Miami opens the 2020 season with a game against Temple as part of a three-game homestand against Group of Five opponents before traveling to Michigan State for a big non-conference test.
A difficult year for UCLA on the football field was just as difficult on the balance sheet.
According to details obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, the Bruins reported a shocking $18.9 million deficit for the recent 2018-19 fiscal year. This was the result of $108.4 million in revenue and $127.3 million in outgoing expenses.
“A confluence of events over the past two years led us to this point,” AD Dan Guerrero said in a statement to the paper, “and while it is unusual for us, we expect this shortfall can be mitigated.
“The investments made into our football and men’s basketball programs will pay off, ticket sales will normalize and one-time expenses will be paid.”
Those investments included a nearly 30 percent increase in the football program’s funding since the hire of Chip Kelly in late 2017. While former head coach Jim Mora’s buyout (nearly $12.5 million) was recorded in the previous year’s budget, the effects of it naturally carried over and created an even tricker situation when basketball coach Steve Alford’s buyout was thrown in for 2019.
In addition to buyouts, the grocery bill seemed to play a pretty big factor in the deficit as well. While this doesn’t appear to just be the case of switching from Albertsons to Whole Foods, under Kelly the program’s budget for nutrition ballooned from just a shade under $1 million to nearly $5.4 million last year. Add in decreased ticket sales in football (down $3.5 million from projections) after a disappointing year and increased costs from other places in the department and you can see how UCLA quickly went from being in the black into the red.
Needless to say, that puts even more pressure on Kelly and company to help turn things around in 2020. Things in Westwood haven’t been rosy in some time in the major revenue-producing sports and it seems it’s finally caught up to the folks in powder blue.
New Baylor football head coach Dave Aranda has been busy assembling his new coaching staff and filling it with familiar faces from his days at LSU.
One looming question that was still in the wind however was just what direction the defensive-minded coach would be taking on the other side of the ball. Now it appears we know.
As first reported by Yahoo! Sports and confirmed by a number of other outlets, the Bears are set to bring in former North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora as the program’s new offensive coordinator.
Fedora is no stranger to the Lone Star State, having grown up in College Station and spent the 2019 season as an offensive analyst at Texas. He also coached at Baylor from 1991-1996 as a position coach responsible for, at times, the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.
The 57 year old previously served as OC at Middle Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma State and is well versed in running a high-flying spread offense. He took over as head coach of Southern Miss and quickly got the program back on track before heading to Chapel Hill. While in charge of the Tar Heels, he guided UNC to a 79-62 record that included a division title in 2015.
While it’s assumed that Fedora will be calling plays while in Waco, he does join a previously announced hire in Jorge Munoz on the Bears staff. The latter was a coordinator himself at UL-Lafayette and recently served as an analyst at LSU helping develop Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
The ACC has lost a pivotal figure in the league’s history.
The conference confirmed that former commissioner Gene Corrigan passed away on Friday night at the age of 91 in his Charlottesville, Virginia home.
“When Gene hired me at the University of Virginia straight out of graduate school, it was one of the luckiest days of my life,” said current ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “That day began a relationship and mentorship that lasted nearly half a century. Simply put, Gene was one of the most remarkable individuals, and leaders, I have ever known. His impact on the ACC and college athletics was profound and immeasurable, only surpassed by his impact on the individuals he positively affected – and there are a multitude of us. I will miss him immensely, but I am so grateful to have had him as a mentor, boss, friend and colleague for so many years. Nora and I spent several hours with Gene and Lena at their home in Charlottesville last fall. The time was truly special. Nora joins me in extending our hearts and prayers to Lena and the extraordinary Corrigan family.”
Corrigan served as athletic director at Washington and Lee University, Virginia and Notre Dame before taking over at the league office in Greensboro. A Duke graduate, he came up in college athletics originally as a lacrosse and soccer coach in the 1950’s and 1960’s before eventually moving full-time into administration.
After leaving South Bend to become the ACC’s commissioner in 1987, Corrigan engineered a series of key moves that resulted in the league that many see today. Most notably this included the addition of Florida State to the ranks in 1990 and helping found the Football Bowl Alliance, a precursor to what would become the BCS.
Corrigan is survived by his wife, seven children, including current N.C. State athletic director Boo Corrigan.