Ryan Broyles

Texas hires former Oklahoma WRs coach Jay Norvell

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Well, here’s something you see every day. Former Oklahoma wide receivers coach Jay Norvell is headed across the Red River and down to Austin as Texas’ wide receivers coach. Norvell spent seven seasons coaching the Sooners’ wideouts, and the last five as co-offensive coordinator.

An Iowa graduate, Norvell was also in the mix for Wisconsin’s open wide receivers job.

There are two ways to think about this if you’re a Texas fan. On one hand, Bob Stoops identified Norvell as part of the program with Oklahoma’s offense. And if that’s the case, how can he be part of the solution at Texas? On the other, Norvell was a major cog in the best passing offenses in Oklahoma history – he coached three of the top four pass-catchers in OU history – and had a hand in a number of Big 12 championships and, yes, wins over Texas.

Strong could have done a lot worse than a known commodity with skins on the wall in terms of player development and recruiting.

Norvell will have his work cut out for him this spring and fall. Texas boasted FBS’s 90th-most productive passing offense this fall and loses its top two pass-catchers (John Harris and Jaxon Shipley) to graduation. Rising senior Marcus Johnson is the Horns’ top returning wideout with all of 27 catches for 313 yards and one touchdown. No other returning wide receiver caught more than 10 passes last season.

Texas is also locked in recruiting battles for Tallahassee, Fla., wide receiver John Burt (vs. Auburn) and Aledo, Texas wideout Ryan Newsome (vs. UCLA and Tennessee).

If nothing else, Norvell has some pretty elite company. He’s now the third Texas coach to have worn crimson in another life. The other two? Darrell Royal and Mack Brown.

East Carolina WR Justin Hardy wins Burlsworth Trophy as nation’s top former walk-on

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East Carolina wide receiver Justin Hardy was famously – and ridiculously – left off the Biletnikoff Award semifinalist list back in November, but he took home a nice consolation prize on Monday. Hardy was named the winner of the Burlsworth Trophy as the nation’s top former walk-on.

He received the honor at a ceremony in Springdale, Ark., on Monday night. The ECU play-maker beat out Mississippi State offensive lineman Ben Beckwith and Iowa running back Mark Weisman.

Last month Hardy surpassed Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles as FBS’s all-time leader in receptions.

Hardy leads the nation in receptions per game (9.17), ranks sixth in receiving yards per game (111.2) and places 20th with nine touchdown grabs.

Hardy is the fifth Burlsworth Trophy winner, joining Sean Benford (Georgia Tech, 2010), Austin Davis (Southern Miss, 2011), Matt McGloin (Penn State, 2012) and Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin, 2013).

The trophy is named in honor of former Arkansas walk-on Brandon Burlsworth, who earned All-America honors in 1998 was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1999 but slain in a car accident before his NFL career began.

Hardy will conclude his collegiate career in the Birmingham Bowl against Florida on Jan. 3.

Ryan Broyles’ career receiving mark broken by ECU’s Justin Hardy

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Earlier this afternoon, one Oklahoma player added his name to the NCAA record books.  A short time later, a former Sooner found his name erased from the same book.,

Early in the first quarter of East Carolina’s game against Tulane, Justin Hardy hauled in a seven-yard catch from quarterback Shane Carden, the 349th of his career.  That tied the FBS record set by Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles.

The next possession for the Pirates, Hardy grabbed a 22-yarder that was No. 350 and broke the record Broyles had set from 2007-11.  Hardy added two more catches and now has 352 for his career with the rest of this half plus three more games — two in the regular season and one bowl game — to add to the record.

Hardy has been a significant weapon in ECU’s passing game from the moment he stepped on the field as a redshirt freshman.  He pulled in 64 receptions in 2011 — 11 of them in his first-ever game at this level — then grabbed 88 and 114 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.  He currently has 86 this season.

If you recall, Hardy was also the subject of an unusual rebuke earlier this week, with the AAC’s commissioner calling out the Biletnikoff Award for not including Hardy among its 10 semifinalists

Week 12, Statistically Speaking

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A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

-12.8 — Negative pass efficiency rating for Cole Stoudt in Clemson’s 22-point loss to Georgia Tech.  Stoudt, playing in place of the injured Deshaun Watson, completed 3-of-11 passes for 19 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.  Two of those picks were returned for touchdowns by the Yellow Jackets.

.628 — Winning percentage of visiting teams in Pac-12 road games (27-16) this season.

.869 — Nebraska’s winning percentage in home games since 1990 (146-22), the top mark in the country.  Florida State is next up at .856 (121-20-1).

0 — Number of both points and punts for San Jose State in its loss to Hawaii.  The Spartans’ 11 drives ended on downs three times; with missed field goals three times; with turnovers three times; and the end of the half/game twice.

Randall Telfer (82)
Randall Telfer (82)

1 — Number of touchdowns scored by USC seniors this season, which came Thursday night in the win over Cal on tight end Randall Telfer‘s 15-yard scoring catch.

4 — Receptions East Carolina’s Justin Hardy needs to surpass Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles‘ FBS record of 349 career catches.  Hardy, with 346 receptions, has three regular season games plus a bowl game to eclipse Broyles’ mark set from 2007-11.

4-26 — South Carolina’s record vs. Florida from 1911-2009.  Since then, the Gamecocks own a 4-1 mark against the Gators.

5 — Wins vs. teams ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for Alabama’s Nick Saban, breaking the tie for most all-time he had been in with Jimmy Johnson, Jack Mollenkopf, Joe Paterno and Lou Holtz.

13 — Consecutive road games won by Ohio State, the longest such streak in the country.  Missouri has won nine in a row on the road.

Christian Hackenberg
Christian Hackenberg

14 — Interceptions thrown this season by Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg on 373 attempts, one year after tossing 10 in 392 attempts.  Additionally, the true sophomore has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in three straight games.

17 — Consecutive road losses for Hawaii prior to the win over San Jose State Saturday night.  That streak had been the longest in the country.

17 — Consecutive SEC losses for Arkansas before the win over LSU.  Prior to that, the Razorbacks’ last conference win was Oct. 13, 2012, against Kentucky.

32.1 — Percentage of 28 passes completed by Dane Evans in Tulsa’s 31-7 loss to UCF Friday night, the lowest of his career.  Evans also tossed three interceptions and totaled just 69 passing yards in accumulating a career-low pass efficiency rating of 43.2.

34-0 — Oklahoma’s regular season record the game after a loss since 2004.  The last time the Sooners lost back-to-back regular season games was in 1999, Bob Stoops‘ first year in Norman.  Those losses were to Notre Dame by four and to Texas by 10.

42 — Days between Georgia’s fourth home game of the season at Sanford Stadium (Oct. 4 vs. Vanderbilt) and its fifth (Nov. 15 vs. Auburn).

50 — Career starts for Michigan State defensive end Marcus Rush, setting a school record for a player at any position.

53 — Consecutive games for Iowa without a missed or blocked extra point, the longest streak of any school in the nation.

92 — Consecutive games in which Stanford has scored at least 10 points, the longest current streak in the country.

190.9 — Rushing yards per game Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon is averaging this season, which is more than 82 FBS teams average per contest.

Nelson Agholor
Nelson Agholor

214 — Yards receiving for Nelson Agholor in USC’s win over Cal Thursday night.  That gives Agholor back-to-back 200-yard receiving games (220 vs. Washington State), the first time a Trojan has ever turned that trick.

+221.4 — The differential between rushing yards gained vs. rushing yards allowed by Wisconsin entering Week 12, the best mark in the country by far (Navy’s +174.3).  That differential will only increase exponentially as UW outgained Nebraska 581-118 on the ground.

277 — Rushing yards for Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds in the win over Georgia Southern.  Incidentally, those two teams combined for 769 yards rushing and just 144 passing.

307 — Rushing yards for Indiana’s Tevin Coleman in the 45-23 loss to Rutgers.  In.  A.  Loss.

316.8 — Pass efficiency rating for Zach Terrell in Western Michigan’s 51-7 win over Eastern Michigan.  Terrell only misfired on two of his 19 passes, throwing for 357 yards and four touchdowns.

Leon Allen345 — Rushing yards for Western Kentucky’s Leon Allen, making him the third player to top the 300-yard mark in Week 12.  Prior to Week 12, no FBS player had rushed for more than 300 yards in a single game this year.

424 — Passing yards for Blake Frohnapfel in UMass’ 24-10 win over Ball State Wednesday night.  Frohnapfel, who didn’t throw a touchdown pass in the contest oddly enough, has now thrown for more than 400 yards three times this season, including a 589-yard effort in late September.  This was the first game, however, the Minutemen won during one of the senior’s 400-yard games.

436 — Career-high passing yards for Gunner Kiel as Cincinnati became bowl-eligible with a Thursday night win over East Carolina.

472 — Career-high passing yards for Pete Thomas in Louisiana-Monroe’s loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.  His previous career-high was 387 in 2011 when he was at Colorado State.

483 — Rushing yards for Pittsburgh’s James Connor the past two games, 220 in Week 12 and 263 in Week 10.  Oddly enough, the Panthers lost both games.

Marquise Williams628 — Rushing yards for North Carolina’s Marquise Williams, setting the school’s single-season record for a quarterback previously set by Jim Lalanne in 1940 (541).

670 — Rushing yards for Melvin Gordon on 34 carries spanning two career games against Nebraska, a ridiculous 19.7 yards per carry.

1941 — Last year Temple beat Penn State on the gridiron.  Since then, the Owls are 0-38-1, including Saturday’s setback to the Nittany Lions.

1950 — Last football meeting between Maryland and Michigan State prior to Saturday night’s encounter.

1960 — Prior to Saturday’s game against UTSA, Southern Miss’ last game in the city of San Antonio.  The Eagles, though, suffered their first loss in the city, dropping their all-time record there to 4-1.

1999 — Last year both Oklahoma and Texas were unranked in the Associated Press poll before Week 12 of the 2014 season.

Week 10, Statistically Speaking

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A numerical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

.850 — Duke’s winning percentage with Anthony Boone as a starter (17-3), the highest mark in the program’s history.  Worth Lutz‘s record of .846 has stood for 60 years (1951-54, 11-2).

0 — Number of intersectional foes that have played continuously longer than Notre Dame and Navy, meeting every year since 1927 (88 games).  The Irish’s 43 straight wins over the Midshipmen from 1964-2006 remains the longest winning streak by one team over another in FBS history.

1 — FBS quarterbacks with at least 150 pass attempts who have not thrown an interception this season, that one being Utah’s Travis Wilson (165 attempts).  Last season, Wilson’s 16 interceptions — in just 237 attempts — were the second-most in the nation. Ball State’s Jack Milas has not thrown a pick in 116 attempts.

1.1 — Number of interceptions Louisville’s Gerod Holliman has averaged per game this season.  His 10 interceptions in nine games are the most for an FBS player since North Carolina State’s David Amerson recorded 13 in 13 games in 2011.  The all-time FBS record for interceptions in a season is 14 by Washington’s Al Worley in 1968.  I should also add that Ole Miss’ Senquez Golson has nine picks in the same number of games.

1-34 — Kansas’ record in Big 12 play over the last 35 conference games, stretching back to early November of 2010. The Jayhawks haven’t won back-to-back league games since October of 2008.

3 — Players who have thrown for more than 3,000 yards through the first 10 weeks of the season, with Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty and Cal’s Jared Goff joining the group.  Entering this week’s slate of games, there was one — Washington State’s Connor Halliday, who sustained what turned out to be a season-ending injury Saturday.

(more…)