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Conference USA releases 2020 football schedule

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The calendar reads 2020 and now Conference USA is ready to start filling in dates this fall for the upcoming football campaign.

In a release issued on Wednesday, the league announced dates and opponents for their 2020 football schedule. You can find team-by-team schedules here or the overall composite week-by-week schedule here.

CUSA will once again play eight conference games and will essentially see the league slate from last season flip venues from home to road. The divisional alignment is set to remain the same, with 14 teams split evenly across an East and West Division.

There will be plenty of new faces for the upcoming campaign in the conference, including at reigning champion Florida Atlantic after Lane Kiffin’s departure to Ole Miss and the hiring of former Florida State head coach Willie TaggartJeff Traylor also takes over at UTSA and Ricky Rahne will be the new head coach at Old Dominion.

The Conference USA title game is also scheduled for Saturday, December 5 and will mark the quite the anniversary as the league begins its 25th season of play on the gridiron.

Marshall posts a league-high eight First Team All-Conference USA selections

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Florida Atlantic won the conference, but Marshall won the All-Conference USA team.

The Thundering Herd, who finished second to FAU in the East Division, placed eight players on the first team to FAU’s five. (However, three of the eight first-team Herd were specialists.)

The conference will not name individual awards until Wednesday, but here’s betting that Florida Atlantic will have the winner there. Sophomore quarterback Chris Robison threw for nearly 3,400 yards and 26 touchdowns, while tight end Harrison Bryant led all FBS tight ends with 61 grabs and 1,004 yards while scoring seven touchdowns.

Western Kentucky came in third with four first-team selections.


OFFENSE

QB- Chris Robison, R-So., Florida Atlantic
QB- J’Mar Smith, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech
RB- Benny LeMay, Sr., Charlotte
RB- Brenden Knox, R-So., Marshall
OL- Cameron Clark, R-Sr., Charlotte
OL- Junior Diaz, Gr., Florida Atlantic
OL- Brandon Walton, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OL- Levi Brown, R-Sr., Marshall
OL- Miles Pate, R-Sr., WKU
TE- Harrison Bryant, Sr., Florida Atlantic
WR- Jaelon Darden, Jr., North Texas
WR- Quez Watkins, R-Jr., Southern Miss
WR- Lucky Jackson, R-Sr., WKU

DEFENSE
DT- Channing Hames, R-Sr., Marshall
DT- Garrett Marino, R-Sr., UAB
DE- Alex Highsmith, R-Sr., Charlotte
DE- DeAngelo Malone, Jr., WKU
LB- Tavante Beckett, R-Jr., Marshall
LB- Blaze Alldredge, Jr., Rice
LB- Kristopher Moll, Jr., UAB
DB- Meiko Dotson, R-Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB- Amik Robertson, Jr., Louisiana Tech
DB- Chris Jackson, Sr., Marshall
DB- DQ Thomas, Sr., Southern Miss

SPECIAL TEAMS
K- Justin Rohrwasser, R-Sr., Marshall
P- John Haggerty, Jr., WKU
KR- Jaylond Adams, R-So., Southern Miss
PR- Talik Keaton, Fr., Marshall
LS – Matt Beardall, Sr., Marshall

Penn State OC Ricky Rahne hired by Old Dominion to be head coach

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Old Dominion’s search for a head coach may have come to a close. Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne will be named the next head coach of the Monarchs, according to a report from FootballScoop.com.

Old Dominion has yet to officially announce the hiring the time of this post, but that could be coming shortly (in which case this post will be updated with the official confirmation from the school).

Rahne has been a part of the Penn State coaching staff under James Franklin since 2014. Rahne came to Penn State from Vanderbilt with Franklin after coaching on Franklin’s Vanderbilt staff for three seasons. Rahne served as an interim offensive coordinator in 2015 for Penn State’s bowl game following the firing of offensive coordinator John Donovan. Rahne remained as the quarterback coach when Penn State hired Joe Moorhead to be the offensive coordinator. Rahne was given the permanent title of offensive coordinator after the 2017 season after Moorhead was hired to be the head coach at Mississippi State.

It is unknown at this time if Rahne will stay on board Penn State’s coaching staff to coach the offense in the Cotton Bowl against Memphis, thus pulling double-duty coaching the Penn State offense and taking over control as head coach at Old Dominion. Expect that to be addressed whenever Rahne gets a chance to address the media following a formal introduction.

Rahne would replace Bobby Wilder as head coach of Old Dominion. Wilder resigned from the position earlier this month after 13 years with the school, including 11 seasons. Wilder helped to start up the football program from scratch in 2007 and compiled a record of 77-56 as the program ascended quickly to join Conference USA at the FBS level.

UPDATE (6:30 p.m. ET) – Old Dominion has officially announced the hire. Rahne will formally be introduced on Wednesday.

Bobby Wilder resigns at Old Dominion

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Another coaching domino has fallen, as Bobby Wilder is out at Old Dominion.

“I have resigned as head coach of the ODU football program as I feel it’s in the best interest for this program going forward,” Wilder said Monday. “I have poured my heart and soul into this university and our football program, but I feel this is the best decision for Old Dominion University. I plan to be an asset throughout the transition for the University.

“I would like to thank President Broderick for the opportunity he gave me 13 years ago to coach at Old Dominion University.”

The only head coach the program has ever known, Wilder started toe ODU program in 2007 and went 77-56 in 11 seasons. Highlights over that span include trips to the FCS playoffs in 2011-12 and a share of the Conference USA East Division championship with a Bahamas Bowl victory in 2016.

That 2016 breakthrough proved to be a peak, though. The Monarchs went 5-7 in 2017, 4-8 last season and 1-11 this fall, concluding with a 38-22 loss to Charlotte — a program younger than ODU but headed, coincidentally, to the Bahamas Bowl this month.

“Coach Wilder has dedicated the last 13 years of his professional career in the pursuit of excellence for ODU football,” ODU president John Broderick said. “I am extremely grateful to Bobby Wilder, our assistant coaches, our student athletes and our football support staff. Collectively they have given everything of themselves. They have represented ODU with class and dignity.”

A national search is underway to find the second head Monarch, and Shane Beamer will be a name to watch here.

After grad transfer to Old Dominion, ex-Virginia Tech WR Eric Kumah plans to redshirt in 2019

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It’s a new landscape out there in college football between the NCAA Transfer Portal and players’ ability to redshirt despite playing in four games but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few decisions that reach the nexus of both and take an unexpected twist.

At least it seems that way in light of recent news out of Norfolk as Old Dominion confirmed that ex-Virginia Tech starting wideout and grad transfer to the team Eric Kumah will instead opt to redshirt this year for the Monarchs instead of playing out the rest of the campaign.

The senior, who curiously has played both for and against ODU in his career, recently returned to action on Saturday in a loss to Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic squad. The receiver caught a career-high 10 passes for 99 yards in the blowout, which dropped the team to 1-7 on the year and likely played a role in taking the redshirt.

“I’ll take this offeason, and this’ll be my first offseason to do everything to get healthy, so I feel like this is a good move,” Kumah told the school’s website.

Kumah was dealing with a knee injury this season (he had surgery in the spring) and had not played since a loss at Virginia on Sept. 21. Saturday’s contest was his fourth, the limit players have to be under in order to still utilize a redshirt year.

ODU has lost seven in a row in 2019 and travel to FIU for their next game. The Monarchs are extremely young overall so Kumah’s experience was expected to help jumpstart an offense that ranks No. 128 in scoring but it appears the program is building toward the future with moves like this and a lost season at hand.