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Pac-12 Notes – TCU Week

September 3rd 

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No. 11 Oregon embarrassed by No. 3 Georgia, 49-3: “They executed, and we didn’t, bottom line”

From The Oregonian … Some of the Interstates of Georgia require a Peach Pass to access the express lanes, and the reigning national champion Bulldogs were equipped with that and more against a vastly overmatched Oregon defense.

No. 3 Georgia gained 571 yards, with 439 coming in the air, and converted 9 of 10 third downs in a 49-3 blowout of No. 11 Oregon in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.

“On third down we have to do a better job preparing our guys,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “They got the ball on the perimeter and we didn’t have great answers for it.”

Oregon ranked 118th nationally in third-down defense (45.96%) last season and that number isn’t going to improve for some time this season after Saturday’s miserable debut for Lanning and Tosh Lupoi’s defense.

The Bulldogs converted their first nine third downs, with only their first attempt requiring more than eight yards to move the chains. UGA was 5 for 5 on third-and-four or less and 3 for 4 on third-and-medium, with all of those attempts coming in the second half with the score 28-3 or 35-3.  It was the highest rate an opponent converted against the Ducks since at least 2005, prior to which statistics are not immediately available.

“A lot of stuff today that just kept repeating itself,” safety Bennett Williams said. “They obviously had a game plan to attack the perimeter, and we did not do well enough at all. They started to know what was coming, and they executed, and we didn’t, bottom line.”

As a result, Georgia scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions and quickly built a commanding lead.

“They’re a good team,” Lanning said. “Do we want to play better? Absolutely. We didn’t play as well as we want, but again, credit to them for having a good plan and doing a good job. It’s also an indication of when you talk about third and short compared to third and long, it’s a little easier to convert.”

An issue not exclusive to third down was poor tackling. UGA hit several of its big plays thanks to broken and missed tackles.

“That was one of our main goals going into the game is we had to be good tacklers, and we certainly didn’t do that today,” Williams said. “I know it’s a first game. We show stats, and Week 1 is where there’s the most missed tackles across all of college football. We didn’t do a good enough job today.”

Arizona surprises San Diego State, 38-20

From ESPN … Jayden de Laura threw four touchdown passes, three to fellow transfer Jacob Cowing, and Arizona beat San Diego State 38-20 on a sizzling Saturday to spoil the debut of Snapdragon Stadium.

The Aztecs (0-1) waited two years for their new stadium to be built next to where 70,000-seat SDCCU Stadium once stood, and then were embarrassed by the Wildcats (1-0) on a 100-degree day. SDSU announced a sellout of 34,046. Many seats were empty at kickoff and the east stands, totally exposed to the sun, were mostly empty by the fourth quarter.

“The heat is our friend and we embrace it,” Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said.

Arizona avenged a 38-14 loss to SDSU in its home opener last year during a 1-11 season. De Laura, who transferred from Washington State, completed 22 of 35 passes for 299 yards. He was intercepted once. Cowing, a transfer from UTEP, had eight catches for 152 yards.

“We’re just getting started,” Fisch said. “We’re building this. We really believe we can build something special at Arizona but it’s going to take time. We tell our players to continue to trust the process and good things will come.”

The Wildcats sacked transfer Braxton Burmeister on the first play from scrimmage, forced SDSU to punt and then scored the stadium’s first points on Tyler Loop’s 25-yard field goal.

De Laura, the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year at Washington State last season, hit Cowing for on a 17-yard pass for a 10-0 lead and then found freshman Tetairoa McMillan on a 4-yarder to make it 17-3 midway through the second quarter.

SDSU pulled to 17-10 on Burmeister’s 11-yard pass to Tyrell Shavers. The Aztecs had a great chance to tie the game after Noah Tumblin intercepted de Laura at the 40. Chance Bell rumbled into the end zone from 25 yards, but the play came back on a holding penalty. Jaxen Turner intercepted Burmeister on the next play and returned it 20 yards to set up de Laura’s 4-yard scoring pass to Cowing with 28 seconds left in the first half.

Arizona took the opening kickoff of the second half and moved 75 yards in five plays, with Cowing pulling in a 25-yard scoring pass for a 31-10 lead.

“Obviously with a quarterback like Jayden de Laura coming in here and being confident, he had no flinch in him. No flinch,” Fisch said.

Continue reading story here

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September 2nd – Game Day!

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Playoff to expand to 12 teams – “The Pac-12 welcomes the decision of the CFP Board”

From ESPN … The College Football Playoff’s board of managers unanimously voted Friday to expand the CFP to 12 teams in 2026 but is encouraging the sport’s commissioners to try to implement it as soon as 2024.

The board’s 11 presidents and chancellors approved the original 12-team model, which includes the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams, the board announced on Friday.

“This is an historic and exciting day for college football,” said Mark Keenum, the president of Mississippi State and chairman of the CFP board of managers, in a statement. “More teams, more participation and more excitement are good for our fans, alumni, and student-athletes. I’m grateful to my colleagues on the board for their thoughtful approach to this issue and for their resolve to get expansion across the goal line and for the extensive work of the Management Committee that made this decision possible.”

The rankings of the teams will continue to be determined by the CFP selection committee, which will remain largely unchanged.

The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four with each receiving a first-round bye. Teams seeded five through 12 will play each other in the first round on either the second or third weekend of December. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in bowl games on a rotating basis, and the championship game will be at a neutral site, as under the current four-team format.

The 12-team model was originally put together by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Swarbrick, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. It was floated publicly in June 2021 but got bogged down by conference politics. In February, the CFP announced it would not be expanding in the current contract, which expires after the 2025 season.

The major holdup had been specific objections from the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12. But after the thunderbolt of realignment this summer with USC and UCLA committing to the Big Ten and that conference signing a historic television deal, the issues from those leagues began to fade into the background.

Two weeks ago, the CFP board held an unannounced call, discussing expansion and the possibility of a 12-team playoff starting amid the structure of the current contract. That manifested itself Friday afternoon, a landmark day in the sport, on the cusp of the formal start of the football season Saturday.

“The Pac-12 is strongly in favor of CFP expansion and welcomes the decision of the CFP Board,” the Pac-12 said in a statement Friday. “CFP expansion will provide increased access and excitement and is the right thing for our student-athletes and fans. We look forward to working with our fellow conferences to finalize the important elements of an expanded CFP in order to launch as soon practicable.”

Continue reading story here

Arizona State rolls Northern Arizona, 40-3

From azcentral.com … The expectations were high for the next quarterback to take over at Arizona State, but success wasn’t completely unattainable.

From improvised plays to the reintroduction of the passing game, Florida transfer Emory Jones did just enough in his ASU debut to give a glimpse of the star power he can possess for the rest of the season.

Thursday’s opener saw Jones and the offense breeze through Northern Arizona with a 40-3 win with newer players taking over in key roles.

“We had 43 new players and sometimes we didn’t know what type of team we would be. We’ve been practicing and going against our team, but it’s different when you go out here with all the lights on. We played pretty good and there’s definitely things we need to clean up on. I’m really excited about where this team is going,” Jones said.

With Jones coming in at such a crucial position, the eyes were on what direction he could take ASU in.

Luckily for him, he possessed considerable calmness while under pressure and had good decision-making during the game.

“You sensed it on the sideline. There was no panic. The quarterback was very calm. I thought he stood in the pocket pretty well, made a couple of throws, missed a couple, but that has something to do with the familiarity of receivers and the young receiving core,” ASU head coach Herm Edwards said.

Although it was his first game on the field at Sun Devil Stadium since joining the team in May and missing the spring practices completely, Jones completed 72 percent of his 18 passes and finished with 13 completions.

Read full story here

Minnesota has no problems with New Mexico State, winning 38-0

From ESPN … Jerry Kill’s unexpected return to Minnesota with his rebuilding team was a predictably emotional night for New Mexico State’s new coach.

After some apparent reconciliation with P.J. Fleck, Kill was given an up-close reminder that a Gophers program he never wanted to leave is still in pretty good shape.

Mo Ibrahim rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota in his seamless comeback from a season-ending injury in the opener a year ago, and Fleck and the Gophers overwhelmed the Aggies 38-0 on Thursday night to spoil a homecoming of sorts for Kill.

“I guess I take it as a blessing that I got the opportunity to come back,” said Kill, who had a cordial pregame conversation with Fleck, his former assistant at Northern Illinois of whom he’d been critical in the past.

“We gave everything we had and more,” Kill said. “I crashed and burned, and that’s my fault. But I’m very happy that Coach has taken it and continued to build and taken it to the next level.”

Tanner Morgan, another one of the four sixth-year standouts who came back for one more college try with the Gophers after a 9-4 finish in 2021, had 174 yards on 13-for-19 passing and rushed for two touchdowns.

Trey Potts, who like Ibrahim returned from a season-ending 2021 injury, had 17 carries for 89 yards and a score. Potts was seriously hurt at Purdue on Oct. 2 and spent six days in a hospital before being cleared to travel back to Minnesota. The Gophers never disclosed the nature of that injury.

“It’s first and foremost a very important lesson for everybody to learn from those two guys about how to respond from two very adverse situations,” Morgan said.

Diego Pavia, who threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in New Mexico State’s opening loss to Nevada, got another start and completed 2 of 5 passes for 10 yards.

Freshman Gavin Frakes entered in the second quarter and finished 2 of 7 for 43 yards. He was intercepted in the end zone in the fourth quarter by Terell Smith, ending the only drive longer than 16 yards for the Aggies.

Read full story here

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September 1st

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Athlon’s CU/TCU Preview and Prediction (not pretty)

From Athlon Sports … It won’t be easy walking in the footsteps of Gary Patterson, TCU’s legendary head coach. However, Sonny Dykes just might be able to pull it off.

It’s not Patterson’s 181 wins, but Dykes has enjoyed considerable success whenever he’s arrived on the college football scene.

And this time he made the drive not far west on the I-90 from SMU in Dallas to the TCU campus in Fort Worth, where he’s taking over a program with a pretty good base. Some say it’s even worthy of a surprise Big 12 championship this year.

“TCU is about winning championships,” said Dykes, a 71-63 head coach with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, California Golden Bears, and — from 2017 until the end of last season — theSMU Mustangs. “I want to coach in this kind of environment where there has been that level of success and there’s that level of expectations, as well.”

Those expectations begin Friday night in Game 1 of TCU’s Dykes era at Folsom Field in Boulder against the host Colorado Buffaloes.

The Pac-12 opponent is likely looking at a transition year. It’s the third one for Karl Dorrell, who’s tasked with trying to rebuild the Buffaloes after the team finished just 4-8 in 2021 and then lost a lot of talent through the transfer portal.

Leading rusher Jarek Broussard (Michigan State), three of their top five receivers — including jack-of-all-trades Brenden Rice (USC) — and their top-six defensive talents — including star cornerback Christian Gonzalez (Oregon) — all transferred, graduated, or declared for the NFL draft.

So the challenge is on for Dorrell, whose squad is being picked by many pundits to finish last in the Pac-12. That’s a far cry from the positivity put on TCU heading into the Week 1 matchup.

Final Analysis

If the hype is true about TCU, despite a new regime, the Horned Frogs need to enjoy some confidence themselves in Week 1. And Dykes does have the feel for success after leading SMU to a 30-18 record in his time at the Dallas school.

“I really like our preparation,” Dykes said. “I think our players have been dialed in.”

That said it’s a lofty perch to turn a 5-7 team last year into a conference winner in 2022.

That mark wasn’t much better than what four-win Colorado put up last fall, although there does appear to be more to offer in Fort Worth than in Boulder, even if Dorrell is touting a .500 season for the Buffaloes.

“We’re going to win this year,” Dorrell said. “We’re ready to win … You’ve worked hard (and) trained to win this year.”

Don’t bet on that trend beginning Friday.

Prediction: TCU 45, Colorado 23

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August 31st 

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NCAA approves transfer windows, but shelves unlimited transfer proposal

From CBS Sports … The NCAA Board of Directors on Wednesday adopted several measures designed to assist with the mass influx of athletes entering the transfer portal while also modernizing its infractions process. Rubber stamped are new rules creating dedicated transfer windows for players to enter the portal, though the board officially shelved a proposal that would have allowed players to transfer unlimited times without penalty.

Separately, the board green lit three proposals submitted by the Transformation and Infractions Process designed to focus resources toward the most serious violations.

The transfer windows, which will go into effect in time for the 2022-23 season, will allow 60 days per year for athletes to enter the portal and maintain immediate eligibility for first-time transfers. For fall sports like football, the period will be split into two periods. The first, a 45-day period, will start the day after championship selections are made. A second window will be instituted from May 1-15 so players can enter the transfer portal after spring camp.

Spring sports, like basketball, would effectively have a reverse calendar; the first window lasting from Dec. 1-15 and the second being a 45-day window that starts the day after championship selections. For winter sports, the 60-day transfer window would be a continuous period that begins the day after championship selection.

… While the unlimited transfer rule was declined, the board created a more flexible process for athletes to apply for immediate eligibility waivers outside of the one-time transfer rule with considerations given to athlete welfare and well-being.

Continue reading story here

Rule changes for the 2022 season

The major rule changes determined by the NCAA Rules Committee this past spring:

  • If a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, officials will declare the runner down at that spot.
  • Targeting Carryover Appeal Process. When a second half targeting foul occurs, the carryover penalty (to sit out the first half of the next game) will be
    eligible for appeal. The process will begin with a conference submitting a request to the NCAA national coordinator of officials, who would review video. If
    determined that a player was incorrectly penalized, the call would be overturned, and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game.
  • Defensive holding will remain a 10-yard penalty but will always carry an automatic first down.
  • Illegal Touching by an originally ineligible player is penalized five yards from the previous spot and now includes loss of down.
  • Blocking Below the Waist will be allowed only by linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box; outside the tackle box on scrimmage plays, blocking
    below the waist will be prohibited.
  • Deceptive Injury Timeout Investigation Process. To address teams that are awarded an injury timeout through deceptive actions, the committee
    approved a reporting and investigation process. Schools/conferences can report questionable scenarios to the national coordinator of officials, who will
    review and provide feedback to the conference for further action. Any penalties levied would be up to the conference office or school involved.
  • The replay official will address any clock adjustment and status only when a ruling is overturned with less than two minutes in the 2nd or 4th quarter.

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August 30th

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Pac-12 Coaching Hot Seats – Karl Dorrell (“Better bring the sunscreen”)

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 experienced unprecedented coaching turnover last year with four schools making changes and three coming during the regular season in monthly, rat-a-tat fashion.

USC axed Clay Helton for poor performance on Sept. 13, Washington State canned Nick Rolovich for violating the school’s vaccine policy on Oct. 18, and Washington fired Jimmy Lake on Nov. 14 following a one-week suspension for misconduct.

Add Oregon coach Mario Cristobal leaving for Miami, his alma mater, on Dec. 6, and the normally staid Pac-12 had quite a walk on the wild side.

We don’t expect a comparable level of tumult this season, but the several head coaches are sitting on warm, if not hot seats.

Our assessment is below, listed in descending order of heat.

Salary figures taken from media reports (links provided).

Arizona State’s Herm Edwards
Signed through: 2024 season
Salary: $3.7 million (Source)
Seat temperature: Death Valley, July
Comment: The Sun Devils had a premium opportunity to take charge of the South when Edwards arrived in December 2017: USC was cycling down, UCLA was floundering, and Utah had yet to rise. Five years later, ASU is facing a double whammy: The championship window has closed with the program mired in a recruiting scandal. We expect the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations (NOA) to include charges against Edwards directly. Hard to imagine ASU retaining him in that case. But will the NOA arrive during, or after, the season?

Colorado’s Karl Dorrell
Signed through: 2024 season
Salary: $3.6 million
Seat temperature: Better bring the sunscreen
Comment: This feels like a make-or-break year for Dorrell. Yes, it’s only his second season post-COVID, but that’s precisely why so much rides on the next three months. Dorrell must prove that CU’s 2020 success wasn’t a fluke within that unprecedented season but, rather, the standard fans should expect. If the results are comparable to last year (4-8/3-6), that becomes the reality. A dismissal this winter seems unlikely — CU is desperate for continuity — but Dorrell would be under intense pressure in ’23.

USC’s Lincoln Riley
Signed through: undisclosed
Salary: undisclosed
Seat temperature: shorts and flip-flops
Comment: Heat takes two forms. In Riley’s case, there is no imminent danger of dismissal. Even if things go wrong, incomprehensibly wrong, he will be back for 2023. But the combination of his resume, USC’s pedigree, the roster additions and the resulting hype has created substantial Year One heat. The Hotline doesn’t value the pressure to meet expectations in the same manner as the pressure to stave off termination. But the former cannot be discounted entirely, especially at USC.

Read full story here

*Video – TCU head coach Sonny Dykes previews CU game*

… Feel really good about the nucleus, which stuck around despite the coaching change … In past years, you’d have a pretty good idea of what to expect from an opponent in Game One, but now, with coaching turnover and player turnover, you have to watch a lot more film … Colorado plays hard, regardless of the score or the situation … Coach Dorrell and his staff has their team in a really good place … Expecting to play a number of players … Three quarterbacks still an option – quarterbacks get the bulk of the attention, but TCU is in a good spot with quality options … Both Max Duggan and Chandler Morris have requisite experience to start … 6-8 offensive linemen and 6-8 defensive linemen rotating … Running back by committee … “I like a team which has diversity at the same position” … Difference in traveling on Thursday, with a Friday game. “Normally, you’d sit around on Saturday and watch football. What are we going to do Friday? Watch ‘Days of Our Lives?’ ” … Design of the defense (3-3-5) is to drop eight, and make it difficult for the quarterback to make decisions … A very user friendly defense. If a player has a certain skill set, he can find a specific role in their defense, and you don’t have to ask players to do things they can’t do …

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August 29th

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TCU’s Sonny Dykes sticking with the “three quarterbacks will play” mantra

From ESPN …  Max Duggan has started 29 games as TCU’s quarterback and Chandler Morris had 531 yards of total offense in his only full game last fall. New Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes still hasn’t said which of them will take the first snap in the season opener Friday night at Colorado.

TCU’s initial depth chart lists Duggan or Morris as the No. 1 quarterback.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” Dykes said Monday. “Obviously, Max Duggan has a significant résumé. He has played a lot of snaps in the last three years here at TCU, has played very well. … Chandler is the same way. You look at some of the games he played in last year, he played exceptional. So they both have experience and they both have done it.”

Dykes expects both Duggan and Morris to play in the opener, as well as Sam Jackson, the redshirt freshman who had a 77-yard completion to Taye Barber on his only pass attempt last season. The coach said he doesn’t think it matters who starts.

“It’s a fun group. I like the guys a lot,” Dykes said. “Sam certainly brings a different element to the room. … I would anticipate all three of them playing, and my expectation is all three of them will play well.”

Duggan, the Iowa Gatorade player of the year and a four-star recruit before getting to TCU, has passed for 5,920 yards with 41 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 32 games overall for the Horned Frogs. The senior has also rushed for 1,433 yards and 19 more scores.

After Duggan played with a fractured foot bone for several games last season, Morris got his first start in a 30-28 win over Big 12 champion Baylor in TCU’s first game after Gary Patterson and the school mutually agreed to part ways. Morris threw for 461 yards, ran for 70 and even caught a pass. His 531 total yards were the second-most in school history, but he got hurt in the next game.

Morris, the former Oklahoma transfer, is still listed as a redshirt freshman after completing 50 of 76 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns in his four games last year. He had a TD run for the Sooners in their Big 12 championship game victory over Iowa State in 2020.

Senior offensive lineman Steve Avila, a team captain, said the Frogs are confident in whichever quarterback is playing.

“The only thing that we really know is there is a change in voice,” Avila said.

“They all run the offense in their own ways,” Barber said. “They all bring different things to the table, and I feel they’re all positive.”

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August 28th

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Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: Seven TCU players to watch

From the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram … Without a doubt, the potential success of the TCU quarterbacks this season will go a long way to determining the success of head coach Sonny Dykes’ first season. The position battle has been the hot topic during training camp. And when Dykes decides it’s time to name a starter, there will be more discussion about the decision and what it means for the team. But let’s pivot away from the signal callers and focus on the supporting cast. There are other players who could be as vital to a successful Horned Frogs season as quarterbacks Chandler Morris and Max Duggan.

Here’s a look at several of them:

Wide receiver Quentin Johnston: You know what will make it easier for Morris or Duggan to have a productive year? For Johnston to truly emerge as a bonafide No. 1 receiver. Johnston has all the tools with speed, size and a lengthy frame. He led the Horned Frogs receivers last season with 634 yards and six touchdowns that came on a fair-share of highlight plays. This year it’ll be about Johnston making the simpler, yet equally as important plays. If he can become a 1,000-yard receiver, it’ll boost his NFL draft stock and TCU’s shot at competing for a bowl game.

Cornerbacks Kee’yon Stewart/Josh Newton: Expecting Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson here? That’s understandable, but after being named first team All-Big 12 the past two seasons, the Horned Frogs know what they’re getting from him. The key will be having improvement at the corner spot on the other side of him. Teams will avoid the potential All-American and try to feast on Stewart or Newton. They have been the two players receiving many of the reps at the other corner spot. Hodges-Tomlinson missed the bulk of fall camp might and that was a blessing as it allowed Stewart and Newton to be on the field at the same time matching up against Johnston and the rest of the receivers. Improvement at the spot will help TCU take a step on defense. The Horned Frogs allowed a conference-high 9.3 yards per completion in 2021.

Center Steve Avila: Coaches and players have all praised Avila’s leadership. If TCU’s offensive line is going to improve after allowing the eighth-most sacks (28) in the conference last year, Avila will be a key reason. He’s been an All-Big 12 selection the last two years, including being named first team in 2021. TCU had one of the better run blocking units last year with just under 200 rushing yards per game. Now it’s about finding that same type of success in pass protection.

Defensive end Dylan Horton: The pass rush was a major weakness for the Horned Frogs in 2021. Only Kansas had less sacks than TCU in the Big 12. Horton had more than a third of the team’s sacks and led TCU with nine tackles for loss. Joe Gillespie’s 3-3-5 defense should create even more opportunities for the team captain to get after the pass rush. Horton stood out the most on the defensive line during fall camp.

Right tackle Michael Nichols: The strength of TCU’s offense will be on the left side where Brandon Coleman and Andrew Coker are projected to start. Nichols spent most of camp at right tackle and could be the youngest member on a group that coaches and players have raved about. Nichols held his own in camp and is a promising piece up front. TCU has a solid crop of running backs with Kendre Miller, Emari Demarcado and Emani Bailey. As each has shown throughout the preseason, all they need is a crease to make a play.

Nickel back Millard Bradford: Gillespie said Bradford’s position has to be the most cerebral in his 3-3-5 scheme and that alone earns him a spot on the list. On any given series Bradford could find himself as the contain man in run support. Or maybe he plays the deep third in zone or has to go man-to-man with a slot or tight end. A versatile nickel is essential to making this defense works and there will be a lot asked of Bradford.

Omaha World-Herald: Scott Frost spotlight now a heat lamp

From the Omaha World-Herald … That didn’t take long.

On Aug. 27 after the season opener, Scott Frost was asked if he would consider resigning if things don’t improve.

I appreciate the Irish reporter’s question. But let’s be real.

Frost isn’t stepping down. Not now. Not ever.

He’s a Nebraska native and Husker legacy and that’s not how he rolls. Oh, and there’s the considerable buyout he would forfeit.

No, Frost will stay until he’s told to leave. But as the coach noted, even legacies have to win.

And Frost is quickly running out of sand in the hour glass.

That question, posed at the end of Frost’s postgame press conference Saturday, underscored the obvious takeaway from a failed season opener in Dublin.

New offensive staff. New quarterback. New infusion of transfer talent. New hope.

Same coach. Same result. Same narrative.

Frost made offseason changes to not only save his job, they would become the headline and Frost could ride in the back.

But after a numbing 31-28 loss to Northwestern, Frost pulled himself back into the spotlight.

That light is a heat lamp.

Frost’s job status has become the story again, until it’s not.

There are 11 games left, and ample opportunities to change that narrative back.

But there’s no way to spin this one. Any predictions of a winning record and bowl game included the Northwestern game on the W side of the ledger.

Frost has put himself in a hole to start. With several teams ahead that all look better than Northwestern.

That’s no slap at the Wildcats. They looked typically sound. They overwhelm you with consistency, not talent.

But Northwestern has gamers, a quarterback and receivers and running backs who made play after play. Then physically delivered the knockout punch.

Continue reading story here

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Cal loses 2nd-team All-Pac-12 defensive lineman for the season

From ESPN … California defensive lineman Brett Johnson, a preseason All-Pac-12 selection, will miss his second straight season after suffering a lower-body injury in practice Thursday.

The team didn’t specify the injury but said it’s unrelated to the fractured hip Johnson suffered during a car accident in the spring of 2021 that caused him to miss the season. He started 13 games in his first two seasons at Cal and recorded 46 tackles, including six for loss and three sacks. ESPN’s Todd McShay rated Johnson as the No. 40 overall prospect for the 2023 NFL draft.

“Brett is one of the toughest and most dedicated football players I have ever been around,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “Although this is a difficult situation for him, I am confident that he will return to the field in 2023. He has the unwavering support of all his coaches, teammates and everyone in our football program. It is important for us to rally around each other as a team and respond positively to this adversity.”

Johnson was selected preseason second-team All-Pac-12 by the league’s coaches. He appeared in all 17 possible games in 2019 and 2020. Johnson underwent surgery on his injured hip shortly after the car accident in April 2021.

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August 27th 

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Week Zero Present: Nebraska falls to Northwestern in Dublin

From ESPN … Ryan Hilinski threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns to help Northwestern rally for a 31-28 victory over Nebraska in Saturday’s season opener in Ireland.

Northwestern handed the Cornhuskers their seventh consecutive loss going back to last season and added more pressure on embattled coach Scott Frost, who took the blame for a failed onside kick that changed the momentum of the game in the third quarter.

The Wildcats (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) finished with 527 yards and gained a measure of revenge after their humiliating 56-7 loss to the Huskers last October. Nebraska hasn’t won since then.

Nebraska (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) was looking for a bounce-back season with a revamped offense following a 3-9 season, but the team and its many fans who made the trip are headed home bitterly disappointed.

Quarterback Casey Thompson had a big game in his Huskers debut, throwing for 355 yards, but a fourth-quarter mistake was costly. Cameron Mitchell intercepted Thompson’s pass and returned it almost 40 yards. Six plays later, Evan Hull ran it in from the 4 to give the Wildcats a 31-28 lead. Hull finished with 22 carries for 119 yards.

Xander Mueller picked off a pass that bounced off receiver Wyatt Liewer’s hands with 1:27 to play and the Wildcats sealed the win.

Read full story here

Nebraska Report Card (From the Omaha World-Herald) …

For the fourth time in five seasons Nebraska football is 0-1 to start a year. The Huskers have no where else to look but internally as the team was unable to hold multiple double-digit leads and struggled in almost every phase of the game.

One critical decision will be dissected but Nebraska earned this loss as a group with poor play nearly everywhere. That’s not uncommon in openers, but as most know by now, Nebraska’s margin for error is nearly nil.

Here’s the report card following the 31-28 loss to Northwestern in Dublin:

Nebraska Rush Offense

For the second straight season there was plenty of talk about a renewed offensive line that was moving people around, and for the second straight season Nebraska simply didn’t get it done up front. Anthony Grant made the most of his 19 carries finishing with 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Most of those yards came when Grant got loose on a 46-yard house call. Rush Offense Grade: F

Nebraska Pass Offense

Casey Thompson got things started quickly with a fast opening touchdown that featured some strong throws, including a 36-yard strike to Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda. The two would hook up again in the second half for what seemed to be a momentum seizing play, where Thompson avoided a surefire loss and an inevitable punt, by dekeing the defense and then launching a pass to Garcia-Castaneda for a field-flipping 57 yards. Nebraska scored on the ground following that, but immediately after Nebraska’s passing attack was never the same and Thompson finished with two interceptions, neither entirely his fault, but painful nonetheless. Overall Nebraska threw for one touchdown and 355 yards, but it wasn’t enough. Trey Palmer finished with eight catches to lead the team. Pass Offense Grade: C

Nebraska Rush Defense

Northwestern ran it down Nebraska’s throat. The fear for this team is it didn’t have internal options to replace Damion Daniels, who covered up a lot of Nebraska’s weaknesses by taking on multiple linemen himself. One game in and it looks like a long season ahead for a Nebraska team that gave up 214 yards on 47 rushing attempts. Evan Hull and Camp Porter ran over Nebraska defenders and through a defensive line that didn’t even look like it was a factor. Rush Defense Grade: F

Nebraska Pass Defense

Coming into the game Northwestern had been very quiet about its quarterback situation, which insinuated that things were very much up in the air for the Wildcats. If that was the case Ryan Hilinski showed in the first half that Nebraska’s defense wasn’t going to be an issue. The quarterback threw the ball all over the yard, including a pair of simple, easy touchdowns against a defense that sold out against the run or simply wasn’t close in coverage. Pass Defense Grade: F

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14 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes – TCU Week”

    1. Nobody cares, except Beavy fans like you.

      Just how it is.
      Perhaps you spending you time on the beavy sites rather than trolling the Buff sites, would help ya.

      Go Buffs……………………

      1. Buffs first. Then the pac. Az and osu both played well. Beating teams who’ve been better than CU lately. And some people thought we’d have a chance to beat them.

        If this team doesn’t improve quickly, they may not win a game this year.

        And to be clear, even if that happens, I think Karl needs a shot to keep the staff and team together.

        He has his qb in waiting with Owen. Kid just need to bulk up.

        Go Buffs

        1. Keep the staff together?

          for another year?

          Wow you are sliding dudette

          As and earache you need to watch out for Meniere’s. It may be too late.

          1. Alzheimer’s is what I get to look forward to. Thanks though. Fortunately, not here yet. For you? I think just standard dementia, maybe. But I am not a doctor. But clearly something ain’t right.

            And Stu, preemptively, that is my last personal response to a personal comment. He’s famous for them.

            Go Buffs

  1. todd Todd Todd

    You and athlon are a frigging joke
    https://www.google.com/search?q=who+is+todd+saelhof&biw=1000&bih=495&ei=NCsRY-SMFrnk0PEPtsq8-AQ&ved=0ahUKEwjk9v7Ly_T5AhU5MjQIHTYlD08Q4dUDCA4&oq=who+is+todd+saelhof&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAwyBQgAEKIEMgcIABAeEKIEMgUIABCiBDIFCAAQogQyBQgAEKIEOggIABCiBBCwAzoKCAAQHhCiBBCwAzoECCEQCkoFCDwSATFKBAhBGAFKBAhGGABQrAVYoQtghTNoAXAAeACAAWuIAcgBkgEDMS4xmAEAoAEByAEFwAEB&sclient=gws-wiz

    Yur a canuck. Stick to yur stuff cause you are just a repeater with no insight. Lots of those out there.
    Athlon you should be embarrased.

    Beat the frogs.

    Note: So yur giving me 22 points. Yur better than vegas

    1. Still waiting for you to speak English. Sorry I didn’t take Ebonics. KD had no reason to start Lewis unless it was an illegitimate kid. Buffs won’t win a game, especially with KD.

  2. Sporting News picked tcu as 8th in the big 12. They were 1-4 on the road last year. New head coach. This game is there for the taking Buffs!

  3. Sonny and Karl can say what they want to say. I’m just glad the game is Friday vs Saturday. O e less day to wait and see what we might have this year.

    Go Buffs

  4. Ireland does have dishes similar to the Runza but if the huskers had one they would probably never go back to the one at home.

  5. If anyone knows a husker who went to the game ask them if they were able to find bud light in Dublin. If the stadium manager was thinking he would have ordered several hundred cases ahead of time.

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