Graham Watson

  • Miami Beach Bowl: BYU will have a challenge against Memphis' defense

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 hrs ago

    Miami Beach Bowl BYU (8-4) vs. Memphis (9-3) Miami Dec 22, 2014

    Both Memphis and BYU could be considered success stories this season considering the obstacles they’ve overcome to get into this bowl game.

    Memphis had not had a winning season since 2007 and had not been to a bowl game since 2008. In fact, the Tigers were 4-31 in the three years prior to coach Justin Fuente taking over, and this season, the Tigers finished in the three-way tie for the American Athletic Conference title.

    BYU had a stellar start to the season before star quarterback Taysom Hill suffered a season-ending knee injury during the fifth game of the year. The Cougars stumbled a bit as they tried to get their footing with new quarterback Christian Stewart, but managed to finish the regular season on a four-game winning streak.

    This contest is a classic strong offense versus strong defense matchup. BYU is 19th in the country in scoring offense with 36.2 points per game and averages 463.4 yards per game. Memphis is fifth in the country allowing just 17.1 points per game. Only UCLA scored more than 28 points on the Tigers this season and only two teams in the past six games managed 20 points.

    FUN FACT

    PREDICTIONS

  • Bowling Green tops South Alabama on late TD in Camellia Bowl

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 17 hrs ago

    The sound of stunned silence was even noticeable during the television broadcast.

    The nearly sold out crowd at the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., most of whom were there to watch South Alabama play in its first-ever bowl game, had just seen the Jaguars take the lead late in the fourth quarter against Bowling Green only to give it right back on a 78-yard bomb that ultimately sealed the game.

    Bowling Green, which led almost the entire game, escaped with a 33-28 win in the most exciting bowl game on the inaugural day of the 2014-15 bowl season.

    With 1:20 remaining, South Alabama running back Terrance Timmons scampered three yards to give the Jaguars a 28-27 lead, its first lead of the game.

    But the moment lasted all of two plays as Bowling Green quarterback James Knapke found receiver Roger Lewis on a 78-yard bomb down the middle of the field. Lewis broke one tackle before heading into the end zone.

    South Alabama threw an interception and then ran into Bowling Green’s punter on the ensuing possession to end the game.

    Knapke’s heroics weren’t exactly unforeseen.

    Knapke, who threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns, was named the bowl’s MVP.

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  • South Alabama coach Joey Jones gets kicked in the face by his own player (Video)

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 17 hrs ago

    As the Camellia Bowl between South Alabama and Bowling Green got close in the fourth quarter, things also turned unexpectedly bloody.

    South Alabama coach Joey Jones was trying to stop tight end Ryan Onkaa, who was falling out of bounds. However, Onkaa did a partial somersault and kicked his coach in the face not once, but twice.

    Jones emerged bleeding with what announcers speculated was a bloody nose. He was seen multiple times with a towel trying to clean the blood from his face.

    But he never took a moment away from the sidelines and continued to coach even through medical attention.

    That play alone — and the trading of touchdowns in a hectic fourth quarter — made the Camellia Bowl the best game of the opening day of bowls.

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    Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!Follow @YahooDrSaturday

  • Colorado State's current staff given termination papers

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 19 hrs ago

    Dave Baldwin’s chances of being hired as Colorado State’s next coach went out the window Saturday when the former offensive coordinator turned interim head coach told media he and the rest of the CSU staff had been handed termination papers.

    “That’s the profession,” Baldwin said. “… You deal with it. Life is never fair, and you deal with it. We’re going to deal with it.”

    Baldwin was one of several names in the mix for the Rams head coaching vacancy that was opened when Jim McElwain left for Florida. The termination papers don’t mean Baldwin or any other members of Colorado State’s staff can’t or won’t be hired to stay at Colorado State.

    Baldwin did himself no favors Saturday by being outcoached in a 45-10 loss to Utah in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Still, his work as offensive coordinator made the Rams one of the most offensively prolific teams in the country this season and helped them to a 10-win campaign.

    As for the players, they’re trying to stay away from the coaching rumor mill and are just anxious to learn whom they’re playing for next.

  • Air Force notches 10-win season with Idaho Potato Bowl win

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 20 hrs ago

    Quietly, Air Force capped one of the best seasons in program history following a 38-24 win against Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

    The win was the team’s first bowl win since 2010 and the first 10-win season for the Falcons since they won 12 in 1998.

    Air Force took the lead in this game early in the second quarter and never relinquished it. The Falcons option offense gained chunks of yardage led by Shayne Davern, who had 12 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Air Force defense kept Western Michigan’s high-powered attack mostly in check. Running back Jarvion Franklin, who came into the game with nearly 1,500 yards, was bottled up and held to just 26 yards on 12 carries. It tied his second-lowest output of the year.

    While the Western Michigan ground game was quiet, quarterback Zach Terrell did have some success in the air with star receiver Corey Davis, who eight catches for 176 yards and three touchdowns, including a 51-yard score late in the game.

    Terrell, finished with 297 passing yards and three touchdowns.

    For more Western Michigan news, visit BroncoBlitz.com.

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  • Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen wears 'Christmas Vacation' themed sweater (Photo)

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 21 hrs ago

    Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen took a little time away from his Capital One Orange Bowl preparation to have a staff Christmas party.

    A party, at which, he wore the greatest National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-themed sweater ever.

    Merry Christmas from the staff party. pic.twitter.com/dYRYlVOWmD

    Some of you might remember a segment on College GameDay earlier in the season where coaches read mean tweets about themselves. One of those tweets said, “Cousin Eddie (from Christmas Vacation) is a fictional version of Dan Mullen.”

    Of course, Mullen responded with, “Merry Christmas, (expletive) full.”

    And, as you already noticed, the line on Mullen’s sweater.

    I really hope Mullen got this sweater just to troll the person on Twitter. That would just add to the lore.

    Well played, Dan Mullen. Well played.

    For more Mississippi State news, visit BulldogBlitz.com.

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  • Utah's offense comes alive in 45-10 thrashing of Colorado State

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 23 hrs ago

    For one game, Utah showed flashes of the team coach Kyle Whittingham hopes he has in the future.

    The Utes defeated Colorado State 45-10 in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, a surprising score considering the Utes offense had been pretty cold for most of the season.

    But it scored a Las Vegas Bowl record 24 points in the first quarter and the defense, which has been steady all season, never gave Colorado State a chance to find rhythm and get back into the contest.

    The 45 points were the most the Utes had scored in a game since scoring 59 against Fresno State on Sept. 6. They also scored 56 in the season opener against FCS opponent Idaho State.

    Most of Utah offensive struggles stemmed from incinsistent quarterback play, but Travis Wilson was steady, especially while running the read option, something he hadn’t done a lot of because of past head injuries. But he accounted for 91 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns — more rushing touchdowns that he had the rest of the season combined — in his best rushing game of the season.

    Receiver Rashard Higgins, an All-American, did manage 109 yards, but he was held out of the end zone for only the third time this season.

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  • Camellia Bowl: Will Bowling Green or South Alabama break their losing streak?

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    Raycom Media Camellia Bowl South Alabama (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (7-6) Montgomery, Ala. Dec 20, 2014

    This is not a good matchup, especially considering the way these teams finished their respective seasons.

    South Alabama won just one of its final five games, and Bowling Green lost three straight to end the season, including a 51-17 defeat to Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference Championship game.

    What’s going to hamper South Alabama in this game is its inability to score. During that five-game stretch, the Jaguars averaged just 19 points per game. Overall, they ranked 113th nationally in scoring offense with 20.2 points per game and 87th with 372.8 yards a game.

    Those numbers are unfortunate considering Bowling Green’s defense has been one of the worst in the country, allowing 33.9 per game. The Falcons have allowed more than 40 points six times this season.

    However, Bowling Green has the ability to put up points quickly, but it’s had trouble in the last month finding consistency at quarterback. Sophomore James Knapke has been the team’s go-to quarterback most of the season, but was replaced in the MAC Championship by freshman Cody Callaway, who didn’t fare much better.

  • Pitt fires athletic director Steve Pederson after coach Paul Chryst bolts for Wisconsin

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    On the same day coach Paul Chryst left Pittsburgh to take the head coaching job at Wisconsin, athletic director Steve Pederson learned that he would not be around to hire the next coach.

    Pitt and Pederson parted ways in what chancellor Patrick Gallagher called a mutual decision on Wednesday.

    "With major decisions to be made about the future of football, I thought it was in the best interest of the University of Pittsburgh for Chancellor Gallagher to assemble his own team," Pederson said in a statement. "I am a Pitt and City of Pittsburgh fan, and want what is best for everyone moving into the future."

    While Pederson helped guide Pitt through conference realignment and secure a spot in the ACC, his struggles with finding a consistent football coach ultimately cost him his job.

    In 2010, Pederson forced out Dave Wannstedt following an 8-5 season and hired Mike Haywood, who had turned Miami-Ohio into Mid-American Conference power. However, Haywood lasted just 16 days before he was fired following a domestic dispute at his home on New Year’s Eve.

    For more Pittsburgh news, visit Panther-lair.com.

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  • Wisconsin officially makes Paul Chryst its next coach

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    After more than a week of speculation and flirtation, Paul Chryst is Wisconsin’s new coach.

    Chryst, who had spent the past three seasons as Pitt’s head coach, was Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator before taking the Pitt job. He’s also a graduate of Wisconsin.

    Chryst was 19-19 with the Panthers.

    “It’s a bit overwhelming to be able to come back to a place where you grew up, went to school and coached, where you have so many ties personally and professionally,” Chryst said. “This job has everything that we, as a family, and me, personally, are looking for. The bar has been set at a high level here and it didn’t just happen. I look forward to the challenge of continuing that tradition of success.”

    Chryst had two coaching stints with the Badgers, but is best known for his time from 2005-11. During that time, Chryst was responsible for orchestrating six of the school's 10-best offensive performances. During the 2011 season, the Badgers, which boasted quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Montee Ball, averaged 44.1 points per game, which was sixth-best in the country, a school record and the third-best mark in the Big Ten since 1916.

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