- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday11 mins ago
Three days after it was reported that Pitt was close to a deal with its next head coach in place, the school made the hire official.
Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was introduced as the Panthers’ head coach at a press conference on Friday afternoon. Narduzzi, who has been the defensive coordinator for the Spartans since 2007, takes over for Paul Chryst, who left to take over at Wisconsin last week.
Narduzzi has produced a top 10 defense nationally with Michigan State over the last four seasons, including a Spartans team that was No. 7 in the country this season in total defense. Additionally, Narduzzi was the 2013 of the Broyles Award, which is given to the nation’s top assistant coach.
“Our goal was not only to find the best football coach but also a person who would uphold the values and mission of the University of Pittsburgh. In Pat Narduzzi we have found that person,” said Dr. Randy Juhl, Pitt’s acting athletic director.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday23 mins ago
Rutgers players and staff members sported NYPD hats on the sidelines during Friday's Quick Lane Bowl.
The hats were in support of the two fallen officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were shot and killed on Saturday by a man whoapparently wanted revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Coach Kyle Flood wore a patch on his shirt earlier in the week. From NJ.com:
"I'm the proud sibling of a sergeant on the NYPD,'' Flood said. "My brother’s been a member of the force for the last 23 years. He's a sergeant in what they call Emergency Service Unit. They've gone through a tough time over the last week. I thought it was important for me as a family member, for my grandfather who was a member of the NYPD, (for) my uncle, my brother and three of my cousins ... my family is really intertwined with that organization and we live under their protection.
"So I wanted to support them in whatever way I could.''
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
Whether it was penalties, turnovers or missed field goals, Illinois just could not get out of its own way against Louisiana Tech in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Those miscues, coupled with a solid all-around performance on both sides of the ball from the Bulldogs, led to a 35-18 Tech win on a rainy day at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Junior tailback Kenneth Dixon had a big day for the Bulldogs, running for 63 yards and a touchdown while also catching four passes for 79 yards and another score. Quarterback Cody Sokol overcame a slow start to throw for 247 yards and lead the Bulldogs to a win.
The real star of the day, however, was defensive end Houston Bates. Bates, a fifth-year senior, transferred from Illinois to La. Tech to be closer to home and he turned in an insane performance – seven tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks – against his former team.
The Illini racked up yards in bunches in the first half, but didn’t have much to show for it on the scoreboard – mainly due to eight penalties. A defensive holding penalty on a La. Tech fourth-and-one set up the Bulldogs’ first score of the game, a Jarred Craft 15-yard run that gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has not made a decision regarding the status of recent junior college signee Chad Kelly.
Kelly, a former Clemson quarterback who signed with the Rebels on Dec. 17 after a season at East Mississippi Community College, was arrested on multiple misdemeanor charges for an incident outside a bar in Buffalo, New York. Kelly has a court date scheduled for Jan. 5. Freeze said he won’t decide whether or not Kelly will be a part of the program until after that court appearance.
"It's like I tell him everyday when he's calling and texting me, 'I'll deal with you when I get ready to deal with you,'" Freeze said, per RebelGrove.com. "That will be after I gather everything and see what the court date on Jan. 5 and what happens with that.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
Unsurprisingly, Georgia RB Todd Gurley is turning pro.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said Friday that Gurley would be "moving on" from the school in 2015.
Todd Gurley is turning pro, Mark Richt confirms. "He'll be moving on."
Gurley will not play in Georgia's game against Louisville in the Belk Bowl because of a torn ACL he suffered against Auburn on Nov. 16. The game against Auburn, where Gurley had 29 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown before suffering the injury, was his first game back from an NCAA suspension for being compensated for his autograph.
He missed four games for the suspension after the NCAA said Gurley received more than $3,000 over a span of two years for autographs. When Georgia first received word that Gurley was compensated for his autograph, it immediately declared him inelgible for the Bulldogs' game against Missouri. In announcing Gurley's suspension, the NCAA said Gurley avoided more missed games because of the way Georgia swiftly handled the case.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday3 hrs ago
The playing career of West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett is over.
Trickett, a senior, told reporters on Friday that he has suffered five concussions – including two that he hid from team trainers – in the past 14 months. Because of that, Trickett will miss Monday’s Liberty Bowl against Texas A&M and Trickett will pursue a coaching career.
Trickett just told us he had 5 concussions in 14 months, hiding 2 from trainers. Will retire from football and begin coaching.
Trickett made numerous trips to UPMC but couldn't pass protocols. "In the career I'm entering I probably need a few brain cells."
Trickett on hiding concussions: "In fairness to our trainers, that's on me." Says they would've held him out had they seen any indicators.
Trickett, a Florida State transfer, threw for 3.285 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the 7-5 Mountaineers this season. He missed the team’s season finale against Iowa State and was expected to return for the team’s bowl game, but he could not pass concussion tests.
Overall in his career, Trickett threw for 5,837 yards, 32 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
Virginia Tech will have one of its best defensive players back in 2015.
Redshirt junior defensive end Dadi Nicolas announced on Twitter that he will return to the Hokies for his final season of eligibility.
Looking forward to coming back to school next year to accomplish all the goals I have set for myself and becoming the man God wants me to be
& the team goals that my teammates and I desire to fulfill
The 6-foot-4, 231-pound Nicolas established himself as one of the top pass rushers in the ACC and earned second-team All-ACC honors. Nicolas led the 6-6 Hokies with 17.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks this season. In all, he had 63 total tackles and also blocked two kicks and recovered a fumble.
He made significant leaps from the 2013 season, where made 32 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four sacks. Additionally, as a redshirt freshman in 2012, Nicolas had 17 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
Saturday’s Independence Bowl against Miami will be the final collegiate game in the career of South Carolina running back Mike Davis.
Davis, a junior, confirmed on Thursday that he will declare for the NFL Draft.
“Yes, this will be my last game,” Davis said. “You always want to go out with a bang. I just tell my teammates that I love them. I’ve enjoyed this long ride. I knew when it was coming down to it and I had made my decision, I started bringing a camera in to start recording my last moments with my teammates – a lot of good moments. I’ve just enjoyed being around them.”
Despite enduring various injuries over the course of the season, the 5-foot-9, 223-pound Davis gained 927 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 186 carries (5.0 yards per carry) for the Gamecocks this season.
"He's ready to go," said South Carolina running backs coach Everette
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday5 hrs ago
National University Holiday Bowl Nebraska (9-3) vs. USC (8-4) San Diego Dec. 27, 2014
Nebraska and USC enter Saturday night’s Holiday Bowl under very different circumstances.
Cornhuskers athletic director Shawn Eichorst made the decision to fire head coach Bo Pelini after a 9-3 season, much to the chagrin of many players. Pelini was fired on Nov. 30, two days after the Huskers overcame a big deficit to beat Iowa 37-34 in overtime.
Eichorst hired Mike Riley away from Oregon State, but Riley won’t coach in the bowl game. Barney Cotton, Pelini’s offensive line and associate head coach, will lead the team against the Trojans in an interim role. Following the game, Cotton will head to UNLV, where he has accepted the offensive coordinator job.
It’s hard to predict how the Huskers will play with all that’s happened in the last month, but their high-powered rushing attack should pose a challenge for a USC defense that had one of its best efforts of the season in a 49-14 win over Notre Dame in the regular season finale.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday7 hrs ago
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Boston College (7-5) vs. Penn State (6-6) New York City Dec. 27, 2014
Two of the better defenses in all of college football will square off when Penn State and Boston College meet in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
The Eagles, ranked No. 12 nationally in total defense, gave up an average of 313.5 yards and 20.5 points per game en route to a 7-5 record on the season. Linebackers Justin Simmons and Josh Keyes have been all over the field for BC and will look to make life difficult for Penn State sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Simmons led the Eagles with 70 tackles while also adding two tackles for loss, one sack and two interceptions. Keyes led the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks on the season while tallying 63 total tackles.