NCAA Football

Michigan Snaps Ball into Receiver in Motion, Can't Figure How to Block Either

Brady Hoke's Michigan Wolverines are under intense scrutiny for their 4-5 record, and plays like these aren't going to help their case any.

First we see the center strike star wide receiver Devin Funchess with a snap, leading to an easy fumble recovery for Northwestern. Again, that's a snap hitting a wide receiver.

#MichiganFootball miscues continue. https://t.co/PQMgw3G2kx

— Adam Biggers (@AdamBiggers81) November 8, 2014

Michigan also showcased their unique blocking tactics, choosing to put one man on two defensive linemen, while two offensive linemen just stand around and try to look busy.

This pic right here. Two guys not blocking anyone. One guy blocking two NW players. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! pic.twitter.com/VWg4rgBMKO

— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) November 8, 2014

Cue the Benny Hill music.

[Twitter]

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Mike Shanahan Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Florida, Michigan

Legendary football coach Mike Shanahan is still looking for his next head-coaching job, and it could come at the college level.

Shanahan is reportedly interested in taking the reigns at either Florida or Michigan, per 247Sports.com's Clint Brewster:

Sources close to the situation have told Wolverine247 that former Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan would be interested in returning to college football for either the Wolverines or Florida Gators job if they were to open.

Shanahan has college experience early in his career . He’s coached at Florida as an offensive assistant from 1980-1983 and also made stops at the University of Minnesota, and Oklahoma. 

Florida is 4-3 on the season and struggling to keep pace in the SEC under the tutelage of Will Muschamp. Michigan is 4-5 on the year and look to be treading water with Brady Hoke at the helm. The Wolverines head coach has also drawn ire for his handling of a concussion to quarterback Shane Morris earlier in the season.

Shanahan's most recent coaching experience comes with the NFL's Washington Redskins, where he went 24-40 in four seasons before being replaced by Jay Gruden prior to the 2014 season.

He also coached the Denver Broncos from 1995-2008 to fantastic overall success, winning two Super Bowls and crafting a highly effective zone-blocking scheme that opened up holes for running backs from Terrell Davis to Peyton Hillis.

Shanahan's lack of head coaching experience at the college level could work against him, not to mention his tumultuous reign in Washington. It would be interesting to see how he adjusts to the widely used spread offenses, and questions would abound regarding his ability to recruit players and implement an effective defensive system.

That being said, he does posses one of the sharpest offensive minds in the game and is the kind of high-profile leader that would command respect at either Michigan or Florida, two of the more illustrious programs in college football history.

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Texas A&M's Deshazor Everett Returns Blocked Auburn Field Goal for a Touchdown

The No. 3 Auburn Tigers were heavily favored in Saturday's matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies.

However, it seems the Aggies had a different outcome in mind.

In the waning seconds of the second quarter, Texas A&M blocked a Tigers field goal. The ball conveniently landed in the hands of Aggies defensive back Deshazor Everett, who ran it the other way for a score.

The TD gave Texas A&M a 35-17 lead at halftime. 


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Virginia vs. Florida State: Live Score and Highlights

Florida State 21, Virginia 13 -- Middle 2nd Quarter

 

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Can Bob Stoops Ever Get Oklahoma Back to Elite Status?

This was supposed to be a special year for Oklahoma. Coming off a Sugar Bowl rout of Alabama, the Sooners entered 2014 as a preseason Top Five fixture and a strong pick to make the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Well, the Sooners aren’t making the College Football Playoff. They aren’t winning the Big 12 championship. And after Saturday’s ugly 48-14 home loss to Baylor, it’s fair to wonder if they can even end the season on a high note.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has been one of college football’s best coaches, with a BCS national championship and eight Big 12 titles on his resume. But days like Saturday raise the question: Can he return the Sooners to their former position as a national power, or is it time for both sides to explore other options?

There’s plenty of reason for unrest in Norman. The Sooners have lost back-to-back home games for the first time in Stoops’ 16-year tenure, and Saturday marked the program’s worst home defeat since 1997’s 51-7 loss to Texas A&M. The Oklahoman beat writer Ryan Aber quotes Stoops:

Sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight has failed to live up to the potential he flashed in the Sugar Bowl with consistently uneven play. He left Saturday’s game in the fourth quarter immobilized on a stretcher following a hard sack, but was moving his arms and legs and waved to fans as he was carted off.

He missed star receiver Sterling Shepard (who sat Saturday with a groin injury) but hasn’t taken the next step in his development.

A defense that was expected to be nasty and tough hasn’t delivered, either. The Sooners are allowing an average of 31.5 points per game to Big 12 opponents.

Perhaps a change of scenery is in order for Stoops. Per Patrick Stevens of Syracuse.com, Stoops is the third longest-tenured head coach in the FBS. He’s 12 years behind Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, and with the impending retirement of Troy’s Larry Blakeney, he’d be No. 2 nationally (one day ahead of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz).

This week, Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel suggested that Michigan, which will likely have an opening very soon, would be a perfect place for “a new challenge and a fresh start.”

NFL.com’s Bryan Fischer reported in September that it would be “feasible” for Stoops to pursue an NFL job with a successful 2014 season. Per NFL Network reporter Albert Breer:

Or can he turn it around in Norman? A core of young talent will remain after this season. Knight is only a sophomore. So are tailbacks Keith Ford and Alex Ross. Shepard is a junior. So is standout linebacker Eric Striker (although he could test the NFL waters following this season). Ball-hawking cornerback Zack Sanchez is only a sophomore. Per 247Sports, OU has the nation's current No. 21 recruiting class, with five 4-star commitments. 

That young talent could help alleviate the current unrest in the Sooners' fanbase. The Oklahoman beat writer Jason Kersey noted Sanchez's reaction:

And don’t forget, transfer wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham would be eligible next season (assuming he doesn’t declare for the NFL draft).

Changes and improvements must be made for the Sooners to return to their former glory. But the potential certainly remains, if Stoops is interested in sticking it out and moving forward.

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Duke Williams Injury: Updates on Auburn Star's Knee and Return

Auburn will have to survive without one of its top offensive playmakers as D'haquille "Duke" Williams was injured in the team's game against Texas A&M.

Joel Erickson of AL.com provided the initial concern about the injury:

TexAgs later reported the receiver would be out for the rest of the game:

Wesley Sinor of AL.com passed along a photo of Johnson on the sideline:

Bryan Fischer of NFL.com added his analysis of the injury:

Williams had just one catch for 11 yards before coming out in the first half, but he was the team's leading receiver coming into the game. The junior entered Saturday with 37 catches for 598 receiving yards and five touchdowns, all team highs.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Penn State vs. Indiana: Game Grades, Analysis for the Nittany Lions

No matter how it looked, the Penn State Nittany Lions just needed a win against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday—to halt the bleeding from a four-game losing streak, to turn the season around and to keep their bowl hopes alive.

They got one, winning 13-7 in Bloomington, Indiana. 

Though there wasn't a whole lot about which to get excited on the offensive side of the ball, PSU's stingy defense kept Tevin Coleman under 100 yards and continued IU's struggles in the passing game. The only touchdown the Hoosiers mustered was a 47-yard interception return by Mark Murphy for a touchdown.

The Nittany Lions moved to 5-4 on the season with remaining games against Temple, Illinois and Michigan State.

So, how'd PSU fare grade-wise in its nail-biting win Saturday that was short on style points?

 

Penn State Nittany Lions Grade Analysis

Pass Offense

It's hard to put all the struggles on the broad shoulders of Christian Hackenberg when he's being sacked five more times, making it 35 for the season. But the sophomore signal-caller didn't do himself any favors against the Hoosiers.

Hackenberg threw two ill-advised interceptions, including one where he simply didn't read the safety blitz and passed the ball right into the awaiting arms of Murphy, who rumbled 47 yards for a touchdown.

He also had a couple of drives where he made crucial misreads, including one where he should have run the football on 3rd-and-4 inside the IU 10 but instead threw incomplete in the end zone, leading to a field-goal attempt. He's now thrown interceptions in five straight games and has seven scoring tosses and 12 picks.

 

Run Offense

Gaining 162 rushing yards behind this offensive line probably feels like an "A+" effort for a PSU team that has been much maligned in that area this season.

But other than Bill Belton's 92-yard scamper, the Lions finished with 36 carries for 70 yards. Any other day, that's a terrible effort. So, while the long run must be factored in, it was far from a banner day on the ground for PSU.

Through the ebbs and flows of the game, the Lions couldn't sustain drives, and the game was forced onto Hackenberg's arm time and time again. It was a step in the right direction, but it wasn't a sterling effort.

 

Pass Defense

It's possible that without Nate Sudfeld under center, Indiana's pass offense is the worst in all of major-conference football, so handing out a gold star is difficult here.

But Penn State can't control who it plays, and it was flat-out dominant, covering up all of IU's receivers and really not allowing Zander Diamont any window of opportunities for much of the day. Then as the Hoosiers threatened late, Nyeem Wartman put an end to the drive with a big interception.

Not only did PSU make the plays throughout the game, it made the biggest with the game on the line. Diamont had just 68 passing yards and a couple of picks.

 

Rush Defense

Allowing a quarterback to gain 84 yards on 14 carries is unacceptable, but Bob Shoop's stingy rush defense is tops in the nation for a reason. It obviously had the game plan of stopping Coleman, and it did.

Simply put, Penn State's defense won this football game. Coleman—the nation's leading rusher—had just 71 yards on 20 carries and was kept out of the end zone.

Regardless of the quarterback scampers (many of which came because coverage was so good downfield), any time you hold Coleman that much in check, a good grade is forthcoming.

 

Special Teams

Sam Ficken was the reigning Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, and he nailed a couple of short field goals, but the Nittany Lions also had a 23-yarder blocked.

In most games, getting a close one blocked that way could be a momentum-swinger, but IU couldn't do anything with it.

Since PSU really didn't do anything in the return game and struggled punting, the couple of short field goals don't carry much weight. The only redeeming quality is they were the difference in the game on the scoreboard.

 

Coaching

It's hard to scheme around a poor offensive line, but this has gone on all season, and James Franklin's team still doesn't seem to be able to get past it.

Hackenberg is one of the highest-potential weapons in the country, but it appears he is regressing. Also, PSU wound up getting stuffed by a bad IU defense on three plays from the 1-yard line. When you can't come up with a play to punch the ball in the end zone, that has to fall somewhat on the coaches.

From a defensive standpoint, Shoop is a mastermind, and the nation is seeing it. The game plan to bottle up Coleman worked perfectly, and PSU's defensive backs made their coaches look good by playing well enough to allow the Lions to stack the box.

When nothing is working and you rely on field position to win the game, it isn't a good look. Luckily for the Lions, they survived with a win. But they've got to play (and coach) better.

 

All stats and information taken from GoPSUSports.com.

Brad Shepard covers college football for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

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NC State QB Throws Circus Interception, Returner Fumbles, then QB throws Pick-6

If you're wondering how No. 24 Georgia Tech managed to obliterate North Carolina State, 56-23, in Raleigh, this series of plays might give you an idea.

Early in the second quarter, NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett looked to hit senior wide receiver Bryan Underwood for a red-zone touchdown reception, but Georgia Tech safety Chris Milton was there for the hit. As contact was made, Underwood missed the catch and Milton inadvertently kicked the ball with the back of his foot...directly to his teammate, linebacker Quayshawn Nealy.

Nealy coasted down the sideline for a would-be pick-six, but the redshirt senior let up on the gas, opening the door for Wolfpack tight end/fullback Jaylen Samuels to strip it loose. Wolfpack ball.

Two plays later, Brissett threw a pick-six to Georgia Tech defensive back D.J. White.

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