News, Notes & Quotes - Nov. 7

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday November 07, 2016

- Arkansas’ defense got a boost when Bret Bielema made the decision to move defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter moving from inside to outside and move around the D-line. Bielema said he's not afraid to step in as the head coach and make a change.

“One of the things I've always done as a head coach is if I feel that a player needs to play, I'll just come in and say it,” Bielema said after Arkansas’ win over Florida. “I'm not going to give a lot of reasons why. I thought Led had done some good things inside, but I saw him getting a lot more activity on the edges, and he was great out there today. I wanted to get Randy Ramsey on the field in base defense.

“Just things I feel. As you guys know, I'm not a guy that stands up here and pats himself on the back, but when s*** needs to happen, I've got to make it happen, and that's what I needed to do, and it's fun to see your kids respond that way.”

- Will Muschamp put mousetraps around South Carolina’s football building to keep them focused after getting to .500. The result was a win over Missouri.

“I put mousetraps all over the building to let them know don’t take the cheese,” Muschamp said. “Everybody is patting you on the back, telling you how good you are. But understand, this football team coming in here is certainly capable. Their last SEC win was against us.

“So, we needed to understand that and don’t take the cheese.”

The Gamecocks travel to Florida this coming weekend, and a win would get Muschamp bowl-eligible. 

- Brian Kelly still doesn’t regret kicking a field goal with more than 7 minutes to play while trailing Navy by 4. His defense had several chances to get a stop on Navy’s 7:28-long drive that ended the game.

“No, I don't think I do,” he said. “Look, here is my way of thinking: I kicked into the wind in the third quarter for a reason, and that was to take the wind in the fourth quarter with a thought that the field goal would win the game in the fourth quarter.

"We had many chances to get off the field. We had 3rd-and-9s, 3rd-and-7s, 4th-and-6. We had our own chance to pick up a first down on the offensive side of the ball. They are easily disputed, but I think it was the right call to make it 28-27 with a field goal and the wind to your back to win the game in the kind of game that we played."

- Sonny Dykes pointed to two critical issues in Cal’s 66-27 loss to Washington: Third downs and turnovers.

Cal went 1-for-14 on third down and turned it over on three times in the second half, leading to 17 points. Washington went 5-for-10 on third down with one turnover.

“We went in at halftime down two scores and felt like we missed some opportunities there,” Dykes said. “Third quarter, we just let the game get away from us. I think we turned it over on three straight possessions. We couldn't get any stops and did not do a good job on third downs.

“The story of the first half was that we converted one third down, and it looks like we didn't convert any in the second half. You have to be able to convert third downs, that's what football games come down to. It's about your ability to stop people on third down and get off the field and your ability to sustain drives on third downs.”

- Kirk Herbstreit said last week that the No. 5 ranking was a perfect motivation for Washington. Chris Petersen downplayed it.

"I wasn't concerned about that at all. I was concerned about the game, about Cal, about what they can do,” he said. “You saw that in the first half, kind of trading punches and the score's pretty tight. You turn the ball over and all of a sudden they get more momentum, they're at home, we're on the road. We've all been there before. That's what I was concerned about, I wasn't concerned about these guys coming out here and not being ready to play."

- One part of the Seahawks’ culture includes general manager John Schneider writing a handwritten note to every player in the summer, per the Seattle Times.

The players take notice.

“I actually have all my letters in my office at home,” defensive end Cliff Avril said. “I’ve been in a situation where I didn’t speak to the GM until my fourth year in Detroit. Since I’ve been here, you see Schneider in the hallway, you speak to him. Cool guy. That’s what makes it cooler. 

“They're all personalized. He could have easily just had a stamp with the same damn quote, but they’re all personalized. Matter of fact, one of mine was the year after the Super Bowl. He was like, ‘We’re so happy to get you, Mike, some of the other guys. We were fortunate enough to get you and look what happened.’ He was like, ‘Let’s just win another one.’ ”

- The latest craze is “The Mannequin Challenge,” and this one from TCU was top-notch.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to