News, Notes & Quotes - Oct. 31

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday October 31, 2016


- What a difference five weeks makes. You never know how the coaching carousel will shape out.

Five weeks ago, Gus Malzahn was 1-2 and facing pressure, and Auburn lost to LSU on the final play. But the call was reversed, Les Miles was dismissed the next day, and now Auburn is right outside the top 10 after five straight wins, including 40-29 at Ole Miss.

Similarly, Clay Helton and USC started 1-3, but the Trojans have won four straight behind freshman QB Sam Darnold. As we head into November, the carousel will actually get going, so bookmark the Coaching Search Ticker.

- Teams are remembered for what they do in November. Here is every division / conference leader entering the final month.

AAC East: Temple
AAC West: Navy
ACC Atlantic: Clemson
ACC Coastal: Virginia Tech
Big 12: Oklahoma
Big Ten East: Michigan
Big Ten West: Nebraska
C-USA East: Western Kentucky
C-USA West: Louisiana Tech
MAC East: Ohio
MAC West: Western Michigan
MWC Mountain: Wyoming
MWC West: San Diego State
Pac-12 North: Washington / Washington State
Pac-12 South: Colorado
SEC East: Florida
SEC West: Alabama
Sun Belt: Troy / Appalachian State

- Mike Leach called a timeout in the second quarter against Oregon State to rip into his team.

The Cougars trailed 14-0 at the time and had just given up a 20-yard run. They would fall behind 21-0, before coming back to win 35-31.

“I’d get fined again if I said it,” Leach said when asked about the timeout. “Let’s see, what did I say? I mean, it was basically a preview to what I said to them at halftime. And they probably contained some words that your children should never use.”

- The Notre Dame front seven finally showed up against Miami, and that was Brian Kelly’s biggest takeaway from the win.

“We had 12 tackles for a loss. That's the most in a single game since 2005,” he said. “I think that any time that you sack the quarterback — and I thought it was one of our more dominating performances with our front four in a long time — that causes a lot of issues. … I thought that was probably a real, real big positive to take away.”

- Mark Richt and Miami have lost four straight after a 4-0 start. He was asked where things go from here.

“Go play Pitt.”

Three of those losses were by 7 points or fewer. Said Richt, “We didn't get it done, obviously. I mean, it's a team thing — offense, defense, special teams. Bottom line is we didn't get it done. Came close. 3 out of 4 came close, but close doesn't count. We've got to get better.”

- The Raiders set an NFL record with 23 penalties, but still beat the Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime. Jack Del Rio didn’t know how to describe it.

“I don’t have an answer for you on why so many penalties,” he said. “I don’t think my couple hours away yesterday at my boy’s game yesterday (Florida-Georgia) was the difference. I say that facetiously. Obviously, we played through a lot of that. I think the great thing is we did play through it and we got the win. … I’m real proud of our guys on a gritty effort. I would have liked to ended it right there (at the end of regulation or on the fir). I thought we executed as a football team very well at the end. I thought we had a shot to win the game.

“We’ll count on (kicker Sebastian Janikowski) to line up and knock those down for us in the future but he missed on that one today. I know it was tough for him and tough for us because it put us in a tough spot, but we came through. At the end of the day, we had each others’ backs and we got it done.”

- Take notice: Louisiana Tech has won five straight and sits at 6-3 and atop Conference USA West after beating Rice 61-16 on Saturday. The Bulldogs have scored at least 44 in four straight.

“Everybody talked about how in the world are you going to replace a Jeff Driskel, a Kenneth Dixon, seven players off that team from last year made an NFL roster or practice squad, five on an active roster and two in the practice squad,” Holtz said.

“I think it's a real testament to these coaches, the way that they have recruited, the way they are working it to these players to their development to (head strength coach) Kurt Hester. We came here four years ago, we talked about building a program, and it wasn't going to be predicated on just a couple players or having success in one year, but we wanted to be able to do it year-in and year-out. And right now, we've got an opportunity to play a lot of young players tonight.”

- Here’s Boston College’s locker room celebration after beating NC State.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 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 chris@coachingsearch.com.