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Luther staff issues a challenge
Nebraska's top recruiting tool?

Quick Hits: Muschamp, Joker, Mack, Jay Norvell, and Dooley

Will Muschamp says the Gators are extremely well-conditioned: “We have a very fit football team right now. We have very few guys that have a weight issue as far as being overweight. You probably could count them on one hand, which is unusual.


Joker Phillips is optimistic as Spring practice begins at Kentucky: "We hear it; we're not in a cave. We hear people's concerns. We've lost this, we've lost that. We've lost a lot of production before. We didn't have a tight end for a couple of years and we made do with it. So it's not a concern of ours."

Quoting Mack Brown: "We're starting every day with special teams and ball security and turnover-forcing drills. The most important thing in college football is turnover ratio."


Quoting Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator / wide receivers coach Jay Norvell: "We played our best football down the stretch last season -- Baylor, Oklahoma State, Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl. We feel like we can build on that. We basically have all of our skill players back other than DeMarco. He did a lot of things well. It's hard to replace a guy like that. But we think we will have more leadership with Landry, Stills, Broyles. That's exciting and encouraging, guys who have done it in big games." 


Derek Dooley is glad he is past his first Spring practice at Tennessee: “Last year I spent three days telling them we don’t do chants during practice.”


Saban: We don't hire people to come in and do what they do

Alabama has opened Spring practice with three new assistant coaches.

Former Clemson defensive ends coach Chris Rumph is the new defensive line coach.

The offensive staff has two new coaches with former Miami (FL) offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and former Louisville quarterbacks coach Mike Groh joining the staff.  Groh will coach the Alabama wide receivers.

Although Spring practice has just started, Nick appears to be in mid-season form.

Saban explained, “We don’t really hire people to come in and do what they do. We hire them to do what we want them to do. … I’m pleased and happy with the staff chemistry that we have — the way the guys work together.”

Our Saban translator broke down the aforementioned quote in other words.  Basically, Saban is saying, “I know what the hell I’m doing.  I just need a couple of guys to implement my plan, recruit, and keep players accountable.  Aight, now, if we can do that, then I will make sure the right team in this state plays for the national championship.”

ESPNU will televise Saban walking around in a light blue sports coat on April 16th at 3 pm EST.  

Dan McCarney: I'm better now than when I was at Iowa State

North Texas is set to begin Spring practice tomorrow under new head coach Dan McCarney.

McCarney, who served as the head coach at Iowa State for twelve years, accepted the North Texas job after serving as the defensive line coach at Florida the last three years.

The new coaching staff includes Mike Canales (offensive coordinator / quarterbacks), Clint Bowen (defensive coordinator / safeties), Kent Riddle (special teams / tight ends), Mike Nelson (defensive line), Anthony Weaver (linebackers), Justin Gaines (corners), Mike Grant (running backs), Nick Quartaro (wide receivers / assistant head coach), and Mike Simmonds (offensive line).

McCarney said today, “I feel like I'm a lot more relaxed and more comfortable now. I took a lot of mental notes along the way and there's no doubt I'm better now than when I was at Iowa State.”

He also talked about his goals for Spring practice.

“On offense we want to establish a physical presence, find our playmakers, and work on creating mismatches. We have to find out who our best players are going to be because right now I don't know who that is. This spring is going to be about what you do, all 22 starting positions are up for grabs. I don't care if you were a three-year starter, we have to find out who can make plays for us, block a punt, return a kick, you name it, every single position is going to be wide open.”

“On defense we have to get much, much more physical, work on our fundamentals, and get better tackling. I think we have made great strides in our attitude and expectations, but what I need from those guys is for them to give me all they have for 4-6 seconds every play. I don't need 60 seconds worth of effort, it's not like that, I need them to give me there best for just that length of time.  If we can get better in our tackling, I told Coach Bowen that if we are able to do just that, you will see the results.”

North Texas opens the 2011 season with a conference game at FIU.  The Mean Green will then play four consecutive non-conference games against Houston, at Alabama, Indiana, and at Tulsa.


Lane Kiffin says USC has "gigantic depth issues"

Lane Kiffin begins Spring practice today at USC.

It will be the first practice with new assistant coach Ted Gilmore, who replaced John Morton as wide receivers coach.  Morton joined Jim Harbaugh’s staff with the 49ers.

Kiffin said yesterday, "Our fans have extremely high standards just like we do. None of us was pleased with [last year], not the fans or the coaching staff. We've just got to get better and improve next year, learn from our mistakes. Three games came down to one play."

"It'd be real tough to say this team is better than last year with all the questions at linebacker and offensive line."

The Trojans somehow figured out a way to have more injuries this off-season. Twenty players will not practice today.

"It's extremely frustrating. You've got a lot of people out," Kiffin said. "We have gigantic depth issues in the offensive and defensive line."


How's this for an early season schedule?

How’s this for an early season schedule?

Upon the WAC’s announcement of the 2011 conference schedule, Nevada has learned the Wolf Pack will play four consecutive road games to begin the season.

Nevada will open at Autzen Stadium against Oregon. A week later, they will fly to San Jose State.

The Wolf Pack will then travel 1340 miles to play Texas Tech in Lubbock.  The exciting swing continues with a trip to the blue turf at Boise State.

Head coach Chris Ault isn’t very happy.

Ault explained, “As it is now, the early-season schedule is a grind. My biggest concern is not losing our momentum from the 2010 season with our first home game being in October.”

Associate AD Keith Hackett said, “Most non-conference games are scheduled years in advance, and starting with the conference movement last summer there were considerable obstacles in our way to adjust the schedule to best fit our program in a short amount of time. We worked with the MWC, the WAC, our television partners and dozens of other schools around the country to add a home game to our schedule earlier in the season. The reality is that we are between the WAC and the Mountain West Conference.”

“With such a short window, none of the compromise solutions that we had worked out were able to be completed prior to today’s announcement by the WAC.”

Without quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Vai Taua, it's unlikely the Nevada offense will be able to stay on the field as much in 2011.  It will be interesting to see if defensive coordinator Andy Buh remains mentally stable after playing Oregon, San Jose, Texas Tech, and Boise State to start the season.

We are setting the over/under on yards allowed through four games at 1980.  

Are you taking the OVER or UNDER? 

Hurricanes go full-pads with coaches mic'd up

Miami (FL) went full-pads last week and Canes All-Access was there to film the session.

Al Golden is preaching physical football.   He wants a certain level of physical football to be a part of the Canes’ DNA.

When a period didn’t go as expected, Golden circled ‘em up and went straight to 1 on 1 board drill.

Golden explained, “What I was trying to do there was tell them the period we just got out of was unacceptable.  And we’ll do it again if we have to.  I didn’t like the way it started and I didn’t like the way that looked.  In the end, that (physical football) will be a part of our DNA.  We are going to keep working until we can weave than into our fabric.”

The best part is offensive line Art Kehoe mic’d up.

Kehoe says, “We want to have a philosophy of ‘attack.’  We are going to come up to the line and do it fast.  We want you to know it’s not an elephants on parade type of deal.  We are coming out to hit you in the teeth and to run through you.  Whatever it takes to get them to finish through the whistle.”

Here’s the video:


Quick Hits: Les Miles, Nick Saban, and Bo Pelini

Les Miles talks about the progress his team has made after 5 practices: “We still have 10 practices to go, but I like the progress this team has made in just five workouts. I like the development of this team. Defensively, we are getting lined up, and we are making plays on the ball. We’ve made some improvement. I like where we are, but it’s early. We’re not in any way ready to play games, but there are some good things taking place out here. Special teams is covering kicks, protecting, and the punters are kicking well. We’re installing some new things with the punt – more pro style.”


Nick Saban talks about the most important thing in Spring practice: "Spring is obviously important. The most important thing about spring practice is that you get the system taught to as many people as possible, especially the young guys that haven't been exposed to it in the past."


Bo Pelini talks about Nebraska’s new offense: “You know I could sit here and talk about it for a long time, but you’ll see that when we roll that ball out there in September. Like I said it’s multiple but simple, you’ve got to be aggressive. We’re going to be an aggressive style offense period, end of story.

“There’s a lot of different ways to do that, and I’m not going to sit here and get into it and say we’re going to do this or we’re going to do that. We’re going to attack people, we’re going to get after them, and we’re going to attack them in a lot of different ways.”

Willie Taggart: They're dying for championship football here

Western Kentucky opens Spring practice under second-year head coach Willie Taggart on Monday.

It will be the first practice with new offensive coordinator / wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni and defensive coordinator Lance Guidry.  Despite a 2-10 season a year ago, Taggart’s enthusiasm and positive outlook hasn’t changed one bit.

Taggart told the Bowling Green Daily News, “They’re dying for championship football around here, and we feel the same way. We’re not asking for anything from anybody. Let us earn that support. We don’t want anyone to give it to us. Let us earn it, and we will.”

“Let us earn 23,000 fans in Houchens-Smith Stadium (every game) - with 23,000 Hilltoppers in Houchens-Smith Stadium, there’s no way anyone can come in here and beat us.”

“I’ve been waiting for spring practice to start since that Monday after we lost to Troy (on the final day of the 2010 season). That day our team came in the weight room. It wasn’t orchestrated by the staff and it was just those guys getting together saying, ‘We’re starting a new ship now, and we’re going to get things going. And everyone’s got to be on board.’”

WKU will play Kentucky in Nashville, TN to begin the 2011 season.  Yes, we are aware that neither team is from the state of Tennessee.

The Hilltoppers will then host Navy, Indiana State, and Arkansas State.