Sam Cooper

Author's posts

Oct 20

What to Watch: The 5 games you should tune in to in Week 8

What to Watch: The 5 games you should tune in to in Week 7 Like we’ve done in years past, every week throughout the season we’ll be highlighting the best games of the coming weekend. We’ll be doing it a little differently this year, however. We’ll rank…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/watch-5-games-tune-week-8-025207149.html

Oct 19

Food Lion in Tennessee selling 'Fire Butch' cookie cakes (Photos)

Tennessee coach Butch Jones has a 14-21 record in SEC play. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) Tennessee lost for the third time in four games to South Carolina last week to drop to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in SEC play. To make matters worse, the Vols travel to Tuscaloo…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/food-lion-tennessee-selling-fire-butch-cookie-cakes-photos-181624100.html

Oct 19

Clemson, struggling with field goals, brings in kicker off campus

Clemson kicker Alex Spence (41) winds up for a field goal attempt during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Syracuse, N.Y. Syracuse upset Clemson 27-24. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

A critical injury that was a bit overlooked at the time was when Clemson kicker Greg Huegel suffered a torn ACL during practice last month.

Since then, Alex Spence has been the team’s kicker but has connected on just two of his six field goal tries. In the 27-24 loss at Syracuse last week, Spence went 1-of-3, missing badly from 35 and 38 yards, prompting coach Dabo Swinney to open things up at the position. He even put in a call to a Clemson student, Drew Costa, who once tried out for the team.

Yes, really.

From The Post and Courier:

Wednesday, the Clemson football coach said that he had made a phone call to former Bishop England kicker Drew Costa to invite the Charleston native to come try out for the football team. Costa previously tried out either two or three seasons ago — Swinney wasn’t sure which — and the Tigers kept his name in mind. Now, they’re finally using it.

“I told him he’s on a day-to-day contract, kick-to-kick contract. You know in the NBA, they’ve got them 10-day contracts. I said, ‘You’re on day-to-day, kick-to-kick,’” Swinney said. “He actually tried out like two years ago or three years ago and we really liked him in the fall, we just didn’t have a spot. So we inventoried him, what we call “inventory,” and we said, ‘You know, we’re going to bring him out in the spring.’ And so then we bring him back in the spring and he had like hernia surgery so he couldn’t kick, couldn’t do anything. And that’s when we found (Greg) Huegel.”

Swinney said Costa has joined the team for practice this week to compete with Spence and walk-on Christian Groomes to fill a big void left by Huegel, who was injured on a field goal attempt during practice in late September. Swinney said Huegel’s injury was a “freak accident on the last play of practice.”

Huegel, who joined the program in 2015 as a walk-on after watching the Tigers from the stands in 2014, was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2016. He was in his third season as the team’s top kicker when he went down with the injury.

Now, with Huegel sidelined, Swinney is getting a bit desperate. Above all, he’s hoping Spence, a redshirt junior, can push through “that mental hurdle.”

“Alex hasn’t had a lot of work. I think it’s a big task. We know he’s been around here, he hasn’t played, so he’s just got to punch through that mental hurdle. But physically he can do it,” Swinney said. “I know he made a couple bad kicks the other night that didn’t even look like kicks, but that’s not him. It’s really not.”

Clemson, now 6-1 and ranked No. 7, is off this week before returning to action against Georgia Tech on Oct. 28.

– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

Follow @SamDCooper

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/clemson-struggling-field-goals-brings-kicker-off-campus-155505514.html

Oct 18

Of course Lane Kiffin follows a 'Tennessee Coach Kiffin' account on Twitter

Lane Kiffin has Florida Atlantic off to a 3-3 start in his first season. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) Lane Kiffin’s Twitter activity is the gift that keeps on giving. When we last left Lane, he was tweeting about rat poison and his former boss…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/course-lane-kiffin-follows-ut-coach-kiffin-account-twitter-221624530.html

Oct 17

Heisman Watch Week 7: J.T. Barrett continues his quiet ascent

Each week throughout the season, Dr. Saturday will highlight the five players we think are the top Heisman contenders. The list will change often early in the season before the true candidates separate themselves from the pack. Previously: Week 1, Week…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/heisman-watch-week-7-j-t-barrett-continues-quiet-ascent-185332463.html

Oct 17

UCF coach Scott Frost played scout team QB to help prepare for Navy's option

Scott Frost has UCF off to a 5-0 start in his second season as head coach. The Knights face Navy on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

It’s never easy preparing to face an option team. Luckily for No. 20 UCF, which travels to play Navy on Saturday, it has a coach on its staff with some experience running an option offense: head coach Scott Frost.

As a quarterback for Nebraska, Frost led the Huskers’ option attack and went a combined 24-2 in two seasons (1996-97) as a starter, accumulating 2,677 passing yards, 1,522 rushing yards and 46 total touchdowns. UCF runs a much different offense with Frost as head coach, but he got in the mix as one of the Knights’ scout team quarterbacks to help his defense get used to the challenge of defending the Midshipmen’s vaunted triple option.

“You see him in there running around getting us prepared,” UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin said per the Associated Press. “It’s crazy because he is running so fast that if you are slacking it’s going to show. When you see Coach Frost outrunning you you know you are doing something wrong. It’s kind of good when you can get a good look from your head coach. It makes you work that much harder.”

Frost was coy about his role at practice.

“We’re gonna use quite a few different guys to try to get our guys ready — anything we can do,” he said. “It’s hard to simulate their looks and especially at the tempo they run it and the execution they run it, so we’ll do whatever we have to do to try to get the guys ready.”

Dating back to his time at Nebraska, Frost has long admired the option offense. He had high praise for Navy quarterback Zach Abey, too. Abey is fourth in the country with 1,016 rushing yards.

Frost had a funny way to describe the plight of the option quarterback these days.

This former option QB’s take on current option QBs is priceless… pic.twitter.com/IHWGaUKfRk

— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) October 16, 2017

“I love option football. I lived it. I feel like option quarterbacks are like giant pandas. They only exist in zoos and military academies,” Frost said. “They got a good one. (Abey’s) what makes their offense go. He’s a tough runner. He’s smart. He makes good decisions. I always root for option teams and option quarterbacks because of my background.”

What’s the challenge of being a good option quarterback?

“I think it’s just a skill. I can’t tell you how many repetitions I took and how many repetitions their kids get at the reads and the plays and running with the ball and pitching it last second and the timing of it. It’s just different than what most people ask their quarterbacks to do,” Frost said. “You gotta have a tough kid that’s tough under center. I think Navy has that. You can tell by his statistics that he’s the one that makes it go.”

Frost said UCF put in some work on defending the option both in spring and fall camp to make sure they weren’t caught flat-footed when the the Navy game rolled around. UCF was scheduled to play another option team, Georgia Tech, last month, but the game was canceled because of Hurricane Irma.

Navy, which leads the nation in rushing (397.5 yards per game), has a scheme that is a little different than Georgia Tech’s, Frost said.

“A lot of the schemes are the same but they have their own personality and style,” Frost said. “I think these guys are really well-coached. They know what they’re doing. If they find a hole in your defense, they’re gonna keep exploiting it, so it’s a big week for our defense to prepare. We have some work put in already for it and we’re going to build on it as the week goes along.”

Frost, in just his second season at UCF, has the Knights off to a 5-0 start for the first time in program history. UCF is one of two undefeated AAC teams, joining rival South Florida, which is off to a 6-0 start and ranked ahead of the Knights at No. 17. Navy is coming off its first loss of the season, a 30-27 decision at AAC West foe Memphis.

Every game in AAC play is critical moving forward, both in the race for the conference title and the opportunity to represent the Group of Five conferences in a New Year’s Six bowl.

Saturday’s game, Frost’s first trip to Navy, kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET.

– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

Follow @SamDCooper

More from Yahoo Sports:
Kaepernick question sets off Green Bay coach
Popovich: Trump is a ‘soulless coward’
NFL Power Rankings: Does anyone deserve No. 1?
The one mistake that led to the Aaron Judge of old

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/ucf-coach-scott-frost-played-scout-team-qb-help-prepare-navys-option-170346469.html

Oct 17

Mike Leach: 'I don't have any plans' to follow Bill Moos to Nebraska

Mike Leach is in his sixth season at Washington State. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) When news emerged that Bill Moos was leaving Washington State to be the new athletic director at Nebraska, a natural thought followed: Could Mike Leach follo…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/mike-leach-dont-plans-follow-bill-moos-nebraska-145850124.html

Oct 16

Ole Miss, Houston Nutt reach settlement to end lawsuit

It was a civil lawsuit filed by Houston Nutt, who coached Ole Miss from 2008 to ’11, against the university that unearthed the phone records that eventually revealed Freeze’s school-issued cellphone had dialed an escort service in 2016. (AP Photo/Dave …

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/ole-miss-houston-nutt-reach-settlement-213710370.html

Oct 16

Washington loses 2 starters to season-ending injuries

Washington defensive back Jordan Miller (23) is carted off the field due to injury during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Washington 13-7. (AP Photo/…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/washington-loses-2-starters-season-ending-injuries-201929668.html

Oct 16

After reports of firing shot down, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson announces 'sabbatical'

AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach D.J. Durkin of the Maryland Terrapins and athletic director Kevin Anderson walk off the field after defeating the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Ph…

Permanent link to this article: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/reports-firing-shot-maryland-ad-kevin-anderson-announces-sabbatical-194712329.html