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College football report: New coaches in high profile jobs are struggling

College football report: New coaches in high profile jobs are struggling
Chip Kelly is not off to a good start. Harry How/Getty Images

Willie Taggart and Scott Frost may have been two of the most high profile hires coming into the 2018 season. Unfortunately for Florida State and Nebraska, offseason hype isn’t transitioning to on-field success. The two blueblood programs are a combined 1-4 through the first three weeks of the season.

Taggart’s team is dealing with injuries and a talent deficit on their offensive line and was nearly shut out by a bad Syracuse defense on Saturday while Frost’s Nebraska team lost its second straight one score game at home. Losing to Colorado in your first game isn’t a complete disaster. That Troy loss is probably sitting differently with the Nebraska faithful. Winless going into the start of Big Ten play was not the beginning Huskers fans had in mind. Playing a walk-on quarterback likely wasn’t on the agenda either. The health of freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez will likely determine the fate of Frost’s first season with Big Red.

I didn’t forget about Chip Kelly

It has been nothing short of brutal in Westwood for the biggest offseason hire not named Jimbo Fisher. Losing to Cincinnati in the first week was bad. Dropping one to Oklahoma was expected. Even the margin of defeat wasn’t considered outrageous.  Getting beat by Fresno State at home might have the most reactionary starting to question whether Kelly has lost it. Fresno State under former Cal coach Jeff Tedford isn’t a bad program but getting dominated at home by an in-state Group of Five school isn’t the best way to maintain any semblance of off-season momentum. Throw in the father of the freshman starting quarterback taking you apart on twitter and the Chip Kelly era couldn’t have started worse.

I’m actually writing about Kansas Football

I don’t normally think about Kansas football. Hell, I don’t ever think about the state of Kansas. This will probably be the only time Kansas gets any space in one of my writeups to be honest. Just a friendly reminder that Kansas has a real shot to go 3-1 as they travel to Waco to play Baylor. The only reason the Jayhawks aren’t 3-0 right now is because they somehow lost to Nicholls State at home in Week 1. That is a very Kansas football thing to do by the way. Kansas hasn’t won a Big 12 game since they effectively ended Charlie Strong’s tenure at Texas in 2016. The Jayhawks go on the road to face a Baylor team who just lost at home to a Duke team who was starting their backup quarterback. Waco is as good a place as any to end their losing streak to Power 5 teams.

Hate Watch Game of the Week:  Notre Dame vs Wake Forest

There is never a bad time to root against Notre Dame but when they’re in the top 10 and look vulnerable it is even better. The Fighting Irish go on the road to face a Wake Forest team that is a little salty. Throw in a noon start and an inept Notre Dame offense and you have a chance for a rush the field moment in Winston Salem. Do college kids still rush the field?

Hate Watch Record 2-1: LSU beats Auburn

It took Auburn pooping down their own leg to ruin my perfect record. War Eagle blew a double-digit lead at home to team who’s quarterback finished the game 15-of-34. LSU got their second top-10 win of the year to become one of the early season darlings. Gus Malzahn got himself that contract extension after beating Alabama and Georgia in 2017 and is now 1-3 against ranked teams since.


 

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Will the Texans be able to handle high expectations this season? Composite image by Brandon Strange.

After all the Texans additions this offseason, their position in the NFL power rankings and Super Bowl odds have skyrocketed. With that being the case, the Texans do have detractors.

ESPN's Shannon Sharpe still has the Bills, Chiefs, Ravens, and Dolphins in front of the Texans, and even Houston legend JJ Watt shared some concerns on The Pat McAfee Show.

Basically saying the excitement and expectations have escalated so fast, it's starting to become unrealistic. However, Watt also said the team is “uniquely positioned” to handle the situation with leaders like CJ Stroud and DeMeco Ryans.

However, we don't think expectations being raised will be the reason the Texans don't take a step forward this season. Stroud dealt with high expectations last year, being a serious MVP candidate and front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year for most of the season.

Plus, this team is more talented than the 2023 roster. Even though Houston will have to deal with a tougher schedule in 2024, we believe the Texans have the firepower to succeed.

Speaking of firepower, the addition of Stefon Diggs should give the offense a huge boost. And not just in the passing game. We believe Diggs will improve the running game by just being on the field.

The Texans faced the 6th-highest rate of stacked boxes last year. That's not going to happen this season with Diggs, Nico Collins, and Tank Dell on the field at the same time. The addition of Diggs and Joe Mixon should give Stroud something crucial that he didn't have last year to lean on, an effective running game.

Finally, we discuss a recent article on CBS Sports that predicts Diggs will return to his superstar form in 2024. Diggs' numbers took a downturn in Week 10 when the team changed offensive coordinators. After looking at these shocking stats, it's no surprise his numbers took a nosedive after the OC change.

We'll give you a little taste of what we're talking about. “Diggs had just 23 receiving yards on play action in nine games” with OC Joe Brady, compared to 346 yards prior to the OC change.

Play action is one of the things the Texans do best. You know Houston OC Bobby Slowik is going to use play action to get him open downfield. You can take that to the bank.

And that's just one of the many reasons we expect big things from Diggs in 2024. Be sure to watch the video above as we reveal more evidence confirming Diggs will return to form this season.

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