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Del Olaleye: College football weekly update

Kliff Kingsbury is not all that liked by Baker Mayfield. Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Scott Frost gets robbed

Apparently winning a national title as a player and being the next savior of Nebraska football doesn’t make you exempt from getting robbed in Lincoln, Nebraska. That is what happened to new Huskers coach Scott Frost. In his first summer back as a Lincoln resident Frost had his house broken into and initial reports valued the stolen merchandise at $165,000. Frost has since disputed the initially reported value. He made that clear as part of a statement: “I would like to clarify that some items initially reported as missing have been found, including some of the rings listed on the police report. Also, the value of what we believe to actually be missing is lower than what has been publicly reported." It was reported that some of the missing things were found in the garage which was actually the point of entry for the burglars. Somebody better tell coach that Lincoln isn’t the same as it was when he left. Don’t think his former coach Tom Osborne had to worry about anyone breaking into his home. Then again he won three national titles. Legends can leave all their doors unlocked in Lincoln.

The house was being remodeled so no one was living at the home at the time. That made the theft easy as all the items taken were in boxes. The stolen swag consisted of title rings and multiple pairs of Jordans. Frost has coached at Nike schools for the last nine years of his career. He was the head coach at UCF most recently and the offensive coordinator at Phil Knight’s love child Oregon before that. He now coaches at Nebraska, one of the premier schools for Adidas. I’m sure #3StripeLife will excuse it this time, but the next time Frost has his house robbed the stolen items better consist of Yeezys and Hardens vol. 3s.

Baker Mayfield has some thoughts on Kliff Kingsbury

Baker Mayfield’s journey is a tired story. So I won’t really get into it. Just know that before he was a star at Oklahoma he was walkon at Texas Tech. A really good one in fact. He started his career 5-0 as a starter. He got hurt during that season and that is where he claims his relationship with Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury changed. In a clip from his docu-series for Fox Sports he says that after he got hurt the relationship between himself and Coach Kingsbury took a downturn. According to Mayfield, Kingsbury treated him after the injury as if “he hadn’t done anything for him”. That’s only the quarterback’s side of the story and Kingsbury has responded to his former signal caller’s words in a short statement to TMZ, "I’ve always been a huge fan of Baker and loved working with him. He had an incredible career at Oklahoma, and I wish him nothing but continued success as he begins his NFL career.” Certainly not a denial of Mayfield’s words but Kingsbury has nothing to gain from engaging in a back and forth.

Wherever the truth lies, it certainly isn’t a departure for college coaches to all of a sudden play a game of “new phone, who dis?” when it comes to players who are no longer useful to them. The word attrition is used to describe players who don’t play regularly somehow finding their way out of the program. Some of it is suggested (politely forced) by coaches and other times it is voluntarily as players look for a better opportunity to play. Mayfield’s talent makes him one of the lucky ones. It turns out he could’ve played anywhere and got the chance to beat his former team three years in row during his time at Oklahoma.

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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