** During bowl season coforepr will neither offer extensive previews nor make predictions;
such things are readily available elsewhere on the Internet. Bowled over, indeed!
** We will often state the Vegas Expected Results for the games, the VER being a unique service of coforepr.
** VERs for today’s bowls:
. New Mexico: Arizona 37, New Mexico 28
. Las Vegas: Utah 27, Brigham Young 24
. Camellia: Appalachian State 31, Ohio 24
. Cure: San Jose State 29, Georgia State 27
. New Orleans: Louisiana Tech 35, Arkansas State 33
Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl
Division III National Championship
Mount Union (Ohio) 49, St. Thomas of Minnesota 35
* For a record 12th time Mount Union has won a national football title.
* The Purple Raiders were led by Taurice Scott, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for one, and Logan Nemeth, who piled up 220 yards on the ground with two scores.
* Jordan Roberts ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns for St. Thomas, which lost its last game of the season after 14 straight wins.
* St. Thomas led 14-0 early in the second quarter. It was 14-14 at the half. St. Thomas went up
21-14 in the third quarter before Mount Union took command of the game with 21 points in just over five minutes. Three consecutive four-play drives did the trick:
. Scott hit Roman Namdar for 63 yards to set up the first score, which came on a Scott-to-Lane Clark 13-yard pass.
. A fumble recovery set up a Bradley Mitchell 6-yard scoring run.
. A 42-yard run by Nemeth set up Scott’s touchdown run, which came from 18 yards out.
* Mount Union did all of this damage while operating into the same stiff wind against which it had managed only 30 total yards in the first quarter.
* In one stretch of the second half Mount Union outscored the Tommies 35-7.
* The Purple Raiders outgained St. Thomas 531 to 328 and enjoyed a 23-17 edge in first downs.
* Coach Vince Kehres is now 1-2 in title games. His father Larry won Mount Union’s first 11 championships.
** At North Texas new coach Seth Littrell is assembling a staff. His offensive coordinator will be Graham Harrell; his receivers coach will be Joel Filani. Both Harrell and Filani have been working under Mike Leach at Washington State – Harrell as outside receivers coach, Filani as offensive quality control coach. Washington State led the nation in passing yards with 397 per game in 2015.
From 2005 to 2008 all four men were at Texas Tech. Leach was head coach, Littrell was an assistant, Harrell was the quarterback and Filani was a receiver. Harrell averaged 351 yards passing per game and his 134 touchdown passes were an NCAA record at the time.
** In leaving Texas A&M, Kyler Murray put what he thought was a gracious statement on Twitter, but the reaction was not what he would’ve wanted. Murray was called a quitter, a disgrace to Texas A&M, soft, immature, disrespectful and a “little midget diva.” He was accused of deserting his teammates.
** Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp has vehemently denied a report that he would soon be firing coach Kevin Sumlin, even though two five-star quarterbacks have left the program recently.
** Missouri junior quarterback Maty Mauk has been reinstated to the team after his most recent suspension.
** Defensive end Carl Nassib, the nation’s sack leader with 15.5, will be healthy for Penn State’s bowl game after being extremely limited for the final two games of the regular season. The Nittany Lions play Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl on January 2nd.
** Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton has won the Courage Award. During conditioning work in February of 2014, Knighton suffered severe heat stroke and nearly died. He was in a coma for almost two weeks, lost 55 pounds and required surgery to repair his paralyzed vocal chords.
Knighton, now a 300-pound sophomore, was back on the field in 2015, playing in every game for the 8-4 Hurricanes. Miami will play Washington State in the Sun Bowl the day after Christmas.
** The Courage Award is presented jointly by the Orange Bowl and the Football Writers Association of America.
** Kentucky junior quarterback Patrick Towles announced at the end of the season that he would be transferring. Yesterday he revealed where he’d be going – Boston College. Towles started nine games for Kentucky but lost his starting job toward season’s end.
** Illinois coach Bill Cubit’ staff is undergoing myriad changes. Among them: Co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks is departing; co-defensive coordinator Mike Phair will be sole coordinator. Cubit’s son Ryan moves up from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator.
** Maryland defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, a 6’4″, 230-pound redshirt junior, will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
** Southern California wide receivers coach Tee Martin has been promoted to offensive coordinator. He replaces Clay Helton, who is now the head coach. The former Tennessee quarterback has been on the U.S.C. coaching staff for four years; he will still mentor the wide receivers.