Tony Franklin resigns as Cal’s OC to take same job at MTSU

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This is something you don’t see every day.

Cal announced Friday afternoon that Tony Franklin has resigned as the offensive coordinator of the Golden Bears.  Additionally, the football program confirmed that Franklin resigned so that he could take the same position at Middle Tennessee State.

The Blue Raiders subsequently confirmed in its own release that, in addition to his coordinating duties, Franklin would also serve as quarterbacks coach.  Franklin, who was MTSU’s coordinator in 2009, replaces Buster Faulkner, who left for the same job at Arkansas State earlier this month.

“As soon as we had the opening, Tony and I had conversations and he expressed his interest in coming to Middle Tennessee so we immediately started figuring out a way to make it work,” said head coach Rick Stockstill in a statement. “I am extremely excited about working with Tony again. He did a great job here the last time and I know our players will love playing for him.

“I know our offensive players will be eager to learn from Tony because he is one of the top three or four offensive coordinators in the business with a proven track record. Everywhere he has coached, his offenses have been one of the most productive in the country and I can’t wait for him to get here and start putting his plan into place.”

Franklin had spent the past three seasons as the coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Bears. In 2015, he added running backs coach as part of his responsibilities.

In 2015, Cal set school records for passing yardage (4,892), passing yards per game (376.3 ypg), passing touchdowns (44), total offense (6,879), total yards per game (529.2 ypg), total touchdowns (63), scoring offense (37.9 ppg, modern-era record), first downs (341) and first downs passing (201). Quarterback Jared Goff, responsible for most of those record-breaking statistics, decided to leave early for the NFL.

“I appreciate all of the contributions that Tony has made over the last three seasons to make our football program successful and all that he has accomplished throughout his career including the last six years we have spent working together at Cal and Louisiana Tech,” Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said. “I will miss him both as a colleague and a friend, but at this point in his career he has decided that this is the best move for him and his family. I respect and honor that wholeheartedly, and I wish both Tony and his family nothing but the best.”

“I am also extremely confident and excited that we will hire an offensive coordinator that will help us continue to grow upon our recent success and the foundation that Tony and all of our coaches have built at Cal. We have a terrific foundation in place now, and we will embrace the opportunity to hire an outstanding offensive coordinator that will help us continue to have success as a team and be one of the top offenses in college football.”

In addition to Cal and MTSU, Franklin has also been the coordinator at Kentucky (2000), Troy (2006-07), Auburn (2008) and Louisiana Tech (2010-12). Franklin had spent the last six seasons on Dykes-led staffs.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.