Ohio State QB Justin Fields says knee is ’80-85 percent’ ahead of playoffs


For Ohio State and Justin Fields, I wouldn’t think this will be exactly optimal.

In the third quarter of No. 1 Ohio State’s most recent win over Michigan, the sophomore quarterback went down with what looked could be a rather significant injury to his left leg.  After a brief trip to the medical tent, Fields returned and, on his first play back, tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass.  Following the game, Fields acknowledged that he had actually sprained the MCL in the huge win over Penn State the week before; for the Big Ten championship game win over Wisconsin that secured a spot in the playoffs, Fields was at less than 100-percent healthy and his mobility, a big part of his game, was somewhat limited by the combination of the injury and the bulky brace he wore to protect it from worsening.

Last week, Ryan Day stated Fields is “going to be at 100 percent” given the amount of rest he’s gotten.  With kickoff for the College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson just four days away, however, Fields estimates that, right now, the knee is at 80-85 percent.

My knee is probably not where I wanted it to be right now,” Fields said. “I’m probably going to wear the same knee brace that I started out with for the Team Up North game. I brought the big one just in case anything happens.

“I mean, I definitely thought I would be closer to 100 percent. If I gave a percentage right now, I’d probably be 80 or 85.”

The injury has not caused Fields to miss any practice time leading up to the semifinals, it should be noted.

In his first season as a starter, Fields has thrown 40 touchdown passes vs. just one interception, with a pass efficiency rating of 200.3 that leads the Big Ten and is third nationally.  The true sophomore’s 10 rushing touchdowns are currently tied for ninth among FBS quarterbacks.

Fields finished third in the Heisman ballotting, and he’s already the way-too-early favorite for the 2020 award according to at least one sportsbook.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.