Syracuse hires offensive coordinator, QB coach from Virginia

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- Syracuse coach Dino Babers has added a pair of former Virginia coaches to his staff, hiring Robert Anae as offensive coordinator and Jason Beck as quarterbacks coach.

Both served in those positions for the Cavaliers for six years under coach Bronco Mendenhall, who suddenly resigned four weeks ago.

Anae also spent nine years in two stints as offensive coordinator at BYU, his alma mater. He replaces offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sterlin Gilbert, who was fired in November after two seasons with the Orange.

“Coach Anae has proven to lead a number of successful offenses in his career, including in the ACC,” Babers said in a statement Thursday. “We’re excited to welcome him and his family to Syracuse and look forward to him getting started with our team.”

Anae and Beck, also a BYU alum, enjoyed considerable success together in their tenure at Virginia with quarterbacks Kurt Benkert, Bryce Perkins and Brennan Armstrong. They are the only quarterbacks in program history to throw for 20 or more touchdowns in multiple seasons – Armstrong in 2020-21, Perkins in 2018-19, and Benkert in 2016-17.

With Armstrong at the helm this past season, the Cavaliers finished third in total offense among 130 FBS schools with an average of 515.8 yards. Armstrong passed for 4,449 yards in 11 games, an average of 404.4, accumulated 4,700 total yards, and threw 31 touchdown passes, all program records.

Syracuse finished 5-7 with dual-threat quarterback Garrett Shrader under center for the final eight games. The Orange focused more on the run game, averaging 213.5 yards behind tailback Sean Tucker (1,496) and Shrader (781). Shrader was 123 for 234 for 1,445 yards and nine TDs with four interceptions and averaged just 120.4 yards passing.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Nebraska’s leading rusher Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska opened spring practice with running back Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely to work on academics and other issues, first-year coach Matt Rhule announced.

Grant led the team in rushing with 915 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 18 passes for 104 yards.

“Working on academics and general things. Nothing bad other than just our standards as a program,” Rhule said. “That will be day by day. Good kid. Just have to get him going in the right direction.”

Rhule said kick returner and reserve receiver Tommi Hill also is suspended. He did not specify a reason.

Backup tight ends Chris Hickman and James Carnie and reserve cornerback Tyreke Johnson left the team.