Bryce Young day-to-day with shoulder sprain

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
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Alabama quarterback Bryce Young‘s sprained throwing shoulder has usurped the offseason coaching spat as the big story heading into the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s grudge match against Texas A&M.

Alabama coach Nick Saban called Young day-to-day AND said he didn’t have any substantive update on the status of last season’s Heisman Trophy winner. The top-ranked Crimson Tide face the Aggies, the only team to beat Alabama in the 2021 regular season, on Saturday night.

“Really, there’s no updates on Bryce,” Saban said. “You know, he’s got a little bit of a shoulder injury. It’s not a long-term type injury.

“He’s gonna be day-to-day when he can get back to throwing, and we’ll just have to evaluate it day to day. So I can’t tell you if that’s going to be today, tomorrow, or the next day.”

Saban spoke before practice, which is closed to the media. In fact, both quarterbacks are labeled as day to day by their coaches.

Texas A&M’s Max Johnson sustained a hand injury late in last week’s loss to Mississippi State. Pushed on whether Johnson, who got the job after Haynes King was benched following two subpar starts, would start this week, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher was cagey. “I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll go day-to-day … what do you want me to do? Call Nick and tell him?”

Young’s status especially is overshadowing the juicy offseason back and forth between Saban and Fisher that drew a reprimand for both from the Southeastern Conference. Saban called out Texas A&M a nd other schools while talking about the need for regulating NIL in college sports. Fisher shot back and called his former boss at LSU “a narcissist.”

If Young can’t go, Alabama will turn to Jalen Milroe, a dual-threat quarterback who played most of the way in a 49-26 win at then-No. 20 Arkansas. Young landed on his right shoulder on a scramble, throwing the ball away on his way down. He didn’t return.

Saban said that play was “a teaching moment” for his star quarterback, who could have just let himself be tackled or gotten rid of the ball earlier.

“The thing about great competitors, and Bryce is a great competitor, is they always want to make a play,” Saban said. “They’re going to go to the last nth degree to make a play.

“But sometimes you’ve got to know when there’s no play to be made. And now it’s time to not put myself at risk.”

Young has passed for 1,202 yards and 14 touchdowns against three interceptions this season. He has also run for 154 yards and three scores.

Milroe is a redshirt freshman and former four-star recruit from Katy, Texas, about 85 miles from College Station.

Alabama switched gears with him in the game against Arkansas, relying more heavily on the running game. Milroe was only 4-of-9 passing for 65 yards but set up a fourth-quarter touchdown with a 77-yard run. He finished with 91 yards on six carries.

“Jalen did a great job stepping up, knowing what he needed to do, make plays for us to win,” tailback Jahmyr Gibbs said.

Alabama has had a package installed for Milroe, who was the nation’s No. 4 dual-threat quarterback prospect out of high school, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Milroe, who has passed for 151 yards and rushed for 163 this season, got little action in four games last season before redshirting. He completed 3 of 7 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown while gaining another 57 on 15 rushes.

“I just know as a coach what we try to do to prepare him so that they feel like at least, psychologically, they’re in the right place to go out there and read things and make the right choices and decisions,” Saban said. “That’s why we practice. That’s why we give guys experience. We’ve been fortunate that Jalen got a pretty good bit of experience in these first few games.”

Gibbs ran for 202 yards, including touchdowns of 72 and 76 yards in the fourth quarter. The longest run came from Milroe, though.

Gibbs said he’s never raced the Tide’s backup quarterback but that Milroe did run against receiver Kendrick Law over the summer.

“It was a tie,” he said.

Added linebacker Will Anderson Jr.: “He is very hard to tackle. He can move really well, has great feet. He can escape the pocket.”

Saban said defensive end Justin Eboigbe, who missed the Arkansas game, has a neck injury and will see a specialist.

“We’re not going to allow him to play until we can get the exact, most expert, plan of action for him and his future,” Saban said.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”