USF coach Jeff Scott fired, a day after 54-28 loss to Temple

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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TAMPA Fla. — South Florida coach Jeff Scott was fired one day after his team gave up 621 yards of offense in a 54-28 loss to Temple that dropped him to 4-26 at the school.

Special teams coordinator Daniel Da Prato will be the interim coach for the remainder of the season.

“When Jeff came to Tampa in December of 2019, we had high expectations for where he could take our football program,” USF athletic director Michael Kelly said in a statement. “While he did so many things right, including rebuilding our culture, pushing forward our indoor performance facility, and engaging our community, the on-the-field results fell well below our standards.”

South Florida is 1-8 this season, 0-5 in the American Athletic Conference.

“I would like to thank our players, coaches and staff members for all their hard work during my time as the head coach at USF,” Scott said. “I will miss this team and will do anything in my power to help them in the future. I am disappointed that our hard work didn’t translate to more success on the field, but I am confident that we have set a new foundation.”

Scott joined USF after serving five years as the co-offensive coordinator at Clemson, which went 70-5 over the stretch.

Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was also fired. Co-defensive coordinator Ernie Sims will take over for Shoop.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. returning for 2023 season

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE – Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. said Sunday he will return to the school for his sixth and final season of eligibility in 2023.

Penix announced his decision on social media and it was a surprising one at that. Penix was the national leader in passing this season, throwing for 4,354 yards and led Washington’s turnaround. The No. 12-ranked Huskies went 10-2 in the regular season, finished tied for second in the Pac-12 and will face No. 21 Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Penix will have a chance at setting Washington’s single-season record for yards passing in the bowl game. He also threw 29 touchdowns this season. Because of his performance this season, Penix saw his NFL draft stock rise to where he was being expected to be a second-day pick at the latest.

In his announcement, Penix wrote, “As I look back on this special season we had, I realized there were so many great moments and things to celebrate, but I KNOW there is so much for out there for this team and the job is still not finished. I can’t wait to be playing in Husky Stadium for the 2023 season!”

Penix started his career at Indiana and showed flashes of stardom while also battling injuries. He transferred to Washington after the 2021 season, a move that reunited him with new Huskies’ coach Kalen DeBoer, who was Penix’s offensive coordinator for one season at Indiana.

North Texas fires Littrell after .500 record over 7 years

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
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DENTON, Texas – Bowl-bound North Texas has fired coach Seth Littrell, who went 44-44 over seven seasons.

University president Neal Smatresk said Sunday night that the decision to make the move came after a thorough assessment of the program.

The Mean Green are 7-6 this season after losing 48-27 to UTSA in the Conference USA championship game Friday night.

Phil Bennett, their defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was named interim head coach. North Texas plays Boise State in the Frisco Bowl on Dec. 17.

The 44-year-old Littrell had one year left on his contract in what was his first head coaching job. He was the youngest coach in Conference USA and one of the youngest at the FBS level when he arrived after two seasons as offensive coordinator at North Carolina with UNT coming off a 1-11 season at the time.

While the Mean Green are going to their sixth bowl since Littrell first got there, they haven’t won any of those yet. The bowl in his debut season came after only five wins since there weren’t enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all of the slots. Consecutive nine-win seasons followed in 2017 and 2018, but they then had three consecutive losing records before this year.

North Texas also has an interim athletic director after Wren Baker was named as West Virginia’s AD last week.

Smatresk said Jared Mosley, the chief operating officer of UNT athletics, will serve as interim AD. The university is working with a search firm to find Baker’s successor.