Ivan Maisel’s “Daily Briefing” for On3:
Steve Sarkisian and learning from a loss
I say this knowing full well it’s too early to make any sort of declaration about Steve Sarkisian 2.0. But watching Texas fall apart in the fourth quarter Saturday rang a bell about Sarkisian’s stops at Washington and USC. So I went digging. His record in one-score games is 15-13, slightly below his record of 35-24 in other games. Was it that in his season-and-a-half at USC the Trojans lost four games as two-score favorites? That speaks to mental discipline. But, no, it takes more than a half-season to impress upon players that the cost of discipline is high but surely worth paying. If Texas doesn’t learn from that experience Saturday, Sarkisian isn’t doing his job.
Believe it: Watching punters can be enjoyable
“We live in the Golden Age of Punting” is a phrase that will capture the imagination of absolutely no one. But it happens to be true. It may be the Aussie invasion; it may be that coaching and development has become better than ever. But watching guys like Tory Taylor of Iowa and Adam Korsak of Rutgers is enjoyable. Taylor kept Penn State pinned on its goal line for possession after possession in the Hawkeyes’ comeback victory. Korsak placed six of his seven punts against Michigan State inside the 20, averaging 46.1 yards. The Ray Guy Award named Korsak its Punter of the Week for the third time in six weeks this season.
Praise for Brian Ferentz
Former Iowa defensive back Bob Stoops, honored at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday for his election to the College Football Hall of Fame last year, expressed admiration Tuesday for the handiwork of Hawkeyes offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. The former Oklahoma coach, part of Fox’s Big Noon Saturday crew at the Iowa-Penn State game, said Ferentz “is dialing up one or two pass plays a game. That’s all they need. That one in the fourth quarter, there wasn’t anyone within 10 yards of the receiver.” Stoops is referring to the 44-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Petras to Nico Ragaini that put Iowa ahead to stay, 23-20. Ragaini began a deep slant pattern, then spun back to the left side of the field. As scouted, the Nittany Lions’ defenders didn’t cut back with Ragaini. He caught the ball at the 15 and raced into the end zone.