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Finding a replacement
Joe Moorhead’s name popped up as a potential candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy at Mississippi State, and on Tuesday night, the Penn State offensive coordinator did just that.
According to college football insider Brett McMurphy, Moorhead will finalize his deal in the “next few days,” heading to the Southeastern Conference. Moorhead will replace Dan Mullen, who took the head coaching job at Florida on Sunday.
Sources: Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead will become next coach at Mississippi State. Deal expected to be completed in next few days. https://t.co/fcxi8GKyeI
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 29, 2017
Moorhead has been the Nittany Lions offensive coordinator the last two seasons, helping lead the team to back-to-back 10-win seasons and two New Year’s Six bowl bids, including a Big Ten title a season ago.
Prior to arriving at Penn State, Moorhead was the head coach at Fordham.
The Nittany Lions averaged 435.6 yards of offense in 2016, nearly 6.6 yards per play, and 453.3 yards of offense this season under the guidance of Moorhead.
So now Penn State must find a replacement for a critical part of its coaching staff. And must do so with a bowl game on the horizon.
Black Shoes Diaries writer Clay Sauertieg offers his list of potential candidates to replace Moorhead.
Lions247 writer Sean Fitz takes a look at how Penn State head coach James Franklin conducts his hiring process for assistant coaches.
Pennlive’s Greg Pickel asks how the Nittany Lions will be effected on the recruiting trail by Moorhead’s departure.
One recruit who has eyes on Penn State is Harrisburg Cougars defensive end Micah Parsons, one of the top prospects nationally. Parsons is expected to announce his college choice in December, and potentially enroll early. He has already been accepted by Penn State academically.
Dang coach Moorhead leaving 🤦♂️ but business is business I respect it!
— BLESSEDMVP (@Micah_parsons23) November 29, 2017
Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman thinks Penn State could go right back to Fordham and pluck Moorhead’s replacement there, Andrew Breiner to fill the void on Franklin’s staff.
Curious to see what #PennState does next to replace OC Joe Moorhead. Keep an eye on JoMo's protege & collaborator on that system Fordham HC Andrew Breiner. Is very sharp. Also grew up about 90 minutes from State College.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 29, 2017
A review of Maryland
Penn State handled its final regular season test, a 66-3 beatdown of Maryland. There was plenty of positives coming out of the game.
Colin Wider of VictoryBellRings.com reviewed the game and offered his position grades.
Andrew Callahan of Lions247 also has his weekly Tale of the Tape, reviewing the 63-point victory.
The staff of the Daily Collegian writes that Penn State had legit national title talent this season, and perhaps missed an opportunity to cash in.
From the Collegian:
If a few plays go differently, the Nittany Lions are taking on Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game this weekend as the No. 1 team in the country. But that’s playing the “what-if” game, and teams can’t do that.
Penn State coach James Franklin has remained relatively upbeat despite the setbacks to Ohio State and Michigan State, and has his team primed for another New Year’s Six bowl bid.
Several Nittany Lions honored …
The Big Ten began unveiling its annual awards, and a handful of Nittany Lions were tabbed when the conference released the defensive teams and special teams, writes the York Daily Record’s Frank Bodani.
Notable from the awards, running back Saquon Barkley was named the conference’s top return specialist. It probably won’t be the last time we hear Barkley’s name over the next few weeks, like on Wednesday when the Big Ten offensive teams are announced.
… But 1 was snubbed
Of all the Nittany Lions honored by the Big Ten, OnwardState says one was robbed.
Cornerback Grant Haley should have been on the All-Big Ten defensive team, and the first team, writes Onward’s David Abruzzese. Instead he was listed as a honorable mention.
Hard to argue with Abruzzese. According to ProFootballFocus, by way of 247Sports, had Haley listed as the top cornerback in the Big Ten midway through the season.
So what gives? Nick Polak of Roar Lions Roar laid out the case for Haley.
Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.
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