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Josh Heupel Named UCF Head Football Coach

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ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Daniel J. White announced the hire of their 11th UCF football head coach Tuesday morning. Photo: Orlando Sentinel.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: UCFKnights.com // Josh Heupel is the 11th head coach in the history of UCF Football. UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Daniel J. White announced the hire Tuesday morning.

Coach Heupel will be joined by White and President John C. Hitt at an introductory press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday In the Recruiting Lounge at Spectrum Stadium.

 

What The Decision Makers Are Saying

UCF Head Coach Josh Heupel: “I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to represent UCF. What makes this opportunity so unique is the vision of the leadership from President John Hitt, Provost Dale Whitaker and Director of Athletics Danny White. Their vision for this becoming one of the premier programs in the country makes this an exciting opportunity. That vision, the amazing campus, along with the recruiting base not only allows you to have immediate success but sustained success. I’m very excited to get a staff together and get to work with our wonderful student-athletes.”

UCF VP/AD Danny White: “I’m thrilled to welcome Josh and his family to UCF. I believe we’ve identified one of the brightest offensive minds in college football. His offensive system is very similar to what we’ve been running. I know he’s going to utilize all the great talent on our roster and continue to add to it. He’s no stranger to success, winning a national championship as a quarterback and leading a number of extremely high-powered offensive teams. Coach Heupel is in coaching for the right reasons. He cares about his student-athletes and that’s one of the most important attributes I look for in a coach.”

President John C. Hitt: “Josh believes in recruiting and developing well-rounded student-athletes. That’s a perfect fit with UCF, the No. 1 public university in the nation for student-athlete academic success. Josh is an outstanding leader, competitor and winner. Looking at what his Missouri offense did this season, I can’t wait to see the scoreboard light up at Spectrum Stadium.”

 

Tiger Turnaround

Heupel comes to UCF after serving as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Missouri for the past two seasons.

In 2015, prior to Heupel’s arrival, Missouri ranked 124th in the nation in total offense (280.9). In 2016, the Tigers led the Southeastern Conference and were ranked No. 13 in the nation, averaging 500.5 yards per game. In 2017, Mizzou is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation in total offense, averaging 511.5 yards per game. The Tigers are currently No. 10 in the nation in scoring at 39.3 points per game.

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock blossomed under Heupel’s tutelage. Lock led the SEC in passing as a sophomore, throwing for 3,399 yards and 23 touchdowns. He followed that up with an even stronger junior campaign in 2017, passing for 3,695 yards and an SEC-record 43 touchdown tosses, with a bowl game left to play.

Heupel served as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Utah State in 2015. Despite the loss of their starting quarterback to injury, Heupel’s unit improved from 81stnationally to 60th in scoring offense.

 

Sooner Success

Heupel started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. He was on a coaching staff that took part in back-to-back national championship games following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Heupel helped mentor Jason White to the Heisman Trophy in 2003.

He spent the 2005 season at Arizona before heading back to OU as a full-time assistant.

He returned to his alma mater for the 2006 season and coached the quarterbacks for five seasons. Heupel coached Sam Bradford to the Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh Awards in 2008. Bradford led the nation in passing efficiency that season and the Sooners tallied an NCAA record five straight 60-point games.

Heupel was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011 and served in that role for four seasons. His 2011 offense ranked fourth in the nation in total offense and passing offense. The 2012 unit ranked fifth in the nation in passing and 12th in total offense. In 2013, OU led the Big 12 in rushing and total offense. In his final season with OU, the Sooners led the nation in fewest sacks and led the Big 12 and ranked 10th in the nation in rushing, as well as finishing 20th in the nation in scoring and 23rd in total offense.

 

National Championship Playing Career

Heupel was a national-championship winning quarterback at Oklahoma. He was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2000 while leading the Sooners to a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl, sealing the national title for OU. In 2001, Heupel was the Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp Award winner, Archie Grifin Award winner and a consensus All-America performer.

During his two seasons as the starting quarterback at Oklahoma, Heupel posted a 20-5 record. He passed for 7,456 yards and 53 touchdowns. Overall, he still ranks among OU’s top three quarterbacks in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes, despite playing just two seasons. He was a junior college All-America performer at Snow College in Utah in 1999, throwing for 2,308 yards and 28 TDs. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.

 

Prominent Pupils

  • Drew Lock (Missouri) – SEC Single-Season Touchdown Passing Record, 43 (2017)
  • Landry Jones (Oklahoma) – 2010 Sammy Baugh Award Winner; Finished No. 3 in NCAA career passing yards, No. 5 NCAA career touchdown passes
  • Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) – 2008 Heisman Trophy Winner; No. 1 overall pick in 2010 NFL Draft
  • Jason White (Oklahoma) – 2003 Heisman Trophy Winner

 

Personal File

Heupel earned his bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Oklahoma in 2001. He and his wife Dawn have two children – daughter Hannah and son Jace. Heupel is an Aberdeen, S.D. native.

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College Football

2023 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: LSU Routs Purdue University 62-7

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LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers (#8) runs the ball against the Purdue University Boilermakers during the 2023 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium Monday, January 2, 2023. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers (#8) runs the ball against the Purdue University Boilermakers during the 2023 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium Monday, January 2, 2023. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The LSU Tigers faced the Purdue University Boilermakers in the 2023 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium Monday. The Tigers made their sixth Citrus Bowl appearance, last appearing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl back in 2018 and LSU’s current coach, Brian Kelly, was ironically the head coach of the opposing team that year, Notre Dame. Needless to say LSU came into Monday’s game with considerable experience.

For Purdue’s part, their team is still working on gelling together with new head coach Brian Brohm, who admitted during the head coaches press conference Sunday that “everything is still in flux” for his team with his brother Jeff Brohm, who had coached for six seasons, leaving to coach the Louisville Cardinals.

The quick version: The LSU Tigers absolutely devoured the Purdue Boilermakers in Monday’s Citrus Bowl match. The Purdue defense was nearly non-existent in the first half, allowing a whopping 35 points before halftime. 35 points.

Want to see the carnage unfold in detail? Keep reading.

 

First Half

Halfway through the first quarter (7:01) LSU got on the board with a touchdown with running back John Emery Jr.’s one-yard scramble into the end zone.

With 1:06 left in the first quarter, LSU scored again with running back Noah Cain rushing the ball nine yards, making the score 14-0.

With 1:01 left in the first, on Purdue’s next possession, wide receiver Ben Van Noord fumbled the ball, which LSU safety Major Burns recovered, giving LSU the ball again–in the same spot just 20 yards away from the end zone. However, after review, the call was overturned, giving Purdue the ball back.

The Boilermakers remained scoreless, however.

LSU’s carnage continued in the second quarter. The Tiger scored their third touchdown early in the quarter (13:03) with Daniels’s 32-yard pass to tight end Mason Taylor, creating a point canyon for Purdue to have to cross, 21-0.

With 8:32, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels chose to keep the ball and nearly broke away for the touchdown rush, but was tackled

Cain finished the job for LSU, rushing in the final nine yards for the touchdown, 28-0 after the extra point.

Halfway through the second quarter, on Purdue’s possession, they were set up to punt, but instead successfully made the fourth down conversion with a first down.

With 3:11 left in the second quarter, LSU devastated Purdue. Purdue quarterback Austin Burton’s end zone pass intended for Paul Piferi got intercepted by LSU’s Camdyn Childers. LSU then made good on the pick and got their fifth touchdown in five plays for 87 yards, blowing out the score to 35-0 with 1:07 left in the first half. By the 0:14 mark, after both teams used a time out, both teams let the clock run out and headed to the locker room. The official halftime score: 35-0.

In the first half, LSU clocked 249 passing yards to Purdue’s 73 and 115 rushing yards to Purdue’s 15. LSU was five of seven on third down conversions compared to Purdue’s three of nine. LSU’s defense sacked Purdue’s quarterbacks three times for a total loss of 21 yards and made six Purdue tackles for a total loss of 28 yards.

Purdue quarterback Austin Burton was 11 of 21 on passes for 73 total yards in the first half. Running back Devin Mockabee led Purdue in rushing with eight for a total of 73 yards.

 

Second Half

LSU showed no signs of stopping in the third quarter. On LSU’s possession, Purdue’s defense broke up a touchdown pass on the first down. However, LSU made up for it on second down with wide receiver Malik Nabers’ five-yard pass to Jayden Daniels, making the score 42-0.

At 9:17 in the third, LSU safety Greg Brooks, Jr. intercepted Purdue quarterback Michael Alaimo’s attempted touchdown pass, after which LSU players ran to the sideline to celebrate with Cheez-It mascot Ched Z and jumped on the Cheez-It bed set. As expected, they earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Interestingly, so did head coach Brian Kelly a few seconds later.

Ironically, with 5:23 left in the third, Purdue finally fed LSU a taste of their own medicine. LSU quarterback Garrett Nussmeier’s attempted touchdown pass intended for wide receiver Kyren Lacy was intercepted by Purdue cornerback Jamari Brown.

Purdue didn’t capitalize on their next possession, though, and as soon as LSU got the ball back, Nussmeier passed to Nabers, who ran the ball 75 yards for LSU’s seventh touchdown, making the score 49-0.

Purdue finally hammered their way to a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter with an eight-play scoring drive for 75 yards, making the score 49-7. Alaimo made the successful 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver TJ Sheffield.

With 8:47 left in the game, LSU answered Purdue with another touchdown. Safety Derrick Davis Jr. ran the ball 12 yards to the endzone for the 56-7 score.

At 6:01 in the fourth, Purdue wide receiver Deion Burks was running to catch a pass when LSU safety Sage Ryan, attempting to break up the pass, fell on him, causing Burks to get injured. the clock stopped.

While scoring stalled for most of the fourth, LSU managed one last major stinger. LSU safety Quad Wilson intercepted Purdue’s punt return and ran it all the way across to the other end zone–99 yards–for LSU’s ninth touchdown. The extra point attempt failed, but LSU was able to secure their 10th season win as the 2023 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl Champions with a 62-7 final score.

 

2023 Cheez-It Bowl Postgame Press Conference

Purdue head coach Brian Brohm, and wide receivers TJ Sheffield and Elijah Canion as well as LSU head coach Brian Kelly, wide receiver Malik Nabers and cornerback Jarrick Converse spoke with the media.

 

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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VIDEO: 2022 Cheez-It Bowl Postgame Press Conference

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Florida State Seminoles football head coach Mike Norvell (right) holds the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl trophy after the Seminoles defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 35-32 at Camping World Stadium Thursday, December 29, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Florida State Seminoles football head coach Mike Norvell (right) holds the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl trophy after the Seminoles defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 35-32 at Camping World Stadium Thursday, December 29, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The head coaches from Oklahoma Sooners and Florida State Seminoles, as well as both quarterbacks and players from both teams talk with the press after FSU’s 35-32 victory over Oklahoma during the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium.

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2022 Cheez-It Bowl: FSU Secures 25th 10-Win Season with 35-32 Win Over Oklahoma

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Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis dodges the Oklahoma Sooners defense as he searches for a pass target during the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl Camping World Stadium Thursday, December 29, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Florida State Seminoles entered Thursday’s Cheez-It Bowl hungry for a win to make this another 10-win season for the university, which hasn’t happened since 2016.

 

First Half

At just 11:26 in the first quarter, FSU got on the board first with a 23-yard field goal, making the score 3-0.

Oklahoma quarterback and former UCF Knight Dillon Gabriel answered back with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jalil Farooq, giving Oklahoma a 7-3 lead with 7:01 left in the first.

On their next drive, FSU attempted a fourth down conversion, but Oklahoma’s defense prevented it, allowing them to get the ball back.

At the start of the second quarter, Gabriel, seeing the defense crowding out any passing chances, scrambled and flipped over two Seminole players to land in the right corner of the end zone for Oklahoma’s second touchdown, quickly widening their lead to 14-3 after the successful extra point.

With 9:53 left in the first half, Oklahoma made a field goal attempt, but it failed.

With 7:24 left in the first half, FSU finally made their first touchdown with quarterback Jordan Travis’ 16-yard touchdown pass to Ontaria Wilson. Immediately following the touchdown, FSU successfully made a two-point conversion, shrinking Oklahoma’s lead to 14-11.

FSU defensive back Shyheim Brown was down, lingering on the field during the final timeout of the first half. With some help, he was able to walk off the field. To close out the first half, Oklahoma nailed a 41-yard field goal, making the score 17-11.

FSU tried to make a score on its next possession with 15 seconds left in the first half, but it didn’t quite happen. Travis rushed the ball himself 26 yards for a first down, and on the next play kicker Ryan Fitzgerald attempted a 45-yard field goal, but it fell just short of the goal post, cementing Oklahoma’s 17-11 lead at halftime.

Oklahoma’s offense was much more proactive in the first half, going five of nine on third down conversions compared to FSU’s one of six.

 

Second Half

FSU running back Treshaun Ward scrambled the ball one yard into the end zone for FSU’s next touchdown, snatching the lead by one point, 18-17.

With roughly a minute left in the third quarter, during FSU’s attempt to make good on a fourth down, Travis passed the ball directly into Oklahoma defensive back Billy Bowman’s hands, forcing what was already going to happen anyway: Oklahoma’s next possession.

The score remained 18-17 at the end of the third quarter.

Oklahoma changed that at the start of the fourth, with Sawchuk running the ball three yards for their next touchdown, followed by their own successful two-point conversion, propelling them far ahead again, 25-18.

On FSU’s next possession, Ward came through clutch again, rushing straight up the middle and breaking away from the crowd to freely rush 38 yards for their next touchdown, tying the score at 25.

At 9:41 in the fourth quarter, FSU’s Omarion Cooper forced Oklahoma’s Sawchuk to fumble the ball, which was recovered by FSU’s Jammie Robinson. The drive ended in Travis’ pass to Markeston Doulas for the touchdown. After the extra point, FSU led 31-25 with 7:22 left in the game.

Oklahoma was able to tie the game again with another touchdown.

FSU broke the tie on fourth down with Ryan Fitzgerald’s 32-yard field goal with 55 seconds left in the game.

The game ended with another sack on Dillon Gabriel, his seventh for the night.

FSU got their 25th 10-win season with Thursday night’s Cheez-It Bowl victory, 35-32.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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