Monday Morning Update

Spanning the globe on a Monday morning …

Whatever happens this bowl season it’s unlikely that any finish will be as exciting — or any path to the finish more bizarre — than Arizona’s 49-48 comeback against Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday.

In the first game of the bowl season Nevada’s high-powered offense scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, enough to cause stress for the Arizona defense. That resulted in some finger-pointing that escalated to this on the Arizona sideline. Ultimately, the Wildcats were able to get physical, not only with themselves but with the Nevada defense.

Arizona’s comeback included the recovery of an on-side kick. The Nevada players said the ball was “coming in hot.” He tried to recover it, but it bounced off his facemask, and the scramble ensued.

The “hot” description reminded me of the term tossed about by both Dexter McCluster and Houston Nutt after McCluster let the on-side kick go through against LSU in 2009. Like Arizona, LSU won that scramble. The Tigers nearly won the game in Oxford, but the clock ran out and preserved an Ole Miss victory. …

Elsewhere …

La. Tech filled its coaching job with former South Florida coach Skip Holtz, son of Dr. Lou. It’s the third-straight hire made by Tech that involves the son of a formerly successful Division I college coach. …

From Pittsburgh, Panthers coach Paul Chryst has said he’s not a candidate for the Wisconsin job, where he was a highly successful coordinator before moving on to Pitt as head coach, but at least one of his players is not fully convinced Chryst will be back at Pitt next year. In the short term, Chryst, probably, will lead Pitt against Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 5 in Birmingham. …

Ole Miss begins bowl practice today. I’ll have a report and some video on the blog later.

This is the time that all coaches like to look more closely at young players and give them a little extra “coaching up.” One of those players will be prep All-American defensive end Channing Ward, who likely would have played a bigger role this season had he been able to report to camp with the rest of the freshmen.

Ward has not been available for interviews this season. I don’t know if that will change today, but I’ll ask to get in a few words with the Aberdeen native.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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