Saturday, November 18th, 2017 am30 11:20am

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After losing to Missouri and dropping to 0–6 in SEC play, Tennessee fired head coach Butch Jones. Time Sports

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The Butch Jones era at Tennessee has ended, mercifully, but not before the Volunteers allowed 50 points in Saturday’s loss to Missouri. As you may have heard, Tennessee is currently on a losing streak against each member of the Southeastern Conference. That’s something.

It’s time for a change, but not too drastic a change. When it comes to selecting Jones’ successor, the program should look to the recent past: Tennessee’s best hope is to rehire Lane Kiffin, who famously — or infamously — spent one season with the Volunteers before heading back to the West Coast as the head coach at Southern California.

This week’s list makes the case for Kiffin. Here are 10 reasons why Tennessee should turn back the clock and hire the current Florida Atlantic head coach:

1. He’s not afraid of Saban

And almost everyone else is. Kiffin hasn’t been afraid to poke at Nick Saban and Alabama on his Twitter account — the greatest Twitter account in the United States — and wouldn’t be intimated by the Crimson Tide, which would stand in direct contrast to his two successors at Tennessee. This is an important distinction and a meaningful plus in his corner: Kiffin would go toe to toe with the greatest program in the country and not flinch. You can’t say that UT couldn’t use that sort of confidence.

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2. His offense

Florida Atlantic ranks in the top 25 nationally in yards per game and scoring, and is doing so despite being in just its first year in Kiffin’s system. It’s the latest example of his prowess as an offensive technician, which came under some question during that failed stint at USC but seems to have benefited from those two seasons as the Tide’s offensive coordinator.

3. He can recruit

This has never been in question. On a short timeline — he was hired in late November, with signing day in early February — Kiffin inked a top-10 class at Tennessee in 2009. Even if not inked by Kiffin, who had already left for USC, the ensuing class likewise ranked among the best in the SEC and the Football Bowl Subdivision. Despite limited scholarship numbers, each of Kiffin’s full recruiting classes at USC ranked comfortably among the nation’s best.

4. Tennessee needs the swagger

As the head coach goes, so the goes the program. Jones was ill-equipped to handle the day-to-day rigors at Tennessee; the Volunteers followed suit. So it makes sense that if you add a coach with no shortage of confidence — that’s one way to describe Kiffin, I’d say — the team will carry the same sense of confidence and self-assurance into every Saturday. Tennessee could use that shot in the arm.

5. His coaching connections

There’s no doubt that Kiffin would hire a strong group of assistants, especially when given the university’s commitment to allocating the funds needed to amass a staff capable of reversing the program’s swoon. This can be seen in the staff Kiffin put together at FAU, which is very solid for the Group of Five even if somewhat questionable — hiring Kendal Briles wouldn’t fly at Tennessee, for example.

6. He can develop quarterbacks

This is obvious. Jonathan Crompton tossed 27 touchdowns during Kiffin’s single season at Tennessee, a total the program has surpassed just once in the eight years since. Kiffin then helped to mold former USC quarterback Matt Barkley into one of the most prolific passers in Pac-12 history. While his FAU offense is predicated more on the running game, the Owls’ quarterbacks are completing 62.4% of their attempts with just six interceptions in 258 attempts.

7. Going with offense is the smart move

Tennessee needs to revamp its entire offense. That’s one asset in Kiffin’s corner. In the grander sense, however, leaning toward offense with this next hire would help the Volunteers separate themselves from the majority of the SEC East Division, which in recent years has gone with defense-first head coaches — Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp, Mark Stoops, Barry Odom and Derek Mason come from defensive backgrounds.

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8. He’d change the narrative

Tennessee has become stale, to put it lightly. The program is no longer feared by any opponent in the SEC, let alone across the entire FBS. Kiffin wouldn’t change that latter fact — the Volunteers would need to start winning games to get that respect — but he would help shift the narrative surrounding the program, breathing some life into a tired and moribund program at just the right time.

9. Let’s be realistic

The very idea that Jon Gruden is a realistic candidate to be the next head coach is laughable. It’s fun to consider, but come on: Gruden isn’t leaving a lucrative gig working two handfuls of Monday nights every fall to grind away in a college job. Sorry, but don’t delude yourself. And Tennessee should also face the fact that opening its position just as Florida does the same isn’t great for business — the Gators will have a stronger pool of candidates and is a better job overall, so Tennessee can either wait to see how that search plays out or be proactive and think outside the box.

10. It would be fun as hell

OK, so the odds of Tennessee actually hiring Kiffin are infinitesimal — sorry if you feel like I wasted your time. He burned bridges on his way out in 2010. He has since gone on the record with his distaste for the Knoxville fishbowl. The Volunteers will have options. Having said that: It would be a blast, wouldn’t it?

Best of college football Week 11

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The Army Black Knights celebrate in the locker room

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North Carolina State Wolfpack tight end Jaylen Samuels

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South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley acknowledges

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Florida State Seminoles linebacker Emmett Rice tackles

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Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne carries

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West Virginia Mountaineer wide receiver Ka'Raun White

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Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Sean Huelskamp and

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Army Black Knights quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw celebrates

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Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Cameron Batson

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets wide receiver Brad Stewart

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Virginia Cavaliers running back Chris Sharp lands in

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Boston College Eagles quarterback Darius Wade escapes

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Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Joshua Jackson celebrates

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Southern Methodist Mustangs linebacker Anthony Rhone

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Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Kobe McCrary

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Michigan State Spartans quarterback Messiah deWeaver

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Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith

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Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Cole Kelley is tackled

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LSU Tigers defensive end Frank Herron reacts after

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LSU Tigers offensive lineman Michael Smith and center

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Ohio State Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins stiff

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North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley

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Mississippi Rebels wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge catches

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Mississippi Rebels linebacker Donta Evans tackles Louisiana-Lafayette

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LSU Tigers wide receiver D.J. Chark scores on a 68

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LSU Tigers wide receiver D.J. Chark scores on a 68

LSU Tigers wide receiver D.J. Chark scores on a 68 yard touchdown pass against Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Kamren Curl during the second half at Tiger Stadium.  Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas Razorbacks running back David Williams is

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Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jordan Ta'amu reacts

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Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Mikale Wilbon knocks

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Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Allen Lazard reacts

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Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Marcell Ateman

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Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Tylan Wallace

Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Tylan Wallace catches a pass against the Iowa State Cyclones in the first quarter at Jack Trice Stadium.  Reese Strickland, USA TODAY Sports
Army Black Knights running back Kell Walker runs past

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Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Sean Savoy scores

Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Sean Savoy scores a touchdown past Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets linebacker Brant Mitchell during the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Del'Shawn Phillips

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Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr. catches

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Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tanner Lee throws

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Florida Gators quarterback Malik Zaire scrambles as

Florida Gators quarterback Malik Zaire scrambles as South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Rashad Fenton gives chase during the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports
Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Mike Gesicki makes

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Virginia Tech Hokies running back Travon McMillian

Virginia Tech Hokies running back Travon McMillian tries to straight arm Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive back Corey Griffin during the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Mississippi Rebels linebacker Willie Hibbler rushes

Mississippi Rebels linebacker Willie Hibbler rushes Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis during the first half at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.  Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports
LSU Tigers defensive back Donte Jackson sacks Arkansas

LSU Tigers defensive back Donte Jackson sacks Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen during the first half at Tiger Stadium.  Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Bears running back John Lovett is stopped short

Baylor Bears running back John Lovett is stopped short of the goal line by Texas Tech Red Raiders linebacker Jordyn Brooks and defensive back Vaughnte Dorsey during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium.  Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
LSU Tigers wide receiver D.J. Chark scores a touchdown

LSU Tigers wide receiver D.J. Chark scores a touchdown on a 45 yard pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the first half at Tiger Stadium.  Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports
Boston College Eagles running back AJ Dillon breaks

Boston College Eagles running back AJ Dillon breaks free for a rushing touchdown during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Alumni Stadium.  Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports
Boston College Eagles defensive end Zach Allen reacts

Boston College Eagles defensive end Zach Allen reacts after a stop during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Alumni Stadium.  Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports
UCF Knights quarterback Sean Pratt dives for an interception

UCF Knights quarterback Sean Pratt dives for an interception against Connecticut Huskies wide receiver Hergy Mayala during the second quarter at Spectrum Stadium.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Connecticut Huskies wide receiver Mason Donaldson runs

Connecticut Huskies wide receiver Mason Donaldson runs it in for a score against the UCF Knights during the second quarter at Spectrum Stadium.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
UCF Knights quarterback Sean Pratt dives for an interception

UCF Knights quarterback Sean Pratt dives for an interception against Connecticut Huskies wide receiver Hergy Mayala during the second quarter at Spectrum Stadium.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Army Black Knights running back Darnell Woolfolk rushes

Army Black Knights running back Darnell Woolfolk rushes the ball against the Duke Blue Devils during the first half at Michie Stadium.  Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports
Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Cody White dives

Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Cody White dives for the pass in front of Ohio State Buckeyes safety Damon Webb during the second quarter at Ohio Stadium.  Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports
Michigan State Spartans offensive lineman Brian Allen

Michigan State Spartans offensive lineman Brian Allen battles Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Robert Landers during the first half at Ohio Stadium.  Greg Bartram, USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Parris Campbell is

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Parris Campbell is tackled by Michigan State Spartans linebacker Antjuan Simmons during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium.  Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports
Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive back Vaughnte Dorsey

Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive back Vaughnte Dorsey breaks up a pass intended for Baylor Bears wide receiver Blake Lynch during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium.  Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
Texas Tech Red Raiders linebacker Dakota Allen recovers

Texas Tech Red Raiders linebacker Dakota Allen recovers a fumble by Baylor Bears quarterback Charlie Brewer during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium.  Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Tre King scores

Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Tre King scores a touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium.  Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Bears linebacker Taylor Young tackles Texas

Baylor Bears linebacker Taylor Young tackles Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Dylan Cantrell during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium.  Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
Florida Gators quarterback Malik Zaire points to a

Florida Gators quarterback Malik Zaire points to a receiver against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Omahri Jarrett

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Omahri Jarrett is tackled by Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Sean Huelskamp during the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley twists

South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley twists past Florida Gators cornerback CJ Henderson to score a touchdown during the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley is

South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley is hoisted up by offensive lineman Alan Knott after scoring a touchdown against the Florida Gators during the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback TaQuon Marshall

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback TaQuon Marshall and team mates react to his touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback TaQuon Marshall

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback TaQuon Marshall breaks a tackle by Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Greg Stroman to score a touchdown during the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Mikale Wilbon celebrates

Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Mikale Wilbon celebrates after rushing for a one yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium.  Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports
UCF Knights defensive back Tre Neal interferes with

UCF Knights defensive back Tre Neal interferes with the catch by Connecticut Huskies wide receiver Quayvon Skanes during the first quarter at Spectrum Stadium.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Connecticut Huskies defensive back Jamar Summers UCF

Connecticut Huskies defensive back Jamar Summers UCF Knights quarterback Sean Pratt on a kick return during the first quarter at Spectrum Stadium.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Connecticut Huskies linebacker Vontae Diggs looks

Connecticut Huskies linebacker Vontae Diggs looks on as UCF Knights wide receiver Gabriel Davis makes the catch for a first down during the first quarter at Spectrum Stadium.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tanner Lee throws

Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tanner Lee throws a pass to tight end Jack Stoll in the first quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium.  Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports
Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Patrick Nelson

Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Patrick Nelson tackles Indiana Hoosiers tight end Ian Thomas during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium.  Mike Granse, USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Mike Weber beats

Ohio State Buckeyes running back Mike Weber beats Michigan State Spartans safety Khari Willis into the end zone at Ohio Stadium.  Greg Bartram, USA TODAY Sports
Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Breeland Speaks

Mississippi Rebels defensive tackle Breeland Speaks pressures Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis out of the pocket during the first quarter at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.  Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports
Mississippi Rebels tight end Dawson Knox is tackled

Mississippi Rebels tight end Dawson Knox is tackled by Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns defensive back Koa Haynes and Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns defensive back Corey Turner during the first quarter at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.  Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies defensive back Ezekiel Turner (24)

Washington Huskies defensive back Ezekiel Turner (24) defends a pass intended for Stanford Cardinal wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside (19) in the fourth quarter at Stanford Stadium.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies running back Lavon Coleman (22)

Washington Huskies running back Lavon Coleman (22) dives for the end zone over Stanford Cardinal safety Justin Reid (8).  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love (20) celebrates

Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love (20) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Huskies in the third quarter.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love (20) celebrates

Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love (20) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Huskies in the third quarter at Stanford Stadium.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love (20) runs

Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love (20) runs the ball against the Washington Huskies in the third quarter at Stanford Stadium.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies defensive back JoJo McIntosh (14)

Washington Huskies defensive back JoJo McIntosh (14) collides with Stanford Cardinal quarterback Keller Chryst (10) in the second quarter at Stanford Stadium.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies defensive back Myles Bryant (5)

Washington Huskies defensive back Myles Bryant (5) defends a pass intended for Stanford Cardinal wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside (19) in the second quarter at Stanford Stadium.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin (9) runs

Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin (9) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal in the second quarter.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin (9) scores

Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin (9) scores a touchdown in the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Stanford Cardinal wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

Stanford Cardinal wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (19) catches a 39-yard pass in the first quarter against the Washington Huskies.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies wide receiver Dante Pettis (8) is

Washington Huskies wide receiver Dante Pettis (8) is defended by Stanford Cardinal cornerback Alameen Murphy (4) in the first quarter.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin (9) is

Washington Huskies running back Myles Gaskin (9) is tackled by the Stanford Cardinal in the first quarter at Stanford Stadium.  John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports
Temple Owls running back David Hood (24) dives for

Temple Owls running back David Hood (24) dives for the end zone against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first half at Nippert Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Temple Owls defensive back Delvon Randall (2) attempts

Temple Owls defensive back Delvon Randall (2) attempts a tackle as Cincinnati Bearcats running back Mike Boone (5) scores a touchdown in the second half at Nippert Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Temple Owls quarterback Frank Nutile (18) scores a

Temple Owls quarterback Frank Nutile (18) scores a rushing touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Nippert Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina tight end Brandon Fritts (82) stiff-arms

North Carolina tight end Brandon Fritts (82) stiff-arms his way past Pittsburgh defender Jordan Whitehead (9) during the second half.  Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina defenders Malik Carney (53) and Aaron

North Carolina defenders Malik Carney (53) and Aaron Crawford (92) bring down Pittsburgh running back Darrin Hall (22) during the second half.  Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina receiver Dazz Newsome (19) tries to

North Carolina receiver Dazz Newsome (19) tries to elude Pittsburgh defender Bricen Garner (27) during the second half.  Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina players celebrate with fans after defeating

North Carolina players celebrate with fans after defeating Pittsburgh.  Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh running back Darrin Hall (22) barrels into

Pittsburgh running back Darrin Hall (22) barrels into the end zone to score during the first half against North Carolina.  Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports
Northern Illinois quarterback Ryan Graham (17) eludes

Northern Illinois quarterback Ryan Graham (17) eludes leaping Ball State defender Romero Wade (31) during the first half in DeKalb, Ill.  Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports
Northern Illinois tight end Shane Wimann (35) barrels

Northern Illinois tight end Shane Wimann (35) barrels into the end zone to score past Ball State defender Romero Wade (31) during the first half.  Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports
Northern Illinois receiver Christian Blake hauls in

Northern Illinois receiver Christian Blake hauls in a 19-yard touchdown catch during the second half against Ball State.  Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports
Northern Illinois defensive end Joe Sanders (9) brings

Northern Illinois defensive end Joe Sanders (9) brings down Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt (11) for a sack during the first half.  Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports
Ball State receiver Riley Miller (86) makes a juggling

Ball State receiver Riley Miller (86) makes a juggling 23-yard touchdown catch against Northern Illinois cornerback Albert Smalls (1) during the first half.  Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports

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