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Dolphins find way to win second straight Sunday

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Playing more consistent football for the third consecutive week, the Miami Dolphins have now put together back-to-back wins after a dramatic 16 – 12 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday night.

Miami built in early 10-0 lead and then, held Indy on downs with less than a minute remaining to preserve the victory. The Colts were playing without starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett because of a sprained knee suffered last week and turned to veteran journeyman backup, Brian Hoyer, in this one.

It was the third consecutive game where the Dolphins got out to an early double-digit lead. This time after a Jason Sanders field goal, Miami got a Bobby McCain interception off Hoyer who ran it back 32 yards  to set up QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at the 12 yards line.

Fitzpatrick took the TD in himself from 11 yards out (celebration above) for the 10-0 lead.

Onto the second half and after Fitzpatrick threw his own INT early in the fourth quarter to LB Darius Leonard. Then, Hoyer actually put the Colts in front with a one yard score to TE Jack Doyle at 12-10. But, Hall of Fame-to-be-kicker Adam Vinatieri missed another extra point (his sixth this season) keeping the advantage to only 12 – 10.

That would be a factor later.

Miami then retook the lead, as Sanders kicked his second field goal on the day at 48 yards out to put the Fins back in front 13-12 with just under 6 minutes remaining.

Next, Hoyer threw another critical interception to Dolphins DB Nik Needham, and that enabled Miami to kick another 48 yard Myers field goal to push the margin to four and force the Colts to have to score a touchdown to win the game.

In the waining moments, Hoyer drove Indy inside the 20-yard line, but on fourth down at the 16 yard line and less than a minute to go, Eric Ebron was stopped short of the first by 2 yards after a completion.

So, Miami took over on downs and ran out the clock out.

The win puts the Dolphins at 2 – 7 on the season and with the Bengals losing badly to the Ravens Sunday to go 0-9, it means that Miami will almost assuredly now, not get the number one overall pick next April.

The Dolphins and the Bengals will meet in December at Hard Rock Stadium. But, Cincinnati, which has benched starting quarterback Andy Dalton, may very well still be winless at that point.

For now, Miami looks capable of winning a couple of more games and celebrates their first road win of 2109.

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Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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