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Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles Named Broyles Award Semifinalist

Knowles was a finalist for the award, which is given to the best assistant in college football, when he was at Oklahoma State last season.
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Ohio State first-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was named on Monday afternoon as one of 15 semifinalists for the Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the best assistant in college football.

Knowles has turned around a defense that gave up 372.6 yards and 22.8 points per game last season, as the Buckeyes allow just 283.4 yards and 16.9 points this fall, good for ninth and 10th in the country, respectively. They’ve also forced 17 turnovers, including 10 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries.

Ohio State returned three of those turnovers for scores, which is tied for eighth-most in the country, including pick-sixes by linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau against Iowa and Penn State, respectively, as well as a fumble recovery by linebacker Steele Chambers against Maryland.

Other semifinalists include Florida State’s Alex Atkins, Georgia’s Todd Monken, Illinois’ Ryan Walters, Iowa’s Phil Parker, LSU’s Matt House, Michigan’s Jesse Minter, North Carolina’s Phil Longo, Oregon’s Kenny Dillingham, Penn State’s Manny Diaz, South Carolina’s Pete Lembo, TCU’s Garrett Riley, Tennessee’s Alex Golesh and Washington’s Ryan Grubb.

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Knowles is looking to become the third assistant in school history to win the award, which is named after longtime Arkansas head coach and athletic director Frank Broyles, joining former defensive coordinator Jim Heacock in 2007 and former offensive coordinator Tom Herman in 2014.

Three finalists for this year’s award will be revealed on Nov. 29, while the winner will be announced during a ceremony in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 6. Knowles was a finalist for the award last year for his work at Oklahoma State, though it ultimately went to former Michigan and current Miami (Fla.) offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.

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