Junior WR Ace Sanders, who had a highlight reel punt return that came up a bit short of the end zone a couple of weeks ago, took one all the way to the house this time, making several defenders miss on a 70-yard return (photo above) that made the score 21-0 and earned him SEC co-special teams player of the week honors. RB Marcus Lattimore rushed for 100+ yards against UGa for the third consecutive year. And when he needed a break, senior RB Kenny Miles chipped in with 39 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Just before the start of the game I said to myself that Georgia was fixin' to have some defense played against them. The Bulldogs came in averaging 48.2 points per game but were almost shut out, not scoring their TD until the 1:55 mark of the 4th quarter. In their meeting last year Georgia got a breakout performance by a freshman RB by the name of Isaiah Crowell. Of course, Crowell is no longer on the team, but he hasn't been missed at all thanks in part to another freshman RB with dreads. Up to this point Todd Gurley had been enjoying a solid rookie season, rushing for 9 TD. But the stingy South Carolina defense held him to a season low 39 yards rushing on 13 carries. For the game Georgia gained just 224 total yards. Sensational sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney continued to make a living in the opposing offense's backfield, with 2 TFL and 1 sack (photo below) included among his 4 tackles (4-0). Senior S D.J. Swearinger had 1 PBU and 4 tackles (2-2), the biggest of which came on 4th and goal from the 2-yard line late in the 2nd quarter, when he stopped WR Rantavious Wooten at the 1 after a 1-yard reception. That kept the score at 21-0 and ended Georgia's only chance to get back in the game. Now 6-0 and up to #3 in the rankings, the Gamecocks are now fixin' to be tested. They play at LSU and at Florida in their next two games.
Another SEC team playing some good defense this week was, oddly enough, the Arkansas Razorbacks. Through their first 5 games the Hogs had been allowing a whopping 510 yards and 40 points per game on average. But they gave up just 321 yards on Saturday in a 24-7 win at Auburn. Star senior WR Cobi Hamilton was shut down with 5 catches for 72 yards (hey, for him, that's a shutdown), and sick sophomore WR Kiante Minor had a bad muff on a fair catch (with senior CB T'Sharvan Bell making the recovery, photo below) in the 3rd quarter; but Arkansas ended their 4-game losing streak thanks to their D. Or maybe it's just that Auburn's offense is truly awful. Freshman CB Will Hines and sophomore S Alan Turner each got their 1st career INT for the Razorbacks.
Groh must go? Georgia Tech thought so after the Yellow Jackets' 47-31 road loss to Clemson. Groh is Al Groh, the former NFL coach - remember? So far this season he has been GT's defensive coordinator. But he was fired after Tech followed up last week's embarrassing 49-28 home loss to MTSU by allowing 601 total yards to Clemson. 129 of those (82 rushing, 47 receiving) were gained by senior RB Andre Ellington (photo below), who barely missed the dread stars list. Andre went with the reduced dreads this week, which you could clearly see after his helmet came off after one play. Sophomore WR Sammy Watkins, back after missing last week's game with a stomach virus, might not have been at 100%. He had 6 receptions for only 42 yards. But as has often been the case this season, junior WR DeAndre Hopkins had Watkins' back, turning in another huge performance.
Ohio State sophomore CB Bradley Roby got his 1st and 2nd INTs of the season, one of which set up a short TD drive, the other of which he returned 41 yards to the house for his 1st career TD as the Buckeyes improved to 6-0 (5-0 at home) with a 63-38 win over Nebraska ..... Senior WR Markus Wheaton had 9 catches for 95 yards and 1 TD and senior S Anthony Watkins had an INT that set up a FG as Oregon State improved to 4-0 with a 19-6 home win over Washington State ..... Sophomore LB Qyendarius Griffin had a game-high 7 tackles (6-1), including 2 TFL, and 2 PBU for Louisiana-Lafayette in a 41-13 home win over Tulane ..... Senior RB Akeem Daniels had 5 catches for 78 yards, including the go-ahead 54-yard TD with 4:58 to go, and Northern Illinois went on to win at Ball State 35-23 ..... Junior DT Travonte Boles had a career high 3 TFL, junior RB Antoin Scriven had 86 total yards and 2 TD, and JC transfer WR Justin Collins (photo below) scored his 1st TD in a Western Michigan uniform in a 52-14 blowout of Massachusetts .....
IN THE FCS
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Well, how about this one: first beat 'em, then join 'em. That's what Andre Martin did. Actually this is a story from Week 5; but I missed my report last week and this was too good to skip ..... While going through the Week 5 game recaps I found a picture that made me ask this question: who's that #8 with the sick dreads for North Dakota State? When I discovered that #8 was Martin, another question popped up: didn't he used to play for Northern Iowa? Answer: Yes indeed.
Martin went 2-1 against North Dakota State while playing for UNI from 2009-11. But after starting at CB in his first two seasons, his playing time dropped significantly during his junior season. So after graduating last May (he redshirted in 2008), Martin decided to transfer to none other than North Dakota State, the defending FCS champion, for his final season of eligibility. UNI and NDSU have been among the top programs not just in the Missouri Valley, but in the entire FCS as well. So this move was like a player transferring from LSU to Alabama. As it turned out, Week 5 not only would feature Martin's trip back to UNI to face his former teammates, it also would include a slightly more important event: the birth of his and his wife's first child. Here's the short version in a brief feature by Fargo TV station WDAY: http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/69275/
Tennessee State won their 6th in a row to start the season with a thrilling, come-from-behind, 23-20 home victory over #17 ranked and defending OVC champ Eastern Kentucky. A 3-yard TD run by dread star Trabis Ward with 8:49 remaining in the 4th got the Tigers to within 20-16, and on their next drive the Tigers score the winning TD with :08 on the clock on a 1-yard QB sneak by Michael German. Senior WR Travis James (photo below) had 4 catches for 33 yards, but sadly he continues to deny everyone a look at his awesome dreads by keeping them reduced for every game this year so far. Yo Travis, you can't make the dread all-America team with reduced dreads. With the win, TSU enters the top 25 at #18. Now let's see if they can stay there.
After Josh Furman cut off his dreads last spring, the competition for the longest dreads on the Michigan roster became a 2-way race between QB Denard Robinson and CB J.T. Floyd. But that competition abruptly and unfortunately came to an end when Floyd lost his dreads at some point during Michigan's bye week. Here's the sad proof, as Robinson included a photo of himself with the new-look Floyd on his Twitter page.
- DeAndre Hopkins - Clemson - 7 catches for 173 yards and 2 TD in 47-31 home win over Georgia Tech
- J.D. McKissic - Arkansas State - 5 catches for 124 yards, including 74-yard TD, in 34-20 road win over FIU
- John Hubert - Kansas State - 101 yards and 4 TD rushing on 10 carries in 56-16 romp over Kansas
- Trayion Durham - Kent State - 116 yards and 2 TD rushing on 24 carries in 41-14 win at Eastern Michigan
- Phillip Thomas - Fresno State - 8 tackles (5-3), including 1 sack and 1 FF, and got his nation-leading 6th INT of the season in 28-7 road win over Colorado State - named MWC defensive player of the week. Details: http://www.gobulldogs.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/100812aaa.html
- Brandon Sharpe - Syracuse - named Big East defensive player of week - career high 7 tackles (7-0), 6 of which were TFL, including 4 sacks for 42 yards lost in 14-13 home win over Pittsburgh
- Nickell Robey - USC - 7 tackles (5-2), 1 FF (setting up short TD drive), 22-yard punt return (setting up short FG drive) and 38-yard INT return for TD in 38-28 road win over Utah
- Jamill Smith - Ball State - 14 catches for 146 yards in 35-23 home loss to Northern Illinois
- Jeff Scott - Mississippi - 20 carries for 108 yards rushing and 1 TD in 30-27 home loss to Texas A&M
- Isaiah Crowell - Alabama State - 17 carries for 149 yards, including TD of 63 and 34 yards, in 45-0 blowout of Texas Southern
- Demetrius Bronson - Eastern Washington - 13 carries for 118 yards rushing and 1 TD in 55-17 home win over North Dakota
- Darreion Robinson - Georgia Southern - 124 yards and 1 TD rushing in 45-13 road win over Western Carolina
- Dominique Swope - Georgia Southern - 20 carries for 117 yards and 1 TD rushing as GSU rushed for 614 yards in the W
- Walt Aikens - Liberty - 9 tackles (7-2) and had huge FF and INT, both in 4th quarter, in 42-35 home win over Gardner-Webb
- Trabis Ward - Tennessee State - 113 yards and 1 TD rushing on 24 carries and had 2 receptions for 47 yards in big 23-20 home win over Eastern Kentucky
- Jake Walker - Eastern Illinois - 182 yards and 2 TD rushing on 33 carries in 51-37 loss at Tennessee-Martin
- Tyrone Walker - Illinois State - 8 catches for 104 yards in 17-0 homecoming loss to Southern Illinois, the first time ISU had been shutout in 8 years
- Jerodis Williams - Furman - 121 yards rushing, 14 yards receiving, and 1 TD in 20-17 loss at Wofford
- Carlton Heard - Gardner-Webb - 7 catches for 137 yards, including 54-yarder for his 1st career TD in 42-35 loss at Liberty
- Albert Wilson - Georgia State - 3 catches for 105 yards, including TDs of 54 and 47 yards, in 44-21 home loss to New Hampshire
Week 5 dread stars were: Tony Creecy (North Carolina St.), Tevin Reese (Baylor), Cobi Hamilton, Andre Ellington, DeAndre Hopkins, Munchie Legaux (Big East off. player of week), Todd Gurley, Will Sutton (Arizona State, Pac 12 def. player of week), Jay Ajayi (Boise State), Vintavious Cooper (East Carolina), Senorise Perry (Louisville), Chuck Jacobs (Utah State), Markus Wheaton, Darius Taylor (Sam Houston St.), Jordan Harris (201 yds. rec.), Keion Wade, Isaiah Crowell, Brandon Roberts (Alabama St., SWAC co-def. player of week), Tyrone Walker, Sean Price (Appalachian St.), Jody Owens (Montana St., Big Sky def. player of week), Dominique Swope, Jaamal Berry (Murray St.), Gus Johnson (Stephen F. Austin, 215 yds., 4 TD rush.), Deonte Williams (Cal Poly)
HOUSE OF DREAD
It was a very weak showing this week as far as touchdowns are concerned. The most TD by players with dreads in any game was just 4, and that occurred in only one game. The Week 6 HOD was the end zone at Snyder Stadium in Manhattan, KS, named for the former and current coach at Kansas State. The 4 TD were all scored by K-State junior RB John Hubert - on runs of 20, 32, 1, and 10 yards - in a 56-16 victory over Kansas. Not that anybody at the game noticed. As you probably know by now, Kansas State is one of the teams where you are not allowed to have your dreads showing outside of your helmet. That being the case, I'll include an interview of Hubert from earlier in the season instead of a photo: http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/55003/video-kansas-states-john-hubert
The Week 5 HOD was at Dwight Fisher Field in Lorman, MS, where Alabama State defeated Alcorn State 54-14. There were 6 TD by players with dreads. T.C.McWilliams, Isaiah Crowell, Malcolm Cyrus, Greg Jenkins, and Corey Schofield all scored for ASU. Tollete George scored a TD for the other ASU.
I've been looking for a new title for the player of the week award (I didn't like "dreadest" anymore), and this was the best I could come up with. The head dread for Week 6 is Michigan senior QB Denard Robinson. Robinson was able to showcase his running ability in a 44-13 road win over Purdue. Denard carried 24 times for 235 yards and in the process established a new record for career rushing yards by a Big 10 QB. Currently at 3,905 yards (and still climbing), Robinson broke the mark of 3,895 set by former Indiana QB Antwaan Randle El. Just as importantly, Robinson threw 16 times, and none of them was an INT (!!). That doesn't sound like much, but it is with the way he's been throwing the ball this season. He completed 8 of the 16 for 105 yards and 1 TD. The 340 yards of total offense earned Denard Big 10 co-offensive player of the week honors.
Week 5 head dread was Furman senior RB Jerodis Williams, who rushed for a career high 239 yards and 2 TD on 18 carries in a 45-24 home win over Western Carolina. One of the TD was an 89-yarder, which was the longest run by a Furman player in 61 years. Jerodis also took home Southern Conf. special teams player of the week honors, as he took a kickoff return 100 yards to the house. His 370 all-purpose yards set a new school record and were second most in SOCON history.
I'm not going to miss South Carolina-LSU. Other than that, I don't know which games I'll be watching.One thing for sure, though, is that I'll have a shorter report (promise).