Saturday, November 17, 2012

College FB '12 Dread News - Week 11

Heading into Week 11 there were 6 remaining undefeated teams in Division 1-FBS. The big five - Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State occupied the top five spots in the weekly AP rankings. And then there was Louisville - the ugly duckling of the bunch - way down at #11, behind five teams who were not undefeated. That's the kind of respect the Big East has been getting lately, and deservedly so. In fact, if you examine the first 9 games on Louisville's 2012 schedule, you could make a convincing argument that the Cardinals didn't even deserve to be as high as #11. Among their 6 home wins were close calls against North Carolina, South Florida, and Cincinnati. And their 'best' road win was against 4-5 Pittsburgh.
So I suppose it wasn't surprising that when the Cardinals traveled to Syracuse last Saturday for their toughest road game of the season so far, they fell flat on their faces, losing for the first time this season, 45-26. It was the Cardinals' misfortune to be the opponent on Senior Day for Syracuse.
And it was a senior, QB Ryan Nassib, who was the most responsible for their demise, carving up their defense for 246 yards and 3 TD on just 15 completions. The Orange's two seniors with dreads, S Shamarko Thomas and DE Brandon Sharpe, both NFL hopefuls, didn't do quite as well as Nassib, but I doubt they're complaining. Thomas tied for the team lead with 6 tackles (6-0). Sharpe had only 1 tackle (0-1), stopping RB Jeremy Wright for a 2-yard loss during the 2nd quarter (photo above, with Thomas - on the right - looking on).

There were 3 touchdowns by players with dreads in the game, but they weren't by the players you would expect. U of L junior RB Senorise Perry scored 4 TD the last time the Cardinals played on the road but had just 11 total yards on no TD in this one; and senior WR Andrell Smith, who scored 2 TD in Louisville's win over Temple last week, didn't score either, although he did have 4 catches for 54 yards. Surprisingly, it was two players wearing the blue and orange who accounted for the 3 TD. Junior RB Prince-Tyson Gulley scored on an 8-yard run (photo below) to put Syracuse ahead 10-3 late in the 1st quarter then added a 55-yard TD run late in the 2nd quarter to complete a 21-0 run that made the score 31-10. Then junior LB Lewellyn Coker, whose recovery of a muff on a Louisville punt return had set up Gulley's 1st TD, scored one himself. Playing as a FB on offense, Coker scored his 1st career TD on a 3-yard reception that upped Syracuse's lead to 45-19 in the 4th.
Gulley finished just short of 100 yards, but with the 2 TD I included him on the dread stars list anyway. Junior S Jeremi Wilkes contributed for the Orange with 6 tackles (5-1) and 1 PBU. For Louisville sophomore DT Jamaine Brooks had 4 tackles (3-1) with 1 TFL, and sophomore S Calvin Pryor had 7 tackles (4-3). Syracuse, now 5-5, still has hopes for a bowl bid, but they'll need to win on the road to clinch it. Louisville gets a week off to pick up the pieces. 

Louisiana-Lafayette, fresh off their upset of Louisiana-Monroe last week, tried their best to give Coach Hudspeth a wonderful present for his 44th birthday - a much bigger upset. But as it turned out, it was Hudspeth's own inability to trust his players that resulted in a heartbreaking 27-20 loss to #7 ranked Florida in a bizarre finish at Gainesville. It was a typical Florida game - both offenses struggled. The Gators finished with a 311-267 advantage in total yards but needed 2 TD in the final 1:42 to pull out the victory.
"There is a lot of pain in the locker room because we knew that we had that game in our hands and we let it slip away," said ULL junior WR Bradley Brown after the game. Brown had made one of the biggest plays of the game, blocking a UF punt (photo above) late in the 3rd quarter, which was scooped up by senior DE Blake Comminie (photo below), who took it 22 yards to the house to put the Ragin Cajuns ahead 17-13. ULL upped the lead to 20-13, but then after Florida tied the game Hudspeth got cold feet: "We were backed up after the kickoff, and with only 1:42 left I wasn't sure we had enough time." Say what?! Since when has 1:42 starting from your 27-yard line not been enough time? I can't believe he actually said that. It's true his offense was having difficulty moving the ball, but come on. There have been countless games in the past where a team's offense suddenly comes alive and scores at the end of the game. What did you have to lose? Said Brown, "the thing that we didn't understand was why we didn't go for it with a minute and 40 seconds left on the clock because we are a two-minute team." I agree, Bradley, Too bad your coach didn't have any faith.
Even though ULL knew they couldn't kill the the entire 1:42 with three runs, they ran the ball 3 straight times anyway. After they failed to convert on 3rd down, Florida called a timeout with :13 to go. And then the Ragin Cajuns got what they deserved. The Gators blocked the punt. But instead of the ball bouncing crazily on the ground the way it does after most blocked punts, this time the ball never touched the ground, deflecting a little bit forward and off to the left - and right into the hands of  UF LB Jelani Jenkins, standing there with nobody anywhere near him. Jenkins ran 36 yards to the end zone for the easiest of touchdowns to give the Gators the win.

ULL got no contribution from soph LB Qyendarius Griffin, who has been suspended for the rest of the season. Sophomore WR Jamal Robinson, who made that dread stars list last week, had 0 receptions. Senior CB Jemarlous Moten had 6 tackles (3-3), and senior LB Le'Marcus Gibson had 4 tackles (2-2). For Florida sick senior S Josh Evans had 6 tackles (3-3); but the day did not have a happy ending for Evans and his teammates. A few hours after their victory Georgia defeated Auburn to clinch the SEC East title over the Gators.

I will admit that I'd prefer that Clemson make a repeat appearance as the Atlantic Division representative in the ACC championship game. So I was kind of excited when Virginia Tech took the lead over Florida State 22-20 on a FG with 2:19 to play last week Thursday. Clemson needed an FSU loss to move into 1st place in the Atlantic, and for a moment it looked like they would get it. But this is the season where Virginia Tech can't do anything right. And it took the Seminoles just 1:33 to drive 68 yards and regain the lead. FSU hung on from there to win 28-22 and improve to 9-1. Virginia Tech, now 4-6, is in jeopardy of not getting a bowl bid.
I wasn't overly disappointed with the result, because if it's not going to be Clemson in the ACC title game, Florida State, with close to a dozen players with dreads, is not a bad second option at all. Sophomore RB Devonta Freeman had a tough night as FSU struggled to run the ball. He carried 7 times for a total of minus 5 yards. Freshman WR Kelvin Benjamin had 2 catches for 29 yards. The good news came from junior WR Greg Dent, who scored his 2nd TD of the season (photo above) and finished with 4 catches for a career high 73 yards. The Seminoles need only to defeat Maryland to clinch the ACC Atlantic, which could possibly .....

..... set up the first Miami-FSU matchup for the ACC championship. Remarkably, despite a 5-5 overall record, and despite a heartbreaking 41-40 loss to Virgina last Saturday, the Hurricanes need only to win at Duke in Week 13 to clinch 1st place in the ACC Coastal. Sophomore TE Clive Walford had a 9-yard TD catch for the Canes, and junior WR Allen Hurns had 2 TD receptions (his 3rd and 4th of the season); but TE Jake McGee's 10-yard TD catch in the back of the end zone with :06 to play, completing an 87-yard drive, won it for the Cavaliers. 
Sophomore CB Thomas Finnie had 5 tackles (3-2) for the U, but it was his holding penalty on 4th and 7 from the Miami 31 that kept the drive alive. Earlier the drive stayed alive on a 9-yard reception by sophomore WR Dominique Terrell to convert another 4th and 7. Terrell (trying to avoid being tackled by Finnie in photo above) had 37 yards on the drive and made the dread stars list. UVA also got a big play from freshman CB Maurice Canady, who forced and recovered a fumble at the 2-yard line early in the 4th quarter on what looked like was going to be a 24-yard TD run by QB Stephen Morris. Canady finished with 9 tackles (7-2) and 1 PBU. And sick sophomore CB Demetrious Nicholson had 6 tackles (3-3) and 1 PBU. The Cavaliers, who snapped a 6-game losing streak last week, are now 4-6 and still alive in the bowl picture.

The Maryland-Clemson game immediately got off on the wrong foot as Tigers sophomore WR Sammy Watkins injured his ankle while being tackled on his 39-yard return of the opening kickoff. Watkins played on, finishing with 4 catches for 60 yards; but with Clemson building a big lead, there was no need for him to play in the 2nd half. Clemson built a big lead because freshman LB turned QB Shawn Petty fared no better for Maryland than he did in his debut a week ago. Petty, who had 2 turnovers in the Terrapins' loss to Georgia Tech last week, had 3 more - all fumbles. The first was scooped up for a 16-yard TD return that made the score 14-0. The second ended a drive that had reached midfield and also was cashed in by Clemson, with junior WR DeAndre Hopkins' 28-yard TD catch (photo below) making it 21-0 late in the 1st. Maryland's only TD came on Petty's 17-yard pass to senior TE Devonte Campbell to make it 28-7. But the Tigers answered, as senior RB Andre Ellington's 6-yard TD run with 1:30 remaining in the 2nd made it three straights games that the Tigers have scored at least 35 points before halftime.
Petty's 3rd fumble, in the 3rd quarter, was forced by the only tackle of the game by junior LB Quandon Christian but resulted in no points as the Tigers missed a FG. Counting the 2 times he was sacked, Petty finished with 2 yards rushing on 16 carries. He went 6 for 12 passing for just 41 yards and 0 INT. Clemson won 45-10, and with the entire 2nd half in effect being garbage time, neither Watkins, Hopkins (4 catches for 59 yards), or Ellington (13 carries for 55 yards) made the dread stars list - a rarity this season.

I have seen a lot of football games in my lifetime, but I don't remember ever seeing a defensive player charged with a 15-yard penalty on three consecutive plays. Until now. After South Carolina kicked a FG on their first possession of the 2nd half to increase their lead to 24-10 over Arkansas, the Razorbacks 'drove' from their 25-yard line to the Carolina 36 on the first two plays of the ensuing possession - thanks mainly to back-to-back personal foul penalties on senior S D.J. Swearinger. But on the next play Swearinger made up for his misdeeds, picking off a pass and taking the return 69 yards to the house (photo below). Then came the good part. Just before he came to a stop after crossing the goal line Swearinger flung the ball up into the crowd behind the end zone, causing me to break out into laughter, but also costing him another 15-yard penalty (assessed on the kickoff). Yo D.J., you have to wait 'til next year before you can celebrate like that. Said Swearinger of his toss, "It was sort of a stress relief from both of the penalties." Right.
I enjoyed Swearinger's celebration so much that that alone would have been good enough to make the dread stars list. But I'm happy to report that he earned it as a result of his outstanding work on the plays where he wasn't picking up penalties as well. Swearinger is currently estimated as a middle round pick in the next NFL draft, so hopefully we'll be able to keep seeing his dreads beyond this season. Might we also still be seeing Kenny Miles'? Miles has been a backup RB his whole career, so you don't really think of him as a pro prospect. But during the game CBS announcer Tim Brando said, "I like the future ahead of him," about Miles. Wow. I sure hope he's right. I'd love it to see his sick dreads (photo below) in the NFL. 
Miles contributed 37 yards rushing and 3 catches for 44 yards to the Gamecocks' 38-20 victory over the Hogs. Junior WR Ace Sanders had 1 catch for 15 yards and should have had a TD catch. But he dropped the pass in the end zone in the 3rd quarter. He also had his risky decision to field a punt at the 3-yard line in the 1st quarter backfire as he was tripped up for no gain by Cameron Bryan (photo below). Senior LB Shaq Wilson had 8 tackles (3-5), including 1 sack, and sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney had 3 tackles (3-0), including 2 TFL and 1 FF.
For Arkansas senior WR Cobi Hamilton missed the dread stars list, but his 4 catches for 72 yards moved him to the top of the Razorbacks' all-time list of receiving yards in one season with 1,149. He's looking good to be a 1st team selection on my all-America with dreads team. Freshman WR Keon Hatcher had a 6-yard reception (photo below) for his 1st TD in an Arkansas uniform, which briefly tied the game at 7 in the 2nd quarter.


Senior S Phillip Thomas had 12 tackles (11-1), 2.5 TFL, and his FBS-leading 8th INT of the season as Fresno State remained tied for 1st in the MWC with a 52-36 road win over Nevada ..... Junior DT E.J. Dunston had 7 tackles (4-3), 1 TFL, 2 FF, and 1 FR; senior S Kemal Ishmael had 10 tackles (5-5) and his 3rd INT of the season; and senior LB Ray Shipman had a career high 14 tackles (6-8) as UCF improved to 6-0 in CUSA East with a 31-24 win at UTEP ..... Senior CB Josh Johnson had 6 tackles (5-1) and 3 PBU, and senior WR Antavian Edison had 5 catches for 50 yards, the last of which was a 20-yarder with :05 to go to move the ball into range for the game-winning 46-yard FG as Purdue ended a 5-game losing and picked up a win at Iowa for the first time in 20 years, 27-24 ..... Senior WR Jamill Smith scored his 6th and 7th TD catches of the season to help Ball State pick up an impressive 34-27 road win over Toledo ..... Junior S Josh Pettus, filling in after star S BooBoo Gates went down with an ankle injury in the 1st quarter, had 11 tackles (5-6) as Bowling Green moved into 2nd place in the MAC East with a 26-14 road win over Ohio U ..... Almost making the dread stars list were: Wisconsin freshman RB Melvin Gordon (96 yards and 1 TD rushing on 8 carries in garbage time in a 62-14 road win over Indiana); Oregon State senior WR Markus Wheaton (7 catches for 91 yards and 1 TD in a tough 27-23 loss at Stanford); and Alabama junior RB Eddie Lacy (92 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving, and 1 TD in the Crimson Tide's 1st defeat of the season, 29-24 at home to Texas A&M ..... 
..... Junior S Craig Loston returned an INT 100 yards to the house to earn SEC co-defensive player of the week honors, junior LB Lamin Barrow had 9 tackles (4-5), 1 FR (photo above), and 1 PBU, and freshman CB Jalen Collins, without reduced dreads this week, had 6 tackles (2-4) and 2 PBU as LSU defeated Mississippi State 37-17 ..... Sophomore LB A.J. Johnson had 11 tackles (5-6) (his 8th straight game with 11 or more tackles), 1 PBU, and rushed for his 5th TD of the season; and junior WR Cordarrelle Patterson gained 81 total yards, scored 1 TD, and completed a pass for 28 yards, but Tennessee dropped to 0-6 in the SEC East, losing at home to Missouri 51-48 in 4 overtimes ..... Sophomore LB Jermaine Holmes had 12 tackles (7-5), 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 PBU, and his 1st career INT, but Marshall still lost to UAB 38-31 ..... Sick junior CB Shaq Bell had 5 tackles (4-1), 2 PBU, and took a fumble return 30 yards to the house for his 1st career TD for Colorado State in a 33-11 cold home win over UNLV ..... And sophomore WR Keiwone Malone had 2 catches for 20 yards and got his 1st career INT (on a fake punt) for Memphis in a 37-23 home win over Tulane; freshman S Darion Monroe had 9 tackles (5-4) and 2 FR, one of which he took 54 yards to the house, for the Green Wave.  


Apparently you can throw out the records whenever William & Mary takes on ODU. The two Hampton Roads area rivals dueled last Saturday at Norfolk, and for 3 quarters you couldn't tell which team entered the game with a 2-7 record or which team was 8-1 and ranked #4 in the nation. The team with the losing record - William & Mary - led 31-27 with 15 minutes to play, but then ODU's much-maligned defense pitched a shutout in the 4th quarter, while the offense came alive with TD drives of 79 and 80 yards, allowing the Monarchs to escape with a 41-31 home victory. ODU had a slight edge in total yards 488-477 and a big edge in turnovers 3-0, including the 1st INT of the season by junior S Paul Morant, foiling W&M's attempt at a late rally.
Morant (photo above) finished with 7 tackles (2-5) and 1 PBU. Sick sophomore CB Eriq Lewis had 6 tackles (2-4) but whiffed trying to tackle WR Tre McBride on this play (photo below) and also got burned by McBride for a 72-yard catch and run for a TD. Senior WR Nick Mayers played very well on Senior Day, getting his 10th and 11th TD catches of the season. S Devon Simmons, ODU's only other senior with dreads, settled for a quiet 2-tackle (0-2) afternoon. 
ODU scored 4 TD in the first 20 minutes then suddenly went dormant offensively. One 3rd quarter possession ended when junior RB Colby Goodwyn was stopped cold for a 1-yard loss on 4th and 1 on his only carry of the game. Goodwyn fared a bit better on kickoff returns (4 for 81 yards). After a big game (for him) last week, sick junior WR Marquel Thomas had just 1 catch for 6 yards. Senior CB B.W. Webb, one of a handful (one hand) of players with dreads on the W&M roster, finished with 5 tackles (1-4) and 1 PBU. Either Webb's dreads (photo below) are the fastest-growing dreads in history, or he has added some hair not of his own, because I remember when he was a freshman his dreads were barely coming out from under his helmet. But whether they're all real or not, get used to seeing them, because they'll be coming to an NFL stadium near you. Webb is currently projected as a middle round pick in the 2013 dradt. 
That's why they play the games ..... You hear it all the time, but never was it more true than what happened in the OVC last Saturday. Eastern Illinois is going to the playoffs, and only because they actually play the games on the field and not paper. The Panthers did their part, improving to 6-1 in league play with a routine 39-20 home win over Southeast Missouri State. The Panthers got the usual solid performances from their trio of players with sick dreads from Florida. Junior CB Tavares Crawford had 4 tackles (1-3) and 1 PBU. Junior S Nick Beard tied for the team lead with 9 tackles (7-2). And senior RB Jake Walker made the dread stars list yet again. With their win in the bank, EIU needed Tennessee-Martin to lose one of their remaining 2 games in order to clinch the OVC crown ......

Surely that loss wasn't going to be to Tennessee Tech, right? That's Tennessee Tech, as in last place, 0-6 Tennessee Tech. Well, that's why they play the games. Playing at home, TTU went on a 21-0 run in the 4th quarter, capped by a 79-yard TD pass with 1:10 remaining to take a 38-31 lead. Not to be outdone, UTM scored on a 46-yard TD pass with :06 to go to tie the game. Tech scored first in OT to take a 45-38 lead. But UTM came back with a 19-yard TD pass on 4th and 16 - only to blow the extra point attempt due to a bad snap, ending the game and likely ending their playoff hopes. Freshman CB Demario Donnell had a busy afternoon for TTU with 15 tackles (5-10) and 1 PBU (only 5 of the tackles were on plays where UTM picked up a 1st down). Senior LB Jett Howard had 4 tackles (1-3), 1 PBU, and his 2nd INT of the season for UTM.

On Senior Day at Eastern Kentucky, senior WR Cameron Bailey rushed for 36 yards and 1 TD, and had 7 catches for 68 yards and another TD; senior DE Robert Knowles had 6 tackles (1-5), including 1 sack; and senior CB Justin Bell had 4 tackles (3-1) and 1 PBU as the Colonels improved to 8-3, whipping Murray State 55-24 ...... Junior RB Sam Ojuri gained 91 total yards and scored 1 TD as North Dakota State clinched a tie for the MVFC title with a huge 20-17 home win over South Dakota State ..... Sophomore CB Tyrone Bouie got his 2nd INT of the season and blocked a punt that was recovered by sick sophomore WR Torre Price and returned 14 yards to the house; and junior RB Isidore Jackson fell just short of the dread stars list with 97 yards and 1 TD rushing on 14 carries as Bethune-Cookman clinched the MEAC title with a week to spare, spanking Savannah State 49-7 ..... Also almost making the dread stars list were: Georgia Southern sophomore RB Dominique Swope (98 yards and 2 TD rushing on 4 carries in a 69-26 slaughter of Howard); Furman senior RB Jerodis Williams (gained 96 total yards and also returned a kickoff 100 yards to the house for the 2nd time this season in a 33-28 loss at Appalachian State); and Prairie View A&M junior WR Robert Primes (9 catches for 91 yards in a 22-20 road to Mississippi Valley State .....
..... Sophomore CB Terry Johnson had 2 PBU, 1 FR, and 1 INT, and sick sophomore RB Jordan Stanley (photo above) scored his 1st TD in a FAMU uniform as the Rattlers won their homecoming game 22-21 over NCCU ..... Junior CB D'Vonte Graham had 1 PBU, blocked 2 FG attempts, and picked up an incomplete backwards pass that was just lying there on the ground and took it 10 yards to the house as North Carolina A&T (6-4) clinched their first winning season in 9 years and got their first win over South Carolina State in 12 years, defeating SCSU 17-7 ..... Junior RB Demitrius Bronson rushed for 63 yards and 2 TD on 12 carries as Eastern Washington moved into a 3-way tie for 1st in the Big Sky with a 31-28 home win over UC-Davis ..... Senior WR Jonay Fay (one of the very few players with dreads in the Ivy League) had 4 catches for 90 yards, including an 18-yarder for the game-winning TD with 1:14 to play as Brown won at Dartmouth 28-24 ..... And junior S Jeremy Isabelle got 1 FR and his first 2 INT of the season, but Alabama A&M lost at Jackson State 35-21, ending their SWAC title hopes.


Tired of having Coach Pelini barking at him, senior S Daimion Stafford snapped back at Pelini in a heated exchange on the Nebraska sideline after Penn State scored a TD last Saturday at Lincoln. I saw no quotes from Stafford about the incident, and Pelini downplayed it, but I think it had something to do with the defense not getting their play signals from the sideline quickly enough. Whatever the reason, Stafford's act of insubordination likely didn't help his NFL draft stock at all.But his play after the incident certainly did. Stafford finished the game with 8 tackles (2-6), 1 PBU, his 2nd INT of the season (photo above, which he returned 22 yards to set up a 4-yard TD drive that tied the game at 20 in the 3rd quarter), and a key fumble recovery in the end zone on a controversial play in the 4th quarter that preserved Nebraska's 27-23 lead. The Cornhuskers held on to win 32-23 to remain in the driver's seat in the Big 10 Legends Division. Sorry about the lack of dreads in the photo. You can only see Daimion's dreads from the rear, as they are barely starting to peek out from under his helmet.

1. Syracuse's LB corps, including Siriki Diabate (#18), Marquis Spruill (#11), and Cameron Lynch (#38) go wild after fellow LB Lewellyn Coker scored an offensive TD during 4th quarter at the Carrier Dome. Lined up at FB, Coker made a 3-yard reception for his 1st career TD and the Orange's final TD of the game in their 45-26 whipping of previously undefeated Louisville.

2. In a duel of aces, Virginia Tech CB Antone Exum reaches to tackle Florida State freshman WR Kelvin Benjamin after a 17-yard reception late in 2nd quarter. Two plays earlier Benjamin made his only other reception of the game, a 12-yarder. The drive ended with a TD, giving the Seminoles a 13-10 lead.

3. Sorry, Devonta Freeman fans, this ain't a TD. This is the other end zone, and the FSU sophomore RB can't break the tackle by LB Jack Tyler on 3rd and 25 and goes down for a safety, cutting FSU's lead to 20-18 midway through 4th quarter. Here is the breakdown of Freeman's 7 rushing attempts in the game: 5, 3, 2, -1, -6, -3, and -5 for the safety. That adds up to minus 5 yards rushing (ouch). At least the Seminoles won the game though, 28-22.

4. Junior S Jamal Clay of Maine tries but can't stop Georgia State senior RB Roosevelt Watson on this carry during 1st half. Watson had 5 carries for 26 yards, 1 kickoff return for 12 yards, and threw an INT in his final game in a Georgia State uniform. Clay had a great game with 10 tackles (5-5) and 2 INT. Maine won easily 51-7 as GSU finishes the season at 1-10.

5. TE Nolan Kearney of William & Mary makes the catch on 4th and 6 despite the double coverage by S Devon Simmons (#10) and CB Reggie Owens of ODU late in 2nd quarter at Norfolk. The 23-yard reception to the 8-yard line set up a TD three plays later, giving W&M a 28-27 halftime lead. ODU played defense better in the 2nd half and came back to win 41-31.

6. There's never a shortage of sick dreads when Alabama A&M's defense is on the field. Sophomore LB Robert Nelson (#51) and senior S Cedric Clayborn (#18) try to stop Jackson State RB Rakeem Sims. That's senior DE Melvin Payne in the background watching the play. Nelson had 7 tackles, Payne 5, and Clayborn 1 in the Bulldogs' 35-21 loss to JSU that eliminates them from the SWAC East race.

7. Senior TE Marcel Jensen is upended by Nevada S (and ex-dread) Duke Williams on the last play of 1st quarter at Reno. Jensen fumbled the ball before he hit the ground, but a teammate recovered. Later in the 1st half Jensen had a 32-yard TD catch that tied the game at 21. Fresno State went on to defeat Nevada 52-36 to improve to 8-3.

8. Finally, junior RB Spencer Ware scores his 1st TD of the season for LSU, on a 20-yard reception against the coverage of Mississippi State LB Matthews Wells, giving LSU a 20-10 lead 13 seconds before halftime. In a battle of 7-2 teams, #9 LSU gets the home win over #22 MSU 37-17.

9. On 3rd and 14 on South Carolina's first drive of the day, sick senior TE Justice Cunningham stretches out to make a 26-yard reception at the Arkansas' 40-yard line as LB A.J. Turner defends .....

10. ..... as Cunningham goes to the ground, Turner tries to rip the ball away from him, but Justice is having none of that ......

11. ..... "Who's the man? A.J. Who's the man?!" ..... The drive ended with a TD four plays later. Cunningham finished with 2 catches for 33 yards. South Carolina improved to 8-2, defeating Arkansas 38-20.

12. Toledo sick sophomore RB Cassius McDowell is brought down by Ball State S J.C. Wade late in 2nd quarter at Toledo. McDowell had runs of 21 and 8 yards on back-to-back plays, with Wade making the tackle both times. McDowell finished the drive with a 4-yard run for his 3rd TD of the season, tying the game at 17. Cassius, from the same HS as Denard Robinson, finished with 45 yards on 4 carries, but the Rockets' 8-game winning streak came to an end as Ball State won 34-27.

  • Todd Gurley - Georgia - 11 carries for 116 yards rushing and 1 TD in 38-0 road W over Auburn that clinches SEC East title for UGA
  • D.J. Swearinger - South Carolina - named SEC co-defensive player of the week - 13 tackles (10-3), 1 TFL, and had 69-yard INT return for a TD in 38-20 home W over Arkansas
  • Khaseem Greene - Rutgers - named Big East defensive player of the week - career high 22 tackles (6-16), 1 FF, and 1 PBU in 28-7 home W over Army

  • Cortney Lester - Buffalo - named MAC East defensive player of the week - had 3 tackles (2-1), 1 PBU, and 3 INT, becoming 1st UB player in 4 years to get more than 1 INT in a game - details from the Buffalo website:
  • Trayion Durham - Kent State - career high 172 yards and 2 TD rushing on 20 carries, and had 2 catches for 26 yards in 48-32 road W over Miami (Ohio)
  • Dominique Terrell - Virginia - 9 catches for career high 127 yards in thrilling 41-40 home W over Miami (Florida)

  • J.D. McKissic - Arkansas State - 12 receptions for 102 yards in 45-23 home W over Louisiana-Monroe
  • William Dukes - FAU - 9 receptions for 104 yards in 37-28 W over Western Kentucky as FAU ends 15-game road losing streak
  • Prince-Tyson Gulley - Syracuse - 98 yards and 2 TD rushing on 15 carries in 45-26 home W over Louisville

  • Ja-mes Logan - Mississippi - 8 catches for career high 160 yards in 27-26 home L to Vanderbilt
  • Justin Collins - Western Michigan - 6 catches for career high 122 yards in 29-24 road L to Buffalo
  • Rickey Stevens - Maine - named CAA offensive player of the week - 21 carries for career high 179 yards rushing and 1 TD in 51-7 home W over Georgia State
  • Jordan Harris - Bryant - 7 catches for 114 and 1 TD in 28-25 road W over Central Connecticut State, becoming 1st player in school history to reach 1,000 yards receiving in a season
  • Teddy Allen - Charleston Southern - 107 yards and 1 TD rushing on 16 carries in 28-10 home W over Gardner-Webb
  • Tromaine Dennis - Northern Colorado - 114 yards rushing and 1 TD, and 4 catches for 30 yards and 1 TD in 42-34 W at Weber State
  • Deonte Williams - Cal Poly - 125 yards and 3 TD rushing in 70-14 home W over Idaho State
  • Joey Harmon - Villanova - named CAA defensive player of the week - 6 tackles (5-1), including 2.5 sacks, 2 of which were in the end zone for safeties, in 35-20 home W over JMU

  • Xavier Roberson - Southeastern Louisiana - named SLC offensive player of the week - 21 carries for 117 yards rushing and 2 TD, and had 96-yard kickoff returns for a TD in 42-27 home win over Stephen F. Austin
  • Sean Price - Appalachian State - 10 catches for 115 yards (surpassing 1,000-yard mark for the season) in 33-28 home W over Furman as ASU clinches share of SOCON title
  • Jake Walker - Eastern Illinois - 132 yards and 2 TD rushing on 23 carries in 39-20 home W over Southeast Missouri State as EIU clinches OVC title
  • Nick Mayers - ODU - 9 catches for 131 yards and 2 TD on Senior Day in 41-31 home W over William & Mary
  • Darryl Hamilton - Richmond - 5 tacckles (4-1), 2 PBU, and 2 INT (4th and 5th of season), both of which set up FGs, on Senior Day in 23-17 home W over Delaware

  • Lenworth Lennon - FAMU - 9 receptions for 104 yards in 22-21 homecoming W over North Carolina Central
  • Rico Richardson - Jackson State - 2 catches for 105 yards, including 67-yard TD (surpassing 1,000-yard mark for the season), in 35-21 home W over Alabama A&M
  • Ryan Griffin - Jackson State - named SWAC co-defensive player of the week - 10 tackles (4-6), 1.5 TFL, 1 PBU, 1, FF, and 1 FR for 35-yard TD as JSU remains in driver's seat in SWAC East race
  • Malcolm Cyrus - Alabama State - 11 carries for season high 126 yards rushing and 1 TD in 31-30 road W over Southern
  • Isaiah Crowell - Alabama State - 17 carries for 103 yards rushing and 1 TD as ASU stays alive in SWAC East race
  • Charles Hawkins - Southern - named SWAC special teams player of the week - 99-yard kickoff return for TD - and had 5 catches for 94 yards and 1 TD in tough 31-30 home L to Alabama State

  • Marcus Washington - Nicholls State - 104 yards rushing, 29 yards receiving, and 1 TD in 34-24 road L to Lamar
  • Donte Sawyer - Morehead State - 13 receptions for 152 yards in 41-28 road L to San Diego
  • Gus Johnson - Stephen F. Austin - 124 yards and 4 TD rushing on 20 carries, and 4 catches for 34 yards in 42-27 L at Southeastern Louisiana

If you were paying close enough attention to the dread stars list (I forgive you if you weren't) and you're good at addition, you've already figured out that there were 7 TD by players with dreads in Southeastern Louisiana's 42-27 triumph over Stephen F. Austin. So the end zone at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, LA, takes HOD honors this week. SFA sophomore RB Gus Johnson (having a nice season on a team that doesn't like running the ball) scored 4 TD - on runs of 13, 4, 19, and 11 yards. And freshman RB Xavier Roberson had the other 3, scoring on runs of30 and 8 yards as well as a 96-yard kickoff return for SE Louisiana.


Of the 32 dread stars this week nobody was an obvious choice for the player of the week. But there was one (and only one) player who had a 200-yard game from scrimmage. So I am naming UAB sophomore RB Darrin Reaves the head dread for Week 11. Reaves was named CUSA offensive player of the week after racking up 221 total yards in a 38-31 home victory over Marshall. Darrin rushed for 184 yards and 2 TD on 32 carries and caught 6 passes for 37 yards. It was the 3rd straight 200-yard game for Reaves, who has become the brightest spot in a dismal season for UAB. Even after winning their last 2 games, the Blazers are just 3-7 on the season. If you are interested, you can click on the link below for a 4-minute video as Reaves meets the press after the game.



If I can stay awake, I will be watching parts of these games: Western Carolina-Alabama (your only chance to see the sick dreads of Jaleel Lorquet), Wofford-South Carolina, Alabama A&M-Auburn, Mississippi-LSU, North Carolina State-Clemson, South Florida-Miami, ODU-JMU, and the annual Florida Classic between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman.

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