I had the Purdue-Minnesota game on the list of games I wanted to watch for Week 9. But there were several other games I needed to see, so I ended up skipping the Boilermakers and Gophers. Now, after reading what happened at Minneapolis last Saturday, I'm kicking myself because of all the interesting stuff that I missed. Not the least of which was a sequence at the beginning of the 2nd half.
The pick 6 upped the Gophers' lead to 41-7 and was the cherry on top of a record-setting day for Carter, whose cousin, Tyrone Carter, just wrapped up an 11-year career in the NFL. For more on Michael's career-best game, click on the link below for an article from the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
Troy Stoudermire, Minnesota's other starting senior CB with dreads, tied for the team lead with 7 tackles (6-1) but had only 1 PBU. On offense, the Gophers were not led by senior MarQueis Gray. It has been great watching Gray play QB for the past season and a half, but it was obvious the Gophers needed a better passer in there. So MarQueis has moved back to WR, and he had 4 catches for 53 yards, including a nice 33-yarder to the 4-yard line in the 2nd quarter (photo below). The Gophers scored on the next play and took the lead for good at 14-7. Sophomore WR Marcus Jones had a 21-yard punt return in the 3rd quarter to set up a FG.
Like MarQueis Gray, if Denard Robinson wants to play in the NFL next season, it's not going to be as a QB. I thought that as he gained more experience, Robinson would steadily improve as a passer. But he's not much better now than when he first came to Michigan in 2009 and certainly not good enough to be an NFL QB. But he's the best Michigan's got, which became painfully (to Wolverines fans) obvious in the game at Nebraska last Saturday.
Denard was on pace to make his usual appearance on the dread stars list as the game approached halftime. But on his 10th carry of the night - a 7-yard gain for a 1st down at the NU 8-yard line that upped his total to 46 yards rushing - he aggravated an elbow injury and had to come out of the game. That was pretty much all she wrote for the Michigan offense. They ended up settling for a FG, cutting Nebraska's lead to 7-6 at halftime, and did very little after halftime. A measly 44 total yards was all the Wolverines could muster without Robinson, and the result was a 23-9 Nebraska victory that left both teams tied for 1st in the Big 10 Legends Division at 3-1. Senior S Daimion Stafford, one of a handful of Nebraska players with dreads, had 6 tackles (3-3), 1 PBU, and his 1st INT of the season.
The Big 10 isn't the only place featuring dreadlocked QBs who are struggling with accuracy. I'm talking about the Big East, where Cincinnati junior QB Munchie Legaux seems to be doing the best he can to play himself out of the starting lineup. Back in Week 5, Legaux was the hero as his final pass of the game produced the game-winning 39-yard TD with 13 seconds to play in a thrilling victory over Virginia Tech. But in each of these last two weeks his final pass of the game has brought only pain for Bearcats fans and defeat for the Bearcats. Last week it was an INT in the closing seconds that sealed UC's loss at Toledo, and this time it was an ill-advised lob into the end zone on 3rd and 9 IN OVERTIME that all but sealed the Bearcats' fate.
Legaux rushed for a TD, and his only TD pass of the game - a 26-yarder to WR Damon Julian, tied the game at 31 with 1:03 to go. But then came that awful throw in overtime, right into the waiting hands of sophomore CB Terell Floyd (photo below) for his 1st career INT. A turnover in OT is as good as a death sentence, and 6 plays later a 30-yard FG gave the Cardinals the victory 34-31.
At the start of this season, I had Clemson sophomore WR Sammy Watkins as a lock to be a starter on my All-America with dreads team (as he was last year). But if I had to name the team at the end of Week 8, I have to admit Watkins wouldn't have made it (as a starter or a reserve). Sammy missed 3 of Clemson's first 7 games due to suspension and illness. But he looked like his old self (like last year, that is) against Wake Forest. After Clemson punted on their first two possessions, Watkins got things going with a 57-yard reception to the 10-yard line (photo below) on the 3rd drive of the game, and the Tigers scored a TD three plays later. On the next drive Watkins broke two tackles on a 61-yard catch and run on 3rd and 10 to make it 14-0. The Tigers scored again on their next drive, and on the one after that Watkins hauled in a 50-yard reception to the Wake Forest 12. Three plays later junior WR DeAndre Hopkins made it 28-0 with a 12-yard TD catch.
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Cribbs lost a couple of his old records from his days at Kent State this week - and he probably couldn't be happier about it. That's because it happened in one of Kent State's finest hours (or should I say, three hours). After starting at QB for four seasons (2001-04), Cribbs left KSU with a handful of school records; but he hasn't had much to brag about to his Browns teammates on Saturdays about his alma mater over the years since then. Until now. If Josh was watching last Saturday, he saw his records for career passing yards and career points scored surpassed. But he also saw KSU spoil Rutgers' homecoming, whipping the #18 ranked Scarlet Knights 35-23. The victory improved the Golden Flashes to 7-1 (already bowl eligible!) and gave them their first 6-game winning streak in 72 years. It was also their first win against a top 20 ranked team ever (after 22 losses).
With South Carolina clinging to a 38-35 late lead, but with Tennessee already in FG range at the 19-yard line, sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney (who had been quiet almost all day), sacked and stripped QB Tyler Bray, ending the threat with 1:08 to play. Then after Tennessee got the ball back, a beautiful leaping INT by sophomore CB Victor Hampton with :23 remaining sealed the victory for the Gamecocks.
Junior RB Jeff Scott had 96 total yards and 1 TD, and junior S Charles Sawyer had 7 tackles (6-1), 1 sack, 2 PBU, blocked a punt, and got his 1st INT of the season as Mississippi won at Arkansas 30-27 on a last-second FG, their 2nd straight SEC victory after 16 straight losses ..... Junior RB Eddie Lacy had 77 total yards and scored his 8th TD of the season, junior WR Kenny Bell had a 57-yard reception for his 3rd TD of the season, and senior S Robert Lester got his 3rd INT of the season as Alabama won a battle of 7-0 teams, whipping Mississippi State 38-7 ..... Junior RB Jonathan Wallace rushed for 87 yards, and sophomore WR William Dukes had the game-winning 22-yard TD catch with :17 on the clock as FAU snapped their 6-game losing streak with a 34-27 home win over Troy ..... Junior CB Dayonne Nunley had 11 tackles (6-5) and 2 PBU to help Miami (Ohio) defeat Ohio U for the first time since 2005, 23-20, dealing the Bobcats their 1st loss this season - OU had 1st and goal with :09 to play but took a sack and time ran out ..... sophomore CB Cortney Lester took an INT return 23 yards to the house for his 1st TD in a Buffalo uniform, but the Bulls lost at home to Toledo 25 -20 .....
IN THE FCS
Before Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey coast, it came perilously close to Southeast Virginia, making for less than ideal conditions for the CAA matchup between Delaware and ODU. But neither team seemed bothered by the weather, and the #6 ranked Monarchs improved to 7-1 with an exciting 31-26 win at Norfolk. On the down side, it was the 2nd ODU game in a row with no touchdowns by players with dreads. Junior RB Colby Goodwyn and sick junior WR Marquel Thomas hardly played at all (if at all). But sick senior WR Nick Mayers did well enough to make the dread stars list - despite losing a fumble on a play in the 1st quarter.
After whipping AAMU, ASU (5-2 in SWAC East) now needs AAMU to beat Jackson State (4-2) coming up in Week 11. AAMU (5-2) needs to win out and hope that ASU loses once more (which is not likely to happen).
Eastern Illinois, 2-9 in each of the last two seasons, stayed alive in the OVC race, improving to 4-1 (5-3 overall) with an impressive 24-7 road win over Eastern Kentucky. Unlike Greg Jenkins, senior RB Jake Walker doesn't do reduced dreads. Walker (photo below) lets his dreads spill out of his helmet and dangle halfway down his back. And if somebody happens to grab onto them, so be it. This is the way dreads are meant to be worn.
Walker is not the only EIU Panther with great dreads. Junior S Nick Beard had 6 tackles (4-2), 1 sack, and 1 PBU; and junior CB Tavares Crawford had 1 PBU and got his 2nd INT of the season with 1:31 to play to ice the game. For EKU senior CB Justin Bell had 11 tackles (9-2) and 1 PBU, and senior DE Robert Knowles (#95 in photo above) had 6 tackles (2-4). Senior WR Cameron Bailey was held to 4 catches for 34 yards.
Junior RB Sam Ojuri rushed for a season high 90 yards, and junior CB Marcus Williams got his 4th INT of the season as North Dakota State rallied from a 17-10 deficit in the 4th quarter for a huge 23-17 home win over Southern Illinois ..... Senior RB Darreion Robinson rushed for 74 yards and 2 TD on 11 carries as Georgia Southern improved to 7-1 with a tough 39-31 road win over UT-Chattanooga in 3 overtimes ..... New Hampshire senior CB Dontra Peters nabbed CAA defensive player of the week honors, making 5 tackles (4-1), one of which was a FF, and getting his 4th INT of the season in a 40-20 win at Rhode Island ..... Sophomore S Donovan Layne (I think those are dreads that he has) took an INT return 52 yards to the house, and senior CB Johnny Towalid (photo below) returned an INT 25 yards for his 3rd pick 6 of the season (4th career) as Indiana State won their 5th straight, 45-14 over South Dakota .....
- Sammy Watkins - Clemson - 8 receptions for school record 202 yards and 1 TD in 42-13 road W over Wake Forest
- Devonta Freeman - Florida State - 104 yards and 2 TD rushing on 12 carries in 48-7 romp over Duke
- Trayion Durham - Kent State - 22 carries for career high 131 yards rushing (the first 100-yard rushing game against Rutgers this season) and 1 TD as KSU recorded first ever W vs. a Top 20 ranked opponent, beating Rutgers 35-23. We'll forgive those 2 fumbles this time.
- Todd Gurley - Georgia - 27 carries for 118 yards rushing a 1 TD, and added 2 catches for 23 yards in big 17-9 victory over Florida
- Michael Carter - Minnesota - named Big 10 defensive player of week - 6 tackles (5-1), tied school record with 6 PBU, and had 1 INT, which he took 43 yards to the house in 44-28 home W over Purdue
- Justice Cunningham - South Carolina - 6 catches for career high 108 yards in 38-35 home W over Tennessee
- Jarvis West - Iowa State - 7 receptions for career high 99 yards and 3 TD (!) in 35-21 home W over Baylor
- Anthony Amos - MTSU - 8 catches for 121 yards and 1 TD in 38-21 home win over North Texas
- Kyle Griswould - MTSU - 3 catches for career high 140 yards, including TDs of 72 and 49 yards as Blue Raiders improve to 3-1 in SBC
- Jamal Robinson - Louisiana-Lafayette - 5 catches for 106 yards in 50-27 home L to Arkansas State
- Cobi Hamilton - Arkansas - 12 receptions for 146 yards in tough 30-27 home L to Mississippi
- Vintavious Cooper - East Carolina - 121 yards and 1 TD rushing on 18 carries, and had 4 catches for 26 yards in 56-28 home L to Navy
- Darrin Reaves - UAB - career high 166 yards and 3 TD rushing on 21 carries, and had 7 catches for 55 yards in 55-45 road L to Tulane
- Greg Jenkins - Alabama State - named SWAC offensive player of the week - 12 yards and 1 TD rushing on 10 carries, and went 10 for 15 for 264 yards and 1 TD (1 INT) passing in huge 31-13 W over Alabama A&M
- Jake Walker - Eastern Illinois - 119 yards and 1 TD rushing on 21 carries in 24-7 W at Eastern Kentucky
- Tyrone Walker - Illinois State - 7 catches for 120 yards, including 76-yard TD, in 33-21 W at Northern Iowa
- Nick Mayers - ODU - 11 receptions for 131 yards in 31-26 home W over Delaware
- Trabis Ward - Tennessee State - 28 carries for 129 yards rushing, and had 2 catches for 15 yards in last-second 22-21 home W over Tennessee Tech
- Isidore Jackson - Bethune-Cookman - 14 carries for 158 yards and 2 TD rushing, including 93-yarder, in 42-17 home W over NCCU
- Donte Sawyer - Morehead State - 6 catches for 89 yards and 1 TD, and took kickoff return 94 yards to the house to put MSU ahead to stay 21-14 in 70-28 blowout of Campbell
- Teddy Allen - Charleston Southern - 115 yards and 2 TD rushing on 17 carries in 42-7 home win over Edward Waters
- Sean Price - Appalachian State - 10 catches for 142 yards and 1 TD in 38-27 W at Western Carolina
- Morris Norrise - Sacramento State - 7 catches for 97 yards and 2 TD in big 35-29 home W over FCS #11 Cal Poly
- Deonte Williams - Cal Poly - 168 yards rushing on 22 carries as Caly Poly drops to 7-1
- Keion Wade - St. Francis (PA) - 26 carries for 129 yards rushing and 2 TD in 32-30 road L to Central Connecticut State
HOUSE OF DREAD
I could hardly believe it. I knew that sick sophomore WR Jarvis West had scored his 1st TD in an Iowa State uniform (finally!) in the 1st quarter last Saturday night. But I had no idea, until I checked the game recap, that he scored two more! That made it a total of 4 TD by players with dreads in the end zone at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, as ISU defeated Baylor 35-21. West had TD receptions of 23 yards (photo below), 7 yards, and 22 yards as he made his first appearance on the dread stars list. Junior WR Tevin Reese had a 49-yard TD catch for Baylor.
Sharing the award with Jack Trice Stadium were two other stadiums.
Staying in the Big 12, the end zone at Snyder Stadium in Manhattan, KS, takes its 2nd HOD award this season. Kansas State junior RB John Hubert was a one-man house of dread back in Week 6, but he got some help this time as K-State defeated Texas Tech 55-24. Hubert scored on runs of 4 and 15 yards. Senior RB Angelo Pease added a 7-yard TD catch for the Wildcats. And junior RB SaDale Foster had an 8-yard TD run for Tech.
Also with 4 TD was the end zone at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, where Prairie View A&M defeated Southern 49-29 in the Shreveport Classic. Senior WR Spencer Nelson scored 3 TD for PVAMU - on receptions of 17 and 10 yards and a run of 5 yards. Senior WR Charles Hawkins (5 catches for 91 yards) had a 15-yard TD reception for SU.
I guess it's my personal bias, but it requires an exceptional performance to make the dread stars list if you're a defensive player. To be the player of the week? Well, you better do something really special. If you were watching the Florida-Georgia game , you saw a special performance. Not that it was all that surprising because junior LB Jarvis Jones is a special player. With Florida poised to clinch the SEC East with a victory, Georgia, thanks in no small part to Jones, turned the tables on the Gators, winning the game 17-9, and now it is the Bulldogs who have the inside track in the SEC East race. Jones was named SEC defensive player of the week after racking up a career high 13 tackles (12-1), including 4.5 TFL and 3 sacks.
That wasn't all, of course. Coming into the game, Florida had committed only 4 turnovers all season; but the Gators gave it away 6 times in this game, and Jones had a say in 4 of them with 2 FF and 2 FR. Jones got started early with a FR on the 3rd play from scrimmage and then saved the best for last, stripping the ball from TE Jordan Reed (photo below) at the Georgia 5-yard line on a play in which it looked like Reed was going to score. The fumble rolled into the end zone, and Georgia recovered it for a touchback with 2:05 remaining to save the day for Bulldogs fans.
Well, if anybody is going to stop Alabama, LSU has as good a chance as anybody. Alabama pretty convincingly proved they were the better team last year (in both matchups), but LSU has a lot going for them in this one. We'll see what happens. Also next week, Tennessee State-Murray State should be a lot of fun. Duquesne is on TV at Robert Morris in what likely will be your only chance to see the awesome dreads of Serge Kona. I'll also try to catch a bit of Michigan-Minnesota, Syracuse-Cincinnati, Clemson-Duke, FAU-Navy, and Mississippi-Georgia.