If you have been following this blog from the beginning, you already know that I'm a big fan of having a 16-team playoff tournament at the end of the college football regular season to determine the champion (a real champion, not the beauty contest we have now). You also know that I'm a big fan of keeping all of the bowl games intact, almost exactly the way they are now. Both of my wishes (and if I was the commissioner of college football, these would be commands, not wishes) can be accomplished simply - by playing the first two rounds of the championship on the campuses of the higher seeded teams on the next two weekends following the Thanksgiving weekend, then taking a short break, and then using the current BCS bowls to host the semifinals (on or near Jan. 1) and the championship game (about a week later). At the conclusion of the 2nd round, the 12 teams that were eliminated would then be selected for bowl games, along with all the bowl-eligible teams that didn't make the tournament. It's so easy a caveman could do it; but apparently not easy enough for the people in power to figure out.
Starting in 2014, the FBS will replace the beauty contest with a 4-team playoff. It's a step in the right direction, but I'll tell you right now - four ain't gonna cut it. All a 4-team playoff will do is increase all the chaos and aggravation and anger we have now. It really needs to be 16 teams - and the sooner we get there the better.
2012-13 BOWL PREVIEW
BCS - It's short for Bowl Championship Series. But as we all know, all it really is is a series of bowls that mean nothing.
Other than the so-called 'championship' game (I don't call it that, but others insist) nobody cares about the rest of the bowl games unless either they have some kind of connection with one of the teams playing or they are just a hardcore football fan. Me, I can't get enough of the bowls every year, and I try to watch as many as I can. Bowls are a chance for teams to finish on a winning note, a chance for coaches to get extra practice time, and a chance for fans to see good teams from the major conferences matched up against each other (which hardly ever happens during the regular season).
Now on other sports sites and newspapers you may see the bowls ranked by how exciting and/or competitive the games are expected to be, or by how great the 'atmosphere' is at the games. But here in the house of dread, we go by the best dreads. So, assuming nobody unexpectedly shows up with reduced dreads and that nobody loses their dreads when they go home for the holidays, here's how this season's bowls rank, from 1 (must see) to 35 (don't waste your time).
If you want to see great dreads - and plenty of them - don't miss these games.
1. CHICK-FIL-A BOWL - Monday, Dec. 31 - Clemson (10-2) vs. LSU (10-2)
Nearly 30 players with dreads will be in uniform. So before you go out to party on New Year's Eve, be sure to catch at least some of this tale of two Tigers. Andre Ellington plays his final game for Clemson. And sick freshman CB Jalen Collins of LSU takes on WRs Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. Then ......
2. OUTBACK BOWL - Tuesday, Jan. 1 - Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (10-2)
..... be sure to wake up in time on New Year's Day (1 pm ET kickoff) for Denard Robinson's final game for Michigan. In his only other appearance in his home state - the Gator Bowl two seasons ago - Robinson led the Wolverines to their worst bowl defeat ever. Things won't be much easier this time against tough Gamecocks D, featuring LB Shaq Wilson, S D.J. Swearinger, and superstar DE Jadeveion Clowney.
3.BBVA COMPASS BOWL - Saturday, Jan. 5 - Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Mississippi (6-6)
Before the NFL playoffs begin, check Ole Miss' sick secondary (they might start 4 DBs with dreads), featuring junior CB Charles Sawyer. Pitt has sick dreads too, with freshman CB Lafayette Pitts and senior WR Cameron Saddler.
4. SUGAR BOWL - Wednesday, Jan. 2 - Louisville (10-2) vs. Florida (11-1)
Cardinals have 7 (at least) players with dreads who start or play regularly. Last game for Gators sick senior S Josh Evans (photo below).
Of the Seminoles' dozen or so players with dreads, none are seniors. Best dreads on the field will be in an NIU uniform - junior DT Ken Bishop.
6. FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 15 - Toledo (9-3) vs. Utah State (10-2)
Hope you're not reading this too late to see this one (kickoff is about 12 hours away as I type this). Not a lot of players with dreads here, but certainly some of the sickest, with RB Cassius McDowell and WR James Green for Toledo, and WR Chuck Jacobs for USU.
7. GODADDY.COM BOWL - Sunday, Jan. 6 - Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)
Three WRs with great dreads will be on the field for ASU, including senior Josh Jarboe in his final game.
8. HAWAII BOWL - Monday, Dec. 24 - SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)
Take a timeout from wrapping those Christmas presents for a look at S Phillip Thomas, TE Marcel Jensen, and WR Isaiah Burse of Fresno State. Not only do they have sick dreads, they're star players for the Bulldogs too.
9. LITTLE CAESAR'S PIZZA BOWL - Wednesday, Dec. 26 - Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)
Two teams thankful just to get bowl bids. Last chance to see the sick dreads of WKU DT Jamarcus Allen and the awesome dreads of CMU S Jahleel Addae.
Not bad - worth watching.
10. BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL - Friday, Dec. 21 - Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4)
Last game (until the NFL) for UCF S Kemal Ishmael. And three WRs with dreads will be featured - sophomore Rannell Hall and freshman Breshad Perriman for UCF, and senior Jamill Smith for Ball State.
11. CAPITAL ONE BOWL - Tuesday, Jan. 1 - Nebraska (10-3) vs. Georgia (11-2)
Battle of teams that lost in their conference championship games. Feature attraction is Georgia's trio of sick LBs - Jarvis Jones, Ramik Wilson, and T.J. Stripling.
12. MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS - Friday, Dec. 28 - Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
Last game for Gophers QB/WR MarQueis Gray. This game moves up a few ranks if Texas Tech WR Javon Bell recovers in time from broken foot suffered in Week 6 and is on the field.
13. BELK BOWL - Thursday, Dec. 27 - Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6)
Would have made the top 10 if Munchie Legaux hadn't played himself onto the bench. But you can still see UC DBs Deven Drane, Dominique Battle (photo below), and Camerron Cheatham.
14. NEW ORLEANS BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 22 - East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana -Lafayette (8-4)
With RBs Michael Dobson and Vintavious Cooper for ECU, and WRs Jamal Robinson and Bradley Brown for ULL, this game should contend for the HOD award.
15. HEART OF DALLAS BOWL - Tuesday, Jan. 1 - Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)
In game formerly known as the Ticket City Bowl) WR Antavian Edison plays his last game for Purdue. Boilermakers also have sick dreads on the O-line with junior Devin Smith.
Some great dreads here, but not enough of them.
16. BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 29 - Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-5)
Formerly known as the Insight Bowl. Not many players with dreads here, but certainly one of the best with TCU CB Jason Verrett.
17. HOLIDAY BOWL - Thursday, Dec. 27 - Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4)
Hopefully, sick Baylor CB K.J. Morton will be back (he hasn't played since Week 8 due to injury). If not, the best dreads will be on the Bears' O-line, with Cyril Richardson.
18. GATOR BOWL - Tuesday, Jan. 1 - Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)
No dreads for the Wildcats, but Bulldogs have WRs Jameon Lewis and Arceto Clark, and star senior DT Josh Boyd.
19. ARMED FORCES BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 29 - Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)
Only thing keep this from ranking dead last are the wonderful dreads of DE Jared Williams, playing his final game for the Owls.
20. PINSTRIPE BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 29 - West Virginia (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)
No dreads allowed at Yankee Stadium during baseball season, but that doesn't apply here. Orange make up for lack of dreads on WVU roster with several players with dreads, with the sickest being RB Prince-Tyson Gulley (photo below).
Only about a half dozen players with dreads on the two rosters. Look for sick WR Je'Ron Stokes in a BG uniform.
22. POINSETTIA BOWL - Thusday, Dec. 20 - BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)
Only the sick dreads of SDSU LB Vaness Harris rescue this from a bottom of the barrel ranking.
23. ROSE BOWL - Tuesday, Jan. 1 - Wisconsin (8-5) vs. Stanford (11-2)
UW freshman CB Terrance Floyd has the best dreads, but he'll be on the sideline. Best on the field belong to UW S Dezmen Southward (hopefully Melvin Gordon's dreads will be long enough to see by next year). Stanford? Do they have anybody with dreads?
24. SUN BOWL - Monday, Dec. 31 - Georgia Tech (6-7) vs. USC (7-5)
Freshman DB Jerredith Jiles has the best dreads in the ACC, but he'll be on the GT sideline. Only dreads on the field you'll be able to see will be barely sticking out of the helmets of Tech RB B.J. Bostic and USC CB Josh Shaw.
25. KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 29 - Arizona State (7-5) vs. Navy (8-4)
Likely the last game (until the NFL) for ASU junior DT Will Sutton, so hopefully he'll survive Navy's relentless cut blocking tactics.
26. LIBERTY BOWL - Monday, Dec. 31 - Iowa State (6-6) vs. Tulsa (10-3)
Slim pickings here. ISU WR Jarvis West is the only one worth watching.
27. RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL - Friday, Dec. 28 - Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Rutgers (9-3)
Used to be known as the Champs Sports Bowl. Final game in Rutgers uniform for star LB Khaseem Greene.
For hardcore dreads watchers.
28. LAS VEGAS BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 22 - Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)
No sick dreads at all here; but freshmen Jay Ajayi (Boise State RB) and Shaq Thompson (UW S) look like future stars.
29. BCS TITLE GAME - Monday, Jan. 7 - Alabama (12-1) vs. Notre Dame (12-0)
I haven't followed ND at all this year, but I think they still have LB Ishaq Williams. The Tide, of course, will be featuring the best in reduced dreads, with RB Eddie Lacy, WR Kenny Bell (if he makes it back in time from injury), and S Robert Lester.
30. COTTON BOWL - Friday, Jan. 4 - Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)
A player with dreads will touch the ball on every offensive play for A&M; but after C Patrick Lewis snaps to Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, you'll have a hard time finding anybody else with dreads.
31. INDEPENDENCE BOWL - Friday, Dec. 28 - Ohio U (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Monroe (8-4)
Just like with Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, ULM's plays begin with a snap by a player with dreads - C Josh Allen; but nobody else on either of these teams figures to carry the ball.
32. MUSIC CITY BOWL - Monday, Dec. 31 - North Carolina State (&-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)
Would have been a great matchup a couple of years ago, but now the only sick dreads are on the head of VU DB Steven Clarke, who usually is on the sideline.
33. NEW MEXICO BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 15 - Arizona (7-5) vs. Nevada (7-5)
Less than a half dozen players with dreads on the two teams combined, and nobody with dreads long enough to notice.
34. ALAMO BOWL - Saturday, Dec. 29 - Oregon State (9-3) vs. Texas (8-4)
Only player with dreads on Texas roster - freshman QB Jalen Overstreet is redshirting, I presume. WR Markus Wheaton a great player for OSU, but his dreads are too short to see.
35. FIESTA BOWL - Thursday, Jan. 4 - Kansas State (11-1) vs. Oregon (11-1)
I've already scheduled myself to do my laundry on this night. The game probably will be the most exciting of them all; but as for the dreads, this is a disaster. Unless Coach Snyder changes his policy, K-State's players with dreads, including star RB John Hubert, will be wearing purple shower caps to hide their dreads. Only one worth watching for Oregon is WR Eric Dungy (photo below), but he only plays when Ducks lead by 5 touchdowns or more.
IN THE FCS
For all the coaching and game planning done to try to win games, sometimes all that matters is the way the ball bounces. That was the case last Saturday at Norfolk as Old Dominion's final season as a member of the FCS came to a frustrating end for players and fans (including me) of the team. You hardly deserve to win when your opponent rushes for more than 600 yards, but ODU would have pulled it off if only the ball had bounced their way, instead of in favor of Georgia Southern, on some critical plays in the 2nd half.
GSU vs. ODU II, a rematch of last year's 2nd round game won by Georgia Southern at home 55-48. And with another shootout almost a certainty, both offenses knew they needed to score touchdowns on every possession. ODU seemed to be in control, leading 35-21 going into the 4th quarter. But GSU finally made some plays on defense in the 4th, allowing the Eagles to finish the game on a 28-0 run and steal the game 49-35.
GSU punted only once in the 1st half, but they missed 2 FG attempts, allowing ODU to lead 21-14 at halftime. Not willing to risk another miss on their drive to begin the 2nd half, the Eagles came away empty anyway when a pass on 4th and 6 was incomplete. The Monarchs promptly went right down the field, 82 yards in 7 plays, with junior RB Colby Goodwyn's 6-yard TD run ending the drive and giving ODU a 2-score lead at 28-14. Knowing they needed to get going, the Eagles rushed for 44 yards on the first 4 plays of their next drive to reach the 16-yard line. But on the 5th play, as RB Devin Scott was about to score, he was stripped of the ball at the 2-yard line. The ball rolled into the end zone, with about eight players in pursuit. Junior S Paul Morant had the first chance for the FR for ODU but missed. Next up, sophomore CB Reggie Owens was right there, but the ball eluded him too. And as soon as it did, GSU junior RB Tray Butler pounced on it for a TD. At that point of the game - with 5:42 remaining in the 3rd - a turnover would have been devastating to GSU and might have put them down for the count. But instead it was 28-21.
ODU held serve, driving 74 yards in 8 plays and regaining a 14-point lead on senior WR Nick Mayers' 2nd TD catch of the game. GSU fumbled on a kickoff return for the 2nd time in the game, and for the second time they luckily recovered their own fumble to avoid disaster. From there it took the Eagles just 6 plays (all runs) to go 82 yards and pull back within 7 at 35-28. Right back came the Monarchs again, driving from their 21-yard line to the GSU 13. At that point ODU had scored on 4 straight possessions and were looking good to make in 5 in a row. But instead it all started going wrong.
On 3rd and 7 senior DE Dion DuBose made the play of the game for GSU, getting past his blocker and getting the sack and strip of 1st team all-America QB Taylor Heinicke. And once again GSU recovered
the fumble (of course). The Eagles then drove 79 yards to tie the game with 5:32 to play. The Eagles then broke serve again on ODU's next possession. Not willing to punt and trust his defense (I don't blame him) with less than 4 minutes to go, Coach Wilder decided to go for it on 4th and 6 from their own 39. But a pass was incomplete, and it took GSU just 3 plays to go the 39 yards, with sophomore RB Dominique Swope scoring his 2nd TD of the day on 12-yard run to put GSU ahead 42-35 with 2:36 to go. The Monarchs' collapse continued on the first play of their next possession, when a pass intended for Mayers was intercepted by senior S J.J. Wilcox at the ODU 35. And 7 plays after that GSU finished off the Monarchs for good, scoring a TD for the 5th consecutive time to make it 49-35 with :46 on the clock.
While GSU advances to the semifinals, ODU will be advancing to the FBS. They begin their transition in 2013 and so will not be eligible to go to a bowl game the next two seasons. The Monarchs are set to join CUSA and figure to be contenders there. With as much talent as there is in the southeast Virginia area, ODU should have no problem getting good players, and the program has an excellent chance to continue its success in the years ahead.
Just like ODU, Montana State had a revenge rematch at home against the team that eliminated them on the road last season. But not like ODU, the Bobcats were slaughtered in their loss (49-13) last December, so they probably weren't too eager for another crack at Sam Houston State. Home field and home cold (28 degrees) advantage did the Bobcats no good as SHSU dominated them again, leading 20-3 at halftime and going on to win 34-16. The Bearkats finished with a 458-292 advantage in total yards. As for the dreads, there aren't many on these two teams. Sam Houston State features the Taylor twins on defense. Senior LB Darius had 5 tackles (2-3), including 1.5 sacks, while senior S Darnell had an unusually low total of 3 tackles (1-2). For Montana State senior WR Everett Gilbert had 1 rush for 13 yards, 1 catch for 5 yards, and kickoff returns of 16 and 11 yards. Having now taken care of both Cal Poly and Montana State, SHSU sets their sights on the other the Big Sky tri-champion .....
..... Eastern Washington. EWU advanced to the semis with a 51-35 home win over Illinois State. Star senior WR Tyrone Walker's 40-yard TD reception helped ISU build a 17-10 lead in the 2nd quarter. But following a long kickoff return, the Eagles tied it on a 21-yard drive, with sophomore RB Quincy Forte rushing for the first 20 yards and then junior RB Demetrius Bronson scoring on a 1-yard run. EWU scored against just before halftime to take a 24-17 lead then upped it to 38-17 with 2 TD in a span of 15 seconds in the 3rd quarter. But ISU came roaring back with an 18-0 run of their own to close within 38-35. The momentum changed one final time on the Eagles' next possession, when they scored a 76-yard TD on a pass on 3rd and 9 to make it 44-35. Later a 57-yard run by Forte to the 7-yard line set up another TD midway through the 4th, and the Eagles held on.
You can forgive Bronson if he might have been a bit angry at his offensive linemen after the game. He carried the ball twice as many times as Forte but finished with 100 fewer yards (15 carries, 13 yards). For ISU , junior CB Dominic Clarke (growing his dreads back after transferring over from Ohio State) had 3 tackles (3-0), including a sack and strip to set up the FG that got that 18-0 run started. He also had 1 PBU and got his 1st INT of the season, a turnover the Redbirds failed to cash in. Junior DE Rickey Simpson also finished with 3 tackles (1-2); and Walker made the dread stars list on final time in his final game for ISU.
The other semifinalist is defending champ North Dakota State, a 14-7 winner at home over Wofford. The Bison took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in 10 plays, with junior RB Sam Ojuri rushing for 47 of the yards and finishing the drive with a 1-yard TD run. But points were hard to come by after that. A pick 6 tied the game in the 2nd quarter, but NDSU drove 97 yards late in the 2nd to regain the lead just before halftime and complete the scoring for the afternoon.
For the 2nd year in a row the West Division champ rallied from a big deficit to stun the East champ in the SWAC championship game. Last year it was Grambling scoring on an 80-yard pass and 66-yard fumble return to wipe out a 15-0 deficit and defeat Alabama A&M 16-15. This year, Arkansas-Pine Bluff used a long TD pass and a scoop-and-score to come back from a 21-7 deficit and win 24-21 in ovetime over Jackson State. JSU dominated the 1st half (270-78 in total yards), with senior WR Rico Richardson's 40-yard TD reception (photo below) opening the scoring at the end of an 80-yard, 6-play drive. Junior CB (and future NFL player?) Qua Cox got the ball back for the Tigers with his 5th INT of the season, and the Tigers immediately drove 79 yards in 8 plays to make it 14-0.
Of all the recent coaching changes the one I was keeping the closest eye on was at Tennessee. And with the hiring of former Cincinnati Coach Jones following the dismissal of Coach Dooley, we sincerely hope this marks the end of the dreads hating era in Knoxville. The addition of Jones comes as particularly good news to sophomore LB A.J. Johnson. He's the one who seemed to be the most reluctant to conform to the policy that forced you to keep your dreads under the helmet and out of sight as much as possible. In fact, it looked like A.J. declared dreads hating over himself for the Volunteers' Week 13 game against Kentucky (photo below), the first game after Dooley was ousted.
With only a handful of games this week, I was able to go back and do a quick review of the game recaps from Week 1. So this week's honors will include Week 1 as well as Week 15. And the dread gallery will also include a few photos from Week 5, the other week that I missed.
- Quincy Forte - Eastern Washington - 7 carries for 116 yards rushing, and had 7-yard reception in 51-35 FCS quarterfinal home W over Illinois State
- Tyrone Walker - Illinois State - 8 catches for 148 yards and 1 TD in 51-35 road L to Eastern Washington
- Nick Mayers - ODU - 10 receptions for 150 yards and 2 TD in 49-35 FCS quarterfinal home L to Georgia Southern
- Cordarrelle Patterson - Tennessee - 2 rushes for 72 yards, including 67-yard TD, and 6 catches for 93 yards, including 41-yard TD, in 35-21 W over North Carolina State
- Todd Gurley - Georgia - 100 yards and 2 TD rushing on 8 carries, and took kickoff return 100 yards to the house, in 45-23 home W over Buffalo
- DeAndre Hopkins - Clemson - 13 catches for 119 yards and 1 TD in 26-19 W over Auburn
- Tre Mason - Auburn - 14 carries for 106 yards rushing in 26-19 L to Clemson
- John Hubert -Kansas State - 12 carries for 152 yards rushing, including 95-yard TD (2nd longest run in school history), in 51-9 W over Missouri State
- Taylor Cox - Kansas - 121 yards and 1 TD rushing on 16 carries in 31-17 home W over South Dakota State
- Demarcus Rogers - New Mexico - 13 carries for 103 yards and 1 TD in 66-21 home W over Southern U
- Senorise Perry - Louisville - 16 carries for 108 yards, including 47-yard TD, in 32-14 home W over Kentucky
- Jerrell Rhodes - Memphis - 24 carries for career high 106 yards rushing and 1 TD (I'll forgive the 2 fumbles because they were not costly) in 20-17 home L to Tennssee-Martin
- Derrick Wells - Minnesota - named Big 10 defensive player of the week - had team high 8 tackles (6-2), 2 PBU, and 2 big INT (one in 4th quarter, the other in the 3rd OT), in 30-27 road W over UNLV in 3 overtimes
- Jamill Smith - Ball State - 7 catches for carer high 119 yards in 37-26 MAC home W over Eastern Michigan
- Nick Mayers - ODU - 6 catches for 134 yards in 57-23 home W over Duquesne
- Lennel Elmore - South Carolina State - 3 catches for 117 yards, including 72-yard TD, also rushed for 26 yards on 3 carries, in 33-6 road W over Georgia State
- Rob Jones - Delaware - 6 catches for 101 yards and 2 TD in 41-21 home W over West Chester
- Dominique Swope - Georgia Southern - 104 yards and 3 TD rushing on 13 carries in 58-0 home W over Jacksonville
- Demarcus Rouse - Presbyterian - 83 yards and 3 TD rushing on 8 carries in 45-10 home W over Brevard (who?)
- Caulton Ray - Western Illinois - 28 carries for 106 yards rushing and 2 TD in 23-15 home W over Butler
- Deonte Williams - Cal Poly - 109 yards rushing on 21 carries, and 2 catches for 15 yards and 1 TD in 41-14 home W over San Diego
- Trabis Ward - Tennessee State - 124 yards and 1 TD rushing on 28 carries, and had 25-yard reception, in 17-14 home W over FAMU
- Isidore Jackson - Bethune-Cookman - 21 carries for 123 yards rushing in 38-28 W over Alabama State
HOUSE OF DREAD
There were only 6 games on the schedule this week, but there were so many touchdowns by players with dreads in the Georgia Southern-ODU game that it likely would have taken HOD honors even if all the teams had played. 6 TD were scored by players with dreads in the end zone at ODU's S.B. Ballard Stadium in GSU's 49-35 quarterfinal victory in the FCS playoffs. WR Nick Mayers wrapped up his magnificent senior season with 2 more TD catches, from 5 and 8 yards out. Junior RB Colby Goodwyn added a 6-yard TD run for ODU. Sophomore RB Dominique Swope scored on runs of 5 and 12 yards for GSU, and junior RB Tray Butler had that crucial recovery of a teammate's fumble for a TD that saved the day for the Eagles.
In Week 1 the house of dread was the end zone at Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, where 4 TD by players with dreads were scored in Bethune-Cookman's 38-28 victory over Alabama State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. 3 ASU players accounted for the 4 TD. Sophomore RB Isaiah Crowell scored his 1st TD in an Alabama State uniform on a 2-yard run. Senior QB Greg Jenkins scored on runs of 5 and 3 yards. And senior WR T.C. McWilliams had a 39-yard TD reception.
This week's player of the week had only about one third of his team's rushing yardage for the game. But that's a good thing when your team rushes for 602 yards! Handling most of the runs up the middle in Georgia Southern's option offense, sophomore Dominique Swope racked up 186 yards rushing on just 22 carries in a 49-35 road W over ODU in the FCS quartefinals. Two of the carries went for touchdowns, including a 12-yarder with 2:36 remaining that put GSU ahead to stay.
Dominique surely would have gone over 200 yards if he hadn't missed the Eagles' 79-yard drive in the 4th quarter that tied the game after slightly injuring his leg on the previous drive. But he came back and was on the field at crunch time and finished up strong.
The head dread for Week 1 was none other than Clemson senior RB Andre Ellington, who put on quite a show at the Georgia Dome in a 26-19 victory over Auburn. Ellington scored no TD but nabbed ACC offensive back of the week honors anyway after rushing for a career high 231 yards on 26 carries. It was the 5th best rushing game in Clemson history.
Andre had a couple of highlight reel runs, on one of which he appeared to be tackled (photo below) for a short gain, only to stay on his feet without touching the ground and then racing away for a 58-yard gain. If you like, click on the link below for a video of the plays.
This concludes my reports for the regular season. I'll be working on my two all-America teams now, but those won't be ready until sometime in January. So I have no idea what my next post will be about. Maybe I'll finally get around to doing some NFL stuff. Stay tuned, please.