Not surprisingly he struggled a bit, rushing for 47 yards on 18 carries in the Gators' 21-16 road loss to Miami. The Gators held a huge advantage in total yards 413-212, but a -4 turnover margin - including a fumble by Jones - did them in. But Jones remains #1 on the UF depth chart at RB; and with the Gators appearing to be not all that great at passing the ball, they're going to be counting on Matt for a lot of yards.
At LSU junior Terrence Magee (photo on right) starred in Week 1; but with starting RB Jeremy Hill back from suspension this week, Magee had only 4 carries for 7 yards in the Tigers' 56-17 home-opening win over UAB. Magee rushed for 133 yards as a freshman in 2011 but had no yards rushing at all last season, so I'm not expecting big things from him. But Coach Miles likes to use a lot of running backs; and with his 95-yard game against TCU in Week 1 he showed he can get the job done when called upon. Hopefully he'll be called upon again as the season moves along.
Although it may seem so, the SEC does not hold a monopoly on talented freshmen running backs with dreads. I'm also excited about what's happening for a couple of teams in the ACC. I did not watch the Virginia Tech-Alabama game in Week 1, only the highlights. And when I saw Trey Edmunds break free for a 77-yard TD run late in the 1st quarter, I wasn't thinking dreads. I was thinking that maybe Alabama's defense won't be as good as usual this year. It wasn't until I went through the game recap that I found out that Edmunds does have dreads - dreads too short to be seen with his helmet on, but dreads nonetheless. Or are they? It wasn't that long ago that Edmunds had his hair in braids; but it certainly looks like he has made a successful conversion over to dreads, so I have welcomed him into the house. Hopefully he's here to stay, but I'll continue to monitor the situation to make sure he truly does have dreads. If you click on the link below, there's a video that includes a recent interview of Edmunds, so you can decide for yourself. It's between the 15:15 and 18:00 marks of the video.
Edmunds did not make a 2nd straight appearance on the dread stars list, as he finished with 68 yards and 2 TD rushing on 15 carries in a 45-3 home-opening romp over Western Carolina. Not only Edmunds, the Hokies have another freshman RB with dreads - Chris Mangus, whose dreads are long enough that you can see them. Mangus had 84 yards rushing against WCU, including a 76-yard run for his 1st career TD. On a team seriously lacking in dreads in recent years, it's a very pleasant surprise to see Edmunds and Mangus carrying the ball for Virginia Tech.
Revenge no doubt was very sweet for the Georgia Bulldogs last Saturday - not just for last season's loss to South Carolina, but for losses the last three seasons in a row. But especially for last year. You may recall the Bulldogs took a 5-0 record to Columbia last October - and suffered a humiliating 35-7 defeat at the hands of the Gamecocks. The Bulldogs were totally shut down by the Carolina defense, finishing with a puny 224 total yards and needing a late garbage time TD just to avoid being shut out. The futility endured that night is what makes last Saturday's 41-30 victory over the Gamecocks so satisfying for the Bulldogs and their fans.
It was a complete 180 from last year's game, as the Bulldogs offense absolutely shredded the supposedly very good Carolina defense, racking up 536 total yards, punting just twice, and running 76 plays with no turnovers. Being dominated like that didn't sit very well with the Gamecocks, Coach Spurrier was unhappy after the game. Jadeveon Clowney was complaining after the game. Heck - you've probably seen the highlight by now - it was so bad that a couple of Gamecock defensive assistant coaches were quarreling so intensely that they actually wanted to fight each other, right there on the sideline while the game was going on. I mean, if that didn't make your day, UGA fans, nothing did. After South Carolina got a FG on their opening drive, the Dawgs took all of 2 minutes to answer, driving 65 yards in 6 plays to take make it 7-3. Georgia went on to score on their first three possessions to up the lead to 17-3; but the Gamecocks came back, and the teams went into the locker room at halftime tied at 24. After going three-and-out to start the 2nd half, the Bulldogs again had three consecutive scoring drives to build a 41-30 lead. And after a goal line stand by the Bulldogs' D maintained the lead, the offense stayed on the field for the final 8:28 of the game, driving from their own 1 and reaching the Carolina 18 when the clock ran out.
The highlight of the game for me, of course, came on a play early in the 2nd quarter. Star sophomore RB Todd Gurley has dreads that don't extend very far outside of his helmet yet. So if you're at the game, they're kind of hard to see. But nobody had any problem seeing them on this play (video on link below), because he had his helmet ripped off his head by a South Carolina D-lineman trying to keep him from picking up the first down on 3rd and 4. Gurley stayed on his feet and kept running without his helmet (photos above), although by (bad) rule the play was whistled dead as soon as it came off.
Gurley let the Bulldogs' other sophomore RB with dreads, Keith Marshall, finish the drive - with a 6-yard TD reception two plays later to make the score 17-3. Marshall finished the game with 112 total yards (58 rushing, 54 receiving) on just 9 touches before leaving due to injury. Gurley made the dread stars list for the 2nd straight week. And sick junior LB Ramik Wilson had 9 tackles (4-5) and 1 PBU.
For South Carolina sophomore LB Kaiwan Lewis had 12 tackles (5-7), but only 1 was a TFL. Junior CB Victor Hampton had 3 tackles (2-1), junior S Sharrod Golightly had 2 tackles (2-0) and 1 PBU. And Clowney, the superstar DE, had 3 tackles (2-1), including 2 TFL, one of which his 1st sack of the season (photos above). The thing that made him so upset was that the majority of Georgia's running plays were directed away from his side of the formation. He suggested after the game that maybe the game plan should include him lining up in different places in the formation instead of always at right DE. I understand his frustration. He needs to play well, and the Carolina defense needs to have success in order for him to maintain his place at the top of next year's NFL draft. And giving up 536 yards ain't cutting it.
One of the biggest victories during Kent State's rise to the top of the MAC standings last season was a 31-24 road victory over Bowling Green in Week 12. Well, Bowling Green paid back KSU last Saturday, going on the road and whipping the Golden Flashes 41-22. With Coach Hazell moving on to Purdue, it's starting to look like the 2012 Flashes were a one-hit wonder. This season began with a too close for comfort 17-10 victory over Liberty, and now this. But before we start putting nails in their coffin, it should be noted that they've been without their best player, sensational senior RB Dri Archer, who injured an ankle early against Liberty and did not play this week. Junior RB Trayion Durham was shut down by a BGSU defense that has been downright dominating so far, finishing with only 24 yards rushing on 11 carries. Star senior S BooBoo Gates had 5 tackles (5-0) and 1 TFL for the Falcons. Junior LB D.J. Lynch had 3 tackles (3-0), including his 1st sack of the season; and sophomore RB Travis Greene followed up last week's 88-yard game by making his first-ever appearance on the dread stars list.
Senior WR Travis Reynolds caught 4 passes for a career high 59 yards and 1 TD (left photo above), and JC transfer WR Ronald Butler's first catch in a Utah State uniform went for a 23-yard TD (right photo above) as the Aggies made an impressive debut in the MWC, whipping Air Force on the road 52-20 ..... Minnesota senior LB Aaron Hill had a team-leading 10 tackles (7-3), with 1 TFL, and took a fumble return 50 yards to the house in a 44-21 road victory over New Mexico State ..... Marshall senior CB Monterius Lovett took an INT (the 6th of his career) return 70 yards to the house (photo below) for his 1st career TD in a 55-0 slaughter of Gardner-Webb ..... And with the starters sitting for most of the day, Clemson junior WR Sammy Watkins did not make the dread stars list, finishing with 3 catches for 19 yards; but junior WR Martavis Bryant, who struggled last week, had 4 catches for 87 yards as the Tigers blasted South Carolina State 52-13.
IN THE FCS
Alabama State went 61 yards in 5 plays after receiving the opening kickoff; and when junior RB Isaiah Crowell then ran 84 yards for a TD on the first play of their next possession, the Hornets had a 14-0 lead over Jackson State. And the rout was on ..... Not quite. The Tigers tied the game up before the 1st quarter was over and from there made just enough plays to pick up a 30-23 home win in a key early-season game in the SWAC. With Rico Richardson and E.J. Drewery graduated, I didn't see a lot of sick dreads in Jackson State uniforms (although I watched only the 2nd half). The Tigers do have a couple of key players with shorter dreads - sophomore LB Ryan Griffin (left photo below) had 10 tackles (5-5), 1 TFL, and an INT in the game; and NFL-bound (at least he thinks he is) senior CB Qua Cox finished with 1 tackle (1-0) and a key PBU on a deep pass that looked like it was going to be a 98-yard TD. A sack in the end zone on the next play increased JSU's lead to 30-23, and the Tigers proceeded to keep the ball for the final 4:30 of the game.
Crowell (photo below) wasn't done after his long run, averaging 5.6 yards on his other 17 carries but he didn't score again. Malcolm Cyrus, ASU's other junior RB with dreads, ran for 32 yards on 7 carries. Senior LB Leland Baker finished with 7 tackles (2-5); and sick sophomore S Najee Bright (right photo above) had 9 tackles (5-4), 1 FR, and 1 PBU. An early loss to Jackson State last year haunted Alabama State for most of the season; and it looks like more of the same this season, as they'll need JSU to lose at least twice (don't bet on it) to finish 1st in the SWAC East.
Legaux is a true senior, so he'll be able to come back for a redshirt senior season either next year or even in 2015 if he's not recovered yet in time for next season. Get well ASAP, Munchie.
Legaux's injury, oddly enough, may open the door for another QB with dreads, as redshirt freshman Bennie Coney - ready or not - moves up to #2 on the UC depth chart.
- Alex Collins - Arkansas - 172 yards and 1 TD rushing on 24 carries in 31-21 home W over Samford
- Tevin King - Louisiana Tech - 20 carries for 182 yards rushing in 27-14 home W over Lamar
- Todd Gurley - Georgia - 30 carries for 132 yards and 2 TD rushing in 41-30 home W over South Carolina
- Rannell Hall - UCF - 4 receptions for 127 yards in 38-0 road W over FIU
- Tevin Reese - Baylor - 4 catches for 130 yards, including 61-yard TD, as Bears racked up school record 781 total yards in 70-13 home W over Buffalo
- Darius Joseph - SMU - 12 receptions for 113 yards, including game-winning 4-yard TD (photo) with 12 seconds remaining in thrilling 31-30 home W over Montana State
- Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin - 140 yards and 1 TD rushing on only 9 carries in 48-0 home W over Tennessee Tech
- Travis Greene - Bowling Green - 24 carries for 145 yards and 1 TD rushing in 41-22 road W over Kent State
- Vintavious Cooper - East Carolina - 95 yards and 1 TD rushing on 20 carries, and 5 catches for 49 yards in 31-13 home W over FAU
- Ryan Jackson - Houston - 109 yards and 1 TD rushing on 22 carries in 22-13 road W over Temple
- Deontay Greenberry - Houston - 14 receptions for 165 yards as Cougars take first-ever game in the AAC
- Damante Horton - Washington State - named Pac-12 defensive player of the week - 4 tackles (3-1), including 2 TFL, and had 2 INT, the first of which he took 70 yards to the house late in 2nd quarter for WSU's only TD of the game, the second of which (photo) ended USC's last drive of game with 2:18 to play in 10-7 road W over USC
- Za'Darius Smith - Kentucky - 6 tackles (4-2), including 3 sacks for 25 yards lost, in 41-7 home W over Miami (Ohio)
- Joe Ferguson - San Diego - 15 carries for 156 yards, including 55-yard TD, and 3 catches for 15 yards and 1 TD in 38-35 home W over Western New Mexico
- Rob Jones - Delaware - 3 catches for 43 yards and 2 TD, and took punt return 62 yards to the house in 42-21 home W over Delaware State
- Isaiah Crowell - Alabama State - 18 carries for 179 yards, including 84-yard TD, in 30-23 road L to Jackson state
- Tromaine Dennis - Northern Colorado - 102 yards and 2 TD rushing on 26 carries in 41-36 home L to Colorado State-Pueblo
- Timothy Flanders - Sam Houston state - named SLC offensive player of the week - 19 carries for 170 yards and 2 TD rushing, and 1 catch for 33-yard TD in 65-28 road L to Texas A&M
HOUSE OF DREAD
The final name on the dread stars list is huge. Timothy Flanders, one of the best running backs in the FCS, has started growing dreads (!) after not having them in his first three seasons at SHSU. His 3 touchdowns help carry the end zone at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, to this week's HOD award. 4 TD by players with dreads were scored in Texas A&M's 65-28 victory over Sam Houston State. Flanders' TD were on runs of 11 and 68 yards and a 33-yard reception. The other TD was a 10-yard reception by A&M sophomore RB Brandon Williams. With Flanders now growing dreads, don't be surprised if SHSU games take another HOD award or two this season.
The player of the week for Week 2 is Fresno State senior WR Isaiah Burse. Last week Burse had a lot of catches but no TD. This week he catches just 4 passes and takes the head dread. Huh? Well, in addition to his 4 receptions for 43 yards, including a 15-yard TD in the 2nd quarter (first photo below), Isaiah also earned MWC special teams player of the week honors after taking 2 punt returns to the house.
His first punt return TD, a 61-yarder (photo below), was one of the best you'll ever see because he had to get past at least 6 defenders with only one teammate blocking for him. Take a look: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9649001
His 2nd return to the house was a 58-yarder (photo below) with just 30 seconds remaining in the 1st half, and it increased Fresno State's lead to 34-0. The Bulldogs went on to defeat Cal Poly 41-25.
Keep playing like this, Isaiah, and the NFL will come calling.
There aren't really a lot of games that stand out this week as far as dreads are concerned. I'm not really sure what games I will watch. I probably will catch some of Mississippi State-Auburn and Marshall-Ohio. We'll see.