Dunkley (blurry photo above), who if things had gone according to plan would be playing at Florida instead of South Florida, finished with a game high 171 all purpose yards, including a 41-yard punt return that set up the Bulls' first 3 points of the night. With starting RB Marcus Shaw back from injury after missing the previous two games, reserve RBs Willie Davis and Darius Tice were back to being reserves. Davis rushed for 22 yards on 6 carries, while Tice ran 5 times for 13 yards. On defense, sick senior CBs Brandon Salinas and Fidel Montgomery both finished with 1 tackle (1-0). Montgomery also had 1 FR. With the Houston offense mostly in a 3 or 4-WR set, freshman CB Johnny Ward had a busy night, finishing with 7 tackles (4-3), 1 TFL, 1 PBU, and 1 FR - and also 1 face mask penalty (photo below) and 1 missed tackle on one of Houston's touchdowns.
Sometimes when you win, you thoroughly whip and thrash your opponent, dominating them from start to finish. And other times you win the way South Carolina did in Week 9. Coach Spurrier, still in disbelief moments after Missouri clanked a chip shot FG attempt off the left upright in the 2nd overtime, giving the Gamecocks a 27-24 victory, said, "The good Lord was smiling on the Gamecocks," into an ESPN microphone. He must have been, Coach, because very rarely does a team win when they trail 17-0 in the 4th quarter. Time after time throughout that 4th quarter and in overtime all Missouri needed to do was to make one play. But time after time they failed to do so, and as a result their dream of an undefeated season came to an end.
The SEC schedule maker certainly hasn't been smiling on the Gamecocks. During mid-October of last year South Carolina had to face LSU and Florida (both ranked in the top 10) on the road on consecutive Saturdays. This season the Gamecocks' big test came with three consecutive road games against conference opponents. Now I don't care how good or bad the opponents are, you should never ever in any conference have to play three conference road games back-to-back-to-back. With their SEC title hopes fading after a loss to Tennessee in the second of those 3 games, the Gamecocks somehow stayed alive, improving to 4-2 in the SEC East while dropping Missouri to 3-1.
South Carolina finished with a 498-404 advantage in total yards. Not a single one of the 902 combined yards was gained by anybody with dreads. That's nothing new for Missouri, where dreads have been sparse over the years. But it's certainly unusual for the Gamecocks. Not just this game, but this whole season so far nobody with dreads has touched the ball on offense for South Carolina. You have to go all the way back to 2004 - the year before Sidney Rice's first season in a Carolina uniform - to find the last time that has happened. Players who might have extended the streak this year - like WR Shamier Jeffery, TE Drew Owens, and WR Nick Jones - have all cut off the dreads they once were growing, leaving the Gamecocks to join (in shame) Missouri and Vanderbilt as the only dreads-free offenses in the SEC in 2013.
As you probably noticed, I did not do a report last week (please accept my apology). But if I had done one, I would have ended it this way: nobody's come close to beating Florida State; will it be any different with Miami? ......
The answer, of course, was an emphatic NO. After leading by only 7 at halftime, the Seminoles went on TD drives of 83 and 79 yards to start the 2nd half and went on to rout the Hurricanes 41-14 at Tallahassee in the first of what likely will be two meetings between the rivals this season. FSU had a huge 517-275 advantage in total yards, with both teams turning the ball over twice.
Leading 17-7 at the half at FAU, Tulane was looking good to go to 5-0 in CUSA. But then their offense suddenly turned into a bakery, producing lots of turnovers. An astounding 4 consecutive passes thrown by Tulane - in a span of 8 plays - were intercepted by the FAU D, and the Owls roared back for a 34-17 victory on homecoming. You can blame sick sophomore QB Devin Powell for only one of the INTs. He came in after starter Nick Montana threw the first pick at the 6:19 mark of the 3rd quarter but was back on the bench after his INT at 3:42 led to a 30-yard TD catch by junior WR William Dukes (photo below) two plays later, tying the game at 17.
With Rice also losing, Tulane is now in a 3-way tie for 1st place in CUSA West. FAU, despite a 3-6 record, still is very much alive in the bowl picture.
IN THE FCS
Not doing a report in Week 9 allowed me watch some of the early Saturday afternoon games in Week 10; and the one I was looking forward to seeing the most was the MEAC contest between Bethune-Cookman and North Carolina Central, a couple of teams with lots of sick dreads. But almost immediately I found out the game wasn't going to be as enjoyable as I had hoped because NCCU's starting WRs - sophomore Adrian Wilkins and senior Lamar Scruggs - were not in uniform due to injury. The Eagles were already a heavy underdog, and without Wilkins and Scruggs they got very little done on offense for most of the game, and B-C rolled to a 38-14 victory at Durham to improve to 8-1 NCCU dropped to 4-5.
The Wildcats dominated in total yards 594-137 and would have won by a much larger margin had they not been flagged for an astonishing 25 penalties for 232 yards. They also lost a TD in the 1st quarter when senior RB Isidore Jackson tried to reach the ball over the goal line but instead had it knocked out of his hands just before breaking the plane; NCCU recovered the fumble for a touchback. Jackson bounced back and made the dread stars list before the 1st half was over, rushing for 125 yards before the break and in the process becoming Bethune-Cookman's all-time leading rusher with 2,978 career yards (and counting).
Sophomore RB Deyonta Wright ended up being the only NCCU player with dreads to touch the ball. He finished with 17 yards on 7 carries. Four players with dreads made tackles for the NCCU D, including 3 each by freshman DT Darius Spruill (1-2) and sophomore LB Kris Johnson (1-2). Adding to my disappointment was the absence (due to injury) of sick LBs Anthony McIntyre and Rakeem Covington.
Johnson's first fumble came on a 2nd and goal play in the 2nd quarter, keeping the game tied at 14. The other one, early in the 4th, came on SFA's 2nd play after SHSU had taken a 35-28 lead, and it began a ridiculous stretch that saw the Lumberjacks turn the ball over 4 times in a span of 7 snaps in the first 2:33 of the 4th quarter. The Bearkats went on a 28-0 run to take a 56-28 lead and held on after SFA regrouped and came roaring back. Freshman LB Jordan Burton had 9 tackles (5-4) for SFA (now 3-6), including 1 TFL, and had 1 FF for SHSU's only turnover of the game. Star senior RB Timothy Flanders had an ordinary game for Sam Houston State (7-2), finishing with 68 yards and 1 TD rushing on 14 carries.
Mercifully for those fans they did not have to watch Gordon have a great game. In fact, he was held to a season low 62 yards rushing on 17 carries. But Gordon, a native of Kenosha, WI, and the Badgers got the last word, whipping the Hawkeyes 28-9, a result that delighted me to no end. Details from the Des Moines Register: http://www.hawkcentral.com/2013/11/02/wisconsin-player-win-ended-taunts-from-fans/
Paul, in fact, went for 132 yards on 7 catches; thankfully for Shaquille, he didn't have the coverage on Paul's 75-yard TD. Shaq ended up with 5 tackles (4-1). Arizona won 44-20.
Originally the two had expected to be teammates at UCLA but had to detour to other Pac 12 schools after making one of those really bad decisions in life that happen sometimes. The two cousins have been staying out of trouble ever since. Hopefully the next time they face each other it will be on a Sunday. The first link below is to an article about the two from the Denver Post before the game. Below that is a link to an article from the Arizona Daily Star featuring star RB Ka'Deem Carey but also includes a bit of info from the game on Shaq and Paul.
9. ..... And on the next play Jones makes the catch for the game-winning 2-point conversion, securing the ball tightly after a slight juggle, as S Christian Carpenter makes the hit too late. Trailing 31-10 in the 4th quarter, Delaware scored TDs at 11:26, :48, and :19 to come back and steal a huge 32-31 CAA road win over Towson. Jones finished with 5 catches for 74 yards as Delaware improved to 7-2. Towson fell to 8-2.
11. Star junior S Anthony Harris of Virginia leaps above star junior WR Sammy Watkins of Clemson and intercepts a deep pass at the UVA 7-yard line on 3rd and 8 late in 1st quarter. It was Harris' 6th INT of the season. I haven't mentioned the other 5 in any of my previous reports because I was not sure that he had converted his braids to dreads, as I suspected. But after seeing a shot of him on the sideline after this pick, I'm welcoming him to the house. Anthony also had 7 tackles (5-2) and 1 PBU in the game, but Virginia got blown out on their home field by Clemson 59-10.
- Sammy Watkins - Clemson - 8 receptions for 169 yards and 2 TD, including 96-yarder (longest play from scrimmage ever for Clemson in a road game), in 59-10 road W over Virginia
- Deontay Greenberry - Houston - 4 receptions for 106 yards, including 48-yard TD, in 35-23 home W over South Florida
- Travis Reynolds - Utah State - 8 receptions for career high 152 yards and 1 TD in 47-10 home W over Hawaii
- Tre Mason - Auburn - named SEC offensive player of the week - 32 carries for 168 yards rushing and 4 TD in 35-17 road W over Arkansas: http://www.auburntigers.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/110413aab.html
- Sammie Coates - Auburn - 3 receptions for 102 yards and 1 TD in Tigers' 5th straight W
- Devonta Freeman - Florida State - 78 yards and 2 TD rushing on 23 carries, and 6 receptions for 98 yards and 1 TD in 41-14 home W over Miami (F)
- John Hubert - Kansas State - 15 carries for 105 yards rushing and 2 TD in 41-7 home W over Iowa State
- Cam Boyd - ODU - 7 carries for 119 yards rushing, including 70-yard TD (longest run in school history), and 3 receptions for 52 yards in 66-14 home W over Rhode Island
- Victor Hampton - South Carolina - named SEC defensive player of the week - game high 8 tackles (6-2), 1 FF and 1 FR (on same play), 3 PBU, and also deflected a pass that was intercepted by teammate in 34-16 home W over Mississippi State
- James Baker - Idaho - 114 yards and 1 TD rushing on 24 carries in 37-21 home L to Texas State
- Darrin Reaves - UAB - 111 yards and 1 TD rushing on 27 carries in 24-21 home L to MTSU
- Joshua Stanford - Virginia Tech - 6 receptions for season high 171 yards in 34-27 road L to Boston College
- Isidore Jackson - Bethune-Cookman - 20 carries for 182 yards and 1 TD rushing, and 2 receptions for 14 yards in 38-14 road W over North Carolina Central - becomes school's all-time leading rusher with 2,978 career yards
- Joe Ferguson - San Diego - 15 carries for 125 yards rushing, and 16-yard TD reception in 58-14 road W at Valparaiso
- Tevin Allen - Illinois State - named MFVC co-defensive player of the week - career high 8 tackles (8-0), 1 TFL, 1 INT, and returned fumble 17 yards to the house for only TD of game in 13-3 home W over Northern Iowa: http://www.goredbirds.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/110313aaa.html
- Antwan Eddie - Robert Morris - named NEC co-defensive player of the week - 5 tackles (3-2), 1 PBU, and 2 INT in 24-3 home W over Bryant: http://www.rmucolonials.com/news/2013/11/4/FB_1104134901.aspx
- Jaamal Berry - Murray State - 21 carries for 134 yards rushing and 1 TD in 45-17 road L to Tennessee-Martin
- Kalif Phillips - UNC-Charlotte - 15 carries for 132 yards rushing and 1 TD in 50-25 road L to Coastal Carolina
- Morris Norisse - Sacramento State - 10 receptions for 100 yards in 51-48 home L in OT to Montana
WEEK 9 (one of the shortest dread stars list ever)
- Sammy Watkins - Clemson - school record 14 receptions for 163 yards in 40-27 road W over Maryland
- Ja-Mes Logan - Mississippi - 6 receptions for 122 yards, including TD of 37 and 65 yards, in 59-14 homecoming W over Idaho
- Marcus Johnson - Texas - 3 receptions for career high 120 yards, including 65-yard TD, in 30-7 road W over TCU
- Sammie Coates - Auburn - 3 receptions for 113 yards and 2 TD in 45-10 home W over FAU
- Terrence Magee - LSU - 108 yards and 2 TD rushing only 7 carries in 48-16 home W over Furman
- Tevin Reese - Baylor - 4 receptions for 110 yards and 2 TD (62, 25 yards) in 59-14 road W over Kansas
- Trevon Stewart - Houston - named AAC defensive player of the week - 10 tackles (6-4) and had 2 of the 6 turnovers forced by UH defense: an INT in 1st quarter and a FF and FR on same play in 2nd quarter, both of which set up TD, in 49-14 road W over Rutgers
- Jay Ajayi - Boise State - 23 carries for 151 yards rushing in 37-20 road L to BYU
- Adrian Wilkins - North Carolina Central - named MEAC special teams player of the week - 9 receptions for 105 yards and 1 TD, and took punt return 73 yards to the house in 24-10 road W over Savannah State
- Shepard Little - Eastern Illinois - 22 carries for 138 yards and 1 TD in big 34-16 road W over Tennessee State
- Malcolm Cyrus - Alabama State - 17 carries for 138 yards rushing in 31-7 W over Alabama A&M in Magic City Classic at Birmingham
- Tommy Gooden - Jackson State - 203 yards and 1 TD rushing on 20 carries in 51-38 home W over Prairie View A&M
- Ariane McCree - Jackson State - 12 tackles (7-5), including 4.5 TFL and a half sack as Tigers improve to 7-0 in the SWAC
HOUSE OF DREAD
All but one of the TD scored in Auburn's 35-17 road victory over Arkansas were by players with dreads, so the HOD award goes to the end zone at DWR Razorback Stadium at Fayetteville.
Junior RB Tre Mason had a TD run each each quarter for Auburn, from (in order) 9, 4, 5 (left photo above, in front of S Alan Turner), and 12 yards; and sophomore WR Sammie Coates scored on an 88-yard reception for the Tigers. Sophomore WR Keon Hatcher had a 13-yard TD reception (right photo) for the Razorbacks.
WEEK 9 (This could take a while)
Every week there are several games that have 3 TD scored by players with dreads. Thankfully every week there's always a couple of games that separate themselves from the pack and have 4 or more. But in Week 9 there were no games with 4 or more (for the first time ever in a full week, I think), so HOD honors go to the end zones at eight different stadiums (the host school will be in parenthesis):
At Floyd Stadium (MTSU), where MTSU won a thriller over Marshall 51-49, senior WR Kyle Griswould and sophomore WR Christian Collis each had a 16-yard TD catch for the Blue Raiders; junior WR Jazz King scored on a 39-yard reception (photo on left) for Marshall ..... At Kyle Field (Texas A&M), where Texas A&M routed Vanderbilt 56-24, a couple of Aggies accounted for the three TD: senior WR Derel Walker scored on receptions of 8 and 14 yards, while sophomore RB Brandon Williams capped the scoring with a 7-yard TD run ..... At the Alamodome (UTSA), in UTSA's 52-31 victory over UAB, junior WR Earon Holmes had a 17-yard TD catch for the Roadrunners, while junior RB Darrin Reaves scored on a 21-yard reception and 18-yard run for UAB .....At Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn), the Tigers defeated FAU 45-10, and the 3 TD were scored by junior RB Tre Mason (8-yard run) (photo on right) and sophomore WR Sammie Coates (36 and 67-yard receptions) ..... At Buccaneer Field (Charleston Southern) junior WR Chris Theodore had a 14-yard TD reception for CSU in a 36-14 victory over UNC-Charlotte. Freshman RB Kalif Phillips scored on runs of 7 and 14 yards for UNCC ..... At Strawberry Stadium (Southeastern Louisiana), in the Lions' 56-34 victory over Lamar, sophomore RB Xavier Roberson had TD runs of 10 and 2 yards for Southeastern, while junior WR Mark Roberts (the transfer from Houston) scored on a 40-yard reception for Lamar .... And at Doak Campbell Stadium (Florida State), in FSU's 49-17 victory over North Carolina State, sophomore WR Kelvin Benjamin scored on a 39-yard reception (photo on left) for the Seminoles, while junior RB Devonta Freeman had TD runs of 11 and 4 yards, also for FSU ..... And the eighth and final HOD was a solo effort turned in by the Week 9 player of the week.
Georgia fans could only watch and think about what might have been while watching sophomore RB Todd Gurley during the 1st quarter of the Bulldogs' 23-20 win over Florida - as in what might have been had Gurley not injured his ankle in Week 5 and missed the next three games. Most likely the Bulldogs would be ranked in the top 10 and headed for an SEC East division title. Instead they dropped 2 of the 3 games he missed (and were lucky to win the one game they did) to put their SEC title hopes in jeopardy.
Finally healthy and back in action against the Gators, Gurley wasted no time making his presence felt, accounting for 47 of the 75 yards on Georgia's game-opening 7-play, 75-yard drive and finishing the drive with a 5-yard TD run; and then gaining all 77 yards on the Bulldogs' 2nd possession, including a 73-yard catch and run for a TD (top photo). Unfortunately his body must not have been ready for that 73-yard sprint because Todd wasn't feeling too good after it and had to leave the game for a while. But he was in the game at crunch time, carrying 8 times for a couple of first downs on a 15-play drive that allowed the Bulldogs to keep the ball for the final 8:17 of the game and hold on for the win. Gurley finished with 100 yards rushing on 17 carries, 3 catches for 87 yards, and the 2 TD. For more on how Gurley helped UGA defeat Florida for the 3rd straight year, here's an article from the Athens Banner Herald:
Just as with Melvin Gordon, I was very thankful and very happy when WR Deontay Greenberry pulled a surprise on National Signing Day. Instead of signing with Notre Dame (to whom he had made an oral commitment) the Fresno, CA native became the first ever 5-star recruit to sign with Houston. You see, I grew up in a home where we didn't like Notre Dame very much (you probably could call it hate), and I didn't want to see him doing well for ND. He certainly is doing very well in his sophomore season for the Cougars, turning in his best performance so far in an eye-opening 49-14 road victory over Rutgers.
UH let it be known emphatically that you can include them as serious contenders for the AAC title, and Greenberry was a big reason why, claiming both head dread and house of dread honors. He finished with 8 receptions for a career high 168 yards and 3 TD. The first of the three, a 10-yarder in the 1st quarter (right photo and video on link below) was one for the highlight reel. His second was a career-longest 83-yard reception that put UH ahead to stay 21-14 midway through the 2nd; and he completed the afternoon's scoring with a 5-yard TD catch early in the 4th. Keep this up Deontay, and you'll be playing on Sundays sooner rather than later. The win improved the Cougars to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the AAC.
Well. obviously by now all the Week 11 games have been played. Hope you enjoyed them.
As you probably have figured out over the years, I try to get my weekly reports on college football posted before the next week's Saturday games begin. Before this season I was pretty good at accomplishing that. This year I've been a little late with the posts, and I'm sorry for that.
I didn't do a report last week and am very late with this report because the past couple of weeks I have been slowed by an extremely aggravating and (at times) very painful health issue. After wondering for days what was wrong, I think I have figured out the problem. If it's the recurrence of a previous condition as I think, I'll be fine shortly. But if I'm wrong and have to go see the doctor ..... well, I really, really don't want to do that. Anyway, please bear with me, because at this point I have no idea if I'll have future posts done on time or not.