Thursday, November 28, 2013

College FB '13 Dread News - Week 12

In Week 6 they trailed at Memphis 17-10 with less than 3 minutes to play ..... They won 24-17. Two weeks later they trailed at Louisville by 4 with less than 30 seconds remaining .....  They won 38-35. In Week 11 they led by 5 with 40 seconds to go, but Houston had the ball 1st and goal at their 10-yard line ..... They won 19-14. And in Week 12 at Philadelphia they trailed Temple 36-29 with less than 2 minutes on the clock ..... Of course, they won 39-36. By now you likely have figured out that "they" are the Central Florida Knights. And being a fan of the 2013 Knights means you better not have a weak heart. UCF's latest escape act kept them undefeated in the AAC (5-0) and moved them another step closer to the AAC's automatic bid to one of the major bowl games.

Don't even think about saying that UCF is lucky. When the Knights have needed to make a play, they've gone out and done it, and there's nothing lucky about that. Making a lot of those plays have been their four standout receivers. Two of the four have dreads, but for a moment it looked like neither was going to be of any help this week. Sophomore Breshad Perriman wasn't even in uniform while recovering from a concussion suffered in the Knights' previous game. And it looked like junior Rannell Hall (photo below) would join him on the sideline after being injured in the 2nd quarter against Temple. But Hall wasn't out for long, and that was a very good thing for UCF.



After Temple scored a TD and 2-point conversion to take a 36-29 lead with 2:04 to go (the 9th lead change of the game), the Knights knew it was time to get serious. Believing the Owls didn't have any DB that could cover Hall, the Knights threw passes to Hall on the first three plays following the kickoff - for gains of 20, 8, and 12 yards to move the ball to the 30-yard line. Then the Knights made one of those plays I was talking about, tying the game on a spectacular, one-handed catch by WR J.J. Worton (photo below) for a 30-yard TD with 1:06 remaining.
From there Temple proceeded to show exactly why they are a 1-8 team. When it comes time to win the game, they just can't do it. They made just one first down on the ensuing drive and ended up punting. UCF took possession at their own 30-yard line with only 19 seconds go. But before you even had a chance to say the word "overtime", there was Hall inexplicably being allowed to get open deep behind the Temple secondary. The catch and run was good for a 64-yard gain before Rannell was finally tackled at the 6-yard line (photo below). Two plays later the Knights kicked an easy 23-yard FG to win it. 
With just those 4 catches in the final 2 minutes Hall had enough yards to make the dread stars list; but he already had close to 100 yards in the 58 minutes before that, and his 200+ total yards for the day nearly earned him the head dread award for the week (he finished 2nd). If you like, you can hear Rannell talk about the victory in this brief interview: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/blogs/knights-notepad/os-ucf-rannell-hall-boost-knights-20131116,0,1997965.post
The Knights started three DBs with dreads - junior S Clayton Geathers led the team with 9 tackles (9-0) and had 1 TFL; junior CB Jordan Ozerities had 5 tackles (3-2) and freshman CB Shaquill Griffin had 1 tackle (1-0) and 1 PBU. 
Temple has 5 players with dreads on their roster, four of whom are freshmen. I really like the sick dreads of WR Nate Hairston, but he had no stats in this game. We'll likely be hearing from him much more in the seasons ahead. Senior CB Zamel Johnson finished with 3 tackles (3-0) but left early due to injury. Even though he was beaten by Worton for a 4-yard TD in the 2nd quarter (photo above), no doubt his not being on the field made things easier for UCF in crunch time.
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Houston and Louisville had to be at least a little disappointed when they took the field to face each other. Having both lost to UCF (the only AAC loss for both), the Cougars and Cardinals need UCF to lose twice to have any shot at the AAC crown, and watching the Knights escape yet again earlier in the day must have been exasperating. Once the game began the exasperation continued for Houston, mostly on offense, in a 20-13 loss at Louisville. Star sophomore WR Deontay Greenberry left the game in the 1st quarter with a concussion, and the Cougars didn't get much done without him, finishing with 195 total yards (only 41 in the 2nd half). Sophomore RB Ryan Jackson accounted for 66 of the 195, leading UH with 46 yards rushing on 13 carries and catching 2 passes for 20 yards.

The 2013 all-America with dreads team very possibly will include a safety from both of these teams. Junior Calvin Pryor, a 3rd team selection on last year's team (tackling Jackson in top left photo) finished with 5 tackles (4-1) and 1 PBU for Louisville, while sophomore Trevon Jackson (bottom left photo) had 12 tackles (10-2), 1 TFL, and 1 FR for Houston. Also of importance from the game is that I was able to confirm the return of Roy Philon's dreads. The senior DT cut off the first edition of his dreads before last season; but after seeing him with his helmet off when he suffered an injury in the 3rd quarter, I got the proof that I needed that his dreads are back. Philon (#93, celebrating his sack with junior DE Lorenzo Mauldin in photo below) almost made the dread stars list, finishing with 7 tackles (6-1), 3.5 of which were TFL. Mauldin also had a sack and finished with 5 tackles (4-1) along with a costly roughing the passer penalty on a late 2nd quarter drive that ended with Houston kicking a FG to lead 13-10 at the half. Now at 9-1 (5-1 in the AAC), Louisville remains alive in the AAC (but time is running out). Houston (7-3, 4-2) falls out of the race.
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Georgia's trash is Auburn's quarterback?
It's impossible not to notice that Nick Marshall (1,530 yards passing, 823 yards rushing) has been a big part of Auburn's rise-from-the-ashes season. But until CBS showed a clip of him in a Georgia uniform making a tackle against Auburn two years ago while playing as a DB, I had no idea he once was a Bulldog. It turns out he was dismissed from the team after his freshman year in 2011; and after spending his sophomore season in junior college, he arrived at Auburn as a QB ..... And now the Tigers are 10-1 and making things very uncomfortable for Alabama. The Tigers will host the Crimson Tide in Week 14, and it will be winner take all for the SEC West title. It didn't look like we would get to this point because it didn't look like Auburn would get to 10-1. But the Tigers pulled out a 43-38 home victory over Georgia with a finish that won't soon be forgotten by anyone who saw it.
Marshall's 6-yard TD run (photo above) gave Auburn a 20-7 lead midway through the 2nd quarter, and when the Tigers kicked a FG with 12:39 to go in the 4th, the lead was 20 at 37-17. But the Bulldogs roared back, going on consecutive TD drives of 75, 56, and 45 yards to take a 38-37 lead with 1:49 to play. And when Marshall was sacked on 3rd and 12 with 36 seconds remaining, the Tigers pretty much needed a miracle.














Marshall heaved a pass deep downfield and it had no chance of being completed. Two Georgia DBs were in position to knock the pass down (which is what you're supposed to do when it's 4th down); but ..... well, sometimes miracles happen. Instead of knocking the ball down, the two defenders bumped into each other (left photo) and deflected the pass further downfield, where WR Ricardo Louis, paying attention and not giving up on the play, was able to locate the ball, make the catch (right photo), and cruise into the end zone for a ridiculous 73-yard TD with :25 on the clock. For real, I was shouting in amazement after seeing the play. I imagine a few Georgia fans were shouting too, but you probably wouldn't be able to print what they were shouting.
Just about every player on the Georgia defense had the same reaction as junior LB Ramik Wilson (photo above) - stunned disbelief - after a certain victory suddenly turned into a defeat that eliminated the Bulldogs from the SEC East race. For Wilson personally, it meant that all of his hard work went for naught. He ended up with 18 tackles (12-6), 2 TFL, and 1 sack - a performance that almost earned him a spot on the dread stars list.


There were two players who did make the dread stars list, and they were the two most likely to - sophomore RB Todd Gurley of Georgia and junior RB Tre Mason of Auburn. But even with that, it was still disappointing because I was expecting them to make this game a serious contender for this week's house of dread award and they only scored 1 TD each - Gurley on a 9-yard run (photo above) for the Bulldogs' 1st TD of the game, and Mason on a 24-yard run (photo on right) that made the score 27-7. Gurley and Mason got no help from anybody else either. Junior WR Chris Conley had 2 catches for 24 yards for Georgia, and Auburn sophomore WR Sammie Coates had 4 catches for 39 yards, but neither of them scored. 
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Another game that had fewer TD by players with dreads than I was hoping for was Troy at Mississippi, especially with Rebels senior RB Jeff Scott back in action after missing 3 games. But this game too had only 2 TD by players with dreads - none by anyone you would expect. Ole Miss racked up a school record 751 total yards in their 51-21 victory, but incredibly only 1 of them was gained by senior WR Ja-Mes Logan - on 1 reception. Scott gained 79 total yards but didn't take anything to the house either. Instead it was freshman WR Quincy Adeboyejo (photos above) with his 1st TD in an Ole Miss uniform on a 24-yard reception that made the score 44-7 in the 3rd quarter. With Logan graduating after this season, it's good to see that the Rebels will still have a WR with dreads with a chance to score touchdowns in the seasons ahead.
The other TD scored by a player with dreads came in the final minute of the game and was the 2nd TD of the season by Troy sophomore RB Daron White on a 1-yard run. Sick senior WR Chris Williams didn't score but thankfully ended his monthlong fling with reduced dreads. He had his dreads flowing freely and looking awesome (photo above) as he caught 3 passes for 17 yards. Defensively for the Trojans sophomore CB Chris Davis was picked on early and often, giving up three big completions (one of them in photo below) in the 1st quarter. He finished with 3 tackles (2-1) - on plays that gave up 78 yards - before leaving due to injury. Junior CB Ethan Davis had 2 tackles (2-0), 1 PBU, and 1 FR. And freshman LB Terris Lewis had 3 tackles (3-0) and got his 1st career INT.
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Almost immediately after Northern Illinois RB Cameron Stingily was named the head dread for Week 6 I noticed that his dreads disappeared. I searched Google for any mention that he had cut them off; but there was nothing there nor anything mentioned on his Twitter account. So for a while I was holding out hope that he only had reduced his dreads and was hiding them. But unfortunately a couple of weeks later I saw that they indeed are gone altogether. Ditto for Wyoming S Marqueston Huff, who was having a senior season worthy of consideration for the all-America with dreads team until he suddenly cut his dreads off (by himself) recently. And you won't see Sacramento State WR Morris Norisse on this week's dread stars list despite his 7 catches for 126 yards against Portland State. I wish I had checked this sooner (like 2 years ago), but in a video I saw for the first time this week of an interview he did last year, it's obvious that he actually has loose-hanging braids instead of dreads. I'm not going to erase all his previous appearances on the list, but please note he shouldn't have been included.
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ELSEWHERE 

Junior CB Bradley Roby (photo on left) had 6 tackles (4-2), 1 PBU, and returned his 3rd INT of the season 63 yards for his 2nd TD of the season as Ohio State improved to 10-0 with a 60-35 win at Illinois ..... Sophomore CB Trae Waynes had 5 tackles (4-1), 1 PBU, and 1 key FR at the Nebraska 3-yard line to set up a TD as Michigan State improved to 9-1, defeating Nebraska for the first time ever (they were 0-7 previously), 41-28 ..... Junior CB Victor Hampton (5-1) and junior LB Sharrod Golightly (3-3) tied for the team lead with 6 tackles each, and junior DE Jadeveon Clowney added 5 tackles (3-2), including 2 TFL, as South Carolina improved to 8-2, rallying from a 14-6 halftime deficit to defeat Florida 19-14 ..... Freshman RB Paul Perkins almost made the dread stars list, finishing with 86 yards rushing along with 2 catches for 21 yards as UCLA improved to 8-2, defeating Washington 41-31 ..... Sophomore CB Leviticus Payne got his 1st INT in a Cincinnati uniform on the first snap of the day for the Bearcats' defense and added 6 tackles (4-2), and sophomore WR Chris Moore had 4 catches for 75 yards and his 6th and 7th TD of the season as the Bearcats, who scored 3 points in losses to Rutgers in each of the last two seasons, scored 52 this season in a 52-17 win at Rutgers to improve to 8-2 .....
Junior S Quentin Hayes and freshman CB Dakota Austin both got their 1st career INT for Oklahoma in a 48-10 home win over Iowa State ..... Senior LB Derrick Webb had 10 tackles (10-0) and 1 TFL as Colorado snapped a 14-game losing streak against Pac-12 opponents with a 41-21 home win over California ..... Senior S Thomas Gordon (photo on right) had 7 tackles (3-4), 1 TFL, 1 PBU, and got his 3rd INT of the season on the last play of the game in the 3rd overtime as Michigan won (barely) at Northwestern 27-19 ..... Senior S Aaron Matthews had a career high 14 tackles (6-8) for Texas State - his 2nd straight game with a career high (13 last week), but the Bobcats lost 38-21 at Arkansas State ..... Senior DT Isame Faciane, whose previous career high was 6 tackles, had 12 tackles (5-7) for FIU, but the Panthers lost at UTEP 33-10 ..... And Senior DE Will Clarke had a team high 10 tackles (9-1), including 2 TFL, but the Mountaineers lost at Kansas 31-19 as the Jayhawks ended their 27-game losing streak in Big 12 games. ............ SENIOR DAYS ..... On senior day at ODU, senior RB Colby Goodwyn oddly did not get the chance to carry the ball, settling for 1 tackle (0-1) on special teams; senior S Paul Morant had a team high 9 tackles (2-7) and 1 PBU; senior DT Nate Barnes had 1 tackle (1-0) and blocked a FG attempt; and sick senior WR Marquel Thomas had 4 catches for 31 yards as the Monarchs improved to 8-3, defeating Campbell 42-14 ..... On senior night at Kent State, senior RB Dri Archer rushed for 83 yards and 1 TD on 12 carries in a 24-6 win over Miami (Ohio) ..... On senior night at Bowling Green, senior S BooBoo Gates had 5 tackles (4-1) and returned his 2nd INT of the season 82 yards to set up a short TD drive for the final points of the game in a 49-0 blowout of Ohio U ..... On senior day at East Carolina, senior LB Derrell Johnson finished with 7 tackles (1-6) and got his 1st career INT (photo below) as the Pirates improved to 8-2, whipping UAB 63-14 ...... And on senior day at Western Michigan, senior DT Travonte Boles and senior S Demetrius Pettway both got their 1st INT of the season - on consecutive snaps for the WMU defense in the 3rd quarter - setting up a FG and TD that turned a 14-6 deficit into a 16-14 lead, but the Broncos couldn't hang on, dropping to 1-10 with a 27-22 loss to Central Michigan.
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IN THE FCS

Even though I knew I wouldn't be seeing very many dreads, I decided to watch some of the big SLC showdown between Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana. When these teams met in Week 10 last season SHSU put a 70-0 whipping on Southeastern, and I was curious to see if the Lions (5-0 in the SLC this season) had improved enough to get some revenge. The verdict was a resounding yes. The Lions came back from a 14-3 deficit for a very satisfying and SLC championship-clinching 34-21 home victory.

One big reason SELA is 9-2 after a 5-6 finish in 2012 is an upgrade at QB. Tired of sitting on the bench at Oregon, Bryan Bennett transferred in and has been a star for the Lions all season. In this one he passed for 268 yards and 3 TD (and 0 INT). The Lions outscored the Bearkats 17-0 in the 2nd half thanks in big part to big plays made by their best players with dreads.
A 62-yard catch and run for a TD by sick sophomore RB Xavier Roberson on the 3rd play from scrimmage gave SELA their first lead of the afternoon. They upped that lead to 31-21 later in the 3rd when junior WR Marquis Hayes took a jet sweep 18 yards to the house (photo above), completing a 12-play, 75-yard drive. And after SHSU reached the SELA 16-yard line on their next drive, junior LB Isiah Corbett ended the threat with an INT and 62-yard return, setting up a FG for the final points of the game. The INT helped Corbett (celebrating after the game in photo below) earn SLC defensive player of the week honors. The Bearkats reached the red zone on 2 more drives in the 4th quarter but came away empty on both. Senior RB Timothy Flanders, who has been surprisingly quiet since his head dread-winning performance in Week 5, was held to 47 yards rushing on 15 carries. Please click on the link below for highlights of the 2nd half, including a brief look at the extremely long dreads of sophomore DT Terangi Phifer during the celebration after the game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuPegUUeEaw&feature=c4-overview&list=UUqyAyEEkpeXR-OR8AktPmZA ..... With the win Southeastern clinches the SLC's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs - their first ever playoff appearance. SHSU also earned an at large bid to the playoffs.
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Freshman LB Carl Bivens had a team high 13 tackles (6-7), and sick sophomore S D.J. Cameron (photo below) had 8 tackles and got his 2nd INT of the season, returning it 25 yards to set up a short TD drive for Southern Illinois in a 24-17 victory over Illinois State ..... Junior CB Cameren Judge got his 2nd INT of the season for Delaware State in the end zone on 1st and goal late in the 2nd quarter, keeping FAMU's lead at 21-10, and the Hornets rallied in the 2nd half for a 29-21 road win ..... Junior S Angel Lopez had a season high 17 tackles (13-4) and 1 PBU for Abilene Christian in a 65-45 road win over Prairie View A&M ..... And senior RB Tromaine Dennis just missed the dread stars list, finishing with 94 yards rushing and 4 catches for 31 yards for Northern Colorado in a 24-7 loss at Northern Arizona ..........
 ..... SENIOR DAYS ..... On senior day at Southern Illinois, senior LB Bryan Presume had 8 tackles (4-4), including 2 TFL in a 24-17 victory over Illinois State ..... On senior day at Mississippi Valley State, four starters with dreads played their final home game in a Delta Devils uniform - senior DE Robert Simpson had a game high 10 tackles (4-6), 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, and 1 PBU; senior LB Brandon Powe had 7 tackles (1-6), 1.5 TFL, and 1 PBU, sick senior S Kevin Eugene had 6 tackles (3-3) and 2 PBU; and sick senior WR Kenneth Dabney had 4 catches for 46 yards; but the Delta Devils lost to Alabama State 19-7 to wrap up a disappointing 2-9 season ..... On senior day at Duquesne, reserve senior RB Jason Douglas rushed for a career high 63 yards on 9 carries and scored his 1st career TD (photos below) on a 45-yard run as the Dukes defeated Central Connecticut State 24-21 .....





















...... And on senior day at FAMU, senior QB Jerry Caplan threw 1 incomplete pass (photo below) in the Rattlers' 29-21 loss to Delaware State, which may not sound like much. But just being on the field at all for his first and only 4 snaps in a FAMU uniform was good enough for him after being the scout team QB all season. It would have better if he had led the team to victory; but hey, not everyone can have a Hollywood ending. For details of Caplan's 9 minutes 17 seconds of fame, click on this link for an article from the Tallahassee Democrat: http://rattlernews.tallahassee.com/article/20131120/FAMU03/311200025/
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BRIEFLY

If I had done a report for Week 11, these would have been some of the highlights.

====== The lead story would have been about Baylor's 41-12 drubbing of Oklahoma, with the emphasis on how it was a rough night for most of the teams' best players with dreads:
  • For a moment it looked like Baylor senior CB K.J. Morton would be ejected from the game in the 1st quarter after being called for a targeting penalty. But a replay review confirmed his hit on Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard (photo below) wasn't illegal at all, so he remained in the game.
  • Sadly Baylor WR Tevin Reese's outstanding senior season came to an end when he somehow dislocated his wrist during the 2nd quarter. They never showed a replay of how it happened. Reese had surgery and might be healthy in time to play in Baylor's bowl game (after this game I was hoping Baylor's bowl game was going to be the BCS title game, but not anymore).
  • Baylor star senior G Cyril Richardson left the game in the 4th quarter, walking to the sideline with his hands covering his crotch. We didn't see a replay of that either, but probably he just took one of those low blows that paralyze you for a minute or two until the pain subsides and you're good to go.
  • Oklahoma senior RB Trey Millard wasn't even in uniform after suffering a torn ACL injury in OU's previous game.
  • And Oklahoma sophomore DE Charles Tapper was ejected from the game right after Baylor scored their final TD of the game with 9:03 to play when he took a swing at one of the Bears' offensive lineman (not Richardson). Obviously frustrated that the Sooners were getting their ass kicked, Tapper decided he'd had enough. The swing was with more of an open hand than a fist. Either way, he's lucky he missed, because whenever you hit somebody with his helmet on, all you do is hurt your hand.
===== Houston sophomore WR Deontay Greenberry was at 8 catches for 94 yards - 6 yards short of making the dread stars list. And wouldn't you know it, the Cougars had the ball at the UCF 7-yard line in the closing seconds at Orlando. Surely (I hoped) Greenberry would get the 7-yard TD that would not only put him on the list, it would give UH the victory that would put them in 1st place in the AAC. But no, the pass on 3rd and goal was agonizingly just barely out of his reach (photo below). Actually it looked like it was a catchable ball, but there was a defender blocking his sight, and by the time he saw the pass coming he couldn't react fast enough to make the catch. A 4th down pass not intended for Greenberry also was incomplete, and UCF hung on for a huge 19-14 win.
===== Junior CB Terell Floyd got his 3rd and 4th INT of the season, one of them a 17-yard pick 6, for Louisville in a 31-10 win at Connecticut.
===== Senior CB Stephen Clarke contributed with 4 tackles (4-0) and 1 FR as Vanderbilt spoiled homecoming at Florida, defeating the Gators 34-17. It was Vanderbilt's first win over Florida since 1988 (ending an 0-22 streak) and their first win at Florida in 68 years.
===== Freshman S Dominique Green (bringing back the dreads he had in high school but had to cut off when he went to prep school at Hargrave Military Academy) and freshman RB Khris Francis both scored their 1st TD in a North Carolina uniform - Francis on a 15-yard reception, Green on a 62-yard pick 6 - in a 45-14 victory over Virginia.  
===== In the FCS, Charleston Southern won the big showdown in the Big South, improving to 10-1 and handing Coastal Carolina their 1st defeat, 31-26. Senior LB Calvin Bryant led CSU with 6 tackles (1-5).
===== And both sophomore RB Xavier Roberson of Southeastern Louisiana and sophomore WR Adrian Wilkins of North Carolina Central took the opening kickoff return to the house in their respective games - Roberson going 90 yards in a 58-31 win at Central Arkansas and Wilkins going 96 yards in a 29-21 home loss to Hampton. It was the 3rd kickoff return for a TD this season for both of them.
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FINALLY

When you do a Google search for the date November 14, 1970, it doesn't take long to realize (if you didn't already know) that was the date of the tragic and horrific plane crash that killed most of the Marshall football team - an event portrayed in the incredibly sad first 20 minutes of the movie "We Are Marshall." Whether it has been by design or by the luck of the schedule, Marshall had never played another road game on the date November 14 since then - until now. The 2013 Thundering Herd were unable to attend the annual memorial ceremony held on campus every November 14th (in which a fountain is turned off) in person because they were in Oklahoma for a CUSA contest against Tulsa.

It wasn't pretty, but the Herd brought home a 45-34 victory over the Golden Hurricane. Marshall finished with a 619-345 advantage in total yards but nearly wasted it because of turnovers. The Herd jumped out to a 21-0 lead and were ahead 31-14 at halftime but fumbled the ball away on 4 of their first 5 possessions of the 2nd half. Tulsa cashed in enough of the turnovers to take a 34-31 lead. But the Herd regained their composure and scored 2 TD in the final minutes to get the W.

Several players with dreads contributed to the victory. Senior WR Devon Smith (bottom photo) had a 44-yard TD catch . Junior LB Jermaine Holmes had 7 tackles (5-2). Junior CB Darryl Roberts had 6 tackles (4-2), 1 TFL, and blocked an extra point attempt. Sophomore S Taj Letman finished with 4 tackles (3-1). Senior CB Monterius Lovett (top photo) had 2 tackles (1-1) and 1 PBU. Freshman DE Gary Thompson had 2 tackles (2-0) and a FF that set up a FG late in the 2nd quarter. Sophomore WR DeAndre Reaves had a 10-yard punt return to the Tulsa 39 with 4:51 to play, setting up the game-winning TD drive. And freshman S Tiquan Lang, who had 6 tackles (4-2), got an INT with 2:14 to play that ended Tulsa's last possession. For more details of the game and the day for the Herd, there's an interesting article (link below) on the team's website.
http://www.herdzone.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/111513aaa.html
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DG

1. FAU senior RB Damian Fortner is stopped by Southern Mississippi CB Alexander Walters at the FAU 32-yard line after a 22-yard run late in 1st quarter at Hattiesburg, MS. The drive ended with a FG 6 plays later for a 10-0 FAU lead. Fortner had his best game in an FAU uniform, rushing for a career high 98 yards and 2 TD on 13 carries. The Owls kept their bowl hopes alive, improving to 4-6 with a 41-7 win. Southern Miss dropped to 0-10. 

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2. South Florida junior WR Chris Dunkley is knocked out of bounds by Memphis S Anthony Watson 4 yards short of the end zone after a 28-yard gain on a WR screen pass on 2nd and 12 during 2nd quarter at Tampa. But the Bulls fumbled the ball away on 2nd and goal 2 plays later. Since the pass to Dunkley was slightly backward, he was credited with 28 yards rushing (not receiving). He also returned 3 kickoffs for 54 yards. The Bulls never led in a 23-10 home loss to Memphis. 

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3. On 1st and 10 from the Duke 29-yard line Miami sophomore WR Malcolm Lewis is clobbered by S Jeremy Cash on an incomplete pass during 1st quarter at Durham. Cash was not credited with any PBU in the game, so apparently Lewis had already failed to make the catch before Cash hit him. The drive ended with a TD 5 plays later, giving the Hurricanes a 17-7 lead. Lewis finished with 2 catches for 27 yards, but the 'Canes dropped their 3rd straight after a 7-0 start as Duke rallied for a crucial 48-30 victory.

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4. Freshman RB Ashton Shumpert of Mississippi State is tackled by sophomore DT Darren Lake (#95) and DT A'Shawn Robinson of Alabama after a 2-yard gain on the first play of a 3-and-out series early in 4th quarter at Starkville. Shumpert finished with 3 yards rushing on 3 carries. Lake had 2 tackles (0-2). Alabama improved to 10-0 with a 20-7 road victory.

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5. Sophomore S Trevon Stewart halts the forward progress of Louisville senior RB Senorise Perry at the UH 35-yard line after a 7-yard run on 2nd and 9 on the last play of 3rd quarter at Louisville. The Cardinals punted 2 plays later after Perry was stopped for a 3-yard loss on 3rd down. The entire 4th quarter was a punting contest until Houston failed to convert on 4th and 25 with 1:31 to play, as Louisville held on for a 20-13 victory. Perry finished with 40 total yards on 9 touches as the Cardinals improved to 9-1. Stewart had 12 tackles (10-2), 1 TFL, and 1 FR for the Cougars (7-3).

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6. On the first play of a drive that began at the UAB 5-yard line following an INT, junior RB Darrin Reaves is tackled at the 3-yard line for a 2-yard loss by East Carolina senior LB Derrell Johnson and LB Kyle Tudor midway through 1st quarter at Greenville, NC. UAB punted 5 plays later. Reaves finished with 73 total yards and 1 TD. In his final home game Johnson had 7 tackles (1-6) and got his 1st career INT.

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7. Junior RB Breon Allen avoids being tackled by S Tajh Lowe during 2nd half. A big star in junior college, Allen has been ECU's 2nd string RB this season behind senior Vintavious Cooper but figures to see a lot more playing time next season. Allen nearly made the dread stars list this week, finishing with 92 yards rushing on 13 carries and 2 catches for 47 yards in an easy 63-14 victory over UAB. 

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8. Maine's seniors pose together after clinching the Black Bears' first ever CAA championship with a 41-0 victory over Rhode Island on senior day. Seated on the left is #39, RB Rickey Stevens, who made the dread stars list. In back of him is #96, DE Erwin Roach, who had 2 tackles (0-2), including a half TFL. The other player with dreads (just above the trophy in the photo) is senior RB Terrel Walker, who unfortunately missed most of the season with a knee injury. The win improved Maine to 10-1 (the loss was to Northwestern) and 7-0 in the CAA. 

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9. FAMU junior CB Terry Johnson picks up his 2nd sack of the season as he tackles Delaware State QB Esayah Obado for a 1-yard loss on DSU's second snap of the day at Tallahassee. Johnson later got his 3rd INT of the season and finished with 4 tackles (4-0); but the Rattlers, who led 21-3 early in 2nd quarter, failed to score the rest of the game and lost to Delaware State 29-21. 

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10. There was no caption with this photo, but this certainly appears to be the play where Bryant senior WR Jordan Harris made what would have been a highlight reel 3-yard TD catch with 3:36 remaining in the game, as junior CB Ify Asoluka defends for Monmouth. The TD, which would have given Bryant a 24-21 lead, didn't count because Harris was called for offensive pass interference. 2 plays later the Bulldogs missed a 38-yard FG attempt and never got the ball back again. Asoluka finished with 3 tackles (3-0). Harris, who possibly could hear his name called in next year's NFL draft, had 6 catches for 76 yards and 1 TD in his final home game in a Bryant uniform; but the Bulldogs dropped a tough one on senior day 21-18 to Monmouth.

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11. After getting his 1st career INT in Week 11, Southeast Missouri State senior CB Cantrell Andrews gets another one here, picking off a deep pass intended for Austin Peay WR Darryl Clack early in 2nd quarter at Clarksville, TN. Andrews returned the INT 38 yards to the 22-yard line to set up a short TD drive. He also had 2 tackles (2-0) as the Redhawks picked up their 3rd win of the season, defeating Austin Peay 36-34.  

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12. Sick senior CB K.J. Morton of Baylor didn't have bad coverage here, but sometimes the receiver just makes a great play. Texas Tech WR Eric Ward snags the pass on 3rd and goal with one hand and then lands barely inbounds for a 5-yard TD, giving the Red Raiders a 20-7 lead late in 1st quarter at Arlington, TX. But it was all Baylor from then on. Morton had a highlight reel play of his own in 2nd quarter as Bears came from behind and improved to 9-0, whipping Texas Tech 63-34.

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13. Clemson junior WR Sammy Watkins gets behind the coverage of Georgia Tech CB D.J. White and makes the 41-yard reception for the first TD of the game, giving the Tigers a 13-0 lead early in 2nd quarter. Watkins later had a 44-yard TD catch as Clemson improved to 9-1 with a 55-31 home victory over GT. 





DREAD STARS

WEEK 12
  • Sammy Watkins - Clemson - 5 receptions for 104 yards and 2 TD in 55-31 home W over Georgia Tech
  • Martavis Bryant - Clemson - 5 receptions for career high 176 yards, including 76-yard TD, as Tigers improve to 9-1
  • Rannell Hall - UCF - 9 receptions for 159 yards, and 43 yards rushing on 3 carries in thrilling 39-36 road W over Temple
  • Tre Mason - Auburn - 115 yards and 1 TD rushing on 27 carries in 43-38 home W over Georgia
  • Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin - 13 carries for 146 yards and 1 TD rushing in 51-3 blowout of Indiana - Badgers rushed for 554 yards
  • Trayion Durham - Kent State - 17 carries for 109 yards and 1 TD rushing, and 3 receptions for 10 yards in 24-6 home W over Miami (Ohio)
  • Travis Greene - Bowling Green - 149 yards and 2 TD rushing on 22 carries in 49-0 home W over Ohio
  • Jay Ajayi - Boise State - 70 yards and 3 TD rushing on 11 carries in 48-7 home W over Wyoming
  • Vintavious Cooper - East Carolina - 126 yards and 3 TD rushing on 15 carries in 63-14 senior day home W over UAB
  • Todd Gurley - Georgia - 79 yards and 1 TD rushing on 15 carries, and 10 receptions for 77 yards in tough 43-38 road L to Auburn 
  • Dallas Crawford - Miami (F) - 19 carries for 115 yards rushing, and 3 receptions for 48 yards in 48-30 road L to Duke 
  • Damore'ea Stringfellow - Washington - 8 receptions for season high 147 yards and 1 TD in 41-31 L at UCLA 
  • Rickey Stevens - Maine - 14 carries for 125 yards and 2 TD rushing, including 90-yard TD which was longest run in school history, and 2 receptions for 23 yards in 41-0 senior day home W over Rhode Island
  • Sam Ojuri - North Dakota State - 17 carries for 146 yards rushing in MVFC championship-clinching 35-17 road W over Youngstown State
  • Isidore Jackson - Bethune-Cookman - 9 carries for 102 yards rushing in 42-12 senior day home W over Hampton
  • Randy Hale - Northern Arizona - 2 tackles (2-0) and 2 big INT, one of which he returned 51 yards to the house in 24-7 home W over Northern Colorado
  • Isiah Corbett - Southeastern Louisiana - named SLC defensive player of the week - 6 tackles (3-3), 4 TFL, including 2 sacks, 1 FF, 1 PBU, and 1 INT which he returned 61 yards to set up a FG in big 34-21 home W over Sam Houston State 
  • Cameron Alston - Howard - named MEAC defensive player of the week - 7 tackles (7-0), 1 TFL, 1 INT, and 1 FR which he returned 32 yards to the house in 40-6 road W over Texas Southern 
  • Gus Johnson - Stephen F. Austin - 20 carries for 165 yards and 1 TD rushing in 46-45 road L to Lamar 

WEEK 11
  • John Hubert - Kansas State - 23 carries for 157 yards, including 63-yard TD, in 49-26 W at Texas Tech  
  • Tre Mason - Auburn - 117 yards and 3 TD rushing on 20 carries in 55-23 W at Tennessee 
  • Travis Greene - Bowling Green - 14 carries for 112 yards rushing in 45-3 W at Miami (O)
  • Ja-Mes Logan - Mississippi - 5 receptions for 110 yards, including 75-yard TD, in 34-24 home W over Arkansas
  • Trey Edmunds - Virginia Tech - 14 carries for 74 yards and 4 TD rushing, and 2 receptions for 17 yards in 42-24 road W over Miami (F)
  • Joshua Stanford - Virginia Tech - 7 receptions for 107 yards and 1 TD as Hokies improve to 7-3
  • Marquel Thomas - ODU - 7 receptions for career high 137 yards and 2 TD in 59-38 road W over Idaho
  • Travis Reynolds - Utah State - 7 receptions for 129 yards in 28-24 road W over UNLV
  • Darius Joseph - SMU - 12 receptions for 103 yards and 2 TD in 28-25 road L to Cincinnati
  • Darrin Reaves - UAB - 98 yards and 1 TD rushing on 24 carries, and 3 receptions for 47 yards and 1 TD in 56-14 road L to Marshall
  • Shepard Little - Eastern Illinois - 20 carries for season high 173 yards rushing and 2 TD, and 2 receptions for 15 yards in 37-17 road W over Murray State
  • Joe Ferguson - San Diego - 7 carries for 115 yards rushing, including 83-yard TD, in 56-3 road W over Morehead State
  • Julian Burton - Missouri State - 7 receptions for 119 yards in 37-27 road W over Southern Illinois
  • Rolandan Finch - Norfolk State - 38 carries for 110 yards rushing and 1 TD in 27-24 upset road W over Bethune-Cookman 
  • Keland Johnson - Northwestern State - named SLC defensive player of the wwek - 6 tackles (4-2), 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF, and 1 FR in 37-28 home W over Lamar
  • Isaiah Crowell - Alabama State - 145 yards rushing and 2 TD on 20 carries, and 2 receptions for 17 yards in 31-28 home L to Southern
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HOUSE OF DREAD

WEEK 12
I was set to recognize the 4 TD by players with dreads in the UAB-East Carolina and Jacksonville State-Eastern Illinois games; but then, much to my surprise, I discovered that the Southeast Missouri State-Austin Peay game had 5 TD by players with dreads. So the Week 12 HOD is the end zone at Governors Stadium in Clarksville, where the Austin Peay Governors fell to 0-11 with a tough 36-34 loss to Southeast Missouri. SEMO junior FB Ron Coleman scored 4 of the 5 TD - on a pair of 5-yard runs and a pair of 1-yard runs. His 2nd 1-yard TD gave the Redhawks a 36-31 lead with 10:41 remaining in the game. I didn't put Coleman on the dread stars list because he had only 21 yards rushing on 11 carries. The other TD was a 99-yard kickoff return to the house by APSU senior S Enriques Perry (photo).




WEEK 11
Two games with 6 TD by players with dreads share the honors for Week 11. In the end zone at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Hurricanes, youngsters accounted for the 6 TD by players with dreads in Virginia Tech's 42-24 win over the "Canes. Freshman RB Trey Edmunds scored on a 10-yard run, 2-yard run, 4-yard run, and 1-yard run for VT. And freshman WR Joshua Stanford added a 32-yard TD catch for the Hokies. For Miami sophomore RB Dallas Crawford (78 total yards on 13 touches) scored on a 2-yard run.
In the end zone at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho, ODU picked up their first win ever over an FBS team, defeating Idaho 59-38; and the 6 TD by players with dreads were all by seniors. RB Colby Goodwyn (11 carries for 36 yards) scored on runs of 6, 1, and 5 yards for ODU; and WR Marquel Thomas, a first-time dread star, had 2 TD catches for the Monarchs - a 23-yarder (photo above) on which the Idaho defense didn't bother to cover him and a 39-yarder. RB James Baker (14 carries for 57 yards) had a 73-yard TD reception on the first play from scrimmage for Idaho. 
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HEAD DREAD

WEEK 12
On senior day at Eastern Illinois, senior S Nick Beard had 6 tackles (4-2), and senior (and future NFL) QB Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 169 yards to surpass the 4,000-yard mark for the season; but it was a sophomore who stole the show in the Panthers' 52-14 romp over Jacksonville State.

With the wind blowing at more than 20 MPH Eastern ran the ball more than usual, and that meant a very big day for sophomore RB Shepard Little - even bigger than the 173 yards he gained in Week 11. Little  was named OVC offensive player of the week after rushing for a career high 245 yards and 2 TD on 26 carries, catching 2 passes for 19 yards and 1 TD, and throwing a 10-yard TD pass. Shepard's 3 TD scored and TD pass all came in the first 12 minutes of the 1st quarter. His 3-yard TD run and 18-yard TD reception (top photo) put EIU ahead 14-0. Then on the Panthers' third possession Little rushed for all 75 yards of a 3-play drive, including a 37-yard TD. Then his 10-yard TD pass to Garoppolo made it 28-0. Little rushed for 94 yards in the 1st quarter en route to his 245, which was the 5th best rushing game in EIU history. More details from the EIU website:
http://www.eiupanthers.com/news/2013/11/17/FB_1117132651.aspx?path=football
The win improved Eastern to 10-1 and they now have finished the regular season at 11-1 (losing only to Northern Illinois 43-39 in September). The Panthers earned a bye into the 2nd round of the FCS playoffs.


WEEK 11
Shepard Little had the most yards in Week 11 as well, but I didn't like the lost fumble he had against Murray State. Trey Edmunds scored 4 TD, but come on - he only gained 91 yards. Really I wasn't too impressed with anybody's performance for Week 11, so I will give the player of the week award to a defensive player for the first time this season.

Maybe senior DT Will Sutton didn't have a great game, but he certainly had a very good one, helping Arizona State to an important 20-19 road victory over Utah. Sutton had a career high 9 tackles (1-8), 1 TFL (one half of which in right photo), 1 PBU, and wrapped up the day by ending Utah's last-chance drive with his 1st career INT with 1:01 remaining. The victory improved the Sun Devils to 7-2, and they have won 2 more since then to clinch the Pac-12 South championship. For a short interview with Sutton after the game, including a look at his INT, click on this link from the Pac-12 Network: http://www.pac-12.com/videos/postgame-interview-arizona-state-utah-will-sutton
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NEXT

Honestly I haven't even begun to look at the game recaps for Week 13 yet. Other than the games I watched I have no idea what happened last Saturday. So I'm going to skip Week 13 for now and get set for a lot of big games in Week 14. Later today, you can catch what likely will be Isaiah Crowell's final college game as Alabama State hosts Stillman in the Turkey Day Classic. I have to work tomorrow, so I'll miss the huge CUSA East showdown between East Carolina and Marshall as well as the annual Shula Bowl between FIU and FAU. On Saturday I'll be watching Clemson-South Carolina for sure, and at least parts of Baylor-TCU, Penn State-Wisconsin, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Grambling-Southern, Florida State-Florida, Duke-North Carolina, and the one we've been waiting for: Alabama at Auburn for all the marbles in the SEC West. Hope you enjoy the games this weekend. 
 


2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I was wondering that too. It certainly looks like he does. But I haven't had time to investigate it yet.

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