His frustration at the boiling point, Melvin delivered a message loud and clear to his offensive lineman at halftime: BLOCK BETTER, damn it! Well, we'll never know what would have happened if Gordon had just remained quiet during the break; but after the game he was giving his pep talk all the credit for sparking the team, after he rushed for 131 yards and 2 TD in the 2nd half, and the Badgers broke away from a 3-3 tie to defeat USF 27-10.
The same as with Gordon, Gurley has been held under 100 yards rushing in only one of his 4 games. But truthfully, Coach Richt had more to do with that than the opponent. I mean, Gurley might have rushed for 300+ yards if he had played a lot during Georgia's 66-0 slaughter of Troy in Week 4; but he was given the rest of the afternoon off after rushing for 73 yards on 6 carries on the Bulldogs' first two drives of the game. The Bulldogs had a much harder time in Week 5 but successfully picked up their 1st SEC win, coming back from a 10-0 deficit and then holding on to defeat Tennessee 35-32 for their 5th straight win in the series against the Volunteers.
It was so funny that even the usually stone-faced Coach Bielema had a smile on his face ...... It's not every day you see the punter score a TD, but that's exactly what happened in the Arkansas-Texas A&M game played at a neutral site (AT&T Stadium). Noticing that A&M had nobody lined up wide to the left on 4th and 10, P Sam Irwin-Hill caught the snap and - helped by a nice seal block by senior S Alan Turner - started to run down the left sideline and didn't stop running until he reached the end zone, going almost completely untouched on his 51-yard TD to put Arkansas in front 21-14 with 1:03 to play until halftime. But the smile was gone from Bielema's face by the end of the game, after the Razorbacks had allowed way-too-easy TD passes of 86 and 59 yards in the 4th quarter to wipe out their 28-14 lead and gone on to lose 35-28 in overtime for their 14th straight SEC defeat.
I watched most of this game because I thought it had a great chance of taking the week's house of dread award. The two teams' offenses performed as expected, with 386 of the Aggies' 523 total yards coming via the pass, and 285 of the Razorbacks' 484 yards coming on the ground. All those yards resulted in only 9 TD though, and only three of those were by players with dreads - not enough to earn HOD honors. Junior RB Brandon Williams ran for 6 yards on the first play from scrimmage then finished the 49-yard drive three plays later with a 13-yard TD run, dragging Turner the final 3 yards into the end zone (photos above) to give A&M a quick 7-0 lead. Oddly, Williams didn't carry the ball again the rest of the game. Sick sophomore RB Alex Collins put Arkansas in front 14-7 with a 50-yard TD run (photo below) early in the 2nd quarter. And the 3rd TD by a player with dreads came when senior WR Malcome Kennedy, quiet for most of the game, scored a 25-yard TD catch on the first play of OT to give the Aggies the lead. And then Aggies' D held on, stopping Collins cold on 4th and 1 on the first series of the Razorbacks' OT possession.
With UTSA threatening to add to their 17-7 lead late in the 2nd quarter, LeBlanc picked off a pass (his 1st career INT) and took the return 76 yards to the house (photo above).
I am happy to report that Stanford, Northwestern, and Oklahoma State - teams where dreads have been almost non-existent in recent years, each had a player with dreads contribute to their teams' victories this week. Even though Washington junior LB Shaq Thompson scored his 3rd defensive TD of the season, taking a fumble return 32 yards to the house, and also had 7 tackles (5-2), 1 TFL, 1 PBU, and 2 FF, it was freshman LB Peter Kalambayi of Stanford who was the only player to make the dread stars list in the Cardinal's 20-13 win over the Huskies ..... Freshman DE Xavier Washington of Northwestern got his 1st career sack and FF for a big turnover in the 4th quarter of the Wildcats' big 29-6 win at Penn State ..... And forced into action when a starter went down with an injury, freshman CB Ramon Richards of Oklahoma State finished with 5 tackles (3-2), 1 PBU, and his 1st career INT (photo below) to help the Cowboys defeat Texas Tech 45-35.
Mike made his first appearance on the dread stars list as the Tigers outscored North Carolina 50-35. I'm also keeping an eye on star DE Vic Beasley for Clemson, who might be bringing back the dreads he had when he was a freshman. Right now he has braids that look like dreads. We'll see if he changes them to dreads at some point in the future. I'd certainly like to welcome him back to the house, as he is expected to be a 1st round selection in next year's NFL draft.
http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/ub-football/ub-notebook-lester-tested-by-redhawks-big-target-20140928 (give the page 30 seconds or so to load) ..... Senior S Nigel Haikins had 7 tackles (5-2) and took his 2nd INT of the season 27 yards to the house for his 1st career TD as Nevada won at San Jose State 21-10 ..... Junior RB Jay Ajayi rushed for 63 yards and had 5 catches for 58 yards for Boise State, but also had 2 fumbles lost in a 28-14 road loss to Air Force ..... And senior WR Kaelin Clay had 5 catches for 65 yards and took a punt return to the house for the 3rd time this season - a 58-yarder; while sophomore CB Justin Thomas had 6 tackles (5-1), 2 TFL, and 2 PBU; but Utah blew a 21-0 lead, losing at home to Washington State 28-27.
IN THE FCS
In my Week 2 report I referred to Western Carolina as a "lousy FCS team." Well, maybe not. Maybe this is the year they're not going to be lousy. If you are a fan of the Catamounts, there have been precious few victories to celebrate in recent years. Starting with last season and going back to 2006 the Catamounts have gone 2-10, 1-10, 1-10, 2-9, 2-9, 3-9, 1-10, and 2-9 in the last 8 seasons. That adds up to 14-76 since their last winning season (5-4) in 2005. Heck, Florida State won 14 games in one season last year. 2014 started with a loss (what else?), but WCU was competitive in a 36-31 road loss to FBS team South Florida. The Catamounts then won their next two games (!), but those were against Division 2 schools Brevard and Catawba. A fairer indication of whether they're actually improving figured to come on the road in Week 5 against Furman, one of three teams that tied for the Southern Conference championship last season and a team WCU has gone 1-15 against the last 16 years.
You're probably already familiar with CB Jaleel Lorquet. The junior has already made my dread all-America team twice and is likely to make it twice more. Lorquet (photo on left, breaking up a pass intended for WR Chad Scott on the first play of a four-and-out drive midway through the 4th quarter) finished with 3 of WCU's 9 PBU and also had 5 tackles (3-2). Sophomore CB/S Fred Payne had 4 tackles (2-2), 2 PBU, and got his 1st INT of the season. And sophomore CB Trey Morgan had 1 tackle (1-0), 2 PBU, and got his 2nd INT of the season, which iced the game with 1:27 remaining. And oh, by the way, the Catamounts' first 2 TD of the game came on receptions of 39 and 21 yards by sophomore WR Spearman Robinson, who made the dread stars list.
I actually made it through about half of the FCS game recaps this week, so again I don't have a complete report; but there are a few things worth mentioning. Grambling, which went 1-11 in a tumultuous (to say the least) 2013 season, improved to 2-3 (2-0 in the SWAC) with a 26-20 victory over Prairie View A&M in the annual State Fair Classic at Dallas. The Tigers passed for 275 yards, 55 of which came on 2 catches by sophomore WR Verlon Hunter, including a 32-yard TD; and 82 coming on 6 catches by junior WR Ka'Jandre Domino. (I can now report details on Grambling games because their website finally is up to par with most other teams, complete with photos of all the players and a team photo too). Senior LB Steve Orisakwe finished with 8 tackles (1-7), a half TFL, and a FR that the Tigers cashed in for the tying FG early in the 3rd quarter. Domino had a 31-yard reception on GSU's next drive, which went 80 yards in 7 plays for what proved to be the winning TD. For PVAM freshman S Damond Jackson (photo below) had 12 tackles (7-5) and 1 PBU. Freshman DE DeVohn Reed finished with 7 tackles (2-5), including 1.5 TFL.
Albany improved to 4-0 with a 42-7 home win over Columbia, and three players with dreads made big contributions. Sick senior LB Christian Dorsey had a game high 15 tackles (3-12), including a half TFL; Junior S Jamal Merritt finished with 3 tackles (1-2), 2 PBU, and his 1st INT of the season; and sophomore CB Rayshan Clark made the dread stars list. There was almost a second player to make the list, but I just couldn't .....
...... Well, I know for sure there is at least one player with dreads in the Ivy League this season. Junior RB Cameron Molina came oh, so close to being a dread star this week, but he just needed a few more yards, finishing with more than half of Columbia's 256 total yards: 95 yards and 1 TD rushing on 23 carries along with 6 catches for 42 yards. Hang in there Cameron, maybe next week.
Freshman RB Eric Pittman (left photo above, with his dreads reduced) of Norfolk State rushed for 81 yards on 16 carries and returned a punt 13 yards to midfield with 4:55 to play, setting up the game-winning drive as the Spartans scored a TD with :29 on the clock to defeat Morgan State 15-14 ..... Also in the MEAC, freshman CB Carlos Merritt and sophomore CB Marquise Jones of South Carolina State both had 4 tackles (2-2) and both got their 1st INT of the season, with Jones' coming at the SCSU 15-yard line with 11 seconds to play to clinch a 17-10 road win over Hampton ..... Sick senior CB Marcus Berg (right photo above) finished with 4 tackles (4-0), 1 PBU, and his 2nd INT of the season to help Alabama State win at home over Texas Southern 38-3 ..... And freshman DE P.J. Hall tied for the team lead for Sam Houston State with 7 tackles (3-4), including 1 sack, and blocked a FG attempt in a 42-10 road win over Lamar.
Nicholson had 5 tackles (4-1), 1 PBU, and a key INT in the end zone in the 2nd quarter to preserve a 14-10 lead. Actually, the pick could just as easily been ruled a TD for WR Chris Humphrey, as he and Nicholson wrestled for possession. Demetrious got the home town call from the refs, I guess. With Nicholson back on the field (although it may not be for long), the Cavaliers had three players with dreads in their starting secondary. Senior S Anthony Harris and junior CB Maurice Canady continued to shine. Harris had 8 tackles (0-8) and 2 PBU, while Canady had 4 tackles (3-1), 1 PBU, and an INT that he returned 69 yards to the house for his 1st career TD, tying the game at 7 in the 1st quarter.
As is mentioned in the article from the Hampton Daily Press (link below), Nicholson has until the end of Week 6 to decide if he's going to redshirt this season, which he's strongly considering to give his toe more time to heal. I wouldn't be disappointed at all if he does redshirt. I think he's going to have a shot at playing in the NFL, and he needs to show that he's fully healthy before any team will even think about drafting him. And if that means sitting out the rest of this season, so be it.
6. With Georgia leading Tennessee 21-17 early in 4th quarter, sick senior LB Ramik Wilson gets credit for a sack as he pressures QB Nathan Peterman into an intentional grounding penalty on 2nd and 6. The Volunteers punted two plays later. Wilson finished with 9 tackles (5-4).
9. Junior CB Ronald Zamort of Western Michigan jumps too late and too low to prevent WR Isaiah Ford from making the 7-yard TD catch on 3rd and 5, increasing Virginia Tech's lead to 25-10 with 5:52 remaining in 3rd quarter at Blacksburg. Although he did not make the dread stars list, Zamort was named MAC West defensive player of the week for his INT and 39-yard return to the 3-yard line that set up a WMU TD earlier in the game. Zamort also had 3 tackles (1-2) and 1 PBU.
11. On his 2nd carry of the game with 12:00 remaining in 1st quarter, Arkansas sophomore RB Alex Collins had already picked up the 1st down on 2nd and 1 and was about to spin away from Texas A&M CB Deshazor Everett for some more yards when ...... uh-oh, Everett reached out and said, "Oh no, Alex, you ain't goin' nowhere." After being dragged down after an 8-yard gain to the A&M 30, Collins got up and calmly handed the ball to the official. With dreads as long as his, I'm guessing this wasn't the first time a defender had gotten hold of them. The Razorbacks scored a TD 4 plays later to tie the game at 7 but went on to lose 35-28 in overtime. Collins made the dread stars list.
- Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin - 181 yards and 2 TD rushing on 32 carries in 27-10 home W over South Florida
- Mike Williams - Clemson - 6 receptions for 122 yards and 2 TD in 50-35 home W over North Carolina
- Marshawn Williams - Virginia Tech - 14 carries for 119 yards rushing, and 2 receptions for 19 yards, in 35-17 home W over Western Michigan
- Dee Hart - Colorado State - 117 yards rushing on 10 carries, including 43-yard run to the 12-yard line on game-winning drive, 2 receptions for 17 yards, and had a 43-yard kickoff return in 24-21 road W over Boston College
- William Fuller - Notre Dame - 6 receptions for 119 yards, including TD of 23 and 72 yards, in 31-15 W over Syracuse
- Travis Greene - Bowling Green - 20 carries for 110 yards and 2 TD rushing, and 3 receptions for 15 yards, in 47-42 road W over Massachusetts - surpasses 2,000-yard rushing mark for his career
- Jowan Davis - Rice - 131 yards and 2 TD rushing on 29 carries, and 2 receptions for 38 yards, in 41-23 road W over Southern Mississippi
- Paul Perkins - UCLA - 14 carries for 137 yards rushing in 62-27 road W over Arizona State
- Peter Kalambayi - Stanford - named Pac-12 defensive player of the week - 6 tackles (5-1), 3 of which were sacks, in 20-13 road W over Washington: http://www.gostanford.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=749925&SPID=127013&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=30600&ATCLID=209682283
- Chris Moore - Cincinnati - 3 receptions for 221 yards and 3 TD (covering 60, 83,and 78 yards) in 50-28 road L to Ohio State - 73.7 yards per catch average is new NCAA record
- Alex Collins - Arkansas - 21 carries for 131 yards TD rushing, including 50-yard TD in tough 35-28 L in overtime to Texas A&M
- Bradley Marquez - Texas Tech - 8 receptions for 106 yards and 1 TD in 45-35 road L to Oklahoma State
- Spearman Robinson - Western Carolina - named SOCON offensive player of the week - 5 receptions for 120 yards, including TD of 39 and 21 yards, in 35-17 road W over Furman
- Marquell Cartwright - North Carolina A&T - 135 yards and 2 TD rushing on 33 carries, and 3 receptions for 21 yarrds, in 38-22 road W over Howard
- Jalen Overstreet - Sam Houston State - 9 carries for 132 yards and 1 TD rushing, and 2 receptions for 26 yards in 42-10 road W over Lamar
- Malcolm Cyrus - Alabama State - 16 carries for 118 yards rushing, and 3 receptions for 25 yards in 38-3 home W over Texas Southern
- Rayshan Clark - Albany - named CAA defensive player of the week - 6 tackles (3-3), 1 sack and 1 FF, 1 FR, and 3 PBU in 42-7 home W over Columbia: http://ualbanysports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=70366&SPID=8009&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=209685090&DB_OEM_ID=15800
- Kalif Phillips - UNC-Charlotte - 21 carries for 196 yards rushing, including TD of 77 and 34 yards in 47-41 home L in overtime to Charleston Southern
HOUSE OF DREAD
The end zone at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, TX, home of the Lamar Cardinals, is the house of dread for Week 5, as there were more touchdowns scored - 4 - by players with dreads in Lamar's 42-10 loss to Sam Houston State than all the others (except one). Sophomore RB and Texas transfer Jalen Overstreet scored on a 50-yard run for SHSU, while junior RB Donovan Williams added TD runs of 6 yards and 1 yard for the Bearkats. Senior WR Mark Roberts (4 catches for 84 yards) had a 32-yard TD reception for Lamar.
Thanks to 2 TD by their Division 2 opponent, Bethune-Cookman shares HOD honors with the SHSU-Lamar game. 4 TD by players with dreads were scored in the end zone at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium as B-C barely defeated Florida Tech 34-33. Senior RB Anthony Jordan (16 carries for 66 yards) scored on runs of 5 yards and 22 yards for the Wildcats; while for Florida Tech WR Xavier Milton (4 catches for 101 yards) had a 79-yard TD catch and white WR Tyler Bass scored on a 43-yard reception with 19 seconds to play (after which the Panthers went for a 2-point conversion and failed, allowing B-C to escape with the win).
For the 2nd time this season the player of the week is junior RB Todd Gurley of Georgia. You may have noticed that I didn't list his stats earlier in the report, and that was because I was saving them for now. Gurley earned SEC offensive player of the week honors after rushing for a career high 208 yards on 28 carries, catching 4 passes for 30 yards and scoring 2 TD in the Bulldogs' 35-32 home win over Tennessee.
As of right now, I am planning to do a report for Week 6. But if I do, it will be entirely about games that I did not see. I was busy doing this report on Saturday, so I didn't see any of the afternoon games and watched only a little bit of the LSU-Auburn game. Maybe I'll do a shorter report for a change.