Saturday, November 29, 2014

College FB '14 Dread News - Week 12

For the most part it was an enjoyable Saturday (Nov. 15) of watching football for me ..... right up until there were about 5 minutes remaining in the Auburn-Georgia game, when Todd Gurley didn't get up after his 29th carry of the night. In his first game back in action after serving a 4-game suspension, Gurley - the star junior RB and arguably the best RB to ever wear a Georgia uniform - turned in his usual outstanding performance. But when he stayed down and grabbed his knee after gaining 6 yards to the Auburn 11-yard line on 2nd and 5, you knew something had gone wrong. And then when they showed the replay - Gurley wincing as he planted his left leg while making a cut then falling to the ground, unable to take his next stride on the leg - it looked exactly the way it does all too often in sports when a player tears the ACL in his knee. A day later the worst fears of a lot of people (including me) were realized with the official announcement that Gurley indeed had torn his ACL and was done for the season. And with the injury occurring so late in the season, you wonder and worry that he won't recover in time to have a rookie season in the NFL in 2015.
The injury put a bit of a damper on Georgia's 34-7 victory, as the Bulldogs finished SEC play at 6-2 and needing Missouri to lose at least one of their remaining 2 games in order to finish first in the SEC East and play in the conference championship game.
After Auburn drove 70 yards on the game's first possession to take a 7-0 lead, Gurley immediately showed he wasn't rusty after missing a month, taking the kickoff return (photo below) 105 yards to the house. Unfortunately a penalty nullified the TD, and he had to settle for being credited with a 32-yard return. Gurley's final TD for the Bulldogs came later, on a 3-yard run on 3rd and 2, making the score 24-7 midway through the 3rd quarter. And his longest run from scrimmage in the game came shortly before he was injured - a 31-yard run that began a 98-yard drive, a drive that ended with an 11-yard TD run by RB Nick Chubb for the final points of the game on the next play after Gurley went down.
With Auburn still alive in the SEC West thanks to Alabama's victory over Mississippi State a few hours earlier, you would have thought they would have played better. But against a Georgia defense that was gashed for 445 yards by Florida's anemic offense two weeks earlier, the Tigers could only manage a measly 292 total yards, going scoreless on their final 8 possessions, including 2 turnovers and not including a 3rd turnover coming on a punt return. Junior WR Sammie Coates (right photo below) wasn't much of a factor, finishing with 3 catches for 31 yards for the Tigers. Georgia's starting WR with dreads, senior Chris Conley, didn't do much either, finishing with 1 catch for 11 yards. Senior LB Ramik Wilson (left photo below) had 8 tackles (2-6) for UGA. Senior CB Trovon Reed had 1 tackle (1-0) and 1 PBU for Auburn.


As for Gurley (breaking a tackle by DE Gimel President in photo below), the recovery time for an ACL injury is usually 8-12 months. I sincerely hope we'll be seeing him playing on Sundays at some point next season; but the chances of him being drafted in the 1st round have now dropped to somewhere between slim and none. Fortunately for Todd, Georgia recently increased the amount of the insurance policy they had taken out on him (details on link below), so he'll be able to collect whatever money he'll lose as a result of falling out of the 1st round of the draft. But wherever you get drafted, Todd, get well ASAP.
Birmingham native and Mississippi State sophomore WR De'Runnya Wilson certainly would like to have had a big day in the Bulldogs' crucial road game at Alabama, but it was not meant to be as the Crimson Tide hung on for a 25-20 victory, handing MSU (9-1) their 1st defeat of the season and moving into the driver's seat in the SEC West race. The Tide need only to beat Auburn (at home in Week 14) to clinch a spot in the SEC championship game. Wilson nearly made the dread stars list with 8 catches for 91 yards but no doubt had to be disappointed those numbers weren't much better than that. Late in the 2nd quarter, after he was tackled at the 1-yard line (photo below) on an 11-yard reception and after the Bulldogs took a killer false start penalty on the next play on 1st and goal, passes intended for him in the end zone on 2nd and 3rd and goal were both incomplete, and the Bulldogs ended up settling for a FG that cut Alabama's lead to 19-3. 
Then late in the 3rd quarter, on 2nd and 11 from the 15-yard line, Wilson allowed CB Cyrus Jones to force him to go out of bounds while running his route, meaning even if he had caught the pass, it would not have counted. Worse yet, De'Runnya had to helplessly watch Jones intercept the pass (photo below) for a touchback. It was the second of 3 costly turnovers for State, who also lost possession as a result of a safety in the 1st quarter. For the game QB Dak Prescott went 7 for 14 on passes intended for Wilson. The Bulldogs finished with a 428-335 advantage in total yards; but thanks to those turnovers they scored only 2 TD and 1 FG on 5 drives that reached the red zone in the 2nd half.
A couple of players with dreads helped the Tide jump out to their 19-0 lead. Sophomore DT Dalvin Tomlinson got credit for a half TFL on the play the Tide scored the safety, as RB Josh Robinson, trying to break to the outside, retreated into the end zone and was tackled for a 5-yard loss for the first points of the game. I'm not including a photo of the play because Tomlinson's dreads are too short to be seen. Dalvin finished with 7 tackles (1-6) and 2 TFL, including 1 sack. Sophomore RB Derrick Henry had a 1-yard TD run on 1st and goal (photo below) that upped the lead to 19-0 with 5:32 remaining in the 2nd quarter. At first the officials ruled that he had fumbled the ball, with State recovering. Moments later Derrick was probably the happiest person in the stadium when a replay review confirmed he crossed the goal line before fumbling. Henry finished with 36 yards rushing on 11 carries.  
After State scored a TD early in the 4th to close within 19-13, the Tide responded with a backbreaking 15-play, 76-yard TD drive that included three conversions on 3rd down to make the score 25-13. With 3:20 remaining sophomore RB Ashton Shumpert very nearly blocked a punt by Alabama (in fact he should have blocked it but somehow missed). Instead of taking possession deep in Alabama territory or even scoring on the play, the Bulldogs' started a drive at their own 28-yard line. They finally made it into the end zone 13 plays later; but by then, it was too little, too late. There were only 15 seconds left, and the Tide held on for the victory that improved them to 9-1. 

The Coach Muschamp era is now over at Florida (effective at season's end), with the final insult being the Gators' 23-20 home loss in overtime to South Carolina, a defeat that eliminated them from the SEC East race. A couple of late mistakes on special teams doomed Florida. A chip shot 32-yard FG was blocked by senior S Brison Williams of South Carolina with 3:31 remaining, keeping the UF lead at 17-10. Then with only 39 seconds to play, sick junior WR Carlton Heard broke free through the middle of the line and blocked a punt (photo below and details, including video, on link below), giving the Gamecocks the ball at the Florida 34. Five plays later Carolina scored the tying TD with :12 on the clock. The Gators kicked a FG on their possession in overtime before South Carolina scored a TD to win it.
Against a porous Gamecock defense allowing on average 460 yards per game the Gators gained only 278 total yards. The Gamecocks' offense wasn't any better, finishing with only 301 yards on 80 plays. Sick junior RB Matt Jones (photo below) rushed for 63 yards on 18 carries for the Gators, including a 1-yard TD that broke a 10-10 tie late in the 3rd quarter. Senior LB Neiron Ball finished with 9 tackles (2-7) for the Gators. Williams, who I didn't know had started growing dreads when I mentioned earlier this season that the Gamecocks have 10 players with dreads on the roster (I guess that means they have 11), had 3 tackles (0-3) in addition to his big block; and sick senior LB Sharrod Golightly finished with 8 tackles (3-5), including 1.5 TFL and a half sack, for South Carolina.
"But I don't think they're better than us. Honestly, I really don't." ...... Well then, if sick Minnesota junior LB DeVondre Campbell's words are right, that means the better team did not win at Minneapolis as Ohio State improved to 9-1 and spoiled senior day at Minnesota with a hard-fought 31-24 victory over the Gophers. Despite what Campbell said after the game, the Buckeyes, honestly, have been better than the Gophers over the years - to the tune of a 37-2 record in their last 39 meetings. But the Gophers made them sweat this time - even if the temperature was a frigid (for mid-November) 15 degrees at game time - with victory not being secured until they recovered an onside kickoff after a FG with 1:19 to play brought the Gophers within 7 points.
It looked like the rout was on when the Buckeyes jumped out to a 14-0 lead. But then the 4th INT of the season by junior CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and 56-yard return (photo above) late in the 1st quarter sparked Minnesota. The Gophers' offense, after going three-and-out on their first 3 possessions, cashed in the turnover, driving 39 yards in 5 plays to cut the Buckeyes' lead to 14-7. After each team punted on their next possession, the Buckeyes drove from their own 4-yard line to the Minnesota 7, only to be foiled again by Boddy-Calhoun, who on 2nd and 2 stripped RB Jalin Marshall of the ball at the 1-yard line. Campbell, with a trace of snow accumulated on his dreads, got the FR in the end zone for a touchback. The Gophers promptly cashed in that turnover with an 80-yard TD drive, and just like that the game was tied.
But once they quit the turnovers the Buckeyes, with nobody with dreads that I know of making any meaningful contributions this season, regained control, scoring on three of their next four drives to take a 31-14 lead early in the 4th quarter and ending up with a dominating 489-303 advantage in total yards. Boddy-Calhoun finished with 4 tackles (3-1) and 1 PBU along with his 2 turnovers. Campbell had 8 tackles (6-2), including a sack of QB J.T. Barrett (photo above). And sick senior S Derrick Wells had 5 tackles (3-2) for the Gophers, who despite losing still control their own fate in the Big 10 West race.

Marshall avenged last season's 41-24 road loss to Rice in the CUSA championship game and then some, routing the Owls 41-14 at Huntington to improve to 10-0 and racking up a whopping 581-180 advantage in total yards in the process. Freshman WR Angelo Jean-Louis accounted for only 17 of all those yards for the Thundering Herd, on 1 reception. Sophomore S Tiquan Lang (4-0), junior S Taj Letman (2-2), and senior LB Cortez Carter (1-3) all had 4 tackles for Marshall, with Lang also finishing with 2 PBU (one of them in photo on right) and Letman with 1 PBU. Sophomore RB Jowan Davis carried 19 times for 76 yards, including a 3-yard TD that cut the Herd's lead to 17-7 in the 2nd quarter, for the Owls, one of their few bright spots. Sophomore LB Alex Lyons had a game high 10 tackles (3-7), but none were TFL. In fact the Rice D had only 1 TFL all afternoon on 81 snaps by Marshall's offense.

The streak lives on. Florida State's winning streak? Yes, that one too, now at 26 and counting. But the streak I'm talking about is the streak of consecutive years that a player with dreads scores a TD in the Florida State-Miami game. When FSU freshman RB Dalvin Cook ran 44 yards to the house early in the 2nd quarter to get the Seminoles on the board and cut Miami's lead to 16-7, it marked the 8th year in a row there has been at least 1 TD scored by a player with dreads in the annual battle between the 'Noles and the 'Canes. And with the highly-recruited Cook expected to move into the starting lineup next season, there's a good chance the streak will continue to continue in the years ahead.
It appears that FSU enjoyed that come-from-behind victory over Auburn in last season's BCS title game so much that they've decided to make the comeback victory their regular M.O. this year. Apparently too bored with blowing out everybody as they did in 2013, the Seminoles are playing with fire on a weekly basis this season. They haven't gotten burned yet, improving to 5-0 vs. the Hurricanes on their last 5 visits to Miami and improving to 10-0 this season, including 5 games in which they had to come from behind in the 2nd half. Even though he didn't rush for 100 or more yards, Cook still makes the dread stars list. After beginning the Seminoles' comeback with his 44-yard TD, he finished it with a 26-yard TD run (breaking away from LB Denzel Perryman at the 17-yard line on the way to the end zone in photo above), putting FSU in the lead for the first time and for good at 30-26 with 3:05 remaining in the game.
The Hurricanes exploded for 320 total yards in the 1st half, including a 27-yard TD catch by WR Phillip Dorsett against the coverage of junior CB Ronald Darby (photo above) for the first points of the game midway through the 1st quarter and eventually built their lead to 23-7 in the 2nd quarter; then they managed only 3 points on their final 7 possessions of the night. Trailing 23-10 in the 3rd, FSU scored on 4 drives in a row (2 TD and 2 FG), capped by Cook's game-winning run. With junior Dallas Crawford unfortunately switching from RB to S this season, there haven't been many yards gained by players with dreads for the Hurricanes. Sick sophomore WR Malcolm Lewis had his usual miniscule contribution, finishing with 1 catch for 2 yards. Sophomore TE Standish Dobard was credited with 33 yards on his only reception of the game, but 14 of the 33 were how far the ball rolled forward after he fumbled it. FSU recovered, ending a Miami drive late in the 3rd. Crawford finished the game with 2 tackles (2-0). Senior S Nantambu-Akil Fentress had 5 tackles (3-2). Junior DT Michael Wyche had 2 tackles (0-2). And sophomore S Jamal Carter had 2 PBU. 
Junior LB Terrance Smith (photo above) had 7 tackles (6-1) for FSU. After getting beat for the TD, Darby later had 3 tackles (3-0). Freshman WR Ermon Lane, with dreads only he could love, finished with 2 catches for 27 yards for the Seminoles, who clinched the ACC Atlantic Division title with the win.
Not only Todd Gurley, but sadly there were two other RBs with dreads - sick dreads, at that - who went down with torn ACLs this week, both on teams in the ACC Coastal Division. Marshawn Williams (photo above) finishes his promising freshman season for Virginia Tech with 475 yards rushing after being injured during the Hokies' 17-16 upset win at Duke. And in North Carolina's 40-35 home win over Pittsburgh, Tar Heels sophomore Khris Francis tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus while returning a kickoff during the 2nd quarter. Please, come back strong, Khris and Marshawn.

Senior DE Markus Golden of Missouri had a career high 9 tackles (4-5), including 2 sacks, and 1 FF to help the Tigers improve to 8-2 with a 34-27 road win over Texas A&M ..... Junior WR Von Pearson had TD receptions of 21 and 16 yards, and junior S Brian Randolph had 8 tackles (7-1) and returned his 1st INT of the season 23 yards to the house before later being ejected on a targeting penalty for Tennessee in a 50-16 home win over Kentucky ..... Junior WR Chris Moore (photo on left) almost made the dread stars list, finishing with 4 catches for 97 yards, including a 66-yard TD; junior DE Silverberry Mouhon had 4 tackles (2-2), including his 3rd and 4th sacks of the season; and senior DE Terrell Hartsfield had 3 tackles (1-2), including his 8th sack of the season, 1 PBU, and scooped up a fumble on the final play of the game and returned it 27 yards to the house for his 1st career TD to ice the game as Cincinnati improved to 4-1 in the AAC with a key 54-46 home win over East Carolina ..... Sophomore LB Jaylon Smith had a team-leading 10 tackles (4-6) and 1 FF, sophomore CB Cole Luke had 7 tackles (5-2), 1 TFL, 1 FF, and his 4th INT of the season, and senior CB Matthias Farley also got his 4th INT of the season for Notre Dame, but the Irish dropped a tough one at home to Northwestern 43-40 in overtime .....
Junior WR Breshad Perriman had 3 catches for 82 yards and 1 TD, and senior CB Jordan Ozerities had 3 tackles (3-0), 1 PBU, and got his 3rd INT of the season (photo on right) as UCF improved to 4-1 in the AAC with a 31-7 home win over Tulsa ..... Junior WR Devonte Robinson gained 78 total yards on 3 touches, including a 59-yard rushing TD on a jet sweep as Utah State improved to 8-3 with a 28-21 home win over New Mexico ..... Senior CB Corey Trim had a team-leading 9 tackles (7-2) and 2 PBU, and junior WR (and former CB) Al Riles had a 16-yard TD reception as Louisiana-Lafayette improved to 6-0 in the SBC with a 34-27 road win over Louisiana-Monroe ..... Junior CB Ronald Zamort had 6 tackles (4-2) and got a sack and his 3rd INT of the season on back-to-back plays in the 1st quarter as Western Michigan improved to 7-3, zooming to a 48-0 halftime lead en route to a 51-7 home win over Eastern Michigan ..... Sophomore WR Aregeros Turner gained 84 total yards, including a season high 59 yards receiving on 4 catches as Northern Illinois improved to 8-2, defeating Toledo for the 5th straight time 27-24 in a key game in the MAC West ..... Junior WR Marken Michel (photo below) had 5 catches for 88 yards, including a 50-yarder to the 1-yard line to set up a TD for Massachusetts in a 24-10 home win over Ball State ..... And sophomore RB Alex Collins rushed for 46 yards and his 11th TD of the season for Arkansas as the Razorbacks finally ended their 17-game SEC losing streak, whipping LSU 17-0.

Amazingly, JMU lost not only one but two members of their secondary - S Dean Marlowe and CB Aaron Peak - due to targeting penalties on consecutive plays late in the 2nd quarter of their game at Richmond. But Spiders fans wish it had been another JMU DB who had been ejected. CB Taylor Reynolds would have been a strong candidate for this week's head dread award if he had dreads, after being responsible for 4 turnovers in the Dukes' 55-20 win over Richmond. Both teams entered the game with identical records (7-3 overall, 4-2 in the CAA), and I watched a lot of the 2nd quarter realizing it might be the last chance this season to see the awesome dreads of Jacobi Green.

The junior RB must have known I was watching, providing a couple of highlights for me as well as Spiders fans. Green took a perfectly executed screen pass 28 yards to the house (jumping over a teammate who had fallen while throwing a block inside the 5-yard line in photo below) to cut JMU's lead to 21-13 with 5:44 to play until halftime. Then on the first play after the back-to-back ejections, Jacobi scored on a 9-yard reception with 7 seconds remaining to pull the Spiders to within 31-20 at halftime. Green would finish the game with 23 yards rushing on 8 carries in addition to his 2 TD catches. 
But it was the Dukes who dominated, with the 55 points being the most they've ever scored against the Spiders. Reynolds had quite the afternoon, finishing with 2 FF and 2 INT, both of which were pick sixes. JMU's best player with dreads was junior DT Alex Mosley (failing to stop Green in photo above), who had 6 tackles (2-4). Sick sophomore DT Gary Wortham had 4 tackles (3-1), including 1 TFL, for Richmond.

When I got to the game recap of the Northern Arizona-North Dakota game, I got another rude reminder of just how inadequate a job I've done covering the 2014 season. When I turned my notebook (in which I list which players do and don't have dreads) to the page on Northern Arizona, there wasn't a single name written on it ..... meaning that after 12 weeks this was the first time I had read a recap of one of the Lumberjacks' games. So I didn't know what I had been missing, specifically that there are 3 players with dreads starting in their secondary. Senior CB Blake Bailey had a game high 13 tackles (9-4), including 2 TFL, and 1 sack. Junior S Darius Lewis (photo below, chasing RB Jer Garman) had 10 tackles (5-5). And senior CB Randy Hale, with the best dreads of the three, finished with 4 tackles (2-2). Unfortunately for NAU fans all of those tackles came in a 30-28 defeat that knocked the Lumberjacks (7-4, 5-2) out of a 3-way tie for 1st place in the Big Sky and damaged their playoff hopes.
NAU also has a starting WR with dreads, and it was senior Ify Umodu's 29-yard TD catch in the 3rd quarter that got the Lumberjacks' comeback started. They scored touchdowns on three straight possessions, turning a 24-7 deficit into a 28-27 lead. But UND drove 62 yards in 9 plays in the final 2:04, kicking a FG with :04 on the clock to win it. Senior WR Tyrhe Ivery had the biggest play of the drive, making his only catch of the game for a 29-yard gain on 2nd and 15 to move the ball into FG range. UND got the FG 6 plays later.    
Gardner-Webb sophomore LB Aaron Cook (photo above), who looks like is going to be as outstanding a player as his dreads are, finished with a game high 13 tackles (6-7), 3 TFL, 1 sack, and 1 PBU, helping hold Presbyterian to 285 total yards; but G-W gained only 206 yards themselves in a 14-7 home loss to PC ..... And junior CB Brandon Mobley of Campbell took an interception return to the house for the third time this season, scoring an 86-yard TD; but the Camels still lost at Jacksonville 45-19.

While watching coverage of election night on your favorite network, every once in a while you'll notice that that network has to admit they are wrong and will un-project the candidate they had earlier projected to win a particular race. Well, that's how I feel right now as I officially announce that I'm kicking Toledo sophomore RB Kareem Hunt out of the house. Actually I never should have welcomed him in in the first place but decided to at the start of this season because it looked like he had converted the braids he had in high school to dreads.
But even as I did that, this season's photo of him on the UT website (on right) kept me in doubt. Early in the season I tried to get a closer look, but Hunt was wearing a skull cap in all of the interviews of him that I saw, so those videos proved nothing. Finally a couple of weeks ago I saw this video of him .... ..... and I was like ..... man, those still look like braids. So even though Kareem rushed for 100+ yards for the 8th straight game this week in a 27-24 road loss to Northern Illinois, I can't put him on the dread stars list. And you can consider him excluded from all the dread stars lists I had him on earlier in the season too. Maybe I'll change my mind again at some point in the future, but not until what he's got growing starts looking more like dreads.

And now, as promised earlier in the season, here is the list of some more players I had to boot out of the house - players I have no longer been writing about this season because they are ex-dreads. I'm sure I missed some, but these are all the players I know of who had dreads when the 2013 season ended but have cut them off since then.

DT Montravius Adams - Auburn                                       CB Jarrell Jones - Miami (Ohio)                        
LB Steven Daniels - Boston College                                  WR Jazz King - North Carolina Central
LB Tavarus Dantzler - Bethune-Cookman                                        (transfer from Marshall)

CB James Davis - Northern Colorado                                WR Jameon Lewis - Mississippi State
TE Alex DeLeon - FAU                                                    S Angel Lopez - Abilene Christian
WR William Dukes - FAU                                                 S Stephaun Marshall - Temple
DE Mario Edwards - Florida State                                    LB Jordan Miles - North Carolina Central
WR Nate Hairston - Temple                                              DT Dwayne Montgomery - Bethune-Cookman
WR Rannell Hall - UCF                                                    LB Antonio Morrison - Florida
WR Iric Harris - Massachusetts                                        DT Armand Nance - Boise State
LB Jermaine Holmes - Marshall                                        WR Dennis Norfleet - Michigan
DT Jaxon Hood - Arizona State                                        DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa - UCLA
S Trevor Ishmael - Western Michigan                                S Witney Sherry - Buffalo
CB John Johnson - Boston College                                   WR Jordon Vaden - Colorado State
                                                                                         WR  Rokeem Williams - Miami (Ohio)


1. Junior S Dallas Crawford dives at Ermon Lane of Florida State and is able to trip up the freshman WR, holding him to a 22-yard reception to the Miami 30-yard line with 10:10 remaining in 2nd quarter. The Seminoles kicked a FG 4 plays later to cut the Hurricanes' lead to 23-10. Lane's only other catch in the game went for a 5-yard gain on a FG drive in 4th quarter. Crawford finished with 2 tackles (2-0). Florida State improved to 10-0 with a 30-26 road win over Miami.


2. Junior WR Marcus Johnson and freshman WR Armanti Foreman celebrate after Foreman's 45-yard TD catch on 3rd and 11 increases Texas' lead over Oklahoma State to 28-7 with 4:31 remaining in the game at Stillwater. It was the 1st career TD for Foreman, whose dreads are less than a year old and kind of impossible to see when he has his helmet on. Armanti earlier had a 29-yard reception on 3rd and 8 to set up a FG and finished with 2 catches for 74 yards. Johnson had 1 catch for 17 yards. The Longhorns improved to 6-5 and became bowl eligible with the 28-7 road win over Oklahoma State. 


3. On the first snap of the game in Nebraska territory (by either team) with 8:20 to play in 1st quarter, Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy runs for a 12-yard gain until he is hit and stripped of the ball by senior S Corey Cooper at the 16-yard line .....


4. ..... After CB Josh Mitchell tries to scoop up the ball (instead of falling on it) at the 13-yard line and fails, junior RB Melvin Gordon saves the possession for the Badgers, beating senior WR Kenzel Doe to the FR at the 9-yard line. 4 plays later the Badgers got on the board with a FG, cutting Nebraska's lead to 10-3.


5. After being knocked out of bounds by a diving, touchdown-saving tackle by Corey Cooper in 1st quarter, Melvin Gordon is ready when Cooper tries the same thing early in the 2nd, jumping over him without breaking stride and taking it 62 yards to the house to complete a 4-play, 77-yard drive that cut Nebraska's lead to 17-10 with 12:21 remaining until halftime. The run put Gordon over 100 yards rushing for the game, and he was only warming up. Wisconsin went on to crush the Cornhuskers 59-24.


6. Sophomore CB Greg Cunningham of UNC-Charlotte and Wesley WR Andrew Monaghan go for the ball but neither make the catch, and the deep pass falls incomplete on 1st and 10 with about 10 minutes remaining in the game at Charlotte. The drive ended 4 plays later with an incomplete pass on 4th and 2, keeping the 49ers' lead at 38-27. Cunningham finished with 6 tackles (5-1) and 1 TFL in addition to this PBU. Charlotte snapped a 6-game losing streak, improving to 4-6 and handing Division 3 powerhouse Wesley their 1st loss of the season, 38-33.


7. Lined up in the slot on 1st and 10, junior WR Daniel Adams of Maryland takes advantage of a blown coverage in the Michigan State secondary to get open and makes the 1st catch of his career, good for a 20-yard TD, as S RJ Williamson comes over and makes the tackle too late, cutting the Spartans' lead to 9-7 with 8:46 remaining in 2nd quarter. Adams had one other reception in the game, finishing with 2 catches for 39 yards, but the Terrapins lost at home to the Spartans 37-15.  


8. After getting his 1st career INT on 2nd and 10, Memphis sophomore CB Dontrell Nelson takes the return 58 yards all the way to the house, avoiding a last-ditch attempted tackle by Tulane QB Tanner Lee at the 3-yard line, to up the Tigers' lead to 24-0 late in 3rd quarter at New Orleans. Nelson also had 2 tackles (2-0), both of which were TFL, including 1 sack, in the game. Memphis won their 4th in a row (their longest winning streak in 11 years, improving to 7-3 with a 38-7 win over the Green Wave.


9. Junior LB Josh Forrest of Kentucky made a ton of tackles but can't quite make this one, as Tennessee RB Jalen Hurd hits the pylon before his knee touches the ground to score a 4-yard TD run on 1st and goal for the final points of the game with 20 seconds remaining in 3rd quarter at Knoxville. Forrest finished with a career high 20 tackles (12-8) as the Wildcats got whipped by Tennessee 50-16. 


10. Junior DE/LB Curt Maggitt gives his dreads a little shake for the fans as he celebrates with them following the Volunteers' big win. Maggitt's only 2 tackles in the game were his 8th and 9th sacks of the season. Tennessee (5-5) keeps their bowl hopes alive and improves to 29-1 in their last 30 meetings with Kentucky.


11. Senior RB Tony Creecy, with the colorful red dread tips, celebrates after scoring North Carolina State's 1st TD of the afternoon on a 2-yard run to cap a 10-play, 69-yard opening drive. It was his 3rd TD of the season. Creecy got the start on senior day and carried 4 times for 26 yards - all in 1st quarter - as the Wolfpack became bowl eligible, improving to 6-5 with a 42-13 victory over Wake Forest.


  • Dalvin Cook - Florida State - 92 yards and 2 TD rushing on 7 carries, and 2 receptions for 18 yards in 30-26 road W over Miami (Florida)
  • Todd Gurley - Georgia - 29 carries for 138 yards and 1 TD rushing in 34-7 home W over Auburn
  • Jay Ajayi - Boise State - 134 yards and 3 TD rushing on 31 carries, and 4 receptions for 25 yards in 38-29 home W over San Diego State
  •  Shaquille Murray-Lawrence - UNLV - 20 carries for career high 143 yards rushing, including 68-yard TD, and 2 receptions for 8 yards in 42-23 road L to BYU
  • Breon Allen - East Carolina - 129 yards and 1 TD rushing on 12 carries, and 1 reception for 26 yards in 54-46 road L to Cincinnati

  • Mark Roberts - Lamar - 4 receptions for 124 yards, including 78-yard TD, in 31-20 W over Incarnate Word on senior night - becomes 1st player in Lamar history with 1,000 yards receiving in one season
  • Malcolm Cyrus - Alabama State - despite 3 lost fumbles, named SWAC offensive player of the week - 27 carries for 180 yards and 1 TD rushing, and 2 receptions for 60 yards in 37-23 road W over Grambling
  • Bennie Coney - Eastern Kentucky - 6 carries for 24 yards rushing, and went 11 for 16 for 264 yards and 1 TD passing in 43-36 home W over Murray State
  • Justin Grier - Morehead State - named PFL defensive player of the week - 5 tackles (4-1), 1 PBU, and 2 INT in 41-18 home W over Stetson .....
  • Kalif Phillips - UNC-Charlotte - 173 yards and 3 TD rushing on 36 carries in 38-33 home W over Wesley
  • Terryon Robinson - Western Carolina - 12 receptions for 127 yards in 42-27 home W over VMI
  • John Israel - Coastal Carolina - 8 receptions for 111 yards, including 26-yard TD, in 52-21 home W over Monmouth
  • Donovan Williams - Sam Houston State - 13 carries for 212 yards and 3 TD rushing, and 1 reception for 10 yards in 76-0 road W over Houston Baptist
  • Jalen Overstreet - Sam Houston State - 8 carries for 130 yards and 2 TD as Bearkats racked up school record 601 yards rushing

  • Gus Johnson - Stephen F. Austin - 158 yards and 2 TD rushing on 27 carries in 37-35 home L to Abilene Christian
  • Darius Victor - Towson - 136 yards and 1 TD rushing on 22 carries in 37-14 home L to William & Mary
  • Anthony Jordan - Bethune-Cookman - 81 yards and 3 TD rushing on 10 carries, and 6 receptions for 43 yards in tough 40-35 road L to Hampton
  • Cameron Molina - Columbia - 29 carries for 118 yards and 2 TD rushing, and 5 receptions for 56 yards in 30-27 home L to Cornell
  • Ify Umodu - Northern Arizona - 7 receptions for 103 yards and 1 TD in 30-28 road L to North Dakota
  • Brian Handley - Arkansas-Pine Bluff - 24 carries for 134 yards rushing in 56-6 road L to Alcorn State
Sam Houston State ruined senior day at Houston Baptist in a major way, routing the Huskies 76-0 and outgaining them 823-177 in total yards in the process. 5 of the Bearkats 10 TD were by players with dreads, and so the end zone at Husky Stadium in Houston is the house of dread for this week. Sophomore RB Jalen Overstreet scored on runs of 38 and 48 yards in the 1st quarter. Then junior RB Donovan Williams took over, scoring on runs of 80 yards (photo on right, making it 35-0 in the 1st quarter), 24 yards, and 56 yards as the Bearkats took a 55-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. Here are the 1st half highlights, including 4 of the 5 TD:

Husky Stadium shares HOD honors with the end zone at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, as 5 TD were also scored by players with dreads in Wisconsin's 59-24 beatdown of Nebraska. Sophomore RB Dare Ogunbowale capped the scoring with an 8-yard run in garbage time for the Badgers for his 1st career TD. Before that, the other 4 TD were by this week's player of the week .....

Most of the time it is a disastrous day for a running back when he fumbles twice in one game. And then other times you have the kind of game Melvin Gordon did. The first fumble by the Wisconsin junior RB helped put the Badgers in a 17-3 hole early in the 2nd quarter against Nebraska. And said Gordon of his second fumble, which ruined what would have been a 16-yard gain, "After the second fumble I was kind of just out of it ..... It was depressing ..... To have two in a game, it really kills your confidence out there." Gordon thanked his teammates and the UW coaching staff for sticking with him and then treated them to a record-setting performance, turning the coldest Wisconsin home game in 50 years into a giant party as the Badgers routed the Cornhuskers 59-24 to move into sole possession of 1st place in the Big 10 West at 5-1.

Gordon is the no-brainer selection as head dread for Week 12, earning Big 10 offensive player of the week honors after setting Wisconsin, Big 10, and Division 1-FBS records for the most yards rushing in one game. Gordon rushed for an incredible 408 yards to break the FBS record of 406 that had been held for 15 years by former TCU star LaDainian Tomlinson. Just as incredible was that Gordon racked up those 408 yards on only 25 carries, and not a single one of them came in the 4th quarter, as he took a seat on the bench with the Badgers so far ahead. (Even more incredibly, the ink in the record book didn't even have time to dry, as Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine surpassed Gordon's new record only 7 days later with a 427-yard game against Kansas in Week 13.)

You may recall that this wasn't the first time Gordon has ruined the day for Nebraska fans. As a freshman in 2012 he rushed for more than 200 yards on only 9 carries as the Badgers crushed the Cornhuskers in the Big 10 championship game. Two years later it was same old, same old for the NU defense, as once again they were shredded by Gordon, who did the bulk of his damage on long runs of 42 yards in the 1st quarter; 62, 39, and 44 yards in the 2nd quarter; and 43, 68, and 26 yards in the 3rd quarter - with all of them coming on scoring drives.

Gordon's 42-yard run, on which S Corey Cooper dove at his legs and was able to force him out of bounds (photo on left) at the 28-yard line, led to a FG that cut NU's lead to 10-3 - a FG that wouldn't have happened, by the way, had he not recovered a fumble by QB Tanner McEvoy on the next play. Cooper tried the same thing when Gordon broke loose early in the 2nd quarter; but Melvin was ready for him this time, jumping over the tackle attempt and never breaking stride as he took it 62 yards to the house for a highlight reel TD that made it 17-10. Then on his first carry after his second fumble, Gordon went for 39 yards to the 17-yard line, setting up the tying TD. The 44-yard run came on the drive that put UW ahead to stay at 24-17. He had 189 yards rushing in the 2nd quarter alone on 10 carries.

The onslaught continued in the 3rd quarter, as Gordon scored a 1-yard TD on the next play after the 43-yard gain (right photo above); and then scored a 6-yard TD run (right photo below) on the next play after the 68-yarder (left photo below), making the score 38-17. Just 24 yards away from Tomlinson's record, Melvin broke the record in style - scoring his 4th TD of the afternoon on a 26-yard run on the final play of the 3rd quarter, upping the Badgers' lead to 52-17 on his final carry of the game.

I have to admit I was wrong (and I couldn't be happier about it) when I wrote that I thought Gordon would fall out of the race for the Heisman Trophy in a previous report. (Ironically it was the player I thought would win - Todd Gurley - who dropped out of the race.) A performance like this will do wonders for his Heisman campaign. And if he continues the strong performances while also leading the Badgers to the Big 10 title, he might just win the thing. I'd probably be even happier than him if that happens.
For more details on Gordon's huge game please click on the first link below for an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And if you like, the second link is to a video of highlights of the game.

Well, don't hold your breath waiting for a report on Week 13. But I should be able to get something done for all of the big rivalry games in Week 14 along with the 1st round of the FCS playoffs.


  1. Terrell Manning is about to become the first player with long dreads to be active for the Giants in the regular season since RW McQuarters since '06

    1. Mercy. He's on IR already. What did he do, get injured during warmups?

      A scary sight from the Redskins-Colts game ..... Josh Gordy without dreads.
      Apparently he cut them off during the bye week right after they played the Giants, but I didn't notice until this week.

  2. It looks like Lions OL Rodney Austin is growing dreads

  3. During the game, I saw trainers bringing Manning to the lockerroom so I guess he got injured on a kickoff. Too bad Robert Ayers is also out for the year with a torn pectroal. It seems like the Giants are cursed when it comes to players with dreads. Every year, there is at least 2 players with dreads that look like they are gonna make the Giants final roster. Then, by the time of the roster cut down, one of those players gets injured and is placed on I.R. and the other makes the roster and cuts his dreads off. R.W. McQuarters was nothing more than average with his time with the Giants, C.C. Brown was awful in the 1 year he was there, Chad Jones got into a car accident and suffered a career-ending injury, Duke Calhoun cut his dreads off, Marvin Austin tore his pectoral and the next year cut his dreads, Brian witherspoon got injured, Kris Adams got injured, Rogers Gaines got injured and might have cut his dreads, and now Terrell manning got injured.

  4. The Giants just signed Paul Hazel. I wonder how long he will last...