The stats sheet may say that Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire and LSU RB Leonard Fournette were the stars of the Music City Bowl at Nashville on Dec. 30; but as we all know the real star was Jalen Collins' dreads. Frustratingly Collins kept his long dreads bottled up one way or another throughout the season; but in his final game in an LSU uniform he finally unleashed them.
17. With the game tied at 28 and :04 on the clock, Jalen Collins arrives too late to block a 32-yard FG attempt by K Kyle Brindza .....
20. It's the Military Bowl, Dec. 27 at Navy's home stadium in Annapolis, MD, so Cincinnati junior WR Chris Moore figures it's appropriate to give a quick salute (left photo) after scoring the 1st TD of the game. But apparently the officials didn't think so and flagged Moore for the salute even before he's done celebrating (right photo, doing the air bump with WR Nate Cole). The 31-yard TD catch gave the Bearcats a 7-0 lead over Virginia Tech in 1st quarter and was the first of 2 TD in the game for Moore, who made the dread stars list.
21. On 3rd and 5 from the UC 15-yard line junior CB Leviticus Payne, playing as a LB in this game, is not called for pass interference as he breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for freshman TE Bucky Hodges with 8:57 remaining in the game. Virginia Tech kicked a FG on the next play to increase their lead to 33-17. Payne finished the game with 2 tackles (2-0) and 2 PBU. Hodges, who the same as with Ricky Seale at Stanford I did not find out had started growing dreads until after the season was over, had 3 catches for only 9 yards. If you save the photo on the right, it's large enough that you can see a lock or two of Hodges' dreads barely peeking out from under his helmet. Hodges had a fine freshman season, but his 45 catches for 526 yards didn't include any games where he would have made the dread stars list.
24. On the 2nd play from scrimmage in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 23 Northern Illinois tries a trick play, with senior RB Akeem Daniels pitching to sophomore WR Aregeros Turner on the double reverse; but the play ends disastrously as Marshall DE Arnold Blackmon stays at home and flings Turner to the ground for a 12-yard loss. Things didn't go a whole lot better for the Huskies the rest of the night either. Turner racked up a game high 196 all-purpose yards, but 146 of those came on his 6 kickoff returns. 55 came on his 4 receptions. Daniels had 2 carries for 7 yards rushing and a 29-yard reception in his final game for NIU. Marshall finished 13-1 after rolling over Northern Illinois 52-23. NIU ended up 11-3.
It was a much happier time for some other players with dreads after their bowl games ....
31. Junior RB Jay Ajayi enjoys a moment with family members during the celebration at the end of the Fiesta Bowl during the afternoon on New Year's Eve at Glendale, AZ. Ajayi made the dread stars list one last time in his final game in a Boise State uniform, scoring 3 TD to help the Broncos defeat Arizona 38-30. Ajayi had already announced his plans to enter the NFL Draft about a week before the game; but wow, did he ever get the short end of the stick in the draft, not getting picked until the 5th round. Damn! All you can do, Jay, is go prove them wrong.
42. A couple of #7's with dreads battle it out early in 3rd quarter of the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31. On 3rd and 11, after TCU returned the 2nd half opening kickoff to the Ole Miss 34-yard line, junior S Trae Elston is in good shape to get the INT on a deep pass, but junior WR Kolby Listenbee tries to wrestle the ball away from him .....
In Part 1 I mentioned that Listenbee, who had a breakout junior season in football, had even more success running track in the spring. If you can stand to wait through a 30-second commercial, here's a brief video report on TCU's 4x100 relay team done by Dallas TV station KTVT just before they competed for the NCAA championship: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/06/11/tcu-sprint-relay-team-aims-for-national-title/
..... As it turned out, TCU finished in 2nd place in the championship race; Listenbee was already about 2 meters behind when he got the baton for the anchor leg and didn't come close to catching the runner for Arkansas.
ABC's Wide World of Sports said it best: The thrill of victory .....
...... and the agony of defeat .....
Minnesota DBs Derrick Wells and Briean Boddy-Calhoun had interceptions in the 1st quarter of the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1; but not everything went right for them .....
46. It's not bad coverage, but it's not good enough as junior CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun gets beat for a 25-yard TD by Missouri WR Bud Sasser on a back shoulder pass on 2nd and 10 late in 2nd quarter, giving the Tigers a 10-7 lead. Boddy-Calhoun finished with 4 tackles (4-0) and 1 PBU in addition to his INT.
47. Sick senior S Derrick Wells tries to stop QB Maty Mauk at the goal line on 2nd and 12 in 3rd quarter - but that turned out to not be such a great idea. Mauk finishes his 18-yard TD run and wins the collision with Wells in the process, putting Missouri ahead to stay 19-14 with 9:16 remaining in the 3rd. Wells had 3 tackles (2-1) in addition to his INT in his final game in a Minnesota uniform; but none of that happened after this play, as he had to sit out the rest of the game with concussion symptoms.
53. Sick senior RB Kendall Houston of South Alabama (I wish more RBs would have dreads like these) can't shake a leg free from Bowling Green CB Jude Adjei-Barimah on his 1st carry of the game midway through 1st quarter of the first ever Camellia Bowl on Dec. 20 at Montgomery, AL. Houston was tackled at the BG 44-yard line after a gain of 3; but there was no stopping him on the next play, as he scored USA's first ever TD in a bowl game on the longest run of his career. Houston had 53 yards and 2 TD rushing on 5 carries in the final game of his 6-year career for the Jaguars, who finished at 6-7 after losing to Bowling Green (8-6) 33-28.
56. On 3rd and 25 - after Gordon was tackled for a 5-yard loss on 2nd and 20 - Trovon Reed gets his 3rd INT of the season, picking off the pass intended for WR Jordan Fredrick midway through 2nd quarter. Trovon had a lot of room in front of him for a big return, but couldn't stay on his feet and fell down at the Auburn 33-yard line immediately after making the catch. Actually though, he didn't need a big return, as two plays later the Tigers scored a TD on a 66-yard pass to take a 14-7 lead. Reed finished with 3 tackles (3-0) in addition to his pick in his final game for Auburn.
After losing their bowl game 4 years in a row, the Badgers finally win one, defeating Auburn 34-31 in OT to finish 11-3. Auburn, playing a schedule that included 11 teams that made it to bowl games, went 8-5.
BOWL GAME DREAD STARS
- Darren Carrington - Oregon - 7 receptions for 165 yards and 2 TD in 59-20 W over Florida State in Rose Bowl (playoff semifinal)
- Josh Hicks - Rutgers - MVP of Quick Lane Bowl - 19 carries for 202 yards and 1 TD rushing in 40-21 W over North Carolina
- Deontay Greenberry - Houston - 4 receptions for 85 yards and 2 TD (all in 4th quarter) and made catch for game-winning 2-point conversion in 35-34 W over Pittsburgh in Armed Forces Bowl
- Jay Ajayi - Boise State - 134 yards and 3 TD rushing on 22 carries in 38-30 W over Arizona in Fiesta Bowl
- Mike Williams - Clemson - 9 receptions for 112 yards and 1 TD in 40-6 W over Oklahoma in Russell Athletic Bowl
- Markus Golden - Missouri - MVP of Citrus Bowl - 10 tackles (5-5), 4 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and 1 FF in 33-17 W over Minnesota
- Paul Perkins - UCLA - offensive MVP of Alamo Bowl - 194 yards and 2 TD rushing on 20 carries in 40-35 W over Kansas State
- Kevin White - West Virginia - 7 receptions for 129 yards and 1 TD in 45-37 L to Texas A&M in Liberty Bowl
- Breshad Perriman - UCF - 9 receptions for 138 yards in 34-27 L to North Carolina State in St. Petersburg Bowl
- J.D. McKissic - Arkansas State - 7 receptions for 99 yards and 9 yards rushing on 1 carry in 63-44 L to Toledo in GoDaddy Bowl
- Derrick Henry - Alabama - 13 carries for 95 yards and 1 TD rushing, and 2 receptions for 54 yards in 42-35 L to Ohio State in Sugar Bowl (playoff semifinal)
- De'Runnya Wilson - Mississippi State - 9 receptions for 105 yards and 2 TD in 49-34 L to Georgia Tech in Orange Bowl
- Chris Moore - Cincinnati - 4 receptions for 103 yards and 2 TD in 33-17 L to Virginia Tech in Military Bowl
CATCHING UP (an abbreviated version of the dread stars lists I did not do earlier in the season)
Lynquez Blair - Georgia State Lamont Brown - Morgan State
Malcome Kennedy - Texas A&M Terryon Robinson -Western Carolina
Akeem Daniels - Northern Illinois Kalif Phillips - UNC-Charlotte
of the week - 46-yard PR TD, 100-yard KR TD) Darius Victor - Towson
Jay Ajayi - Boise State Tom Smith - Tennessee State
Prince-Tyson Gulley - Syracuse Mark Roberts - Lamar
Dee Hart - Colorado State (MWC offensive player Janawski Davis - Murray State
of the week)
Kevin White - West Virginia
Derrick Henry - Alabama
Jarvis Cooper - Memphis
Bradley Marquez - TexasTech
Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin
|Bradley Marquez had 11 catches for a career high 184 yards, including 2 key 4th quarter TD, as Texas Tech defeated Central Arkansas 42-35.|
WEEK 2 (add to list) WEEK 3 (add to list)
Malcolm Cyrus - Alabama State (SWAC Darius Victor
offensive player of the week) De'Angelo Henderson (Big South offensive
Najee Bright - Alabama State player of the week)
De'Angelo Henderson - Coastal Carolina (Big Marquis Smith - Savannah State
South offensive player of the week) Malcolm Cyrus
Roland Jackson - Cal Poly Khalid Thomas - Alabama State (SWAC special
Gus Johnson - Stephen F. Austin (SLC teams player of the week)
offensive player of the week) Lorenzo Long - Wofford
Tyre Bracken - Southern Gus Johnson
Demarcus Rouse - Presbyterian
Jowan Davis - Rice Malcolm Cyrus (SWAC offensive player of the week)
Prince-Tyson Gulley Jerami Singleton - Stetson
Breon Allen - East Carolina Ify Imodu - Northern Arizona
Derrick Henry De'Angelo Henderson
Marken Michel - Massachusetts Gerald Hearns - FAMU
Keon Hatcher - Arkansas Darius Victor
Kevin White Lorenzo Long
Ryan Jackson - Houston Julian Burton (MVFC offensive player of the week -
Jay Ajayi 10 receptions for 194 yards)
Taj Rich - North Dakota
Keavon Madison - Stephen F. Austin
|Breon Allen rushed for a career high 211 yards, had 3 catches for 22 yards, and scored 2 TD as East Carolina thrashed North Carolina 70-41, racking up a school record 789 total yards in the process.|
WEEK 5 (add to list)
Darius Joseph - SMU Cameron Molina - Columbia
Matt Jones - Florida De'Angelo Henderson
Dee Hart Gus Johnson
Mike Williams - Clemson
Kolby Listenbee - TCU
Cole Luke - Notre Dame
J.D. McKissic - Arkansas State
Trae Waynes - Michigan State
Germod Williams - Texas State
|In Georgia's 44-17 victory over Vanderbilt, Todd Gurley rushed for 163 yards and 2 TD, had 2 catches for 24 yards, and lofted this pass that went for a 50-yard completion.|
WEEK 7 (add to list)
P.J Hall - Sam Houston State (SLC
defensive player of the week)
Jakori Ford - Idaho State
Jay Ajayi Darius Victor
Greg Howell - FAU Christian Dorsey - Albany (CAA defensive player
Lucky Whitehead - FAU of the week)
Kevin White Shepard Little - Eastern Illinois
Mike Williams Lorenzo Long
Paul Perkins - UCLA Verlon Hunter - Grambling
Chris Conley - Georgia Spearman Robinson - Western Carolina (SOCON
Terrence Magee - LSU offensive player of the week)
D'Vario Montgomery - Iowa State Jaleel Lorquet - Western Carolina (SOCON defensive
player of the week)
Larry Brihm - Bethune-Cookman
|The FAU coaching staff changed their mind, deciding not to redshirt freshman RB Greg Howell; and in his first career game Howell carried 21 times for 118 yards and 1 TD to help the Owls beat Western Kentucky 45-38.|
WEEK 9 (add to list)
Dalvin Cook - Florida State Janawski Davis
Mike Boone - Cincinnati Jonathan Epps - Abilene Christian (SLC defensive
Melvin Gordon player of the week - 2 INT in his first game after
Shaq Thompson - Washington (174 yards and switching positions from WR to CB)
1 TD rushing on 15 carries) De'Angelo Henderson
Matt Jones Brian Handley - Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Shaquille Murray-Lawrence - UNLV Darius Victor
Sammie Coates - Auburn Gus Johnson
Dee Hart Anthony Jordan - Bethune-Cookman
Pig Howard - Tennessee Larry Brihm
Rakeem Nunez-Roches - Southern Mississippi Mark Roberts (SLC offensive player of the week)
|Matt Jones had a career high 192 yards rushing and 2 TD in Florida's 38-20 upset of Georgia.|
|Mark Roberts had 5 catches for 205 yards and 4 TD - all in the 1st half (!) - including this 61-yard TD in the 1st quarter, as Lamar slaughtered Houston Baptist 72-14.|
Brian Hill - Wyoming Verlon Hunter
Melvin Gordon (249 total yards and 2 TD) Kalif Phillips
Jowan Davis Janawski Davis
Malcome Kennedy Xavier Williams - Northern Iowa (named MVFC
Deontay Greenberry - Houston defensive player of the week as Panthers defeated
Parry Nickerson - Tulane North Dakota State 23-3, ending the Bison's
D'Vario Montgomery 33-game winning streak)
Kevin White Darius Victor
|Freshman CB Parry Nickerson had a season high 7 tackles and got his 5th and 6th INT of the season to earn AAC defensive player of the week honors in Tulane's 31-24 win at Houston.|
WEEK 12 (add to list)
Brison Williams - South Carolina Marquis Hayes - Southeastern Louisiana
David Washington - ODU Kalif Phillips
Tyshon Dye - Clemson Asia Bolling - Central Connecticut State (NEC
Melvin Gordon (Big 10 offensive player of co-defensive player of the week)
the week - 264 total yards and 2 TD) Shepard Little
Will Fuller - Notre Dame Lorenzo Long
Derrick Henry Malcolm Cyrus
Chris Black - Alabama Janawski Davis
Anthony Harris - Virginia Mark Roberts
Markus Golden - Missouri (SEC defensive Gus Johnson (rushed for 161 yards to set
player of the week) Stephen F. Austin school records for yards
Jay Ajayi (202 total yards and 3 TD) rushing in a season and in a career)
|Finally healthy, redshirt freshman RB Tyshon Dye rushed for 124 yards and his first 2 TD in a Clemson uniform as the Tigers shut out Georgia State 28-0.|
Travis Greene - Bowling Green P.J. Hall
Paul Perkins Verlon Hunter
Vic Beasley - Clemson
Bud Dupree - Kentucky
Gregory Hogan - New Mexico State
Janarion Grant - Rutgers
De'Runnya Wilson - Mississippi State
|Sammie Coates scorched the Alabama secondary for 206 yards and 2 TD on 5 receptions, but it wasn't enough as the Crimson Tide won the highest-scoring Iron Bowl ever 55-44.|
WEEK 15 (add to list)
Darren Carrington - Oregon
124 different Division 1 players made the dread stars list at least once (almost the same number as the 126 last year). To the surprise of nobody Melvin Gordon made the most appearances. Here are the 17 players who made the list at least 5 times.
- 12 TIMES - Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
- 11 TIMES - Boise State RB Jay Ajayi
- 10 TIMES - Coastal Carolina RB De'Angelo Henderson
- 9 TIMES - West Virginia WR Kevin White, Alabama State RB Malcolm Cyrus, Stephen F. Austin RB Gus Johnson
- 8 TIMES - UNC-Charlotte RB Kalif Phillips, Towson RB Darius Victor
- 7 TIMES - Colorado State RB Dee Hart, UCLA RB Paul Perkins
- 6 TIMES - Murray State WR Janawski Davis
- 5 TIMES - Alabama RB Derrick Henry, Georgia RB Todd Gurley, Bowling Green RB Travis Greene, Florida State RB Dalvin Cook, Lamar WR Mark Roberts, Wofford RB Lorenzo Long
Most appearances by a defensive player was 2 - by Washington LB Shaq Thompson (who also had 2 appearances on offense for a total of 4), Missouri DE Markus Golden, and Sam Houston State DE P.J. Hall
HOUSE OF DREAD
There were touchdowns scored by players with dreads in 24 of the 42 bowl games (including the FBS championship game and the final two rounds of the FCS playoffs); but there were no more than 3 scored in any one game, and that happened in four different games.
CATCHING UP (Here are the house of dread awards I didn't do during the regular season)
The end zone at Camp Randall Stadium at Madison, WI, was the HOD for Week 4, thanks to a season-high 5-TD performance by the player of the week.
WEEK 6 (addition)
Thanks to my discovery near the end of the season that RB De'Angelo Henderson has dreads, the end zone at Paladin Stadium in Greenville, SC, joins Sanford Stadium (mentioned in my Week 7 report) as the HOD winner for Week 6. There were 4 TD by Coastal Carolina players with dreads in their 37-31 win at Furman: junior WR John Israel had a 12-yard reception, and Henderson, the sophomore RB, scored on runs of 4 and 7 yards and had the game-winning 17-yard TD reception in the 2nd overtime.
There was a 3-way for the Week 8 house of dread. 4 touchdowns were scored by players with dreads in the end zone at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, FL: In the Owls' 45-38 win over Western Kentucky freshman WR Kalib Woods (11-yard reception) and freshman RB Greg Howell (4-yard run) both scored their 1st TD in an FAU uniform, and senior WR Lucky Whitehead had a 20-yard TD reception and then the game-winning 61-yard TD catch with 1:23 remaining in the game.
In the end zone at Mercer University Stadium in Macon, GA, there were 4 TD by Western Carolina players with dreads in their 35-21 win over Mercer. Sophomore WR Spearman Robinson (SOCON offensive player of the week) scored 3 times, on receptions of 33, 3, and 42 yards; and junior CB Jaleel Lorquet (SOCON defensive player of the week) took a fumble return 10 yards to the house.
And at War Memorial Stadium at Little Rock, AR, the Razorbacks' home away from home, sophomore RB Alex Collins scored on runs of 1 yard and 6 yards (photo above) in Arkansas' 45-32 loss to Georgia. Junior WR Keon Hatcher (#4 in photo) scored on an 8-yard reception; and senior WR Chris Conley had a 36-yard TD catch for Georgia.
WEEK 9 (correction)
Thanks to my discovery near the end of the season that De'Angelo Henderson has dreads, the three end zones I mentioned in my Week 9 report are no longer the winners for Week 9. Instead the winner is Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC, the home of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. CCU scored 6 TD in their 43-22 homecoming win over Charleston Southern, and 5 of them were by players with dreads. Henderson had 3 of those on runs of 3, 18, and 1 yard, and WR John Israel had TD receptions of 74 and 51 yards.
Senior WR Mark Roberts went crazy in Lamar's 72-14 home win over Houston Baptist, scoring 4 TD in the end zone at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, TX - 31, 61, and 81-yard receptions in the 1st quarter, and a 26-yarder in the 2nd quarter. Damn, what would have happened if he had played in the 2nd half?
And at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, CA, Colorado State junior RB Dee Hart took four of his 24 carries to the house in a 38-31 win over San Jose State, all on short runs of 6, 1, 7, and 7 yards (the second 7-yarder in photo above, giving the Rams a 38-24 lead with 5:09 remaining in the game).
There was another 3-way tie for the HOD in Week 11, with only 3 touchdowns needed to claim the award. With Coastal Carolina playing against UNC-Charlotte, Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte, NC, figured to be a serious contender for the honors; and with Coastal winning 59-34, it's actually kind of disappointing there were only 3 TD by players with dreads. De'Angelo Henderson (1-yard run) and sophomore WR Devin Brown (10-yard run) scored for the Chanticleers, while sophomore RB Kalif Phillips had a 51-yard TD run for UNCC.
In the end zone at Robert W. Plaster Stadium in Springfield, MO, where Southern Illinois defeated Missouri State 32-22, senior WR Tay Willis scored on receptions of 4 and 36-yards for SIU, while senior WR Julian Burton had a 32-yard TD catch for Missouri State.
And at University Stadium in Albuquerque, NM, the head dread for Week 11 scored 3 TD.
Hughes Stadium in Ft. Collins, CO, was the HOD winner for Week 13 thanks to a huge performance by the head dread of the week.
Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID, was the HOD winner for Week 14 thanks to a huge performance by the head dread of the week (although not quite as huge as the one in Week 13).
There was only one game all season in Division 1 with as many as 6 TD by players with dreads. That was the Week 13 game between New Mexico and Colorado State (which I'll let you read about in the head dread section).
As for the teams winning the most HOD awards, there were no surprises. Wisconsin games were the HOD winner 4 times. Georgia, Boise State, Coastal Carolina, and UNC-Charlotte games were the runners up with 3 times each.
If you're one of those people who think bowl games are meaningless, I get your point. But don't try telling that to the players in those bowl games. They're not meaningless to them. Gordon, determined (or should I say desperate) to win one bowl game before ending his college career, with not a whole lot to gain and millions of dollars to lose if he were to suffer a serious injury, carried the ball a season high 34 times against Auburn, rushing for 251 yards and 3 TD to earn game MVP honors (photo above, presented at a press conference after the game) as well as claim the final head dread award of the season as the Badgers won a thriller over the Tigers 34-31 in overtime. He also had 2 receptions for 2 yards.
As was the case all season, the 3rd quarter was the money quarter for Gordon, as he picked up 121 yards on just 9 carries. In all he accounted for 11 of the Badgers' 31 first downs in the game. The 251 yards rushing extends his Big 10 record to 2,587 for the season - a record that hopefully will stand a little longer than the single-game record he set in Week 12. The 2,587 yards also ranks #2 in FBS history to the 2,850 yards gained by Barry Sanders for Oklahoma State in 1988.
As I'm sure you know by now, Gordon was selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft 2 months ago, and there's a lot worse places to go than San Diego. Picked by a team with a good quarterback already on their roster, Melvin has a great chance to continue to be successful on Sundays in the years ahead.
CATCHING UP (Who were the players of the week for Weeks 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, and 14? I'm glad you asked.)
With TTU trailing 31-24, Vanlier ran for a 34-yard gain to the EKU 28-yard line on the 1st play of a 62-yard drive that ended with a TD and a 2-point conversion. Then Ladarius gave the Golden Eagles some breathing room with a 63-yard TD run on the 1st play of their next drive to make it 39-31 with 2:01 to play. Up until the 4th quarter, Tech's only TD came on Vanlier's 79-yard punt return to the house on the 1st play of the 2nd quarter - a play that earned him OVC special teams player of the week honors. The 264 APY consisted of 140 yards rushing on 19 carries, 6 catches for 45 yards, and the return. I couldn't find a photo of Ladarius from this game; so instead of including his headshot from the team's website, the photo above is one of him from Tech's game at Indiana State in Week 2.
Brian Hill had the kind of game that gets coaches in trouble. That is, with the way he played, you wonder what the coaching staff was thinking keeping him on the bench all season. Actually Hill, the freshman RB for Wyoming, began making some noise in Week 9, giving everybody a sneak preview as he made the dread stars list in a loss to Colorado State. He followed that 121-yard game with one for the record books at Fresno State in Week 10. Making his 1st career start, Hill was the obvious choice the MWC offensive player of the week and the head dread after rushing for 281 yards and 2 TD on 23 carries and catching 3 passes for 106 yards as the Cowboys defeated Fresno State to 45-17 to end a 4-game losing streak.
7 midway through the 1st quarter and a 66-yard TD run for a 21-7 lead with 9:33 remaining in the 2nd quarter. Brian had other outbursts of 33, 36, 40, and 89 yards, most of which can be seen in this video:
I just about cracked up the first time I saw that shot of him lying on the ground gassed after he was caught from behind on that 89-yard run. Somebody get the oxygen. Luckily the Cowboys had enough of a lead that he was able to take the rest of the night off.
Hill by no means was perfect: he was called for a facemask penalty on his 33-yard gain; he fumbled the ball away at the end of his 40-yard reception; and he had a false start penalty. But I think we can pardon him for those. The 281 yards rushing were the second most in a game in Wyoming history. The 387 total yards are both school and conference records in both total yards and all-purpose yards in one game. And he became only the 5th player ever to rush for 200+ yards and have 100+ receiving yards in the same game. For more on Hill's great game, here's an article from the Casper Star-Tribune: http://trib.com/sports/college/wyoming/football/wyoming-rb-brian-hill-shatters-records-in-victory-at-fresno/article_9f61032c-8d46-52ac-8e11-d7a28dd8bd4b.html
Even though Melvin Gordon rushed for 205 yards at Purdue, I gave the head dread nod to Jay Ajayi, because his 252 total yards in Boise State's 60-49 win at New Mexico bested (barely) Gordon's 249 total yards. After the Lobos scored a 75-yard TD on their first play from scrimmage, the Broncos struck back immediately, as Ajayi caught a pass and took it 75 yards to the house on their first play from scrimmage, tying the game at 7 only 23 seconds after the opening kickoff. Ajayi scored his 2nd TD of the game on a 4-yard run in the 2nd quarter, cutting New Mexico's lead to 28-21. Then in the 4th quarter Jay carried on all 6 plays of a drive that began with 4:09 on the clock, finishing the 49-yard drive with a 14-yard TD run with 38 seconds to play to finally finish off the Lobos.
Hart's 1st TD was a 2-yard dive into the end zone (photo above) that capped an 86-yard drive, making the score 14-0 early in the 2nd quarter. 77 seconds later he scored on a 6-yard run to make it 20-0 then scored again on a 76-yard run the next time he touched the ball to make it 27-7. Dee scored his 4th TD of the 2nd quarter on a 20-yard reception with 3:30 remaining then scored again on a 4-yard run early in the 3rd before taking his final carry of the afternoon 55 yards to the house late in the 3rd. More details from the CSU website on the first link below; and below that is the video version of the 6 TD.
Ajayi ended 3 of those 5 drives, scoring on a 9-yard run on the opening drive, a 19-yard run late in the 1st, and an 8-yard run 3 minutes later to make it 27-9 early in the 2nd. Jay carried 2 times for 78 yards on a 2-play, 78-yard drive, breaking loose for a 62-yard TD on the first play of the 4th quarter to make it 41-12; and then he capped a 50-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run to make it 48-12 on his final carry of the night with 9:21 to play. More details from the BSU website on their first link below; and below that is the video version of the 5 TD.
A total of 30 defensive players made the dread stars list in 2014, but none of them had a game sensational enough to be the head dread for any week. As a result, the HD award this season turned into a weekly parade of outstanding performances by running backs (some coming back for second and third helpings) with a couple of receivers thrown in.
Here in order are all of the players of the week for 2014.
- WEEK 1: Georgia RB Todd Gurley
- WEEK 2: Boise State RB Jay Ajayi
- WEEK 3: West Virginia WR Kevin White
- WEEK 4: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
- WEEK 5: Georgia RB Todd Gurley
- WEEK 6: Auburn WR Sammie Coates
- WEEK 7: Stephen F. Austin RB Gus Johnson
- WEEK 8: Tennessee Tech RB Ladarius Vanlier
- WEEK 9: UCLA RB Paul Perkins
- WEEK 10: Wyoming RB Brian Hill
- WEEK 11: Boise State RB Jay Ajayi
- WEEK 12: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
- WEEK 13: Colorado State RB Dee Hart
- WEEK 14: Boise State RB Jay Ajayi
- WEEK 15: Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
- BOWL WEEK: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Phew! I finally got that finished. I didn't intend to go 2 months without posting anything; but for real the longer I worked on this bowl report, the further away the finish line seemed to get. Anyway, there's one more thing on tap for the 2014 College Football season, and that's my annual house calls report. As you can probably understand, with the way the season went, I've been very eager to do this post. So I promise, it won't be another 2 months before I have it ready.