November 12, 2011

College FB '11 Dread News - Week 10

While watching Patrick Peterson and Julio Jones perform last Sunday, you couldn't help but think about how much they were missed by the teams they used to play for. Peterson and Jones, selected 5th and 6th overall in last April's NFL Draft after they both skipped their senior season in college, scored touchdowns spectacularly in Week 9 NFL action; but that was of no use to their former teams, LSU and Alabama, in Saturday night's battle of the nation's top two ranked teams. The teams might still be playing even now if the rules required the winning team to have to score at least 1 TD. All they could muster were 5 field goals as LSU prevailed 9-6 in overtime at Tuscaloosa and took a big step toward the BCS title game, which this season will be played at New Orleans two months from now.

Unless you like punting and, of course, field goals, it was a boring game. But that wasn't unexpected. It's what you get when you match two excellent defenses against two so-so offenses. It's true that both the Crimson Tide and Tigers have scored a lot of points this year. But to score against defenses this good, you need great play from your QB, and neither of these teams has that. After the game Alabama WR Marquis Maze had this to say: "It's a difficult pill to swallow. If everybody (on offense) executes in the red area, that wasn't even a close game. The defense played outstanding." Maze's analysis was dead on, even though technically the Tide were in the red zone just once all night. Although they were rarely inside the LSU 20-yard line, the Tide did drive into FG range on 6 of their 9 possessions in regulation. But they just could not finish their drives. They ended up settling for FG attempts, and that ultimately is what did them in.

Instead of building a nice lead early, the Tide came away empty after missing FGs on their first three possessions of the game. A chance to score in the 2nd half ended with an INT. LSU meanwhile, although outgained in total yards 295-239, moved the ball when they needed to, and cashed in with made FGs the only two times they were in range. In overtime Alabama went three and out and missed a FG (what else?) on their possession, setting the stage for the Tigers to win it with a 25-yard FG.

It is hard to notice because Coach Saban doesn't want you to notice, but Alabama has six players with dreads in their starting defensive lineup. Alabama, of course, was at the forefront of dreads hating a couple of years ago. Crimson Tide players with dreads no longer have to use those dreads restrainers (thankfully) they had in 2009, but they still have to confine their dreads as much as possible to keep them out of sight. At this point, however, some players' dreads have gotten so long that it's impossible to stuff them all under the helmet. Included in that group are three fourths of the starting secondary - senior S Mark Barron, junior S Robert Lester, and junior CB Dre Kirkpatrick. Less noticeable are the dreads of three of the four starting LBs. Senior Courtney Upshaw and junior Dont'a Hightower have dreads too short for you to see them; and senior Jerrell Harris has his hidden by the neck board he wears while on the field. Hightower, who likely will be playing in the NFL next year, had 7 tackles (4-3) against LSU. Upshaw, who likely will be playing in the NFL next year, had 6 (2-4), including 1 sack. Barron (6 tackles) and Lester (3 tackles) each got their 2nd INT of the season. Kirkpatrick, who likely will be playing in the NFL next year, had 4 tackles (2-2) before being knocked out (photo below) by a cheap shot by LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu on an Alabama punt during the 4th quarter. He suffered a concussion and might miss a game or two.

Alabama's best player with dreads, of course, is junior RB Trent Richardson. He did not add to his season total of 18 TDs, but he did nothing at all to hurt his Heisman hopes, gaining 169 total yards. LSU also has a starting RB with dreads; but sophomore Spencer Ware (photo below, being pushed out of bounds by Lester) had a very tough night against the Tide D, gaining just 29 yards rushing on 16 carries. The Tigers have no starters with dreads on defense, but they do have several key reserves, including senior LB Karnell Hatcher, junior DE Lavar Edwards, and sophomore LB Tahj Jones, all of whom had 3 tackles; and senior CB Ron Brooks (1 TFL). With the win LSU is now 9-0, the first time in 38 years they have started a season with 9 straight wins. And if they can somehow from now on keep all of their players out of trouble and on the field, an undefeated 14-0 season is a very real possibility.

Due to technical difficulties beyond my control, I was unable to do a report last week. Here briefly are a couple of the many items I was going to mention ..... If you saw the ESPN shot of the defensive linemen meeting on the FIU sideline during the 3rd quarter of their home game against Troy, you saw (with their helmets off!) what likely will be half of the 1st team D-line on my 2011 dread All-America team, namely senior DE James Jones and junior DT Kasey Smith ..... You can't tell because their dreads aren't quite long enough yeat, but both starting CBs for USC have dreads - sophomore Nickell Robey and junior Isiah Wiley. Robey had a huge pick six to give USC a late lead against Stanford, but the Trojans couldn't hold on and eventually lost in 3 overtimes ..... While many games in the Northeast were played during a snowstorm, the weather was beautiful in Alabama, and more than 66,000 were on hand for the annual Magic City Classic in Birmingham. Led by defensive player of the game Corey Hart (photo below), who had 3 TFL including 2 sacks, Alabama A&M edged Alabama State 20-19 to move into the driver's seat inthe SWAC East race ..... Appalachian State, which was ranked #1 in the FCS when they lost at Georgia Southern last year, turned the tables this year, winning at home over #1 ranked GSU 24-17, holding the Bulldogs, who were averaging 369 rushing yards per game, to only 135 on 51 attempts ..... Bucknell senior CB Bryce Robertson was at it again, getting two more INT, his 9th and 10th of the season, in a win over Lafayette ..... And New Mexico State senior S Donyae Coleman had a career high 24 tackles (12-12) and 1 FF, but I could not put him on the dread stars list because none were TFLs and the Aggies gave up 683 total yards in a home loss to Nevada.

I will be cramming all of last week's honors into this week's report, so I will not have as many stories as usual.

I did not know about Colorado freshman D.D. Goodson before the start of the season, otherwise I would have had him on my top 50 list. I first found out about him about a month into the season and figured he was redshirting. He's listed as an 'athlete' on the team roster and for most of the season has been practicing as a RB. But a couple of weeks ago, with the Buffaloes running out of healthy players in the secondary, he was switched to CB. And last Friday against USC he had about a tough a night as a CB can have; but it was hardly even fair, having him matched up against the Trojans' NFL-bound WRs Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. Not surprisingly he got beat by Lee for TDs of 33 and 25 yards in the 1st half and by Woods (photo below) on a 45-yarder during the 3rd quarter. Goodson finished the night with 3 tackles (3-0) and 0 PBU in CU's 42-17 defeat. Hang in there, D.D., better times are ahead:

In the FCS ....

Towson, which went 0-8 in the CAA in 2010 and which was predicted to do not much better in 2011, rebounded from last week's 35-30 home loss to Delaware with an impressive 40-30 road win over Maine to move back into a 1st place tie in the CAA as well as end the Black Bears' 6-game winning streak. Earlier this season when the Tigers moved the ball at will against Morgan State, I thought it was because Morgan State wasn't any good. But the Tigers have been running the ball against everbody, including Maine, whom they outrushed 334-85. There were not many offensive players with dreads on the field, especially after Maine senior WR Maurice McDonald missed most of the 2nd half after catching 5 passes for 49 yards. On defense, junior LB Danzel White had a team-leading 12 tackles (2-10) for Towson, with 1 sack and 1 FR; and freshman LB Kenton Powell had 11 tackles (2-9) and got his 3rd INT of the season. Senior LB Vinson Givans led Maine with 14 tackles (3-11, 0 TFL); senior S Trevor Coston had 11 (6-5, 0 TFL), and senior S Jerron McMillian had 9 (2-7, 1.5 TFL). Both teams are now 7-2, 5-1 in the CAA, and looking good for making the playoffs ..... Senior RB Brian Fowler of Cental Connecticut State had 91 yards and 2 TD rushing on Senior Day in a 31-24 win over Robert Morris that ended CCSU's 6-game losing streak ..... Senior WR Lyndon Leslie had 5 receptions for 72 yards, contributing on 4 scoring drives, as Gardner-Webb won their 3rd in a row, 34-13 over Virginia State ...... Two different players with dreads scored TDs in an Ivy League game (that might be a first); junior RB Mordecai Cargill had an 18-yard TD run for Yale while senior WR Jonah Fay had a 6-yard TD catch for Brown in a 34-28 road win that improves the Bears to 5-0 in league play ..... Another Ivy Leaguer, senior CB Nick Booker-Tandy, got his 3rd INT of the season for Cornell in a 33-24 loss at Dartmouth ..... Senior FB Johnathan Moment gained 106 total yards and scored 2 TDs on just 11 touches, and sophomore RB Isidore Jackson racked up 115 total yards and 1 TD as Bethune-Cookman walloped Morgan State 49-23 ..... And junior WR Xavier Boyce caught 7 passes for 78 yards, and reserve QB Nico Flores rushed for 35 yards and 1 TD as Norfolk State (6-1) clinched at least a tie for the MEAC title, dominating in total yards 559-45 in a 45-3 blowout of Savannah State.

Elsewhere ..... Junior CB Adrian Bushell had 7 tackles (5-2) and a crucial blocked FG attempt that teammate Andrew Johnson scooped up and scored on, and sophomore RB Senorise Perry had a 13-yard run for his 1st TD in a Louisville uniform as the Cardinals won at West Virginia 38-35 ..... Junior DE Walter Stewart had a FF that set up the game-tying TD late in the 3rd quarter, and junior CB Camerron Cheatham got his 3rd INT of the season on Pittsburgh's next possesion to set up the game-winning FG as Cincinnati improved to 3-0 in the Big East with a 26-23 road win over Pitt ..... Oklahoma senior CB Jamell Fleming had 6 tackles (5-1), 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 2 PBU, and his 1st INT of the season in a 41-25 home win over Texas A&M ..... Florida State freshman RB Devonta Freeman gained 76 total yards and scored his team-leading 5th and 6th TD of the season in a 38-7 road win over Boston College ..... And finally, junior DT Jamarcus Allen (photo above) had 5 tackles (1-4), including 2 TFL, and sophomore FB Kadeem Jones scored the only TD of the game on a 2-yard run in the 1st quarter as Western Kentucky improved to 5-4, kicking a FG on the final play of the game to defeat FIU 10-9.



1. Michigan junior CB J.T. Floyd stops Purdue junior RB Ralph Bolden after a 4-yard gain on a reception during 2nd quarter at Ann Arbor. Bolden was held to 22 yards rushing on 11 carries. Floyd finished with 3 tackles (2-1) and 2 PBU as the Wolverines won easily 36-14.


2. Iowa DE Broderick Binns celebrates after a tackle that knock the helmet off of Minnesota senior RB Duane Bennett. Binns wasn't smiling at the end of the game though. The Gophers had back-to-back TD drives of 80 and 59 yards in the 4th quarter to come from behind and defeat the Hawkeyes 22-21.


3. Oregon RB LaMichael James makes Washington State sophomore CB Davante Horton miss as he carries the ball during 2nd half. Horton had 3 tackles (1-2) in the game and took his 4th INT of the season 76 yards to the house to pull the Cougars within 15-10 at halftime. But the Ducks pulled away in 2nd half to win 43-28.


4. Arkansas senior LB Jerico Nelson, who scored a TD against Vanderbilt last year, almost does it again but fumbles the ball at the 1-yard line at the end of a 26-yard fumble return. The ball rolled into the end zone, and Vanderbilt recovered it for a touchback. Three plays earlier the Razorbacks had tied the game on a 94-yard scoop and score. Nelson finished with 6 tackles (4-2), and the Razorbacks won 31-28 when VU missed a chip shot FG attempt on the final play of the game.


5. On 3rd and 1 from the South Carolina 44-yard line with 5 minutes to go until halftime, Tennessee takes a shot deep, and WR Da'Rick Rogers has senior CB Marty Markett beat. But Rogers drops the pass, keeping the Gamecocks ahead 7-3. The Volunteers never did score a TD. Markett finished with 2 tackles (2-0) as South Carolina got the road win 14-3.


6. Freshman G Norman Booker (#55), sophomore C Vincent Harper (#56), and junior OT Lamone Buford (#72) of Hampton try to figure out what went wrong while Savannah State DT Leroy Cummings signals it's a safety after sophomore RB Antwon Chisholm (on ground between Cummings' legs) was tackled in the end zone for a 1-yard loss, getting SSU on the board with 4:36 to go in 1st quarter. The game was tied 5-5 (no lie) late in 3rd quarter before Hampton finished on a 19-0 run, capped by Chisholm's 46-yard TD run, to win 22-5.


7. With his helmet and skull cap knocked off, Baylor junior QB Robert Griffin is restrained by an official to prevent him from getting into a scuffle during 1st quarter at Oklahoma State. Griffin passed for 425 yards, but I left him off the dread stars list as his 2 INT helped send the Bears into a 35-0 hole at halftime.


8. Superstar WR Justin Blackmon can't make the circus catch as sick sophomore CB K.J. Morton defends during 3rd quarter. Morton finished with 6 tackles (6-0) and 1 PBU. Blackmon had 13 catches, 172 yards, and 2 TD as Oklahoma State improved to 8-0, building a 49-3 lead before cruising to a 59-24 victory.


9. Western Michigan sophomore S Demetrius Pettway hangs on to get his 1st career INT on 1st and goal, ending a Ball State drive that had reached the 6-yard line, keeping WMU ahead by 14 late in 3rd quarter at Kalamazoo. Pettway also had 3 tackles (1-2) in WMU's 45-35 victory.


10. Pittsburgh senior RB Zach Brown gets past UConn LB Sio Moore to score his 4th TD of the season on a 3-yard run, giving Panthers a 21-3 lead late in 2nd quarter at Heinz Field. Early in the game Brown became Pitt's starting RB when Ray Graham, who was having a Heisman-caliber season, went down with a season-ending knee injury. Zach finished with 30 yards rushing and had 9 receptions for 84 yards as Pittsburgh got the home win 35-20.


  • Jonathan Anderson - TCU - named MWC co-defensive player of the week - freshman S had 17 tackles (11-6) and 1st career INT in 38-28 win over BYU at Cowboys Stadium
  • James Dunlap - UNLV - named MWC co-defensive player of the week - had 7 tackles (5-2), 4.5 of which were TFL, including 2 sacks, and 1 FF in 38-35 home win over Colorado State
  • Milton Howell - Tulsa - had 3 INT (all in 1st half) along with 3 tackles (3-0), 1 TFL, and 1 PBU in 38-7 home win over SMU
  • Jarvis Jones - Georgia - named SEC defensive player of the week - had 5 tackles (5-0), including 4 sacks, and 1 key FF that set up a TD in 24-20 win over Florida

  • Duane Bennett - Minnesota - 20 carries for 101 yards rushing and 1 TD as Gophers beat Iowa 22-21 to snap 4-game losing streak and get 1st Big 10 win
  • Dwight Jones - North Carolina - 6 receptions for 138 yards in 49-24 home win over Wake Forest
  • Brandon Pendergrass - Wake Forest - 99 yards and 2 TD rushing on 13 carries in 49-24 loss at North Carolina
  • Sammy Watkins - Clemson - 10 receptions for 159 yards and 1 TD, but Tigers suffered 1st loss of season, 31-17 at Georgia Tech

  • Tyler Smith - Rice - 170 yards rushing and 2 TD (including 97-yarder, longest run in school history) on 13 carries, and 3 catches for 73 yards, including 67-yard TD, but it was not nearly enough in 73-34 road loss to Houston
  • Kashif Moore - Connecticut - 6 receptions for 106 yards, including 62-yard TD, in 35-20 loss at Pittsburgh
  • Brandon Bolden - Mississippi - 13 carries for 114 yards and 2 TD rushing in 41-23 loss at Auburn
  • Danny Trevathan - Kentucky - had career high 17 tackles (7-10), 1 TFL, 1 FF, and his 3rd INT of season in 28-16 home loss to Mississippi State
  • Matt Daniels - Duke - 13 tackles (5-8), 2 PBU, and got 1st and 2nd INT of season in 14-10 home loss to Virginia Tech

  • Jesse Julmiste - Massachusetts - 7 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD in 28-7 road win over Richmond
  • Tyrone Walker - Illinois State - 7 catches for 131 yards and 1 TD in 38-30 road win over Southern Illinois
  • Jake Walker - Eastern Illinois - 124 yards and 1 TD rushing on 25 carries, and had 21-yard reception in 19-10 road win over Austin Peay

  • Isidore Jackson - Bethune-Cookman - 108 yards rushing on 12 carries, and had 27-yard reception in 34-6 win at NCCU
  • Serge Kona - Duquesne - named NEC co-defensive player of the week - the details:
  • Mike Harris - Murray State - had huge game with 206 yards rushing on 21 carries, and 6 catches for 66 yards in tough 34-33 home loss to Eastern Kentucky

  • Ja-Vonta Trotter - Murray State - 6 catches for 99 yards, including 18 and 19-yard TDs in 4th quarter, but MSU missed extra point following his 2nd TD with 6:20 to go and fell to EKU 34-33



1. Junior CB Tony Foster of Duke tries to catch Miami senior WR Travis Benjamin (good luck) on the run after a catch for a 21-yard gain during 1st quarter. Foster finished with 7 tackles (5-2). Benjamin had one other reception in the game, another 21-yarder.


2. Freshman LB Nantambu Fentress tackles QB Anthony Boone during garbage time late in 4th quarter. Fentress racked up 3 tackles (3-0) on final drive of the game. In a battle of 3-4 teams, Miami scored TDs on their first 5 possessions and went on to whip Duke 49-14.


3. Just to make sure you know he plays for Utah, junior CB Mo Lee wears three wristbands over his sock as he tackles Arizona WR Juron Criner during 1st half at Tucson. Lee, who had his 1st INT in a Utah uniform in Week 9 as the Utes picked up their first ever Pac-12 win, had 5 tackles (4-1) and 1 PBU as Utah got their first ever Pac-12 road win 34-21 over Arizona.


4. Michigan junior QB Denard Robinson gets past senior CB Jordan Bernstine for a 14-yard gain to the Iowa 20-yard line during 4th quarter at Iowa City. The Wolverines pulled within 8 on a TD two plays later. Robinson had a sub-par game (for him) with 55 yards rushing and 194 yards and 2 TD passing, Bernstine, whose previous career high was 8 tackles, had 15 (7-8) in this game.


5. Junior CB J.T. Floyd nearly loses his helmet (and his head) as he gets stiff-armed by WR Marvin McNutt on a key 15-yard reception to convert a 3rd and 6 early in 4th quarter. Iowa scored a TD six plays later to increase their lead to 24-9. Floyd finished the game with 4 tackles. Michigan drove 79 yards to the Iowa 3 on their final possession but couldn't score as the Hawkeyes held on to win 24-16.


6. LSU sophomore LB Tahj Jones has his hands full trying to tackle Alabama junior RB Trent Richardson one-on-one. Jones finished the game with 3 tackles (1-2), while Richardson, as usual, made the dread stars list.


7. Senior RB J.J. Laster of Jacksonville can't get past Drake LB Jeff Grovak and is tackled after a 3-yard gain on opening drive of game at Des Moines. Laster had 86 yards rushing and 39 receiving, but Drake score 2 TDs in the final 4 minutes to pick up a key Pioneer League victory 31-24.


8. Grambling senior S Bruna Foster tries to get his hands on 6-6 junior WR E.J. Drewery of Jackson State on the run after a catch. Drewery finished with 6 receptions for 77 yards. Foster had 8 tackles (3-5), and the Tigers scored the winning TD with 1:24 remaining in the game to get the road win over JSU 26-23.


9. New Hampshire junior RB Dontra Peters is upended by JMU junior S Jakarie Jackson early in 1st quarter at Durham, NH. Peters carried 3 times for 37 yards and a TD on the opening drive of the day as UNH took an 8-0 lead. Jackson had 9 tackles (7-2) and got his 2nd INT of the season. Peters finished with 87 yards rushing, 24 receiving, and 2 TD as the Wildcats moved into a 3-way tie for 1st place in the CAA with Towson and Maine after defating JMU 28-10.


10. Sophomore S Tre Boston of North Carolina puts the hit on North Carolina State WR Jay Smith, but the the 6-yard reception is enough to convert on 3rd and 2 during 4th quarter at Raleigh. It was one of Boston's 10 tackles (5-5) in the game.


11. Junior LB Terrell Manning makes one of his 11 tackles (7-4), stopping UNC RB Giovani Bernard during 1st half. Manning was named ACC linebacker of the week after getting 1 sack and 3 PBU in addition to the 11 tackles. The Wolfpack defeated the Tar Heels for the 5th straight time and shut them out for the first time in 51 years, 13-0.


12. Ole Miss WR/CB Nickolas Brassell is caught from behind by Kentucky S Winston Guy at the 17-yard line after a 56-yard run on the third play from scrimmage. Guy had another TD-saving tackle on the Rebels' second possession, forcing them to settle for 2 FGs. Winston finished with 10 tackles (6-4) including 2.5 TFL as the Wildcats rallied to win 30-13 and get their 1st SEC win of the season.


  • LaVon Brazill - Ohio - 7 receptions for 165 yards in big 35-31 home win over Temple
  • Tevin Reese - Baylor - 7 receptions for 163 yards, including 68-yard TD, in 42-39 home win over Missouri
  • Robert Turbin - Utah State - 15 carries for 98 yards rushing and 2 TD, including a 48-yarder and the game-winning 1-yarder with :14 to play in 35-31 road win over Hawaii

  • Arceto Clark - Mississippi State - 5 catches for career high 96 yards and 2 TD in 55-17 home victory over Tennessee-Martin
  • Danny Trevathan - Kentucky - 17 tackles (6-11), 1.5 TFL, and got his 4th INT of season in 30-13 win over Mississippi
  • CoShik Williams - Kentucky - 111 yards and 2 TD rushing on 25 carries as Wildcates improve to 1-4 in the SEC

  • Trent Richardson - Alabama - 89 yards rushing on 23 carries, and had 5 receptions for 80 yards in tough 9-6 home loss in OT to LSU

  • MarQueis Gray - Minnesota - 19 for 32 for career high 295 yards passing and 3 TD (2 INT), and had 71 yards rushing on 21 carries, but Gophers went scoreless on last 5 possessions and lost at Michigan State 31-24

  • Jordan Harris - Bryant - rising sophomore WR was named NEC offensive player of the week - had 10 catches for 224 yards and 2 TD in 31-17 win at Albany - more details:
  • Mike Brown - Liberty - 24 for 34 for 286 yards passing and 2 TD (0 INT) and had 33 yards and 1 TD rushing in 37-31 home win over VMI
  • Cameron Bailey - Eastern Kentucky - 5 receptions for 106 yards, including 60-yard TD that began comeback as EKU scored 4 TDs in final 7:30 of game to wipe out 48-24 deficit and get huge OVC road win over Jacksonville State 52-48
  • Corey Hart - Alabama A&M - named SWAC defensive player of the week - had 10 tackles (7-3), including 4 TFL and 3 sacks in 28-14 win at Alcorn State
  • Josh Norman - Coastal Carolina - named Big South defensive player of the week - 5 tackles (5-0), 1 FF, 1 INT, and 1 blocked FG in 15-8 home win over Presbyterian - more:
  • Trabis Ward - Tennessee State - 27 carries for 142 yards and 2 TD rushing, including game-winning 1-yard run with 1:49 to play in 18-17 win at Eastern Illinois
  • Jake Walker - Eastern Illinois - 109 yards and 1 TD rushing on 24 carries, and 2 catches for 15 yards in 18-17 home loss to Tennessee State

  • Josh Booker - Weber State - 121 yards and 2 TD rushing on 17 carries in 44-24 home loss to Montana State
  • Donte Sawyer - Morehead State - 11 catches for 109 yards and 3 TD in 41-31 road loss to Campbell
  • Deonte Williams - Cal Poly - 21 rushes for 100 yards and 1 TD in 24-17 loss at UC-Davis



In Week 9 there were no games with more t

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