College FB '12 Dread News - Week 2
Here we are just a few hours away from Week 3 of the 2012 college football season and I'm finally getting around to doing my first weekly report of the season. I try to do a report every week. But I completely missed Week 1 (because I was very busy working on NFL stuff last week). I watched parts of several games but didn't go over any game recaps. So that I can stay up to date I'll do Week 2 now and just skip the report for Week 1.
I like to emphasize the positive more than the negative in these reports. But I'd be lying if I said there hasn't been a lot of disappointment so far in the first two weeks. And right at the top of the list of disappointment is the top 50 list of the players with the best dreads I did right before the season began. I'm so not satisfied with it. And it's my own fault, I know. I rushed to get it done on time. And since I spent most of August working on NFL stuff, I didn't have enough time to check as many college rosters as I needed to. So I knew there would be some inaccuracy with the list. But there are way too many names on the list that don't deserve to be there and probably at least a dozen players I've seen already in these first two weeks who should be included. My all-America team of the best dreads that I do at the end of the season is much more accurate, so be sure to look for that.
A close second in disappointment is what happened to a player I correctly placed in the top 25 of my preseason list. The photo above features the awesome dreads of Tulane senior S Devon Walker. Sadly, and tragically, it also is a photo of the final play of his career. It was taken a split second after he and DT Julius Warmsley (#92) had a helmet-to-helmet collision while trying to tackle a Tulsa player last Saturday at Tulsa. Walker, who weighs almost 100 pounds less than Warmsley, took the worst of the collision, suffering a broken neck. Although I tuned into the game for a few plays (specifically to see Walker), I didn't see the collision live, and I'm glad I didn't because it would have ruined the rest of the day if I had. Walker has spent the whole week in the hospital and has undergone spinal fusion surgery. While hoping for the best, I'm expecting the worst and that he'll be paralyzed for the rest of his life. Please pray for Devon and his family.
It was also disappointing to see a few too many reduced dreads in Week 1 (I mean you, Jared Williams and Jalen Collins) but thankfully not as many this week. But while reduced dreads is just an aggravation, what I saw while Tennessee was playing North Carolina State last week almost made me want to cry. I know why WR Cordarrelle Patterson, a junior college transfer, decided to play for Tennessee - they have a quarterback who makes WRs look good. But damn, while it was exciting watching him make one big play after another in the Volunteers' 35-21 win over N.C. State, it was extremely maddening not being able to see his dreads. Seriously, it looked like the back of Cordarrelle's helmet was smoking a cigar the way he had his dreads clumped together with some sort of wrapper around them. But that's what you look like (see photo below) if you play on offense for Tennessee. If you're on defense, it's OK to just reduce your dreads, so at least we can see the dreads a little bit. But if you're on offense, those dreads better be invisible. Why? I have no idea. You better ask the UT coaching staff.
I don't know what the NCAA is trying to accomplish with its new rule in effect starting this season that if your helmet comes off during a play, you must sit out the next play. If they're trying to decrease the number of times players helmets come off, well, that's not happening yet. One of these days a QB is going to accidentally have his helmet come off and be forced to miss a key 4th down play, and it's going to cost a team a game. I can't wait to hear what the NCAA says when that happens. I mean, with this rule in the book, it actually encourages players to aim for their opponents' heads. So you're going to have more blows to the head, not fewer. How stupid is that?
The NCAA may claim that 'player safety' is the reason for this rule. But honestly, as soon as I heard about the rule, the first thing that came to my mind was that this was something cooked up by somebody who doesn't like dreadlocks and was tired of seeing dreadlocks whenever a helmet came off and wanted to do whatever they could to penalize anybody with dreadlocks. The rule includes all players, of course. But, you know, players with dreads have a tendency to have their helmets pop off more frequently than those who don't. So make no mistake, this rule is dreads-inspired. And unfortunately it already has achieved its desired effect, because ......
After Toledo S Jermaine Robinson had his helmet come off twice in the season opener at Arizona, his dreads didn't make it to Week 2. Said Jermaine in an article on the Toledo Blade website, "If I have to cut my hair for us to win and stay in the game, that's what I have to do." Thanks a lot, NCAA. Hopefully there will not be a bunch of players who decide to lose their dreads because of this rule. But I have a feeling that Robinson will not be the only one.
Jermaine Robinson - hair today - returns an INT against Arizona in Week 1 ......
...... gone tomorrow - Robinson puts a hard hit on the Wyoming QB in Week 2
There were several interesting "helmets off" moments in the first two weeks. But no doubt the best one came in one of the very first games of the season back on Thursday of Week 1, when senior TE Justice Cunningham of South Carolina got jacked up while making a reception at Vanderbilt. Despite the hit, Cunningham maintained possession, then got up and gave his dreads a little shake for everyone to enjoy. The catch was a key play on the Gamecocks' drive for the game-winning TD in the 4th quarter of their 17-13 victory over VU.
When he played his final game for Pahokee (FL) HS in 2009, WR Chris Dunkley no doubt didn't think it'd be 2012 before he scored his next TD. But after a redshirt freshman year at Florida in 2010 and no games played last year due to a transfer to South Florida, Dunkley finally took one to the house this week. And it was a big one. His 52-yard TD catch was the first of two USF touchdowns in the final 2:37 as the Bulls rallied to win at Nevada 32-31 ....... Also scoring his first TD since high school - and not for the team he thought it would be for - was junior WR Je'Ron Stokes. After catching a total of 3 passes in his two seasons for Michigan, Stokes had a 15-yard catch and run for his 1st TD for Bowling Green in a 21-13 home victory over Idaho, a moment that called for a big celebration with his teammates (photo below).
Cordarrelle Patterson, who scored 2 TD in Week 1, did not score this week but had 3 catches for 71 yards plus a 61-yard kickoff return as Tennessee defeated Georgia State 51-13 ..... Junior RB Senorise Perry narrowly missed the dread stars list with 113 total yards and 1 TD for Louisville in a 35-7 home win over Missouri State ..... Junior WR Javon Bell, a JC transfer, had 5 catches for 81 yards and 1 TD in his first game in a Texas Tech uniform as the Red Raiders smashed Texas State 58-10 ..... Senior CB Jemarlous Moten had 12 tackles (10-2) , 1 TFL, 2 PBU, and took a fumble return 56 yards to the house for Louisiana-Lafayette in a 37-24 SBC road victory over Troy ..... Sophomore CB Jonathan McKnight took his 1st career INT 48 yards to the house early in the 4th quarter to give Arizona a 45-31 lead over Oklahoma State, and the Wildcats went on to win 59-38 ..... And senior WR Antavian Edison had 6 catches for 50 yards and scored both Purdue TD, but the Boilermakers lost a tough one at Notre Dame on a last-minute FG 20-17.
IN THE FCS
Bethune-Cookman is off to an impressive 2-0 start in their effort to get back to the playoffs. The Wildcats, who missed the playoffs last season despite an 8-3 record after making an appearance in 2010, took two big steps toward the 2012 playoffs, first roaring back from a 21-0 deficit to whip Alabama State 38-28 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, and then wiping out a 14-0 deficit to pick up a huge 27-14 MEAC road win over South Carolina State. You know, I was really excited when I found out ESPNU would be televising the BCU-SCSU game. I couldn't wait to see, for the first time since 2010, SCSU WR Lennel Elmore, who arguably has the longest dreads in Division 1. Elmore missed his junior year in 2011 due to being academically ineligible, and I could hardly wait to see how much longer his dreads had grown.
Well, I guess I'm going to have to wait some more. Because much to my surprise - and tremendous disappointment, Lennel's dreads were barely visible. It wasn't that they were reduced. No, what it looked like he did was fold his dreads in half, tucking the bottom half - the part that should have been hanging most of the way down his back - up under his helmet. Whatever he did, you can clearly see (photo below) both the number and name on his jersey, and that just ain't right. Yo Lennel, what's the point of having the best dreads in college football if you're not going to let anybody see them?
I was planning to watch only the 1st half of the game; but after seeing Elmore looking like this, I tuned out already before the end of the 1st quarter. Elmore, who had a 72-yard TD catch and would have made the dread stars list in Week 1, was no factor against B-C, finishing with 2 catches for 17 yards. SCSU dominated the 1st quarter, but the turning point came early in the 2nd when they fumbled the snap while trying to punt, and sophomore DB Tyrone Bouie recovered it in the end zone to make it 14-7. And the comeback was on. Junior RB Isidore Jackson, who would have been on last week's dread stars list, settled for 81 yards and 1 TD against SCSU.
When sophomore RB Isaiah Crowell was kicked off the team at Georgia this summer and transferred to Alabama State, the Hornets instantly became the Division 1 favorite to be the team with the highest percentage of its TD scored by players with dreads. Senior QB Greg Jenkins is as good a runner as he is a passer. With star WR Nick Andrews graduated, senior WR T.C. McWilliams figures to become Jenkins' top target. And Crowell, a future NFL player unless he self destructs before he gets there, figures to score whatever rushing TD that Jenkins doesn't. Well, after 2 games, the percentage is a perfect 100%. Jenkins, Crowell, and McWilliams have combined for all 8 ASU touchdowns.
By the way, I hope you were watching late in the MEAC/SWAC challenge when Crowell got absolutely nailed. While pursuing a B-C player who was returning an INT, Isaiah forgot to have his head on a swivel; and when he turned, another B-C player was there just waiting to blindside him and delivered a vicious but legal shot to his chest. It was an unnecessary hit that was solely intended to ruin the rest of the afternoon for Crowell. It was as if he was being delivered this message: welcome to the FCS, big boy. It ain't going to be as easy as you think.
It might not ease the pain of the bitter 24-17 loss to Montana in the semifinals of the playoffs in 2009, but Appalachian State's 35-27 home victory over the Grizzlies last Saturday was very sweet indeed for all Mountaineer fans. The defeat in '09 - in the cold and snow at Missoula, marked the end of the stellar career of QB Armanti Edwards, who had dreads while playing for ASU but has since cut them off. As great as Edwards was, you might think the school would retire his #14. But they didn't, and now another player with dreads is wearing #14. 6-foot-5, 210-pound freshman WR Sean Price (the next Brian Quick?) probably won't have as outstanding a career as Edwards; but he reportedly is very talented and figures to do the #14 proud in the seasons ahead. Price made the dread stars list for the first time this week; and senior CB Demetrius McCray, an NFL prospect, had 2 INT, the second f which came with :18 to play and sealed the victory.
Junior RB Sam Ojuri rushed for 58 yards and 2 TD as defending chasmp North Dakota State won on the road against FBS opponent Colorado State 22-7 ..... Sophomore S Pierre Warren took a fumble return 75 yards to the house for Jacksonville State in a 27-24 home win over UT-Chattanooga ..... Bryant junior CB Jeremy Woodson had a 95-yard scoop and score for his 1st career TD and added a 57-yard INT return to set up a short TD drive, but the Bulldogs still lost to St. Francis (PA) 39-28 ..... And Stephen F. Austin had a remarkable performance, racking up 466 total yards of offense and yet managing to not score a single point. The Lumberjacks were done in by 10 (!) turnovers in their 52-0 loss to SMU.
To make the dread stars list I normally require you to gain at least 100 yards either rushing or receiving. So, RB Caulton Ray (99 yards rushing for Western Illinois), WR J.D. McKissic (99 yards receiving for Arkansas State), and WR Cobi Hamilton (99 yards and 1 TD receiving for Arkansas), you all need to go the extra yard next week ..... And Jahrie Level, you need to hang onto the ball next week. Level, a sophomore WR for Idaho, had 10 catches for 119 yards; but he's not on the dread stars list because on his 10th reception he fumbled the ball away after a 12-yard gain, killing the Vandals' last possession with 3:31 to play in their 21-13 loss to Bowling Green.
WEEK 2 DG
1. Cincinnati junior QB Munchie Legaux is knocked out of bounds by Pittsburgh freshman CB Lafayette Pitts at the 9-yard line at the end of a 77-yard run midway through 3rd quarter at Cincinnati on Sept. 6. The Bearcats scored on the next play to take a 24-3 lead and went on to win 34-10.
2. Star LB Jarvis Jones of Georgia sacks and strips Missouri QB James Franklin with about 7:00 remaining in 4th quarter at Columbia. The turnover capped a huge night for Jones and set up Georgia's final TD as the Bulldogs welcomed Missouri to the SEC, defeating the Tigers 41-20.
3. 6-foot-5, 240-pound freshman WR Kelvin Benjamin makes his 2nd TD reception of the game, a 19-yarder against CB Wayne Johnson, during 3rd quarter for the final points of the evening as Florida State took a rain-shortened 55-0 victory over Savannah State.
4. Senior QB Shaun Rutherford of Texas State can't get away from Texas Tech CB Cornelius Douglas, who makes the tackle after a 10-yard gain during 1st quarter at San Marcos. Two plays later Rutherford threw a pick six for the first points of the night, and he was benched at the end of 1st quarter after going 1 for 9 for 11 yards. One week after FBS newbie Texas State won at Houston, Texas Tech spoiled the Bobcats' home opener 58-10.
5. Jackson State senior S Richard Hughes makes the tackle too late as junior RB Trabis Ward scores one of his 3 TD for Tennessee State during the Southern Heritage Classic at Memphis. Ward made the dread stars list, helping TSU defeat JSU 38-12.
6. Senior RB Tray Bateaste of Mississippi Valley State loses his helmet as he is tackled by an Alabama State player on Sept. 8 at Montgomery. It was a tough night for Bateaste. He finished with 7 yards rushing on 10 carries as MVSU lost 29-7.
7. Sophomore RB Isaiah Crowell turns the corner past CB Kevin Eugene (#5) at the 5-yard line, and S Marquez Floyd isn't going to make the stop either on a 15-yard TD run, giving Alabama State a 14-0 lead in 1st quarter on their way to the 29-7 victory.
South Carolina was already leading East Carolina 41-10 midway through 4th quarter, but apparently that wasn't enough for QB Dylan Thompson. On 3rd and 19 from the ECU 21, Thompson had one man blocking his path from gaining the 1st down and possibly a TD, and decided to run through him .....
8. ..... Thompson collides head-on with senior CB Jacobi Jenkins at the 4-yard line. Jenkins loses his helmet, but Thompson loses the ball ......
9. ..... and junior LB Derrell Johnson sets to pounce on the ball, beating Thompson to it for the recovery. Other than this play it was a good game for Thompson, who passed for 330 yards and 3 TD in South Carolina's 48-10 win.
WEEK 2 DREAD STARS
- MarQueis Gray - Minnesota - 109 yards and 2 TD rushing on 17 carries, and went 6 for 8 for 100 yards passing with 2 TD and 0 INT in 44-7 home-opening victory over New Hampshire
- Munchie Legaux - Cincinnati - 117 yards rushing on 6 carries, and went 14 for 28 for 205 yards passing with 2 TD and 0 INT in 34-10 season-opening home victory over Pittsburgh
- Josh Jarboe - Arkansas State - 6 receptions for 101 yards and 1 TD in 33-28 home win over Memphis
- Anthony Amos - MTSU - 4 catches for 102 yards and 2 TD in 31-17 home win over FAU
- DeAndre Hopkins - Clemson - 6 catches for 105 yards and 3 TD in easy 52-27 home win over Ball State
- John Hubert - Kansas State - 19 carries for 106 yards rushing and 1 TD in 52-13 romp over Miami (F)
- Tevin King - Louisiana Tech - 112 yards rushing, 44 yards receiving and 3 TD in 56-49 road win over Houston
- Jeff Scott - Mississippi - 111 yards rushing on 12 carries in 28-10 home win over UTEP
- Jarvis Jones - Georgia - named SEC defensive player of the week - 9 tackles (6-3), 2 sacks, 2 FF, 1 PBU, and 1 INT in 41-20 win at Georgia
- Marlon Brown - Georgia - 8 receptions for 106 yards and 2 TD as Bulldogs improve to 2-0
- Bishop Neal - St. Francis (PA) - named NEC defensive player of the week - 13 tackles (3-10), 1 TFL for a safety, 1 PBU, and 1 INT in 39-28 home win over Bryant
- Dominique Croom - Central Arkansas - 10 receptions for 184 yards, including a 74-yard TD, in 42-20 road win over Murray State
- Morris Norrise - Sacramento State -7 catches for 104 yards in 30-28 win at Colorado
- Trabis Ward - Tennessee State - 114 yards and 3 TD rushing, and had 2 catches for 23 yards in 38-12 win over Jackson State
- Sean Price - Appalachian State - 8 catches for 103 yards and 1 TD in 35-27 home win over Montana
- Tromaine Dennis - Northern Colorado - 104 total yards and 3 TD in 40-3 blowout of Colorado-Mesa
- Dominique Swope - Georgia Southern - 129 yards and 1 TD rushing on 26 carries, but GSU lost 23-21 at The Citadel
- Donte Sawyer - Morehead State - 9 catches for 110 yards in 24-17 road loss to Eastern Kentucky
- Chase Jones - Charleston Southern -7 catches for 105 yards in 31-10 home loss to Jacksonville
HOUSE OF DREAD
There is a 2-way tie for the stadium that had the most TD by players with dreads in Week 2. The end zone at Memorial Stadium in Clemson gets half of the award as 5 TD by players with dreads, all by Clemson, all in the 1st half, were scored in the Tigers' 52-27 win over Ball State. Senior RB Andre Ellington had TD runs of 4 (photo below) and 2 yards in the 1st quarter; then junior WR DeAndre Hopkins had TD receptions of 13, 34, and 15 yards in the 2nd quarter. Neither player played in the 2nd half.
At Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, AL, the home of the Alabama State Hornets, all 5 TD scored in ASU's 29-7 win over Mississippi Valley State were by players with dreads. For ASU, senior QB Greg Jenkins scored on runs of 14 and 9 yards; and sophomore RB Isaiah Crowell scored on runs of 15 and 3 yards. Senior RB Tray Bateaste had a 1-yard TD plunge for MVSU.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK (formerly known as DREADEST)
After being stymied by Alabama in Week 1, Michigan senior QB Denard Robinson found the Air Force defense much more palatable this week. Denard was back to his explosive self and took Big 10 offensive player of the week honors after putting up 426 yards of total offense in the Wolverines' 31-25 home win over AFA. Robinson rushed for 218 yards on 20 carries, including TD runs of 79 and 58 yards. He also threw 2 TD passes, going 14 of 25 for 208 yards through the air with 1 INT. It was his 5th career game with 400+ yards of total offense.
As if Clemson didn't have enough TD by players with dreads already, star WR Sammy Watkins returns to action after serving a 2-game suspension as the Tigers take on Furman. I'll also being watching Arkansas state-Nebraska, Western Michigan-Minnesota, William & Mary-Towson, Louisville-North Carolina, FAU-Georgia, and Idaho-LSU - and maybe a few others too.
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