CI Highlights

The CI Family continued its strong start to bowl season with two more wins over the past week. Four more NFL coaches added wins over the weekend, including Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael and Cowboys Offensive Quality Control Coach Chase Haslett (@Coach_Haslett) in addition to the two Rams coaches highlighted below. Keep reading for more highlights from this past week.
It's been a struggle at times offensively this season for Los Angeles, but the presents were abundant on Christmas for the Rams playmakers. TE Tyler Higbee had a career day, catching nine passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns to become the franchise's all-time leader in touchdowns by a tight end. In the ground game, RB Cam Akers also set a new personal record with three rushing touchdowns to go along with 118 rushing yards and two receptions for 29 yards. Throw in an 85-yard pick-six by CB Cobie Durant and three field goals from Matt Gay and the Rams became just the second team this season to break the 50-point mark. Overall, LA churned out 26 first downs and 388 yards of offense. Congratulations to Asst. Head Coach/TE Thomas Brown (@iamthomasbrown) and Asst. OL Coach Nick Jones (@CoachNickJones) on the win and offensive output! Brown is in his third season with the Rams and first working with the tight ends after coaching the running backs his first two seasons. Last season, he helped guide the Rams to the fourth Super Bowl in franchise history as the offense finished in the top 10 of the league. Brown spent the 2019 season coaching running backs at South Carolina and the three seasons before that as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Miami. In total, Brown boasts six seasons coaching running backs at the Power 5 level with additional stops at Wisconsin and Georgia. With the Badgers, he was instrumental in the development of Melvin Gordon, who finished runner-up in Heisman voting in 2014. Jones is in his second year in the City of Angels after spending the 2019 campaign as a Diversity Coaching Fellow working with the Falcons' offensive line. At the college level, he coached at Colorado State and Air Force, coaching tight ends and special teams at both stops. After playing for three seasons with the Seahawks, Jones began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Georgia. 
There was no deicing necessary as Air Force's offense took off fast and never looked back in a 30-15 win over Baylor in the Armed Forces Bowl. With temperatures in the low teens and a wind chill below zero, the Falcons invaded Fort Worth and looked far more comfortable than the program located just 100 miles away. Air Force RB Brad Roberts got the scoring started with 5:20 left in the first quarter when he plunged into the end zone from two yards out. With the Falcons holding a 9-7 lead at halftime, Air Force QB Haaziq Daniels came out firing in the second half, connecting with WR Amari Terry on a 68-yard deep ball that setup a two-yard scoring run from Daniels. The Air Force signal caller later found TE Caleb Rillos open for a 15-yard scoring pass that effectively put the game away late in the third quarter. Despite entering Thursday night only averaging 68 passing yards per game, the Falcons opened things up against the Bears, completing seven passes for 103 yards. Congratulations to Air Force WR Coach Ari Confesor (@CoachAC3) on the win and strong passing attack! After arriving in Colorado Springs in 2019, Confesor has helped guide the Falcons to three bowl wins and a share of the MWC Mountain Division title in 2021. Confesor spent the 2018 season as the pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Holy Cross and previously spent eight seasons at Rhode Island, where he worked in a variety of capacities including coaching wide receivers, defensive backs, linebackers and co-coordinating special teams. From 2012-13, he served as a scouting assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Special teams can often turn the tide of a game and Tuesday's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was a perfect example. San Jose State raced out to a 13-0 lead after scoring its second touchdown with 6:36 remaining in the first quarter. But on the ensuing extra point, Eastern Michigan DL Sterling Miles came up with a block, his third blocked extra point of the season, and DB Tristin Hines picked up the loose ball and raced 97 yards for the defensive two-point conversion. The conversion sparked a 33-0 run for the Eagles, capped by a 51-yard field goal by Jesus Gomez midway through the third quarter. The kick was Gomez's second-longest of the season, four yards short of the school-record 55-yard field goal he made earlier this season. The 41-27 win was just EMU's second in program history and gives them nine wins for the year, the second-most in the program's 131-year history. Congratulations to Eagles Special Teams Quality Control Ryan Stokes (@CoachStokes_EMU) on the win and outstanding special teams play! Stokes completed his first season in Ypsilanti in 2022 after coordinating the special teams for Indiana State from 2020-21. He also worked with the Sycamores' wide receivers during his time in Terre Haute and previously coached on staffs at Indianapolis, Grand Valley State and Saint Joseph's.
One more CI coach will be in action tonight when the Chargers travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts on Monday Night Football. Good luck to Los Angeles WR Coach Chris Beatty (@BeattyCoach)!

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