CI Week 1 Football Highlights

After eight long months, college football is finally back! Several Coaches Inc. clients had successful Week 1's including several who debuted in new positions.

ODU hangs on to defeat Norfolk State in debut at S.B. Ballard Stadium
In the end, it was worth the wait. With a stadium overhaul that was planned for years and finally completed in the final hours leading up to Saturday night, the Monarchs have a home befitting the vision that Bobby Wilder (@ODUCoachWilder) has been selling since taking over as head coach of the startup program in 2007. Once the ribbon was cut and the game officially kicked off, another waiting game began. It wasn't until RB Lala Davis scored a touchdown with 3:21 left in the fourth quarter that ODU led for good, and not until CB Lance Boykin intercepted a pass at the 1:22 mark that the sellout crowd of 21,944 could finally exhale. Despite the closer than expected final score, Wilder noted after the game that he felt the adversity his team faced and overcame could serve them well the rest of the season. In particular, one reason for the Monarchs to be optimistic could be seen in the play of QB Stone Smartt, who completed 17-of-23 (74%) passes for 158 yards and added 13 carries for 50 rushing yards. Congratulations on the win to Wilder as well as to Assoc. Head Coach/OffCoor Brian Scott (@ODUOC), Asst. Head Coach for Offense/QB Ron Whitcomb (@ronwhitcomb), and Special Teams Coordinator/RB Charles Bankins (@FBCoachBankins)! Since the current incarnation of the program kicked off its first game in 2009, Wilder has been at the helm, with Scott and Whitcomb alongside, building a program that has won 77 games, a CAA championship, made two FCS playoff appearances and won the 2016 Bahamas Bowl. Bankins joined the Monarchs in 2016 after stops at Vanderbilt, Maryland and Richmond among others. With the Spiders, he was part of a staff that won the 2008 FCS National Championship.

Georgia State pulls shocker on Rocky Top
Week 1 of the college football season is always good for a few big upsets and this year was no exception. While several Power 5 programs fell to underdogs on Saturday, the biggest upset came courtesy of the Panthers, who took down Tennessee, 38-30. Coming off of a 2-10 season, few expected Georgia State to contend with Tennessee, especially considering the program had never beaten a Power 5 program in its nine-year history. But by the time Georgia State QB Dan Ellington lined up in victory formation, the Panthers had not only done the unthinkable, they did it in convincing fashion. On Tennessee's second play from scrimmage, GSU DE Hardrick Willis forced a fumble that LB Ed Cumey recovered, setting up RB Seth Paige's four-yard touchdown run six plays later. The lead changed hands several times over the course of the game, but the Panthers regained it for good on a 19-yard touchdown run by Tra Barnett midway through the fourth quarter. On the Vols' ensuing possession, Georgia State forced another fumble, this one recovered by LB Jhi'Shawn Taylor, to effectively seal the win. Overall, Georgia State outrushed Tennessee by a 213-93 margin and gained three more first downs, 24-21. Congratulations to Georgia State Special Teams Coordinator/ILB Shiel Wood (@ShielWood) on the win! Wood is in his first season with the Panthers after moving crosstown from Georgia Tech where he coached the Yellow Jacket safeties in 2018. He previously served as defensive coordinator at Wofford where he helped the Terriers win the Southern Conference Championship in 2017 and reach the FCS Quarterfinals in 2016 and 2017.

Memphis beats Ole Miss and proves again these aren't your grandfather's Tigers
John Simon (@johnsimon31) raised some eye brows last winter when he voluntarily left his position as the assistant head coach and running backs coach at Arizona State to accept the wide receiver position at Memphis. But the move made perfect sense to Simon, who saw the Memphis position as an opportunity to develop his knowledge of the passing game and because he believed in the program that Memphis Head Coach Mike Norvell. Against Ole Miss, Memphis showed everyone what Simon already knew - the Tigers are capable of going toe-to-toe with any program in the nation, even an SEC blue blood like Ole Miss. Memphis went up 7-0 on a Brady White scoring run midway through the first quarter and never trailed en route to a 15-10 victory. The Tigers dominated in just about every statistical category: total yards (364-173), passing yards (172-93), rushing yards (192-80), first downs (22-13) and time of possession (38:41-21:19). Congratulations to Simon on the statement win! In three years at Arizona State, Simon oversaw a significant improvement in the run game as the Sun Devils finished the 2017 season ranked in the top 30 in rushing after finishing approximately 50 spots lower in 2016. He previously coached at Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss, and is a graduate of the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy.

North Carolina starts the Mack Brown era with a big victory over South Carolina
One of the most talked about story lines leading up to this season was Mack Brown's return to the sideline six years after stepping down as the head coach at Texas. Saturday's opener also represented a return of sorts for UNC Special Teams Coordinator/OLB Scott Boone (@CoachScottBoone) who returned to the field after serving as a quality control assistant at Wake Forest in 2018. With the Tar Heel offense starting conservatively behind true freshman QB Sam Howell, the defense held strong to keep the home team in position to rally. Converted QB to LB Chazz Surratt led UNC with 12 tackles including one sack as the Heels limited the Gamecocks to just 270 yards of total offense. When UNC's offense came to life with 15 points in the fourth quarter to take a 24-20 lead, DB Myles Wolfolk shut the door with two late interceptions to give the Tar Heels their first season opening win over a Power 5 opponent since 1997. Congratulations to Boone, who served as the LB coach at Arizona in 2017 where he coached two linebackers who were named to multiple Freshman All-American teams and helped guide the Wildcats to the Foster Farms Bowl. He previously served as the defensive coordinator at Nevada and William & Mary, and also has head coaching experience from his time at Randolph-Macon College where he guided the team to a conference championship.

KU defeats Indiana State to begin Les Miles
One week before UNC hired Brown, Kansas hired its own new head coach with a national championship winning pedigree. Two years after last coaching at LSU, Les Miles took over a Jayhawk program that had won a combined total of six games over the previous four seasons. One week into the 2019 campaign, Kansas is already off to a winning start. The Jayhawks defeated Indiana State, 24-17, after QB Carter Stanley connected with WR Daylon Charlot on a 22-yard scoring strike with 2:20 left to play. For the game, Stanley completed 20-of-29 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. On special teams, punter Kyle Thompson showed why he was a preseason All-Big 12 selection as the junior averaged 49 yards on his three punts and prompted Miles to note that his last punt looked like it was "dropped out of an airplane." Congratulations to KU Senior Special Teams Analyst Tony Coaxum (@CoachCoax17), who is in his first season with the Jayhawks! In 2018, Coaxum served as the special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Central Michigan and previously spent two seasons as the assistant special teams coach for the Broncos where he helped the team win Super Bowl 50. He spent the 2014 season as a special teams intern with the Ravens following a seven-year stint at Army where he coached linebackers and cornerbacks.

UTEP squeezes past Houston Baptist in season opener, 36-34
College football cannot cure tragedy, but it can serve as a powerful vehicle for bringing communities together. That potential was on display in El Paso on Saturday as the Miners honored both the victims of a recent mass shooting and teammate Luke Laufenberg, who was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma and passed away in August. Once the game started, UTEP RB Treyvon Hughes put on a show for the 34,000 in attendance as he rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air, QB Brandon Jones threw for 268 yards and one touchdown. Despite the production from Hughes and Jones, Houston Baptist hung tough and the Miners ultimately needed a perfect performance from kicker Gavin Baechle, who converted all three of his field goals, to secure the win. Congratulations to UTEP Special Teams Coordinator Joe Robinson (@CoachJoeRob), who is in his second season with the program! One of the most well respected special teams coaches in the business, he was named FootballScoop's Special Teams Coordinator of the Year in 2010 for his work with LSU's units. Robinson, who also has experience coaching defensive line, linebackers, running backs and tight ends, has served on staffs at Texas Tech, South Carolina, UNC, Arizona and UCF among others.

Scots open season with comeback victory over Spartans
Last week, a video posted by the Lyon College football team gained national attention. In it, players with shaved heads were seen embracing Offensive Coordinator/OL Kris Sweet in a show of solidarity after he was recently diagnosed with cancer. Sweet has remained with the team while undergoing treatment and on Saturday he helped engineer a comeback win. Down 10-0 against Missouri Baptist, the rally started late in the third quarter when Randy Satterfield returned a punt 42 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to three points. In the fourth quarter, QB Isaiah Bradford completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to WR Lane Hickey to finish the comeback and give the Scots a 14-10 win. Congratulations and best wishes go out to Sweet who is in his first season at Lyon after spending the 2018 season as the offensive line coach at Norfolk State. Sweet has extensive experience in the CFL having worked with the offensive lines for Montreal, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Calgary. At the college level, he has also coached at Holy Cross, Elon, Tennessee Tech and Presbyterian.

Happy Labor Day!

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