CI Week 12 Football Highlights

Week 12 was an active one for the Coaches Inc. Family both on and off the field. On the field, Ottawa Offensive Coordinator Jaime Elizondo and WR Coach Winston October won the CFL Eastern Final and booked a return trip to the Grey Cup. At the FCS level, 13 CI coaches earned playoff bids including: Towson (Head Coach Rob Ambrose, Offensive Coordinator/QB Jared Ambrose, Defensive Coordinator/LB Lyndon Johnson, DL Coach Gus Kosmakos, and Defensive Assistant DJ Bryant), Delaware (Head Coach Danny Rocco and Offensive Coordinator/RB Matt Simon), Wofford (RB Coach Dane Romero and DB Coach Rob Greene), Northern Iowa Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Jeremiah Johnson, James Madison RB Coach De'Rail Sims, Stony Brook WR Coach Darren Paige and Montana State DB Coach Mark Orphey. Off the field, William & Mary announced its hire of Mike London as head coach. London arrives in Williamsburg after a two-year stint as the head coach at Howard, where he was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award in 2017. He previously was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2011 while at Virginia and won the 2009 FCS National Championship as the head coach at Richmond. London takes over for Jimmye Laycock, who retires after 249 wins in 39 seasons as the Tribe's head coach. Be sure to check out this tribute video of Coach Laycock's legacy at William & Mary. Keep reading for more highlights from Week 12.

Taylor runs Memphis past SMU in 28-18 win
With Friday night's road win over SMU, Memphis has won three consecutive games and is one win from repeating as AAC West Champions. Against the Mustangs, the Tigers turned in their most dominant defensive performance of the season. SMU scored a field goal near the end of the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead, but Memphis' defense didn't give up another point until the end of the third quarter. By that point, a 16-yard touchdown pass from Memphis QB Brady White to TE Joey Magnifico and a 9-yard touchdown run by Patrick Taylor Jr. had given the Tigers a 14-5 lead. Magnifico and Taylor combined for another pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to secure the 28-18 win. On defense, LB Bryce Huff had a monster game for the Tigers as he finished with four tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. DL Joseph Dorceus added five tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack, contributing to a season-high 12 tackles-for-loss for the Memphis defense in total. Seven of those tackles-for-loss came on third or fourth down as the Tigers held the Mustangs to 5-of-17 on third down attempts. Overall, SMU finished the night with only 25 rushing yards. Congratulations on the win and lights out performance to Memphis DL Coach Paul Randolph (@CoachPRandolph)! Randolph is in his third year at Memphis after serving on the Arizona State staff for four seasons. In his 21-year coaching career, Randolph has coordinated defenses at Arizona State, Pitt, Tulsa and Rice in addition to coaching defensive lines at Alabama and West Virginia.

Tar Heels top Western Carolina, 49-26
Seven FCS teams pulled off upsets over FBS opponents in 2018, but North Carolina made sure that number didn't grow to eight as it handled in-state foe Western Carolina with relative ease. The Catamounts actually struck first with an early touchdown following a UNC turnover, but the Tar Heels quickly restored order and held a 35-16 advantage at halftime. Like Memphis, North Carolina set a new season-high with 12 tackles-for-loss. Five of those tackles-for-loss came from underclass defensive linemen, including 1.5 from freshman Xach Gill and one from freshman Jake Lawler. After the game, Lawler credited his position coach for his performance saying, "I think Coach Deke Adams (@CoachDekeAdams) has done a tremendous job developing us and helping us and making sure that all of our techniques are sound and everything like that. Being able to be out there and have a glimpse of the future was awesome." Saturday's youth movement was also apparent in the Tar Heels' secondary, particularly from freshman Trey Morrison who led the team with seven tackles and also added 1.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack. Sophomore CB Greg Ross finished fourth on the team with four tackles to go along with one pass breakup. Congratulations on the win to Adams and DB Coach Henry Baker (@CoachHB)! Adams is in the second season of his second stint in Chapel Hill after having coached at UNC in 2012. From 2013-15, he coached the defensive line at South Carolina where he worked with two first team All-American selections. In 2011, Adams was part of the Southern Miss staff that won the C-USA Championship. Baker joined the Tar Heel staff this season after spending the 2017 campaign as the cornerbacks coach at Rutgers. He previously spent six seasons as the cornerbacks coach at Delaware and has also worked on staffs at Maryland and East Stroudsburg. Baker has completed Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowships with the Dolphins, Lions and Giants.

UNI rolls past Missouri State, 37-0
At 6-5, Northern Iowa is just the third team ever to qualify for the FCS playoffs with five losses. Yet when the field was announced yesterday, it was revealed that the Panthers made the field comfortably without the dubious distinction of "Last 3 In." How you might ask? The Panthers boasted one of the strongest resumes of at-large contenders after navigating a schedule that ranked third among FCS teams and more difficult than 17 FBS teams according to Sagarin. UNI also finished tied for third in the top rated conference, with a 33-0 win over fellow at-large contender Indiana State. The Panthers' shutout of Indiana State was one of three this year for Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Jeremiah Johnson's (@Coach_J_Johnson) unit, the latest coming against Saturday's opponent, Missouri State. Sophomore safety Korby Sander led the way for UNI against the Bears, logging a team-high 13 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble en route to earning MVFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. LB Duncan Ferch, who earned defensive player of the week honors after a win over #2 South Dakota State, added five tackles and an interception return for 62 yards. Overall, the Panthers limited Missouri State to just 3-of-15 on third down and 222 total yards. Next up, the Panthers will host Lamar in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday. Congratulations and good luck to Johnson! Johnson is in his 12th season at UNI and sixth as defensive coordinator. As coordinator, his units have finished in the top 15 nationally in Total Defense on three occasions and this year's three shutouts were the most for the Panthers since 1971. On a team level, he has been a part of four conference championships and eight playoff appearances while at UNI.

Sam Houston State closes 2018 with win at HBU
The Bearkats won't be participating in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but there is plenty of reason for optimism in Huntsville, TX. With its 42-20 victory over Houston Baptist, Sam Houston State finishes the season with a 6-5 record and will return the majority of starters from this year's team. One of those returning starters is sophomore CB Zyon McCollum, who recorded recorded two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and forced a fumble against the Huskies. McCollum's pick-six came early in the second quarter and put SHSU up 21-3. WR Dee Bowens followed up with two touchdown receptions of his own to increase the lead to 35-10, and the Bearkats put the nail in the coffin when QB Ty Brock connected with WR Nathan Stewart on a 56-yard touchdown near the end of the third quarter. For the game, SHSU held HBU to 4-of-17 on third down and limited HBU quarterbacks to less than a 50% completion percentage. Congratulations to Bearkats CB Coach Gary McGraw (@DBCoachMcGraw)! This season marked McGraw's third at SHSU following a five-year stint as the defensive backs coach at Midwestern State. In the last eight seasons, he has been a part of five playoff teams including a semifinal appearance with SHSU in 2017. McGraw has also assisted with special teams and currently serves as the Bearkats' defensive recruiting coordinator. Last year, he secured the top ranked defensive back recruiting class at the FCS level.

Brown's 2 late TDs secures Illinois State's 35-28 victory
In a matchup that featured two of the nation's top running backs, Illinois State's James Robinson was the clear victor over Youngstown State's Tevin McCaster. While McCaster posted an impressive line of 33 carries for 142 yards and one touchdown, Robinson ran away with the show, piling up 256 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Robinson started fast with a 37-yard touchdown run on the Redbirds' first possession to give the hosts a 7-0 lead. The teams traded scores the rest of the first half and Illinois State entered halftime with a 14-13 edge. Robinson's second touchdown, this one from 7 yards out, put the Redbirds up 21-13 in the third quarter, but the Penguins rallied to take a 28-21 lead early in the fourth. That was when Robinson's understudy, Kevin Brown, took over. The freshman running back provided the final two touchdowns of the game to send ISU's seniors out with a 35-28 win. As a team, the Redbirds outrushed Youngstown State by a margin of 332-191. OL Coach Harold Etheridge's (@Coach_Etheridge) unit was also exceptional in pass protection as ISU QB Brady Davis wasn't sacked on the day. With the win, the Redbirds finish the year at 6-5 which marks their ninth year with a winning record in the last 10 seasons. Congratulations on the win to Etheridge, who rejoined the Redbirds this season after coaching the offensive line from 1991-99. Most recently, he served as the offensive line coach at Georgia State and has also coached offensive lines at Washington State, Army, North Texas, Northern Illinois and Indiana State. In 2011, his offensive line paved the way for Indiana State RB Shakir Bell to lead the nation in rushing.

Williams, Robinson power Hampton past St. Andrews, 44-17
It was an odd season for Hampton as the Pirates competed as an FCS independent as they transition from the MEAC to the Big South. Hampton went on the road to play traditional FCS powers such as Northern Iowa in addition to a handful of future Big South opponents in Monmouth, Charleston Southern and Presbyterian. All in all, it was a successful campaign for the program, culminating in Saturday's 44-17 win over St. Andrews. Offensively, Delmon Williams had a career day against the Knights. The senior quarterback threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns while adding a pair of rushing touchdowns. RB Will Robinson provided most of the rest of the offense, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Defensively, LB Jayso'n Davidson set the pace for the Pirates as he finished with a team-high 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Up front, Norman Oglesby led the defensive line with six tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. With the win, Hampton finishes the season at 7-3 and on a six-game win streak which matches the longest win streak for the program since 2005. Congratulations to Hampton DL Coach Marcus Dixon (@Coach_Dixon) on the win and strong finish to the season! Dixon, who also serves as the team's director of player development, played for the Pirates from 2004-07 and joined the coaching staff in 2017. After a professional playing career that included stints with the Cowboys, Jets, Chiefs and Titans, Dixon started his college coaching career as the defensive line coach at Shorter University.

Quick Hits
  • Congratulations to Pitt Offensive Assistant James Patton (@Coachjpatton) who helped guide the Panthers to their first ACC Coastal Division title!
  • Oklahoma State put up 604 yards of offense in a 45-41 win over West Virginia. Congratulations to Cowboys Offensive Analyst Brian Rock (@Coach_Rock)!
  • FIU remained in the driver seat for the C-USA East Division title with a 42-35 win over Charlotte. Congratulations to Panthers Special Teams Coordinator James Vollono (@CoachVollono)!
  • Alcorn State defeated Jackson State, 24-3, to claim its fifth consecutive SWAC East Division title. Congratulations to Braves Offensive Coordinator/OL Ryan Stanchek (@CoachStanchek) and Special Teams Coordinator/RB Lane Powell (@CoachLanePowell)!
  • Kansas Wesleyan defeated Langston University, 15-9, to win the first playoff game in program history. Congratulations to KWU Head Coach Matt Drinkall (@DrinkallKWU)!
  • Congratulations to Army Prep Head Coach Andy Wolfrum (@andywolfrum), who guided the Black Knights to a 31-13 win over Navy Prep! Army Prep has now won the last four games in the series.

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