CI Week 13 Football Highlights

The first round of the FCS Playoffs is in the books and five CI coaches are still alive. Northern Iowa pitched a shutout for the final three-plus quarters to rally past Lamar, 16-13. Congratulations to UNI Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Jeremiah Johnson (@Coach_J_Johnson)! Wofford also overcame an early deficit to defeat Elon, 19-7. Congratulations to RB Coach Dane Romero (@Coach_romero18) and DB Coach Rob Greene (@CoachRGreene)! In the top right quadrant of the bracket, Montana State and DB Coach Mark Orphey (@Mark_Orphey) advanced by knocking off Incarnate Word, 35-14, while James Madison and RB Coach De'Rail Sims (@DeRailSims) are still in contention for a third consecutive trip to Frisco. Also at the FCS level, Southern Asst. Head Coach/OffCoor/OL Chennis Berry (@coachberry77) advanced to the SWAC Championship after the Jaguars defeated Grambling in the Bayou Classic, 38-28. Southern will meet Alcorn State (Offensive Coordinator/OL Ryan Stanchek and Special Teams Coordinator/RB Lane Powell) on Saturday in Lorman for the right to go to the Celebration Bowl. At the FBS level, five CI coaches will compete this weekend in their conference championship games, including: Georgia Special Teams Coordinator Scott Fountain (@CoachSFountain), Louisiana Defensive Coordinator Ron Roberts (@CoachRonRoberts), UAB Defensive Coordinator David Reeves, Memphis DL Coach Paul Randolph (@CoachPRandolph), and Utah WR Coach Guy Holliday (@eagle88me)! Please find the rest of this week's highlights below.

Wake Forest wallops Duke to earn bowl trip
With the stakes as high as they could be, the Demon Deacons came through with their best performance of the year. Wake Forest dominated in-state rival Duke from start to finish, rolling to a 59-7 win over the Blue Devils. The 52-point margin of victory was the largest for the Deacons since 1945 and marked Duke's most lopsided defeat since 1990. More importantly in the short-term, it was Wake Forest's sixth victory of the season which means the Deacs will be headed to a bowl game for the third consecutive season. Several players had career days for Wake Forest including RB Cade Carney, who rushed for 223 yards on 31 carries. WR Greg Dortch caught 10 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown. For the season, Dortch has 1,078 receiving yards which ranks second on the school's all-time leaderboard. He was one of four Deacons with touchdown receptions on the day as QB Jamie Newman finished with 18 completions for 177 yards. For the game, Wake Forest more than doubled Duke's yardage output, 517-251, and didn't turn the ball over once compared to four turnovers for the Blue Devils. Congratulations to Wake Forest Offensive Analyst Scott Boone (@CoachScotBoone) who is in his first season in Winston-Salem. In 2017, Boone served as the linebackers coach at Arizona where he helped the Wildcats reach the Foster Farms Bowl and coached two linebackers who were each named to multiple Freshman All-American teams. He has coordinated defenses at Nevada and William & Mary, and also boasts head coaching experience from his time at Randolph-Macon College. 

Up in smoke: UL gets to Sun Belt championship game with win at ULM
For most FBS programs, winning six games is enough to secure a postseason bowl game berth. However, the caveat comes during seasons in which there are more bowl eligible teams than bowl games to accommodate all of them. The concern is especially valid for six-win teams from Group of Five conferences, precisely the situation Louisiana found itself in before its rivalry game at Louisiana-Monroe. After hanging on to beat the Warhawks, 31-28, the Ragin' Cajuns not only solidified their bowl standing but also claimed the Sun Belt West Division title and a spot in the inaugural Sun Belt Championship. UL jumped out to leads of 14-0 and 21-7, but Monroe wouldn't go away without a fight. The Warhawks battled back and pulled within three points with 4:47 left in the fourth quarter. The Cajuns picked up one first down on their next possession before having to punt, giving Monroe the ball back at their 16-yardline with 2:07 remaining. The Warhawks advanced the ball into UL territory, but missed a field goal as time expired to set off a celebration among the Cajun faithful. After the game, Louisiana Head Coach Billy Napier applauded the team's defense saying, "Give our defense some credit. We covered those guys and did a good job containing their quarterback." One year after ULM QB Caleb Evans put up 472 total yards of offense and six touchdowns against UL's defense, first-year Defensive Coordinator Ron Roberts' (@CoachRonRoberts) unit held Evans to 228 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday. Congratulations to Roberts on the win and division title! Before arriving at Lafayette, Roberts spent six seasons as the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana. In 2013, he was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award after leading SLU to its first conference title in program history and a #6 national ranking. As the head coach at Delta State from 2007-11, Roberts led the Statesmen to two Super Region II titles.

Ducks dominate Beavers in 122nd Civil War
There's a common expression that you can ignore the records when rivals meet because the games are usually unpredictable. While that may be the case in some rivalries, it certainly hasn't held true in recent matchups between Oregon and Oregon State. One year after blowing out the Beavers in Eugene by the score of 69-10, the Ducks handed the Beavers a 55-15 humiliation on Saturday in Corvallis. Oregon QB Justin Herbert got the Ducks off to a good start when he connected with RB CJ Verdell on a 21-yard touchdown pass on the Ducks' first possession to put the visitors up 7-0. Herbert had to come out of the game after sustaining an injury in the second quarter, but Verdell was more than capable of shouldering the workload the rest of the way. For the game, the freshman running back finished with 187 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries to go along with his receiving touchdown. Congratulations to Oregon Special Teams Analyst Chris Norris (@coachnorris38)! One of the newest members of the Coaches Inc. Family, Norris is in his second season with the Ducks after one season at South Florida. In addition to working with special teams, he has also coached running backs and tight ends during stints at Southeast Missouri, Jacksonville, Tennessee State and Webber International.

Quick Hits
  • Missouri cruised to a 38-0 win over Arkansas to finish the regular season at 8-4. Congratulations to Special Teams Analyst Dave Ungerer!
  • Kansas Wesleyan Head Coach Matt Drinkall (@DrinkallKWU) and the Coyotes maintained their perfect season by knocking off Dickinson State, 43-40, to reach the NAIA Semifinals

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