CI Week 13 Highlights

The last full weekend of FBS regular season games officially in the books but before it was over, seven more CI coaches earned bowl eligibility, including Miami (OH) DL Coach Ron Burton (@CoachRonBurton), Miami (OH) RB Coach Lamar Conard (@CoachConard), Missouri Special Teams Coordinator/TE Erik Link (@CoachErikLink), Georgia Southern RB Coach Matt Merritt (@Coach_Merritt), Miami (OH) OL Coach James Patton (@Coachjpatton), Louisiana OL Coach Bryant Ross (@CoachBryantRoss) and Miami (OH) WR Coach Myles White (@M_White03). The full bowl game schedule will be announced on Sunday following conference championship games. Five CI coaches will look to claim conference titles in championship tilts this weekend, including Tulane DB Coach Josh Christian-Young (@CoachJCY), Coastal Carolina Co-Offensive Coordinator/RB Newland Isaac (@coachisaacFB), Troy Defensive Assistant David Mackie (@Coach_DMACK), TCU IWR Coach Doug Meacham (@doug_meacham) and Boise State Co-Special Teams Coordinator/EDGE Kelly Poppinga (@Coach_Popp)! Surveying the FCS postseason picture, CI coaches combined to go 5-1 in first round playoff games. Congratulations to Furman DL Coach Kevin Lewis (@CoachKLewDL), Delaware Special Teams Coor./Safeties Art Link (@Coach_ArtLink), Montana Defensive Analyst Kim McCloud (@CoachKimMcCloud), Richmond RB Coach Justin Poindexter (@FBCoachDex) and New Hampshire Offensive Coordinator/OL Brian Scott (@CoachBroScott) on their wins on Saturday. At the Division II level, the CI Family will be will be well represented in the quarterfinals as Angelo State Head Coach Jeff Girsch (@JeffGirsch), Ferris State Asst. Head Coach/QB Brian Rock and Shepherd Special Teams Coor./DB Luke Wright (@CoachLukeWright) all advanced to the Elite 8. Keep reading for more highlights from Week 13.

Chubb's TD in OT gives Brissett, Browns 23-17 win over Bucs
If Sunday was Jacoby Brissett's last game as starting quarterback for the Browns, he made the most of it. The veteran signal caller completed 23-of-37 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown as he rallied Cleveland from a 17-10 fourth quarter deficit to an overtime win. Brissett completed a 12-yard pass to TE David Njoku, who made an acrobatic, one-handed catch in the back of the end zone to tie the game with 32 seconds left in the fourth quarter. On the Browns' second possession of the extra period, Brissett delivered the killer blow when he found WR Amari Cooper wide open for a 45-yard pass down to the Tampa Bay three-yard line. Two plays later, Cleveland RB Nick Chubb punched it in to give Browns their fourth win of the year and maintain their position in the AFC playoff chase. Congratulations to Cleveland Bill Willis Diversity Coaching Fellow Isreal Woolfork (@CoachIzzy_) on the win and Brissett's strong game! As the de facto Assistant Quarterbacks Coach, Woolfork in his first season as a full-time assistant for the club after completing a Bill Walsh Fellowship with the Browns in 2021. Woolfork previously spent nine seasons in Oxford, OH at Miami University, including four seasons as receivers coach and three working with the running backs. In 2021, he mentored WR Jack Sorenson who earned First-Team All-MAC honors and two of his running backs finished their careers in the top 15 for rushing yards in program history. As a player at Grand Valley State, Woolfork helped the Lakers reach the Division II National Championship Game in 2009.

Hemby scores 3 TDs, Maryland shuts out Rutgers, 37-0
For the second time this season, RB Roman Hemby rushed for three touchdowns in a game. The redshirt freshman scored twice in the second quarter and added a third in the third quarter as the Terrapins cruised to a 37-0 win over the Scarlet Knights. It was an all-around dominant performance for Maryland as QB Taulia Tagovailoa also had a huge game, passing for 342 yards and one score. Overall, Maryland outgained Rutgers by a 513-135 margin and recorded its first shutout over a conference opponent since 2008 when it was a member of the ACC. The win also marked the Terps' seventh of the season, their most since 2014. Hemby has been a huge piece of the puzzle in this year's resurgence, rushing for 924 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games. He entered the weekend ranking second among all freshman in yards from scrimmage (1,130) and 26th among all running backs in yards per carry (5.89). Congratulations to Maryland RB Coach Elijah Brooks (@UMDCoachBrooks) on the win and Hemby's breakout season! Now in his fourth season in College Park, Brooks has already mentored two running backs, Anthony McFarland, Jr. and Jake Funk, who have gone on to be selected in the NFL Draft. After last season, Tayon Fleet-Davis signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs. Brooks previously served as the head coach at perennial national power DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland. At DeMatha, he won four consecutive conference championships and compiled an overall record of 72-20.

Thompson's three TD passes lead Nebraska over Iowa, 24-17
With rumors of a new head coach swirling, Nebraska tuned out the distractions and put together its best performance of the season. Led by QB Casey Thompson, the Huskers snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Hawkeyes with a 24-17 win in Iowa City. Following the game, Thompson told reporters: "I didn't feel like they could guard any of our receivers. I definitely didn't think they could run with Trey." He was right. Thompson threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns with Trey Palmer being his top target. Palmer hauled in nine catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Palmer's first touchdown came on a 87-yard deep ball midway through the first quarter to put the visitors up 7-0. His second score increased the lead to 17-0 in the second quarter and a third touchdown from Thompson to WR Marcus Washington stretched it to 24-0. Iowa mounted a late rally but ultimately came up short as Nebraska held on to finish its season on a high note. Congratulations to Huskers Senior Offensive Analyst Steve Cooper (@CoachS_Cooper) on the win and strong finish to the season! As the de facto quarterbacks coach, Cooper has been instrumental in Thompson's development and previously mentored Adrian Martinez who ended the 2018 campaign as the top freshman in the country with 295 yards per game. Cooper previously spent seven years at Portland State, including two as the Vikings' offensive coordinator. He helped engineer Portland State's 66-7 win over North Texas which represented the largest margin of victory ever for an FCS program over an FBS program.

Jeff Undercuffler leads Akron past Northern Illinois in first MAC win
The Zips were firing on all cylinders on Saturday in a 44-12 win over NIU. Offensively, QB Jeff Undercuffler, Jr. had a career day, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns in the winning effort. Undercuffler's favorite targets versus the Huskies were receivers Alex Adams and Daniel George. The pair combined to log 14 receptions for 246 yards and were on the receiving end of all three Undercuffler touchdown passes. Adams and George each recorded a touchdown in the second quarter, in between a pair of field goals from Cory Smigel, as the Zips rallied from a 6-0 deficit to take a 20-6 lead into halftime. In the second half, Adams caught his second touchdown pass, Smigel converted his third field goal and CB Tyson Durant scored on a 76-yard pick-six as the visitors pulled away. The win marked the Zips' first conference win of the season and their first in DeKalb since 1996. Congratulations to Akron Special Teams Coordinator Allen Tucker (@TeamsCoachTuck) and Offensive Assistant Ryan Matviko (@RMatviko) on the win! Tucker is in his first season at Akron after a four-year stint as the special teams quality control assistant at Mississippi State. He helped the Bulldogs improve in special teams efficiency each year he was in Starkville and worked with a Lou Groza Award Watch List kicker as well as a Ray Guy Award Watch List punter. Tucker previously coached on the defensive side of the ball at The Citadel and has also coached at Valdosta State. Matviko is also in his first year with the Zips after a three-year stint at Hawai'i where he served as an analyst on offense, defense and special teams. A true three-way coach, Matviko has coached linebackers at Robert Morris, receivers at Thiel College and running backs at MacMurray College.

Angelo State dominates Bemidji State, moves to quarterfinals
For the second straight year, Angelo State Head Coach Jeff Girsch (@JeffGirsch) and the #1 Rams are heading to the Division II Quarterfinals. Perhaps showing a little rust after a first-round bye, Angelo State found itself down 7-0 after one quarter versus Bemidji State. In the second quarter, the Rams got on track. ASU RB Nate Omayebu III collected a screen pass from QB Zach Bronkhorst and turned upfield, going 19 yards for a score to tie the score at 7-7. Later in the half, Bronkhorst found his running back again, this time for a 12-yard touchdown, and the Rams took a 13-7 lead into halftime. Both defenses dominated the third quarter but in the fourth the floodgates opened for the hosts. ASU scored 20 points over the final 15 minutes, including a pick-six by DB Kason McCullough-Cooper. For the game, Bronkhorst passed for 337 yards while Omayebu III rushed for 91 and added another 36 receiving yards out of the backfield. Defensively, OLB Daron Allman led ASU with six tackles, including two tackles-for-loss, while DB K'hari Watson added two interceptions. As a defense, the Rams logged five interceptions and were equally impressive in run defense, holding the Beavers to just 10 yards on the ground. Next up for Angelo State is a rematch versus Colorado School of Mines, a team it beat on the road in overtime in Week 2. Congratulations and good luck to Girsch! Now in his fifth season as head coach and ninth overall with the Rams, Girsch has been named the Lone Star Conference coach of the year on two occasions and last year was selected as the AFCA Region 4 coach of the year. Prior to arriving at Angelo, he served as the defensive coordinator at St. Ambrose, where he helped guide the Fighting Bees through the most successful period in program history and multiple postseason appearances. Before transitioning to defense, Girsch spent the first half of his career coaching multiple positions on the offensive side of the ball.

Shepherd fights off Slippery Rock
Angelo State won't be the only set of Rams competing in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs as Shepherd reached the Elite 8 after its 37-27 win over Slippery Rock. On the strength of four field goals from Jacob Haynie and three touchdowns from QB Tyson Bagent, the Rams pulled out a 37-27 win over The Rock. The duo of Haynie and Bagent accounted for all 13 points scored from the final play of the first half through the first three minutes of the fourth quarter as Shepherd turned a 20-17 deficit into a 30-20 lead. Rams DB Terrell Lindsey applied the nail in the coffin when he logged his first interception of the season in the final minute. Like Angelo, Shepherd will also be facing a familiar foe in the quarterfinals. In the PSAC Championship Game two weeks ago, Shepherd staged a furious rally late, ending the game on a 14-0 run, but still came up just short in a 24-21 loss at Indiana (PA). That loss is the only blemish on what has otherwise been a perfect season for Shepherd Special Teams Coor./DB Luke Wright (@CoachLukeWright) and the Rams who will now get their chance at redemption. Congratulations and good luck next week to Wright! Now in his second season at Shepherd, Wright previously spent three seasons as the receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Fairmont State. At Fairmont, Wright helped the Fighting Falcons set a new school record for total offense in a season as the Falcons posted a 9-2 record and a second-place finish in the Mountain East Conference in 2018. Wright has also boasts Division I experience over two stints at Towson.

Quick Hits
  • South Carolina DB Marcellas Dial recorded an interception as the Gamecocks upset Clemson, 31-30. Congratulations to South Carolina DB Coach Torrian Gray (@togray14)!
  • Tennessee WR Jaylin Hyatt caught three passes for 86 yards as the Volunteers beat Vanderbilt, 56-0. Congratulations to Tennessee WR Coach Kelsey Pope (@CoachKelseyPope)!
  • Colorado State's secondary held New Mexico to 62 passing yards on 27 attempts as the Rams beat New Mexico, 17-0. Congratulations to Colorado State CB Coach Marcus Patton (@marcuspatton4)!
  • Texas held Baylor to 56 yards of offense in the second half and LB Jaylan Ford recorded his fourth interception of the year as the Longhorns beat Baylor, 38-27. Congratulations to Texas Senior Defensive Analyst/CB Joey Thomas (@Joey_thomas24_)!

Get In Touch With Us

1317 F Street, NW Suite 920 Washington, DC 20004 | P 800.974.7957 F 888.762.5151 |