CI Week 14 Football Highlights


As the season winds down, CI coaches keep on heating up. In a game billed as a showcase for non-Power 5 teams, Coastal Carolina and Co-Offensive Coordinator/RB Newland Isaac (@coachisaacFB) came out on top in the Battle of Mullets vs. Mormons, as the #18 Chanticleers knocked off #13 BYU, 22-17. Before Coastal’s defense stopped BYU at the 1-yard line as time expired, the offense put the team in winning position thanks in large part to RB C.J. Marable’s 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Elsewhere in the top 25, #6 Florida (CB Coach Torrian Gray), #9 Miami (RB Coach Eric Hickson), #17 North Carolina (Special Teams Coor./OLB Jovan Dewitt) and #25 Louisiana (Defensive Analyst Keith Barefield) all picked up wins. Keep reading for more highlights from Week 14.

No. 9 Miami cruises to 5th straight win, beating Duke 48-0
If it’s possible for a program as iconic as the “U” to fly under the radar, that’s exactly what RB Coach Eric Hickson (@CoachEHickson2) and the Canes are doing this season. Despite missing 15 players, Miami cruised to its first shutout victory over an ACC opponent and their largest margin of victory over an ACC opponent since joining the conference in 2004. With breakout performances all over the field, two of the top performers were Hickson’s running backs. Cam’Ron Harris rushed 15 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns to earn a 72.4 grade from Pro Football Focus. As impressive as Harris was, PFF rated his freshman partner in the backfield even higher. Don Chaney, Jr. only touched the ball 13 times but was incredibly efficient with his opportunities. PFF gave Chaney a 77.5 grade after his nine carries went for 62 yards (6.9 ypc) and his four receptions, on four targets, racked up 81 yards. As an offense, the Hurricanes rushed for 220 yards and outgained the Blue Devils by a staggering 524-177 margin. Congratulations to Hickson on the blowout win and his running backs’ big games!

La Tech, in 1st game since Halloween, tops North Texas
In last week’s highlights, we documented Georgia Tech’s win over Duke after a 27-day layoff. Louisiana Tech raised the bar one notch higher on Thursday night, going 33 days without a game, nearly a full month without a practice, and still coming out on top over North Texas. If there was any rust, it took Bulldog LB Ezekiel Barnett all of six plays to shake off. Barnett intercepted UNT QB Jason Bean on the seventh play from scrimmage and the Bulldogs were in business. Another seven plays later, Louisiana Tech’s offense found the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown run by WR Smoke Harris to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead. The Mean Green would respond and took a 14-7 lead by the end of the first quarter, but the Bulldogs restored order with two touchdowns early in the second quarter and never trailed again. Barnett’s pick was only the start of a strong game for him as he led the LT defense with eight tackles. LB Trey Baldwin registered a pair of tackles and a quarterback hurry, contributing to a Bulldog defense that pressured Bean relentlessly and logged a season-high four sacks on the night. Congratulations to Louisiana Tech LB Coach Brian Gamble (@CoachBGamble) on the win and strong play from his linebacker corps! Gamble is in his third season in Ruston and has already helped guide the Bulldogs to two bowl wins, one division title and a #4 national ranking in Sacks in 2018. He played at Texas A&M and served as a defensive grad assistant at Houston early in his career. He went on to enjoy a 10-year tenure at Incarnate Word, ultimately serving as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator for seven seasons.

Eastern Michigan stuns previously unbeaten Western Michigan for MAC road win
On its first possession of the game, Eastern Michigan was forced to send out punter Jake Julien after the offense stalled. Julien pinned the Broncos inside their 20 and just like that his work for the day was done. The Eagles scored on their next 10 possessions before finally taking a knee in victory formation after having scored 53 points – a new program record in its 56-game history versus Western Michigan. As one would expect in such an offensive onslaught, several Eagles made their marks on the stat sheet. QB Preston Hutchinson completed 19-of-30 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was WR Hassan Beydoun, who hauled in seven passes for 96 yards. Wide outs Tanner Knue and Quian Williams each recorded touchdown receptions to round out the EMU passing attack. On the ground, the Eagles were paced by freshman RB Darius Boone, who finished with 148 rushing yards and one touchdown. In addition to setting a record for points scored against WMU, the 53 points also represented the most that EMU has scored against any opponent since 2017. Congratulations to EMU Run Game Coordinator/OL Coach James Patton (@Coachjpatton) and WR Coach Darren Paige (@WRcoachPaige) on the win and offensive fireworks! Patton and Paige are both in their second seasons with the program and last season they helped the Eagles reach the Quick Lane Bowl. Patton arrived in Ypsilanti after a two-year stint as an offensive assistant at Pitt. He previously served as the tight ends and fullbacks coach at Indiana and has also coached on staffs at Oklahoma, Northwestern, Miami and Rhode Island.  Paige spent the 2018 campaign at Stony Brook where he helped the Seawolves reach the FCS Playoffs. It's been a steady rise for Paige, who coached the receivers at Holy Cross in 2017 and previously held a similar role at Midwestern State. In 2017, he completed a Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Tennessee Titans.

Banged-up Georgia Southern wins with playmaking defense
In one of the weekend’s few non-conference matchups, Georgia Southern provided yet another example of the Sun Belt’s depth this year by defeating one of the top teams in Conference USA. The Eagles’ defense forced four turnovers and only yielded a field goal in rolling to a 20-3 win over Florida Atlantic. Georgia Southern ILB Rashad Byrd got the turnover party started when he forced a fumble that OLB Reid Dedman recovered. The Eagle offense capitalized on the turnover with a field goal to extend its lead to 10-0. On the Owls’ very next possession, GSU CB Derrick Canteen intercepted FAU QB Gavion Posey to send the Eagles into halftime with the 10-point lead. In the second half, the GSU defense picked up right where it left off, forcing turnovers on FAU’s first two possessions, beginning with a fumble recovery by NT Parker Devine followed by another interception, this one courtesy of CB Justin Birdsong. In addition to the turnovers, the GSU defense also forced three turnovers on downs. Congratulations to Georgia Southern Senior Defensive Analyst Brian Young (@coachbkyoung) on the win! Young is in his first season in Statesboro after previously serving as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Stetson for seven years. From 2013-16, he worked with four-time All-American DB Donald Payne who is currently with the Miami Dolphins. Young also has experience coaching defensive backs at Cornell and served as the defensive coordinator at Mississippi College.

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