CI Week 2 Football Highlights

The NFL season kicked off last week and the CI Family started well. Three CI coaches won their openers while New Orleans Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael will look to add to that total tonight when the Saints host the Texans in the first of two Monday night games. At the college level, several CI coaches continued strong starts to the season with wins in Week 2. Keep reading for more highlights from the weekend:

Chargers defeat Colts in overtime on Austin Ekeler's TD
Last season, the Chargers surpassed all expectations by posting a 12-4 regular season record and reaching the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. RB Melvin Gordon had a lot to do with those achievements, but in his absence on Sunday, Los Angeles RB Coach Alfredo Roberts was able to showcase the depth of his position group. In particular, Austin Ekeler set a new personal best with 154 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. The third-year back became the first undrafted player since 1967 to record 150 total yards, two receiving touchdowns and one rushing score in a game. Ekeler's rushing touchdown came in overtime to seal the 30-24 win for the Chargers after the Colts had rallied from a 15-point deficit to force the extra session. In the passing game, Keenan Allen led the way for the Bolts with eight catches for a game-high 123 yards including a highlight reel worthy touchdown. Congratulations to Roberts and WR Coach Phil McGeoghan (@PhilMcGeoghan) on the win! Roberts joined the Chargers in 2017 following 13 years as a tight ends coach with the Colts, Buccaneers, Browns and Jaguars. As a player, he won two national championships at the University of Miami and two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. In McGeoghan's first season in Los Angeles, he helped Allen earn a trip to the Pro Bowl after finishing the year with 97 catches for 1,196 yards and six touchdowns. McGeoghan spent the 2017 campaign as the wide receivers coach for the Bills and has also worked with the Dolphins' wide receivers. At the college level, he has coached at East Carolina, South Florida and Maine.

Maryland shreds Syracuse, setting program record for points vs. ranked opponent
Given the tumultuous nature of Maryland's 2018 season, few could have predicted the start they have enjoyed thus far. The Terrapins rolled to a 79-0 win in Week 1, and on Saturday they confirmed that performance was no fluke. The hosts scored touchdowns on seven of their first eight possessions en route to a 63-20 victory over Syracuse that was never in doubt. Maryland QB Josh Jackson completed 21-of-38 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, four Terrapin running backs scored touchdowns, led by Javon Leake who racked up 107 yards and two scores on just seven carries (15.3 ypc). Overall, Maryland rushed for 354 yards while its defense limited the Orange to just 70 yards on the ground. DL Keiron Howard recorded one of four sacks for a Terrapin defense that also forced two turnovers and consistently pressured Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito. The blowout win marked the program's first over a ranked opponent at Maryland Stadium since 2010. Congratulations to DL Coach Delbert Cowsette (@CoachCowsette) and RB Coach Elijah Brooks (@UMDCoachBrooks)! Cowsette returned to his alma mater this season after serving as the defensive line coach at Albany for the previous five years. After a seven-year playing career in the NFL, he began his coaching career as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Maryland. Cowsette was part of the Virginia Destroyers staff that won the UFL Championship in 2011 and also has defensive coordinator experience from a stint at Hampton. Brooks made the short intrastate move to College Park after serving as the head coach at perennial national power DeMatha Catholic High School. At DeMatha, Brooks won four consecutive conference championships from 2014-17 and compiled an overall record of 72-20.

Georgia Tech takes home opener over South Florida
When new Georgia Tech Head Coach Geoff Collins was in the process of assembling his first staff, he made a conscious effort to bring several alumni back to The Flats. Tashard Choice, Brent Key and Nathan Burton are all on Collins' staff after having suited up for the Jackets as players, but none of them bring the playing pedigree of OLB/DE Coach Marco Coleman (@MarcoColeman_GT). As an outside linebacker, Coleman was twice named a First Team All-American and was a central piece to Tech's national championship run in 1990. Coleman went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL and was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame before embarking on his coaching career as a coaching fellow for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. In his first home game as a coach at his alma mater, the Yellow Jackets put on a defensive clinic reminiscent of those defensive juggernauts from Coleman's playing days. Georgia Tech held South Florida to just 262 yards of offense and came up with a critical takeaway to preserve the 14-10 victory. Early in the fourth quarter, Georgia Tech's offense fumbled giving the Bulls possession near midfield. One play later, USF completed a pass that almost resulted in a touchdown but Georgia Tech DB Tariq Carpenter chased down the ball carrier and made the tackle at the one-yard line. Three plays later, DL T.K. Chimedza knocked the ball loose from USF RB Jordan Cronkrite and Chimedza recovered the fumble. The Bulls had one more possession but once again the Yellow Jacket defense stood tall to avenge last year's loss to USF in Tampa. Congratulations to Coleman on the solid defensive performance! Prior to returning to Atlanta, Coleman spent the 2018 season as the assistant defensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders.

Blue Hens take home the win in 3OT battle against Rhode Island
Delaware earned its 700th win in program history on Saturday night and it's hard to imagine that many of the first 699 victories were more thrilling this one. Under the direction of new Offensive Coordinator/QB Jared Ambrose (@CoachJambrose), the Blue Hen offense took two quarters to find its footing, but once it did there was no looking back. After being shutout in the first half, Delaware QB Pat Kehoe went on to tie a school record with five touchdown passes as he completed 26-of-38 passes for 282 yards. Kehoe's first score came midway through the third quarter on a 66-yard strike to WR Chichi Amachi that cut the deficit to 13-7. The Blue Hens took the lead five minutes later, but the Rams rallied to tie the score at 22-22 at the end of regulation. Delaware's offense was unstoppable in overtime, scoring touchdowns on all three possessions including a two-point conversion to secure the 44-36 win. Following the game, Head Coach Danny Rocco praised his team's resiliency as well as the strong contingent of UD fans who made the 300-mile trek to Kingston, RI. With the win, the Blue Hens are now 2-0 and ranked #18 entering next week's matchup versus #1 North Dakota State. Congratulations and good luck to Rocco and Ambrose! Rocco in his third season at the helm for the Blue Hens and last season led the program to its first playoff appearance since 2010. He previously spent five seasons as the head coach at Richmond where he led the Spiders to two CAA titles and three playoff appearances. He also boasts six years of experience as the head coach at Liberty where he won four Big South Championships. Ambrose returns to his alma mater this season after spending the last 10 seasons at Towson, including seven as offensive coordinator. With the Tigers, Ambrose helped guide the program to an historic turnaround that included two CAA Championships, two playoff appearances and a run to the 2013 FCS National Championship Game.

Cyphers' fourth-quarter TD sends Elon past The Citadel, 35-28
Elsewhere in the CAA, Elon bounced back from a Week 1 loss to earn the program's first win under new Head Coach Tony Trisciani. The Phoenix dominated across the stat sheet, outgaining the Bulldogs 481-225, but the game was still up for grabs late after The Citadel benefited from a recovered onside kick to score back-to-back touchdowns and level the score with 9:10 left to play. But Elon responded on its next possession when RB Brelynd Cyphers scored on a 30-yard touchdown run to put the hosts back up seven, 35-28. From there, Billy Crocker's (@Coach_Crock) defense took over. DE Marcus Willoughby recorded a sack on The Citadel's next possession as the Phoenix forced a turnover on downs. The Bulldogs got the ball one more time but Elon DB Daniel Reid-Bennett intercepted a last-second desperation pass to ensure the victory. For the game, Willoughby was a constant force, finishing with a career-high 14 tackles and two tackles-for-loss. Earlier today, he was named the STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Week. Congratulations to Crocker, who is in his first season with the Phoenix following a two-year stint as the defensive coordinator at UConn. He is no stranger to the CAA, having served as Villanova's defensive coordinator for five years, including the 2016 season when the Wildcats led the FCS in Total Defense and Points Allowed. Crocker spent a total of 12 seasons at Villanova in a variety of roles including coaching the defensive line, linebackers and coordinating special teams. He also has experience coaching on offense from a stint at Albany where he served as running backs coach.

LHU opens season with dominating victory
One of the primary goals for any offensive coordinator is to get the ball in the hands of his top playmaker. On Thursday night, Bill Nickell (@Coach_Nickell) did just that in guiding the Lock Haven offense to a 57-13 win over Lincoln. Preseason All-American TE Jalen Jackson caught five passes for 107 yards and one touchdown to lead all receivers in the game. Jackson's touchdown came on LHU's second possession as the Bald Eagles scored on their first nine possessions. Overall, LHU rolled to 616 yards of total offense and its 57 points marked the most it has scored in a game since October 7, 2017. Congratulations on the win to Nickell who is in his fifth season at Lock Haven! He previously served as an offensive graduate assistant at Kent State and began his career as the offensive line coach at his alma mater, Urbana University.

Clarion tops Shippensburg for first time since 2000
Another PSAC offensive coordinator who had a strong start out of the gate was Charles Eger (@CoachEger). Making his debut for Clarion after spending the past six seasons at fellow PSAC member Seton Hill, Eger directed an offense that put up 445 yards of offense in a 48-28 road win. The Golden Eagles, picked to finish seventh in the PSAC East, raced out to a 34-0 halftime lead before the Red Raiders finally got on the board midway through the third quarter. Leading the way for Clarion was RB Mylique McGriff who rushed 27 times for 179 yards (7.1 ypc) and a career-high three touchdowns. Not only did the victory snap a 12-game losing streak to Shippensburg, it also marked Clarion's first season-opening win since 2016. Congratulations on the upset to Eger, who is no stranger to guiding high flying offenses. At Seton Hill, the Griffins consistently ranked among the best passing offenses in Division II, including a first place finish in 2016. Previously, Eger spent three seasons at Widener University, where he served as the team's offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

Quick Hits
  • #8 Towson QB Tom Flacco threw for three touchdowns and punter Shane McDonough was named CAA Special Teams Player of the Week following the Tigers' 42-3 win over North Carolina Central. Congratulations to Head Coach Rob Ambrose (@Coach_Ambrose), Special Teams Coor./Safeties Lyndon Johnson (@lyndonjohnson19), DL Coach Gus Kosmakos (@Coach_Kosmakos) and Special Teams Assistant D.J. Bryant (@djbryant13)!
  • Georgetown scored more points in a game than it has since 2011 in rolling to a 43-3 win over Marist. Congratulations to Hoyas Head Coach Rob Sgarlata (@coachsgarlata)!
  • Coastal Carolina picked up its first win over a Power 5 program in school history. Congratulations to Co-Offensive Coordinator/RB Newland Issac (@coachisaacFB) and Analyst Everette Sands (@EveretteSands)!
  • Division II Virginia Union defeated a Division I opponent for the first time since 1991. Congratulations to Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coor. Marcus Hilliard (@Coach_MHilliard) and Co-Offensive Coor./OL Mike Morita (@CoachMorita)!

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