CI Week 3 Highlights

Week 3 saw several CI college coaches pick up key non-conference wins before heading into conference games. Please find this week's highlights below. 

Calgary attributes defensive dominance to recent success
Now in his third season with the Stampeders, Kahlil Carter (@ThePplzChamp) has directed the most successful defensive backfield in the CFL since his arrival. In 2015, Calgary led the league in passing touchdowns allowed and finished second in pass defense. Last year, the Stamps were even better as they ranked first in seven defensive categories en route to one of the most successful regular seasons in CFL history and an appearance in the Grey Cup. So far in 2017, Calgary is looking poised to make another run at a title. The Stampeders collected their eighth straight win on Saturday with a 27-13 win over the BC Lions. Defensive backs Shaquille Richardson and Ciante Evans each recorded interceptions and Calgary's defense limited Lions' QB Jonathon Jennings to a paltry 167 passing yards and no touchdowns. With the win, the Stamps currently sit atop the league standings with a 10-1-1 record and rank first in scoring defense by a 72-point margin. Congratulations to Carter who helped guide Drake to a conference championship as the Bulldogs' secondary coach from 2012-13. He also spent time in arena football where he gained experience coordinating defense and special teams. 

O'Neill boots Towson past St. Francis, 16-14
If one thing is clear after three games for Towson, it's that Head Coach Rob Ambrose (@Coach_Ambrose) has some underclassmen who can deliver in the clutch. Redshirt freshman QB Ryan Stover and sophomore kicker Aidan O'Neill were each recognized as CAA Players of the Week after the pair teamed up to lead the Tigers on a game winning drive in Loretto, PA. The Red Flashes, who had not lost a home game since 2014, appeared on their way to extending the streak when they took a 14-13 lead with 2:24 left to play. It was not to be, however, as Stover completed 8-10 passes for 60 yards on the final drive to setup a 42-yard field goal attempt. O'Neill calmly split the uprights as time expired to cap the rally. Stover and O'Neill stole the show with their late heroics, but it was Towson's defense that kept it in the game early. Led by Lyndon Johnson (@lyndonjohnson19), who is in his first year as defensive coordinator after coaching the Tigers' running backs in 2016, Towson forced two turnovers and limited SFU to just 290 yards of total offense. Congratulations to Ambrose and Johnson who spent seven years together as assistants at UConn where Ambrose served as offensive coordinator while Johnson worked with the Huskies' linebackers and special teams units. Since being named the head coach at his alma mater in 2009, Ambrose has led the Tigers on an historic turnaround that includes two CAA Championships, two playoff appearances and a run to the 2013 FCS National Championship Game. In between leaving UConn and arriving at Towson, Johnson spent five years at Maryland where he served as the Terrapins' assistant head coach and worked with the outside linebackers.

Vanderbilt win over Kansas State one for the history books
When the game clock hit zero on Saturday night in Nashville, there were several "first's" for the Commodores to celebrate. With its win over #18 Kansas State, Vanderbilt knocked off a ranked non-SEC team for the first time since 1946. The win also gave the Commodores a 3-0 start for the first time since 2011 and five consecutive home wins dating back to last season. It wasn't always pretty for Vanderbilt, but the offense played smart and the defense stifled the Wildcat offense long enough for QB Kyle Shurmur to find his rhythm. The junior signal caller scored on a keeper from two yards out to give the Commodores a 14-7 lead with 8:23 remaining in the fourth quarter. The offense was able to burn some clock on its next possession and the defense did the rest as it held on fourth down with less than a minute to play and KSU driving inside Vanderbilt territory. Congratulations to OL Coach Cameron Norcross (@CoachCNorcross) who is in his second season as Vanderbilt's offensive line coach following a four-year stint as the offensive line coach at Fresno State. Norcross helped guide the Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in school history in 2013 as they finished 11-2 and won the Mountain West Championship.  Prior to arriving at Fresno, he helped develop the original Pistol offense during 11 seasons at Nevada in which the Wolf Pack won two WAC Championships, reached seven bowl games and accrued six top 15 finishes in total offense.

Harris leads Rhode Island to 17-10 upset of Harvard
For a team that was picked in the preseason to finish in last place in the CAA, Rhode Island certainly isn't playing like it. In their season opener, the Rams dropped a 30-27 heartbreaker in triple overtime at Central Michigan. This past weekend, their upset bid would not be denied. WR Aaron Parker caught three passes for 103 yards including a 51-yard TD reception as Rhode Island beat Harvard 17-10 in Kingston, RI. The win was the Rams' first in five tries against Harvard and came despite the Crimson returning over half of its starters from last year and being picked to win the Ivy League. In addition to Parker's big day, WR Khayri Denny also chipped in for the Rams with five receptions for 53 yards. Congratulations to Ari Confesor (@CoachAC3) who is helping to spark a resurgence in his eighth year at URI. While the Rams only won two games in 2016, Confesor's receivers showed signs that they were beginning to turn the tide for the program as they finished 27th nationally in yards per reception. During his time in Kingston, Confesor has demonstrated his versatility by coaching linebackers and defensive backs in addition to his current role as wide receivers coach and co-special teams coordinator. From 2012-13, he also served as a scouting assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brunson accounts for 2 TDs, Albany beats Monmouth 28-14
Joining Towson and Rhode Island as CAA winners this weekend, Albany and DL Coach Delbert Cowsette (@coachcowsetteua) knocked off previously unbeaten Monmouth. The Hawks entered the game boasting one of the FCS's top rushing attacks but were held to just 63 yards on the ground. Leading the way up front for the Great Danes were defensive linemen Malachi Hoskins and Brian Dolce. Hoskins finished the game with five tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one forced fumble while Dolce racked up five tackles, two tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. Offensively, Albany QB Will Brunson threw for one touchdown and ran for another to send the hosts into conference play with a 2-1 record. Congratulations to Cowsette who is in his fourth season with the Great Danes. After playing seven years in the NFL, Cowsette began his coaching career as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Maryland before going on to Hampton where he served as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach over two separate stints with the Pirates. In 2011, Cowsette won the UFL Championship as the assistant defensive line coach for the Virginia Destroyers.

Quick Hits
  • USF recorded three interceptions in its 47-23 win over Illinois. Congratulations to Bulls DB Coach Blue Adams (@CoachAdamsUSF)!
  • Congratulations to Memphis DL Coach Paul Randolph (@CoachPRandolph) on the Tigers' 48-45 win over #24 UCLA!
  • Purdue's defense allowed only three points - its fewest since 2011 - in a 35-3 win over Missouri. Congratulations to Defensive/SpecTeams Analyst Kevin Wolthausen (@kwolthausen)!
  • Columbia DL Connor Heeb blocked a late field goal attempt and the Lions went on to win 17-14 over Wagner. Congratulations to Columbia DL Coach Darin Edwards (@CoachDEdwards)!

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