CI Week 5 Highlights

Week 5 of the college football season was perhaps the wildest of the season thus far for the Coaches Inc. Family, complete with overtime thrillers, fourth quarter comebacks, big upsets and record breaking performances. Let's dive right into this week's highlights.  

Howard scores late to pick up first victory of season
It has been a slow but steady climb for Howard Head Coach Larry Scott (@CoachLScott70) and the Bison program. Hired in February 2020 to right the ship for a program that had been rocked by allegations of misconduct, Scott and his staff were unable to practice for nearly a year and were limited to two games this past spring. Finally able to play their first game on-campus on Saturday, the Bison rewarded the 5,235 in attendance for their patience. Things didn't look great in the early going as Sacred Heart jumped out to a 17-3 lead, but Howard QB Quinton Williams came to life with three touchdowns as the Bison scored 19 unanswered to secure the first win of Scott's tenure on The Hilltop. WR Matthew McDonald was the beneficiary of the first two of Williams' scoring strikes to bring Howard to within one early in the fourth quarter. After a Pioneer missed field goal and a pair of punts, Scott, Offensive Coordinator Lee Hull (@FBCoachHull42) and OL Coach Kris Sweet (@CoachSweeter) went to work drawing up the game-winning drive. Williams and McDonald linked up again on the first play of the drive but in the end it was WR Kasey Hawthorne who hauled in a spectacular catch to give the hosts a 22-17 win. Congratulations to Scott, Hull and Sweet on the hard fought win. Scott arrived in the District after four years in the SEC, two apiece at Florida and Tennessee. As Miami's interim head coach in 2015, he led the Hurricanes to a 4-2 record and a berth in the Sun Bowl. Scott also spent eight seasons at South Florida where he helped guide the Bulls to six bowl games. Hull spent the 2019 season coordinating the offense at Wagner after a stint in the NFL as the wide receivers coach for the Colts. From 2014-15, he was the head coach at Morgan State, where he guided the Bears to the 2014 MEAC Championship, the program's first conference championship since 1979. Prior to arriving at Morgan State, he coached six All-Americans, one Biletnikoff Award winner and several high NFL draft picks in 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Maryland and Oregon State. Sweet spent the 2019 season as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Lyon after serving as the offensive line coach at Norfolk State in 2018. He has extensive experience in the CFL, having worked with the offensive lines for Montreal, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Calgary. At the college level, he has also coached at Holy Cross, Elon, Tennessee Tech and Presbyterian.

Cincinnati puts itself in contention for College Football Playoff with vital 24-13 win at Notre Dame
One of the fastest rising stars in the profession, Cincinnati RB Coach Darren Paige (@RBCoachPaige) has had an eventful past five years. After mentoring an All-American and multiple all-conference performers as the wide receivers coach at Division II Midwestern State, Paige accepted his first on-field, Division I coaching position at Holy Cross in 2017. After a season coaching the Crusader receivers and another all-conference selection, Paige moved up within the FCS ranks to Stony Brook, where he helped the Seawolves reach the playoffs in 2018. A year later, Paige was moving up again, this time to FBS member Eastern Michigan. Paige helped the Eagles reach the Quick Lane Bowl in 2019 and added two more all-conference wide receivers to his resume. This past February, it was Cincinnati who called, this time offering Paige an opportunity to return to his home state of Ohio and coach running backs for a top 10 program. While no doubt tiring, in each case Paige's moves were purposeful and on Saturday the reasoning behind the latest of those moves was crystal clear. Paige and the Bearcats entered South Bend looking to do what no UC team had done before - beat a top 10 team on the road. They left with a signature win that puts Cincinnati in prime position to be the first Group of Five program to ever make the College Football Playoff. To get the job done, QB Desmond Ridder directed an opportunistic Bearcat offense that capitalized on three Irish turnovers in the first half to jump out to a 17-0 lead. Notre Dame pulled to within four points midway through the fourth quarter, but a six-yard touchdown run by Ritter on UC's next possession put the game on ice. For the game, Ritter finished with 19 pass completions for 297 yards and two passing touchdowns. RB Jerome Ford paced the Bearcat ground attack with 67 yards on 17 carries. Congratulations to Paige on the historic win!

Jonathan Garibay kicks game-winning field goal as Texas Tech beats WVU on road
Before the Red Raiders could even kickoff in Week 1 versus Houston, they already knew that their backs were against the wall facing a make-or-break season. Through three weeks, Texas Tech had gone 3-0 and quieted most critics. DL Coach Paul Randolph's (@CoachPRandolph) unit anchored a rush defense that was ranked in the top 10 nationally and the offense was averaging 40 points per game. But a Week 4 loss at Texas brought renewed scrutiny and made the road ahead much tougher as several key contributors went down with injuries. Entering Saturday's matchup in Morgantown, Texas Tech was without seven starters, including their top quarterback, leading rusher, leading receiver and three defensive backs. Not surprisingly, the product wasn't always pretty but the end result was picture perfect when Jonathan Garibay converted a 32-yard field goal with 18 seconds left to give the Red Raiders a 23-20 win. To get to that point, Texas Tech relied on a combination of big plays from its defense and gritty leadership from backup QB Henry Colombi. The first big play from the Tech defense came late in the first quarter when LB Colin Schooler strip-sacked WVU QB Jarret Doege and TTU DL Devin Drew pounced on the loose ball in Mountaineer territory. The Red Raiders turned that fumble recovery into seven points when RB SaRodorick Thompson scored from one yard out to give Tech a 14-0 lead. The visitors added a field goal to go up 17-0 at the half, but West Virginia responded by tying the score at 17-17 entering the fourth quarter. After trading field goals, Texas Tech took over at its 16-yardline with 4:34 left to play. Colombi engineered an eight-play, 70-yard drive, including a 42-yard completion to WR Kaylon Geiger, to setup Garibay's winning kick. Congratulations to Randolph and Offensive Analyst/Asst. QB Matt Clark (@Coach_MattClark) on the gutsy win! Randolph is in his third season at Texas Tech after coaching the defensive line at Memphis from 2016-18, where he helped guide the Tigers to three bowl games and two division titles. In his 23-year coaching career, Randolph has coordinated defenses at Arizona State, Pitt, Tulsa and Rice, in addition to coaching defensive lines at Alabama and West Virginia. Clark arrived in Lubbock in 2020 after a stint as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at New Mexico Highlands. He previously served as the tight ends coach at Louisiana-Monroe and has also coached at Nicholls State. In 2018, Clark was selected to participate in the AFCA's 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute.

Navy rallies in fourth quarter against UCF for its first win of the season
There is no sugarcoating the fact that it was a rough month of September in Annapolis. The Mids dropped their first three contests and the offense had failed to generate much of a consistent attack. If there is one quality that you must possess in spades to attend a service academy, though, it is resilience. Also working in Navy's favor is a coaching staff that has been largely intact for the better part of 15 years and collectively won over 100 games, including six bowl game wins and six Commander-in-Chief's trophies. The member of the coaching staff tasked with getting the ground game on track is Run Game Coordinator/OL Ashley Ingram (@CoachAIngram). Against UCF: Mission Accomplished. The Mids rushed for a season-high 348 yards against the Knights, led by slot back Carlinos Acie's 85 yards on 11 carries. After being out with two games due to injury, Navy QB Tai Lavatai returned to direct the triple-option attack, throwing for 58 yards and adding 57 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Lavatai's second score pulled the Mids to within three early in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing possession, Navy DB Taylor Robinson recovered a fumble near midfield to put the offense back on the field. Eleven plays later, FB Isaac Ruoss scored on a four-yard rush to finish the comeback and give the Mids a 34-30 victory. Congratulations to Ingram on the bounce back win! A member of the Navy staff since 2008, Ingram was promoted to run game coordinator in 2013 and has helped the program win three AAC West Division titles. He previously served as the offensive coordinator at Bucknell and also has coaching experience at Rhode Island, West Alabama, Temple and North Alabama. As a player, he helped North Alabama win three national championships.

Led by Pappas' school-record, Morehead State prevails 45-38 in overtime over Dayton
In a league full of glitzy private schools, Morehead State stands apart from the rest of the Pioneer League as the lone public school. Now in his ninth year as head coach and 21st year overall at Morehead, Rob Tenyer (@RobTenyerMSU) has built a football program representative of its school, hard-nosed with a blue collar work ethic. Just don't mistake the Eagles' grit for a lack of offensive firepower. High flying offenses have been a staple for Tenyer, who doubles as the team's offensive coordinator, and this season is no different. In the team's first conference game, QB Mark Pappas showed just how dynamic the offense can be, setting a program record with 481 passing yards and six touchdowns in a 45-38 overtime win over Dayton. Pappas' favorite target on the day was WR B.J. Byrd, who caught a career-best 14 passes for 191 yards to finish with the third highest receiving output for an FCS receiver in a game this year. Byrd caught his third touchdown pass of the day on a 19-yard pitch-and-catch from Pappas midway through the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up 38-28. The Flyers scored the next 10 points to force the extra session, but any momentum they had generated was quickly extinguished. On the first play of overtime, Pappas collected his sixth touchdown on the day, this time on a 25-yard route to WR DeVonte Adams to put MSU back up by seven. Dayton advanced to the Eagle 9-yardline on its possession, but MSU DB Tyler Noble intercepted a pass in the end zone to put the nail in the coffin. Congratulations to Tenyer on the win and great start to conference play! As an assistant for the Eagles, Tenyer was a part of the program's four consecutive Pioneer League South Division titles from 2002-05 and he has mentored over 100 all-conference selections during his tenure. In 2015, his offense ranked fourth in the nation in passing as the Eagles finished 6-2 in the PFL.

Defense gives Rhode Island 27-20 win over Stony Brook in OT
The stage was set for a special day at Meade Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Rams were freshly ranked in the FCS Top 25 for the first time this season and were playing in front of a sellout crowd for homecoming, looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 2001. Adding to the stakes was the fact that Saturday's opponent was a Stony Brook program that had defeated Rhode Island in all seven previous meetings. Thanks to a clutch goal line stand from Jack Cooper's (@CoachJCooper) defense, the Rams were able to capitalize on the opportunity and finally get over the hump against the Seawolves. The teams traded punches in the early going as Stony Brook struck first to go up 7-0 before URI responded in the second quarter to take a 10-7 lead into halftime. The Seawolves knotted things up in the third and a touchdown for each side in the fourth sent the game into overtime. After the Rams scored on their opening possession, Stony Brook looked poised to level the score once again after reaching the URI 2-yardline. Up until that point, SBU RB Ty Son Lawton had shown why he is one of the nation's top backs, rushing for 154 yards on 26 carries. But on 3rd-and-1, DL Westley Neal, Jr. stood up Lawson at the line of scrimmage for no gain. On fourth down, the Seawolves again turned to Lawton but again the Ram defense stood tall. This time it was LB Jarrett Martin and DL James Makszin who tag-teamed for the stop to set off the celebration on the URI sideline. Congratulations to Cooper on the thrilling win! Cooper is in his second year and first full season as URI's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. He arrived in Kingston after a two-year stint as a defensive quality control assistant at Nebraska and two years in a similar capacity at UCF, where he helped the Knights post a perfect 13-0 record in 2017 that included an AAC Championship and Peach Bowl win. Cooper has also coached at Yale, Southern Connecticut and Salve Regina.

Grambling upsets No. 1 Alabama A&M, 37-28
If there is anything that Eric Marty (@CoachEricMarty) has demonstrated in his first five games as Grambling's offensive coordinator, it's his adaptability. From 2016-20, Marty was tasked with rebuilding a program at Reedley College in California that was on the brink of being shut down. Wearing the hats of head coach and offensive coordinator, he turned the Tigers into an offensive juggernaut that won two conference titles with back-to-back 10-1 records in 2018 and 2019. Like Reedley, Grambling's mascot is a Tiger but that's about where the similarities between the two programs end. Far from flashy, Grambling used grit and determination to upset Alabama A&M, the top ranked HBCU team in the nation. In the words of Grambling Head Coach Broderick Fobbs, “When we play extremely hard, and we make the game a muddy, dirty game, I think we have a chance. It’s like the old Detroit Pistons. We’re not Michael Jordan, we’re not Scottie Pippen and those guys, but if we scrap and get dirty, we have a chance to win football games.” That mindset has proven effective and is also music to the ears of Tiger OL Coach Bryant Ross (@CoachBryantRoss). Making his first career start, Grambling freshman QB Noah Bodden orchestrated the Tiger offense much like Isiah Thomas did for the Bad Boys. Bodden completed 16 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the second quarter as the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs by 17 to take a 24-14 lead into halftime. The Tigers stretched the lead to 20 points in the third quarter and ultimately held on for a 37-28 win. Congratulations to Marty and Ross on the monumental win! Unlike Marty, it was short move for Ross to join the Tigers this spring after spending the previous three seasons as an offensive analyst at Louisiana-Lafayette. Ross helped the Cajuns win three division titles and one conference title during his time in Lafayette. He has also coached at Mississippi State and Central State.

Tigers win homecoming in dominant fashion, 69-0
Elsewhere in the SWAC, Texas Southern recovered an onside kick to open its game against North American University and was off to the races. Three plays later, RB Jacorey Howard struck pay dirt from seven yards out to put the Tigers up 7-0. The lead had stretched to 28 by the end of the first quarter and 52 by halftime. When all was said and done, Texas Southern had completed the 69-0 shutout and recorded one of the most lopsided wins in program history. QB Andre Body completed 12-of-16 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns while seven Tigers finished with at least 10 rushing yards. WR Ke'Lenn Davis had a career-day, hauling in five catches for 117 yards and two scores. Overall, TSU outgained NAU by a margin of 467-29. Congratulations to Tigers Offensive Coordinator/QB David Marsh (@CoachDmarsh) on the record breaking performance! Marsh is in his third year at TSU following a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator at Campbell. He previously served as an offensive graduate assistant at UCLA and Texas A&M. Marsh also coached at the high school level in Arizona after serving in the Marine Corps for six years.

Quick Hits
  • In its first SWAC home game since joining the conference, Florida A&M pitched its first shutout since 2018, beating Alabama State 28-0. Congratulations to Rattlers Head Coach Willie Simmons (@HCWillieSimmons) and Co-Offensive Coor./OL Ryan Stanchek (@CoachStanchek)!
  • Miami (OH) WR Mac Hippenhammer caught eight passes for 170 yards and RB Keyon Mozee added 83 on the ground as the RedHawks defeated Central Michigan, 28-17. Congratulations to WR Coach Israel Woolfork (@IWMiamiFootball), RB Coach Lamar Conard (@CoachConard) and OL Coach James Patton (@Coachjpatton)!
  • Mercer RB Fred Davis set a new school record with 276 rushing yards and five touchdowns as the Bears won a thriller over Samford, 45-42. Today, Davis was recognized as the FCS National Offensive Player of the Week and SoCon Offensive Player of the Week. Congratulations to Co-Offensive Coordinator Tim Foster (@CoachFosterMU)!
  • Southern Illinois WR Landon Lenoir caught five passes for 103 yards and two TDs in the Salukis' 31-30 overtime win over Western Illinois. Congratulations to WR Coach Mark Watson (@CoachMarkWatson)!
  • Black Hills State improved to 4-1 as QB Chance Eben threw for 169 yards and three touchdowns to beat Fort Lewis, 45-17. Congratulations to Yellow Jackets Pass Game Coor./QB Joe Ashfield (@JoeAshfield)!
  • Illinois Wesleyan forced eight sacks and held Elmhurst to 3-fo-20 on third and fourth downs in a 52-3 win. Congratulations to Titans Defensive Coordinator/LB Matt Williamson (@CoachMW_51)!
  • Lane College blew out Texas College, 71-0, as QB Michael Huntley threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns. Congratulations to Dragons QB Coach Ray Pickering (@CoachPickOC)!
  • Point University gave the homecoming crowd reason to celebrate with a 38-35 win over St. Andrews. Congratulations to Skyhawks Defensive Coordinator/LB Trevor Zeiders (@coachzeiders)!

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