CI Week 6 Football Highlights

10/7/2019 Please find highlights from Week 6 below:

It's hard to imagine that many NFL teams could respond to losing a perennial player of the year candidate by going on a three-game win streak as the Saints have done without QB Drew Brees. After dropping a road game at the Rams when backup QB Teddy Bridgewater was thrust into the starting role in place of an injured Brees, New Orleans has bounced back to post consecutive victories over the Seahawks, Cowboys and Buccaneers. Major credit goes to Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael for constructing game plans designed to gradually put more responsibilities on Bridgewater's plate as he has grown into the starting role. Special teams and defensive touchdowns helped spur the Saints to their win in Seattle while the defense dominated in a 12-10 win over the Saints. Bridgewater remained a steady presence guiding the offense through both games but didn't post the gaudy numbers typical of a Saints offense. That all changed on Sunday as Bridgewater completed 26-of-34 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns in the 31-24 win. The performance marked the first time that Bridgewater had thrown for more than 300 yards since 2015, when he was a member of the Vikings. His favorite target on Sunday was WR Michael Thomas, who caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. The transition from Brees to Bridgewater has done little to slow down Thomas, as the fourth-year receiver has backed up his big contract extension by leading the league in both receptions (45) and receiving yards (543) through five games. RB Alvin Kamara has also increased his load in Brees' absence and accounted for 104 yards from scrimmage against the Bucs. Congratulations to Carmichael on the win and the offense's performance! Now in his 11th season as offensive coordinator and 14th year with the Saints overall, Carmichael directs an offense that has led the league in Total Yards six times in the past 13 seasons and finished in the top eight in all 13 seasons. As a team, he has helped guide the Saints to seven playoff appearances, five division titles, and a win in Super Bowl XLIV. Prior to arriving in New Orleans, Carmichael coached for the Chargers, Redskins and Browns at the pro level, as well as New Hampshire and Louisiana Tech on the college side.  

In the 1970's, Penn State began to brand itself as "Linebacker U" after producing several stars at the linebacker position. Later, the trend spread as Miami began to adopt the moniker of "Tight End U" and various other programs attempted to lay claim to other position groups. When it comes to defensive backs, it might be best to simply refer to "DBU" as whichever program Torrian Gray (@togray14) is with at the time. In over a decade at Virginia Tech and Florida, Gray mentored six All-Americans and 13 NFL draft selections. After a two-year stint as the defensive backs coach for the Redskins, Gray is back in Gainesville and once again producing elite defensive backs. On Saturday, Florida upset Auburn thanks in large part to three interceptions by Gator defensive backs - Shawn Davis, Marco Wilson and Donovan Stiner. Auburn QB Bo Nix entered the game having not thrown an interception since August, but Davis ended that streak early in the second quarter when he picked off a pass in front of the Auburn sideline and returned it 41 yards into Tiger territory. Two plays later, Florida QB Kyle Trask connected with WR Josh Hammond on a 13-yard touchdown pass to give the Gators a 14-6 lead. Auburn managed to cut the lead to 14-13, but drew no closer as the Florida defense pitched a second half shutout in the 24-13 win. Offensively for the Gators, TE Kyle Pitts led all receivers with eight receptions. Through six games, Pitts has hauled in 25 receptions for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Working under the direction of TE Coach Larry Scott (@UFCoachLScott), Pitts' 25 receptions rank first in the SEC and second nationally among tight ends. Congratulations to Gray and Scott on the big win! Scott is in his second season with the Gators after a two-year stint at Tennessee, including the 2017 season during which he served as the Vols' offensive coordinator. 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.

The Red Raiders have pulled off several upsets over ranked teams in recent years, but usually they have done so on the strength of a potent offense. In shocking the Cowboys, it was the Texas Tech defense that stole the show. In particular, the Red Raider front seven had a performance for the ages. LB Jordyn Brooks earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Foundation after racking up 19 tackles, including 4.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. Credit also goes to Texas Tech DL Coach Paul Randolph (@CoachPRandolph) and his defensive line that occupied blocks for Brooks to wreak havoc in the OSU backfield. Defensive linemen Broderick Washington Jr., Tony Bradford Jr., and Eli Howard combined to record 14 tackles, including three tackles-for-loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The pressure generated by the defensive front also paid dividends on the back end, as Red Raider defensive backs cashed in with three interceptions in the 45-35 win. Congratulations to Randolph on the upset! Randolph is in his first 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 22-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.

When Hampton and North Alabama meet next season, both programs will be full-fledged members of the Big South. As it stands now, UNA is a provisional member of the conference while Hampton completed its transitional season from the MEAC in 2018. Technicalities aside, the Pirates notched a 40-34 win in their first conference game in a back-and-forth contest that wasn't decided until the final minutes. QB Deondre Francois and WR Jadakis Bonds led the way offensively for Hampton as Francois completed 28-of-41 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns, while Bonds caught 11 balls for 127 yards and two touchdowns. DL Desmond Sturdivant anchored the defensive front, finishing with five tackles and one strip sack fumble. His strip sack came at a critical juncture in the game, late in the first half with the Pirates holding a 13-2 lead and the Lions driving at midfield. Hampton's offense took advantage of the turnover as Bonds caught his first touchdown of the day to give the hosts a 20-2 halftime lead. Those points proved to be critical as UNA stormed back to take a 27-23 lead in the fourth quarter, but two late touchdown passes from Francois were enough to put the Pirates back on top for good. Congratulations to Hampton DE Coach Marcus Dixon (@MarcusDixon94) on the win! Dixon is in his third season on staff at his alma mater and serves as the program's recruiting coordinator and director of player development in addition to his role with the defensive line. After playing for the Pirates, he went on to enjoy a seven-year NFL playing career before beginning his coaching career in 2015 as an intern with the Dallas Cowboys. Dixon was recently profiled in an incredibly inspirational article published in The Virginian-Pilot that you can read here. For those unfamiliar with his story, Dixon's college career appeared to be derailed when he was sentenced to prison as a senior in high school and lost scholarship offers to several SEC programs. After 15 months in prison, Dixon's conviction was overturned and he was able to resurrect his football career at Hampton. Throughout the ordeal, Dixon maintained his faith and a positive outlook rather than let his life be consumed with bitterness from the injustices he suffered.

Elsewhere in the Big South, Campbell won its fourth consecutive game by knocking off Presbyterian, 28-14. The Blue Hose struck first to go up 7-0 midway through the first quarter, but from that point on the Camels took control. Offensively, Campbell RB Cameron Davis rushed for a career-high 137 yards and RB Bryant Barr scored two rushing touchdowns. Through the air, QB Hajj-Malik Williams threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Campbell Defensive Coordinator/LB Weston Glaser (@Coach_Glaser) will have a lot to like as he reviews the film. The Camels held PC under 300 yards of offense and were especially effective on third down, limiting the Blue Hose to just 5-of-14 conversions. Individually, DB Darion Slade finished with a team-high 12 tackles while DL Brevin Allen led the charge up front, logging eight tackles, including 3.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack. DB Levi Wiggins chipped in with an interception in the second quarter. Congratulations to Glaser on the win and great start to the season! Glaser is in his first full season coordinating the Camels defense after being promoted from linebackers coach to interim defensive coordinator for the final three games of the 2018 season. He worked with two all-conference selections last year and helped the Camels post the #1 Pass Defense in the FCS. Glaser spent the 2016-17 seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Texas A&M and also has experience at UTEP and Sam Houston State. From 2014-15, he worked in the Cleveland Browns' scouting department.  

For the eighth straight time, the Bryant Bulldogs defeated the Merrimack Warriors. Bryant Run Game Coordinator/OL Steven Ciocci (@CoachCiocci) wasn't with the Bulldogs for the first seven of those wins, but he contributed in a big way on Saturday. Starting with Bryant's first play from scrimmage when Alfred Dobor rushed for a seven-yard gain, the Bulldogs' offensive attack was centered on the redshirt junior running back. When the final whistle blew, Dobor had set new career highs with 31 carries and 138 rushing yards. His six-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter broke a 17-17 tie and proved to be the difference as Bryant captured its first win of the year. WR Anthony Frederick also rushed for a touchdown, scoring from 21 yards out on a reverse to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 early. In addition to opening up holes in the run game, Bryant's offensive line was also effective in pass protection, allowing QB Kory Curtis to complete 13 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. Congratulations to Ciocci on the win! Ciocci arrived in Smithfield, RI after spending the 2018 season as an offensive graduate assistant at Florida International. He spent four years coaching in a variety of roles at his alma mater, Wagner College, including stints working with the offensive line, defensive line and tight ends. He also spent a season as the offensive line coach at Pace University.

After last week's loss to Fayetteville State, Elizabeth City State Head Coach Anthony Jones knew his team was close to turning the corner. Jones stated, "We're getting there, but we're just not there yet. We've got to make plays." Whereas the Vikings were victims of big plays against FSU, they turned the tables on Saturday against St. Augustine's in a 27-17 win. Under the direction of Defensive Coordinator/LB Marlon Watson (@CoachWatson8), the Vikings' defense forced five turnovers, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. The fumble recoveries came fast and furious. DB Reginald Booker and DL Zaire Edwards forced fumbles on each of St. Augustine's first two plays from scrimmage that helped ECSU jump out to a 7-0 lead. Following a punt and another Viking touchdown, ECSU DL Ny'saiah Allen pounced on a fumble on the first play of the Falcons' fourth possession. DB Taeyonn Reynolds recorded both interceptions, the first in the second quarter and the second in the fourth quarter to effectively seal the win for the visitors. Congratulations to Watson on the win and the turnovers! Watson is in his second season at Elizabeth City following a three-year stint at Alabama A&M. Working with A&M's linebackers, he helped the Bulldogs finish in the top 25 in Total Defense in 2017. Watson also has experience at Georgia Military College and Bethel University.

Quick Hits
  • Nebraska kicker Lane McCallum made a 24-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Cornhuskers to a 13-10 win over Northwestern. Congratulations to Nebraska Special Teams Coor./OLB Jovan Dewitt (@Coach_Dewitt)!
  • Georgia Southern scored a game-tying touchdown with 20 seconds left in regulation and then made a field goal in overtime to beat South Alabama, 20-17. Congratulations to Eagles WR Coach Lamar Owens (@CoachLO2)!
  • Stetson used a last-second field goal to knock off Butler and improve to 4-1 on the season. Congratulations to Stetson Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Brian Young (@coachbkyoung)!
  • Fort Valley State won its third straight game by upsetting Florida Tech, 33-29, in a game that wasn't decided until the final play. Congratulations to FVSU Asst. Head Coach/OL Gary Lowery (@coachlowerync)!

Get In Touch With Us

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