CI Week 6 Highlights


As we head into the second half of the college regular season, several CI FBS coaches are closing in on securing bowl eligibility while conference races are taking shape across all levels of the sport. Let’s dive right into highlights from Week 6…
Saints all smiles after offense silences critics and steamrolls Patriots
With pressure ratcheting up following a subpar outing last week, Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael reminded everyone that he’s still among the best in the business at his job. In the leadup to New Orleans’ 34-0 demolition of the Patriots in Foxborough, Carmichael talked with RB Alvin Kamara about ways to get the dynamic playmaker more touches. It didn’t take long for the teacher and student to make good on their plans as Kamara touched the ball on three of the Saints’ first five plays. Following a pick-six by New Orleans DB Tyrann Mathieu that put the Saints on the board, Kamara doubled the advantage when he scored on a two-yard run early in the second quarter. In doing so, the seventh-year pro became the all-time touchdown leader in franchise history. Kamara went on to finish the game with 80 rushing yards while adding 17 receiving yards on three catches. Carmichael was able to take advantage of the score to get rookie RB Kendre Miller his most extensive game action of the season. Miller delivered with his best performance as a pro, carrying the ball 11 times for 37 yards and catching four passes for 53 yards. At quarterback, Derek Carr was efficient in completing 18 passes and two touchdowns. Congratulations to Carmichael on the dominant win! Now in his 18th season with the Saints and 15th as offensive coordinator, Carmichael has been the constant for a Saint offense that has featured multiple head coaches, quarterbacks and playmakers. In tailoring an offense to suit each roster’s strengths, he has guided the Saints to six first-place finishes in Total Offense, including 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl XLIV. Prior to arriving in New Orleans, Carmichael coached for the Chargers, Washington and Browns at the pro level, as well as New Hampshire and Louisiana Tech on the college side.
Georgia Tech seizes chance following Miami blunder
Long before he became an internet meme sensation for playing to win the game, Herm Edwards made a lasting contribution to the game by fundamentally changing how teams did in fact win games. As a cornerback for the Eagles in 1978, Edwards returned a Giants’ fumble for a game-winning touchdown in the game’s closing seconds when New York simply needed to bleed time off the clock to ensure victory. Following the “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” the quarterback kneel became widely adopted as the proper course of action in such situations. Miami Head Coach Mario Cristobal was eight years old at the time and apparently was not watching Edwards’ heroics. With the Hurricanes leading 20-17 on Saturday night, the clock running under 35 seconds and Georgia Tech out of timeouts, Miami inexplicably opted for a conventional running play. The Yellow Jacket defense took advantage of their good fortune. LB Paul Moala ripped the ball out of the Miami ballcarrier’s grasp and DL Kyle Kennard pounced on the loose ball at Georgia Tech’s 26-yard line. Four plays later, Yellow Jacket QB Haynes King completed the Miracle in Miami when his Hail Mary landed in the outstretched hands of WR Christian Leary for a 44-yard touchdown just before the buzzer to give Georgia Tech a 23-20 win. While Lady Luck may have smiled on the Jackets, it was fitting reward for a team, particularly a defense, that responded impressively just days after changing coordinators. Capped by Kennard’s fumble recovery, the Georgia Tech defense forced five turnovers in the game and held Miami to its lowest scoring output of the season by 18 points. Congratulations to Yellow Jacket Defensive Line Coach Marco Coleman (@Coach_MColeman) on the incredible win! After spending the 2022 season as the defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach at Michigan State, Coleman returned to his alma mater in 2023 after previously coaching the Ramblin’ Wreck’s defensive ends and outside linebackers from 2019-21. As a player for the Yellow Jackets, Coleman was twice named a First Team All-American, including in 1990 when he helped Georgia Tech win the national championship. He went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL and was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. He began his coaching career as a coaching fellow for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 and spent the 2018 campaign as the assistant defensive line coach for the Raiders.
Alex Tecza's pair of long TD runs pushes Navy past North Texas 27-24
The head coach and offensive coordinator may be different this season but one thing has remained the same in Annapolis – Assistant Head Coach/OL Ashley Ingram (@CoachAIngram) orchestrating a ground attack amongst the best in the nation. The Midshipmen entered Week 6 boasting the fifth ranked rushing offense, averaging 227.5 yards per game. Thanks to FB Alex Tecza and the big fellas upfront, that average was even more gaudy after Saturday’s win over North Texas. Tecza’s number was called 17 times and he delivered with 137 rushing yards and two touchdowns. In the early going, it was Tecza and QB Blake Horvath doing the damage as the latter gained 88 yards on the ground in less than one half of work. Unfortunately, Horvath went down late in the second quarter with an injury, but former starting QB Tai Lavatai stepped in without missing a beat, connecting with WR Nathan Kent on a 26-yard scoring pass to give the hosts a 13-10 lead. Slotback Anton Hall, Jr. would provide the only points for either team in the third quarter on a one-yard touchdown run and Tecza’s second rushing touchdown midway through the fourth turned out to be the winning score. For the game, the Mids rushed for 331 yards, upping their average per game to 248.2 and bumping them up one slot to fourth nationally. Congratulations to Ingram on the win and prolific ground game! Ingram was promoted to associate head coach in 2023 after joining the staff in 2008 and being promoted to run game coordinator 2013. He has helped Navy win over 100 games, including six bowl game wins, six Commander-in-Chief's trophies and 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, Ingram helped North Alabama win three national championships.
UAlbany beats Towson with late goal-line stand
From 2009-18, Jared Ambrose (@CoachJambrose) was an integral piece to the most successful era in the history of Towson football. First as a position coach and then as offensive coordinator for seven years, Ambrose helped direct a Tiger program that won two CAA championships and reached the playoffs on three occasions, including a run to the FCS national championship game in 2013. After a three-year stint directing the offense and coaching quarterbacks at his alma mater, the University of Delaware, during which time he added another CAA championship ring to his collection and helped the Blue Hens reach the FCS semifinals, Ambrose took over the reins to the Albany offense in 2022. On Saturday, Ambrose returned to Johnny Unitas Stadium on Towson’s campus. Aided by stellar play from his quarterback and major contributions from OLB Coach Chris Calabrese's (@Coach_Calabrese) charges, Ambrose and the rest of the Great Danes returned to upstate New York still unbeaten in conference play. QB Reese Poffenbarger was involved in all three Albany touchdowns, completing 18-of-25 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns while adding a third score on the ground to pace the Great Dane offense in the 24-17 victory. Defensively, linebackers Dylan Kelly and Ori Jean-Charles wreaked havoc all day, combining to tally a stat line of absurd proportions: 40 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass breakup and 1 quarterback hurry. While the pair made their presence felt from the opening kickoff, they saved their best for last when they teamed up to stuff Towson RB Devin Matthews for a loss on 4th and Goal from the one with less than a minute remaining. Congratulations to Ambrose and Calabrese on the win and strong first half of the season! Calabrese is in his third season in the state capital after serving as a defensive assistant in 2021 prior to being promoted to defensive line coach in 2022. He previously spent three years as the head coach at ASA College in Brooklyn and in 2019 he led ASA to a #15 ranking in the final NJCAA poll. Calabrese is an AFCA 35 Under 35 alum after his selection to the prestigious fraternity in 2020.
Devin Grant has two pick-6s to power Buffalo over Central Michigan
The Great Danes weren’t the only upstate NY program popping Genny Creams to celebrate on Saturday night. Buffalo won its second game in a row to improve to 2-0 in the MAC with a 37-13 win over Central Michigan. The Bulls got off to a fast start on a blustery day courtesy of a pick-six from DB Devin Grant on the Chippewas’ third offensive play of the game. Grant went on to add two more interceptions, including another pick-six, to earn MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. While Grant captured the headlines, QB Cole Snyder and the Buffalo offense more than held up their end of the bargain in the blowout win. Snyder finished the game going 20-of-32 for 232 yards while adding 20 yards on the ground. RB Ron Cook, Jr. scored two touchdowns on 11 carries for 53 yards while kicker Alex McNulty rounded out the scoring for the Bulls with three field goals. Congratulations to Buffalo QB Coach Ron Whitcomb (@ronwhitcomb) on the win! A Rochester native, Whitcomb returned to the area as an offensive analyst and scouting coordinator for the Bulls in 2020 and was promoted to tight ends coach in 2021. After the team’s win in the Camellia Bowl to conclude the 2022 season, Whitcomb was again promoted to quarterbacks coach, a natural progression given his background with the position. In 12 years at Old Dominion, starting as quarterbacks coach and rising to offensive coordinator and ultimately assistant head coach, he mentored three quarterbacks who went on to play professionally, including Taylor Heinicke who won the Walter Payton Award and is currently with the Atlanta Falcons. As a team, the Monarchs were the most successful startup program in FCS history and Whitcomb played an instrumental role in the program’s transition to the FBS and first bowl game win. As a player, Whitcomb finished his career as Maine’s all-time leader in passing yards, completions and passing touchdowns.
Morehead State scores largest ever victory over rival Dayton, 31-7
Since the Pioneer League first rolled out a football, Dayton has won as much as any program. The Flyers share the lead for conference titles with 12 and entered this year holding a 20-7 advantage over Morehead State in head-to-head matchups. Slowly but surely, however, the Eagles and Head Coach Rob Tenyer (@RobTenyerMSU) have been wresting control away from their closest conference rival, winning two of their last three home contests against Dayton, including a 45-38 overtime thriller in 2021. On Saturday, there was no such drama. MSU QB Carter Cravens connected with WR Ryan Upp for a 26-yard touchdown to break a 7-7 tie with 4:08 left in the first half and the Eagles never looked back. RB James Louis extended the hosts’ lead to 21-7 with a 23-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and Cravens added a late score with his feet to apply the finishing touch in a 31-7 win. Tenyer’s offense entered the game near the top of the PFL in several offensive categories and bolstered their standing with a 385-yard output, including 323 total yards from Cravens. Defensively the Eagles forced five turnovers and were led by LB Keenan Wolf’s game-high 15 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. Congratulations to Tenyer on the dominant win! Now in his 11th season at the helm for Morehead State, Tenyer, who also serves as offensive coordinator, has led a resurgence for the program in recent years having collected two top three finishes in the past three seasons. He has mentored over 100 all-conference selections and directed offenses that routinely rank at the top of the conference, including a top 5 finish nationally in passing. As an assistant for the Eagles, Tenyer was a part of the program's four consecutive Pioneer League South Division titles from 2002-05.
Hatters overcome 14-point deficit to defeat Blue Hose, 28-24
Elsewhere in the PFL, Stetson rallied late to pick up its third win of the season. Hatters RB Devon Brewer scored two rushing touchdowns in the final 10:44, sandwiched around an interception from DB Rassie Littlejohn to pull off the comeback. Brewer’s first score cut the Blue Hose lead to 24-21 and culminated a seven-play, 55-yard drive. On Presbyterian’s ensuing possession, the Blue Hose marched into Hatter territory, but Littlejohn kept the visitors’ hopes of a rally alive when he intercepted a pass in the end zone to put Stetson’s offense back on the field. That drive would end in a turnover on downs, but following a three-and-out forced by the Hatter defense, Brewer completed the comeback when he capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run with under a minute remaining. Littlejohn’s interception marked his second of the season and fifteenth of his career, one shy of a program record. The All-American set the program record for picks in a single-season with seven in 2022. Congratulations to Stetson Head Coach Brian Young (@coachbkyoung) on the win and standout performances from Brewer and Littlejohn! With Young being a defensive backs coach by trade, it is no surprise that Littlejohn has flourished under his mentorship. Now in his third season as head coach and eleventh overall after he served as the program’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from the program’s inception in 2012 through 2019, Young has coached seven All-American defensive backs including Littlejohn. In between his stints in DeLand, Young spent the 2020 season working with the secondary at his alma mater, Georgia Southern, where he helped the Eagles lead the nation in interceptions. During his tenure as defensive coordinator, Stetson ranked first or second in the conference in Total Defense on six occasions. He has also served on staffs at Cornell and Mississippi College.
Special teams sparks road win for the Griffins
One of the unwritten rules of college football is that it’s a sign of disrespect when a program picks an opponent for their homecoming game. The logic goes that a program wants to put on a good show for alumni and fans and so they select an opponent that they believe they have a high probability of securing a win against. Unfortunately for Clarion, Seton Hill Head Coach Daniel Day (@CoachDay_), Defensive Coordinator/LB Kevin May (@CoachKevinMay) and the rest of the Griffins rained on the Golden Eagles’ homecoming parade. Seton Hill used a stellar day on special teams to pick up its second win of the year. After a first half that saw the teams go into the locker rooms deadlocked at 7-7, Griffin RB Taz Morris returned the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards to put the visitors up 14-7. Clarion would respond but Seton Hill recovered a pair of muffed punts by the Golden Eagles, netting a field goal from the first recovery and a two-yard touchdown run by RB Ky’Ron Craggette after the second. Craggette’s score put Seton Hill up 24-17 which ended up being the final margin as May’s defense shut down the hosts over the final 3:26. Individually, WR Mark Bails, Jr. stood out for the Griffins, catching five passes for 127 yards while LB Musa Tama shined defensively, logging a team-high eight tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and one sack. Congratulations to Day and May on the road win! Now in his fifth year as Seton Hill’s head coach, Day was an original member of the program’s first team in 2005 and went on to serve as team captain in his senior year, helping the team advance to the second round of the playoffs. He began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant for the Griffins before accepting the head coaching position at Saint Joseph’s in 2011. After a brief stint as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Benedictine, Day returned to Greensburg to take over as head coach for his alma mater in 2019. Along with him, he brought May, who was coming off of a successful tenure as the safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Texas A&M – Kingsville. May also boasts Division I experience from a two-year stint at Wyoming and was selected to participate in the AFCA 35 Under 35 Leadership Institute in 2023. In 2021, Day and May teamed up to lead the Griffins to a five-win season, the second most wins in a season in program history.
Quick Hits

  • DB Ricardo Hallman sparked Wisconsin with a 95-yard pick-six as the Badgers beat Rutgers, 24-13. Congratulations to Wisconsin Senior Defensive Analyst Jack Cooper (@CoachJCooper)!
  • UConn’s defense forced four turnovers as the Huskies went on the road to defeat Rice, 38-31. Congratulations to UConn Defensive Analyst/LB Mike Ryan (@CoachMRyan)!
  • After outscoring its first five opponents 298-13, Benedict found itself in a battle at Myles, but RB Noah Zaire Scotland scored a late go-ahead touchdown as the Tigers beat the Bears, 27-24, to remain perfect. Congratulations to Benedict Head Coach Chennis Berry (@coachberry77)!
  • Northern Iowa DB Edwin Dearman intercepted an Indiana State pass near the goal line with less than a minute remaining as the Panthers held on for a 27-20 win over the Sycamores. Congratulations to UNI Defensive Coordinator Jeremiah Johnson (@Coach_J_Johnson)!
  • North Carolina Central moved into the top 10 of the FCS rankings for the first time in program history after the Eagles knocked off #25 Elon, 34-23. Congratulations to NCCU Run Game Coordinator/OL Coach Cedric Williams (@CWilliams8076)!

One more CI coach will be in action tonight when the Packers travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders on Monday Night Football. Good luck to Green Bay Offensive Quality Control Assistant Rob Grosso (@the_real_robbyg)!

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