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  10/23/20 - QB Levi LewisSr/2021, Louisiana, 5-10, 184 (DS#25 QB) + More +

  Levi Lewis threw for two touchdowns, Chris Smith returned a kickoff 100 yards and Louisiana-Lafayette used two fourth-quarter interceptions to beat UAB 24-20 on Friday night, snapping the Blazers' 21-game home winning streak. ULL trailed the first three quarters before Pearse Migl caught his first pass of the season, going for a 9-yard touchdown, to give the Ragin' Cajuns a 24-20 lead with 6:35 left. On UAB’s next possession, Cameron Solomon intercepted Bryson Lucero’s deep pass. Rhys Byrns booted a 74-yard punt to put UAB at its 6 with 1:16 remaining, and Bralen Trahan sealed it three plays later with an interception. Elijah Mitchell rushed for 67 yards for ULL (4-1). Jalen Williams caught two passes for 40 yards and a score, and Smith had his second kickoff return TD this season. Spencer Brown carried it 28 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns for UAB (4-2). Lucero was 10-of-23 passing for 110 yards with two interceptions. UAB had not lost at Legion Field since 2017, snapping the third longest active home winning streak in the nation behind Clemson and Notre Dame. - AP College Football

(DS#25 QB) Sr/2021 QB Levi LewisLouisiana
News Source: AP College Football
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  10/23/20 - QB Graham MertzrFr/2024, Wisconsin, 6-2, 215 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  Graham Mertz threw five touchdown passes to match the Wisconsin record in a commanding first career start and the No. 14 Badgers beat Illinois 45-7 on Friday night to open the pandemic-delayed Big Ten football season. Mertz set a school record for completion percentage on 20-of-21 passing, finishing with 248 yards. The lone incompletion was a pass that running back Garrett Groshek dropped midway through the third quarter. The redshirt freshman quarterback delivered a buzzworthy performance during the Big Ten’s long-awaited opening night. The Big Ten announced Aug. 11 that it would postpone all fall sports until the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, then reversed itself Sept. 16 by saying it would begin the season in mid-October.

While most other conferences began playing last month in front of partially filled stadiums, Wisconsin had cutouts in the stands and piped-in crowd noise Friday as it began its nine-game schedule. But his prime-time outburst still earned raves on social media from a wide range of players including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt. Mertz became the first-team quarterback after returning starter Jack Coan underwent foot surgery on Oct. 7, leaving him out indefinitely. He wasted no time making the most of his opportunity. The only previous Wisconsin quarterbacks to throw five touchdown passes in a game are Darrell Bevell against Nevada in 1993 and Jim Sorgi against Michigan State in 2003. Mertz was 14 of 14 for 190 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone as Wisconsin built a 28-7 halftime lead. Three of his five touchdown passes went to tight end Jake Ferguson, who had seven catches for 72 yards. - AP College/Wisconsin Football

(DS#4 QB) rFr/2024 QB Graham MertzWisconsin
News Source: AP College/Wisconsin Football
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  10/23/20 - QB Zach SmithrSr/2021, Tulsa, 6-2, 227 (DS#10 QB) + More +

  Deneric Prince rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns, Corey Taylor II added 67 yards rushing and two scores, and Tulsa beat South Florida 42-13 on Friday night. Tulsa led 21-6 at halftime after outgaining USF 289-113. Zach Smith connected with JuanCarlos Santana for a 33-yard score, Taylor scored from 5-yards out and Prince added a 27-yard TD run. USF lost two fumbles in the half. Smith was 16-of-24 passing for 233 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Tulsa (2-1, 2-0 American). Sam Crawford Jr. had 82 yards receiving and Keylon Stokes added 66. Linebacker Zaven Collins had six tackles, one forced fumble and a 38-yard interception return for a 35-13 lead. Tulsa, which has had two games postponed this season, lost to then-No. 11 Oklahoma State 16-7 in its opener and beat ranked Central Florida 34-26. - AP College Football

(DS#10 QB) rSr/2021 QB Zach SmithTulsa
News Source: AP College Football
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  Alen Karajic made his fourth field goal with 2:40 remaining and Jacksonville State beat Florida International 19-10 on Friday night for the first FCS victory over an FBS team this season. Jacksonville State (3-1), of the Ohio Valley Conference, got its first win against an FBS school since topping Georgia State in 2013 and Mississippi in '10. JSU outrushed FIU 285-72 despite Zerrick Cooper leaving the game with an injury after one carry. Josh Samuel carried it 25 times for 163 yards and a touchdown, and Uriah West added 24 carries for 116 yards. Karajic made his first three field goals before getting his fourth attempt blocked, snapping a string of seven makes. JSU coach John Grass returned, in the Gamecocks' season finale, after missing last week's win over North Alabama due to testing positive for COVID-19. FIU (0-3), of Conference USA, was held to 156 total yards and six first downs. - AP College Foootball

(DS#18 QB) rSr/2021 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Foootball
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  10/23/20 - WR Jamarye JoinerrSo/2023, Arizona, 6-1, 214 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Joiner displayed breakout potential last season despite being less than 100% healthy. He capped the campaign with a career game against Arizona State - seven catches, 140 yards, two touchdowns - despite the foot issue and a sore hamstring. "What a great game for him to build off," outside receiver coach Taylor Mazzone said. "Now we know what he can do. … Game-planning-wise, he's put it on tape for us." Joiner called it the game that "set me up for this year" and the performance that allowed him to "showcase my talent, showcase what I can do, the role I play for the University of Arizona. It's just being a ballplayer and playing for my team." The offseason brought challenges for everyone.

Since he couldn't run for much of it, Joiner had to find ways to work on his game. He delved into film study, paying particularly close attention to receivers with physical attributes similar to his. "I tell young athletes all the time: You don't have to be the most athletic, but you have to be the smartest," Joiner said. "I try to get everything down. I watch Deebo Samuel all the time, Julio Jones all the time, to try to really look at what they do in their routes, see how they get open and how they break down, where their hips are, their arms are, their eyes are." Most important for Joiner: where his foot is. Less than three weeks from the opener, he reported no lingering concerns. "I'm ready to go," Joiner said. "I put myself in the best position during the offseason to get my body 100%." - Arizona Republic

(DS#999 WR) rSo/2023 WR Jamarye JoinerArizona
News Source: Arizona Republic
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  10/23/20 - WR DeVonta SmithSr/2021, Alabama, 6-1, 175 (DS#3 WR) + More +

  If we're talking math, 50% chances aren't always worth taking on the football field. Throw it up and see what happens? Nah. Alabama receivers aren't thinking about a coin toss when Mac Jones fires one deep through four games. DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie are the main targets in those moments with Smith winning his share of jump balls. "We expect him to make those type of plays," Waddle said. "We don't consider them 50-50 balls when Smitty's the one after it." Smith caught back-of-the-end zone touchdowns in two of the last three weeks on plays that required equal parts concentration, footwork and strength. Both were well defended, he just played it better.

Waddle is known for his ability to climb the ladder and snag some tough passes, too. He started the year with a jump ball at Missouri the led to an early touchdown. What's his take on an acceptable percentage if 50-50 isn't right? "Well for one, our position coach, if you touch it when it's thrown to you, we expect you to catch it," Waddle said. "That's just our mentality in that room. Smitty's just one of the best at it, if not the best, at those types of balls." His fourth-quarter dagger on a 13-yard pass from Jones was just the latest example of connecting the high-point catch with careful footwork. Smith's 38 catches rank second in the SEC behind only Ole Miss' Elijah Moore' 42. He had 13 catches at Ole Miss and 11 against Georgia including the nifty fourth-quarter touchdown. - Birmingham News

(DS#3 WR) Sr/2021 WR DeVonta SmithAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  10/23/20 - FS Jalen CatalonrFr/2024, Arkansas, 5-10, 189 (DS#4 FS) + More +

  Jalen Catalon saw nothing but green grass in front of him. Well, green grass and Matt Corral. But the redshirt freshman made quick work of the Ole Miss quarterback, slipping past his half-hearted attempt at a tackle and cruising into the end zone for a tone-setting touchdown. A native of Mansfield, Texas, Catalon returned his first career interception for a 35-yard score that put the Razorbacks up 17-0 over the Rebels early in the second quarter Saturday. For Corral, who entered Week 4 with only one pick to his name, it was his second interception in as many attempts. "We were just in a zone coverage, just reading the quarterback and he rolled out and I read his eyes," Catalon said Tuesday, recalling the sequence. "I just broke on the ball and made the play and had my eyes on the end zone and took it home from there. It was a great feeling.

"I credit my D-line because without them all the interceptions that happened that day wouldn't have happened, so credit to those guys and everybody else who did their job. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I made the play." Catalon made the play because that is what he knows to do. Razorbacks linebacker Grant Morgan labeled the safety a technician. "Linebackers have a joke about him," Morgan noted. "We call him Ironman because we always know he's going to be able to make us right if we mess up. Just be able to have that at that time of the game just shows that no matter what happened we were able to capitalize on their mistakes and we were just able to play our defense. "We kept saying the whole game who is going to be the guy to make the play? Who is going to be the guy that does their job so good that it ends up making the difference in the game?" - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#4 FS) rFr/2024 FS Jalen CatalonArkansas
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  10/23/20 - QB Sam EhlingerSr/2021, Texas, 6-2, 225 (DS#5 QB) + More +

  Saturday's matchup will be a showdown between two of the Big 12?s most experienced quarterbacks. Both four years into their respective programs, Ehlinger has started in nearly every game of his career while Charlie Brewer is a third-year starter. The two have endured frequent comparisons, and when stacking them up statistically, Ehlinger has been the more productive of the two. He's thrown for 10,081 yards and 84 touchdowns, while Brewer has amassed 8,113 passing yards and 55 touchdowns. Baylor head coach Dave Aranda pointed out the similarities between the two during his weekly media availability Monday. "When the game is close and the ball's in his hand, he's going to make a play and own it," he said of the Texas QB. "He's similar to [Brewer] in that respect. I know the offense runs through him. Their ability to have the run game, and there's tempo, there's RPOs, there's some shot plays, there's stacks that they motion to create and try to hide. "But then there's a bunch of key runs by a quarterback counter, quarterback power, by a quarterback zone read. I think when they get into certain parts of the game when they need a play, it goes to him. Our ability to play team defense versus that I think is key." - Dallas Morning News

(DS#5 QB) Sr/2021 QB Sam EhlingerTexas
News Source: Dallas Morning News
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  It's a three-man battle at quarterback as the Chippewas look to replace the graduated Quinten Dormady. That trio comprises senior David Moore, redshirt freshman Daniel Richardson, and junior Ty Brock, a transfer from Sam Houston State. Moore was highly effective in four starts a year ago, completing 57.3 percent of his passes for 1,143 yards and five touchdowns when Dormady was sidelined with an injury. Brock is the late comer to the party. He was not in spring practice nor was he in Mount Pleasant in the summer. Still, his track record is strong: He became the starter early in his freshman season (2018) at Sam Houston State and in two years with the BearKats he completed 54 percent of his passes for 3,885 yards and 24 touchdowns.

In 2018, he was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the top freshman in FCS. "He's able to do some things that the others can't do with his feet," McElwain said, adding that Brock compares favorably to Tommy Lazzaro, who last season frequently spelled Dormady in goal-line and short-yardage situations to take advantage of his running ability. "There's some things that (Brock) does, from being able to throw on the run, being able to use his feet and athletic ability, that probably is a little bit different than the other two," McElwain said. - Morning Sun

(DS#999 QB) rJr/2022 QB Ty BrockCentral Michigan
News Source: Morning Sun
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  10/23/20 - QB Bo NixSo/2023, Auburn, 6-2, 213 (DS#3 QB) + More +

  While Nix's unimproved road play in Year 2 could be cause for concern, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn appeared confident Tuesday that Nix will get things corrected with three road games - at Ole Miss, at Mississippi State and at Alabama - remaining on the schedule this year. "We played Georgia and they've got an extremely talented defense," Malzahn said. "That was a challenge. But like I said, up until this point Bo has done a really good job of protecting the football, even going back to last year and the (consecutive passes without an interception) streak and all that. He was trying to make a play. We'll do better moving forward in that situation. I'm very confident we won't make the same mistakes again."

Despite Nix's three interceptions against South Carolina, Malzahn applauded his quarterback's competitiveness in the losing effort, though he believes the Tigers can make things easier on him by being more balanced and not necessarily putting as much on his shoulders. Against the Gamecocks, Nix had the 47 pass attempts and added 15 rushing attempts-meaning he had the ball in his hands for 62 of the team's 83 plays from scrimmage, and that's without accounting for RPO plays in which he made the decision to hand off the ball. "(Balance is) really what we're going to focus on," Malzahn said. "That will help everything." Nix proved to his teammates Saturday that, despite his struggles and turnover problems, he's going to keep fighting until the end. - Birmingham News

(DS#3 QB) So/2023 QB Bo NixAuburn
News Source: Birmingham News
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  10/23/20 - K Jake VerityrSr/2021, East Carolina, 6-0, 201 (DS#13 K) + More +

  Senior kicker Jake Verity has now added the all-time leading scorer title at East Carolina University to his list of accolades, as he is also a multi-time All-American Athletic Conference (AAC) award winner and Lou Groza award runner up. So far in 2020, the Pirates stand at 1-3 overall and 1-2 in AAC games. While much of the team has had some struggles to start the year, Verity is not one of them, and head coach Mike Houston said they are very happy to have him on the team. So far this season, Verity is 6-7 on field goals and 11-12 with his PATs. Already with 29 points he has been one of, if not the most consistent player on the Pirates' team, something Houston said he was impressed with.

"He did not have the training he typically would have coming into the season," Houston said. "For him to be able to perform at a high level, and he's had some issues where he has not been at full strength, but he's continuing to perform at a very, very high level so I think everyone is excited for him, proud of him, and fortunate enough to share the moment with him." So far this season, Verity is 6-7 on field goals and 11-12 with his PATs. Already with 29 points, he has been one of, if not the most consistent player on the Pirates team and that play was rewarded as he just won AAC Special Teams player of the week. If the Pirates are going to have more success this year, Verity will likely be a key piece of that going forward. - Daily Reflector

(DS#13 K) rSr/2021 K Jake VerityEast Carolina
News Source: Daily Reflector
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  10/23/20 - DT Anthony ShiptonJr/2022, Illinois, 6-3, 305 (DS#999 DT) + More +

  Illinois has dubbed itself "Transfer U" after aggressively adding more than a dozen notable players to its roster via the transfer portal the last two offseasons. Adding transfers isn't new. Where the Illini have gone for their transfer additions is - particularly compared to former coach Tim Beckman's pursuit of junior college players - different. Since Nick Walker opted out of the 2020 season, the active Illinois roster includes just a single JUCO player in defensive tackle Anthony Shipton. The Cerritos College (Calif.) product could factor into the rotation at defensive tackle. "Shipton, he'll tell you he needs to get stronger, but he's been about who we thought he would be," Smith said. "He got here a little bit later than the rest of the crew, but he works hard...He brings energy each day. Pleasant to be around. Now it's about him taking these next steps. First thing, getting stronger and just continuing to develop." - News Gazette Tribune

(DS#999 DT) Jr/2022 DT Anthony ShiptonIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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  Georgia Tech's offense will have to find a way to get more touches for wide receiver Ahmarean Brown. The leading receiver for the Yellow Jackets in 2019 has seven catches in the team's first five games for 108 yards. "I think he's an elite, athletic, explosive guy that we have to find ways to get the ball in his hands," offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said Tuesday. Patenaude said that teams have been more attentive to Brown as a deep threat after he caught six passes for 30 yards or more last season as a freshman, tied for 10th in the ACC. For the season, Brown led the Jackets with 21 catches for 396 yards and seven touchdowns, tying Calvin Johnson for most touchdown receptions by a freshman in school history. In the offseason, Brown put on weight and added strength and grew in his understanding of how to play the position.

"A.B. looks phenomenal," wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon said in the preseason. "He's taken his game to another level." Wide receiver Jalen Camp leads the team in catches with 15 (for 201 yards), while fellow wideout Malachi Carter has the most yardage with 213 yards (on 14 catches). Running back Jahmyr Gibbs' playmaking ability has also taken some touches away from Brown. Opposing defenses have had a say, too. Patenaude said that he called a few plays against Clemson that were designed for Brown to get the ball, but the way that the Tigers covered the plays dictated that quarterback Jeff Sims throw the ball elsewhere. Brown said that defenses have been trying to "vise" him, meaning defending him with two players, one to the inside of the field and another to the outside. - Atlanta Journal Constitution

(DS#999 WR) So/2023 WR Ahmarean BrownGeorgia Tech
News Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
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  10/23/20 - ILB Penei PavihirJr/2022, Hawaii, 6-2, 245 (DS#26 ILB) + More +

  After two solid seasons as a contributor at linebacker in which he played in all 26 games as a true freshman and sophomore, Pavihi was tabbed to be the successor of Jahlani Tavai, who was a second-round pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2019 Draft. However, just days before Hawaii's 2019 season opener against Arizona, Pavihi suffered a serious right knee injury which required surgery. After months of rehab, and a move to a new position as a defensive end, Pavihi is now elated to be making his return this weekend against the Bulldogs. "I'm really excited just to get on the field with the boys and a whole new coaching staff. At this time last year I got injured, and it's been hard for me mentally just to accept it," said Pavihi. "I started digging deeper into my faith. Everything happens for a reason. All the hard work, and not just myself but the training room, physiotherapy, just being around the boys and coaches. They helped me back on my feet and I'm back on the field." -

(DS#26 ILB) rJr/2022 ILB Penei PavihiHawaii
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  Among the Colorado safeties, Derrion Rakestraw is known as the "old man." Rakestraw has earned that badge not only because he's the lone senior among the group. He's also the guy that many of the others lean on. "He's the guy that gets them lined up, he's the guy that communicates with them," CU defensive coordinator Tyson Summers said. "He's been an example to them and done a great job with his leadership. "He's one of my favorite guys, and obviously having been his position coach last year he's special to me. He's special to me for a lot of different reasons, but he's playing at a high level, communicating well and I'm really proud of everything he's done to this point in time."

CU opens the season Nov. 7 against UCLA and Rakestraw is one of the keys to their success because of his leadership in the back of the defense. Rakestraw has played in 36 games (11 starts) and is one of only eight seniors on the roster. He's one of only three remaining from the 2016 Pac-12 South championship team (along with linebacker Akil Jones and quarterback Sam Noyer). With all that experience, Rakestraw has a new level of confidence. "I'm pretty confident going into this season, just because the experience I got last year really helped me be able to play a lot faster," he said. "Really with the whole defense we're trying to pick up where we left off last season, so I'm confident with the calls we got; I'm confident with our coaches and everybody out on the field with me." - Daily Camera

(DS#28 SS) Sr/2021 SS Derrion RakestrawColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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