The sport of football has evolved to benefit the passing offenses at the pro and the college level. Offensive records have been dropping like flies over the last few years as the passing game has exploded. This makes it all the more important for defenses to have a playmaker in the defensive backfield, players that can come up with an interception and then perhaps do something with it.
Tulane — yes, Tulane — may have the best in the country.
Tulane’s Lorenzo Doss is only a sophomore so his potential NFL future is still down the road, but if he continues to play at this level he will draw some attention. The 5′-11″, 175 pound sophomore Doss is tied for second in the nation with six interceptions this season. Doss leads the nation in interception return yards with 185 yards, an average of roughly 32 per interception. Doss is also tied for the nation’s lead with two interceptions returned for a touchdown. He shares that last distinction with seven others.
Doss is also a home town star. The New Orleans native started 12 games last season for the Green Wave and helped his high school team win a district title as a senior. Here is how he ranks compared to other top defensive backs around the country, according to the stats.
2013 College Football Interception Leaders
- D’Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic (7 interceptions)
- Lorenzo Doss, Tulane (6)
Anthony Harris, Virginia (6)
- Deone Bucannon, Washington State (5)
Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (5)
Steven Nelson, Orgeon State (5)
Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech (5)
2013 College Football Interception Return Yardage Leaders
- Lorenzo Doss, Tulane (185 yards)
- Issaih Newsome, Louisiana-Monroe (175)
- Blake Countess, Michigan (149)
- Damante Horton, Washington State (146)
- Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (146)
2013 College Football Interception for Touchdown Leaders
- Lorenzo Doss, Tulane (2 touchdowns)
Isaiah Newsome, Louisiana-Monroe (2)
Damante Horton, Washington State (2)
Tra’Mayne Bondurant, Arizona (2)
Khalil Mack, Buffalo (2)
Collin Ellis, Northwestern (2)
B.J. Lowery, Iowa (2)
Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama (2)
Stats courtesy of CFBStats.com, as of November 8, 2013. Photo curtesy Tulane Athletics.
After a nearly two-year absence, it appears Demarre Kitt is headed back to the FBS level.
On his personal Twitter account, Kitt announced that he has committed to Colorado State and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Rams. Since leaving Clemson in December of 2014, Kitt has played for at least two different junior colleges — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Ventura (Calif.) Junior College.
In his lone season at Clemson, Kitt had five receptions for 47 yards. A four-star member of Clemson’s 2014 recruiting class, Kitt was rated as the No. 16 receiver in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Georgia.
As Kitt will be coming in as a JUCO transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Jim Harbaugh has been known for using a bit of hyperbole from time to time but it sounds as though he was really, really, really upset at a call in the final few minutes of No. 2 Michigan’s 41-8 win over Illinois on Saturday.
Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn had completed a third-and-nine pass to Drake Harris that officials had marked short of the first down by nearly two yards. Harbaugh quickly challenged the spot but Big Ten replay officials upheld the call to force a fourth down decision that was a little longer than it should have been according to the coach.
“I’ve never seen a worse call in the game of football,” Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference. “My understanding of the rules and the review system is it’s the spot, it’s to get the correct spot.”
Michigan won the game in blowout fashion of course and the call was irrelevant to the final score as the Wolverines got the first down on the next play and then kneeled down to end the game. But the comments and decision to challenge a call over a few feet does show the level to which Harbaugh will compete on the field.
Apparently that is something that is now well-known by Big Ten officials too.
Clemson running back Wayne Gallman has been dealing with the aftereffects of a concussion that knocked him out of the team’s win over N.C. State.
He seemed pretty clear on what he thought about the hit that caused that concussion however, telling the Associated Press that the play was “dirty.”
“You saw him lead with his head,” Gallman said of Wolfpack defensive back Dravious Wright. “He came with his head.
“I wanted somebody to hurt him that was in the game if they could.”
Gallman was knocked out on the play and said he didn’t recall anything until a few minutes later. Clemson apparently sent video of the hit to the ACC office, but was told that it was a legal play (no flag was thrown on it either).
The tailback was held out of some of the Tigers practices last week as they rested on their bye but added that he will be good to go for this week’s matchup with Florida State in a game that could seal the ACC Atlantic division for Clemson with a win.
Gallman, a redshirt junior, is expected by many to enter the NFL Draft after the season so it means he likely won’t be facing N.C. State again on the field so it looks like he’ll have to take his frustration about the play out on the Seminoles on Saturday.
Oklahoma’s defense has not had the best of weeks.
The Sooners gave up 59 points on Saturday to Texas Tech and allowed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to set an FBS record for total offense as he did just about whatever he wanted in the passing game. While the team ultimately won the game, giving up that many points and yards has naturally led to some questions about Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator.
Head coach Bob Stoops isn’t having any of that however, and it’s not just because the coordinator in question is his brother Mike Stoops.
“It’s all of us, too. It isn’t just my brother and I. It’s also coach [Kerry] Cooks, coach [Calvin] Thibodeaux, coach [Tim] Kish, everybody in there,” Stoops said Monday, according to the Associated Press. “It’s the same coordinator that also led the league in every defensive category a year ago, and made it to the final four. We’re not running a new defense. He didn’t bring in something different. It’s the same defense. If it’s worked before, it’ll work again, and I’ve got confidence in it. And I’m also part of what we’re doing.”
Oklahoma is ranked 16th in the country and remain one of the favorites to win the Big 12 this season but it’s clear that they won’t be doing that if things don’t improve on the defensive side of the ball. The Sooners are allowing over 40 points per game in conference play and are last in the league in pass defense.
Luckily there is a cure for some those defensive ills coming up this week as Oklahoma hosts 1-6 Kansas for homecoming. It’s probably safe in saying the defense will be able to bounce back against the lowly Jayhawks but if they struggle again, you can bet those calls for Stoops to make some changes on his coaching staff will grow even louder.