Suffice to say, Notre Dame will be well-represented when it comes to one particular award.
The Football Writer’s Association of America announced Thursday night its six semifinalists for the 2017 Outland Trophy. The third-oldest award in college football, the Outland has been handed out annually since 1946 to the best interior lineman in college football on either offense or defense.
This year, there are five offensive linemen and one defensive lineman who can win the award.
Those six semifinalists are Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (pictured), Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson, Western Michigan offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Ohio State center Billy Price. That list will be whittled down to three finalists next week.
Last year’s winner was Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson. Offensive linemen have claimed 11 of the last 14 Outlands.
If Veterans Day is on the calendar, then that means college football programs will be mixing in a little stars and stripes into the uniform design this week. Western Michigan and UNLV are among the schools getting in the patriotic spirit this week with their helmets of choice this week.
Western Michigan is in action tonight on a busy night of MAC football. Earlier this week, images of the white helmet with a bronco logo filled with the stars and stripes were shown off by the Western Michigan equipment staff.
Filling in the logo with the same pattern used for the American flag is one of the trendiest ways to alter a football uniform. And UNLV has the same idea with their helmet for this week as well. The black helmet with red chrome facemask will have the pattern filling in the “UNLV” font on the side of the helmet.
Look for more of these types of themed uniforms this week as well as teams pay tribute to our nation’s veterans.
Yeah, you could say it’s a pretty big deal, at least when it comes to this particular aspect of MACtion.
Central Michigan and Western Michigan first played each other in football in 1907, and have played each and every year since 1943. Since 2008, the winner of the rivalry game gets possession of the Victory Cannon trophy, pending the results of the following year’s game.
WMU has been in possession of the trophy for the past three seasons. That all changed Wednesday night when, trailing by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, CMU scored three unanswered touchdowns to claim a wild 35-28 come-from-behind win over its rivals. The game-winning score came on a 77-yard touchdown pass from former Michigan quarterback Shane Morris.
As they say, to the victors go the spoils — or, in this case, the trophy as Chippewas head coach John Bonamego made certain he didn’t let the hardware out of his sight last night. And on into the morning, apparently.
Despite the loss, WMU still holds a 48-38-2 edge in the all-time series. For now, though, that doesn’t matter much to Coach Bonamego and the rest of his Chips.
Western Michigan will have a new main man under center for at least the remainder of the regular season.
Jon Wassink was injured in the fourth quarter of WMU’s win this past Saturday against directional rival Eastern Michigan and didn’t return after the second of two hits to the same area. Tuesday, head coach Tim Lester confirmed the starting quarterback won’t return for a period of 6-8 weeks because of a broken collarbone in his right (throwing) shoulder.
Such a timeline all but assures the redshirt sophomore will miss the remainder of the regular season, including a potential berth in the MAC championship should the Broncos, 5-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play, qualify.
“The first one they threw a flag and picked it up; the second one was the one he stayed down on,” Lester said according to mlive.com. “I don’t know when he broke it. He didn’t throw the ball great after the first one. I think he just sprained it the first time, and then the second one was when he fell on it kind of funny.”
In his first year as the starter, Wassink is 34th nationally and second in the MAC in pass efficiency as he’s completed over 64 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
With Wassink sidelined, WMU will now turn to Reece Goddard.
A true freshman, Goddard helped lead the game-winning drive in the win over WMU. He completed 2-of-3 passes for 12 yards after replacing Wassink, the first passes of his collegiate career.
The top-ranked rushing attack in the MAC will have one less weapon in its running-game arsenal for the foreseeable future.
LeVante Bellamy sustained an injury to his right leg in the Week 7 game against Akron that required an air cast prior to being carted off the field. While there’s no official word on the extent of the injury, it doesn’t appear that the running back will be on the field anytime soon.
“He’s booted up right now,” head coach Tim Lester said by way of mlive.com. “He’s not going to put weight on his leg for at least a week, and we’re going to revisit it. I don’t know if it’s a season-ending injury yet, but he’s not putting weight on it right now.”
Bellamy, who played in three games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury, has 394 yards rushing this season, third on the team behind Jarvion Franklin (538) and Jamauri Bogan (462). His eight yards per carry leads the Broncos, while he’s second with three rushing touchdowns.
Through seven games, WMU is 20th nationally and first in the MAC averaging 237.9 yards per game on the ground.