The first weekend of the college football season is not quite in the books (two games on tap today and Louisville-Miami on Monday), but Georgia running back Todd Gurley and UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks have been singled out for their individual performances by The Walter Camp Football Foundation. Each was named the foundation’s players of the week for week one.
Gurley was a monster in Georgia’s victory over Clemson in Athens. Gurley set a school record with 293 all-purpose yards with 198 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. It was certainly a performance worthy of early Heisman hype. The Georgia back played a key role in allowing Georgia to pull away from Clemson in a 24-0 second half of a 45-21 victory over Clemson. Gurley is the ninth Georgia football player in school history to be honored by The Walter Camp Football Foundation’s weekly award since 2004.
The defensive weekly honor went to UCLA’s Kendricks. The redshirt senior linebacker led the Bruins with 16 tackles and forced a fumble on the road against Virginia. It was a particularly strong defensive showing for UCLA with 21 points scored in the second quarter. In that mix was an interception returned 37 yards for a touchdown by Kendricks. Kendricks is the fifth UCLA player to win the defensive weekly award since 2004.
UCLA’s celebration of the first win of the Chip Kelly era has been muted a bit by a pair of injuries, one on each side of the ball.
Kelly confirmed Monday that linebacker Jaelan Phillips and running back Soso Jamabo will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. Both players have been ruled out because of concussions, ESPN.com reported.
Because of the new NCAA redshirt rules, both players could save this season’s eligibility as neither has played in more than four games in 2018. Heading into this season, Phillips and Jamabo had been expected to be key contributors, although that never came to fruition for various reasons.
Phillips, who was injured in an offseason scooter accident, started the first two games of the season but was a backup the next two. The Los Angeles News writes that “[h]e has not been seen on the practice field or the sideline during games since after UCLA’s loss [to Colorado] on Sept. 28.”
Jamabo was suspended for the first two games of the season. After returning from that punitive measure, he totaled just 12 yards on five carries in three games. Coming into the year, the fourth-year senior had totaled 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns on 243 carries.
Both players were five-star signees. Phillips was the No. 1-rated recruit in the country for the Class of 2017 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board, while Jamabo was the No. 2 running back in the country in 2015.
Ohio State’s injury-hit defense bent but didn’t break (too much) in a closer-than-expected win over Minnesota this past weekend. With a matchup against a more potent offense in the offing this weekend, the Buckeyes appear set to be a helluva lot healthier on that side of the ball this coming Saturday than they were the last.
Both defensive end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison missed the 30-14 win over the Gophers because each was in concussion protocol. With Purdue looming in Week 8, Cooper and Harrison have been cleared and are expected to play against the Boilermakers.
Through six games and before last Saturday, Harrison’s 25 tackles were second on the team. Cooper replaced All-American Nick Bosa, who underwent surgery after suffering a core muscle injury in Week 3 and could be sidelined for another month at least, in the starting lineup.
Another two defensive starters could be getting healthier as well. From the Associated Press:
In addition, starting defensive tackle Robert Landers, who has been limited by an unspecified injury, is probable for the game, while starting cornerback Damon Arnette, who was hurt in the Penn State game, is questionable, Meyer said.
Purdue is currently 42nd in scoring offense (33.5 points per game) and 10th in total offense (510.2 yards per game).
Thanks to Georgia’s loss, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 nationally in both major polls.
As he announced on Twitter, Bennett Williams left Illinois earlier this month because of a dismissal. Because of a decidedly different reason (?), the Fighting Illini has felt yet another personnel loss.
On the same social media website utilized by his former teammate, Louis Dorsey announced that he has “decided it is in my best interest to transfer and continue my career elsewhere.” Dorsey gave no specific reason for his midseason move.
Dorsey was suspended during the spring of this year for violating unspecified violations of team rules. He was also suspended for the first three games of the 2018 regular season for the same reason.
As a true freshman in 2017, Dorsey led the Illini with three receiving touchdowns; was second in receiving yards with 395; and fourth in receptions with 22. His 18 yards per reception were tops on the team. BTN.com named the 6-6, 225-pound Dorsey to its All-Freshman Team for that performance.
Because of his off-field issues, Dorsey has played in just one game and not caught a pass this season.
Heading into this weekend’s rivalry game against Alabama in Knoxville, Tennessee’s linebacking corps has taken a hit that will be felt for the rest of 2018.
Late in the third quarter of Tennessee’s huge Week 7 upset of Auburn this past weekend, Jonathan Kongbo went down with an injury to his right knee and didn’t return to the game. Over the weekend, Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Kongbo was diagnosed with a torn ACL.
Obviously, Kongbo, who is expected to undergo surgery at some point this week to repair the damage, will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. As this was his final year of eligibility, it also means that this effectively ends the linebacker’s collegiate playing career.
The fifth-year senior had started five of the six games this season for the Vols. In that half of the regular season, he had accounted for 11 tackles, four quarterback hurries and an interception. The pick came in the second quarter of the upset of the Tigers.
Last season, Kongbo started 10 games.