Central Michigan

Chips down: injury KOs CMU’s third-leading rusher for all of 2015

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Central Michigan was already going to have to replace leading rusher Thomas Rawls. Now, the Chips will have to replace one of Rawls’ backups as well.

The football program has confirmed that Saylor Lavallii will not play at all in 2015 because of an injury. The specific nature of Lavallii’s health issue wasn’t detailed because of student-athlete privacy laws.

Lavallii, a senior, will seek a medical hardship waiver to give himself another season of eligibility in 2016. In the meanwhile, he’ll serve as a student assistant coach on John Bonamego‘s staff.

Last season, Lavallii was third on the team with 298 yards rushing and tied for second with four rushing touchdowns. For his career he’s rushed for 1,368 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he led the Chips in rushing in 2013.

The good news for Bonamego is that they return their second- and fourth-leading rushers from 2014, Devon Spalding (371 yards) and Martez Walker (265), respectively.

CMU won’t have leading rusher for Bahamas Bowl vs. WKU

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Central Michigan’s task of keeping pace with Western Kentucky’s high-octane offense has gotten a bit tougher.

Earlier this week, the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun reported that Thomas Rawls will not play in Wednesday’s Bahamas Bowl matchup with WKU.  An academic issue is behind the running back not even being permitted to make the trip to the island.

As Rawls is a senior and in his final season of eligibility, his collegiate playing career has come to an end.

Despite playing in just nine games this season, Rawls led the Chips with 1,103 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.  His 122.6 yards rushing per game is currently good for 16th in the country.

Rawls missed two games in September after being charged with three felonies stemming from an April incident at the Soaring Eagle Casino.  He ultimately reached a plea deal and returned to the team.

This was Rawls’ first season at CMU as he transferred into the football program from Michigan in early July.

MAC reprimands four Central Michigan players for refusing to shake hands

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Three weeks ago, Maryland captains refused to shake hands with their Penn State counterparts before their 20-19 win.

 

Ninety-nine percent of America saw it and thought, “Shame on them.” Central Michigan’s captains thought, “Cool, let’s try it!”

Central Michigan captains Titus DavisJustin CherocciAndy PhillipsLeterrius Walton declined to shake hands of Western Michigan’s captains, and on Monday the Mid-American Conference issued a public reprimand for that decision.

“Sportsmanship is among the core values of intercollegiate athletics and a value reinforced by members of the Mid-American Conference,” commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. “While the pre-game handshake is a simple gesture, it is one that is symbolic of the ethics and traditions of the game.  Team captains are expected to demonstrate leadership and have a responsibility to pattern behavior that exemplifies the very best values of the team and institution they represent.”

The conference has endorsed Central Michigan’s decision to strip the four players of their captainship.

To add insult to insult, Central Michigan lost the game, 32-20. The Chippewas have concluded their regular season at 7-5 and wait to see if they will garner a bowl selection.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 13 Rewind

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As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

HISTORIC REPEAT
As it turns out, while Samaje Perine made history, the timeframe in which he did it wasn’t historically unprecedented.

In Oklahoma’s win over Kansas, Perine set the FBS single-game rushing record with 427 yards.  That performance broke the record of 408 set a week ago by Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon.  Most assumed Perine’s breaking of a rushing record that was a week old had never happened before; Anthony Thompson would point out what the word “assume” makes out of all involved.

Back on Nov. 11, 1989, the Indiana running back’s 377 yards broke the previous mark of 357 yards.  That record was first set by Washington State’s Rueben Mayes in 1984 and tied by Cal State Fullerton’s Mike Pringle on Nov. 4, 1989, exactly one week before Thompson broke it.

Below is how the FBS rushing record has progressed over the past four-plus decades:

347 — Ron Johnson, Michigan, 1968
350 — Eric Allen, Michigan State, 1971
356 — Eddie Lee Ivery, Georgia Tech, 1978
357 — Rueben Mayes, Washington State, 1984
357 — Mike Pringle, Cal State Fullerton, 1989
377 — Anthony Thompson, Indiana, 1989
386 — Marshall Faulk, San Diego State, 1991
396 — Tony Sands, Kansas, 1991
406 — LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU, 1999
408 — Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin, 2014
427 — Samaje Perine, Oklahoma, 2014

Perine was also second to Thompson in something else — percentage increase of the previous record.  Thompson bested the old mark by 5.6 percent;  Perine, meanwhile, topped Gordon’s week-old record by 4.7 percent.

Some would say, though, the most impressive record belongs to Gordon.  The Badger back did his record-setting damage in three quarters of work and on just 25 carries; the only other players on that list with less than 30 carries were Ivery (26) and Allen (29).  Gordon’s 16.2 yards per carry is easily the best mark among the group, with only Ivery (13.7) within three yards.   Perine did average 12.6 ypc, the third-best among that group of 11 players.

At the opposite end of the yards-per-carry spectrum were Thompson and Sands, who averaged 7.25 yards on 52 carries and 6.8 yards on 58 carries, respectively.

Of course, Perine is the only true freshman to break the record… and he did it in three quarters plus two fourth-quarter plays after not starting a game played in the rain… and he is the only player to rush for 200-plus yards in both halves of a game, all of which makes his performance arguably the greatest of all-time regardless of how you attempt to parse out the numbers.

PROJECTING CFP TOP FOUR
Unlike previous weeks, there was no upheaval around the top of the College Football Playoff Top 25 in Week 14.  The highest-ranked team to lose was No. 8 Ole Miss, and, with two losses, it’s unlikely the Rebels were a realistic playoff option to begin with.

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Week 11, Statistically Speaking

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A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

-9 — Rushing yards for Northwestern in the one-point loss to Michigan.  Quarterback Trevor Siemian totaled minus-37 yards rushing, while the Wildcats’ leading rusher, Justin Jackson, had plus-35.

.844 — Overall career winning percentage (54-10, fifth season) for Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, the best for any ACC head coach with three or more seasons.  His winning percentage of .842 in ACC games is best of all-time, ahead of the legend he replaced at FSU, Bobby Bowden (.814).

1.3 — Interceptions for Louisville’s Gerod Holliman after a three-pick performance against Boston College.  Holliman now has 12 interceptions with two regular season games and a bowl game remaining; the all-time FBS record for interceptions in a season is 14 by Washington’s Al Worley in 1968.  Incidentally, there are only 17 FBS teams with more interceptions this season than Holliman.

2 — FBS players and who have accounted for more than 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing in a career, and both played at Nevada: Cody Fajardo (9,084 and 3,025, 2011-present) and Colin Kaepernick (10,098 and 4,112, 2007-10). Kaepernick’s 14,210 yard of total offense is No. 1 in FBS history, while Fajardo’s (12,109) is currently 16th.

2 — Rushing touchdowns allowed by Alabama’s defense this season, the fewest in the FBS.  Next lowest?  Utah’s allowed five.

2-7 — Record of teams the game after playing Navy this season.  That includes Notre Dame’s second loss of the season, a 55-31 decision to Arizona State this weekend.

Tevin Coleman
Tevin Coleman

3 — Weeks in a row a player from Rutgers’ opponent has been named as the Big Ten’s Player of the Week.  That streak temporarily came to an end this week as the Scarlet Knights are on a bye, although Indiana — and the nation’s second-leading rusher Tevin Coleman — await next week and could easily extend the streak to four straight.

4-3 — Touchdowns vs. incompletions for Hutson Mason in Georgia’s blowout win over Kentucky.

5 — FBS players who have ever totaled 200-plus yards rushing and 100-plus yards receiving in a single game: Brian Hill, Wyoming vs. Fresno State, Nov. 1, 2014 (281 rushing, 106 receiving); Donald Buckram, UTEP vs. Tulane, Nov. 7, 2009 (234, 109); Steve Slaton, West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 16, 2006 (215, 130); Emmett White, Utah St. vs. New Mexico St., Nov. 4, 2000 (322, 134); and Thomas Jones, Virginia vs. Buffalo, Nov. 13, 1999 (221, 110).

10.1 — Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett leads the FBS in passing touchdown percentage (26 TDs on 233 attempts; 11.1 percent).

11 — Games in a row Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has thrown two or more touchdown passes, the longest such streak for an FBS quarterback.

13.1Nick Chubb‘s yards per carry average as he ran for 170 yards on just 13 rushes in Georgia’s blowout win over Kentucky.

14 — 300-yard passing games for Baylor’s Bryce Petty, breaking the school record of 13 previously held by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III.

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