Corey Robinson

Wuerffel Trophy names eight semifinalists for community service leadership award

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Not all achievements and accolades in college football are actually earned on the field. The Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach to the top college football players having an impact in the community. On Tuesday, the list of semifinalists for the award was announced.

  • Spencer Drango, Baylor University, senior, offensive line
  • Ross Martin, Duke University, senior, kicker
  • Nate Sudfeld, Indiana University, senior, quarterback
  • Landon Foster, University of Kentucky, senior, punter
  • Garrett Adcock, University of New Mexico, junior, offensive line
  • Corey Robinson, University of Notre Dame, junior, wide receiver
  • Ty Darlington, University of Oklahoma, senior, offensive line
  • Alex Zmolik, University of Toledo, senior, tight end

The award was first presented in 2005, with LSU center Rudy Niswanger receiving the new trophy. Other past winners include Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Texas defensive end Sam Acho, Alabama offensive tackle Barrett Jones and USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Last year’s recipient was Ole Miss linebacker Deterrian Shackelford.

Three finalists for this year’s award will be named on November 24 and a winner will be announced on December 8 at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City. The winner will then be interviewed during ESPN’s college football awards show two days later on December 10 in Atlanta.

No. 9 Arizona State flashes Playoff potential in 55-31 beat down of No. 10 Notre Dame

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In the first half you wondered, How in the world did this Arizona State team possibly allow 62 points and 10 yards a play to UCLA?

And in the second half you realized, Oh yeah, that’s how.

The Sun Devils looked every bit like one of the four best teams in the country in building a 34-3 second quarter lead over the visiting Fighting Irish, and then looked so much like the other Arizona State teams that habitually blew big games at home in allowing Notre Dame to pull within 34-31 with 6:37 to go in the fourth quarter.

First, how Arizona State built its lead. Irish quarterback Everett Golson committed three first-half turnovers, all of which led directly to Arizona State touchdowns – including a 59-yard Damarious Randall interception return for a touchdown. In the span 17 minutes of game action, the Sun Devils ripped off 31 unanswered points.

And then it was Notre Dame’s turn.

Golson hit William Fuller for a nine-yard score with 11 seconds remaining before the half, and notched the only score of the third quarter in the form of a Cam McDaniel one-yard plunge. McDaniel added another one-yard score with 9:12 to go in the fourth quarter, and then the Irish used a two-play, 59-yard drive, capped by a 25-yard scoring toss from Golson to a wide open Amir Carlisle to put Notre Dame within 34-31.

After notching as many turnovers as points allowed over its first seven drives, Arizona State allowed touchdown drives of 68, 56, 50 and 59 yards, aided by a Taylor Kelly interception.

Facing its most important drive of the season and the prospect of an epic desert melt down, Arizona State regrouped and marched 75 yards in five plays to post its first points of the second half, a four-yard pass from Kelly to Demario Richard to push the lead to 41-31 with 3:41 to go.

Arizona State put the game away with – guess what? – another turnover, this time a Golson pass that bounced off Corey Robinson‘s hands and into the arms of Arizona State defender Lloyd Carrington, who took it 58 yards to the house.

A turnover on downs allowed Kelly to add a cosmetic touchdown, his fourth of the day, on a two-yard run.

Goslon hit a number of big plays, stretching his 22 completions on 41 out over 446 yards and two touchdowns, but made just as many big plays for the opponent with a whopping five turnovers. Kelly was a much more controlled 17-of-28 for 224 yards with three scoring strikes and a pick.

In addition to winning the turnovers in a TKO, Arizona State also won the trenches, out-rushing Notre Dame 188-41.

The win will continue to push Arizona State’s stock sky high in the eyes of the committee, moving surely ahead of Auburn and tonight’s TCU-Kansas State loser at a minimum – and possibly higher if LSU knocks off Alabama and/or Ohio State downs Michigan State. Todd Graham‘s crew still has games with at No. 19 Arizona and a presumptive date with No. 4 Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship on the fist weekend of December. This is a team that is very much in control of its destiny. They’ll visit Oregon State next week.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, falls to 7-2 and out of the Playoff picture. They’ll return home to face Northwestern next week.

 

No. 2 Florida State pushes win streak to 23 with dramatic defeat of No. 5 Notre Dame

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Give Jimbo Fisher, Jameis Winston and No. 2 Florida State credit: they’re making their quest for a second national championship much more entertaining than their mostly-unchallenged drive to the 2013 title.

In the same stadium where the Seminoles used every one of the Clemson Tigers’ nine lives to survive 23-17 in overtime, Florida State hung on for a dramatic 31-27 win over No. 5 Notre Dame. So dramatic, in fact, was this win that the script had been written for an Irish win for the briefest of moments. Facing a 4th-and-18 at his own 44 with just over a minute to play, Everett Golson scrambled to his right and found a wide open Corey Robinson for the improbable conversion. Then, facing a fourth-and-goal at the two inside of 20 seconds to play, Golson (who, you must remember, beat Stanford with a 4th-and-10 touchdown pass) hit a wide open Robinson for the winning touchdown.

But Notre Dame was hit with an offensive pass interference call, taking the winning points off the board and giving Notre Dame another shot at the 18. Jalen Ramsey, the same defender interfered with the play before, pressured Golson into a hurried throw, and the pass sailed through the end zone incomplete.

Florida State would survive. The win streak is now at 23.

In truth, the Seminoles worked for this win like few before it. Notre Dame led on five different occasions, outgained FSU by nearly 15o yards, achieved eight more first downs, limited the Florida State rushing attack to 50 yards, and held Winston under 275 passing yards. Florida State did not take the lead until a Karlos Williams one-yard touchdown spurt with 7:39 remaining, which also happened to be the winning score.

Golson completed 31-of-52 passes for 313 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing 11 times for 33 yards, and Tarean Folston rushed 21 times for 120 yards. Robinson hauled in eight receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and William Fuller added eight grabs for 79 yards and a score.

Winston’s final stats (23-of-31, 273 yards, two touchdowns, one pick) look better on the box score than they did on the field. Florida State, playing without offensive line coach Rick Trickett after he was forced to stay home due to health concerns, struggled handling Notre Dame’s pressure throughout the night. Williams was FSU’s leading rusher at 25 yards, while Rashad Greene caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

The win pushes Florida State to 7-0 and keeps the ‘Noles in control of their own destiny. They’ll play next at Louisville on Thursday, on Oct. 30.

For Notre Dame, this has to be an extremely bittersweet loss. On one hand, the Irish played like the better team for much of the night. They walked into the house of the defending champions and more than held their own. On the other hand, they did all that and still lost. They’ll need help to reach the College Football Playoff now, and will have to do so without an FSU win on their resume.

Notre Dame is off next week, and faces Navy at FedEx Field on Nov. 1.

No. 5 Notre Dame controlling No. 2 Florida State, leads 17-10 at the half

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No. 5 Notre Dame did not walk into Doak Campbell Stadium with the intention of offering itself as a sacrificial meal to second-ranked and defending national champion Florida State. Through one half in Tallahassee, the Fighting Irish lead 17-10.

The Irish live and die on the right arm and brain of quarterback Everett Golson, and so far he’s made more good decisions than bad, hitting 15-of-26 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns with eight rushes for 32 yards while also throwing an interception and a couple failed fourth down conversions. Golson found Corey Robinson, son of Basketball Hall of Famer David, for both of his touchdowns, a one-yarder to open the scoring in the first quarter and a nine-yarder to put the Irish back up 14-7 in the second.

Most importantly, Notre Dame and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder have kept Jameis Winston and the ‘Noles offense out of rhythm. Florida State has rushed just nine times for 19 yards, and pressured Winston on seemingly every pass. Relatedly, they are playing without offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who had to stay home due to health concerns.

Winston has hit 8-of-15 passes for 82 yards with a touchdown and an ugly interception, which came one play after Golson’s interception and directly led to Notre Dame’s second touchdown.

Overall, Notre Dame has out-gained Florida State 254-111 and own a 15-5 advantage in first downs. This is where we remind you Notre Dame is 9-0-1 all-time in games were both teams are 6-0 or better.

Florida State will receive the ball to open the second half.

 

No. 24 South Carolina inches by No. 6 Georgia 38-35

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The rain came and went and came back again at Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C. The precipitation helped wash away the stink of the No. 24 South Carolina Gamecocks’ play through their first two games. The Gamecocks played at another level and established an identity during their 38-35 victory against the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs.

It’s often said football is a game of inches, and the cliche was literal in its interpretation Saturday in Columbia.

When the game was on the line late in the fourth quarter, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier relied on the team’s most talented unit to take over. The Gamecocks’ offense line dominated the latter portions of the game. In the fourth quarter, South Carolina ran the ball 11 times out of 13 plays. The other two plays resulted in an interception and a kneel down to seal the victory.

From left to right, the Gamecocks’ offensive line played at a very high level. Left tackle Corey Robinson and left guard A.J. Cann were creating massive holes. Center Cody Waldrop set the tone in the middle. Right guard Mike Matulis and right tackle Brandon Shell were consistent on the strong side. Their combined effort resulted in 176 rushing yards and 447 yards of total offense.

The contest was eventually settled on a fourth down at the 50-yard line. The wide bodies up front were able to get just enough push for one yard and a first down to seal the game.

While the play of the offensive line was special, the Gamecocks’ defense needs to be acknowledged. The unit improved from its previous efforts against the Texas A&M Aggies and East Carolina Pirates. Prior to Saturday’s contest, South Carolina gave up 566.5 yards on average and ranked 120th in the nation in total defense. The Bulldogs were able to move the football, but the Gamecocks saw marked improvement from their defense.

South Carolina surrendered a much more respectable 408 yards to Georgia. It’s clearly an improvement over South Carolina’s previous performances, but it’s also 51 yards less than Georgia gained against the Clemson Tigers.

The Gamecocks also had luck on their side. Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan wrapped a late field goal attempt around the outside of the goal post for South Carolina to maintain its tenuous lead.

Despite the loss, Georgia played well in stretches. Quarterback Hutson Mason didn’t make any major mistakes, and the team was able to get running back Todd Gurley rolling in the second half. Gurley finished with 131 rushing yards after a slow start.

A loss to South Carolina simply means the SEC East will be a dogfight again this season. South Carolina, though, now has the edge with the head-to-head victory. Plus, the Gamecocks will have an advantage each with their ability to dominate up front along the offensive line.