Dri Archer

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.

THUMBS UP

A righteous salute
Daniel Rodriguez earned a Purple Heart and was awarded the Bronze Star for his military service in Afghanistan several years ago.  Rodriguez moved on to become  a wide receiver at Clemson, walking on to the Tigers football team after serving two tours of duty.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with his heartwarming story, you should be.  For those who are, there’s another chapter to add to it.  In the Tigers’ home finale Saturday, Rodriguez caught the first touchdown of his career, a two-yarder from backup Cole Stoudt less than a minute into the fourth quarter.  The best part?  The touchdown came on a Senior Day that also doubled as Military Appreciation Day.  A bona-fide war hero scores a touchdown on a day that honors the military?  It doesn’t get much better than that.  And, dammit, it got dusty in here when that highlight came across my television screen.  God bless Rodriguez for his service.  And God bless Dabo Swinney for not only giving Rodriguez the opportunity to write this story, but for allowing him to add this on-field chapter to it.

OSU wins, as does OSU
Thanks to a team with the same acronym, Ohio State can stuff the phrase “style points” back in the closet for at least another year.  With Oklahoma State’s win over Baylor, the Buckeyes are now the clear-cut No. 3 team in the country, perched just outside of the Top Two and awaiting a stumble — either on the field or off — by Alabama or Florida State to clear a spot in the BCS title game — provided they remain perfect, of course.  The Bears had been poised to leapfrog the Buckeyes in the BCS rankings with a win over the No. 10 Cowboys, standing just .0013 percentage points behind OSU entering Week 13.  Now, not only has BU lost out on what most certainly would’ve been a No. 3 slotting in this week’s BCS rankings, but they’ve given up control of the conference as well.  That honor, of course, now falls to the “other” OSU.  If the Cowboys can upend Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam matchup Dec. 7, they would claim the Big 12’s automatic BCS bid.  If the Cowboys loses, the winner of the Texas-Baylor game the same weekend — if the Longhorns handle Texas Tech on Thanksgiving and the Bears do the same with TCU two days later — would claim the conference title and the BCS berth.  And if there were a three-way tie?  Oklahoma State, on the strength of head-to-head wins over Baylor and Texas, would win the tiebreaker and the conference title.

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Dri Archer likely a no-go for Kent vs. Penn State

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One of the games most dynamic playmakers has been essentially sidelined for the 2013 season due to injury.

To the detriment of MACtion fans everywhere, it appears that absence will continue.

Kent State’s Dri Archer suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter of the Golden Flashes’ season-opening win over Liberty and did not return.  After not playing the next weekend against Bowling Green, the running back participated in just a handful of plays in the blowout loss to LSU.

The injury continues to linger, leaving KSU head coach Paul Haynes decidedly pessimistic about the All-MAC performers’ availability for Saturday’s game against Penn State.

“Dri is kind of back to where we’ll see where he is,” the coach said. “He played about seven plays (at LSU) and didn’t feel great out there. So we’re going to assess him as the week goes on and see how it is, but he’s probably doubtful right now.”

Last season, Archer scored 23 touchdowns — 17 rushing, three receiving and three on kick returns.  He finished fifth in the country with 184.1 all-purpose yards per game.

Kent State RB Dri Archer “plans on playing vs. Bowling Green”

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One of the top players in the MAC has his sights on making a quick return to the football field. In an email exchange, a Kent State athletics official tells College Football Talk running back Dri Archer “plans on playing vs. Bowling Green.”

Of course, every player would plan on returning to play in the next game. That is how players are programmed. Time will tell just how quickly Archer’s ankle allows him to get back in the offensive mix.

Archer left Kent State’s Thursday night opener against Liberty with an ankle injury. Archer had an ankle concern leading in to the game but practiced with the team in the days leading up to the opener. Archer had to leave the game in the first half against Liberty. His status had been declared questionable for the remainder of the night and he did not return to the field.

Kent State’s upcoming schedule is a challenge, and could be extra treacherous without Archer in the line-up. Next week Kent State hosts Bowling Green, who dominated defending Conference USA champion Tulsa Thursday night, next weekend on September 7. After Bowling Green, the Golden Flashes will take to the road to take on LSU (September 14) and Penn State on (September 21). Two weeks later, on October 5, Jordan Lynch and defending MAC champion Northern Illinois visits Kent State as well.

If Archer does not come back soon, Kent State could be facing a tough road ahead. Kent State barely got by Liberty at home Thursday night, holding on for a 17-10 victory.

Kent State’s #MACtion super hero Dri Archer leaves game, return questionable

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One of the MAC’s top players had to leave a game early Thursday night and his return is questionable. Kent State’s Dri Archer left with an ankle injury according to the school’s official Twitter account.

Archer participated in a practice earlier this week with a brace on his ankle, so he entered the game with a concern. The injury was not thought to be serious, but his departure from the game tonight surely will wave a warning flag.

Archer rushed for 1,429 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for Kent State and added another 561 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2012. Archer’s loss is rather significant for Kent State, and may play a role in to why Kent State is struggling to put away FCS Liberty in the Thursday night opener. Midway through the third quarter Kent State is clinging to just a 7-3 lead on the Flames.

If Kent State were piling on the points, Archer’s questionable return would come off as nothing more than hoping for the best and giving their best player some extra rest before hosting a key MAC game next week against Bowling Green. Kent State then plays back-to-back road games at LSU and Penn State.

Archer also took his first snap at quarterback in his career as part of a wildcat formation.

Johnny Football headlines Walter Camp watch list

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As expected, the 2012 Heisman winner and one of the preseason frontrunners for the 2013 version of that trophy has somehow managed to find his way onto the watch list for one of the most prestigious awards in college football.

The Walter Camp Player of the Year Award announced Friday its 2013 preseason watch list, with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel leading a field of 50 players included in the initial grouping.  Manziel is one of two finalists from last year’s award to be included on this year’s watch list, the other being USC wide receiver Marqise Lee.

Not so surprisingly, offensive players dominate the list, with 38 of the 50 coming from that side of the ball.  Quarterbacks accounted for 18 of the players named, followed by 14 running backs.

A total of seven 2012 Camp first-team All-Americans have been listed, including Lee, Manziel, Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley.  Another six players who earned second-team Camp honors last year are included as well.

Last year’s winner was Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, the first defensive player to win the award since Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997.  Just one other defensive player (Pittsburgh Hugh Green, 1980) has claimed the honor since its inception in 1967.

As always, below is the complete set of players who make up the 2013 Walter Camp preseason watch list:

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky
Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Kolton Browning, QB, Louisiana Monroe
Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona *
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Rakeem Cato, QB, Marshall
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina *
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
David Fluellen, RB, Toledo
Phillip Gaines, DB, Rice
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
John Hubert, RB, Kansas State
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
Duke Johnson, RB, Miami Fla. #
Chuckie Keeton, QB, Utah State
Marqise Lee, WR, USC *
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan *
Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M *
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M #
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern
Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska
AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama *
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Louis Nix III, DE, Notre Dame
Casey Pachall, QB, TCU
Keith Price, QB, Washington
Silas Redd, RB, USC
Bradley Roby, DB, Ohio State #
Tyler Russell, QB, Mississippi State
Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
Yawin Smallwood, LB, Connecticut
Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State #
Tyler Tettleton, QB, Ohio
De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame #
Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
Jason Verrett, DB, TCU #
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama