Phillip Dorsett

Pac-12, ACC lead way with nine first-round picks

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Many of us watching college football maintained the Pac-12 was college football’s strongest conference in 2014. The NFL agreed – but it also liked the ACC a whole heck of a lot, too.

The Pac-12 and ACC led all conferences with nine selections apiece. The Pac-12’s nine selections was the most it has ever had according to ESPN’s research department. The SEC, normally the far-and-away leader of this category, followed with seven. The Big Ten claimed three picks, followed by the Big 12 and American with two each.

A few notes:

– The Big 12 narrowly avoids its worst first-round ever: Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown snuck into the first round at No. 32, the Longhorns’ first pick since 2013.

– ACC leads off for the first time in a while: As widely expected, the Tampa Bay Bucs lead off the night by taking Florida State’s Jameis Winston. He became the ACC’s first No. 1 pick since the Texans grabbed N.C. State’s Mario Williams in 2006. Winston also became just the fourth player ever to complete the trio of a Heisman Trophy, a national championship and a No. 1 NFL Draft pick.

– Just because you have good players doesn’t mean you’re good: Al Golden‘s 6-7 Miami team had two first-round picks in offensive tackle Ereck Flowers and wide receiver Philip Dorsett. So did 4-8 Florida with defensive lineman Dante Fowler, Jr. and offensive lineman D.J. Humphries. Washington led all teams with three picks – defensive lineman Danny Shelton, cornerback Marcus Peters and linebacker Shaq Thompson – despite going 8-6 and posting a losing Pac-12 record.

– Other schools with multiple selections: Florida State (Winston, Cameron Erving), Clemson (Vic Beasley/Stephone Anthony), USC (Leonard Williams/Nelson Agholor) and Oregon (Marcus Mariota/Arik Armstead) Speaking of the Oregon…

– Chip Kelly just can’t help himself. Eventually there will come a time when the Pac-12 is no longer stocked with players the former Oregon coach recruited and/or coached against. Until then it’s insider trading in Philadelphia as Kelly nabbed USC’s Agholor.

– Duke is off the clock: Laken Tomlinson‘s selection was the Blue Devils’ first first-rounder in the lifetime of its entire roster.

For those of you living under a rock, here’s how the first round played out:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, Florida State
2. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota, Oregon
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida
4. Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, Alabama
5. Washington Redskins – Brandon Scherff, Iowa
6. New York Jets – Leonard Williams, USC
7. Chicago Bears – Kevin White, West Virginia
8. Atlanta Falcons – Vic Beasley, Clemson
9. New York Giants – Ereck Flowers, Miami
10. St. Louis Rams – Todd Gurley, Georgia
11. Minnesota Vikings – Trae Waynes, Michigan State
12. Cleveland Browns – Danny Shelton, Washington
13. New Orleans Saints – Andrus Peat, Stanford
14. Miami Dolphins – DeVante Parker, Louisville
15. San Diego Chargers – Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
16. Houston Texans – Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
17. San Francisco 49ers – Arik Armstead, Oregon
18. Kansas City Chiefs – Marcus Peters, Washington
19. Cleveland Browns – Cameron Erving, Florida State
20. Philadelphia Eagles – Nelson Agholor, USC
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Bud Dupree, Kentucky
23. Denver Broncos – Shane Ray, Missouri
24. Arizona Cardinals – D.J. Humphries, Florida
25. Carolina Panthers – Shaq Thompson, Washington
26. Baltimore Ravens – Breshad Perryman, Central Florida
27. Dallas Cowboys – Byron Jones, Connecticut
28. Detroit Lions – Laken Tomlinson, Duke
29. Indianapolis Colts – Phillip Dorsett, Miami
30. Green Bay Packers – Damarious Randall, Arizona State
31. New Orleans Saints – Stephone Anthony, Clemson
32. New England Patriots – Malcom Brown, Texas

South Carolina holds off Miami in Independence Bowl

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Outside of the second half of the second quarter, Miami played pretty good defense against South Carolina and its powerful offense in Saturday’s Duck Commander Independence Bowl. Problem is, it was that 6-minute, 11-second span that did them in.

Trailing 6-0 midway through the second quarter, Dylan Thompson hit Pharoh Cooper for a 78-yard catch-and-run score to put the Gamecocks on top. On the ensuing possession, South Carolina marched 53 yards in six plays, capped by a 15-yard Mike Davis touchdown pass, to push the lead to eight, and then Elliott Fry added a 32-yard field goal to give the Gamecocks a 17-6 halftime lead.

After a Gus Edwards three-yard scoring plunge pulled Miami to within 17-14 in the third quarter, the key sequence in the game came with five and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. On a second-and-8 at its own 29, Miami handed to Duke Johnson, who proceeded to hurt his ankle and fumble the ball in the process.

Johnson appeared okay, at least okay enough to walk around, but the Hurricanes never recovered. South Carolina moved 29 yards in three plays, punctuated by a two-yard Thompson run, to push the lead to 24-14.

Miami responded with a swift 72-yard touchdown drive in 1:57, capped by a Brad Kaaya pass to Phillip Dorsett, but the Hurricanes were not able to force South Carolina to relinquish the ball over the remaining 2:16.

Final score: South Carolina 24, Miami 21.

In likely his last game as a Hurricane, Miami’s all-time leading rusher Duke Johnson showed well, rushing 24 times for 132 yards while catching five passes for 51 yards. Kaaya completed 19-of-33 passes for 236 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Miami actually out-gained South Carolina (422-362) and held a 21-17 edge in first downs, but a 2-0 turnover deficit did them in.

For South Carolina, Thompson completed 22-of-34 passes for 284 yards with three total touchdowns, and Davis carried 13 times for 55 yards. Cooper led all receivers with nine grabs for 170 yards and a touchdown.

The win pushes South Carolina to 7-6, not quite the 11-2 finish the ‘Cocks enjoyed the past three seasons but still their seventh straight winning campaign.

Miami, meanwhile, closes the year at 6-7 and on a four-game losing streak. Overall, Miami is 8-11 since starting the 2013 season at 7-0.

Florida State places 17 players on All-ACC teams

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This year’s All-ACC teams are full of players from the conference’s best team (for now).

Seventeen Florida State players headline the list, which was voted on by 55 Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association members. The total points based on votes a player received are in parenthesis.

First Team Offense
WR  Rashad Greene, Sr., Florida State (157)
WR  Jamison Crowder, Sr., Duke (150)
WR  Tyler Boyd, So., Pitt (149)
TE    Nick O’Leary, Sr., Florida State (131)
T      Cameron Erving, Sr.-R., Florida State (133)
T      T.J. Clemmings, Sr.-R, Pitt (90)
G      Laken Tomlinson, Sr.-R, Duke (114)
G      Tre’ Jackson, Sr., Florida State (121)
C      Andy Gallik, Sr.-R, Boston College (105)
QB   Jameis Winston, So.-R, Florida State (142)
RB   James Conner, So., Pitt (164)
RB   Duke Johnson, Jr., Miami (159)
K      Roberto Aguayo, So.-R, Florida State (153)
Sp.   Jamison Crowder, Sr., Duke (86)

Second Team Offense
WR  Phillip Dorsett, Sr.-R, Miami (96)
WR  Mike Williams, So., Clemson (84)
WR  Artavis Scott, Fr., Clemson (80)
TE    Clive Walford, Sr.-R, Miami (101)
T      Ereck Flowers, Jr., Miami (69)
T      Jamon Brown, Sr., Louisville (50)
G      Shaquille Mason, Sr., Georgia Tech (102)
G      Josue Matias, Jr., Florida State (48)
C      Cameron Erving, Sr.-R, Florida State (71)
QB   Marquise Williams, Jr., North Carolina (89)
RB   Zach Laskey, Sr., Georgia Tech (69)
RB   Dalvin Cook, So., Florida State (63)
K      Ian Frye, Jr.-R, Virginia (67)
Sp.   Tyler Boyd, So., Pitt (58)

Third Team Offense
WR  DeAndre Smelter, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech (72)
WR  DeVante Parker, Sr., Louisville (62)
WR  Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina (54)
TE    Bucky Hodges, Fr.-R, Virginia Tech (38)
T      Sean Hickey, Sr., Syracuse (48)
T (tie)Bobby Hart, Sr., Florida State (42)
(tie)Seth Betancourt, Sr.-R, Boston College (42)
(tie)Takoby Cofield, Sr.-R, Duke (42)
G      Landon Turner, Jr., North Carolina (42)
G      Matt Rotheram, Sr.-R, Pitt (42)
C      Matt Skura, Jr.-R, Duke (44)
QB   Justin Thomas,So., Georgia Tech (35)
RB   Kevin Parks, Sr., Virginia (60)
RB   Jon Hilliman, Fr., Boston College (51)
K      Ross Martin, Jr., Duke (48)
Sp.   DeVon Edwards, So., Duke (48)

Honorable Mention/Offense (20 or more points):
QB–Brad Kaaya, Miami (21). RB–Shadrach Thornton, NC State (33); Synjyn Days, Georgia Tech (24).  WR–Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech (24); Mack Hollins, North Carolina (20). TE–Cam Serigne, Wake Forest (25). T–Bryan Chamberlain, Georgia Tech (40); Ian Silberman, Boston College (35); G–David Beasley, Clemson (39); Bobby Vardaro, Boston College (34); John Miller, Louisville (31); Jon Feliciano, Miami (30); Kalon Davis, Clemson (28). C–Shane McDermott, Miami (36); Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech (35); Jake Smith, Louisville (26). PK–Ammon Lakip (32), Clemson; SP–Rashad Greene, Florida State (37); Darius Jennings, Virginia (28); Ryan Switzer, North Carolina (23); Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech (20).

First Team Defense
DE    Vic Beasley, Sr.-R, Clemson (159)
DE    Mario Edwards Jr., Jr., Florida State (112)
DT    Eddie Goldman, Jr., Florida State (129)
DT    Grady Jarrett, Sr., Clemson (127)
LB    Denzel Perryman, Sr., Miami (145)
LB    David Helton, Sr., Duke (104)
LB    Stephone Anthony, Sr., Clemson (101)
CB    Kendall Fuller, So., Virginia Tech (119)
CB    P.J. Williams, Jr., Florida State (105)
S      Gerod Holliman, So.-R Louisville (132)
S      Jalen Ramsey, So., Florida State (92)
P      Wil Baumann, Sr., NC State (108)

Second Team Defense
DE    Dadi Nicolas, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (101)
DE    Eli Harold, Jr., Virginia (65)
DT    Adam Gotsis, Jr., Georgia Tech (48)
DT    Tylor Harris, Jr., Wake Forest (43)
LB    Terrance Smith, Jr.-R, Florida State (82)
LB    Lorenzo Mauldin, Sr., Louisville (79)
LB(Tie)Henry Coley, Sr.-R, Virginia (68)
LB(Tie)Quayshawn Nealy, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech (68)
CB    Garry Peters, Sr., Clemson (63)
CB    Maurice Canady, Jr., Virginia (56)
S      Jeremy Cash, Jr.-R, Duke (83)
S      Quin Blanding, Fr., Virginia (71)
P      Alex Kinal, Jr.-R, Wake Forest (86)

Third Team Defense
DE    Sheldon Rankins, Jr., Louisville (45)
DE    Ken Ekanem, Jr., So.-R, Virginia Tech (40)
DT    Corey Marshall, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (41)
DT    Connor Wujciak, Jr., Boston College (41)
LB    Reggie Northrup, Jr., Florida State (54)
LB    Cameron Lynch,  Sr., Syracuse (45)
LB    Max Valles, So., Virginia (45)
CB    Ronald Darby, Jr., Florida State (51)
CB    Charles Gaines, Jr.-R, Louisville (47)
S      Anthony Harris, Sr., Virginia (56)
S      Jamal Golden, Jr., Georgia Tech (43)
P      Justin Vogel, So., Miami (40)

Honorable Mention/Defense (20 or more points):
DE–Art Norman, NC State (25); KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech (23); Anthony Chickillo, Miami (21); B.J. Dubose, Louisville (20);  DT–Olsen Pierre, Miami (38); David Dean, Virginia (37);  Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech (33); Nigel William, Virginia Tech (29); Thomas Teal, NC State (27); Ethan Farmer, North Carolina (22); Josh Banks, Wake Forest (20). LB–Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest (30); P.J. Davis,. Georgia Tech (25); Josh Keyes, Boston College (22); Keith Kelsey, Louisville (20). CB–Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest (45); D.J. White, Georgia Tech (40); Merrilll Noel, Wake Forest (34); Brian Walker, North Carolina (27); MacKensie Alexander, Clemson (22). S–Deon Bush, Miami (36); DeVon Edwards, Duke (26); Robert Smith, Clemson (20), P–Will Monday, Duke (29); Riley Dixon, Syracuse (23).

The Fifth Quarter: Week 3 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.

(Writer’s note: I’m “playing” very severely under the weather this weekend, so I apologize in advance for any errors and/or typos you may come across.  Well any more than normal I should say.  Thanks in advance.)

THUMBS UP

Turn that Top Dozen upside down
Heading into Week 3, the schedule wasn’t looking too promising on paper.  Exiting it? To steal from the imitable Ron Burgandy, boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast — especially in the Top 12 of the rankings. Two teams in that rarefied air lost outright — No. 6 Georgia, to South Carolina; No. 9 USC, to Boston College — while No. 12 UCLA barely escaped against a fair-to-middlin’ Texas team and looked unimpressive for a third straight game.  The first two will certainly tumble out of the Top 10, while the Bruins could slip a bit as well despite the win.  So, which teams will replace UGA and USC?  No. 11 Notre Dame is a mortal lock.  The second is murky as No. 12 is, of course, UCLA while No. 13 is one-loss Michigan State.  My guess would be No. 14 Ole Miss slides into the Top 10, just ahead of the Spartans.

Livin’ the hug life
Instead of another one of the bigger stories in Week 3 appearing above the cyber fold, how about we toss in a really cool example of sportsmanship*?  Yeah, didn’t think you’d mind.  UMass, 2-27 since early November of 2011, jumped out to a quick 14-o lead on Vanderbilt in Nashville and took a 31-20 lead into the fourth quarter.  Two Commodore touchdowns, however, gave them the lead with just over a minute to play.  The Minutemen would roar back, driving into position to kick a game-tying field goal and send the non-conference contest into overtime.  As time expired, though, UMass kicker Blake Lucas missed the chippy 22-yard attempt.  Then, this happened.

 

Yes, that would be Vandy defensive lineman Adam Butler giving Lucas a brief hug — and pat on the back — after the really bad miss.  Bravo, young man, for your short but welcome show of sportsmanship.

Loss puts UGA in SEC East driver’s seat?
If those in and around the Georgia football program aren’t nearly as upset and distraught over a divisional loss as you think they should be, don’t worry.  There’s a method to the apparent madness.  Yes, UGA was out-physicaled in its loss to South Carolina.  Yes, USC and UGA are now tied atop the SEC East at 1-1, with the former holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.  However, based on recent precedent, the Bulldogs have the rest of the division right where they want ’em.  You see, the last two times UGA has qualified for the SEC championship game as the East’s winner (2011 and 2012), the Bulldogs lost to the Gamecocks the first month of the season. Yep, the Dawgs have ’em right where they want ’em.

(more…)

Golden ‘doesn’t anticipate’ having Herb Waters for bowl game

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Unfortunately for Miami, it appears the initial rumblings regarding a top wide receiver’s availability for the postseason were accurate.

Following practice Wednesday, head coach Al Golden confirmed that Herb Waters will likely miss the Russell Athletic Bowl game against Louisville Saturday.  The injury that could keep the receiver out of the bowl game hasn’t been disclosed, although it had been previously reported that Waters was wearing a brace on his knee in addition to moving around with the aid of crutches.

“We don’t anticipate Herb right now,” Golden said.

Wednesday marked the third consecutive day Waters has been a non-participant in practice for the Hurricanes since suffering the undisclosed injury.

While the Canes have depth at the position, especially with the return of Phillip Dorsett, the loss of Waters would certainly serve as a blow on some level.  Thus far this season, Waters is Waters is third on the team in receiving yards (406) and receiving touchdowns (five), while he’s fourth in receptions (28).