Thomas Rawls

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.

Week 10, Statistically Speaking

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

.850 — Duke’s winning percentage with Anthony Boone as a starter (17-3), the highest mark in the program’s history.  Worth Lutz‘s record of .846 has stood for 60 years (1951-54, 11-2).

0 — Number of intersectional foes that have played continuously longer than Notre Dame and Navy, meeting every year since 1927 (88 games).  The Irish’s 43 straight wins over the Midshipmen from 1964-2006 remains the longest winning streak by one team over another in FBS history.

1 — FBS quarterbacks with at least 150 pass attempts who have not thrown an interception this season, that one being Utah’s Travis Wilson (165 attempts).  Last season, Wilson’s 16 interceptions — in just 237 attempts — were the second-most in the nation. Ball State’s Jack Milas has not thrown a pick in 116 attempts.

1.1 — Number of interceptions Louisville’s Gerod Holliman has averaged per game this season.  His 10 interceptions in nine games are the most for an FBS player since North Carolina State’s David Amerson recorded 13 in 13 games in 2011.  The all-time FBS record for interceptions in a season is 14 by Washington’s Al Worley in 1968.  I should also add that Ole Miss’ Senquez Golson has nine picks in the same number of games.

1-34 — Kansas’ record in Big 12 play over the last 35 conference games, stretching back to early November of 2010. The Jayhawks haven’t won back-to-back league games since October of 2008.

3 — Players who have thrown for more than 3,000 yards through the first 10 weeks of the season, with Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty and Cal’s Jared Goff joining the group.  Entering this week’s slate of games, there was one — Washington State’s Connor Halliday, who sustained what turned out to be a season-ending injury Saturday.

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Week 7, Statistically Speaking

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

-26 — Washington State’s rushing total against Stanford Friday night, the first time the Cardinal has allowed negative rushing yards in a game since Nov. 3, 2012, at Colorado (-21). It was Wazzu’s lowest rushing total since Oct. 10, 2009, at Arizona State (-54).

.676 — Winning percentage of both Urban Meyer (25-12) and Bob Stoops (50-24) in their head-coaching careers vs. Associated Press Top 25 teams, currently the best at the FBS level. Stoops’ wins all came at Oklahoma, while Meyer spread his out over tenures at Utah, Florida and Ohio State. Nick Saban, incidentally, is third in this category at .581 (50-36 during his time at Michigan State, LSU and Alabama).

0 — Times Georgia had shut out a ranked opponent in a true road-game victory prior to its 34-0 whitewashing of No. 23 Missouri in Columbia Saturday afternoon.

4 — Through six games, the combined number of interceptions (zero) and sacks (four) for which the Wyoming defense has been credited.  The Cowboys are the only team in the country without a pick, and their eight turnovers, all fumble recoveries, are tied for 83rd in the nation.

4 — Iowa’s offense and defense officially touched the ball that many times in a span of just under four minutes late in the first quarter against Illinois; the Hawkeyes scored a touchdown on all four of those touches — Jake Rudock 12-yard pass to Jake Duzey; Desmond King 35-yard interception return; Rudock 72-yard pass to Damond Powell; and a Jonathan Parker 60-yard run.

Shaq Thompson, Darius Allensworth
Shaq Thompson, Darius Allensworth

5 — Number of touchdowns Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson has scored this season.  Thompson has returned three fumbles for scores, including a school-record 99-yarder in the win over Cal, along with one interception return and one rushing touchdown.

5 — Number of touchdowns Justin Worley accounted for (three passing, two rushing) in Tennessee’s 45-10 win over Chattanooga.

7 — Number of teams that, through Week 6, had fewer passing yards for the entire season than Washington State’s Connor Halliday had in a single game in Week 6 (FBS-record 734). Those teams were Navy (595), Georgia Tech (663), Boston College (666), Air Force (683), UTEP (702), North Texas (705) and UCF (714). Halliday’s record-setting performance was very near the season total for USF (740), Georgia Southern (748) and Wisconsin (749) as well.  Speaking of Halliday, the senior was held to under 300 yards passing (292) in the loss to Stanford Friday night for the first time this season and the first time since the regular-season finale against Washington (282), a streak of seven straight games.

7 — Including this year, the number of times Kentucky has started a season 5-1 since 1950, with the others being 1950, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1984, 2007.

7.1 — Average yards per touch for Buck Allen in USC’s upset of previously-unbeaten Arizona Saturday night.  The running back carried the ball 26 times for 205 yards (7.9 yards per carry) and totaled four receptions for 28 yards (7.0 yards per catch) for good measure.

9 — Teams remaining that have either won all of its games or lost all of them.  There are still six of the former — Baylor, Florida State, Marshall, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss.  There were 10 entering Week 7, with Arizona, Auburn, Georgia Tech and TCU falling from the ranks of the unbeatens.  The three remaining winless teams are Idaho, Kent State and SMU.  UMass, against Kent State, picked up its first win of the year Saturday.

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The Fifth Quarter: Historic Week 6 Rewind

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SATURDAY RESET
Below is a list of links out to gamers posted by the CFT crew, placed in one handy and convenient space for you, our beloved and dear readers.

  • In what was arguably the biggest upset in an upset-laden weekend, TCU stunned Oklahoma 37-33 on an interception return for a score early in the fourth quarter.  All of the sudden, the Horned Frogs are one of four unbeaten Big 12 teams in conference play, joining Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.  That number will be trimmed by at least one in Week 7 as TCU travels to Waco to take on Baylor.
  • Dak Prescott and his five total touchdowns dove headfirst onto the Heisman radar in leading No. 12 Mississippi State to a 48-31 beating of No. 6 Texas A&M that wasn’t even remotely as close as the score suggests.  Based on how the Bulldogs looked, they should be in or very near the Top Five when the new polls are released Sunday afternoon.  Or the Aggies were vastly overrated.  One of the two.
  • Putting a bow on a perfect and historic day of football for the state of Mississippi was Ole Miss, which stunned Alabama a few hours after ESPN had put the wraps on the first-ever GameDay show in The Grove.  The Rebels can’t bask in the glow of arguably the biggest win in the program’s history for too long, however, as they host Auburn next Saturday.
  • Auburn and Nick Marshall (four total touchdowns) had little problem dispatching LSU.  There’s a fairly decent chance that, given the top of the rankings getting knocked on its ass, the Tigers will not only move up to No. 2 but, perhaps, even into the top slot.
  • If the Big Ten was secretly rooting for undefeated Nebraska to knock off one-loss Michigan State, it was sorely disappointed as the Spartans hung on for dear life in beating the Cornhuskers.  And, courtesy of all of the Week 6 tumult and despite the one loss, Sparty could very well find itself in or near the Top Five Sunday afternoon.
  • It may have been a win only a football mother could’ve loved, but it was still a win for Notre Dame over nationally-ranked Stanford.  After what should be a breather against North Carolina next weekend, ND will be set to face top-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee.
  • Baylor was off offensively, but still found a way to easily put away an overmatched Texas squad in a 21-point win.  And if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the state of UT football, when a BU squad can play less-than-stellar and still walk away with a double-digit win, then I don’t know what to tell you.
  • After an extended afternoon nap, Oklahoma State woke up and put away Iowa State 37-21 in Ames, a place that was a house of horrors for the Cowboys recently.  Tyreek Hill‘s 97-yard kickoff return to start the second half set the tone for OSU.
  • Ohio State stepped on Maryland’s throat in the first half, and didn’t step off it in the second half as the Buckeyes cruised to a 52-24 win over the Terrapins in College Park.  The game marked the Terps’ first-ever conference home game in the Big Ten and its first sellout since 2008.  It also marked yet another sign that OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett should, one, at least be on the fringe of the Heisman conversation and, two, Braxton Miller should at least be mildly concerned about retaining his job next year.
  • HAIL YES!!! Arizona State perhaps saved its season with a last-second Hail Mary prayer that was answered, stunning a USC team that was still likely licking its wounds from a Boston College loss a couple of weeks ago.  The fact that the Sun Devils did it with their backup quarterback and kept their Pac-12 South hopes alive served as the cherries on top of the sundae.
  • Will Muschamp was school girl-level giddy over (barely) dropping Tennessee in Neyland Stadium.  Why he was that giddy when his squad is an absolute mess is another question for another day.
Oklahoma v TCU
Oklahoma v TCU

HISTORIC WEEK OF CHAOS
For those who were looking for utter chaos and a massive shakeup in the polls, Week 6 was Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Flag Day all rolled into one uproarious ball of “Holy $*&!”.

During this glorious weekend of football, including Thursday night, the Nos. 2 (Oregon), 3 (Alabama), 4 (Oklahoma) and 6 (Texas A&M) teams in last week’s Associated Press poll all lost.  It’s the first time since November of 1990 (No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Auburn, No. 5 Illinois) and only the second time since 1936 that four of the top six teams in the country had gone down to defeat the same weekend.  Three of those losses featured the higher-ranked team on the road — and came by a combined 12 points — with the lone home loss being the Ducks losing by seven in Eugene.

Add in No. 8 UCLA’s upset loss to unranked Utah at home, and it’s the first time in the history of college football — EVER — that five of the top eight teams have been knocked off in a single week.  Let that sink in for a minute.  The first-ever college football game was played in 1869… the AP poll debuted in 1934… and today, Oct. 4, 2014, was the first time that has happened in this great game.

Amazing.

That said, and by default, Florida State will likely remain No. 1 in the eyes of the AP voters, while Auburn will likely slide into the No. 2 hole.  Or those two could be flip-flopped.  After that?

You could state a case for both No. 12 Mississippi State and No. 11 Ole Miss, after the greatest day of football in that state’s history, to leap into the Top Five, especially the former on the strength of back-to-back wins over Top -10 teams. Any combination of No. 7 Baylor, No. 8 UCLA and No. 9 Notre Dame could find themselves in that rarefied ranking air as well.  And what of No. 25 TCU’s dispatching of No. 4 Oklahoma?  Rocketing up 20 or more spots into the Top Five certainly may be asking a little too much of the voters, but perhaps it shouldn’t.

One thing that is fairly certain amidst all of the chaos is that this is likely far from being the last upsetting weekend ahead of what should be an epic first year of the College Football Playoff.  Speaking of which, godspeed to the 13-person CFP selection committee; based on the way this weekend played out, you’re going to need it.  And earmuffs.  Lots and lots of big, bulky earmuffs.

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