Notes From Around the Gridiron
Godfrey Named National Special Teams Player of the Week (Oct. 29): Tennessee State junior kicker Jamin Godfrey was named National Special Teams Player of the Week by both the Sports Network and College Sporting News following his performance in a 22-21 win over Tennessee Tech on Oct. 27. A week after missing two field goals late in an overtime loss at Jacksonville State, Godfrey was a perfect 5-of-5 in lifting the 21st-ranked Tigers to the one-point win. Godfrey connected from 37 and 32 yards in the first quarter, 27 and 41 yards in the second quarter and added a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter. With TSU trailing 21-15 and Godfrey’s 15 points being the only points the team had scored all day, the Tigers scored a touchdown with no time remaining to tie the game and Godfrey made the extra point attempt to lift TSU to the victory. The five made field goals set a new Tennessee State record and are tied for the most made field goals in a FCS game this season (with Murray State’s Jordan Benton).
Brockman Sets OVC Career Passing Mark: Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman set the OVC career passing yardage mark against Jacksonville State on Oct. 27. Brockman broke the record of 9,028 yards previously held by Morehead State’s Chris Swartz (1987-90). Brockman currently has 9,187 career passing yards. Brockman now needs just 231 yards of total offense to hold the OVC’s career record in that category (which is currently held by Murray State’s Michael Proctor – 9,886 yards from 1986-89).
Lora Sets OVC Single-Season Receptions Record: It took just eight games for Eastern Illinois wide receiver Erik Lora to set the OVC single-season receptions record. Lora recorded his 93rd catch of the season on Oct. 27 at Eastern Kentucky, breaking the previous record of 92 catches by Samford’s Efrem Hill (2003). Lora can now set his sight on the NCAA record of 128 receptions currently held by Elon’s Terrell Hudgins (accomplished in 12 games in 2009). Lora is averaging a FCS-best 11.63 catches/game and is on pass for 128 receptions this year. Lora is also only 227 yards away from the OVC single-season receiving yards record of 1,453 currently held by Southeast Missouri’s Willie Ponder; Lora currently has an FCS-best 1,226 receiving yards and is averaging 153.25 yards/game.
EIU’s Lora Added to Walter Payton Award Watch List, Pushing OVC Total on List to Four: Eastern Illinois junior wide receiver Erik Lora has been added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List as announced by the Sports Network. The addition of Lora gives the OVC 20 percent (4-of-20) of the individuals on the list. No other FCS conference has more than four players on the list (the Big Sky also has four). Other OVC players on the list include Eastern Illinois junior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman and Eastern Kentucky senior running back Matt Denham; Brockman and Denham were on the preseason list while Garoppolo was added in early October. The Walter Payton Award was established in 1987 and is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player on the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The Watch List can undergo revision during the season. Ballots will be sent to a panel of about 175 sports information/media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season on Nov. 19. The top three vote-getters will be invited to The Sports Network FCS Awards Presentation. The only former OVC player to win the award is former Eastern Illinois quarterback Tony Romo who took home the honor in 2002.
The Offensive Valley Conference: OVC teams have put up a lot of points this season. That includes a 70-point outing by Murray State on Sept. 29 (the 6th most points in a FCS game this season), a 66-point outing by UT Martin on Oct. 13 (the 13th most points in a FCS game this season) and a 65-point effort by Eastern Illinois on Sept. 29 (the 16th most points in a FCS game this year). In the four Conference games on Sept. 22, eight OVC teams combined to score 287 points and account for 3,641 yards of total offense. That night saw three teams score 49 or more points, as Eastern Kentucky scored 51, Eastern Illinois scored 50 and Murray State scored 49 points. It is the most combined points in Conference games since the league went from 10 to nine teams in 2007. So far through nine weeks this season OVC teams have scored 40 or more points in a game 19 different times. As a whole the OVC ranks first nationally in average total offense (410.3 yards/game) and points (30.0/game).
The League of Extraordinary Wide Receivers: Through nine weeks of the season the OVC is showcasing what can be considered the best collection of wide receivers in the nation. Currently OVC wideouts rank first (Eastern Illinois’ Erik Lora) and seventh (Murray State’s Walter Powell) in receiving yards/game giving the OVC two of the top seven receivers nationally; no other conference has more than one individual in the top 7 nationally. For receptions in a single game in 2012, the OVC has four individuals in the Top 10, including the first (Lora, 21), second (Rogers, 18), third (Lora, 17) and 10th (Powell, 14) while two others performances (Lora and Powell with 13 apiece) are tied for 15th; no other conference nationally has more than two individuals in the Top 10 for receptions in a game. Lora and Powell currently rank first (11.63) and second (9.25) nationally in receptions/game.
OVC Teams in the Top 25: Entering Week 10 of the season Tennessee State is now the highest-ranked team in the OVC, coming in at No. 18 in the Sports Network Top 25 and No. 19 in the FCS Coaches Poll after starting the season 8-1. Coming off a loss Eastern Kentucky is now No. 23 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the Sports Network Top 25. UT Martin, Eastern Illinois and Jacksonville State are all receiving votes in both polls.
NCAA Stats Leaders: In the latest set of NCAA statistical leaders, Eastern Illinois wide receiver Erik Lora is first nationally in receptions/game (11.63), receiving yards/game (153.25) and total receiving yards (1,226) and ninth in all-purpose yards (158.75/game). Murray State wide receiver Walter Powell is second in receptions (9.25/game), fourth in all-purpose yards (178.75/game), seventh in receiving yards/game (114.00) and seventh in total receiving yards (912). UT Martin’s Quentin Sims is eighth in receptions/game (7.75). Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is fourth nationally in points responsible for (19.00/game), fifth in total passing yards (2,741), fifth in total offense (344.88 yards/game), sixth in passing yards/game (342.63) and sixth in completions/game (29.38). Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman is first nationally in completions (34.75/game), second in total offense (369.38 yards/game), third in total passing yards (2,926), fourth in passing yards/game (365.75) and fifth in points responsible for (18.75/game). Eastern Kentucky quarterback T.J. Pryor is fifth in passing efficiency (160.28). Tennessee State running back Trabis Ward is seventh in rushing (133.89 yards/game) while Southeast Missouri’s Levi Terrell is ninth (122.63). UT Martin’s Jason McNair is fourth in punt returns (15.25 yards/game), Tennessee Tech’s Chad Zinchini is sixth in punting (44.75 yards/punt), Tennessee State’s Jamin Godfrey is sixth in field goals (1.56 made/game) and Jacksonville State’s Telvin Brown is ninth in kickoff returns (28.58 yards/return). UT Martin’s Ben Johnson is sixth in tackles/game (11.63). Tennessee State’s Steven Godbolt III is first in interceptions (0.67/game), while Eastern Kentucky’s Brooklyn Fox is sixth (0.56/game) and Southeast Missouri’s Tylor Brock is eighth (0.50/game). Murray State’s Brandon Hathaway is third in fumbles recovered/game (0.38). In the team rankings Eastern Illinois is third nationally in total offense (506.00 yards/game), fourth in scoring offense (41.00 points/game), sixth in passing offense (367.13 yards/game) and ninth in fumbles recovered (11). Murray State ranks fifth in total offense (491.00 yards/game), fourth in passing offense (373.88 yards/game) and fifth in scoring offense (39.50 points/game). Eastern Kentucky ranks second in turnover margin (+1.56/game), third in fumbles lost (3), fourth in time of possession (34:04), fifth in passes intercepted (14) and fifth in turnovers gained (23). UT Martin ranks fourth in kickoff return yardage/defense (13.97 yards/return), seventh in turnover margin (+1.13), eighth in sacks allowed/game (0.88), eighth in turnovers gained (21) and ninth in fumbles recovered (11). Southeast Missouri ranks second in fewest yards penalized/game (32.88), fourth in fewest penalties/game (4.0), eighth in turnovers gained (21) and eighth in rushing offense (255.0 yards/game). Jacksonville State ranks sixth in third down conversion percentage (51.66%) and ninth in time of possession (32:59).
This Week’s Schedule
Saturday, November 3
*#18 Tennessee State at Murray State, 11:00 a.m. (FOX College Sports – live; FOX Sports South – delayed at 11 p.m. CT)
*Jacksonville State at UT Martin, 12:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
Culver-Stockton at Austin Peay, 1:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
*#23 Eastern Kentucky at Southeast Missouri, 1:00 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
*Eastern Illinois at Tennessee Tech, 1:30 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
adidas® OVC Players of the Week
Washaun Ealey, RB • Sr., 5-11, 215 • Stillmore, Ga. • Jacksonville State
Ealey rushed for 146 yards and a career-high three touchdowns as Jacksonville State topped Murray State 38-35 on Saturday. Ealey carried the ball 37 times (the second-most rushes in a game in the FCS this season) and also caught a nine-yard pass in the victory. The senior scored on a 29-yard rush early in the first quarter and then added a one-yard run at the end of the first quarter to tie the game at 14. His final rushing touchdown came with 11:33 to play in the third, a two-yard run that put the Gamecocks on top for good (35-28). It marked Ealey’s third-straight 100-yard rushing game and he now has eight touchdowns over his past four games.
Others Nominated: Jake Ryan, Austin Peay; Jake Walker, Eastern Illinois; Scott Lathrop, Southeast Missouri; Michael German, Tennessee State
Artavious Dowdell, DL • Sr., 6-2, 230 • Belle Glade, Fla. • Eastern Illinois
Dowdell helped key an Eastern Illinois defensive attack that limited the No. 18-ranked Eastern Kentucky Colonels to only 81 yards of rushing in the Panthers 24-7 victory in Richmond on Saturday. The victory was the first for EIU over a ranked opponent since the 2009 season. Dowdell recorded seven tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. His performance was part of a defensive unit that overall had 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 5.0 sacks and five quarterback hurries.
Others Nominated: Johnathan Shuler, Austin Peay; Artavious Dowdell, Eastern Illinois; Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State; Branden Spann, Southeast Missouri; Steven Godbolt III, Tennessee State.
Jamin Godrey, K/P • Jr., 6-0, 190 • Englewood, Tenn. • Tennessee State
A week after missing two field goals late in an overtime loss at Jacksonville State, Godfrey was a perfect 5-of-5 in lifting the 21st-ranked Tennessee State Tigers to a 22-21 win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday. Godrey connected from 37 and 32 yards in the first quarter, 27 and 41 yards in the second quarter and added a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter. With TSU trailing 21-15 and Godfrey’s 15 points being the only points the team had scored all day, the Tigers scored a touchdown with no time remaining to tie the game and Godfrey made the extra point attempt to lift TSU to the victory. The five made field goals set a new Tennessee State record and are tied for the most made field goals in a FCS game this season (with Murray State’s Jordan Benton). Godfrey also punted four times, with a long of 44 and one downed inside the 20-yard line. Godfrey currently ranks sixth nationally in field goals made/game (1.56).
Others Nominated: Cameron Berra, Eastern Illinois; Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State; Drew Geldbach, Southeast Missouri.
Scott Lathrop, QB • R-Fr., 5-10, 175 • Warrenton, Mo. • Southeast Missouri
Lathrop rushed for a career-high 179 yards and accounted for 215 yards of total offense in Southeast Missouri’s 48-27 win at Austin Peay on Saturday. His performance helped the Redhawks snap a 10-game road losing streak as the team racked up season-highs in both rushing yards (399) and points (48). Lathrop completed 2-of-9 passes for 36 yards and carried the ball 20 times for 179 yards (8.9 ypc) and two touchdowns. That included a season-best run of 67 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter that put Southeast up 14-0; he later added a one-yard run prior to halftime to give his team a 31-7 advantage. The rushing output marked the second time this season Lathrop has rushed for 100 or more yards in a game and marked the second-highest rushing output by a quarterback in Southeast Missouri history.
Others Nominated: Reco Williams, Austin Peay; LeQuince McCall, Eastern Illinois; Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State; A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State.
This Week’s OVC Highlights/Storylines
Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman set the OVC career passing yards mark on Saturday, passing Morehead State’s Chris Swartz (1987-90) to establish the new record; Brockman currently has 9,187 career passing yards and needs just 231 yards of total offense to hold the Conference’s career total offense record…With three games to still play in the regular season, Eastern Illinois junior wide receiver Erik Lora set the OVC single-season receptions record, recording his 93rd catch to pass Samford’s Efrem Hill, who had 92 catches during the 2003 season…The 93 catches are tied for 25th in NCAA FCS single-season history, 30 away from tying the all-time record currently held by Elon’s Terrell Hudgins (done in 12 games in 2009); Lora is on pace to finish the regular season with 128 receptions…Despite having his OVC record mark of 7-straight 100-yard receiving games snapped on Saturday, Lora, who was added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List last week, currently leads all FCS players in receptions/game (11.63), receiving yards/game (153.25) and total receiving yards (1,226)…TSU kicker Jamin Godfrey was named National Specialist of the Week after hitting 5-of-5 field goals and nailing the game-winning PAT with no time on the clock in the team’s win over Tennessee Tech; Godfrey’s five made field goals is tied for the most in the FCS this season (with Murray State’s Jordan Benton)…Jacksonville State head coach Jack Crowe recorded his 100th career victory in the team’s victory over Murray State on Saturday.
2012 Football Standings
SectionsFeatured Story, Football, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Clarksville Sports Network, football, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Rick Christophel, Tennessee