39 Uplifting Athletes Chapter Leaders put through paces in Atlanta during 11th annual Leadership Development Conference


The cornerstone of the Uplifting Leaders program is our network of Chapters on campuses across the country led by college football student-athletes.

This past weekend, 39 leaders from 20 schools gathered in Atlanta for a high impact and fast paced weekend of learning and development during our 11th annual Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference.

The 2020 conference provided an opportunity for our Chapter leadership to develop relationships that stretch beyond the football field, to absorb enhanced mission and vision insight based on Uplifting Athletes’ four programs – Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders – and to plot a chapter strategy for 2020.

“The difference for me this year was it’s a new group of guys mostly, but you establish similar quality of relationships,” said Clemson Chapter leader and Tigers’ long snapper Jack Maddox, who was attending his second conference. “I have a year of experience now, so I know more about what’s going on. I’m not overwhelmed as much and I know what we can and can’t do at our chapter. It’s such a valuable weekend.”

Following a meet-and-greet dinner Friday night, the conference kicked off Saturday with a full day of programming. Four breakout sessions led by Uplifting Athletes staff were followed by an “entering the real world” question-and-answer session with former college athletes.

The highlight of Saturday was the Uplifting Experience at the College Football Hall of Fame where 24 rare disease patients, caregivers and families were connected with the Chapter leaders to spend a couple hours experiencing the Hall of Fame together.

“I loved that the athletes had an opportunity to meet individuals with rare diseases outside of a hospital setting,” said Carol Unger, whose 32-year-old son Matthew is diagnosed with the ultra rare disease WAGR Syndrome. “I feel it is important to note that our children grow up, although some may still be at the maturity level of a 7 or 8 year old, and cherish those opportunities to meet with folks from the outside world.”

The first day of the conference closed out with a work session on three of Uplifting Athletes’ main events – Lift For Life, Reps For Rare Diseases and Touchdown Pledge Drive.

“Since Penn State is such an established chapter, my journey here is to learn what else can we do next to help support the Rare Disease Community,” said Penn State Chapter leader and long snapper Chris Stoll, who is in line to be the next PSU Chapter President taking over for quarterback Sean Clifford.

“I’m very excited to be more involved at another level. Sean did a great job and put a lot into it. But he’s our starting quarterback now and that’s a big job. I’m pumped to be here again and to meet so many guys who have passion for the rare disease cause and for using their platform to make a difference. And I’m very excited to get more involved at the next level.”

Sunday started with Dr. David Fajgenbaum, a former Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft grant recipient, founder of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network and rare disease research pioneer, sharing his story via a live video conference.

The conference wrapped up with some additional highlights of Uplifting Athletes’ programming that is available to support the rare disease cause and a work session to kick off 2020 at the chapter level.

A special thank you to all our sponsors and supporters who made this conference possible, Deloitte, Sanofi Genzyme, Jean Campbell and JFC Consulting and the College Football Hall of Fame. With your help, these young men are making a difference in the Rare Disease Community.

Kent State posts first bowl game victory in program history and eight teams highlighted in Chapter Bowl Season Update


Kent State needed four tries to get the first bowl victory in school history. The Golden Flashes, making their first bowl appearance since 2012, upended Utah State in the Frisco Bowl to not only record the first bowl win for the program, but also record its first winning record in seven seasons.

Kent State won its final four games of the season to finish 7-6 overall. Sophomore kicker Matt Trickett drilled five field goals in the 10-point victory to give him 29 field goals this season. It was the third game Trickett posted four or more field goals in a game and his five made kicks is the most by a MAC player in a bowl game since 2013. Kent State Chapter President Antwan Dixon, a member of the 2019 Rare Disease Champion Team, had a career-best 99 receiving yards and recorded his first touchdown of the season.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions had a record breaking outing to outgun Memphis in the Cotton Bowl and post their third 11-win season in the last four years. Led by redshirt sophomore running back Journey Brown, Penn State rolled up 396 rushing yards – the most ever in a bowl game for the Nittany Lions. Brown had a career-high 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 202 yards is the most by a Penn State running back in its storied bowl history – surpassing the 194 yards posted by Saquon Barkley in the 2017 Rose Bowl. Brown’s record performance earned him the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Bowl Season. Penn State’s seven total touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns both tied Cotton Bowl records. Sophomore All-American linebacker Micah Parsons tied a career-high with 14 tackles. He also had 3.0 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles to earn Defensive MVP honors for the game.

Notre Dame: A convincing 24 point win over Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl gave the Fighting Irish back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time since 1988-1989. Sparked by a balanced offense and another stingy effort from a Notre Dame defense that recovered a pair of fumbles in the game to give them an FBS-best 19 on the season, the Irish grabbed control early and never let the Cyclones have a say in determining the outcome. Notre Dame Chapter Leader Drew White finished with five tackles in the game. The linebacker ended the season tied for first in tackles with 80.

Clemson: For the third time in four years the Tigers will play for the College Football Playoff National Championship. The defending champions won their record 29th straight game, rallying from a 16-point deficit in the first half to edge Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Clemson will play No. 1 seed LSU for the title on Monday, January 13 in New Orleans. Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence accounted for 366 total yards and three touchdowns, including a career-high 107 rushing yards. The Clemson defense sealed the victory with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions – including a Nolan Turner pick in the end zone with less than a minute remaining. Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields had thrown only one interception all season before the National Semifinal.

Western Michigan: The Broncos saw Western Kentucky kick a pair of field goals in the final two minutes – including a game winner from 52 yards out with no time left on the clock – to claim the First Responder Bowl. Western Michigan senior cornerback Kareem Ali, a transfer from Temple, picked off a pass in the second quarter and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown. Ali’s pick-six, the first interception of his career, was the first interception ever returned for a touchdown by a Bronco in a bowl game. The 88 yards he covered is the most for an interception return by any Mid-American Conference (MAC) player ever in a bowl game – surpassing the previous mark by 32 yards. The three-point loss dropped WMU to 7-6 overall for the season.

Illinois: Making its first appearance in a bowl game since 2014, the Fighting Illini fell to California in the Redbox Bowl – the first bowl game appearance for Illinois since 2014. Turnovers fueled the Illini as they had a program-best 28 takeaways during the regular season. Despite outgaining Cal 450-395, the Illinois defense did not produce a single turnover for the first time all season. Junior punter Blake Hayes had five punts for 208 total yards with a long of 55 yards and dropped four of those five boots inside the 20-yard line. Hayes owns three of the top 11 single-season punting averages in Illinois history and no fewer than six single-season program punting records. Illini senior linebacker Dele Harding had six tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss in his final game. Harding finish his senior year with 153 tackles to finish sixth on the Illinois all-time list for a single season and the most by an Illini player in the last 25 years.

Florida State: The Seminoles had nearly 200 more yards of total offense than Arizona State in the Sun Bowl, but Florida State was undone by six turnovers that the Sun Devils converted into 14 points on their way to a seven-point victory. Seminoles redshirt sophomore wide receiver Tamorrion Terry had a career-best nine catches and 165 receiving yards including a 91-yard catch-and-run touchdown.That 91-yard touchdown catch was the longest passing play in Sun Bowl history (86 years). Terry’s six touchdown catches this season of 60 or more yards ties him with Oklahoma All-American Dede Westbrook in 2016 for the most in a season nationally since at least 2010.

Baylor: For the third time in seven years, the Bears went to a bowl game with 11 wins and chance to register 12 victories for the first time in program history. Undone in the first half of the Sugar Bowl by a dominant Georgia squad, Baylor fell behind 19-0 and despite a strong second half never fully recovered and ultimately fell to the Bulldogs by 12 points. Still, only two years removed from a 1-11 season, playing in a New Year’s Six Bowl with a chance to make program history was not on the Bears’ radar when the season kicked off.

Chapter Update: Clemson makes college football history with fifth ACC crown and eight teams earn bowl invitations


Defending National Champion Clemson became the first team in college football history to win five consecutive conference championships when it overpowered Virginia in the ACC Championship game.

The Tigers extended their nation-best winning streak to 28 games and have now won 19 ACC championships and 25 overall championships in Clemson program history.

Led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Tee Higgins, Clemson scored the first five times it had the ball on its way to an ACC Championship game record 62 points and 619 total yards.

Higgins finished with three touchdown receptions and 182 receiving yards, each setting an ACC Championship Game record. With those three TD catches the junior tied Clemson’s all-time receiving touchdowns record with 27 and earned the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Lawrence set an ACC Championship game record with four touchdown passes. He finished with 302 passing yards and for the eighth consecutive game threw at least three TD passes.

Tigers running back Travis Etienne chipped in with 114 yards and a touchdown to eclipse 1,500 yards on the ground this season. It’s the second year in a row he went over the 1,500-yard mark, becoming the first player in program history to accomplish the feat.

For the fifth consecutive year the undefeated Tigers will participate in the College Football Playoff. Clemson was awarded the No. 3 seed and will face second-seeded Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on December 28 in one CFP semifinal.

The Tigers’ fifth CFP playoff appearance ties Alabama for the most appearances in the brief history of the four-team playoff.

Learn more about Clemson Chapter President and punter Will Spiers in our Beyond The Trophy series

Baylor: Forced to use its second and third string quarterbacks, the Bears still took the Big 12 Championship game into overtime before falling to Oklahoma by a touchdown. Twice Baylor rallied from double-digit deficits to force extra time in its first appearance in the conference title game. After losing starting quarterback Charlie Brewer in the first half, the combination of redshirt freshman Gerry Bohanon and true freshman Jacob Zeno combined to throw for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns without an interception to keep Baylor in the hunt. The Bears had a crack to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, moving inside the OU 20 before stalling and settled instead for John Mayers 27-yard field goal as the final points in regulation. Junior defensive lineman James Lynch had 2.0 sacks in the championship game, setting the Baylor single-season mark for sacks in a season with 12.5.

The Bears’ only losses this season came at the hands of College Football Playoff-bound Oklahoma. Baylor finished No. 7 overall in the rankings and earned an invitation to a New Year’s Six Bowl invite to the 86th playing of the Sugar Bowl. The Bears, who were 1-11 two years ago, will play No. 5 Georgia in New Orleans. This is the reward for a senior class that played under three different head coaches and lost 16 of 18 games during one stretch.

Penn State: For the first time since 1975 the Nittany Lions will play in the Cotton Bowl to commemorate the 50th bowl game appearance in program history. Penn State finished No. 10 in the final rankings and earned an invitation to play American Athletic Conference (AAC) champion and 17th ranked Memphis (12-1) in Dallas on December 28. This will be the Nittany Lions’ third New Year’s Six bowl appearance in the last four years under head coach James Franklin and the sixth straight season Penn State has been bowl eligible.

Illinois: Ending a five-year drought of making an appearance in a bowl game, the Fighting Illini earned the 19th bowl invitation in program history with a trip to the Bay Area. Illinois will play Cal from the Pac-12 in the Redbox Bowl on December 30. Although Illinois and Cal have played 10 previous times, this will be the first meeting in a bowl game.

Notre Dame: Coming off its third consecutive 10-win season, the Fighting Irish will play their 148th different opponent in program history when they face Iowa State from the Big 12 Conference in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando on December 28. This is the ninth time in 10 years head coach Brian Kelly has taken Notre Dame to a bowl game and will mark appearance No. 36 in the postseason for the Fighting Irish.

Kent State: After winning their final three games just to reach six wins, the Golden Flashes are headed to a bowl game for only the fourth time in program history and the first since 2013. Kent State will play Utah State from the Mountain West Conference in the Frisco Bowl on December 20 in Frisco, Texas. With wins over Buffalo, Ball State and Kent State, the Golden Flashes are the only FBS team to win their final three games of the season to become bowl eligible.

Western Michigan: For the third time in the last four years the Broncos are bowl bound. Western Michigan earned an invitation to the First Responder Bowl in Dallas on December 30 and will face 8-4 Western Kentucky from Conference USA. This is the 10th overall bowl appearance for Western Michigan since it earned its first bowl invitation in 1961.

Florida State: The Seminoles will appear in the postseason for an NCAA-best 38th time in the last 40 seasons after receiving an invitation to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on December 31. Florida State will play Arizona State from the Pac-12 for the fifth time in program history. The last time FSU played in the Sun Bowl was 1966 and the last time the Seminoles and Sun Devils squared off was 1984.

Chapter Update: Penn State matches program standard with another 10-win season and seven teams post Week 14 victories


Penn State won for the 10th consecutive time at Beaver Stadium and, in the process of upending Rutgers on Senior Day, the Nittany Lions tied a double-digit victory standard for the program.

For the third time in four years Penn State has won at least 10 games. It marks the first time the Nittany Lions have accomplished three double-digit win seasons in a four-year span since 1993-1996.

Penn State has been stellar at home during this historic run – capping a third unbeaten slate at Beaver Stadium in the last four years. The last time that happened was 1972-1975.

Backup quarterback Will Levis made his first start and rushed for 108 yards. Running back Journey Brown chipped in with 103 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. The last time Penn State had a pair of 100-yard rushers was 2015 and the last time that combination was a QB and RB was 2005.

The Nittany Lions finished solo second in the Big Ten East behind undefeated Ohio State and are in line for a New Year’s Six bowl bid.

Baylor: Two years ago the Bears were a one-win team in head coach Matt Rhule’s first season in Waco. Their only victory in 2017 was on the road at Kansas. Two years later Baylor returned to Memorial Stadium in Lawrence and thumped the Jayhawks to complete a 1-11 to 11-1 turnaround and punched their ticket to the Big 12 Championship game Saturday. Baylor is the first Power 5 program to go from 1-11 to 11-1 in two years. In one of its most dominant conference victories in program history, the Bears rang up 264 yards on the ground, scored on five of their first six possessions and the defense produced six turnovers.

Clemson: The Tigers won their 27th game in a row, nailed down the eighth undefeated regular season in program history and third under head coach Dabo Swinney, by knocking off Palmetto State rival South Carolina. Junior running back Travis Etienne broke the ACC record for career rushing touchdowns with a three-yard blast in the fourth quarter for his 53rd career touchdown on the ground. His historic touchdown earned Etienne the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 18 consecutive passes against the Gamecocks to set a school record for consecutive completions, surpassing the previous mark of 15. The 18 straight completions also tied the ACC record for consecutive completions.

Learn more about Florida State Chapter President and linebacker DeCalon Brooks in our Beyond The Trophy series

Northwestern: The Wildcats used a powerful running game and a stingy defense to subdue Illinois and claim the Land of Lincoln Trophy for a program-record fifth time in a row. Northwestern posted 378 yards on the ground and eclipsed the 350-plus yard mark rushing for the first time since 2012. Senior defensive lineman Trent Goens had a career day in his final game with three tackles for a loss (TFL), a quarterback hurry (QBH) and a forced fumble. Only one Wildcat has replicated that stat line since 2000 – Malcolm Arrington in 2008. Goens also finished with six tackles, five of them solo stops, and a pass break-up to power a defense that limited the Fighting Illini to 160 total yards.

Notre Dame: Trailing by 10 points in the first half, the Fighting Irish ripped off 24 unanswered points to reach the 10-win plateau for the third consecutive season and the fourth time in the last five years. Senior quarterback Ian Book became the first Fighting Irish in program history with 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes in a season. He also became the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in a game five times in the victory over Stanford. 

Syracuse: Sophomore defensive back Trill Williams ripped the ball from Wake Forest’s Kendall Hinton at the six and raced 94 yards to the end zone to secure a six-point overtime victory for the Orange at home. Syracuse scored first in OT on a 40-yard field goal. The Demon Deacons were on the move in extra time before Williams stepped in. Each team kicked a 40-plus yard field in the final minute of regulation to force overtime.

Kent State: For the first time since 2012, the Golden Flashes are headed to a bowl game after posting their third consecutive win to reach 6-6 overall by taking out Eastern Michigan on Black Friday. This is only the fourth season Kent State in bowl eligible in the last 30 years. Jamal Parker put the Golden Flashes in the driver’s seat by returning the second-half kickoff 96 yards to give Kent State a three-score lead on the road. EMU pushed back and made it a one-score game in the fourth quarter before the Golden Flashes defense picked off a pass late to earn a bowl invitation for 2019. Junior quarterback Dustin Crum completed 68.3 percent of his passes this year and finished the regular season with an NCAA QB Rating of 155.97. Both those numbers are the best in Golden Flashes program history.

Illinois: The Illini held their 118th annual football banquet Sunday and Illinois Chapter President and tight end Bobby Walker was recognized for his work with Uplifting Athletes in receiving the Service Above Self Award. Despite the loss at home to Northwestern on Senior Day, the Fighting Illini finished 6-6 this year and are bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. Junior kicker James McCourtnailed a 50-yard field in the third quarter against the Wildcats to give him four field goals this season of 50 or more yards. Those four long-range kicks ties the Fighting Illini program record for number of 50-yard or longer field goals in a season.

Chapter Update: Dramatic comeback makes Illinois bowl eligible and 10 teams post Week 11 victories


With a flair for the dramatic, Illinois became bowl eligible for the first time since 2014 with an improbable come-from-behind victory at Michigan State.

The Illini trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 entering the fourth quarter.  In the end, Quarterback Brandon Peters threw a 5-yard touchdown to Daniel Barker with five seconds remaining to complete the rally and seal the victory.

On the final drive, Illinois converted a fourth-and-17 and drew a fourth-down pass interference call in the end zone before scoring. Peters finished with 369 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, a transfer from USC, had four receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The junior’s 178 yards is the most receiving yards by an opponent at Spartan Stadium since at least 2000 and the most by an Illinois player ever in the 47-game series history against Michigan State.

The Illini, who forced four turnovers to help fuel the comeback, have won four straight.

Baylor: The Bears stayed undefeated thanks to a triple overtime victory at TCU. The opportunity to win the game in overtime came courtesy of redshirt freshman kicker John Mayers. His previous long field goal was 38 yards. His career-best 51-yard kick with 36 seconds remaining in regulation pulled the Bears level at 9-9. Charlie Brewer’s 4-yard TD pass to Denzel Mims in the third OT was the game winner. Baylor is 9-0 for the second time in program history after opening the 2013 season with nine victories in a row.

Penn: The Quakers’ eventual game winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter came on a trick play that started in the hands of the backup quarterback who threw back to a transfer quarterback/returner/receiver who then uncorked an 80-yard touchdown pass to a converted defensive back who’d never caught a touchdown before. The long distance catch-and-run by Eric Markes from Owen Goldsberry gave Penn a 21-14 lead. Cornell scored a touchdown to cap a 16-play, 94-yard drive with 50 seconds remaining to pull to within a point. The Big Red opted to go for the win with a 2-point conversion, but Penn freshman DB Kendren Smith knocked down the pass to preserve the victory.

Notre Dame: Senior quarterback Ian Book threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 149 yards in the win over Duke to become the first player in Notre Dame history to rush for more than 100 yards in a game and throw four touchdown passes. Notre Dame Chapter Vice President and linebacker Drew White led the Irish with seven total tackles including a sack and a tackle for a loss.

Learn more about Notre Dame Chapter Vice President and tight end Brock Wright in our Beyond The Trophy series

Davidson: On a day when the Wildcats rushing attack rolled up more than 450 yards and amassed a 33-point second quarter, this victory was also one for the program record books. Junior running back Wesley Dugger took over as the all-time leading rusher in school history as part of his 118-yard effort in the win over Butler. Dugger moved past John Leverett’s mark of 3,165 yards posted in 2004 to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week. Davidson Chapter President and linebacker George Hatalowich had six tackles for a defense that limited Butler to one touchdown and only 257 total yards.

Western Michigan: Senior quarterback Jon Wassink had a career-high 131 rushing yards in the victory over Ball State. Wassink became the first WMU quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards since Paul Jorgenson had 128 against Northern Illinois in 1973. The victory made the Broncos bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive season. WMU also completed its third undefeated season at home since 2000. 

Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne added three more touchdowns to his career resume in the victory over NC State to pass C.J. Spiller’s mark of 51 career touchdowns and take over as the all-time leader at Clemson with 54 career touchdowns. His 50 career rushing touchdowns is tied for second most in ACC history. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns. It was the fifth consecutive game Lawrence threw at least three touchdowns passes to become the first quarterback in school history to pass for three scores in five straight games.

Florida State: The Seminoles scored 14 unanswered points in a 45-second span inside the final two minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away from Boston College. D.J. Matthews’ 60-yard touchdown pass from James Blackman with 1:48 to play made it 31-24 FSU. Jordan Travis made it a two-score game with a 66-yard gallop only 45 seconds later to extend the lead to 38-24. Blackman finished with 369 passing yards and wide receiver Terry Tamorrion had seven catches for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Colgate: Quarterback Grant Breneman rushed for a career-high 105 yards and added 195 yards through the air with a touchdown to help the Raiders notch their first home victory of the season with a win over Fordham. Colgate’s defense limited the visiting Rams to only 33 rushing yards and 208 total yards. The Raiders’ defense also added five tackles for a loss and three sacks.

Eastern Illinois: The Panthers used a furious second-half comeback that included a third-quarter successful onside kick to rally past Tennessee State for their first win of the season. EIU outscored TSU 28-3 in the second half after falling behind 35-21 at intermission. Darshon McCullough led a pair of Panthers running backs with 155 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown.

Chapter Update: Last-second field goal propels Penn to come-from-behind victory and nine teams notch Week 10 wins


On a milestone day, where Penn played the 1,400th game in program history, the Quakers first Ivy League victory of the season came in dramatic fashion at Franklin Field.

Sophomore kicker Daniel Karrash made his first collegiate field goal attempt a memorable one, as the Philadelphia native drilled a 22-yard kick with two seconds remaining to vault the Quakers past Brown.

Junior linebacker Brian O’Neill gave Penn a 35-19 lead early in the third quarter with a 21-yard scoop and score on a fumble. After that, the Quakers’ offense sputtered and Brown scored 17 unanswered points to surge in front 36-35 with 4:10 to play.

Penn went on a 16-play, 74-yard victory march, including a fourth-and-7 conversion, to set up Karrash’s dramatic winning kick.

Notre Dame: Staring down the barrel of an upset by Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Stadium, the Fighting Irish’s struggling offense climbed off the deck in the dying minutes to rally for a one-point victory over the Hokies. Notre Dame, held scoreless in the second half up to this point, manufactured an 18-play, 87-yard drive in the final 3:22 to win it. Quarterback Ian Book capped the march with a seven-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds to play. Notre Dame Chapter President and linebacker Drew White led the Irish defense with eight tackles.

Marist: Running back Hunter Cobb had another big outing, as the Red Foxes won for the second consecutive week. The redshirt freshman accounted for 148 of Marist’s 166 yards on the ground and scored three touchdowns. In leading the Red Foxes to back-to-back victories, Cobb has rushed for 324 yards and scored five times.

Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne rushed for a career 212 yards and the Tigers extended their nation best win streak to 24 games. Clemson scored 59 points in the victory to mark the fourth game in a row the Tigers have scored 45 or more points – the first time in program history that has happened. They also tied the school record for consecutive home victories with 21. Etienne’s 212 yards came on the fewest carries in school history (9), he reached 1,000 yards in the fewest number of games (9) to tie the school record and the senior also broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns with an 86-yard gallop to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Baylor: Backstopped by a defense that surrendered the fewest rushing yards allowed by a Bears team in more than four years, Baylor edged West Virginia at home to stay undefeated. The 8-0 Bears moved up in the polls to No. 11. Baylor’s defense gave up only 14 rushing yards and fewer than 225 total yards to win its first game when scoring fewer than 20 points since 2006. 

Davidson: The Wildcats never trailed, but it was a grind for the home squad against a pesky one-win Valparaiso outfit. Wesley Dugger’s 1-yard touchdown run with two minutes to play snapped a 21-all deadlock. And Davidson Chapter co-founder and President George Hatalowich iced the six-point victory with an interception inside the final minute. The victory guarantees Davidson back-to-back seasons with at least six victories for the first time since 2006 and 2007. Hatalowich finished with a team-high nine tackles.

Princeton: The Tigers ran their winning streak to 17 straight, cracking the Top Five for winning streaks during the program’s 150-year history. Princeton’s defense limited Cornell to seven points, forced three turnovers and surrendered only one third-down conversion in 11 attempts.

Learn more about Penn State Chapter Vice President and long snapper Chris Stoll in our Beyond The Trophy series

Illinois: For the first time since 2011 when they started 6-0, the Fighting Illini are on a three-game winning streak. Senior linebacker Dele Harding became the second player in the nation in the last 20 years to have 12-plus tackles, 2.0-plus tackles for a loss, 1-plus interception and 1-plus touchdown in a single game in the victory over Rutgers. Tied 10-10 at intermission, Illinois scored all 28 points in the second half to pull away.

Colgate: Two big punt returns by Abu Daramy-Swaray covering 78 total yards and the Raiders’ defense forced a pair of key second-half fumbles that led to points for victory No. 16 in 17 games against Georgetown.

Chapter Update: Stony Brook springs upset on final play and nine teams record Week 9 wins


Stony Brook roared back from an 18-point halftime deficit capped by kicker Nick Courtney’s 22-yard field goal as time expired to upset FCS No. 5 ranked Villanova.

The road victory marks the second time in program history the Seawolves beat a team ranked in the Top 5. Stony Brook defeated No. 2 Richmond in 2016.

Stony Brook scored 10 points in the final 92 seconds after trailing 35-20 midway through the fourth quarter. The Seawolves scored the final 16 points.

Quarterback Tyquell Fields was instrumental in the rally, throwing for a career-best 321 yards with one passing TD and a pair of rushing touchdowns. His 1-yard plunge with 1:32 to play pulled the Seawolves to within 35-33 after a failed two-point conversion.

Stony Brook then used all its timeouts and forced the Wildcats to punt with 21 seconds to play. The Seawolves connected on  a 40-yard completion from Fields to Nick Anderson in the dying seconds to set up the game winning field goal by Courtney.

Lehigh: For the third straight game the Mountain Hawks’ fate came down to the final play of the game. And for the third straight time Lehigh walked away with a victory. Austin Henning’s 27-yard field goal as time expired lifted Leigh to 3-0 in the Patriot League with a home victory over Georgetown. The Hoyas rallied with a 72-yard touchdown bomb on fourth-and-4 and added a two-point conversion to tie it up at 24 with 1:23 to play. Lehigh answered by calmly traveling 59 yards in eight plays to set up the winning kick. Lehigh Chapter President and wide receiver Jorge Portorreal posted a team-high eight catches for 103 yards to help the Mountain Hawks win their fourth in a row.

Penn State: Nittany Lions quarterback and Penn State Chapter President Sean Clifford threw four touchdown passes, three of them to tight end Pat Freiermuth, as the undefeated Nittany Lions posted a 21-point soggy and rain swept victory at Michigan State. Penn State is 8-0 for the first time since 2008, is 5-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2011 and moved up to No. 5 in the rankings. The Nittany Lions defense produced three turnovers, limited the Spartans to seven points and broke up eight passes.

Marist: Redshirt freshman running back Hunter Cobb ran for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries and the Red Foxes defense forced a pair of turnovers to upset Davidson on the road in North Carolina. The Red Foxes defense limited the No. 3 FCS rushing offense in the country to 202 yards on 46 carries. Cobb’s 89-yard touchdown run in the third quarter is the fourth-longest touchdown run by a Red Fox in the program’s 27-year FCS history and the longest in the last seven years and earned him the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Western Michigan: Senior running back LeVante Bellamy posted a career-high four touchdowns and rushed for 178 yards to lead a Broncos ground game that rolled up nearly 400 yards and six touchdowns in their victory over Bowling Green. Junior linebacker Treshaun Hayward led a WMU defense that limited the Falcons to only 266 total yards with 13 tackles (10 solo), two sacks and three tackles for a loss. 

Learn more about Kent State Chapter President and wide receiver Antwan Dixon in our Beyond The Trophy series

Illinois: The Illini rushed for a season-high 242 yards and its defense forced a pair of turnovers in the rain-soaked victory at Purdue. Senior RB Dre Brown had a career-high 131 yards on the ground to help Illinois win its second in a row and get to 4-4 overall. Junior cornerback Tony Adams became the first Illini with interceptions in back-to-back Big Ten games since Vontae Davis and Kevin Mitchell both did it against Penn State and Wisconsin in 2007.

Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne and wide receiver Diondre Overton each scored three touchdowns as the undefeated Tigers extended their winning streak to 23 games with a 52-point victory over Boston College on homecoming at Memorial Stadium. Clemson’s defense held the No. 6 ranked rushing offense in the country to only 96 yards on the ground, scored a touchdown on a fumble return and had eight tackles for a loss.

Princeton: Led by a defense that produced three interceptions that led to 17 points, the Tigers rallied in the second half to overtake Harvard for win No. 16 in a row. Tigers quarterback Kevin Davidson threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns and linebacker Jeremiah Taylor had one of those interceptions and a team-high 13 tackles.

Florida State: Seminoles running back Cam Akers rushed for 144 yards, completed a couples pass for 26 yards out of the “wildcat” formation and tied a school record for rushing touchdowns in a game with four to lead FSU to a homecoming victory over Syracuse.