Seven Uplifting Athletes Chapters headed to postseason bowl games


BOWL IMAGESeven college football programs with an Uplifting Athletes Chapter are headed to bowl games to put a bow on their 2017 college football season.

Florida State, NC State, Northwestern, Penn State, Notre Dame, Washington and Clemson all finished bowl eligible this season.

Clemson, the defending National Champions, are in the College Football Playoffs for the third consecutive year and will take on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in one semifinal.

Penn State finished with its second double-digit win season in a row and its two losses were by a combined four points. The Nittany Lions, who are part of the New Year’s Six after coming in at No. 9 in the final CFP rankings, will play fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Washington in the Fiesta Bowl.

Florida State is going through a major coaching change, but the Seminoles won their final game of the regular season to keep their streak of consecutive bowl appearances at 36 and counting. FSU will take on Southern Mississippi in the Independence Bowl.

Northwestern was one of the hottest teams in college football down the stretch. The Wildcats finished the regular season with seven consecutive victories, including three straight in overtime, to end up inside the Top 25 of the final CFP rankings. Northwestern will play Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

Notre Dame was one of the four teams ranked early in the CFP rankings, but struggled down the stretch and finished 9-3 overall. But the Fighting Irish still drew a nice bowl destination, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and get a strong opponent in LSU.

NC had a solid season, finishing 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the ACC, and finished inside the final CFP Top 25 rankings. The reward for the Wolfpack is a trip to the desert to play Arizona State in the Sun Bowl.

Uplifting Athletes Chapters are run by current college football student-athletes and use the platform of college football to support mission of Uplifting Athletes to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

 

 

 

Weekly Update: Stony Brook runs past Lehigh in NCAA FCS postseason opener and Northwestern wins seventh in a row


WEEK 13 GRAPHICStony Brook was making its third appearance in the NCAA FCS College Football Playoffs, and in each of the previous two postseason visits, in 2011 and 2012, the Seawolves won their opener.

Make it 3-for-3 in first round games as Stony Brook used a punishing ground game that piled up 354 yards to overwhelm Patriot League co-champion Lehigh at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.

Donald Liotine, Stacey Bedell and Jordan Gowins combined for 38 of Stony Brook’s 49 rushing attempts. The trio totaled 274 yards on the ground with five touchdowns, led by Liotine’s 133 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

Next up for the Seawolves, who rang up 622 total yards in posting their sixth win a row, is a visit to defending NCAA FCS champion James Madison Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Northwestern wrapped up a nine-win regular season by steamrolling Illinois. The victory was the seventh in a row for the Wildcats and will earn head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s squad a tasty bowl bid. Led by 144 yards rushing from Uplifting Athletes Co-Rare Performance of the Week honoree Justin Jackson, the Wildcats pounded out more than 300 yards on the ground.

Florida State rolled past in-state rival Florida to get within one victory of being bowl eligible. The Seminoles used a pair of defensive touchdowns to subdue the Gators in a defensive battle where the teams combined for fewer than 500 yards.

Penn State finished with 10 regular-season victories for the second year in a row with a convincing road victory at Maryland. The Nittany Lions spread the wealth around offensively, led by more than 250 total yards and three touchdowns from Uplifting Athletes Co-Rare Performance of the Week honoree QB Trace McSorley.

Clemson is heading back to the ACC title game and is one victory shy of a third consecutive trip to the College Football Playoffs after rolling rival South Carolina in the Palmetto State Bowl. The Tigers raced out to a 34-0 advantage after three quarters behind 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns from QB Kelly Bryant.

NC State RB Nyheim Hines had a career-best 196 yards on the ground to power the Wolfpack past North Carolina to finish the regular season 8-4 overall and set themselves up well in the ACC pecking order in terms of a bowl bid with a 6-2 conference record.

WEEK 13 SCOREBOARD

 

Penn State QB Trace McSorley’s and Northwestern RB Justin Jackson’s Big Ten records earn shared Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week honor


TRACEJUSTIN IMAGEA pair of Big Ten players posted strong performances on the final weekend of the regular season and finished the season as only the second player in conference history to complete their rare accomplishment.

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and Northwestern running back Justin Jackson both entered the Big Ten record books and share the final Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week for 2017.

McSorley threw a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another score in the Nittany Lions victory at Maryland. With those three touchdowns, McSorley became only the second player in Big Ten history to pass for 25 and rush for 10 touchdowns in the same season.

He joins Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett from Ohio State on the list. Barrett established the benchmark in 2014.

Jackson, who carried 18 times for 144 and a touchdown in the Wildcats’ seventh consecutive victory, is only the second player in Big Ten history to rush for 1,000 or more yards all four years.

He joins 1999 Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Fame member Ron Dayne from Wisconsin as the only other Big Ten running back to accomplish this.

Previous Uplifting Athletes

Rare Performance of the Week Winners

Week 1: RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame

Week 2: QB Ryan Finley, NC State

Week 3: QB Trace McSorley, Penn State

Week 4: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Week 5: WR Ervin Philips, Syracuse

Week 6: QB Chad Kanoff, Princeton

Week 7: QB Eric Dungey, Syracuse

Week 8: WR Jesper Horsted, Princeton

Week 9: QB Clayton Thorson, Northwestern

Week 10: QB Will Fischer-Colbrie, Penn

Week 11: QB Zack Mahoney, Syracuse

Week 12: WR Justin Motlow, Florida State

 

Weekly Update: Colgate captures share of Patriot League crown and miracle finish helps propel Stony Brook to NCAA FCS playoff berth


WEEK 12 GRAPHICFor the ninth time in program history, Colgate earned at least a share of the Patriot League title by scoring the final 35 points to knock off Georgetown.

The Raiders shared the 2017 crown with Lehigh at 5-1, but the Lehigh Mountain Hawks earned the automatic conference bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Colgate did not receive an at-large bid from the committee despite winning its final five games to finish 7-4 overall.

This was the second time in three years Colgate has earned at least a share of the Patriot League crown. The Raiders defense stretched its streak of scoreless quarters to 15 in the victory.

The last time Colgate’s defense allowed a touchdown was October 21 when Holy Cross scored on its opening drive. The lone Georgetown touchdown came on a pick-6 on the first play from scrimmage.

What a weekend for the Stony Brook Seawolves. They started it off with a dramatic come-from-behind road victory at Maine that included a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

The winning points came on a 35-yard Hail Mary pass hauled in by Harrison Jackson as time expired to secure the one-point victory.

That miracle reception by Jackson, who was surrounded by Maine defenders, allowed Stony Brook to finish 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the CAA. And that record earned the solo second-place finishers in the CAA an invitation to the NCAA College Football FCS Playoffs. The Seawolves will host Patriot League co-champion Lehigh in the opener.

This is the first postseason berth for Stony Brook since 2012 and only the third playoff appearance in school history for the Seawolves.

Penn closed out its 2017 season with four consecutive victories to rally and post a 6-4 overall record with a win over Cornell at Franklin Field. The Quakers finished 4-3 in the Ivy League and those three league losses came by a total of 11 points combined.

Clemson and Florida State each posted easy victories over FCS schools. In the Seminoles victory over Delaware State, senior WR Justin Motlow, a walk-on, not only scored a touchdown but made history to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Northwestern won its sixth in a row after a rough start and is one of the hottest teams in college football. The Wildcats blanked Minnesota at Ryan Field behind 166 yards from RB Justin Jackson and a defense that surrendered less than 200 yards and forced five turnovers.

Penn State is on track for a second consecutive double-digit win season after the defending Big Ten Champions disposed of Nebraska on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions led by 32 early in the fourth quarter before the Huskers scored three times in the final 6:32 to close the final gap. Penn State had more than 600 yards of offense including 325 yards and three touchdowns through the air by QB Trace McSorley.

Notre Dame kept its hopes for a 10-win regular season alive by rallying to score the final 14 points to edge Navy by a touchdown at home. QB Brandon Wimbush threw a pair of TD passes to tie the game then put the Irish ahead for good early in the fourth quarter.

WEEK 12 SCOREBOARD

Weekly Update: Clemson headed back to ACC Championship game for third year in a row after claiming Atlantic Division title with victory over Florida State


WEEK 11 GRAPHICClemson has proven that you can get upset in a regular-season game and still win the National Championship.

That may be the road to doing it again, as the Tigers guaranteed themselves a birth in the ACC Championship game this weekend.

Clemson overcame a less-than-tidy effort, two turnovers and seven penalties, to bump off Florida State and claim the ACC Atlantic Division title for the third consecutive year.

Clemson is headed to Charlotte and the ACC title game for the fifth time in nine years under Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney.

Penn State ended its two-game losing streak behind a record-breaking day from quarterback Trace McSorley in its homecoming victory over Rutgers.

McSorley threw for 214 yards and rushed for another 44 yards. But with his three total touchdowns the redshirt junior became No. 1 on the Penn State list for total touchdowns by a quarterback. The Nittany Lions defense rebounded, limiting the Scarlet Knights to 200 total yards and a pair of field goals.

The Penn State defense held Rutgers without a first down for a 38:45 stretch that started on the first play of the second quarter until 6:45 remained in the game.

Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall did something you’ll be hard pressed to see again – he completed only two passes but finished with 140 yards through the air. And both those completions went for long-distance touchdowns in a victory over previously nationally ranked Virginia Tech.

NC State rebounded from back-to-back losses to highly ranked teams to improve to 7-3 overall by edging Boston College. The Wolfpack used a 50-yard run from Nyheim Hines midway through the final quarter to win it.

Northwestern won its fourth in a row by sliding past Purdue. The big news is the Wildcats claimed this victory in regulation, after winning its previous three outings in overtime.

Syracuse is going to struggle to be bowl eligible after falling to Wake Forest at home. But Orange back-up quarterback Zack Mahoney found he was starting 14 minutes before the game and threw for nearly 400 yards to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

Penn used 181 rushing yards from Tre Solomon and stingy defense to notch an important road victory at Harvard. Solomon averaged 12.1 yards per carry, while the defense allowed only a pair of field goals to the Crimson.

Stony Brook uses a ball-control offense and relies on being mistake-free to win football games. And that formula played out perfectly against Wagner as the Seawolves improved to 8-2. Stony Brook rushed for nearly 200 yards, won the turnover battle 3-0 and converted third down at nearly a 50 percent clip to notch a four-score victory.

WEEK 11 SCOREBOARD

Weekly Update: Northwestern “Cardiac Cats” become first FBS school in history to win three straight games in overtime with road victory at Nebraska


WEEK 10 GRAPHICThis Northwestern team has become known to it fans as the “Cardiac Cats” with very good reason.

For the third week in a row, head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s squad needed extra time to edge fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Nebraska in Lincoln.

With wins over Michigan State, in triple overtime, and Iowa at Ryan Field, Northwestern is now the first FBS program to ever record three consecutive overtime victories.

Against Nebraska, the Wildcats trailed by a touchdown deep into the fourth quarter before QB Clayton Thorson engineered a 13-play, 84-yard drive and scored on a 7-yard run with 5:03 to play. Thorson also scored on a QB sneak in overtime, then watched the Wildcats defense come up with a stop to seal the Wildcats’ fourth consecutive victory.

Penn came up with its signature win of the season, rallying from down four points late to edge fierce rival and fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Princeton in an Ivy League affair at Franklin Field.

The Quakers led most of the game before the Tigers exploded for 14 quick points in the fourth quarter to seize the lead. Penn QB Will Fischer-Colbrie engineered an impressive 80-yard scoring play, completing all three of his passes, to guide the Quakers to victory.

Fischer-Colbrie threw the winning TD pass inside the final two minutes, finished 15 of 18 for 202 yards and pair of touchdowns to grab the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week award.

Meet Penn State Chapter Co-President and Nittany Lions QB Trace McSorley in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Florida State running back Cam Akers went for 199 yards and two scores on 22 totes to notch the Seminoles’ third win of the season with a triumph over fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Syracuse. And defending National Champion Clemson, who hosts FSU this week, used 279 total yards and three touchdowns from QB Kelley Bryant to hold off fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter NC State.

Once-beaten Notre Dame used a 24-point explosion in the second quarter to open up enough breathing room on Wake Forest to withstand a furious second-half rally by the Demon Deacons.

Fighting Irish QB Brandon Wimbush put on a show, rolling up 390 total yards (280 passing and 110 rushing) with three touchdowns to lead a Notre Dame offense that piled up 710 yards.

Stony Brook kept its magical season alive by winning for the seventh time in nine games by edging Albany in overtime at home. Joe Carbone hit Harrison Jackson with a 13-yard TD pass in the extra session to win it for the Seawolves. Carbone threw for 218 yards and a pair of scores on a day when the Stony Brook ground game was limited to only 79 yards.

WEEK 10 SCOREBOARD

Weekly Update: Late rally provides Nebraska with a huge comeback victory and Northwestern wins in OT for second week in a row


WEEK 9 GRAPHICNebraska quarterback Tanner Lee and the Cornhuskers were staring at the abyss of a lost season when they trailed Purdue by two scores in the fourth quarter.

Lee came up with a monster fourth quarter and the Nebraska defense shut down the Boilermakers in the final 12 minutes and the Huskers came away with a one-point victory to get back to .500 at 4-4 overall.

Down five points, Lee marched Nebraska down the field with an 8-play, 70-yard drive in 68 seconds. His final pass was a 13-yard touchdown to Stanley Morgan Jr. with 14 ticks left. Lee finished with 431 yards on 50 attempts with a pair of touchdowns.

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson completed a career-best 33 passes and threw for 356 yards as the Wildcats won in overtime for the second week in a row. Thorson earned the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week for his big day that included the winning TD pass in the third overtime.

Stony Brook remains a player in the chase for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title after a clutch road victory at Richmond to improve to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the CAA. Seawolves WR Ray Bolden had 13 catches for 118 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns including the game winner early in the fourth quarter.

Meet Penn State Chapter Co-President and Nittany Lions LB Jason Cabinda in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Maryland has battled through a rash of injuries at key skill positions and is still battling for a bowl bid after rallying from five-points down to edge Indiana and improve to 4-4 overall. Trailing 16-7 midway through the second quarter, Darnell Savage Jr. provides the spark Maryland needed by returning a blocked punt 16 yards for a touchdown.

Defending National Champion Clemson used 274 total yards from quarterback Kelley Bryant and the Tigers defense held a strong Georgia Tech rushing attack to less than 200 yards in a 14-point victory.

Notre Dame entered the College Football Playoff conversation by winning its sixth game in a row against a strong NC State squad that came in with one loss and was also nationally ranked. After the Fighting Irish fell behind 14-7 in the first quarter, the Notre Dame defense shut down the Wolfpack offense. The Irish scored the final 28 points.

The UPenn defense limited Brown to 10 first downs and 203 total yards to pick up its third win of the season with a 10-point road victory.

Colgate freshman quarterback Grant Breneman threw a trio of touchdown passes and the Raiders defense forced three turnovers and didn’t allow a touchdown as Colgate won its fifth game.

Sparked by a defense that limited Robert Morris to less than 150 yards, Saint Francis won its fifth game of the season by scoring on a 93-yard interception return and a 35-yard punt return to post the home victory.

CHAPTER 9 SCOREBOARD