Weekly Update: Huge upset for Syracuse of previously No. 2 ranked Clemson and NC State continues to rise


week 7 chapter updateSo Friday the 13th did prove to be something of a nightmare for a couple of Top 10 college football teams and served as a foreshadow of the weekend that was Week 7 of the 2017 season.

Syracuse coach Dino Babers picked up his signature victory as the Orange head coach in his second season in upstate New York after unranked Syracuse edged defending college football National Champion Clemson inside the Carrier Dome.

The previously No. 1 ranked Tigers suffered only their second loss against an unranked opponent in their last 51 attempts.

Led by quarterback Eric Dungey, who earned the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week, Syracuse scored 27 points against a Clemson defense that held five of its previous six opponents to two or fewer touchdowns.

This was only the third loss for Clemson in its last 34 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season. The Tigers still control their own destiny, though. Remember, last year the Tigers lost to Pittsburgh during the regular season and still went on to claim the ACC and National titles.

Following the historic victory for the Orange, it was Clemson coach Dabo Swinney who stole the show. The Tigers’ skipper was extremely gracious in defeat.

Swinney was clearly happy for Babers after the game, seen mouthing “I’m so happy for you guys” to the Orange coach during the postgame handshake. And later he went into the Syracuse lockerroom to personally congratulate some of the players and even posed for pictures with them.

Meet University of Illinois Chapter President and Fighting Illini starting offensive lineman Nick Allegretti in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

It depends on the rankings, but at least three and in one case four of the Top 10 teams in the country lost in Week 7 including Clemson, Washington, Washington State and Auburn.

One of the teams on trending the other direction is the NC State Wolfpack, who improved to 6-1 after using a strong finish to close out Pittsburgh.

NC State is ranked inside the Top 20 (T16 in the AP and No. 17 in the coaches poll) for the first time since Week 2 of the 2003 season. That year the Wolpack were No. 14 overall before losing a road game at Wake Forest.

The Wolfpack are on a bye this week after notching win No. 6 in a row after losing to South Carolina in their opener. But a pair of elite programs, Notre Dame and Clemson, are on deck for NC State to close out October.

Coming off a tough home loss to undefeated defending Big Ten Champion Penn State, the Northwestern Wildcats clawed back to .500 on the strength of a strong second half to subdue Maryland.

RB Justin Jackson had a season-high 171 yards and a couple scores to go along with nearly 300 yards passing from QB Clayton Thorson to power the Wildcats.

Colgate used a season-high 166 yards and a touchdown from RB James Holland to overpower Fordham at home. The Raiders defense came up big too, limiting the Rams to only 64 rushing yards on 31 carries.

For the second week in a row Princeton cleared the 50-point barrier and improved to 4-1 overall. The Tigers outgained Brown 538-170 overall and led 36-0 at halftime.

Saint Francis QB Ben Fenimore tossed three touchdown passes for a Red Flash team that led 17-0 at intermission and improved to 2-0 in the NEC.

Stony Brook scored all 22 points in the second half, keyed by a pair of short touchdown runs by Donald Liotine, to rally past New Hampshire.

Cam Akers’ 42-yard touchdown run with 8:32 to play propelled Florida State past Duke for the Seminoles second win of the season. Akers finished with 115 yards on 15 carries.

WEEK 7 SCOREBOARD

Weekly Update: No. 3 ranked Penn State hits its bye unbeaten and No. 2 Clemson starts 6-0 for third year in a row


week 6 chapter updatePenn State set itself up well for the upcoming bye week followed by the teeth of its 2017 schedule by dispatching of fellow Uplifting Athletes chapter Northwestern.

The defending Big Ten champion Nittany Lions remained undefeated and moved up to the consensus No. 3 team in the country by scoring the first 31 points on the road against the Wildcats.

Junior quarterback Trace McSorley broke a school record that dated back to 1994 by throwing 15 completions in a row – surpassing the previous mark of 14 by Kerry Collins. McSorley finished 25 of 34 for 245 yards and a touchdown against a Northwestern defense that sold out to limit big plays.

Penn State’s defense continues to be a difference maker, as the Nittany Lions came up with three more turnovers and limited the Wildcats to fewer than 70 yards rushing on 30 attempts.

NC State announced itself as a player in the ACC by winning its fifth game in a row. The Wolfpack took out previously No. 17 ranked Louisville at home on a nationally televised Thursday night game. NC State is now ranked No. 20 in the country.

The Wolfpack piled up more than 500 yards of offense and pulled off the rare offensive trifecta – QB passing for 300 yards, RB hitting 100 yards and a wideout surpassing 100 yards.

Meet Syracuse University Chapter President and Orange quarterback Zack Mahoney in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Princeton overcame a sluggish start against Georgetown, surrendering the opening 10 points to the Hoyas. The next 50 points belonged to the Tigers and by the middle of third quarter the third win of the season for Princeton was secure.

Tigers QB Chad Kanoff continued his assault on the school passing records, moving up to second all-time after throwing for 313 yards and four touchdowns to grab the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

For the third season in a row defending National Champion Clemson Tigers started a season 6-0. QB Kelly Bryant left the game with an ankle injury but threw for 200 yards and a score before he departed.

Clemson led 28-0 before the Deamon Deacons put a couple scores on the board in the final 8 minutes. The Tigers won despite losing the turnover battle 2-0 and rolling up nine penalties for 79 yards.

Syracuse climbed back to .500 overall and in the ACC by holding off Pittsburgh at the Carrier Dome. The Orange dominated this game in every category except the scoreboard and ended up hanging on for dear life to get to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the ACC.

QB Eric Dungy paced an offense that total 500 yards by throwing for 365 yards and a couple touchdowns. Three wide receivers, Devin Butler, Ervin Philips and Ravian Pierce, each had at least seven catches and combined for 24 grabs. The Syracuse defense allowed only two touchdowns and less than 360 yards of total offense.

Facing some adversity at the quarterback position, Notre Dame rode a defense that forced three turnovers and limited struggling North Carolina to 265 total yards to post a comfortable three-score victory over the 1-5 Tar Heels.

The Irish turned to the ground game behind the combination of Josh Adams and Deon McIntosh. The duo combined for 242 yards on 25 carries with three touchdowns to power a rushing attack that totaled 341 yards and average 6.0 per carry.

WEEK 6 SCOREBOARD

Weekly Update: Strong start to Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 with five teams posting victories


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Thank you to Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Saint Francis, Syracuse and NC State student-athlete chapter leaders and fans of those programs for supporting the opening week of Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017.

Five of those schools, Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Syracuse and NC State, posted Week 3 victories. Only Saint Francis suffered a setback, and that was a narrow 16-14 loss to a strong Towson squad.

The six Week 1 Touchdown Pledge Drive schools combined to score 32 touchdowns with Penn State, Northwestern and NC State all posting seven or more.

Syracuse rebounded from a stinging upset at home last week by overpowering a previously 2-0 Central Michigan squad by 24 points.

Orange QB Eric Dungey rolled up 384 total yards (279 passing, 105 rushing) and three touchdowns. Syracuse led 24-17 at halftime, then outscored the Chippewas 17-0 in the third quarter to pull away.

The initial two weeks of the season had been a struggle for a Northwestern team with high expectations in the Big Ten West. The Wildcats rebounded with a solid offensive performance to overwhelm Bowling Green.

QB Clayton Thorson, RB Justin Jackson and WR Garrett Dickerson all had big games for an offense that pumped out nearly 700 total yards.

Penn State moved back to No. 4 overall in the country after the Nittany Lions used huge games from Heisman Trophy candidates, RB Saquon Barkley and QB Trace McSorley, to steam roll Georgia State. The duo combined for 522 total yards and six touchdowns.

McSorley threw for 309 yards with four touchdowns and ran for another score to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance Award for Week 3.

For all its offense, the Nittany Lions defense has shown some teeth in their first 12 quarters by allowing only one touchdown and pitching a pair of shutouts.

Meet Northwestern University Chapter President and Wildcats starting guard Tommy Doles in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

NC State piled up more than 550 yards of offense against Furman and scored all seven of its touchdowns by the end of third quarter to move the Wolfpack to 2-1 overall.

Wide receiver Stephen Carlson hauled in three touchdown passes from Chad Kanoff to spark Princeton to a solid victory over visiting San Diego to open the Tigers’ 2017 season. The defending Ivy League co-champions threw for more than 350 yards and the defense forced three key turnovers.

Quarterback Joe Carbone tossed three touchdown passes and Stony Brook grinded out nearly 300 yards on the ground in completely dominating Sacred Heart. Three Seawolves, Stacey Bedell, Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine, each had 65 or more yards on the ground.

UPenn won its wild ’17 season opener at Franklin Field behind 35 second-half points to subdue winless Ohio Dominican. RB Karekin Brooks totaled 142 yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns to spark the Quakers.

The Clemson defense once again announced its presence with authority as the defending National Champions limited ACC foe Louisville to a single touchdown through three quarters to grab a 33-7 lead. New Tigers QB Kelly Bryant threw for 316 yards with one score and added 26 yards on the ground with a pair of end zone trips. WR Ray-Ray McCloud had seven grabs for 115 yards and a TD.

Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush and RB Josh Adams combined to run over Boston College at Chestnut Hill. The Fighting Irish duo teamed up for 436 yards on 39 carries with Wimbish scoring four times.

 

 

 

2017 Beyond The Trophy: Meet Northwestern University offensive lineman Tommy Doles


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Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

 Name: Tommy Doles

College: Northwestern University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-6, 280-pound redshirt junior offensive lineman

High School: Grand Rapids Christian, Grand Rapids, Michigan

About Doles: In his second season as starting right guard for the Wildcats after playing in all 13 games last year and earning All-Big Ten honorable mention honors. … President of the Northwestern Uplifting Athletes Chapter. … Father, Jack, is a sports broadcaster and comes from a long line of college student-athletes. His grandfather played basketball at DePaul, cousin played football at Iowa State and two aunts played Division I volleyball. … Won a Division 3 Michigan State Championship and was voted All-State his senior year of high school. … Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2016 who chose Northwestern over Michigan and the service academies.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Doles: Winning the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in 2016; we had worked so hard to get there, and played a great game in an amazing environment.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

Doles: My Grandpa passed away during my freshman year of college after a four-year struggle with ALS. When I heard about an organization that was working to align college football with rare disease research, I knew I had to get involved. Uplifting Athletes has connected me with some wonderful people and allowed me to grow as a leader, all the while allowing me to use my platform as a college football player for a worthy cause.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

Doles: Singing the fight song with the student section after a ‘Cats victory!

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Doles: Kirk Cousins – he is a West Michigander like me, and has remained humble and true to his values despite his success. I was inspired by his book ‘Game Changer’ and have sought to follow his example of using the platform of college football for something worthwhile.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Doles: I’m a history nerd and an offensive lineman who likes lunch, so this is a tough one. I’d say Abraham Lincoln. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to hear a firsthand account of the most trying and formative time in our nation’s history from the man who was steering the ship?

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Doles: Nebraska has a tremendous game day environment, and their fans are very classy. I did also enjoy playing at Michigan State, as I got to see quite a few high school friends after the game, even if they were wearing green!

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football or big goals for the future?

Doles: I will continue to put my faith first (Matthew 16:26), and hope to be blessed with a family someday. Vocationally, I want to serve my country and act as a servant leader towards others, starting as an officer in the Army.

RAPID FIRE

What is your perfect pizza?

Doles: Chicago style deep dish, or course, with plenty of meat and cheese, and surrounded by family and teammates.

Last three songs you added to your playlist?

Doles: The theme song from Band of Brothers, Ever Be (Aaron Shust), and Get Down on It (Kool & the Gang). Eclectic, right?

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?
Doles: Lauren Daigle

If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Doles: Matthew McConaughey, he’s an interesting guy

What was the last movie you went to the theater and saw?

Doles: Dunkirk – Wow!

In the mountains or on a beach?

Doles: Tough one considering the beaches in Pure Michigan, but mountains

What’s the last picture you took with your phone?

Doles: Running back and NU Uplifting Athletes Chapter Vice President Chad Hanaoka playing his ukulele in the stands of Ryan Field as the sun set on Chicago and training camp 2017

Northwestern Chapter Touchdown Pledge Drive Saturday against Bowling Green


Northwestern TDPD 2017 GRAPHICThe Northwestern Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, led by President Tommy Doles, is counting on the Wildcats offense to put a few touchdowns on the board Saturday, September 16 for its 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive when Northwestern welcomes Bowling Green to Ryan Field.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

The leadership team of the student-athlete led Northwestern Chapter and all the members of the 2017 Wildcats squad is asking fans to support their efforts to make a difference in the rare disease community by making a pledge through the Northwestern Chapter online Touchdown Pledge Drive site.

Fans can simply make a pledge for each touchdown the Wildcats score that day and they can follow along to see the impact they are helping the players make.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Northwestern Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

When the Northwestern Chapter was formed in 2011, the Wildcats were inspired by former Northwestern and Notre Dame coach the late Ara Parseghian’s support of the rare disease Niemann-Pick Type C. More recently, the leaders of the chapter chose to use a personal relationship and added ALS as part of the motivation to support the rare disease community through Uplifting Athletes.

Support the Northwestern Chapter and its efforts to make a difference in the rare disease community by signing up for its Touchdown Pledge Drive today!

Weekly Chapter Update: ’16 Rare Disease Champion Jake Olson plays for USC Trojans


JAKE UA PHOTOUSC long snapper Jake Olson has fulfilled his dream of playing in a college football game.

The 2016 winner of the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award is now officially a USC Trojans football letterman after snapping for the final extra point in the Trojans’ season opening victory over Western Michigan.

“I just loved being out there,” Olson said. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I’ll remember forever.

Olson is legally blind after losing sight in both eyes to the rare disease retinoblastoma. He lost his left eye to the disease at 10 months.  The night before his final surgery in 2009 to take the sight in his right eye away, then USC head coach Pete Carroll invited Olson to meet the team.

“To take a situation that ugly, and then to fast-forward eight years and to have that same kid be able to snap on the football field with the team that really got him through that time, is just beautiful. It’s emotional. Incredible,” Olson said.

Carroll, the Seahawks head coach, was tipped off this might happen so he was watching on TV Saturday night when Olson entered the game.

“I was so excited to see it I couldn’t stop crying. It was thrilling,” Carroll told The Seattle Times. “That was an incredible moment. I’m so glad that coach (Clay) Helton figured out a way to create an opportunity for Jake to show what he could do. This is just an extraordinary young man.”

He was invited to join the Trojans squad after he enrolled at USC in the fall of 2015 and received an NCAA waiver to practice with the team. He snapped in the spring games, but it wasn’t until last Saturday that Olson saw the field in a regular season game.

Meet Stony Brook Chapter President and tight end P.J. Edwards in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

 In what is clearly the biggest win for the Maryland program this decade – and perhaps even longer.  The Terrapins marched into Austin a nearly three-touchdown underdog to No. 23 Texas and marched away with a 51-41 victory.

It was the first victory for Maryland against a ranked opponent on the road in nine years.

Maryland led 27-7 at one point in the second half, then held off a Longhorns rally that included Texas touchdowns on a blocked field goal return, a kickoff return and interception return for a score.

Running back Ty Johnson was a beast for the Terrapins, rushing for 132 yards, returning a kickoff 60 yards and scoring one touchdown. Wide receiver D.J. Moore had a big afternoon as well with seven catches for 133 yards and a score.

Illinois used a late touchdown from Mike Epstein and a blocked field goal as time expired to rally past Ball State at home.

Defending National Champion Clemson rolled up 665 yards of total offense on its way to a comfortable victory over Kent State at Death Valley. New starting QB threw for 236 yards on only 22 attempts.

Penn State, the defending Big Ten Champion, saw its dynamic trio of QB Trace McSorley, RB Saquon Barkley and TE Mike Gesicki each account for two touchdowns in blanking Akron. Barkley, a Heisman Trophy candidate, accounted for 256 total yards on 18 touches.

Notre Dame running backs Josh Adams and Dexter Williams, a 2017 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award finalist, combined for 285 yards and three touchdowns as the Fighting Irish subdued Temple. Adams earned Uplifting Athletes Player of the Week honors for his stellar effort.

Nebraska was embroiled in a nip-and-tuck affair with underrated Arkansas State all the way before holding on for a seven-point victory over the Red Wolves. Husker RB Trey Bryant rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.

Washington, Syracuse and Northwestern all won their openers in different fashion. Northwestern needed a pair of 1-yard TD plunges by QB Clayton Thorson to rally past Nevada. Syracuse put up big numbers offensively in rolling Central Connecticut State and defending Pac-12 Champion Washington subdued Rutgers by outscoring the Scarlet Knights 20-7 in the second half.

Georgia Tech dropped a heartbreaker in double OT to Tennessee Monday night. And Stony Brook came up with a strong effort against nationally ranked USF on the road in Tampa before a late flurry allowed the Bulls to edge the Seawolves.

NEW CHAPTER SCOREBOARD

Trio shines a spotlight on rare diseases at NFL Combine and raises more than $9,000 for Uplifting Athletes


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Three former college football standouts gave a voice to rare diseases at the 2017 NFL Combine.

Garrett Sickels, Amba Etta-Tawo and Ifeadi Odenigbo each ran a Reps For Rare Diseases campaign in support of Uplifting Athletes and its mission to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

Fans and supporters could pledge any amount for each bench press repetition Sickels and Odenigbo completed and for each inch Etta-Tawo cleared in the vertical jump.

The trio combined to raise nearly $9,500 for life saving rare disease research with Uplifting Athletes.

Sickels, the former Penn State Chapter President, is the third Nittany Lion to run a Reps For Rare Diseases campaign following in the footsteps of Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James and Detroit Lions defensive end Anthony Zettel.

The former PSU defensive end wanted to surpass the fundraising totals of his former teammates. Sickels kept his end of the bargain by meeting his 20-repetition goal total to become the No. 1 Reps For Rare Diseases fundraiser by clearing $7,000 raised and smashing his $5,000 goal.

Syracuse’s Etta-Tawo and Northwestern’s Odenigbo each became the first representatives from their respective schools to run campaigns at the NFL Combine for Uplifting Athletes.

Thanks to all the fans who supported Sickels, Etta-Tawo and Odenigbo in their efforts to shine a spotlight on rare diseases at the 2017 NFL Combine.