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: 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

Nebraska Chapter President and linebacker Chris Weber a finalist for William V. Campbell Trophy


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Nebraska senior linebacker Chris Weber has been named one of 13 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Presented by the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame, the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

A former walk-on and captain of the Huskers, Weber is also the President of the Nebraska Chapter of Uplifting Athletes and has been supporting the rare disease community most of his college career.

“It was a pleasure to get to know Chris very early in his career when he attended our Leadership Conference in 2014. He’s been a strong voice in college football for the rare disease community,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Scott Shirley said. “Being chosen as a finalist for the Campbell Trophy requires you to be a great football player, great student and most importantly a great person and leader. Congratulations to Chris and his family.”

A candidate for the Campbell Trophy must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, possess a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.

Weber, who is seeking to become Nebraska’s third winner of the award, was chosen as one of the finalists from among the 181 individuals nominated as semifinalists.

The 6-3, 240-pound Weber has started all eight games at linebacker this season and leads Nebraska in tackles (66), tackles for loss (six) and pass breakups (five). 

He sports a 3.96 GPA and has already been accepted to medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He’s a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District VII selection and a three-time Distinguished Big Ten Scholar.

Weber led the Nebraska Football Uplifting Athletes Road Race earlier this year, which raised more than $35,000 and he’s been named to the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship teams each of the past four years.

The 13 finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted.

At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event, which will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, will be live streamed on ESPN3, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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

Weekly Update: Second straight road win for Nebraska Cornhuskers and 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive wraps up


WEEK 5 GRAPHICThank you, on behalf of the rare disease community we serve, to the 15 schools that participated in the 2017 Uplifting Athletes Touchdown Pledge Drive during the final three weeks in September.

The support from the college football student-athlete chapter leaders and donor to raise awareness and funds for rare diseases is appreciated. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Nebraska made it two road victories in a row by visiting fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Illinois for a Friday night Big Ten affair at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers defense put on a show, limiting the Fighting Illini to only a pair of field goals.

Linebacker Chris Weber, the Nebraska Chapter President, had a monster game with nine tackles that included six solo stops. He also had two tackles for a loss and one sack. Offensively, the Huskers piled up 411 total yards led by 246 yards and three touchdowns from QB Tanner Lee.

Penn State used a combination of defense and special teams to grab a 28-0 first-quarter lead on Indiana and cruised to a 31-point victory. The Nittany Lions forced four turnovers including a scoop-and-score by the special teams on a Hooisers punt return.

Linebacker Jason Cabinda paced a PSU defense that limited Indiana to its lowest point total of the season by recording 14 tackles, 1.5 TFL and one sack. QB Trace McSorley threw for 315 yards and a couple scores. WR DeSean Hamilton became the No. 1 receiver in school history with nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns.

Meet Clemson University Chapter President and Tigers kicker Christian Groomes in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Colgate freshman quarterback Grant Breneman accounted for all three Raiders touchdowns in a road victory at Cornell. Breneman threw a pair of TD passes and rushed for another score. The Colgate defense came up with four interceptions that went a long way to the Raiders notching victory No. 2 of the season.

Joe Carbone threw for 182 yards with one touchdown and RB Stacey Bedell added 104 yards and a score on the ground to power Stony Brook to a huge Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) road victory over William & Mary. The Seawolves are 3-0 in the CAA and 4-1 overall with their only loss coming to FBS nationally ranked USF in Tampa in their opener.

Saint Francis used two touchdown passes from QB Bear Fenimore and 105 yards from RB Jymere Jordan-Toney to edge Liberty on the road in Virginia to improve to 3-1 overall.

Defending National Champion Clemson posted its second major road victory in as many weeks by traveling to Blacksburg, Virginia and subduing previously undefeated and nationally ranked Virginia Tech.

Dorian Daniel salted away another strong outing for the Tigers by returning an interception 22 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give Clemson a 31-10 lead. QB Kelly Bryant totaled 280 yards of offense with one touchdown and led the Tigers in rushing with 94 yards.

Maryland RB Ty Johnson ripped off a 34-yard touchdown run with 70 seconds remaining to cap a solid 262-yard outing for the Terrapins on the ground. Johnson’s touchdown vaulted Maryland to a one-touchdown victory over Minnesota. The road victory featured Maryland using its third quarterback of the season.

Georgia Tech rolled up more than 400 rushing yards and cruised past winless North Carolina to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. QB TaQuon Marshall and RB KirVonte Benson combined for 267 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries.

NC State held off a furious second-half comeback by fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Syracuse to hang on for a big ACC home victory. The Wolfpack led 26-7 at intermission. Syracuse WR Ervin Philips set a Syracuse and ACC single-game record with 17 receptions to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week award.

Washington is poised to make another strong run at a second straight Pac-12 title with a 5-0 start. The Huskies used 293 yards and three touchdowns from QB Jake Browning and WR Dante Pettis hauled in 12 pass for 105 yards with all three Browning TD passes going his way in a blowout win over Oregon State on the road.

Florida State picked up its first win of the season behind a late TD pass from QB James Blackman to WR Auden Tate covering 40 yards inside the final minute to edge Wake Forest on the road.

QB Brandon Wimbush threw for three touchdowns and added another on the ground as Notre Dame raced out to a 45-14 halftime lead over Miami (Ohio) from the MAC at home. The Fighting Irish improved to 4-1 overall.

Chapter Scoreboard Week 5

 

 

Weekly Update: Signature ACC road victory for NC State and Touchdown Pledge Drive continues


NC STATE NEWSLETTER IMAGEThank you to Clemson, Maryland, Colgate, Stony Brook and Georgia Tech student-athlete chapter leaders and fans of those programs for supporting the middle week of Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017.

There is still one more set of Uplifting Athletes Chapters on deck to help tackle rare diseases during the three-week campaign.

Illinois, Florida State, Penn and Fordham will hold their Touchdown Pledge Drive games this week.

NC State picked up a signature ACC win by going on the road and pulling off an upset of Florida State in Tallahassee.

The Wolfpack took care of the football with zero turnovers and had only six penalties. NC State piled up nearly 400 yards of offense on the Seminoles defense, led by 230 yards and two touchdowns from QB Ryan Finley.

Meet NC State University Chapter President and Wolfpack tight end Cole Cook in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Defending Ivy League co-champion UPenn moved to 2-0 by taking out winless Lehigh on the road in a wild affair that featured 112 total points and more than 1,150 total yards.

Quakers RB Karekin Brooks had a monster game, rushing for 268 yards on 29 yards with three touchdowns. The UPenn defense also forced three key turnovers.

Penn State remained the No. 4 ranked team in the country by escaping a night game at Kinnick Stadium with a road victory over Iowa by scoring on the very last play.

Trace McSorley hit Juwan Johnson with a 7-yard touchdown pass as time expired to move the Nittany Lions to 4-0. RB Saquon Barkley posted a school record 358 all-purpose yards on 43 touches to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

The other Ivy League defending co-champion, Princeton, is also off to a 2-0 starter after rolling past Lafayette. Tigers QB Chad Kanoff threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns. His 31 completions were spread out to 10 different receivers. The Princeton defense limited Lafayette to only 36 yards rushing.

Stony Brook won its third game in a row after dropping the season opener to nationally ranked USF on the road. The Seawolves picked up a huge conference victory by using a solid defensive effort to hold off Towson.

WR Ray Bolden had a big game with eight catches for 125 yards and a TD to compliment a 242-yard, two-touchdown outing from QB Joe Carbone.

Georgia Tech used its Touchdown Pledge Drive game to roll up more than 400 rushing yards and five touchdowns to overwhelm Pittsburgh. RB KirVonte Benson and QB TaQuon Marshall combined for 308 yards on the ground and accounted for four of the Yellow Jackets five touchdowns.

The Yellow Jackets defense limited the Panthers to less than 250 total yards and fewer than 40 yards on the ground.

Defending National Champion Clemson used 27 fourth-quarter points to pull away from Boston College for the Tigers’ Touchdown Pledge Drive game and improved to 4-0.

Notre Dame moved inside the Top 25 last week and validated that move by using three turnovers and 28 first-half points to erase Michigan State in East Lansing.

The Top-10 ranked Washington Huskies fell behind Colorado on the road 7-0 after one quarter before reeling off 24 of the next 27 points to seize control of their first Pac-12 game of the season.

Coming off a tough upset loss at home, Nebraska trailed Rutgers on the road early in the second half after a pick-six by the Scarlet Knights to grab a 17-14 lead. Rutgers never scored again, as the Huskers scored the final 13 points to get a much-needed victory. The Nebraska defense again played solid, limiting Rutgers to less than 200 total yards and surrendered only one touchdown.

UPDATED CHAPTER SCOREBOARD

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