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

Florida State senior walk-on wide receiver Justin Motlow leaves his mark with touchdown catch and makes history to earn Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week


MOTLOWA walk-on wide receiver from Florida State made history this past Saturday on Senior Day at Doak Campbell Stadium.

There were actually two watershed moments for Seminoles WR Justin Motlow. After four years of grinding, he made the first touchdown catch of his career in the fourth quarter. And the former Tampa Catholic standout also became the first member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to play for Florida State.

Motlow’s combination of perseverance, that was finally rewarded with a touchdown grab, and becoming a part of FSU football history earns him the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

The 12-yard crisp flag route Motlow ran was something he will never forget. As he came out of his break the ball from quarterback JJ Cosentino was in the air.

“When I came out of my break, time just stood still,” Motlow said. “I saw the ball in the air and I just knew this was my big opportunity and I knew I wasn’t going to drop it for anything. Made the play and that was the most excited I’ve ever been.”

In the midst of a blowout victory over Delaware State, the Seminoles bench exploded when Motlow scored – not because FSU had added to its point total but because of who scored.

“Motlow is one of the guys, he’s always happy,” FSU cornerback Tarvarus McFadden said. “You’ll never catch Motlow down. So when you see Motlow make a play like that and everybody know what Motlow is capable of, it just means a lot to the team.”

The touchdown catch was something Motlow said he will never forget. But he also understands the historical significance of his first appearance for FSU.

“That is just the most amazing honor you could ever feel,” Motlow said. “I am so proud to represent my tribe. The first member to score a touchdown, let alone just play, it’s an exhilarating feeling. It makes me so happy.”

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

 

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

Syracuse Chapter President and QB Zack Mahoney delivers on short notice with 384-yard outing to earn Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week


Photo by Wasim AhmadIf nothing else, when you are the back-up to Syracuse starter Eric Dungey, you better be ready to play on short notice at all times.

Orange No. 2 signal caller Zack Mahoney has served in that role for the better part of two full seasons, and the 14-minute notice Mahoney received Saturday that he would start did not affect the senior at all.

Mahoney, the President of the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, under center does mean the Orange change their offensive mindset. Mahoney fired 60 passes, completing 33 of them for 384 yards and three touchdowns to claim the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week honor.

In a wild ACC game at the Carrier Dome that featured more than 1,300 yards of total offense, Syracuse could not keep pace with the Demon Deacons down the stretch and fell 64-43. The Orange led 43-40 going into the final 15 minutes.

This is the third season Mahoney has been the No. 2 quarterback option for Syracuse. He’s attempted nearly 300 passes, thrown for almost 2,000 yards and has 18 career touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

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

 

 

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

Penn QB Will Fischer-Colbrie delivers in the clutch in come-from-behind victory over rival Princeton to earn Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week


FISCHER-COLBRIEPenn battled through a four-game losing streak during the middle of its season, but the defending Ivy League co-champions have breathed new life into their season with back-to-back victories.

The latest win was a dramatic come-from-behind win over bitter rival Princeton on homecoming at Franklin Field.

Leading most of the way, the Quakers fell behind for the first time all game in the final five minutes. Senior quarterback Will Fischer-Colbrie completed his best game of the season by tossing a 15-yard touchdown pass to claim a dramatic 38-35 victory over the Tigers.

Fischer-Colbrie, a transfer from Colorado, completed 15 of his 18 passes – including 3-of-3 for 46 yards on the final drive – for 202 yards with a pair of touchdowns to claim the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week honor.

Penn looked in control of this one, leading by 10 points with less than 10 minutes to play. But the Tigers scored 14 quick points and took a 35-31 lead with 4:16 to play.

Fischer-Colbrie went over 1,000 yards passing for the season against the Tigers and in eight games is completing 64 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

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

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.