Courtesy of the Ohio Valley Conference
Jamal Young, RB â€¢ Sr., 5-7, 175 â€¢ Jackson, Miss. â€¢ Jacksonville State
Young rushed for a career-high 162 yards and three touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Gamecocks topped Eastern Illinois 28-23 in the league opener for Jacksonville State. Dating back to last season, it was the eighth-straight win for Jax State which is now the longest streak nationally (FCS). All three of Youngâ€™s scores came in the second quarter as Jacksonville State erased an early 9-0 deficit. The senior scored on a one-yard run with 10:38 left to put JSU on the board and then exploded 76 yards for a score to put the Gamecocks on top with 2:35 left in the quarter. Just one minute later Young scored on a five-yard rush to complete the hat trick. In the second quarter alone, Young carried the ball seven times for 116 yards and three touchdowns. It marked the first 100-yard rushing game by a JSU player this season and Young became the first Gamecock to rush for more than 150 yards in a game since the 2006 season.
Henry Harris, RB â€¢ Sr., 5-8, 185 â€¢ Memphis, Tenn. â€¢ Southeast Missouri
After winning the award last week, Harris had an even better game this week, rushing for a career-high 196 yards and a touchdown to lift Southeast Missouri State to a 23-21 victory over Tennessee Tech. With the win the Redhawks improved to 3-1 on the season and 2-0 in OVC play (only the second time the program has started 2-0 in OVC competition). The senior carried the ball 32 times and averaged 6.1 yards/carry en route to his third-straight 100-yard rushing game of the season. He became the first Southeast Missouri running back to achieve that feat since the 2007 season. Harris also had 14 receiving yards and 21 kickoff return yards to finish the contest with 231 all-purpose yards. Harris is averaging 195.0 all-purpose yards/game, which is the fourth-best mark among all FCS players.
Preston Brown, RB â€¢ Sr., 5-10, 191 â€¢ Antioch, Tenn. â€¢ Tennessee State
Brown carried the ball 28 times for 233 yards and a touchdown as Tennessee State ended an eight-game losing streak to Florida A&M, topping the Rattlers 29-18 in front of 54,202 fans (the largest crowd to see an FCS game this season) at the Atlanta Football Classic held at the Georgia Dome. The 233 yards is the fourth-best performance by a running back in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) so far this season. On the second play of the game, Brown took a handoff and raced 71 yards for a score to put the Tigers up 6-0 as TSU would never trail in the game. Brown averaged 8.3 yards/carry and reached the 100-yard plateau for the third-straight game and the 200-yard plateau for the second time in three weeks. The senior now has two of the top five rushing games in the FCS this season. Brown is averaging 153.75 rushing yards/game this season, the second-best mark nationally.
Others Nominated: Jimmy Potempa, Eastern Illinois; Mike Harris, Murray State; Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech.
Rico Council, LB â€¢ Jr., 6-0, 256 â€¢ Chattanooga, Tenn. â€¢ Tennessee State
Council led Tennessee State with seven tackles and two sacks in the Tigers 29-18 victory over Florida A&M in front of 54,202 fans at the Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome. Council also added a pass break-up and keyed a TSU defense that limited the Rattlers to just 24 net rushing yards and 199 yards of total offense.
Others Nominated: Nick Nasti, Eastern Illinois; A.J. Davis, Jacksonville State; Nathan Brinkley, Murray State; Dustin Dillehay, Tennessee Tech.
Dontrell Johnson, RS â€¢ Jr., 5-11, 180 â€¢ Moultrie, Ga. â€¢ Murray State
Returning punts for just the second time in his career, Johnson took a punt back 91 yards for a touchdown to put Murray State on top of UT Martin 7-0 just 1:49 into the game, giving the Racers a lead they would never relinquish. Johnson finished the game with three punt returns for 148 yards (49.3 yards/return), including a 35-yarder that setup the Racers third score of the first quarter and a 22-yarder later in the game.
Others Nominated: Ryan Key, Austin Peay; Coty Blanchard, Jacksonville State; Julian Mallory, Tennessee State.
Mike Harris, RB â€¢ Jr., 5-11, 200 â€¢ Broken Arrow, Okla. â€¢ Murray State
Harris carried the ball 17 times for 119 yards and a touchdown in Murray Stateâ€™s 52-16 victory over UT Martin on Saturday night. The junior also caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in amassing 164 all-purpose yards on the night. Harris caught a 25-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to put the Racers up 35-7 and added the final score of the night in the fourth quarter on a one-yard touchdown run. Harris was part of a Murray State attack that rushed for 211 yards and gained 443 yards overall in snapping a five-game losing streak dating back to last season.
Others Nominated: Brandon Large, Eastern Illinois; Coty Blanchard, Jacksonville State; Jamin Godfrey, Tennessee State; Jocques Crawford, Tennessee Tech; Dean Wathen, UT Martin.