We're nearing the halfway point of the college football season, and, as expected, some local players showed their stuff in Week 6.
West Virginia-Syracuse featured a reunion of sorts, as three of the game's players were teammates in last year's Crab Bowl, a high school all-star game that pits a team of Baltimore-area standouts against a squad of those from the Washington area. West Virginia's Tavon Austin (Dunbar) and Terence Garvin (Loyola) and Syracuse's Alec Lemon (Arundel) played for the Baltimore team in that game, which featured an 81-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Lemon to Austin, who are good friends off the field.
This game between the Mountaineers and Orange probably wasn't as memorable, as West Virginia rolled to a 34-13 road victory. Austin showed his versatility, playing on both offense and defense. He caught three passes for 27 yards, his longest reception going for a gain of 15 yards on first-and-10 in the second quarter. In that same period, with the Mountaineers holding a 27-0 lead, he got onto the field on defense and made a solo stop after a 14-yard Syracuse completion on first-and-10. Garvin, a defensive back, assisted on one tackle. Lemon started at wide receiver and was held without a catch, though he was thrown to on three occasions. Sophomore Nick Speller (Edmondson) started at left tackle for the Orange, and senior tight end Andrew Robinson (Calvert Hall) played but did not record any statistics.
Starting weak-side linebacker Zach Brown (Wilde Lake) enjoyed a strong game in North Carolina's 42-12 win over visiting Georgia Southern. The sophomore intercepted Eagles quarterback Lee Chapple at the Georgia Southern 22-yard line in the second quarter, and the Tar Heels ended up scoring a touchdown on the ensuing drive that put them ahead 28-7. Brown also made six tackles (five solo, one assist), including a stop of Eagles running back Adam Urbano for no gain on first-and-goal in the third quarter. Georgia Southern eventually had to settle for a field goal on the drive.
The game got away from Maryland quickly in the Terps' 42-32 loss to host Wake Forest, but wide receiver LaQuan Williams (Poly) did what he could to try to pull them back into it. The junior caught one pass for 5 yards on third-and-3 in the fourth quarter, moving the chains during a drive on which Maryland eventually scored a touchdown that made the score 42-32. Williams was targeted on four other passes, but they all resulted in incompletions. Terps starting senior strong safety Jamari McCollough (Randallstown) made four tackles (three solo, one assist) in the game, including a stop of Demon Deacons running back Brandon Pendergrass on fourth-and-2 from the Maryland 26-yard line in the final quarter. Starting nose tackle A.J. Francis, a redshirt freshman and Severn native, made two tackles (one solo, one assist). For Wake, redshirt freshman linebacker Joey Ehrmann (Gilman) made one solo tackle, bringing down Maryland quarterback Chris Turner after a 3-yard gain on second-and-10 in the fourth quarter.
Junior defensive back Kwame Johnson (Parkville) came up with a big turnover early in Temple's 24-19 home victory over Ball State. With the Cardinals moving down the field, Owls defensive tackle Andre Neblett forced Ball State's MiQuale Lewis to cough up the ball on a third-and-2 carry during the game's opening drive. Johnson scooped it up and returned it 5 yards to the Temple 39. The Owls went on to kick a field goal that pushed them ahead 3-0. Johnson also made two tackles (one solo, one assist). Sophomore offensive linemen Pat and Sean Boyle, both Calvert Hall grads, saw action for the Owls.
Wide receiver Shaky Smithson (Douglass) made an early impact in Utah's 24-17 road win over Colorado State. The junior, a transfer from East Los Angeles Community College, returned the opening kickoff 28 yards and had a 22-yard rush on the ensuing drive, which led to a field goal that gave the Utes a 3-0 lead. Smithson did, however, fumble on a rush for a loss of 2 yards on the possession, but Utah recovered. Overall, Smithson carried the ball four times for 24 yards.
Starting free safety Mike Newton (Calvert Hall) showed his value isn't just in run support during Buffalo's 40-3 rout of Gardner-Webb in the Bulls' Homecoming game. Buffalo hasn't exactly been stout against the run this season, allowing opponents to average 151.8 rushing yards through its first five games. As such, Newton has spent a lot of time making tackles on running plays. Against the Runnin' Bulldogs, however, the senior was a factor in pass defense, breaking up three throws. Newton also made two solo tackles. Senior Dane Robinson (Calvert Hall) started at defensive tackle and assisted on one stop.
Freshman slotback Lonnie Liggins (Hereford) had two carries for 7 yards in host Army's 16-13 victory over Vanderbilt. His longest rush was a gain of 4 on second-and-9 that helped the Black Knights to a second-quarter field goal and a 3-0 lead. Junior linebacker Jacob Bohn (Mount St. Joseph) played for Army but recorded no statistics.
Virginia running back Raynard Horne (Overlea) made his presence felt on special teams as the Cavaliers dismantled Indiana, 47-7, at home. The junior made four tackles (two solo, two assists) on kickoff coverage.
Freshman linebacker Horace Miller (Dunbar) made one solo tackle as Louisville edged visiting Southern Miss, 25-23, on the strength of a field goal that came with 30 seconds left in the game.
Junior cornerback Shelton McCullough (Randallstown) assisted on a tackle on the second-to-last play of Penn State's 52-3 rout of visiting Eastern Illinois.
Connecticut's Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) did not start for the first time this season in the Huskies' 24-21 defeat at the hands of host Pittsburgh. The redshirt freshman did get onto the field but recorded no statistics.
Junior wide-out Sheldon Bell (City) played in Duke's surprising 49-28 road victory over North Carolina State but did not record any statistics.
With Navy crushing host Rice, 63-14, backup quarterback Greg Zingler (Severna Park) got some time under center. The senior rushed once for a loss of 2 yards on third-and-5 in the fourth quarter.
Senior wide receiver Andrew DePaola (Hereford) saw action in Rutgers' 42-0 home win over Texas Southern, recording no statistics.