Last week, something happened in this country that was unforeseen and downright shocking. It was deplorable, regrettable and made everyone in America sick to their collective stomachs. I’m talking, of course, about the lack of a Helmet Stickers column on Tuesday.
This isn’t something I take lightly, but, in the life of a volunteer blogger, the job that pays the bills often gets in the way. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. Please take the following helmet stickers article as a token of my apology.
RB Fabian Johnson, WMU - 19 carries for 125 yards, TD vs Kent State
Call me a homer, but I want to take the time to give Johnson the credit he deserves. If there’s a performance from last week that perfectly highlights the beliefs of a program, this is it. Johnson is the third down back in the WMU offense, specifically the third and mid to long back. Basically, Johnson checking into the game is a dead give away to the other team, “hey, we’re going to pass the ball now.” With the lingering injury to Jamauri Bogan and LeVante Bellamy’s absence from the backfield, combined with playing in a monsoon, the Broncos needed to rely on Johnson in relief of Jarvion Franklin, and all he did was have a career day. P.J. Fleck wasn’t messing around when he talked about building depth.
RB Jordan Johnson, Buffalo - 29 carries for 100 yards, TD vs Miami
LB Junior McMullen, Miami - 10 tackles, 4 solo, 1TFL vs Buffalo
QB Nick Holley, Kent State - 22 carries for 141 yards, TD vs WMU
RB Jarvion Franklin, WMU - 31 carries for 134 yards, TD vs Kent State
CB Najee Murray, Kent State - 6 tackles, fumble return for TD vs WMU
RB Donovan Wilson, BGSU - 21 carries for 119 yards, TD vs Akron
WR Jerome Lane, Akron - 5 catches for 97 yards, TD vs Bowling Green
LB Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron - 10 tackles, 8 solo, 2 sacks, 3TFL vs BGSU
You’ve probably overlooked Ulysees Gilbert III from Akron considering how poor the defense has played as a whole, but no blame can be placed on the sophomore linebacker. He leads the MAC in total tackles with 116, 63 of which are solo - good for 10.5 total tackles per game. He’s also fourth in the conference in tackles for loss with 11.5, a total boosted by his performance this week against Bowling Green. Gilbert will assuredly receive All-MAC honors, and he deserves as much.
RB Ian Eriksen, EMU - 25 carries for 109 yards, 2TD vs Ball State
RB Fed Coppet, BGSU - 16 carries for 116 yards, 2TD vs Akron
DB Jamari Bozeman, BGSU - 2 INT vs Akron
DB Marcus Milton, BGSU - 76 yard fumble recovery for TD vs Akron
QB Logan Woodside, Toledo - 23/33 Passing for 286 yards, 3TD vs NIU
RB Kareem Hunt, Toledo - 19 carries for 122 yards, TD vs NIU
WR Kenny Golladay, NIU - 14 catches for 149 yards, TD vs Toledo
DB De’Andre Montgomery, Miami - 20 yard INT TD, 92 yard fumble return TD vs Buffalo
Montgomery’s pick six against the Bulls means he’s your new interception leader in the conference with a few games to play. His two touchdown day reminds me of the type of year Demetrius Monday had for Kent State in 2015, and his 10 total passes defended are eighth in the conference.
LB Nick Cuthbert, Kent State - 19 tackles, 11 solo, TFL vs WMU
When a team only passes the ball 13 times in a game, you’re in for a long night at the linebacker position. Cuthbert was up to the challenge, bringing in 11 ball carriers by himself, and assisting on eight more tackles to bring his season total to 61. Think about that, before Tuesday night, Cuthbert had just 42 tackles and was not even in the top 50 conference wide in that category. Now? He sits at 31st.
QB Brogan Roback, EMU - 37/71 passing for 468 yards, 3TD vs Ball State
What’s behind EMU’s rise in 2016? Part of it is the vast improvement on defense, but the other part is the explosive play of Brogan Roback. Chris Creighton must have a lot of trust in junior quarterback to have him throw 71 passes in a game. Roback led the Eagles to victory in a thriller over Ball State, and he now sits at third in the MAC in passing yards per game.
WR Jon’Vea Johnson, Toledo - 6 catches for 129 yards, TD vs NIU
Johnson continues to impress with the big play, and could be a huge reason the Rockets upset Western Michigan and win a MAC championship. Johnson’s overall numbers aren’t at the levels set by Corey Davis and Kenny Golladay, but it’s his average yards per catch that really jump off the page. 20.6 yards per catch leads the Rockets and the conference in receiving average. It’s scary to think that just a sophomore, Johnson’s ceiling could be even higher.