NCF Nation: LaDarrius Madden

Non-AQ Players of the Week

September, 19, 2011
Here are the non-AQ players of the week, as selected by each conference. The independent players of the week are selected by a national media panel.

Conference USA

Offense: Case Keenum, QB, Houston. Ryan Griffin, QB, Tulane. Keenum led the biggest comeback in school history in a 35-34 win at Louisiana Tech, completing 25-of-40 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns to overcome a 27-point third quarter deficit. Griffin completed his first 11 passes for 164 yards and finished the game 22-of-26 for 281 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns in a 49-10 win over UAB.

Defense: Korey Williams, LB, Southern Miss. Williams led the Golden Eagles with 10 tackles, seven of which were solo stops, in a 52-6 win over Southeastern Louisiana. He added one tackle for loss and an interception return for a touchdown.

Special teams: Nick Adams, KR, UAB. Adams set a UAB single-game record with 194 kick return yards and took a Tulane kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown in a loss to Tulane.


Offense: Trent Steelman, QB, Army. Had 28 carries for 108 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-14 win over Northwestern.

Defense: Robert Blanton, CB, Notre Dame. Grabbed an interception deep in Notre Dame territory and returned it 82 yards, setting up a game-sealing field goal for the Fighting Irish over Michigan State.

Special teams: George Atkinson III, RB/KR, Notre Dame. Had 142 yards on four kickoff returns, including an 89-yard touchdown, in a 31-13 home win over No. 15 Michigan State. Atkinson is the first Fighting Irish freshman to return a kickoff for a score since Raghib Ismail in 1988.


East Division
Offense: Tyler Tettleton, QB, Ohio.
Threw for a career-high 285 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bobcats to a 44-7 victory over Marshall and improve to 3-0 on the year -- its best start to a season since 1976. He also also rushed for a touchdown and a season-best 53 yards.

Defense: Dwayne Woods, LB, Bowling Green. Had a game-high 12 tackles and two tackles for loss in the Falcons’ 28-27 loss to Wyoming.

Special Teams: Matt Weller, K, Ohio. Was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals, connecting from 20, 21 and 34 yards and was 5-for-5 in extra-point attempts in a win over Marshall.

West Division
Offense: Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan.
Had 13 catches for a season-high 177 yards in a 44-14 win over Central Michigan. White had two touchdowns and a career-best 241 all-purpose yards.

Defense: Travis Freeman, LB, Ball State. Had a season-high 12 tackles in a 28-25 victory over Buffalo.

Special Teams: John Potter, K, Western Michigan. Scored for 14 points in a 44-14 win over Central Michigan with five extra points and a career-matching three field goals (33, 43, 43).

Mountain West

Offense: Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State. Moore went 32-of-42 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns. The 32 completions are a single-game career high for Moore, while the five touchdowns tied his career high. Hillman rushed for 191 yards on a career-high 32 carries and tied his career-high with four touchdowns in a 42-24 win over Washington State.

Defense: Larry Parker, DB, San Diego State. Josh Biezuns, DL, Wyoming. Parker helped forced three turnovers, including two fourth-quarter interceptions, as the Aztecs beat Washington State 42-24. The two interceptions were the first two of his career. Biezuns forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, had two sacks for 15 yards and combined with fellow senior defensive lineman Gabe Knapton to block the potential game-tying extra-point attempts with 3 seconds left as Wyoming beat Bowling Green 28-27.

Special teams: Greg McCoy, DB, TCU. Returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in the second half, setting the tone for TCU to score 14 points in the opening 4:18 of the third quarter in its 38-17 win over ULM.

Sun Belt

Offense: Corey Robinson, QB, Troy. Set new career highs for pass attempts (63), completions (36) and rushing yards (33) in a loss to Arkansas. His 373 passing yards were the third most of his career.

Defense: Isame Faciane, DT, FIU. LaDarrius Madden, DB, Troy. Faciane had arguably the biggest play of the game against UCF when he picked up a fumble by Jeff Godfrey and returned it 51 yards for a game-tying touchdown in the win over the Knights. Madden had six total tackles and a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Special Teams: Melvin White, DB, Louisiana. Made the momentum turning play against Nicholls State with a 68-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown. The Cajuns outscored the Colonels 24-7 after the blocked field goal.


Offense: Mike Ball, RB, Nevada. Rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns in Nevada’s 17-14 win at San Jose State.

Defense: Logan Harrell, DT, Fresno State. Recorded a career-high 11 tackles and tied his career-high with 4.5 tackles for a loss of 23 yards in a 27-22 win over North Dakota.

Special teams: Jake Hurst, P, Nevada. Punted six times for 259 yards, A 43.2-yard average, in the win over San Jose State. He had a long of 49 yards and placed two inside the 20-yard line.

Troy spring wrap

May, 10, 2011
2010 overall record: 8-5

2010 conference record: 6-2, co-champs

Returning starters

Offense: 4, defense 8, punter/kicker 2

Top returners

QB Corey Robinson, DE Jonathan Massaquoi, LB Xavier Lamb, S LaDarrius Madden

Key losses

WR Jerrel Jernigan, WR TeBiarus Gill, RB DuJuan Harris, DE Mario Addison

2010 statistical leaders (* denotes returners)

Rushing: Shawn Southward (643 yards, 7 TDs)

Passing: Robinson * (321-of-505 for 3,726 yards, 28 TDs, 15 INT)

Receiving: Jernigan (822 yards, 6 TDs)

Tackles: Lamb* (91)

Sacks: Massaquoi* (13.5)

Interceptions: Jimmie Anderson*, Madden* (three each)

Spring Answers

1. Corey Johnson did well. The junior college transfer appears to be the heir apparent to Jernigan, one of the best players in school history. Coach Larry Blakeney said of Johnson, “It looks like he could give us a burst down the middle.”

2. Depth in the defensive backfield. Blakeney says he is deeper at safety and cornerback than he has ever been, and really was impressed with the springs Brynden Trawick and Angelo Hadley, two junior college transfers who could have an immediate impact. That should help the Trojans improve their pass defense, which ranked No. 100 nationally.

3. More running. Even though Harris is gone, Blakeney is hopeful about his running back situation with the return of Southward and Chris Anderson. He praised D.J. Taylor as well, a former walk-on now on scholarship. He also mentioned that Gavin Ellis and Jim Teknipp give Troy options at tight end, because both can help with the power running game and can also get down field.

Fall Questions

1. Offensive production. Troy lost its top three receivers in Jernigan, Gill and Jason Bruce. They accounted for over half of the team’s receiving yards. Seeing Johnson step up was a positive. Jamel Johnson had a good spring, and Chip Reeves is going to be counted on as well. No question Troy needs new faces to step up to fill the big void.

2. Replacing Addison. It appears John Robles is in the lead to replace Addison, who started opposite Massaquoi. R.J. Roberts also competed with Robles in the spring, and both will have a lot of work to do to make up for the 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss that Addison had last season.

3. Better defense. Troy has plenty of returning starters and players returning. Is that a good sign because they have experience, or a bad sign because this is a unit that ranked No. 89 in the nation last season? Blakeney has stressed playing better defense this year. With depth at linebacker and in the secondary, that is possible.