ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Nov. 5

broko logosSince 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Florida State at Clemson. This game could well determine if the Atlantic Coast Conference has a representative in the semifinals of the National College Football Playoff. If unbeaten Clemson successfully defends its home field against the once-beaten Seminoles, it has a clear shot to win the rest of its regular-season games against Syracuse (3-5), Wake Forest (3-6) and South Carolina (3-5) and would be a prohibitive favorite in the ACC title game. Lots of good defensive players in this game, so offenses could be neutralized.  Florida State ranks 14th in FBS in scoring defense (16.6 points a game allowed). Clemson is tied for 19th (17.6 points a game allowed).

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK 

Quenton Meeks

Quenton Meeks

Stanford cornerback Quenton Meeks robbed Washington State twice in the second half with interceptions — the first picks of his career — and helped the Cardinal stay unbeaten in Pac-12 Conference play. Making the plays that eventually led to Stanford’s winning field goal in a 30-28 comeback win earned Meeks the AutoNation National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 31, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

Meeks, a 6-2, 195-pound freshman from San Diego, Calif., picked off his first pass late in the third quarter at the WSU 31-yard line and returned it to the 17. Stanford scored four plays later to go ahead 27-22. His second steal came at the WSU 48, when he read a screen pass and secured the ball while being bear-hugged by a receiver. His return went to the 39 with 1:54 remaining. The Cardinal then drove to the 2, and kicked a 19-yard field goal for the win.

“I was praying for those plays to happen, and it just happened,” Meeks said. “We worked so hard as a unit, on defense, to learn about our opponent and what we were going to do. I knew exactly what they were doing, before they were doing it. That’s a credit to our coaching staff, our players — for taking the time and putting in the effort — and on myself for just pushing to be great.”

Meeks also had six tackles in the game, four of them unassisted and one for a three-yard loss.

MEMORABLE DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES FROM LAST WEEK 

Washington senior linebacker Travis Feeney: He led a Husky defense that held a high-powered Arizona offense to only three points, 38.8 points below its season average, and 330 yards of total offense, 205 yards below its season average. Feeney notched 11 tackles with nine coming solo, which included 4.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks, and forced two fumbles in the contest. This is Feeney’s second Defensive Player of the Week honor this season.

Central Michigan senior lineman Blake Serpa: He collected six tackles, four tackles for loss (two sacks) and two forced fumbles in a 14-6 victory at Akron. Serpa was part of a Chippewas’ defense that held Akron to six points and 25 yards rushing. In the first quarter, his sack and forced fumble for a loss of 18 yards stopped an Akron drive deep in Central Michigan territory. The Zips missed a long field goal on the next play.

Purdue senior cornerback Anthony Brown: He had three interceptions in the Boilermakers’ 55-45 victory over Nebraska. He is only the second Big Ten player to record three interceptions in a game since 2009 and first for Purdue since 1997. He added four tackles and one pass breakup.

Oklahoma senior end Charles Tapper: He recorded his first three sacks of the season and forced two fumbles in only three quarters in Oklahoma’s 62-7 blowout at Kansas. Tapper, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished with four tackles and was the catalyst for an OU defense that held the Jayhawks to 216 total yards (3.1 per play) and less than 1.0 yard per rush. The Sooners recovered both of Tapper’s forced fumbles and converted them into 10 points.

Miami junior linebacker Jermaine Grace: He was a one-man wrecking crew in the Hurricanes’ victory at Duke with a career-high 17 tackles, the most by a Hurricane player this season. He also had one tackle for loss and added a forced fumble. His nine unassisted tackles were a single-game career high.

SCOOBY WRIGHT III  UPDATE

2014 Bronko Nagurski winner Scooby Wright III of Arizona.

2014 Bronko Nagurski winner Scooby Wright III of Arizona.

Arizona’s junior linebacker Scooby Wright III, the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, went down with a left knee injury midway through the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 42-32 season-opening victory over Texas-San Antonio on Sept. 3. He had surgery to replace a torn lateral meniscus two days later. He returned for the first time in Arizona’s game against UCLA on Sept. 26. His left knee held up, but he suffered a right foot injury in the 56-30 loss to the Bruins. Wright finished with seven tackles in the UCLA game, five unassisted. He has missed the Wildcats’ last five games, basically eliminating himself from consideration for All-America honors again this season.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON A BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY CANDIDATE

Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers leads the country in total tackles, but misses Butkus’ 10-man semifinal list for the award for the nation’s best linebacker. CLICK HERE to read the story.

SPOTLIGHT ON A BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WINNER

Panthers’ Luke Kuechly, the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner from Boston College, stars for the pro team in the town where he received the award. CLICK HERE to read the story.

NCAA FBS INDIVIUDAL DEFENSIVE STATISTICS NATIONAL RANKINGS 

NCAA Current FBS Sack Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Solo Tackle Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Tackles for Loss Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Total Tackle Leaders

BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST

Click here to see the entire Watch List.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com or 214-870-6516.

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

ACN, Inc. Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including Home Phone Service, High Speed Internet, Wireless, Television, Home Security & Automation, Computer Support and Natural Gas and Electricity. ACN operates in 24 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Florida East Coast Railway FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.

Electrolux Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

Advertisements

ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Oct. 29

broko logosSince 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Notre Dame at Temple on Saturday. The Owls will be going for their first 8-0 start in school history in their last non-conference game of the season before finishing with four straight American Athletic Conference foes. If Temple could beat the Fighting Irish, the Owls would own their first home victory as a ranked team since 1941. Owls’ standout senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the NCAA’s active career tackles leader, leads a defense that has 12 interceptions in its first seven games. The Temple rush defense ranks sixth nationally (91.9 yards allowed a game) and scoring defense ranks eighth (14.6 points allowed a game). Notre Dame has lost only at Clemson this year. With a balanced offensive attack and a solid defense, led by tackle Sheldon Day and linebackers Jaylon Smith and Joe Schmidt, Notre Dame is the Owls’ stiffest test since its home-opener, a victory over Penn State.

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK 

USC linebacker Cameron Smith

USC linebacker Cameron Smith

USC linebacker Cameron Smith sparked the Trojans past undefeated and No. 3 Utah with three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown to break the game open just before halftime. Smith’s takeaways in a 42-24 win, plus a team-best nine tackles, earned him the AutoNation National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games the weekend of Oct. 24, as selected by the Football Writers Association on America.

Smith, a 6-2, 245-pound freshman from Roseville, Calif., had 122 return yards on his three interceptions, including the second one that he took into the Utah end zone from 54 yards out, giving USC at 28-14 lead 1:07 before halftime. His first pick and return of 41 yards set up USC’s game-tying touchdown early in the second quarter. He added a third return of 27 yards in the fourth quarter. The three interceptions were the most by a USC player since Jason Oliver had three in 1991 against Penn State.

Smith’s 62 tackles this season are the second-most in the nation among true freshmen. He currently leads USC in tackles and he could become the first true freshman to lead the Trojans in tackles in a season since records were first kept in 1954. Five of his nine tackles were unassisted on Saturday night.

MEMORABLE DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES FROM LAST WEEK 

Georgia Tech senior safety Jamal Golden: Golden led the defense with a career-high nine tackles, including seven unassisted stops and one for a loss of four yards. He intercepted a pass to swing the momentum in favor of the Yellow Jackets in the 22-16 upset of Florida State. Golden intercepted Everett Golson’s pass in the end zone with just more than eight minutes left in the game — the first Florida State turnover of the season. He also broke up one pass. Golden is tied with Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller and Duke’s Breon Borders as the ACC’s active career leader in interceptions.

Nevada senior end An Seau: He recorded four unassisted tackles, all sacks, in Nevada’s 30-20 victory over Hawai‘i. The four sacks are a career-high and were a half sack shy of the Wolf Pack single-game record of 4.5 sacks by Jorge Cordova against Washington in 2003. He is the ninth player in Mountain West Conference history to register four sacks in a game. The 4.0 sacks against the Rainbow Warriors tie for the most in a single game in the FBS this season (with Texas A&M’s Daeshon Hall and East Carolina’s Montese Overton). With less than two minutes remaining and Hawai’i at the Nevada 22-yard line, Seau tallied his fourth sack of the game, tripping the ball from Rainbow Warrior quarterback Max Wittek and recovering the fumble.

Northwestern senior end Dean Lowry: He set a school record with six tackles for loss, including two sacks, among his 10 total tackles and one pass breakup in Northwestern’s 30-28 victory at Nebraska. His six tackles for loss tied for the most by a Big Ten player in a single game since Rob Ninkovich tallied seven in 2005 and matched the sixth-most in conference history. He anchored a Wildcat defense that held Nebraska to 82 rushing yards

Mississippi senior safety Trae Elston:  He had a career-high five pass break-ups and led the Ole Miss defense in the 23-3 victory over Texas A&M. He also notched three tackles, one for loss.  He helped limit the Aggies without a touchdown and just 192 yards, fewest by a Rebel opponent this year and the Aggies’ lowest yardage total of the season.  The Rebel defense had three takeaways in the game and now has 16 on the year.

Buffalo senior linebacker Okezie Alozie: He had a pair of interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the Bulls’ 41-17 victory over Ohio. His first career interception went for a 22-yard touchdown and gave the Bulls a 21-10 lead. Later in the half, he had his second interception of the game and returned it 43 yards to set up a Buffalo field goal as time expired in the first half. Alozie also had three tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss.

Louisiana Tech senior cornerback Bryson Abraham: He recorded his third interception return for a touchdown this season Saturday in Louisiana Tech’s 45-16 victory over Middle Tennessee. In addition to his interception for a score, Abraham broke up two passes and made three total tackles. His three interceptions for a touchdown are the most by an FBS player this season.

Arkansas State junior safety Cody Brown: He tied his career high with seven tackles, posted one pass break-up and returned his third interception of the season 30 yards for a touchdown during Arkansas State’s 37-27 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.  Brown, who has now picked off a pass in three consecutive games, led an Arkansas State defense that limited Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Jalen Nixon to just 17-of-44 passing.  His final tackle of the night came at a crucial moment in the game. Trailing by just 10 points with over seven minutes to play, Louisiana-Lafayette drove all the way to the Arkansas State 33-yard line before Brown came up with a fourth-down tackle of running back Elijah McGuire.

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK:  

Notre Dame at Temple on Saturday. The Owls will be going for their first 8-0 start in school history in their last non-conference game of the season before finishing with four straight American Athletic Conference foes. If Temple could beat the Fighting Irish, the Owls would own their first home victory as a ranked team since 1941. Owls’ standout senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the NCAA’s active career tackles leader, leads a defense that has 12 interceptions in its first seven games. The Temple rush defense ranks sixth nationally (91.9 yards allowed a game) and scoring defense ranks eighth (14.6 points allowed a game). Notre Dame has lost only at Clemson this year. With a balanced offensive attack and a solid defense, led by tackle Sheldon Day and linebackers Jaylon Smith and Joe Schmidt, Notre Dame is the Owls’ stiffest test since its home-opener, a victory over Penn State.

SCOOBY WRIGHT III  UPDATE

2014 Bronko Nagurski winner Scooby Wright III of Arizona.

2014 Bronko Nagurski winner Scooby Wright III of Arizona.

Arizona’s junior linebacker Scooby Wright III, the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, went down with a left knee injury midway through the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 42-32 season-opening victory over Texas-San Antonio on Sept. 3. He had surgery to replace a torn lateral meniscus two days later. He returned for the first time in Arizona’s game against UCLA on Sept. 26. His left knee held up, but he suffered a right foot injury in the 56-30 loss to the Bruins. Wright finished with seven tackles in the UCLA game, five unassisted. He has missed the Wildcats’ last four games and will be out again for the Washington game on Saturday in Seattle, it appears.

 SPOTLIGHT ON A BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY CANDIDATE

Presenting Baylor’s top defensive lineman Andrew Billings. CLICK HERE for the story.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON A BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WINNER

Charles Woodson, 1997 Bronko Trophy Winner, still going strong in NFL. CLICK HERE for the story.

NCAA FBS INDIVIUDAL DEFENSIVE STATISTICS NATIONAL RANKINGS 

NCAA Current FBS Sack Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Solo Tackle Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Tackles for Loss Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Total Tackle Leaders

BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST

Click here to see the entire Watch List.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com or 214-870-6516.

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

ACN, Inc. Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including Home Phone Service, High Speed Internet, Wireless, Television, Home Security & Automation, Computer Support and Natural Gas and Electricity. ACN operates in 24 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Florida East Coast Railway FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.

Electrolux Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Oct. 22

broko logosSince 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Temple at East Carolina on Thursday night. The 22nd-ranked Owls (6-0) are in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 1979 and will receive a test on the road in Greenville, N.C. Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich has 52 tackles, three sacks, 6.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions and four pass breakups in six games and is the NCAA’s active career leader in total tackles (406). The Owls lead The American in scoring defense (14.7 points per game). East Carolina has won 13 of its last 14 home conference games. If Temple falls behind the Pirates in the first half, the Owls could have a rough night. ECU has won 26 straight games in which it has led at halftime. 

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF WEEK 

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Alabama’s defense rewrote part of the school’s record book, returning three interceptions for touchdowns and outscoring its offense in a 41-23 win at Texas A&M. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Eddie Jackson, teammates in the secondary, combined for four interceptions and all three scoring returns to earn the AutoNation FWAA Defensive Players of the Week honor for games the weekend of Oct. 17, as selected by the Football Writers Association on America.

Fitzpatrick, a 6-1, 195-pound freshman cornerback from Old Bridge, N.J., became the only player in Alabama history (in records they have back to 1948) to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game. His first pick and return of 33 yards to the end zone gave Alabama a 7-0 lead. His 55-yard interception and touchdown return provided the Crimson Tide’s final score, which put the game out of reach with 5:18 left.

Eddie Jackson

Eddie Jackson

Jackson, a 6-0, 194-pound junior safety from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., also had two interceptions in the game, and returned one of them 93 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Alabama with a 28-6 lead. The 93-yard return is the third-longest in school history. Jackson also had a 26-yard return on his other interception to the Texas A&M 28-yard line, setting up another score. Jackson’s 119 return yards are the most return yards in a game by an Alabama player.

The Crimson Tide’s 207 interception return yards is an Alabama single-game record, the third-most in SEC history and the most since Tennessee had 214 against South Carolina in 1971.

“The four interceptions were huge in the game,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Three scores on defense is unprecedented and probably some kind of record. Minkah (Fitzpatrick) having two is fantastic for a freshman. The thing I’m probably most proud of with our players is when we lost the momentum of the game in the second quarter, when we dominated the game in the first quarter, the players really responded well in the second half to go out there and compete.”

MEMORABLE DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES FROM LAST WEEK 

Utah State senior linebacker Kyler Fackrell:  He recorded a season-high 11 stops (four unassisted), including 2.5 tackles for loss, in Utah State’s 52-26 against then-ranked Boise State. He recovered two fumbles as part of eight takeaways by Utah State. He also forced a fumble and had two quarterback hurries. The Aggies scored 35 first-half points off Boise State turnovers. Fackrell helped anchor a Utah State defense that limited the Broncos to just 34 yards rushing. His first fumble recovery led to a late first-quarter touchdown that gave the Aggies a 17-3 lead. With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Fackrell forced a fumble that was recovered by Utah State. The Aggies scored one play later.

Oklahoma junior cornerback Zack Sanchez:   He intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown in Oklahoma’s 55-0 victory at Kansas State. Sanchez and the Oklahoma defense held the Wildcats to 110 total yards (fewest by an OU opponent on their home field since 2005) and just seven first downs. It was OU’s first shutout against a Big 12 opponent since 2010 and the first time K-State was held scoreless at home since 1991.  Sanchez recorded his first interception with 6:38 left in the second quarter. On K-State’s opening possession of the second half, the junior cornerback stepped in front of the intended receiver for his second interception and returned it 38 yards for a score. It was his third career interception returned for a touchdown, tying an OU record.

LSU junior end Lewis Neal: He shattered his career highs with 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss (including three sacks) in a 35-28 victory over Florida.  His three sacks rank as the second-most in a game in LSU history.   His 3.5 tackles for loss were the most in a game by a Tiger since defensive end Sam Montgomery had 3.5 at Auburn in 2012. Neal led an LSU defensive effort that limited Florida to 55 rushing yards on 31 carries, an average 1.8 yards per rush.  Neal ranks second in the SEC in sacks and seventh in tackles for a loss.

Michigan State senior end Shilique Calhoun: Recorded five tackles, including a career-best 3.5 tackles for loss, in Michigan State’s 27-23 victory over Michigan. His tackles for loss totaled 11 yards, including a pair of sacks for a loss of six yards. He was part of a Michigan State defense that forced the Wolverines to go three-and-out on six possessions. He earned his third career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor and second this season

Florida State sophomore linebacker Jacob Pugh:  He had two sacks and a game-high seven tackles in the Seminoles’ 41-21 victory over Louisville. Pugh led a defensive effort that recorded a season-high five sacks – FSU’s most since 2013 – and held Louisville to just 99 yards rushing. Pugh’s two sacks and seven total tackles also marked career highs.

Old Dominion junior linebacker TJ Ricks: He set a school record with 18 tackles and added two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in ODU’s 37-34 victory over Charlotte. Ricks notched his first sack of the season and forced a fumble that ODU recovered to thwart a Charlotte drive. He also recovered a fumble and returned it 28 yards to set up an Old Dominion field goal. The 18 tackles in a game are tied for the seventh most in the country this season.

Washington State junior safety Shalom Luani:  He recorded a game-high 11 tackles (eight unassisted) with two interceptions and a pass breakup in Washington State’s 52-31 victory over Oregon State. His returned his first interception 84 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the Cougars’ only points of the second half and Washington State’s first interception returned for a touchdown since 2013. Luani added a second interception on Oregon State’s next possession to seal the victory. He became the fourth Pac-12 player this season with two interceptions in a game and recorded the longest interception for a touchdown in conference play this season.

SCOOBY WRIGHT III  UPDATE

2014 Bronko Nagurski winner Scooby Wright III of Arizona.

2014 Bronko Nagurski winner Scooby Wright III of Arizona.

Arizona’s junior linebacker Scooby Wright III, the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, went down with a left knee injury midway through the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 42-32 season-opening victory over Texas-San Antonio on Sept. 3.  He had surgery to replace a torn lateral meniscus two days later. He returned for the first time in Arizona’s game against UCLA on Sept. 26.  His left knee held up, but he suffered a right foot injury in the 56-30 loss to the Bruins. Wright finished with seven tackles in the UCLA game, five unassisted. He has missed the Wildcats’ last three games and will be out again for the Washington State game on Saturday in Tucson, it appears.

SPOTLIGHT ON A BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY CANDIDATE

Penn State’s Carl Nassib states his case as one of the Big Ten’s top defensive players. CLICK HERE to read more.

SPOTLIGHT ON A BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WINNER

Texas’ Brian Orakpo claimed the Bronko Nagurski Trophy in 2008. He’s now with the Washington Redskins. CLICK HERE to read more.

NCAA FBS INDIVIUDAL DEFENSIVE STATISTICS NATIONAL RANKINGS 

NCAA Current FBS Sack Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Solo Tackle Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Tackles for Loss Leaders

NCAA Current FBS Total Tackle Leaders

BRONKO NAGURSKI WATCH LIST

Click here to see the entire Watch List.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com or 214-870-6516.

ABOUT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB AND ITS SPONSORS

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

ACN, Inc. Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including Home Phone Service, High Speed Internet, Wireless, Television, Home Security & Automation, Computer Support and Natural Gas and Electricity. ACN operates in 24 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

Florida East Coast Railway FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com.

Electrolux Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Oct. 15

broko logosSince 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Michigan State at Michigan:   An important Big Ten East Division game between two teams that are unbeaten in league play. Michigan’s defense has been rock solid and should present a severe challenge to Spartans quarterback Connor Cook. The Wolverines have outscored their opponents 97-0 in the last three games. They have not allowed a point in 41 straight defensive possessions. The last time Michigan posted three straight shutouts was in 1980. Michigan ranks No. 1 in the FBS in scoring defense (6.3 ppg allowed), No. 2 in total defense (181.3 yards allowed a game) and No. 3 in rushing defense (65.8 yards allowed a game). Michigan State has won six of the last seven games in the series.

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK 

Emmanuel Ogbah

Emmanuel Ogbah

Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah opened the Cowboys’ scoring with a fumble recovery in the end zone, then led OSU’s defense with eight tackles and a sack and two forced fumbles in a 33-26 overtime win at West Virginia. The performance earned Ogbah the AutoNation National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 10, as selected by the Football Writers Association on America.

The 6-4, 275-pound junior from Houston is the reigning Big 12 Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and showed why with his season-high tackle total, and he added a quarterback hurry. After his touchdown, the first of his two forced fumbles minutes later was recovered and set the Cowboys up at West Virginia’s 28-yard line. Oklahoma State scored five plays later for a 14-0 lead.

In the first quarter alone, Ogbah had three tackles, the fumble-recovery for a touchdown, a forced fumble, a half-sack and a half-tackle for loss. Six of Ogbah’s eight total tackles were unassisted. In Big 12 games, Ogbah leads the conference in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles. He is tied for fourth in the nation with 7.5 sacks and is eighth with 11 tackles for losses.

MEMORABLE DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES FROM LAST WEEK 

More…

ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Oct. 8

broko logos

Since 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Michigan at Northwestern:   Two of the top defenses in college football will be on display this Saturday in Ann Arbor when once-beaten Michigan plays host to unbeaten Northwestern. Northwestern ranks tops in the FBS in scoring defense (7.0 ppg) and Michigan is second (7.6 ppg). Michigan is No. 2 in the FBS in total defense (184.00 yards per game) and Northwestern is No. 5 (249.4 yards per game). Michigan ranks No. 2 in Team Passing Efficiency Defense (77.55) and Northwestern is No. 3 (83.35). After a season-opening loss (24-17) at Utah, Michigan has given up only 14 points in its last four games—all victories—and has posted back-to-back shutouts of BYU (31-0) and Maryland (28-0). Northwestern has registered shutouts of Eastern Illinois (41-0) and Minnesota (27-0).

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK 

Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker.

Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker.

Linebacker Eric Striker led Oklahoma with a career-high 12 tackles in a 44-24 win over previously unbeaten West Virginia. Striker tied a career high with three tackles for a loss (for 18 yards lost), which earned him the AutoNation National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 3, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

Striker, a 6-0, 222-pound senior from Seffner, Fla., also finished with a forced fumble and two sacks, extending his own Oklahoma record for career sacks by a linebacker to 18. The 2014 first-team All-Big 12 selection was a main force as Oklahoma forced five West Virginia turnovers. In the fourth quarter, Striker forced a WVU fumble that was returned 41 yards for a touchdown by Jordan Evans, a score that gave the Sooners a 17-point margin in the fourth quarter.

“Eric’s played well a lot. Some people don’t give you the opportunities (to rush),” Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said. “In this game, for instance, we have the lead so (West Virginia) had to throw more. I guarantee it’s more than they wanted to. So there’s more opportunity (for Eric). He was huge. He’s hard to block. A time or two he beats the guy, but they get a holding call off of a pass that was a first down and it ended up being called back — that would’ve been a sack had they not held him.”

MEMORABLE DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES FROM LAST WEEK 

More…

ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Oct. 1

broko logosSince 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Notre Dame at Clemson: The Fighting Irish head to Clemson for a key game that could determine the College Football Playoff fortunes of both teams in one of the best games of the weekend.  In the battle of unbeatens, Notre Dame boasts four members of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List: tackle Sheldon Day, defensive back KeiVarae Russell and linebackers Joe Schmidt and Jaylon Smith.  Smith leads Notre Dame with 29 total tackles and 4.5 tackles for 19 yards in losses, but Day is right behind with 4 for 32 yards in losses. Schmidt is second in total tackles at 28. Clemson averages 36.7 points a game, but is also 11th in scoring defense. Clemson needs a win to boost the ACC image nationally. Notre Dame, as an independent, has little margin for error to make the Top 4 in the CFP standings.

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK No. 3

Jeremy Cash, Duke

Jeremy Cash, Duke

Duke safety Jeremy Cash was a constant nemesis in the Georgia Tech backfield, coming up with a team-high 12 tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss as the Blue Devils upset the No. 20 Yellow Jackets, 34-20. Cash kept Georgia Tech off balance all day with four quarterback hurries, and his efforts earned him the AutoNation FWAA Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 26.

The 6-2, 210-pound redshirt senior from Miami also forced two fumbles as Duke held the nation’s second-best rushing offense to 173 rushing yards, 204 yards below their season average (377.0). Cash is tied for the national lead in forced fumbles (3) through four games, and is tied for fifth in the nation in tackles for loss (8.5, 30 yards lost). Over the past two games, the 2014 FWAA second team All-American has produced 6.5 tackles for loss.

Cash’s biggest play may have been his last in the game, as his second forced fumble came late in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Tech 39. Duke, which led 26-20, recovered and scored the clinching touchdown shortly thereafter to seal their ACC opener.

MEMORABLE DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES FROM LAST WEEK 

More…

ACN Bronko Nagurski Report — Sept. 10

broko logosSince 1995, the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have partnered to bring you the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner each year.  The Best Defensive Player in the entire country is announced at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte each December before sellout crowds, with this year’s 21st  straight banquet, sponsored by ACN and slated for Dec. 7. Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn will deliver the keynote speech.

Five finalists for the award, named after the legendary Minnesota Gopher and Chicago Bears lineman, will  appear on stage before the winner is announced by 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. During the evening, the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by East Coast Railways, will also be feted–Ohio State linebacker Randy Gradishar (1971-73).

Arizona’s junior linebacker  Scooby Wright III will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Nagurski Trophies after Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award after Ohio State linebacker James Laurinatis in 2006.

The weekly ACN Bronko Report will bring to you updates on what is happening on the defensive side of the ball during the 2015 season, top matchups and also provide links to stories on Bronko Nagurski Alumni and occasional feature stories about current top defensive players who might wind up in Charlotte the first week of December

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Michigan State end Shilique Calhoun and the Spartan defense vs. the Oregon offense will present one of the more interesting matchups during the college season when the offensive minded Ducks and Eastern Washington transfer quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. come to East Lansing. Last season, Michigan State dropped a 46-27 decision to eventual Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and the Ducks in Eugene.  The Spartans are fresh off a 37-24 victory at Western Michigan, in which the defense sacked the quarterback seven times for 39 yards in losses. Calhoun had one sack for minus-9 yards. Michigan State’s junior linebacker Riley Bullough had three sacks for 15 yards in losses . Adams was knocked out of Oregon’s 61-42 victory over Eastern Washington when he was hit.  He finished with 246 yards passing and a couple of touchdowns before he was hurt. He had 94 yards rushing. But he will be available against Michigan State, he says.

BRONKO NAGURSKI BANQUET NEWS

 Adam Zucker Selected Master of Ceremonies

RANDY GRADISHAR NAMED CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB’s 2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI LEGENDS AWARD RECIPIENT

Gus Malzahn named keynote speaker for 2015 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Reservation Form

AutoNation FWAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK 

West Virginia safety Karl Joseph picked off three passes and came up with four total turnovers as the Mountaineers rolled to a 44-0 season-opening win over Georgia Southern. Joseph’s domination on defense earned him the AutoNation FWAA Defensive Player of the Week honor.

More…