The Tuesday 12: The Week's Best In North Carolina Football

Wayne HuntContributor INovember 11, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 19:  Robert Quinn #42 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after a sack with teammate Marvin Austin #9 against the East Carolina Pirates at Kenan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The smell of fall fairs has faded fast into November, a month where we salute those that have fought for our country and give thanks for the things that are plentiful and good in our lives.
In North Carolina, the first full week of November brought elections, the beginning of the NBA and college basketball seasons and the end of baseball. November also landed us squarely in the heart of the college football schedule.
So fittingly, this week's edition of The Tuesday 12 celebrates all things pigskin with twelve outstanding gridiron performances.

For the Record - Elon's Solid 1-2 Punch
Elon's Terrell Hudgins (Rocky Mount, NC/Rocky Mount HS) entered Saturday's game vs. Western Carolina needing 35 yards receiving to break NFL Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice's Division I FCS (Football Championship Series) record for career receiving yards. On the first play of the game, Hudgins hauled in a 44-yard pass from QB Scott Riddle to move into first on the all-time list. He finished with 153 yards on eight catches including a two-yard TD reception in the second quarter.
Earlier this season Hudgins broke Rice's career record for receptions and has now caught more passes than any player in Division I history (including Football Bowl Series, formerly Division I-A or Football Championship Series, formerly Division I-AA).
Hudgins record-breaking performance was matched by teammate Brandon Newsome who ran for 143 yards on 16 carries and scored four touchdowns in a 42-17 Phoenix win.

On the Defensive
North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn is in the midst of an All-American season and Saturday may have been his coming out party. Against Duke, Quinn spearheaded a Tar Heel defense that limited the Blue Devils to 12 yards rushing (including minus-21 yards from their running backs) and 113 yards through the air.

Quinn finished with seven tackles, including three sacks and another 1.5 tackles for loss. For good measure, he also added a forced fumble, six quarterback hurries and one pass deflection. Through nine games the sophomore lineman has 15.5 tackles for loss which ranks fifth nationally and has 10 sacks, sixth-most in the nation. Quinn has also forced four fumbles this year.

East Carolina LB Jeremy Chambliss and DB Van Eskridge did their best to help ECU to a second straight upset of Virginia Tech. Although the Conference USA East-leading Pirates didn't win, the senior defenders gave valiant efforts that helped hold the Hokies to 16 points (nearly 15 points below their season average) and 137 yards passing.

Chambliss had 10 tackles, including one sack, to go along with three tackles for loss. Eskridge (Shelby NC/Shelby HS) added 11 tackles and a forced fumble while breaking up two Tyrod Taylor passes.


Running Wild

Ryan Houston (Charlotte, NC/Butler) has been the short yardage go-to-guy for North Carolina all season. When Shaun Draughn went down with a season-ending injury on the first play of the game, Houston became the feature back. The junior running back must have liked his new found role as he amassed 164 yards on 37 carries and added another 15 yards receiving on three receptions


All-Around Good Guy

Freshman quarterback Seth Adams completed 17 of 22 throws for 225 yards and a touchdown while rushing for three more touchdowns in Greensboro College's 42-20 win over Methodist College. The Pride signal caller only carried the ball five times for Greensboro but scored from three yards out in the first, followed by a four yard scamper to the end zone in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Adams plunged in from a yard out to cap a 10-play, 64-yard drive.With his performance, Adams (Burlington, NC/Williams) won the USA South Rookie of the Week award for the second time this season.


Feast or Famine

N.C. State Wolfpack fans were treated to the highs and lows of stardom through three quarters of their 38-31 win over Maryland. QB Russell Wilson tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for another in the first three periods. But, Wilson was also intercepted three times and had one of those returned 70 yards for Maryland's second score of the game in the first quarter. Wilson finished with 343 yards passing on the day.


Bound for Playoff Glory

In 2007, the inaugural season for Braves football, UNC-Pembroke made their debut in the NCAA's Division II as one of twelve Independent programs in the country. A 9-1 campaign in their second season of competition opened eyes in the Division II world. A road upset of 24th-ranked Fayetteville State University to open the 2009 campaign signaled that the Braves had truly arrived.

After finishing off a second straight 9-1 season with a 42-14 win over North Greenville, UNC-Pembroke jumped up four spots in the national polls and are now ranked No. 15 in the nation by the Media Poll. In a six-game winning streak (including the last four on the road) to cap the season, the Braves outscored their opponents 232-43.

UNC-Pembroke enters the Division II playoffs for the first time as the fifth seed in Super Region 2 where they will take on Arkansas Tech, currently ranked No. 22 in the country. On the season the Braves are led by sophomore running back Travis Daniels (Washington, NC/Washington High), who has gained 980 yards rushing while scoring 10 touchdowns, and junior quarterback Cory Smith (Indian Trail, NC/Sun Valley HS) who has thrown for 1,662 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Joining UNC-Pembroke in the Division II playoffs will be Fayetteville State University , champions of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). The Broncos, sporting an 8-3 record after an 0-2 start on the season, will travel to California, Pennsylvania to battle third-seeded California University of Pennsylvania in Super Regional 1.

The winner will move on to face second-seeded Shippensburg University. FSU is led by senior linebacker Marcos Esquivel who has 98 tackles on the season including 7.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. Esquivel also has two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and has blocked a kick this season.


Game of the Week

The Southern Conference Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Series) playoffs are on the line Saturday when the No. 6 Elon Phoenix travel to Boone to take on the seventh-ranked Appalachian State Mountaineers. The Phoenix, despite coming into the game as the higher ranked squad, make the trek west as the upstart underdog, David battling the FCS-Goliath, ASU.

Both squads enter the game unbeaten in SoCon play. ASU has won four straight Southern Conference titles and carries an 18-game conference win streak into the matchup. Meanwhile, Elon has won six straight games overall and look to capture their first-ever Southern Conference title as well as assure themselves of the first Division I playoff appearance in school history.

The game will feature a slew of record breakers and will highlight the two top passers in Southern Conference history. ASU's Armanti Edwards enters the game with 9,324 yards passing while Elon's Scott Riddle (Ramseur, NC/Eastern Randolph) has thrown for 9,234 yards in his stellar career. Riddle is also the SoCon's all-time leader in completions (822) and his 75 touchdown throws leads Edwards' 72 scoring strikes atop the career list. Both players enter the game with a career completion percentage of 65.4 pct.

ASU has won 13 straight meetings with Elon including a 24-16 win last November. Appalachian enters the game ranked No. 1 in scoring offense and total offense while Elon is second in both categories. Defensively, Elon seems to have the upper edge. The Phoenix are No. 1 in the SoCon in scoring defense (12 points per game), rushing defense (77.1 yards per game), passing defense (131.1 ypg) and total defense (208.2) while ASU is fourth in the conference in scoring, passing and total defense and fifth in the league against the run.

The Carolina Sports Guy prediction for this game:

Elon 26 Appalachian St. 24