Canadians Chuba Hubbard and Amen Ogbongbemiga and the remainder of the Oklahoma State Cowboys don’t have the luxury of time to lament their first loss of the season.
Texas knocked then No. 6-ranked Oklahoma State (4-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten last weekend with a 41-34 overtime victory. The Longhorns also won the turnover battle 4-0 in the contest and returned a blocked kick for a touchdown.
The 14th-ranked Cowboys face Kansas State (4-2) on Saturday in a key Big 12 contest. Kansas State is coming off a 37-10 loss last weekend to West Virginia.
Kansas State and Iowa State are tied for first in the conference with a 4-1 record, just ahead of Oklahoma State (3-1). The 17th-ranked Cyclones face Baylor (1-3) on Saturday.
The six-foot, 208-pound Hubbard, a redshirt junior from Sherwood Park, Alta., ran for a season-low 72 yards on 25 carries (2.9-yard average) against Texas. It marked the first time in four games Hubbard finished under 100 yards rushing, although he had four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown.
This season, Hubbard has run for 550 yards on 119 carries (4.6-yard average) with five TDs.
Ogbongbemiga, a six-foot-one, 235-pound redshirt senior linebacker from Calgary, had 10 tackles (seven solo, one for a loss) and a sack. On the season, he has 35 tackles (20 solo), 2.5 for a loss with 2.5 sacks. Ogbongbemiga was ranked No. 2 on CFL Scouting Bureau’s fall top-20 prospects list for the 2021 draft.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Illinois football is definitely a family affair for twin brothers Chase and Sydney Brown.
Chase Brown, a junior running back from London, Ont., ran for 73 yards on 11 carries in Illinois’ 31-24 loss to Purdue last weekend. The Fighting Illini (0-2) were missing 14 players for the contest due to injury and COVID-19 related illnesses.
The five-foot-11, 195-pound Brown has run for 85 yards on 14 carries this season as part of a rotation at running back. Brown began his NCAA career at Western Michigan in 2018, rushing for 352 yards on 71 carries (five-yard average) with 10 catches for 75 yards before transferring to Illinois.
Sydney Brown is a starting defensive back at Illinois and had seven tackles (three solo) versus Purdue. The six-foot, 200-pound junior has 16 tackles (11 solo) with a forced fumble this year and over 23 career contests has 159 tackles (87 solo), 4.5 tackles for a loss and four interceptions, three coming last season – including one returned for a TD.
Illinois faces Minnesota (0-2) on Saturday. Benjamin St-Juste, a six-foot-three, 205-pound defensive back from Montreal, starts for the Golden Gophers, having transferred to the school in the summer of 2019 after graduating from Michigan.
St-Juste, a 2019 All-Big 10 honourable mention, has five tackles (four solo) this season.
STREAKING LIBERTY: Six straight wins have earned Liberty University (6-0) national recognition with the final spot in The Associated Press Top-25 rankings. Kent Austin, a former CFL player, coach and executive, is the school’s co-offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Austin joined Liberty University in 2019 after six seasons with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2013-18) as head coach, GM, vice-president of football operations and a consultant. He guided the Ticats to consecutive Grey Cup appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Austin spent 10 seasons as a CFL quarterback with Saskatchewan, B.C., Toronto and Winnipeg (1987-96), winning Grey Cups with the Riders (‘89) and Lions (‘94). He began his coaching career with the Ottawa Renegades in ‘03 as quarterbacks coach.
Austin also won Grey Cups as Toronto’s offensive co-ordinator (2004) and Saskatchewan’s head coach (2007). The 57-year-old native of Natick, Mass., left the Riders to become the offensive co-ordinator at Ole Miss, his alma mater (2008-09), before serving as head coach at Cornell (2010-12).
Liberty takes on Virginia Tech (4-2) on Saturday.
ELECTION DAY: The NCAA gave football players the day off Tuesday for the American presidential election. Although Patrice Rene, a defensive back with the North Carolina Tarheels, is an Ottawa native, he says he’s kept up with the U.S. political process.
“First, I think it’s a great opportunity, a great thing the NCAA did, giving everybody the opportunity to go out there and vote and bring awareness to the situation, what’s going on,” Rene told Sports Illustrated this week. “Me, personally, I definitely became more engaged.
“Unfortunately, I can’t vote, because I’m not an American citizen, but I’m definitely aware of what’s going on. I’m just trying to educate myself as best as I can.”
The six-foot-three, 205-pound Rene has registered 11 tackles (seven solo), a quarterback hurry and two pass breakups in four games this season. Rene has appeared in 39 career contests, recording 86 tackles (61 solo), two tackles for a loss with two interceptions.
Rene played in two contests last year, starting one, before suffering season-ending knee injury.
TOUGH TASK: West Virginia (4-2) chases its first road win of the year Saturday when it visits Texas (4-2). Both teams were victorious last week, with the Mountaineers downing Kansas State 37-10 while the Longhorns beat Oklahoma State 41-34 in overtime.
Two Canadians figured in West Virginia’s victory last weekend.
Alonzo Addae, a redshirt senior defensive back from Pickering, Ont., had eight tackles (five solo), giving the five-foot-11, 189-pound Addae 43 tackles (24 solo) this season along with two interceptions.
Addae began his collegiate career at New Hampshire in 2016 before transferring to West Virginia in 2019.
Freshman Akheem Mesidor, a six-foot-two, 268-pound defensive end from Ottawa, registered two tackles (one solo and one for a five-yard loss). He has 19 tackles (11 solo) with 5.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks this season.
EXTRA POINTS: Terrell Jana, a six-foot, 200-pound senior receiver from Vancouver, had three catches for 36 yards for Virginia (2-4) in last weekend’s 44-41 win over North Carolina. A team captain, Jana is Virginia’s second-leading receiver with 28 catches for 339 yards and a touchdown. In 45 career games, he has 115 catches for 1,397 yards (12.1-yard average) with five TDs. Virginia’s game Saturday versus Louisville was rescheduled to Nov. 14 after nine Cardinals players missed the team’s 42-25 loss last weekend to Virginia Tech due to COVID-19 related issues …Linebacker Tyrell Richards, a redshirt junior from Brampton, Ont., had five tackles (three solo, 1.5 for a loss) and a sack for Syracuse (1-6) in a 38-14 loss to Wake Forest. The six-foot-four, 234-pound Richards has 20 tackles (10 solo, 3.5 for a loss) this season with two sacks, a forced fumble and blocked kick. Geoff Cantin-Arku, a sophomore middle linebacker from Levis, Que., recorded four tackles (three solo) against Wake Forest and has 45 tackles (36 solo), two for a loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this season. Matthew Bergeron, a six-foot-four, 312-pound sophomore left tackle from Victoriaville, Que., is a starter for Syracuse, which plays Boston College (4-3) on Saturday … Alex Dumais, a six-foot-four, 272-pound sophomore defensive lineman from Montreal, had a solo tackle for Fresno State (1-1) in a 38-17 win over Colorado State … Junior linebacker Jesse Luketa of Ottawa, registered eight tackles (four solo) for Penn State (0-2) in a 38-25 loss to Ohio State (2-0). The criminology major has 11 tackles (six solo) this season. Jonathan Sutherland, a five-foot-11, 202-pound redshirt junior safety also from Ottawa, had a tackle for the Nittany Lions. Sutherland has two tackles this season. Last year, he blocked two punts in a game versus Idaho, marking the first time Penn State had blocked two punts in a game since 2000 versus Louisiana Tech.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press