Former Kansas Jayhawks quarterback DAYNE CRIST had a lot to prove in today’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson. He came out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California (a suburb of Los Angeles) in 2008 as the fifth rated quarterback in the nation. He was seen as the next big deal at Notre Dame University (ND). That didn’t work out (lost his starting job, dealt with injuries, and had three so-so or background years at ND) and he had a forgettable 2012 senior season at Kansas. Meanwhile as for the NFLPA game, he accounted for two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing) and he orchestrated one crisp 84 yard scoring drive as his National team used his leadership and myriad offensive turnovers by the America team to win 34-0.
With just under 9:35 left in the first quarter, the National team saw their second offensive drive of the game so far, end on a JORDAN CAMPBELL tackle for loss of Miami (Florida) running back MIKE JAMES to force a 4th and 2 punt.
America took over at their own 22 yard line after the punt. But on 3rd and 5, quarterback JORDAN RODGERS threw a potential first down pass to GREG JENKINS, but the projected professional receiver dropped the pass versus National cornerback DEMETRIUS MCCRAY which forced a 4th and 5 punt.
Later the National team took over at their own 16 yard line. Later in this drive on 3rd and 10, Crist fired a first down 16 yard completion to Sam Houston State receiver TREY DILLER that of course went for a first down to the National 32 yard line. Then with 12:12 left in the second quarter on this same drive, Crist made a slick and cool fake handoff to running back ERIC STEPHENS JR., then Crist proceeded to run to his left and sloughed into the end zone for a 1 yard touchdown run. South Carolina placekicker ADAM YATES used his strong right leg to boom the extra point through the uprights for a 7-0 National lead.
After the kickoff, America took over at their own 20. On 1st and 10, Jenkins came in at quarterback and threw an incompletion to Nebraska stud tight end BEN COTTON, who was desperately and heavily covered by UCLA outside linebacker DAMIEN HOLMES. The drive concluded when an errant snap escaped Jenkins’ grasp and later rolled all the way to the America 3 yard line, where Nevada right tackle JEFF NADY recovered the ball.
Then with 7:25 left in the half, Crist fired a touchdown pass to Rice tight end LUKE WILSON (no relation to the actor of the same name) who beat Cincinnati’s DOMINIQUE BATTLE badly to the ball and to the corner of the end zone. Yates came in for the extra point and an eventual 14-0 advantage.
Then with 49 seconds left in the half, National got on the board again with a 41 yard field goal by Yates. That field goal came about because of a holding penalty on the National team and game-long pest [defensive tackle] MIKE PURCELL of Wyoming, who hurried Fordham quarterback RYAN HIGGINS into an incompletion on third down.
In the third quarter, National linebacker BRUCE TAYLOR (Virginia Tech) added to the American teams’ misery with an interception that he took the America 6 yard line. But Taylor’s efforts were wasted per se (the drive didn’t end in a touchdown, but Taylor’s draft stock and visibilty went up because of his interception) as on 3rd and goal, Washington State quarterback JEFF TUEL was sacked by Texas Christian defensive tackle JEREMY COLEMAN for about an 8 yard loss to force a 40 yard field goal by Yates. Now it was 20-0 National.
Then with just seven minutes left in the third quarter, Norfolk State receiver XAVIER BOYCE secured a 5 yard touchdown pass on a shallow crossing route near the beginning of the end zone. Yates came on for his customary extra point and it was now 27-0.
In the fourth quarter, Louisiana Tech’s exciting receiver MYLES WHITE, gained 21 yards on a run to the right side all the way to the America 2 yard line. That play eventually set up a 2 yard Stephens dive up the middle from a yard out and an eventual 34-0 lead.
If there was a highlight(s) in this game for the American team it came LATE, LATE in the game. Mississippi State defensive end SHANE MCCARDELL sacked Higgins deep in the backfield. On the play, McCardell followed his keys and didn’t buy Higgins’s play-action fake, and he then followed the quarterback all the way until he (McCardell) buried the quarterback into the Home Depot turf.