College Sports Journal FBS Group of Five National Players of the Week-Dec. 7

Six players including Israel Tucker from Louisiana Tech, Michael Pratt from Tulane, Carson Strong from Nevada, Blaze Alldredge from Rice, Jeffery Gunter from Coastal Carolina, and Zack Long from Tulsa have been selected as the College Sports Journal All-Stars for the week ending Dec. 7, 2020 from the NCAA Division I FBS Group of Five schools.

Israel Tucker, Louisiana Tech, RB, R-Sr., Metairie, La.

Tucker led the Bulldogs to a 42-31 victory at North Texas last Thursday in Louisiana Tech’s first game since Oct. 31. The Metairie, Louisiana, native set career-highs in rushing yards with 161 and carries with 37, and tied his career high with two rushing touchdowns. Tucker became the first Bulldog to carry the ball at least 30 times in a game since Lennon Creer had 32 attempts vs. UCA in 2011. His 37 carries tied for the second-most in the FBS this season and were the fourth most in program history. Tucker became the first Bulldog to rush for 100 yards since Justin Henderson rushed for 105 yards vs. UTSA in November, 2019.

Michael Pratt, Tulane, QB, Fr., Boca Raton, Fla.

Pratt led Tulane to a 35-21 win against Memphis, figuring in four touchdowns and engineering a Green Wave offense that gained 419 yards against the Tigers. Pratt completed 21 of 33 passes for a career-high 254 yards and two touchdowns, while he added two rushing touchdowns to help Tulane secure a third consecutive season at .500 or better. He completed passes to 10 different receivers.

Carson Strong, Nevada, QB, So., Vacaville, Calif.

Strong helped lead Nevada to its sixth victory of the year with a 37-26 victory over Fresno State.  He completed 23 passes for 354 yards and a career-high five touchdowns.  He is just the second Mountain West quarterback to throw at least five touchdown passes in a second game this season.  He tossed a career-long 85-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, the longest in the MW this season and second-longest by a MW signal-caller in the last two seasons.

Blaze Alldredge, Rice, LB, Sr., Celebration, Fla.

Alldredge was credited with 10 tackles, including a shared tackle for loss, picked off one pass and broke up a second to lead an Owls defensive effort that recorded the first shutout by an opponent against No. 15 Marshall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in its history and the first by the Owls against a ranked opponent since 1960. Alldredge reached double figures in stops for the third time in four games this season as the Owls blanked C-USA’s top scoring offense (37.4 points per game) and held them to 245 yards (averaged 450.3 coming in), including 80 yards and 2.9 yards per carry on the ground (205.7 and 4.9 coming in).

Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina, DE, R-Jr., Durham, N.C.

Gunter played a key role in a balanced defensive attack that held the high-powered BYU offense to just 17 points. It was a season-low for the Cougars who were averaging 47.6 points per game which ranked fourth nationally. Gunter was one of six Chanticleers with five tackles or more in the win finishing with six tackles, one tackle-for-loss, a forced a fumble, plus a quarterback hurry. Saturday night’s win over BYU is Coastal Carolina’s best ever victory in terms of the opponent’s FBS ranking. The win was the Chants’ second-ever over a top-25 nationally ranked opponent with both wins coming this year (30-27 win over then-No. 21 Louisiana on Oct. 14.) The Chants’ 10-0 start is the best start by any football team in Sun Belt Conference history.

Zack Long, Tulsa, K, Sr., Pacific, Mo.

Long accounted for 13 of Tulsa’s 19 points in the Golden Hurricane’s 19-6 win at Navy which clinched a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Long hit a career-long 48-yard field goal to stake Tulsa to an early lead and he went on to split the uprights from 25, 37 and 36 yards. He made two field goals in the fourth quarter to effectively put the game away.