Darius Anderson caught a pass on the sideline from Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and scored 75 yards later to tie the game at 7-7 for the North in the 2020 Senior Bowl.
The score at the second quarter’s start was the beginning of the North’s offense barrage the South as they went on to win the annual college All-Star game 34-17 in Mobile, Ala.
The TCU running back left Mobile with 43 rushing yards on seven attempts along with two receptions and 87 yards. Anderson was one of the North running backs who exploited the South team with their speed.
“Those guys, as far as competition is concerned, those guys came out every day,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said after his North squad’s backfield attack dominated.
The North head man added that his team tried to stay balanced in their rotation despite UCLA running back Joshua Kelley getting the bulk of the carries. Kelley led the game in rushing with 105 yards on 15 carries, including a 29-yard highlight gain in the second quarter.
“One of the things I thought was really great about him was his consistency… every single day.” Patricia said about Kelley’s performance in Saturday’s exhibition and the week’s practices.
Kelley got added late to the annual Senior Bowl All-Star game but made the most of his opportunity showcasing his speed and shiftiness versus elite collegiate talent.
“I can be versatile,” Kelley said after growing his stock in the North’s victory and over the entire week. “I take pride in running hard all the time.”
He rushed for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of his two seasons with UCLA. Kelley said he was grateful for the opportunity and proud to represent the Pac-12 conference and Bruins Nation.
More from the North Running Backs
Jamychal Hasty also added 25 rushing yards on three attempts, including a 11-yard touchdown for the North that made the game 17-10 in the third after it was tied at the half.
The Baylor running back product did fumble with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter though. That 22-yard fumble return by South CB Brian Cole II out of Mississippi St. set up the South’s final touchdown of the day.
The Hometown Hero and Herbert Shine in Loss
South running back Lamical Perine from Florida scored the touchdown a few minutes later which made the contest 31-17. The former Gator finished each of his four seasons with more than 500 yards from scrimmage, including over 900 each of the last two years.
“Being able to score in a place I played four or five times in my career,” Perine said after getting the start in front of his hometown. “That just gave me a little drive to go harder.”
The Mobile native said it felt great to hear his name chanted as he also scored the North’s first touchdown off a 16-yard pass from Oregon Quarterback Justin Herbert to start the game.
“He just showed how much talent he got already, He should be QB 1 for anybody.” The South’s player of the game said about Herbert’s performance over the week. “Anybody who gets that guy in the NFL is getting a great character guy… He’s a talented player.”
Herbert finished with 83 passing yards and a touchdown on 9 of 12 attempts for the South. The Oregon star rushed for 22 yards on three attempts too after winning MVP for the game and practices.
Patricia’s North Defense Dominates
Otherwise, the North Defense also made a few impact plays. Utah LB Bradlee Anae embarrassed the South offensive tackles enough to get two sacks on South QB Jalen Hurts. Anae influenced in an interception and fumble too.
Hurts, the former Alabama and Oklahoma, was up and down with the North too. He got ton of fan fair all week but finished Saturday with 58 passing yards, a touchdown and interception along with -7 rushing yards due to a few sacks. The South QBs failed to complete a pass over twenty yards all day.
The North pass rush featured Michigan State defensive lineman Kenny Willekes and Syracuse defensive lineman Alton Robinson with two sacks each. Trevon Hill, Miami, and Davon Hamilton, Ohio St., added one sack each as their teammates this week too.
Notre Dame corner Troy Pride Jr. returned an interception 33 yards with 1:39 left in the third quarter to protect a 24-10 lead for the North. Gordon completed a touchdown five-yard pass to Liberty receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden four plays later on 4th and goal.
Gordon Leads Three Touchdown Drives
Despite the three-headed rushing attack for the North, Gordon finished second in the nation in passing in his only season starting at Washington State and he walked away as the South’s player of the game.
“I came out swinging when it was my time,” Gordon said per NFL.com. ” that kind of correlates to my time at Washington State. I spent a lot of time waiting, but when my time came I was ready. ”
Gordon threw two touchdowns along with 69 yards on 8 of 12 attempts, including a second TD to make the game 24-10 at the 5:40 mark in the third. He led the drive Hasty scored on in the third as well.
Utah St. Jordan Love also showed out for the North all week. He said he had fun starting the game and playing the fourth quarter. Love was happy with how he managed the game despite only completing 4-of-6 attempts for 26 yards.
“I got great feedback this week,” Love said about the feedback he got from coaches over the week’s practice. “Just trying to get better in whatever it is [teams want].”
Love said he learned a lot of terminology over the week because Utah State did not exactly run a pro-style offense. He finished his career with 8,600 passing yards, 60 touchdowns and 29 interceptions over three seasons at Utah St.
More Pac-12 and MWC Notes from Senior Bowl
Linebacker Francis Bernard, Cal safety Ashtyn Davis, Utah defensive lineman Leki Fotu, Washington OL Nick Harris and Cal linebacker Evan Weaver and Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson were also on the winning North team. Weaver finished with 3.5 tackles and Wilson registered two tackles as standouts from the group.
Offensive line man Keith Ismael out of San Diego State, corner Darnay Holmes out of UCLA, lineman Calvin Throckmorton out of Oregon, Eno Benjamin out of ASU, Colorado quarterback Steven Montez and Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor were notables from the Mountain West and Pac-12 Conferences in Mobile for the South. Taylor registered one tackle while Montez struggled with only 22 passing yards and interception.
ASU Brandon Aiyuk got medically flagged at the beginning of the week and didn’t play despite being on the South roster. For the north, USC receiver Michael Pittman Jr. impressed in practice but sat out the game with a foot injury.
UlTimately, all these players hope they left Mobile impressing scouts and earning themselves some draft stock regardless what they did in Saturday’s showcase.
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