Tom Melton, CONTRIBUTOR
Tom Melton ‘12 runs a college football scouting blog and attended the Senior Bowl, an NCAA football all-star game held Saturday, Jan. 28. The game gives scouts one last chance to determine the talent levels of draft prospects in a game setting. Tom shared his view of the game.
Former Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead helped lead the North’s roster to a 23-13 victory over the South, the North’s second victory in the last three years in the Senior Bowl. Pead had 8 carries for 31 yards and added one reception for 4 yards on offense, but his true impact was felt on special teams. He returned two punts in succession for a total of 98 yards, including a 60 yarder that nearly went for a touchdown, which broke the Senior Bowl record of 73 punt return yards that had stood since 1971.
Bobby Wagner was also an important contributor to the North’s victory. He had seven total tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass break-up and one interception in the game. He was a force on special teams and on defense, so he was a logical choice for the Most Outstanding Player on the North after Pead won MVP.
The South was not without playmakers though. Joe Adams, a wide receiver from Arkansas, was the Most Outstanding Player for the South as he totaled a game leading eight receptions and 133 yards receiving. Adams surprisingly didnít get a chance to return any punts in this game, which is where he made his name this past season when he averaged an impressive 16.89 yards per punt return and scored four touchdowns on punt returns over the course of his senior season.
The North took control in the second quarter when Russell Wilson, formerly of Wisconsin and North Carolina State, threw an eight yard touchdown pass to former California receiver Marvin Jones to break the 3-3 tie. That touchdown was set up by one of Isaiah Peadís electric punt returns. The South answered with a field goal later in the quarter, but the North took a 13-6 lead into the half. Early in the second half the North extended the lead further when former Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins stepped up in the pocket and found former Arizona State wide receiver Gerell Robinson over the middle for a 41 yard catch and run for a touchdown, giving the North a 20-6 lead.
The South offense remained dormant until the fourth quarter when former Arizona Wildcat teammates Nick Foles and Juron Criner connected for a 20 yard touchdown pass to bring the South within one touchdown. The South couldn’t muster much more than that though, and the North finished the scoring with a field goal late in the fourth quarter to seal the 23-13 win over the South.