College FB roundup: Tech trio stirs memories of high school glory days

Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 10:38pm

Quite the triple-headed monster is forming at Tennessee Tech as Tre Lamb, Adam Urbano and Da’Rick Rogers have picked up right where they left off in high school.

Tech’s newest trifecta combined for six touchdowns as the Golden Eagles blasted to a 42-14 victory last week over the North Greenville (S.C.) Crusaders, who reached the Division II quarterfinals a year ago.

Lamb threw for three touchdowns, Urbano ran for two scores and Rogers hauled in another as the Eagles improved to 2-0 for the first time since 1989 — weeks before elder statesmen Lamb and Urbano were born and well before Rogers was a thought.

All three played under Lamb’s father, Hal, at Calhoun High School in north Georgia but took separate paths to Tech.

Only the younger Lamb signed with the Golden Eagles out of high school and Tech coach Watson Brown couldn’t be more grateful.
Despite being undersized, the 5-foot-9, fifth-year senior has flourished in the spread offense. He has started the last three seasons and is rewriting the record books. Last year, he commanded Tech to a share of the Ohio Valley Conference championship and broke eight individual records in the process. Against North Greenville, the 22-yearold became just the fifth Golden Eagle to eclipse 4,000 career passing yards.

But his recruitment of Tech’s two newest stars, at the moment, is his biggest contribution.

A two-time all-state running back, Urbano spent two seasons as Georgia Southern’s leading rusher. But when Southern fired its head coach, who recruited Urbano, he was ready to move on. Lamb got on the phone and coaxed his former backfield buddy to join him.

After sitting out 2010 and easing into his role last year, the 22-year-old has hit his stride so far this season with back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances and three touchdowns.

Rogers, the last piece of the puzzle, arrived at Tech just days before the season opener.

Immaturity and positive drug tests booted the former All-SEC receiver from Tennessee after just two seasons. Once again, Lamb stepped up for a former teammate, selling Tech to Rogers and the troubled but talented wideout to coaches and current teammates. So far, the 21-year-old has fit right in, leading the team with eight catches, 163 yards and two touchdowns.

Yes, it’s still early, but the triple threat that wreaked havoc on the Georgia prep scene is primed for a superb act two.

Other scores
• Tennessee 51, Georgia State 13: Another banner day for the high-octane offense pushed the Vols (2-0) past the upstart Eagles of the FCS. Tyler Bray passed for more than 300 yards for the eighth time in his career. He finished with 310 passing yards and four touchdowns, three to Justin Hunter.

• Middle Tennessee State 31, Florida A&M 17: The Blue Raiders saved face in their Sun Belt Conference opener after a stunning loss to McNeese State last week. MTSU (1-1) shrugged off a slow start and ran for 302 yards to pull away from a one-possession game in the third quarter.

• Tennessee State 38, Jackson State 12: Trabis Ward ripped off his second straight 100-yard rushing performance and scored three touchdowns. The Tigers are 2-0 for just the second time in the last 10 years.

• Virginia Tech 42, Austin Peay 7: The score doesn’t show it but the Governors (0-2) improved from an embarrassing blowout to Western Kentucky last week. The defense hung around against Logan Thomas, the biggest quarterback they’ll see all season at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, and trailed just 14-0 late in the first half before the 16th-ranked Hokies poured it on.

13 — The number of points Vanderbilt has scored in each of its first two games. The Commodores scored less than 14 points just twice last season.

75 — Consecutive games Austin Peay has gone without being shut out. The Governors were last held scoreless on Sept. 24, 2005 in a 54-0 loss to Drake.

221 — yards combined by Middle Tennessee State tailbacks Jordan Parker and Drayton Calhoun. Filling in for the injured Benny Cunningham, the duo was the first Blue Raiders pair to rush for more than 100 yards in the same game since Nov. 7, 2009.

1,082 — yards of total offense thus far for Tennessee. The Vols have gained more than 500 yards in the first two games of a season for the first time in school history. The last time they had back-to-back 500-yard performances was in 2000 against Arkansas and Kentucky.

Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter

Through two games, the 6-foot-4 junior has matched his reception total (17) from last year. Tyler Bray’s top threat has showed no signs of a setback from last year’s ACL injury. On Saturday, he hauled in eight catches for 146 yards and became the first UT receiver to catch three touchdowns in a game since 2003.

“I’ve told you guys Tyler [Bray] is the best quarterback in the country. That’s how I feel. He goes through his progressions. He has a 6-foot-6 frame so he can see over the offensive line, and he throws perfect balls.” — Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera

Tennessee Tech gets its first real test — and most likely first loss — with a visit to No. 4 Oregon. ... Tennessee opens SEC play ranked (it entered the AP poll at No. 23 on Sunday) for the first time since 2008 with a pivotal SEC East matchup against visiting No. 18 Florida. ... Football returns to Hale Stadium for the first time since 1998 as TSU hosts hapless Austin Peay. ... MTSU travels to winless Memphis in hope of winning consecutive games for the first time since winning three straight at the end of the 2010 regular season.