The National Team still hasn’t lost a game in the NFLPA Bowl, improving to 6-0 over the American Team in the sixth playing of the collegiate all-star game at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
The game was never close, with the National Team cruising to a 27-0 victory in a game that featured plenty of struggles at the quarterback position. While the American Team offense struggled to get much going in the game, it was the team’s defense that still showed off some playmakers in the defeat.
In particular, Saint Francis defensive back Lorenzo Jerome made an early name for himself with two interceptions of Houston’s Greg Ward Jr. in the first half.
Ward was once considered a Heisman Trophy candidate early in the 2016 season after a prolific year in 2015, but may be a candidate to switch positions in the NFL. While he played quarterback in the game, his interceptions didn’t help his case and Ward’s biggest highlights came via his legs.
The American Team secondary hauled in three interceptions in the first half, but the team’s offense couldn’t score at all against the National Team. The American offense even gave up points of its own when San Jose State linebacker Isaiah Irving scooped up a fumbled snap and returned it for a touchdown on the first play of the second half.
The biggest star for the National offense was Virginia running back Taquan Mizzell who racked up 96 rushing yards on only nine carries, including a 6-yard touchdown in the third quarter to extend the team’s lead to 27-0.
Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire connected with New Mexico running back Teriyon Gipson for a 13-yard touchdown on fourth down to finally get the American Team on the board with just over three minutes left in the game, but the rally ended there.
Gipson — the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson — was one of the stars of the game, finishing with 64 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards on three receptions.
The NFLPA Bowl is one of three major collegiate all-star games in January that allows upcoming NFL draft prospects to practice and play in front of NFL scouts, coaches and executives. Also on Saturday was the East-West Shrine Game, but the biggest game is set for next week when the coaching staffs of the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears coach in the 2017 Senior Bowl.