Live From My Couch: Cuts, College Football & Cup Qualifying

September 05, 2009 | Glenn Clark

This is going to be a bit of a social experiment today. After a long night last night in Timonium at the State Fair, I woke up this morning suffering from a a bit of a case of what I would call “Dragginass.” SO, I have decided to settle down for the day. I will be monitoring cuts from all NFL teams-waiting for word from the Baltimore Ravens-which must come by 6pm tonight. I will ALSO be watching a LOT of college football (including Navy-Ohio State, Towson-Northwestern, Alabama-Virginia Tech and Maryland-Cal); as well as US Open Tennis, and the World Cup qualifier tonight between Team USA and El Salvador. It’s Labor Day weekend, I know. The weather is nice outside, I know. But today is going to be spent on my couch. And I’m going to share my thoughts with you as I go.

8:01-I’m gonna sign off this pretty soon to make way for Luke Jones’ Maryland/Cal live blog. I’m going to flip over to ESPN Classic for the World Cup qualifier and continue to watch Roddick and Isner (now in the 4th) on USOpen.org. I’ll check in on Luke Jones’ blog as I get the chance.

7:05-The Chiefs have cut WR Ashley Lelie. Drew used to think he’d be a good fit with the Ravens. He does share an agent with Derrick Mason.

7:01-The music that is serving as the soundtrack for college football coverage on ESPN/ESPN2/ABC/ESPNU/ESPN Classic/ESPN360/ESPN Deportes/ESPN.com/ESPN8 “The Ocho” is a theme song from Kenny Chesney and then multiple songs from Dave Matthews Band. Not too bad.

6:53-Ralph Friedgen knows the test Dabo Swinney is facing right now. Clemson leads Middle Tennessee State just 10-7 in the 2nd quarter today. The Terps get their chance for revenge against MTSU in 2 weeks in College Park.

6:52-I found this neat video of a smart, funny, good-looking sports talk analyst chatting with Maryland safety Antwine Perez. I think it’s worth looking at…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmwOHx-0sFo[/youtube]

6:50-Isner has taken the first TWO sets against Andy Roddick. This is starting to be a bit of a disaster. I’m not in panic mode yet, but if he gets a break I’ll be officially freaking out.

6:41-John Isner is up a break in the 2nd set; now leading 5-2. Andy is in trouble.

Baylor wins their first road game since 2007, hanging on to beat WFU 24-21. Bad loss for everyone in the ACC.

6:27-Of course, Andrew Parker catches a TD, and the Deacs are still alive, now trailing by 3 with under 4 minutes left.

Also, the Eagles have held on to all 7 receivers, meaning no one from the group of Brandon Gibson, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett or Reggie Brown would be available for the Ravens unless Ozzie Newsome were willing to swing a deal with John Harbaugh’s former team.

6:16-Andy Roddick ends the first set with an EMBARRASSING whiff on Isner’s serve. Isner goes up a set, which isn’t good news for American tennis fans. Love John Isner and all, but he has no chance of winning the tournament. At least A-Rod has a chance.

Melvin Mora is having a nice day as the O’s are up 5-4 in the 7th. Brian Matusz is in line for a win, which would REALLY help this team in trying to avoid losing 100 games, as Josh Lewin and Mark Grace note.

I guess I cursed the Deacs when talking about them rallying. A Riley Skinner INT later, and they’re in serious trouble with 5:02 to play.

6:14-Former Terps OL Andrew Crummey was cut by the Bengals today. As Bob Haynie mentioned earlier today, he joins former Terps C Melvin Fowler (Cardinals) amongst Terps looking for new NFL homes.

6:11-The video quality on USOpen.org is OUTSTANDING. Isner and Roddick in a 1st set tiebreak. Don’t know who is calling the match, but they’re underwhelming.

Couple of notes: Wake has fought back against Baylor; they trail 24-14 with 9:32 to play, but they’re driving. They need to keep the pace moving. This would be a bad loss for the conference.

Illinois is getting hammered by Missouri; and I don’t mind. I think Ron Zook relied on Mike Locksley’s recruiting early, but will be exposed moving forward. Locksley deserves a big time job in a BCS conference.

5:53-Apparently I can watch the matches from Arthur Ashe Stadium on USOpen.org. Thank God. Bad news for American tennis fans; as Sam Querrey joins Jesse Witten amongst American men going home today. Querrey was probably the next best hope for an American to survive to Week 2 beyond Andy Roddick. James Blake will have a tough test tonight with Robredo, and there’s almost no chance Taylor Dent beats Andy Murray.

5:49-US Open coverage switches to Tennis Channel at 6pm? Boo. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that Oudin ousted Sharapova earlier in 3 sets. Nice to have an American playing well besides Venus & Serena Williams.

5:40-Isner-Roddick on now. Everything is okay. I was kinda freaking out there for a minute!

Wake Forest trails Baylor 24-7 in the 2nd half in Winston-Salem. This is not good news for ANYONE in the ACC.

5:37-Why is Fernando Verdasco-Tommy Haas the match that I am seeing right now on CBS? Isn’t Sam Querrey playing Robin Soderling right now?

5:25-Bad afternoon for local college football teams. Johns Hopkins opened their season with a 23-7 loss to Delaware Valley.

5:09-Sorry for the time away from the blog. Check HERE for analysis on the Ravens’ roster.

4:46-Mike Duffy (of BaltimoreRavens.com fame) says Ravens’ roster will be released at 5pm. We will post it for you ASAP at WNST.net and I will text out the important notes.

4:42-RAVENS: Add Will Johnson and Evan Oglesby to the list of cuts. Neither are surprises.

Meanwhile, Melvin Mora has just homered to pull the Orioles within 3-2 of the Rangers. The Orioles are wearing the uniforms of the Baltimore Elite Giants, an old Negro League team. They actually look pretty sharp.

4:04-Derrick has confirmed to WNST that he was traded to the Packers. We do not know anything yet about what the Ravens received, but AW reports it is likely a conditional pick in 2010.

3:58-I am working on the Derrick Martin to the Packers story. Derrick couldn’t comment on it yet when I asked him, but we will assume it is true. Aaron Wilson has confirmed it, so we’ll go with it. This is a place where the Ravens had depth, as Martin would have been 6th corner or 5th safety.

3:34-The afternoon slows down for me at least College Football-wise at this point. Nevada-Notre Dame is on NBC, Melanie Oudin and Maria Sharapova are headed to a 3rd set on CBS (James Blake-Tommy Robredo amongst later action), Orioles-Rangers on FOX (I declined Nestor Aparicio’s invitation to join him at Camden Yards), Baylor-Wake Forest on ABC (was there no Raycom game this week?), San Jose State-USC on Fox Sports Net (locally on CSN), Missouri-Illinois on ESPN, Georgia-Oklahoma State on ESPN2 (after Minnesota-Syracuse finishes), and if you’re into Golf (why the hell would you be?) there’s the 2nd round of the Deutsche Bank Championship on Golf Channel. Apparently that’s part of the FedEx Cup playoffs, which doesn’t make me any more interested. Northeastern-Boston College and Western Michigan-Michigan are on ESPN360 as well.

3:23-One of my favorite things about college football is watching former college football players freak out thinking about their alma maters. I mentioned Tommy Knight earlier, as he probably JUST started breathing again after Iowa blocked the NIU FG attempt to win; and the Hawkeyes escaped 17-16. Now, my pal Qadry Ismail on Facebook says he’s ‘uneasy’ watching Syracuse down the stretch against Minnesota. Fabian Washington Tweeted today that he’s in Lincoln for Nebraska-Florida Atlantic tonight, and Derrick Martin told me he’s just gearing up for Wyoming’s showdown with Texas next week.

3:03-I forgot to mention that Northwestern finished off Towson 47-14 earlier. Rob Ambrose will have two weeks to prepare for Coastal Carolina at Unitas Stadium and will have to convince his team that this one didn’t matter.

RAVENS: Hearing from a few sources (including AW) that David Hale will make the Ravens roster. I actually didn’t even have him on the bubble.

3:00-This one is over. Ohio State will win 31-27. Navy made a statement today, but that statement will not be fulfilling at ALL after getting so close. Great group of young men playing ball in Annapolis.

2:57-What a disaster for Navy. After getting the TD run from Ricky Dobbs; he was intercepted and returned for two points the other way. Ohio State takes over up 31-27 with 2:23 to play. The Buckeyes get the ball in GREAT field position after a failed onside kick. Just one timeout for Navy to try to get the ball back needing a TD to win.

2:42-Dobbs to Marcus Curry for a LONG TD, RIGHT AFTER Ohio State went for it on 4th and 2 instead of trying a Field Goal that would have given them a 3 possession lead. If Navy comes back, Jim Tressel will have to answer questions about that decision. It’s 29-21; a one possession game now with 6:15 to play.

2:41-Novak Djokovic finished off Jesse Witten in the 4th set, 6-4. Witten’s serving doomed him all day. Andy Roddick-John Isner still to come at Arthur Ashe Stadium today.

2:38-RAVENS: Aaron Wilson confirms what I thought would happen all week. WR Justin Harper has been cut by the Ravens. This certainly leads to the opinion that the team is probably looking for WR help this weekend.

2:35-If it wasn’t over before, it is now. Kurt Coleman picks Ricky Dobbs and Ohio State takes over leading by 15 with under 10 minutes to play.

2:35-Scott Concannon adds another rushing TD, and Northwestern extends their lead over Towson to 47-14. Brutal day for the Tigers; but (I can’t believe I’m saying this) it could have been worse.

2:29-And just like that, the dream may be over for the Mids. Dan Herron plunged in for a TD, extending Ohio State’s lead to 29-14. Aaron Pettrey inexplicably missed the extra point.

2:28-That will probably be a CRUSHING turnover for Navy. Mario Washington made the catch, but Kurt Coleman stripped the ball, and Dexter Larimore recovered for the Buckeyes. 2 plays later, Ohio State is now inside the 10 yard line looking to extend this to a 16 point lead.

2:24-The Steelers have cut CB Anthony Madison. No Ravens ties there, expect for the fact that I hate the Steelers.

2:22-Can the Ravens add Aaron Pettrey to kick? He just booted a 52 yard FG to put Ohio State ahead by 9 at 23-14. And it would have been good from WELL past 52. What a kick. Navy has to respond here in the 4th quarter.

2:18-Northwestern has extended their lead over Towson to 40-14. Wildcats are well on their way. Meanwhile, my good buddy and former Ravens CB Tommy Knight is FREAKING OUT, as his Iowa Hawkeyes (the number 22 team in the country) are trailing Northern Iowa 13-10 in the 2nd half. Former Ravens assistant Kirk Ferentz needs to get things turned around there quickly to avoid the loss to Kurt Warner’s alma mater.

2:16-RAVENS: WNST confirms Yamon Figurs has been cut. Also not a surprise. The writing was on the wall for him when Carr and Webb were named the returners.

2:13-16 yard TD grab for Marcus Curry and it’s a 1 possession game in Columbus. What a MASTERFUL 99 YARD DRIVE by Ricky Dobbs. 20-14 Ohio State now as the 3rd quarter is winding down. HUGE drive for the Mids.

2:09-RAVENS: Now hearing that Kelly Talavou has made the team. He was the safest of my “bubble” guys. Graham Gano has been cut. That basically had to happen after Steve Hauschka won the job. Gano is in positive spirits today, this much I know.

Ricky Dobbs has Navy driving again on their first possession of the 2nd half. Peter Athens found David Newsom for a TD, Towson trails Northwestern 37-14 now.

2:04-RAVENS:Not all players are aware of their fate yet. One player told me he is on a “2 hour countdown” to hear the news. AW also added that Robby Felix has been cut. That’s not a surprise either.

Roger Federer DID eliminate Lleyton Hewitt by the way. Maria Sharapova vs. Melanie Oudin next.

1:56-RAVENS: Here are two names that we might be a bit surprising. Aaron Wilson now says Edgar Jones and Dannell Ellerbe have MADE the Ravens’ 53 man roster. This would be POTENTIALLY bad news for guys like Davon Drew, Jason Phillips, Prescott Burgess, and Antwan Barnes.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic beat Jesse Witten in a 3rd set tiebreak. This one appears to be over as well. Today was SETTING UP to be special, but has turned a bit.

1:50-I’ll go ahead and give this a confirmation; even though we all knew it was coming. Steve Hauschka HAS made the team.

1:41-Maybe my speculation about David Tyree earlier wasn’t so unfounded. Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times says via Twitter that the Ravens have “serious interest” in the former New York Giant. This isn’t insane, considering the Ravens need to replace Marcus Smith, who was expected to be more of a special teams

1:38-Just stepped away for a few minutes to talk to some of the guys on the Ravens bubble via text. No news to pass along there; but I will say that the collective attitude seems to have remained positive.

Jesse Witten has broken Novak Djokovic in the 3rd and has a chance to serve for a 2 sets to one lead. Federer was serving for the match against Hewitt, but Hewitt broke him. Federer still leads by a break in the 4th, and will look to finish off Lleyton Hewitt.

1:27-It is halftime at Ryan Field, and Northwestern has extended their lead back to 30 thanks to a 21 yard TD run by Scott Concannon.

It’s halftime at The Horseshoe as well, and Ohio State extended their lead to 20-7 with a 25 yard field goal by Aaron Pettrey.

1:22-WNST has confirmed 2 cuts from the Baltimore Ravens, and they’re the two that were my final TWO in on my mock roster. FB Jason Cook and WR Jayson Foster have been cut.

1:17-Roger Federer picked up a break to open the 4th set. I’ll say this one ends at 6-2 in the 4th.

DJ Shockley’s play against the Ravens Thursday night will likely be his last in a Atlanta Falcons uniform, as he has been cut by the team. The Falcons will go with Matt Ryan, former Raven Chris Redman, and John Parker Wilson under center.

1:15-Jesse Witten dropped the 2nd set to Novak Djokovic. Witten has struggled with his serve against the former Australian Open champion.

Drew Forrester just sent me his final score pick for Towson-Northwestern. It isn’t favorable for the Tigers.

1:11-Tremayne Dameron scores the first points of the Rob Ambrose era; a 1 yard TD to cut Northwestern’s lead to 30-7.

Joe Bauserman is in the game for Ohio State, the Buckeyes usually play their backup QB in the first half of their first game to get him some work.

Roger Federer wins the 3rd set 7-5. He’ll finish off Hewitt in 4 for sure.

1:06-Don’t look now, but Peter Athens has driven Towson into Northwestern territory. Also, Navy was forced to punt again.

Roger Federer just came up with a break of Lleyton Hewitt’s serve; so he’ll have a chance to serve for the 3rd set now ahead 6-5.

1:03-Facebook comment of the day comes from former Maryland Terrapin Tahj Holden:

“Paulus throws his first collegiate TD and afterwards he go hugs the ref. How appropriate.”

12:59-Greg Paulus has thrown for his first career TD already, but the former Duke point guard is trailing 14-10 in his first game as Syracuse QB.

Bad news elsewhere. Terrelle Pryor rushes for a TD, and Ohio State now leads Navy 17-7 in the 2nd quarter. In Chicago, a safety has extended Northwestern’s lead to 30-0 over Towson. A correction, as the passing TD earlier was NOT thrown by Mike Kafka, but instead Dan Persa.

12:55-Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets kick off at 1pm today against Jacksonville State; that game is on ESPN360 as well if for some unknown reason you’d want to watch.

Terrelle Pryor with some very athletic plays as the Buckeyes are driving again. Cris Carter’s kid had a really nice catch on the drive; and the Bucks are now inside the 10 yard line.

12:50-Mike Kafka has just found Andrew Brewer for a 72 yard TD in the 2nd quarter, and Northwestern leads Towson 28-0. Just brutal. Josh Hall is producing today’s game in the studios of AM1570 WNST on Hart Rd., and he just checked in via text to tell me that calling Towson “terrible” might not quite fit the bill. It’s not going to be an easy turnaround for Rob Ambrose replacing Gordy Combs.

A Ricky Dobbs fumble gives Ohio State good field position with a 10-7 lead in the 2nd quarter in Columbus.

12:45-Navy lined up to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own territory early in the 2nd quarter; but called timeout when they couldn’t draw the Buckeyes offsides. Bob Davie thought going for it would have been a terrible idea for Navy, but trailing 10-7 with Buddy Green’s defense likely to continue to struggle; I might have agreed with the Mids trying to continue a drive.

Did Perry Hall REALLY lose 33-7 at Joppatowne last night? Christ, I’m never picking any more PH games again. Come on, Gators!

12:39-Nightmarish start to the Rob Ambrose era in Chicago; as Arby Fields has gone in AGAIN-this time from 22 yards-to extend Northwestern’s 1st quarter lead to 21-0.

Also, as a note. I credited Mike Florio for the work over at PFT today earlier; but it looks like it’s a staff effort over there. Gregg Rosenthal is also chiming in. He says there is a question mark as to whether or not former Maryland RB LaMont Jordan will make the roster with the Broncos. Denver will not keep RB Darius Walker.

12:34-If you have DirecTV, Dish Network, or whatever other satellite service carries Big Ten Network, there are actually four other live games on right now. Penn State leads Akron 14-0, Iowa and Northern Iowa are tied at 3, Purdue leads Toledo 14-0, and Michigan State leads Montana State 7-0. If you’re from the midwest (or you’re a Nittany Lion alum living in Baltimore), I will admit that BTN kicks ass.

Aaron Pettrey has connected from 23 yards to give Ohio State a 10-7 lead over Navy late in the first quarter.

12:32-OSU is driving again up at The Horseshoe, Buddy Green’s defense could be in for a long day.

Another note from TU-N’western; apparently both Tiger QB’s have played early on; with neither of them having any success. Tommy Chroniger came in late in the first quarter.

12:26-I don’t see the Ravens being interested in him, but the Rams have cut WR Ronald Curry. Curry has had minimal success during his career with the Raiders and Lions; but has had flashes since his North Carolina days ended. I think it’s a lock he would already be better than Justin Harper or Jayson Foster though.
The Browns have cut former Ravens CB Corey Ivy. Given the team’s depth in the secondary, I would say a return to Baltimore would be “unlikely” at best. (I really mean “not happening.”)

More bad news from Ryan Field, as Northwestern has extended their lead to 14-0 over Towson thanks to a TD run by Arby Fields.

12:24-Lleyton Hewitt had a break point to get back in the 2nd set; but he sent a shot JUST long, and Federer took the set 6-3. Doubt he’ll lose another set today.

A reminder that I will be shutting this blog down before tonight’s Maryland-Cal game. Our new Terps reporter Luke Jones will host a live blog during Terps-Bears.

12:21-Really impressive drive from Dobbs, who finished it off with a 16 yard TD run. Joe Buckley is Navy’s kicker (apparently beating Jon Teague), and he connected on the extra point to make things 7-7. 80 yards methodically for the Mids on that drive.

12:16-Peter Athens is under center for the Tigers today, answering the question Rob Ambrose couldn’t answer on The Comcast Morning Show Wednesday morning. It might not matter, as Jacob Schmidt plunged in for a 2 yard TD to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead early. Ricky Dobbs has put together 3 first downs to get Navy driving at Ohio Stadium.

12:11-Anything surprising here? Federer is up 4-1 in the 2nd set on Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt.

The Buckeyes drew first blood in Columbus, with Terrelle Pryor connecting with Dane Sanzenbacher for a 38 yard TD. 7-0 Bucks. Ken Niumatalolo’s offense came out throwing to start their first possession, and QB Ricky Dobbs will certainly be a better throwing option than any of their recent QB’s.

12:09-Back to cut day. Our friends to the south (The Washington Redskins-who are ABSOLUTELY AWFUL) have had a QB controversy on their hands this preseason, with a debate between popular 2nd year QB Colt Brennan (Hawaii) and popular rookie UFA Chase Daniel (Missouri). Turns out neither will be on the team. Brennan will head to IR, Daniel will be let go. Your team stinks. Enjoy Jason Campbell. Thanks PFT.

12:05-An update to the games you can watch. West Virginia-Liberty is available on ESPN360, which if you have Comcast (and you should!), you can enjoy on your computer.

Arizona Cardinals Play by Play voice Dave Pasch on the call for Ohio State-Navy. He’s very good at everything he does. The Buckeyes used a reverse to get into Mids territory on the opening kickoff. Ohio State is going to be more talented than the Midshipmen. The boys from Annapolis must be smarter and CANNOT miss assignments.

Jesse Witten did NOT serve out the set, but has a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak. Let’s put the first set into Witten’s column with a 7-2 tiebreak. AWESOME stuff.

11:58-Couple other games you can watch early today:

Appalachian State @ East Carolina (MASN)
Minnesota @ Syracuse-the debut of Greg Paulus for the Orange (ESPN2)
Western Kentucky @ Tennessee-Lane Kiffin’s debut for the Vols (Comcast SportsNet)

Lee Corso picked the Crimson Tide to top the Hokies tonight for the record. So did Braves 3B Chipper Jones.

11:52-Two teams in action locally early on today; here’s how you can enjoy the games. Navy-Ohio State will be on ESPN, so that’s easy. Towson-Northwestern will be on the Big Ten Network (which is AWESOME if you have satellite, but not so great if you have basic Comcast like me). My friend Matt Rosen (the son of the GREAT Sam Rosen) is on the call. Therefore, do what I’m doing. Go right up to the top of WNST.net and enjoy the call from Chicago with Spiro Morekas and Tom Judd. I have no ties to the school; but Go Tigers!

Notes from tennis: Lleyton Hewitt took the first set from Federer 6-4. And Jesse Witten (a qualifier from Kentucky) is tied at 5 games apiece in the first set with Novak Djokovic. While still unlikely, the day appears to be special early in New York. Witten just broke Djokovic, he’ll have a chance to serve for the first set.

11:42-I not only WANT to hate Roger Federer, I absolutely find myself rooting against him. He’s great, there’s no doubt about that. But he’s not a compelling figure like many great tennis players were. He’s somewhat boring to watch because he’s just so calculating. He’s tied at 4 apiece in the first set with Lleyton Hewitt today (match on CBS), and I will be pulling for Hewitt to oust him and end his reign at Flushing Meadows.

Yesterday at the Open, Taylor Dent advanced to the 3rd round in a 5 set thriller. I root for all of the American players, but Dent’s injury history has kept him out of action for a few years in New York, and I will be particularly pulling for him in the 3rd round against Andy Murray.

Hewitt has just broken Fed. He’s up 5-4 and has a chance to serve for the first set. I already know how this match will end, but it’s exciting to think someone could top Fed.

11:27-I’m totally the type of guy who would LOVE to hate Tim Tebow. But Jesus that guy is great. We all remember his words after Florida lost to Ole Miss last year…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sGv2Zw-WQw[/youtube]

But Gameday just showed his speech at halftime of the BCS National Championship Game, and it was as good if not better. It isn’t available yet on YouTube, but it is GOOD.

Tim Tebow-as much as I want to not like him-is why I love college football.

11:16-Checking in with our pal Mike Florio from NBC Sports/ProFootballTalk.com (who will join Drew Forrester at 8:30am every Friday during football season), a few notes from cuts to pass around early.

-The Titans have cut Baltimore native Jason Murphy (Edmondson), an offensive lineman. Murphy is still very active in the Baltimore community (and lives here), but I don’t know if he would be a good addition to the Ravens team. Murphy has struggled to get on the field during his NFL career, but maybe playing at home could help him focus. I have David Hale currently as the last interior lineman on the Ravens’ roster, but couldn’t guarantee that Murphy would be better than Hale.
-The Giants have cut former Super Bowl hero David Tyree. Tyree has not played during the preseason, and probably has more hope of being a special teams player than a contributor at WR this year. But the Ravens do love a good special teams player. There’s no reason to speculate the Ravens being interested in Tyree, but any team could use a player that can do this…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

11:12-Thus far I’ve spent my morning watching “College Gameday” on ESPN, and was reminded of why I love College Football. The piece they did on Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford that was QUITE good. This really is the absolute best thing ESPN does. What a thorough program, entertaining, involving, informative. They don’t do everything right at the Worldwide Leader anymore, but they certainly still do this the right way.

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