Tag Archive | "Devils"

Your Monday Reality Check: Happy for Turgeon but hardly sympathetic

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Your Monday Reality Check: Happy for Turgeon but hardly sympathetic

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Glenn Clark

For what felt like the first time in the Mark Turgeon era, Comcast Center housed an incredible, big-game, “I swear to God I’m not sure the roof will be able to take this” atmosphere Saturday night as the University of Maryland stunned #2 (#1 according to the coaches) Duke 83-81.

It was an incredible night. The game itself was captivating, as the Terrapins completely squandered a late 10 point lead before two Seth Allen free throws saved them. There was controversy in officiating, a high level of intensity and physicality from players and a number of big time shots made by likely future NBA players like Seth Curry, Alex Len and Quinn Cook.

But even more captivating was the atmosphere in the building, which reached a Gary Williams era-esque “fever pitch” at multiple times. Celebrities, dignitaries and former Terps filled the building, students arrived hours early and delivered a charming first half flash mob before emptying onto the floor (and College Park’s Route 1) following the victory.

It was a two and a half hour frenzy, a feeling that remained palpable even as I watched the replay of the game Sunday night on ESPNU.

The victory was emotional for a number of reasons. It was emotional because it was a throwback to a decade ago, when the level of the Maryland-Duke series rivaled even Duke-North Carolina as the best in the entire sport. It was emotional because it gave a major shot in the arm to the fledgling NCAA Tournament hopes of a Terps team in danger of missing out on March Madness for a third consecutive season. It was emotional because there is clearly a renewed level of bad blood between the programs based on Maryland’s decision to bolt the ACC in favor of the Big Ten. In the week leading up to the game Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski made it clear Duke wouldn’t be continuing a series with the Terps after the conference change happened and after the game he continued to fire shots in the direction of a program that helped to put the ACC on the map.

But it was incredibly emotional in particular for head coach Mark Turgeon, who had yet to record a “signature” win as he began the homestretch in his second season in College Park. Students rushed the floor following the Terps’ win over then-Number 14 North Carolina State earlier in the season, but even at the time the win felt a bit flimsy. Maryland had made a habit out of knocking off top ranked teams under Williams but hadn’t made a similar level of national noise yet under Turgeon.

Yet when asked about what the win meant to him, Turgeon offered an unpredictable answer.

“It’s been a hard week”, Turgeon started while fighting back tears. ”I take a lot of pride in my coaching. I don’t do a lot of things well, but I’d like to think I can coach a little bit and I haven’t done a very good job.”

“It’s been a hard week on my family. It was hard on my son. Last week he had to leave the gym because the fans were so hard on his dad.”

The coach then motioned in the direction of his son and noted pointedly “this was for them.” He continued by saying “I got a loyal family. It’s very loyal to me.”

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Turgeon’s postgame press conference was his simplistic “I wanted to beat Duke” statement (which every Maryland fan everywhere echoes at just about all times), but the story about his son was clearly the most emotional.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Emotional Turgeon: “I wanted to beat Duke”

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Emotional Turgeon: “I wanted to beat Duke”

Posted on 16 February 2013 by WNSTV

University of Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon got a bit emotional following his team’s 83-81 win over #2 Duke Saturday night at Comcast Center. His family had a tough week dealing with things that were said about the coach a week earlier in the team’s loss to Virginia. Turgeon explains…

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Maryland faces crucial showdown with Duke Saturday night

Posted on 15 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Maryland (17-7, 5-6 ACC) vs. #2 Duke (22-2, 9-2 ACC)

 

Saturday, February 16, 2013 • 6 p.m. ET

Game #25 • Home Game #17 • College Park, Md. • Comcast Center

TV: ESPN – Dave O’Brien (Play-by-Play), Doris Burke (Analyst) & Jeannine Edwards (Sidelines)

Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network – Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Chris Knoche (Analyst) & Walt Williams (Sidelines)

 

Storyline

 

• Following a five-day break from games, Maryland returns to action on Saturday as it plays host to second-ranked Duke at 6 p.m. in Comcast Center. The Terps are 17-7 and 5-6 in the ACC after suffering just their second home defeat of the season last Sunday against Virginia. Duke is 22-2 and 9-2 in the conference after a 73-68 win over North Carolina on Wednesday.

 

• Against Virginia, Maryland trailed at halftime for the first time at home this season, as the Cavaliers shot 52.2 percent in the opening 20 minutes and finished the game at 54.2 percent, the best by a Maryland opponent this year. After shooting just 35.5 percent in the first half, the Terps responded by knocking down 16 of 27 shots (.593) in the second half, but were unable to get closer than seven points down the stretch.

 

• The Terps rank second in the ACC in field goal percentage at .472 and have exceeded the 40 percent mark in each of the last six games. In that six-game stretch, the Terps have shot it well from beyond the arc, hitting 54 of 96 shots (.404). Jake Layman (12-29, .414), Logan Aronhalt (11-24, .458) and Dez Wells (8-15, .533) have been the biggest contributors from the perimeter of late.

 

• Maryland has ranked in the top-10 nationally throughout much of the season in opponent field goal percentage. Opposing teams have shot just 36.7 percent against the Terrapins, a mark which leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally. Virginia was just the second team this season to make better than 50 percent of its shots against Maryland; eight of 11 conference opponent have shot under 38 percent.

 

• Virginia became the first team this season to outrebound the Terps, finishing with a 34-29 advantage on the boards. Still, Maryland is just one of two teams in the nation with an average rebounding margin in double figures. The Terps are second at plus-10.3, behind just Colorado State (plus-13.8).

 

Maryland-Duke Series History

 

• Maryland trails the all-time series 61-113, which dates back to 1925. The Terps trail the series 37-40 at home, with their last win in Comcast coming on March 3, 2010. In that game, the 22nd-ranked Terrapins got 20 points from Greivis Vasquez on senior night, to help knock off the fourth-ranked Blue Devils.

 

• Duke won the first meeting this season, 84-64 in Durham on Jan. 26, and has won six straight in the series. In the earlier meeting, Dez Wells and Charles Mitchell paced Maryland with 13 points each and the Terps trailed by just eight at halftime before Duke opened it up in the second half. Rasheed Sulaimon led Duke with 25 points, Mason Plumlee had 19 and the Blue Devils shot 52.4 percent in the game.

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Ovechkin Deserves Much of the Blame for Caps Bad Start

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Ed Frankovic

Michal Neuvirth was stellar in net on Friday night as the Capitals rallied from a 2-0 third period deficit to force overtime before losing to the New Jersey Devils, 3-2.

Sure it was nice to finally get a point, and the Capitals were the last team in the league to do so, but this team needs wins in a short 48 game season.

Washington is now 0-3-1 and you can criticize the bad penalty killing and complain about a system change due to the new coach, but to me the single biggest problem with this team is the terrible play of Alexander Ovechkin.

In 92:29 of ice time in the four games he has 0 goals, 1 assist, 13 shots on goal, and just 8 hits. At $9M a year, that production just doesn’t cut it.

Ovechkin continues to struggle on the point on the power play and he is not getting his shots through and on net. With all of the power play time Washington had on Friday, if the team captain is producing there then maybe the Caps win in regulation or don’t need Mike Green’s late game tying tally?

I’ve written this several times before but Ovechkin would be a better fit down low on the power play. His size and strength would force opponents to focus more on him and that would open things up for his teammates. Bruce Boudreau and Dale Hunter both did that, at times, but it didn’t seem to last long, for whatever reason. However, there were several times when that move was very effective.

Much was made of Hunter sitting Ovechkin in the post season last spring due to his defensive deficiencies. Those problems continue this year. Oates tried him on the PK but after he was caught standing like a statue on the second Winnipeg goal on Tuesday night, that experiment seems to have ended.

Alex can be very guilty of trying to do things on his own too much and not use his teammates effectively. His turnover in overtime that led to the winning goal on Friday was an example of that. In addition, after turning the puck over Ovechkin was late coming back on defense. As a result he over reacted to the play and got caught down low, which opened up the Washington defense for an easy goal. Oates will not like what he sees of #8 on the sequence that led to the Devils winning tally.

I am not sure what is going on with a guy who should be one of, if not the best player in the NHL? Given that he played in the KHL during the lockout, you can’t blame his poor play on a lack of conditioning.

Whatever the problem is, it is up to Oates to figure it out and stop Ovechkin from performing so poorly. Like a quarterback in football, it is tough to win when your top player is not scoring and Ovechkin still has a big donut hole on the stat sheet in the goals column.

The bottom line is the Caps can’t win consistently without Ovechkin playing well and until they get him untracked, this team will have trouble winning games.

So fair or not, he deserves much of the blame for Washington’s terrible start to this season.

 

 

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Terps try to get offense going at #1 Duke Saturday

Posted on 25 January 2013 by WNST Staff

After defeating Boston College 64-59 Tuesday night, Maryland heads south for a road test at No. 1 Duke on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Terrapins are tied for seventh place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 3-3 record, a game behind second-place NC State and 2.5 games behind Miami, which at 5-0 is the last team with an unblemished league record. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 in both polls and are 3-2 in the league after a 90-63 setback at Miami on Wednesday night.

Storyline

• Propelled by a strong second half, Maryland improved its record to 15-4 with the win over BC. Jake Layman scored 10 of his 15 points after halftime, and the Terrapins shot 48.3 percent in the second half. Dez Wells efficiently ran the offense in the second half, recording seven of his career-high eight assists without committing a turnover in the final 20 minutes. Nick Faust scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, including five in the final 1:37 to help ice the game.

• Alex Len recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 boards against the Eagles. He leads the team and ranks 15th in the ACC in scoring (13.5 per game) and sixth in rebounding (8.2 per game). With seven of the 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation either freshmen or sophomores, the majority of Maryland’s scoring this season has come from underclassmen. Of the 71.8 points per game Maryland is averaging, 58.2 come from underclassmen (81 percent).

• The Terps have held all six ACC opponents under 38 percent shooting and the last five opponents to 65 points or fewer. Opponents are shooting just 35.1 percent against Maryland this season, a mark which ranks third nationally behind just Texas (34.5) and Kansas (34.8). Maryland has also outrebounded all 19 opponents this season and ranks third in the country in rebounding margin (plus-10.4).


Maryland-Duke Series History

• Maryland trails the all-time series 61-112, which dates back to 1925. The Terps trail the series 15-56 on the road, with their last win in Cameron coming on Feb. 28, 2007. In that game, the 24th ranked Terrapins defeated the 14th-ranked Blue Devils, 85-77.

• Duke won both meetings last season, including a 73-55 victory in Durham, and has won five straight in the series. Maryland’s last victory came on March 3, 2010, a 79-72 win in Comcast Center.


Quick Hitters

• Maryland last defeated a No. 1 team on Jan. 19, 2008, when it beat North Carolina 82-80 in Chapel Hill, N.C. That was also Maryland’s last win over a ranked team on the road.

• Maryland’s 51-50 win over then-No. 14 NC State on Jan. 16 was its first win over a ranked opponent since March 3, 2010, when it beat No. 4 Duke 79-72 at home.

• Maryland ranks second in the ACC in field goal percentage at .468, behind just NC State (.510). The Terps shot 42.4 percent against Boston College, snapping a streak of four straight games in which they shot under 40 percent. Prior to that streak of four games, Maryland had shot better than 40 percent in 12 of its previous 13 games.

• The Terps are 14-0 this season when they have the lead with 5:00 left in the game, and 1-0 when tied with 5:00 left.

• The 13-game winning streak Maryland went on earlier this season is tied for the second longest in school history, trailing just the 14-game streak the Terps went on in 1931-32. Maryland also went on a 13-game win streak in 2001-02, the year they went on to win the national title.

• It was also the 11th time in school history Maryland has put together a 10-game winning streak. In the past 30 years, Maryland has gone on a 10-game winning streak on six occasions, and in each of the previous instances it has gone on to play in the NCAA Tournament.

• Logan Aronhalt is averaging one 3-point field goal made for every 7.7 minutes on the floor. By comparison, the ACC leader in 3PT FGs made, Reggie Bullock of North Carolina, makes one every 11 minutes on the floor.

• Seven of the 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation are underclassmen and 81 percent of Maryland’s scoring (58.2 of 71.8 points per game) is coming from underclassmen. Additionally, Maryland’s top four scorers are underclassmen.

• At least eight players have scored in 16 of Maryland’s 19 games this year. The exceptions are vs. George Mason, at Miami and at North Carolina, when just seven players scored.

• Maryland has nearly made more free throws (262) than the opponent has attempted (276) this season. The Terps are 10-1 when making more free throws than the opponent.

• When Seth Allen, Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare drew starts against UMES, it marked the first time Maryland started three true freshmen since Dec. 28, 1993, when Keith Booth, Matt Kovarik and Joe Smith did vs. Hofstra.

• Charles Mitchell earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 31 for his play against Delaware State on Dec. 29. Mitchell came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 14 rebounds, both career highs. Mitchell is the second Terp to earn weekly ACC honors; Alex Len was Player of the Week on Nov. 12.


Hitting the Mark

• Maryland has assisted on 61 percent (305 of 500) of its field goals this season. The Terps have recorded double-digit assists in 17 of 19 games (exceptions are at Miami & at North Carolina), and are 14-1 when recording at least 14 assists.

• On average, Maryland has recorded 17.7 assists per game in wins, while in its four losses it has averaged just 9.8.


Field-goal Percentage Defense

• Maryland leads the ACC and ranks third nationally in field goal percentage defense at .351. The Terps have held 13 of the last 15 opponents under 40 percent shooting, with Stony Brook and IUPUI being the exceptions. Maryland has held each of its six ACC opponents under 38 percent shooting (VT – .373; FSU – .367; Miami – .349; NC State – .311; North Carolina – .354; Boston College – .357).

• Since 2000, five Terrapin teams have held the opponent under 40 percent shooting. Of those five, four went on to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


Super Subs

• Maryland’s bench has been an asset all season, as the Terps’ non-starters have outscored the opponents non-starters in 16 of 19 games (exceptions are Kentucky, George Mason & North Carolina).

• On the year, Maryland’s bench has a 480-200 (25.3 to 10.5 per game) advantage over the opponent.

• All 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation are averaging double-figure minutes, and no player is averaging more than 27 minutes per game (Alex Len is first at 26.4).

• Logan Aronhalt has been a consistent contributor as a long-range specialist. He is eight 3-point field goals made shy of qualifying for the ACC lead, but his .476 mark from beyond the arc would lead the league. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 15 of 19 games this season. Of his 32 field goals made this season, 30 are 3-pointers.

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Navy battles Arizona State in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Saturday to close season

Posted on 28 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Date and Kickoff Dec. 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm PT / 4:00 ET
Location San Francisco, Calif. | AT&T Park (40,184)
Television ESPN2
TV Talent Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analyst), Jenn Brown (sideline)

Setting the Stage
• Arizona State and Navy will meet on the gridiron for the first time when they square off at AT&T Park in San Francisco in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.  Kickoff is set for 4:07 pm Eastern, 1:07 pm Pacific.
• Navy is 7-9-1 all-time in bowl games and 1-1-1 all-time against current Pac-12 schools in bowl games.  Navy tied Washington, 14-14, in the 1924 Rose Bowl; defeated California, 42-38, in the 1996 Aloha Bowl; and lost to Utah, 35-32, in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl. This will be Navy’s ninth bowl game in the last 10 years.
•    Navy has lost four of its last five bowl games. The only win was a 35-13 pounding of Missouri in the 2009 Texas Bowl.  The Mids have lost to Boston College (25-24 in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl); Utah (35-32 in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl); Wake Forest (29-19 in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl) and San Diego State (35-14 in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl) during that time span.  Niumatalolo is 1-3 in bowl games.
• ESPN2 will televise the game nationally with Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Jenn Brown calling the action.
•    Touchdown Radio has the national radio call with Roxy Bernstein and Gino Toretta on the call.

Navy’s Last Trip to San Francisco … 
Navy 34, New Mexico 19    Dec. 30, 2004 | San Francisco, Calif.
•     Aaron Polanco accounted for four touchdowns and 237 yards of total offense as Navy defeated New Mexico, 34-19, in the 2004 Emerald Bowl.  The victory gave the Midshipmen a school-record tying 10 wins for the season and marked just the fifth bowl victory in school history.
• After the Lobos took a 7-0 lead on the first possesion of the game, the Mids answered with a touchdown drive of their own, moving 80 yards on just seven plays.  Polanco scored from 14 yards out to tie the game at seven.
• The game turned on the ensuing possession when safety Vaughn Kelley hit New Mexico’s DonTrell Moore just as he was catching a pitch.  The hit caused a fumble that was recovered by Lane Jackson and knocked Moore out of the game.
• Navy quickly took advantage of the turnover, as Polanco scored from one yard out five plays later to give Navy a 14-7 lead.  The touchdown was set up by a third-and-eight pass from slot back Frank Divis to Polanco for 17 yards
• Josh Smith stopped New Mexico’s next drive with an interception and the Mids made the Lobos pay dearly, as Polanco hit wide receiver Corey Dryden on the second play from scrimmage with a 61-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-7.
• After the two teams punted on their initial possessions of the third quarter, Polanco ran for his third touchdown of the day, this one from 27 yards out, to make the score 31-19.
• New Mexico, however, marched right back down the field.  The Lobos had the ball first-and-goal at the Navy six, but on fourth-and-goal from the one Lobo running back D.D. Cox was stopped short of the goal line by Kelley and Bobby McClarin.
• The Navy offense would take over the game from there, mounting an epic 26-play, 94-yard, 14:26 drive that was capped off by a Geoff Blumenfeld 22-yard field goal to make the score 34-19.  The 26 plays and 14:26 time of possession were both NCAA records for a single drive.

Fourth Quarter Rally Leads Navy To 11th Straight Win Over Army
•    Freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds extended Navy’s dominance against Army, scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter in a 17-13 victory in the 113th playing of America’s Game.
• Navy captured its 11th consecutive victory over Army and in doing so won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy which is awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies. Army and Navy each beat Air Force, putting the prestigious trophy up for grabs in the regular-season finale for the first time since 2005.
• In front of 69,607 fans and Vice President Joe Biden at Lincoln Financial Field, Navy caught a break when Army missed a late field goal attempt.
• Reynolds quickly found Brandon Turner down the sideline for a 49-yard gain. Reynolds then escaped a rush and followed with the eight-yard touchdown run with 4:41 left in the game.
• Unlike previous games over the last decade, the Black Knights were in this one until the final drive. Army had driven to the Navy 14 when fullback Larry Dixon fumbled on a sloppy exchange with quarterback Trent Steelman. Junior nose guard Barry Dabney recovered the fumble and the Mids’ sideline went wild as the CIC trophy was coming back to the Naval Academy for a record 13th time after a two-year stint at Air Force. Before Navy started its 11-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in a series that started in 1890 was only five games by either team.
• Late in the third quarter, Army’s James Kelly stripped the ball from Reynolds and linebacker Alex Meier recovered to give the Black Knights the ball at Navy’s 37. Eric Osteen kicked a 21-yard field goal 10 plays later for a 13-10 lead.
• Osteen, however, was wide left on a 37-yard attempt with 6:57 left in the game.
• Navy made them pay on Reynolds’ score. The Midshipmen now lead the series 57-49-7
• After a scoreless first quarter, Army and Navy swapped rushing TDs in the second. Navy fullback Noah Copeland plowed straight up the middle for a 12-yard score. Trent Steelman matched him with an 11-yarder for his program-tying 17th TD run of the season, then saluted the cadets after the score.
• Freshman kicker Nick Sloan put Navy up 10-7 with a 31-yard field goal late in the second, but Army answered when Osteen’s 41-yarder as the first half expired hit the upright and bounced in to tie the game at 10.
•    Reynolds was named the Philadelphia Sportswriters Most Valuable Player, rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown and completing 10 of his 17 passes for 130 yards.  Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, while senior slot back Gee Gee Greene caught three passes for 23 yards.
• Junior linebacker Cody Peterson led the Navy defense with a career-high 14 tackles, while senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel recorded 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.  Senior Matt Warrick was also in on 11 stops, while sophomore outside linebacker Josh Tate, senior linebacker John Michael Nurthen and Dabney all recovered fumbles.

Senior Salute
•    Navy’s 28 seniors have compiled a 32-19 record (.627), qualified for three bowl games, won a bowl game (2009 Texas Bowl against Missouri) and won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy twice in their four years. The seniors were 4-0 against their biggest rival, Army, and 6-2 in Service Academy games (2-2 against Air Force).
•    The 28 seniors are:  offensive tackle Andrew Barker (High Point, N.C.), linebacker Matt Brewer (Wildwood, Mo.), safety Tra’ves Bush (Johnston, S.C.), guard Josh Cabral(Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), tackle Evan Campbell (Pasadena, Md.), fullbackPrentice Christian (Bowie, Md.), long snapper Billy Coats (Minden, Nev.), guard Matt Couch (Enola, Pa.), defensive end Josh Dowling-Fitzpatrick (Westerville, Ohio), safetyJerad Fehr (Draper, Utah), linebacker Brye French (Deatsville, Ala.), wide receiverJonathan Gazaille (Grand Prairie, Texas), slot back Gee Gee Greene (Columbia, S.C.), guard Beau Haworth (Annapolis, Md.), defensive end Wes Henderson (Wexford, Pa.), slot back John Howell (Hatfield, Pa.), wide receiver Tyler Lynch (Irving, Texas), linebacker John Michael Nurthern (Phoenixville, Pa.), wide receiver John O’Boyle (Charlotte, N.C.), tackle Ryan Paulson (Broomfield, Colo.), center Kahikolu Pescaia (Kailua, Hawai’i), tackleJoe Ryan (Tucson, Ariz.), wide receiver Matt Shibata (Honolulu, Hawai’i), slot back Bo Snelson (Pasadena, Texas), defensive end Collin Sturdivant (High Point, N.C.), wide receiver Brandon Turner (Renton, Wash.), linebacker Matt Warrick (Chesterfield, Mo.), outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel (Palos Heights, Ill.).

Scouting Arizona State
•    The Sun Devils enter the bowl game with a 7-5 record against an extremely difficult schedule.
•    ASU has defeated Northern Arizona (63-6), Illinois (45-14), Utah (37-7), California (27-17), Colorado (51-17), Washington State (46-7) and Arizona (41-34).  Meanwhile, its losses have come at the hands of Missouri (24-20), Oregon (43-21), UCLA (45-43), Oregon State (36-26) and USC (38-17).
• ASU is one of the most balanced teams in the country ranking 38th in the country in rushing offense (190.8 yds/gm), 46th in passing offense (258.5 yds/gm), 31st in total offense (449.3 yds/gm) and 21st in scoring offense (36.4 pts/gm).
• Defensively, ASU ranks 75th in rushing defense (172.0 yds/gm), 12th in pass defense (178.8 yds/gm), 26th in total defense (350.8 yds/gm) and 41st in scoring defense (24.0 pts/gm).
•    Quarterback Taylor Kelly ranks 23rd nationally in passing efficiency (153.3). He has completed 224 of his 340 pass attempts for 2,772 yards with 25 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.  Chris Coyle is Kelly’s favorite target, with 53 catches for 659 yards and five touchdowns.  Running back Marion Grice has 39 catches for 406 yards and eight touchdowns, while running back D.J. Foster has 36 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns.
• Cameron Marshall is the Sun Devils’ leading rusher with 524 yards and seven touchdowns on 127 carries, while Grice has 520 yards and nine touchdowns on just 89 carries.
• Arizona State’s defense has been terrific this year, ranking second in the country in sacks and tackles for a loss.  All-American defensive tackle Will Sutton ranks fifth nationally in tackles for a loss (1.82) and 13th in sacks (0.95).
• Safety Keelan Johnson ranks 11th in the country in interceptions (0.11 per game), while linebacker Brandon Magee is 29th in tackles (9.5 per game).
• Punter Josh Hubner ranks third in the country (47.1 yards per punt), while ASU is sixth in the nation in net punting (40.7 yards per punt).

Navy Quick Hitters
• Since 2003, Navy has won 19 games against schools from a BCS conference.  The 19 wins against BCS schools during that time period, which have come against 10 different teams, are the most in the country by a non-BCS school.
• Navy has played six bowl eligible teams this year (counting Penn State, which is not going to a bowl due to NCAA sanctions) and compiled a 3-3 record against the six programs.  The Mids defeated Air Force (6-6), Central Michigan (6-6) and East Carolina (8-4) and lost to Notre Dame (12-0), Penn State (8-4) and San Jose State (10-2).
• Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo is just the third coach in school history to start his coaching career at Navy with a 5-0 record against Army.  Paul Johnson turned in a 6-0 mark against West Point (2002-07), while Wayne Hardin won his first five games (1959-63) before losing.
• Navy has been the dominant Service Academy over the last decade, posting a 19-2 record (.905) against Army (11-0) and Air Force (8-2) in the last 21 meetings, winning eight Commander-In-Chief’s Trophies in the last 10 years and going to nine bowl games in the last 10 years.  Navy has amassed an 83-44 (.654) overall record in the last 10 years, while Air Force is 68-55 (.553) and Army is 32-88 (.267).  The 83 wins are the 21st most in the country over the last decade.
• Navy is 4-0 this year in games decided by eight points or less after going 2-5 last year in such games.
• Ken Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 40-25 (.615) record in this his fifth season as head coach.  He is fourth all-time at Navy in career wins.  Niumatalolo holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two (18), three (27), four (32) and five seasons (40) of a career.
• Navy’s four losses this season (Notre Dame, Penn State, San Jose State and Troy) have come at the hands of opponents who are a combined 35-13 (.729).  Notre Dame (12-0) is ranked No. 1 in the country and will play in the BCS National Championship Game, while San Jose State (10-2) is ranked 24th and will play Bowling Green in the Northrop Grumman Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.
• Over the last 10 games (8-2), Navy has outscored the opposition in the second half, 153-83.  The Navy defense has allowed just eight touchdowns in the second half of the last 10 games.
• The Mids have turned the ball over 12 times in their four losses and six times in their eight wins.
•     Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT and is believed to be the only current FBS player in the country to accomplish such a feat.  He carries a 3.89 GPA in systems engineering and was named a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.  Wetzel has also been a force on the field for the Midshipmen, recording 74 tackles (tied for third on the team), a team-high 15 tackles for a loss, a team-high seven sacks, has forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.  He is just one sack away from third on Navy’s single-season sacks list.
• Keenan Reynolds is the first freshman to start at quarterback for Navy since Jim Kubiak started five games in 1991.  Meanwhile, he is just the third freshman in school history to start at quarterback (the other was Alton Grizzard in 1987). Reynolds is 6-1 as a starting quarterback with wins over Central Michigan, Indiana, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Texas State and Army and a loss to Troy.  He also came off the bench with Navy down eight points to Air Force in the fourth quarter to lead the Mids to an overtime victory.  Kubiak won just one game as a freshman starter (beat a 5-5 Army team) and Grizzard won two games (lost to Army).  Reynolds is the first Navy quarterback to win his first four career starts since senior Bob Powers, who won his first six career starts in 1979.
• Sophomore punter Pablo Beltran is averaging 43.9 yards per punt (40 punts) this season, which is the second-best single-season average in school history. John Skaggs currently holds the single-season punting record at 44.8 yards per punt in 2001.  Beltran would stand 16th nationally if he qualified (must average 3.6 punts per game).
• Navy was 4-0 during the month of October after going 0-5 last year in October. It is the first time Navy went undefeated in the month of October since 1996.  That Navy team finished 9-3 and defeated California in the Aloha Bowl.
• Navy owns a 6-3 record all-time in overtime games, winning six of its last seven.
• Navy owns an 83-44 (.654) record over the last 10 years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02.  The 83 wins are the 21st most in the country over the last decade.
• Navy is trying to finish No. 1 in fewest penalties and penalty yards per game for the second consecutive year and for the third time in the last four seasons.  The Mids are currently tied for second in penalties (3.5 /gm) and in penalty yards per game (27.9).
• Navy is 4-0 this year and 31-4 (.886) under Niumatalolo when scoring first and 4-4 this year and 9-21 (.300) under Niumatalolo when the opponent scores first.
• The Mids are 3-0 ths year and 24-3 (.889) under Niumatalolo when leading after the first quarter and 5-4 this year and 16-22 (.421) under Niumatalolo when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
• Navy is 6-0 this year and 27-4 (.871) under Niumatalolo when leading at the half and 2-4 this year and 12-22 (.353) under Niumatalolo when tied or trailing at the half.
• Navy is 5-0 this year and 31-3 (.912) under Niumatalolo when leading after three quarters and 3-4 this year and 8-23 (.258) under Niumatalolo when tied or trailing after three quarters.
•    Navy owns a 19-7 (.731) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo and is 21-18 (.538) away from home.

California Dreaming
•    Navy has 10 players on its travel roster from the state of California.
•    Senior starting offensive guard Josh Cabral hails from Rancho Santa Margarita, sophomore starting long snapper Joe Cardona is from El Cajon, freshman center Brandon Greene is from Highland, freshman punter Gavin Jernigan is from Lawndale, freshman safety Mike Markovsky is from Costa Mesa, sophomore wide receiver James King is from Orinda, sophomore defensive end Paul Quessenberry is from Carlsbad, freshman starting kicker Nick Sloan is from San Diego, junior linebacker Michael Tuimavave is from Daly City and junior starting offensive tackle Graham Vickers is from Diamond Bar.

Playing Against The Home State
•    Senior guard Joe Ryan hails from Tucson, while junior wide receiver Casey Bolena is from Phoenix.

Balanced Attack
• Navy’s slot backs have rushed for 1,467 yards and six touchdowns on 200 carries (7.3 yards per carry), the fullbacks have ran for 943 yards and seven touchdowns on 202 carries (4.7 yards per carry) and the quarterbacks have rushed for 921 yards and 13 touchdowns on 230 carries (4.0 yards per carry).

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Arizona State to face Navy in Fight Hunger Bowl

Posted on 02 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Navy To Play Arizona State In The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

 

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy and Arizona State will meet on the gridiron for the first time at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco it was announced today by Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Executive Director and co-founder Gary Cavalli.  The game will kick at 1:00 PM in San Francisco (4:00 PM ET) and will be televised by ESPN2.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to select Arizona State to meet Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29,” Cavalli said. “It promises to be an intriguing matchup between two high-scoring, high-profile teams. Navy has won six of its last seven games, and ASU also finished strong with a come-from-behind win over Arizona in the Territorial Cup.  We look forward to welcoming the Midshipmen and Sun Devil players and coaches, as well as thousands of their fans, and providing them with a memorable experience in San Francisco.”

The Sun Devils finished the regular season 7-5, with a 5-4 record in the Pac-12, including a 41-34 victory over in-state rival Arizona.  Arizona State scored 24 fourth quarter points to rally from a 10-point deficit in that game as running back Marion Grice carried 18 times for a career-high 156 yards and three touchdowns.

“Arizona State is an outstanding football team with great players on both sides of the ball,” said Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo.  “We have played a very tough schedule this year and there is no doubt that Arizona State will be as talented as any team we’ve faced.  However, right now our only focus is on Saturday’s game against Army.  It’s the biggest game of the year and this year it has added significance with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy on the line. We will worry about Arizona State after the Army game.”

“The annual goal for every college football team is to have a successful season and play in a Bowl game,” said Arizona State head coach Todd Graham.  “We are very proud to have reached that goal by participating in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against a worthy opponent such as the U.S. Naval Academy.   It will be an honor to travel to and participate in this wonderful Bowl experience in one of America’s great cities.”

Led by junior QB Taylor Kelly, Arizona State was third in the Pac-12 in scoring offense, averaging 36.4 points per game.   The Sun Devils were also formidable defensively, ranking second [to Pac-12 champion Stanford] in allowing only 350.8 yards per contest.

Kelly (224-340-2,772-25 TD-9 INT) completed 65.9% of his pass attempts while throwing for an average 231 yards per game.   Five receivers caught 33 or more passes on the year, led by WR Chris Coyle (53-659-5 TD).

Arizona State ranked first overall against the pass, permitting just 178.8 yards per game through the air in the passing-conscious Pac-12 Conference.

The Sun Devils additionally picked off 20 passes in 12 games, returning three for touchdowns.    Part of that success is attributed to a front seven that ranked second in the Pac-12 with 48 sacks.

Junior defensive tackle Will Sutton was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year despite missing a portion of the season due to injury.   He had a team-leading 10.5 sacks while totaling 58 stops.

Senior DE Brandon Magee was the Pac-12’s second-leading tackler, with 104 stops that also featured 6.5 sacks.   He had 17 tackles against Arizona.

“Based on our visit in 2004, we have seen first hand that the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is a magnificent overall environment and event,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk.  “The city of San Francisco, the stadium, the hospitality from the community, the bowl administration and the beauty of Northern California present as fine a postseason experience as we could possibly enjoy.  The Academy is sincerely grateful to Gary Cavalli and his staff for inviting us back and setting the stage for our team to earn an enjoyable trip to the West Coast and an inspiring matchup against a great Arizona State team.”

Tickets for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl are on sale now at www.navysports.com.

Tickets can also be purchased starting Monday morning at 9 a.m. by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or at the Ricketts Hall Box Office.

Ticket prices are $25 (Upper Level End Zone), $40 (Upper Level Corner), $50 (Upper Level Sideline and Lower Level End Zone and Corner), $60 (Lower Level Sideline and Sideline Bleacher behind the team bench) and $75 (Club).  The only way to sit with the Navy contingent is to buy your tickets through the Navy ticket office.

Fans can also purchase tickets to sponsor midshipmen and enlisted personnel and their families for $50 per ticket. Donated tickets are 100% tax deductible.

“We strongly encourage Navy fans to buy their bowl tickets directly from the Naval Academy Athletic Association,” said Gladchuk. “It is very important for this game and for future Navy bowl considerations for our fans to purchase tickets through the NAAA. If you can’t make it to the game we ask that Navy fans buy tickets for our midshipmen and enlisted personnel, which will allow us to create the usual pageantry of Navy football.”

This will be Navy’s 18th bowl appearance in school history and the ninth in the last 10 years.

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UMBC welcomes former conference foe CCSU to RAC Tuesday

Posted on 20 November 2012 by WNST Staff

UMBC (1-2) meets a familiar foe on Tuesday, Nov. 20, when the Retrievers welcome the the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (2-2). Both programs debuted at the NCAA Division I level in 1986-87 and Tuesday’s contest will be the 34th between the Devils and Dawgs. Tipoff time is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on www.umbcretrievers.tv.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: In UMBC’s last outing, JR F Chase Plummer broke out for 28 points at Loyola (Md.) on Nov. 14, but the hot-shooting Greyhounds held off UMBC, 86-70. SR G Ryan Cook has been in double figures in all three games and leads the squad at 18.0 ppg.

BLUE DEVIL UPDATE: After opening the season with a one-point loss to Fairfield (64-63, ot) and a three-point setback at St. Peter’s, (64-61), CCSU roared back with impressive victories over Brown (86-71) and at LaSalle (81-74) on Nov. 15 and 18. SO G Kyle Vinales (23.3 ppg), the 2012 NEC Rookie of the Year, was named the NEC Player of the Week. Vinales posted three straight 20-plus point outings in Central’s 2-1 week. SO F Adonis Burbage scored a career-high 21 points and hit 7-of-8 from the field, 5-of-6 from three in the win over LaSalle.

Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers travel to Marquette for a contest in Milwaukee on Monday, Nov. 26. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Shoal Creek, AL on Golf Channel), Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel); WNBA: New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FX 3-Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall (Friday 9pm from Sunrise, FL live on FX); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Charlotte Hounds @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com)

10. Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Foster The People (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Carbon Leaf/Civil Twilight (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Hawthorne Heights (Sunday 5pm Recher Theatre); Victor Wooten (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Sunday 1pm Rams Head on Stage), Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Bootsy Collins (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jimmy Cliff (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Wailers (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

There was a time in my life when I genuinely enjoyed the tunes of Gavin DeGraw. Maybe that’s not something I should be broadcasting…

Since Foster The People are coming to town and the Beach Boys are putting out a new record, here’s FTP’s EXCELLENT take on the greatest Beach Boys tune of all time…

Any excuse to share a Carbon Leaf tune is a good one…

I wish I could go to RHL Saturday night. Civil Twilight is excellent too…

9. “Prometheus” opens in theaters (Friday); Safe House“, “John Carter” and “Act of Valor” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Greg Proops (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Doug Benson (Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Honfest (Saturday & Sunday Hampden); Maryland Wine Week begins (Friday)

You know Prometheus as THAT MOVIE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO SEE. Well, at least until “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” comes out, at which point they might as well just stop making movies.

Honestly, there is no single greater gift you could ever purchase me than this movie poster…

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Your Monday Reality Check-Best team all season ending up winning title

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Your Monday Reality Check-Best team all season ending up winning title

Posted on 28 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

It’s a particular shame Monday’s NCAA lacrosse Championship Game was in Foxborough instead of right here at M&T Bank Stadium. It would have been a special celebration of a beloved game in Charm City.

Instead, Memorial Day became a special celebration of a deserving champion at Gillette Stadium.

I was at Ridley Athletic Complex Saturday, March 10 to see the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds face the Duke Blue Devils. The Hounds had gotten off to a nice 4-0 start at that point in the season, reaching double digit goals in every game and holding their opponent to single digits in every game as well.

The issue at that point was the competition. Home wins over Delaware and Towson and road victories at Bellarmine and Michigan did little to convince anyone the Greyhounds were on the cusp of a breakthrough campaign.

It changed that day.

Star attackman and eventual Tewaaraton Award finalist Mike Sawyer put on an absolute clinic for Charley Toomey’s team, scoring six goals and leading the Hounds to a 13-8 win over the Devils. The Hounds were actually ranked ahead of the Devils in one of the recognized college lacrosse polls, but the victory still had the feel of an upset, as Duke was viewed as a legitimate national title contender.

From the opening whistle, it was apparent the Hounds were the more focused, determined squad. The 13-8 final didn’t even necessarily reflect the nature of the game, as Loyola held a 12-5 advantage after three quarters and appeared to let up late. The win came just after Toomey installed Jack Runkel as his starting goalie ahead of Michael Bonitatibus, a move that he would not have to reconsider at all the rest of the season.

On that day at Ridley Athletic Complex, the Loyola Greyhounds became more than just a team with a capable combination of scorers (Sawyer and graduate student Eric Lusby). They became more than just a fun team to watch. They became a legitimate threat to make a run to the Final Four.

Two and a half months later, they found themselves there. It wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t a run of good fortune. It wasn’t about bad luck for other teams. It wasn’t about an easy schedule.

This Loyola team proved that for the 2012 NCAA lacrosse season, they were unquestionably the best team in the country.

In Monday’s NCAA Championship Game, the Hounds dominated the University of Maryland in a way that perfectly encapsulated their entire season. They showed an incredible ability to score goals at times, but also showed that their midfield unit was as capable as their attack. Their wings battled for balls when face-offs appeared to be lost. Their defense was SUFFOCATING, preventing even a single goal from Maryland for a stretch of more than two and a half quarters, stifling a unit that had tallied 16 just two days prior against those same Duke Blue Devils. On top of all of that, Runkel was spectacular for a second straight game.

They left no doubt not only about who was the best team on Memorial Day Monday, but who was the best team in the country. They were a deserving #1 seed and they worked to become a deserving national champion.

A deserving national champion that didn’t play a single game on television until the postseason.

They lost just one game along the way, an overtime heartbreaker to a fine Johns Hopkins squad. They won THREE games over ECAC rival Denver University, two of those wins coming in the Mile High City. They recorded a win over every team that reached Memorial Day weekend.

Lusby and Sawyer now have name recognition, but the work of Runkel, Scott Ratliff, Chris Layne, Josh Hawkins, Pat Byrnes, Davis Butts, Justin Ward, Joe Fletcher, Nikko Pontrello, Patrick Fanshaw, Kevin Ryan, Phil Dobson, Sean O’Sullivan, Dylan Grimm, Pat Laconi, Kevin Moriarty and J.P. Dalton were deserving of having their names typed in a column like this as well.

Loyola becomes the smallest school to ever win a national championship in lacrosse. The title is the first and only Division 1 title in any sport for the school. The team was unranked before the season started. Toomey was able to accomplish the feat after being on the losing end as a goalie in the school’s only ever run to the National Championship Game back in 1990. Lusby broke the record for most goals in a single NCAA Tournament in the process.

The word amazing keeps coming to mind.

The title drought continues for the Terrapins, as they have not held the trophy since 1974. John Tillman has been to the title game twice in his two seasons in College Park, but the inability to win the big one will now already become a topic of conversation for the Terps’ alumni and fan base. They were a remarkably young team this season and will likely be right back in the title picture a year from now. It won’t help the sting of a Championship Game loss, but they showed many signs of being a team on the verge of greatness.

Loyola however was the definition of greatness. They were exceptional. And perhaps they even earned a measure of revenge for the city of Baltimore on the field where the Ravens saw their season end months earlier in the AFC Championship Game.

Eh…they were the best lacrosse team in the country. We’ll be more than happy to have that in Charm City.

-G

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