Month: September 2020

Carroll fooling everyone

first_imgCould there be a team more deserving of the moniker “Hollywood” than the USC Trojans? Sure, we’ve had people nicknamed “Hollywood” before — “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan (at least in his later years) for example — but a whole team earning the nickname? That’s something new.But it’s hard to argue that USC isn’t living in the spotlight — and enjoying every minute of it. You think Matt Leinhart doesn’t love living in a spotlight so large he’s ogled by women across the country and sought after by national fashion photographers and writers while attending movie premiers with Hollywood’s elite? Or that Reggie Bush doesn’t enjoy every minute national pundits drool over his game-breaking ability? Of course they do.Go check out the school’s athletic website — even their sports information department gets in on the action. Instead of taking the browser right to the front page of the site, a fan is greeted with a flash movie that opens with the words “Two-time defending national champions” and then goes on to show Leinhart, Bush and Co. flashing across the page in reverence of the program. It even shows their fearless leader, Pete Carroll, cheering with his USC record flashing in the background.How many schools have the gall to do that? Not too many.Even the way they play their games is like a Hollywood drama. Sure they toppled Oregon 45-13, but the Ducks caused plenty of drama with their early 13-0 lead and their 13-10 advantage at halftime.The very next week against Arizona State, USC had their fans’ hearts racing when they entered the break in an 18-point hole. Save for a miraculous 21-point outburst in the fourth quarter, reminiscent of Bobby Boucher’s final quarter heroics in “The Waterboy,” the Trojans wouldn’t be sitting atop the national polls.Two weeks later the cardiac-Trojans needed a lucky fumble out of bounds at the one-yard line to give them one last shot at the end zone against the Fighting Irish — a game they won 34-31.Are you getting the general theme here? “Hollywood” is the perfect label for this Trojan squad, which is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that Carroll and the Trojans pulled what is perhaps the greatest Halloween joke in the history of sports.I mean really, what coach pretends to get into an argument over playing time with one of his star players, running back LenDale White (the same player who actually argued with Carroll earlier this year over that exact issue), throws him out of practice, and then conspires with him to walk to the roof of a nearby building and have him pretend to throw himself off the roof? Not only that, but what coach does this without telling any of his fellow coaches or any members of his team, except for White?I could see these kinds of antics from the Lou Brown’s or Tony D’Amato’s of the movie world — but from Carroll, no way. With a stunt like that, we’re talking Academy Award for best script, and another award for best leading man.Well, needless to say I underestimated Carroll’s comic ability, which far exceeded any expectations I might have had. And let me just say — what a hysterical stunt it was. I laughed out loud for a good long time after seeing that stunt, and I’m still chuckling to myself about it right now.Not only was it hysterical, but it was a beautifully devised backhanded slap at the media, who have been a nuisance to Carroll and his players since the beginning of the year.From the coverage garnered by the report of White’s argument with Carroll earlier this year over how many touches he was getting, you’d have thought Troy was falling all over again. Ditto for the early slip-ups against the aforementioned Ducks, Devils and Irish.The fact of the matter is, no matter how much bad press or national attention this Trojans team receives, nothing seems to faze them. “Hollywood” is the right moniker for this team, but it works for them, and not only that, it’s fun to watch. After all, if I have to pick a “Hollywood” to watch, I’ll take a LenDale White doll falling from a building over Hogan any day.last_img read more

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Elliott’s ‘the man’ in goal for Badger hockey

first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)There’s never been any question about sophomore goaltender Shane Connelly’s ability to hold down the net when senior Brian Elliott needs a break.But since Connelly got the start against Minnesota-Duluth last Saturday — in Elliott’s final regular season game — and notched his third shutout of the year, speculation is abound that Elliott may not be the guy now with the Badgers (15-17-4, 12-13-3 WCHA) in a do-or-die situation.Not so, said head coach Mike Eaves at his Monday press conference.”Brian is the man,” Eaves said. “We talked about Shane’s development — he’s followed the same path as Brian did his sophomore year.”Elliott knows what it’s like to be in Connelly’s position — as a sophomore, Elliott was the backup to All-American Bernd Brückler. That year, Elliott started game two of the 2004-05 WCHA opening round and lost to Alaska-Anchorage 2-1; Elliott also saw some ice time the previous night in UW’s game one victory.But it doesn’t appear Eaves will be employing the same system against Denver, at least not with a defending national champion goaltender and Hobey Baker finalist on his roster.”In college hockey, he’s as veteran as they get, going into this playoff for us,” Eaves said.”He’s been there, he’s won it, he’s dealt with the expectations and pressure of doing it again. He’s come back and done some very good things, so … he comes into this playoff at a pretty good spot for us.”Unless something happens physically to Brian, he’s going to be the man.”Road warriorsThe 2006-07 regular season schedule had the Badgers on the road for their last two series of the year.Wisconsin ran into some travel troubles due to weather, getting stranded in Houghton, Mich., two weekends ago and leaving for Duluth, Minn., one night early to beat the blizzard-like conditions.UW recovered from a disastrous series against Michigan Tech to take three out of four points from UMD, earning a 2-1-1 record on the road swing.”We handled a lot of adversity, and I think for the most part, the guys did a pretty good job,” Eaves said.In recent weeks, players have mandated their late road trip has built character for the team, and Eaves agreed it’ll come in handy now that Wisconsin won’t play another game this year at the Kohl Center.”This is just another week for us,” Eaves said. “We’re packing up the circus and taking it on the road again.”So close, yet so farTake a look at the WCHA standings without the top two teams and bottom three teams — just four points separate the five teams in between.The parody of the league showed this year, and the Badgers are well-aware their seventh seed going into the WCHA playoffs could very well have been a third seed.”I think that makes us take a look at our schedule and not getting any points in Michigan Tech when [captain] Andrew [Joudrey] got sick … and losing that game in overtime at CC,” Eaves said. “You talk about details, all of a sudden, we could be up in that upper half so easily, but unfortunately it didn’t shake out that way, and we can’t change that.”By the same token, Wisconsin isn’t that far behind the rest of the pack.For further perspective, No. 8 North Dakota has the third seed in the WCHA playoffs — and tallied just one more win (13) in conference play than the Badgers did.Eaves says the exodus of great WCHA players who leave school early for the professional ranks lumps all the teams together at the end of the season.”We talked about parody being something that has existed in the WCHA, now it’s in bold font, underlined, bull’s-eye on it,” Eaves said. “That’s why the league is the way it is.”last_img read more

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Badgers survive do-or-die

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. — The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team implemented a do-or-die attitude about six weeks ago after getting swept at Colorado College and watching its defense of a national title start to slip away. In their first actual win-or-go-home game this season, the Badgers showed they could, in fact, play their best hockey with their backs against the wall.The individual goals weren’t always pretty, but the overall effort was a thing of beauty as No. 20 Wisconsin thumped Michigan Tech 4-0 in the WCHA Final Five play-in game Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.UW moved one step closer to a WCHA tournament title and an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, where the Badgers could play to defend their 2006 title.”It’s just a mindset for our whole team. You don’t want too much of ‘do-or-die’, but it is our season, we have to keep winning to keep playing,” UW forward Andrew Joudrey said. “We’re just trying to keep that going.”The Badgers (18-17-4) and Huskies (18-17-5) ranked first and second, respectively, in goals allowed during the regular season. Each program sustained that trend at their opening rounds last weekend when the two teams combined to surrender just six goals in five games.Both teams figured this game to be an offensive struggle and planned to simply throw a lot of pucks at the net. Head coach Mike Eaves’ squad did so with much more success and routed the only team that has beaten Wisconsin since Feb. 3.”We’ve been preaching, part of the way you manufacture goals is getting pucks and bodies at the net,” Eaves said. “We’ve been doing that more consistently here down the stretch.”Michigan Tech goalie Michael-Lee Teslak gave up just three goals in as many games when the Huskies knocked off Colorado College in the opening round but wasn’t as fortunate against the Badgers. Just 1:42 into Thursday’s contest, UW forward Blake Geoffrion intended a centering pass for linemate Matthew Ford, but MTU defenseman Geoff Kinrade’s stick tipped the puck past his own netminder for Geoffrion’s second goal of the season.The Badgers’ No. 3 line of Geoffrion, Ford and center Andy Brandt created a plethora of scoring opportunities, compiled nine shots on goal between them and were pesky from the first whistle until the last.”The third line, we branded ourselves on being pretty physical all night long,” Geoffrion said. “[With] a lot of back pressure, we created a lot of our scoring chances, just kept it simple and played hard.”UW’s second goal bore similarity to its first, as Wisconsin’s struggling power play, which hadn’t found the score sheet since Feb. 24, took advantage of the NHL-sized rink in the second period.Forward Michael Davies, who notched a pair of goals the last time he took on the Huskies (including that previous power-play tally), tried to direct a centering pass to forward Jake Dowell, but the puck bounced off MTU forward Peter Rouleau and through Teslak’s legs to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead.Ninety-two seconds after Davies’ goal, Joudrey sent a 20-foot shot off the left post and in for his ninth goal of the season. Defensemen Kyle Klubertanz and Joe Piskula were credited with assists, and Joudrey’s credit went to Wisconsin’s third line that had worn down the MTU defense and allowed UW’s captain an easy opportunity.”They had a great shift, Michigan Tech was tired and I jumped on the ice and took advantage of it,” said Joudrey of the third line. “They provided energy all night long.”That’s what it takes, you need four lines going to win in the playoffs, and fortunately that happened tonight.”And in the third period, Wisconsin showed it wasn’t done just yet. Klubertanz dumped the puck into the right corner, and forward Ben Street found forward Tom Gorowsky wide open in front of the net with a nifty pass that Gorowsky redirected past Teslak. The Huskies had chances to put a body on both Street and Gorowsky but didn’t get the job done and allowed the Badgers an exclamation mark on their masterpiece.Not to be forgotten in the shuffle of Wisconsin’s offensive prowess, Brian Elliott was outstanding in net for the Badgers. The senior added to his already-stellar postseason numbers with 26 saves and his fifth career shutout, upping his record to 11-2 in the playoffs.”To win in the playoffs, you have to have great goaltending,” Joudrey said. “Hopefully, we can keep providing some offense for him and helping him out.”With the win, Wisconsin sets up a semifinal showdown with a team that needs no introduction. The top-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-7-3) await the upstart Badgers in Friday’s second semifinal at 7:07 p.m., with the victor advancing to the elusive WCHA title game.”It’s just going to be so fun,” Eaves said. “It’ll be our second game in two nights, but it will seem like our first game, just because of our opponents, the building, the enthusiasm.”This is why you train all summer, because of games and moments like this when you can play in front of this crowd,” Eaves added. “It’s just pure fun.”Game notes: Elliott’s goose egg was the 16th of his career, which ties him for the all-time WCHA lead with former CC goaltender and current UW women’s volunteer goalie coach Jeff Sanger. … UW defenseman Jeff Likens showed no ill effects from the leg injury he sustained last Saturday at Denver. … Referee Todd Anderson was hit in the face with an errant stick late in the first period, leaving a trail of blood on the ice by the Badgers’ bench. After a short delay, play resumed with Anderson stitched up and back in the game. … A crowd of 16,449 was on hand at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, the largest attendance for a UW hockey game this season.last_img read more

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Zetlin: So many lessons in such short amount of time

first_imgI walked into The Badger Herald office 26 months ago and casually grabbed a women’s hockey feature assignment from sports editors Dave McGrath and Aaron Brenner. I remember interviewing a few of the freshman skaters, scribbling frantically without the aid of a tape recorder. I had no idea what I was doing.I reread it Monday. It shows.Five semesters and 120 articles later, I’m now writing my last column as sports content editor of the Herald. And oh, what a ride it’s been.I’ve discussed the BCS with Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, talked about the spread offense with Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez and laughed with the immortal Joe Paterno about his 2006 injury along the Camp Randall sidelines.I’ve chatted about the Bill Simmons blog era with Rick Reilly and discussed playing in the NFL with Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins and Wisconsin’s Travis Beckum.I’ve heard Bo Ryan make fun of a Daily Cardinal writer, and I’ve stood alone on the Michigan ‘M’ in the Big House, under the lights with 107,000 empty seats surrounding me, one game after sweating through my blue button-down in Fresno State’s Bulldog Stadium.I’ve pissed off international Roger Federer fanatics and Indiana basketball buffs, irritated Bret Bielema face-to-face about Badger quarterbacks and last week I was even chastised on a national scale by CBS Sports’ senior writer Gary Parrish for arguing Bo Ryan should “take the next step.”Perhaps I was unclear, a bit ignorant or both on that last one. Either way, I probably deserved it.I’ve made mistakes and learned a lot during my time with the Herald, and the most important lesson is relevant in the world of sports but applicable to most other aspects of life: teamwork.Writing, for the most part, is an individual activity. The production of a daily newspaper is everything but. The Badger Herald staff is comprised of dozens of selfless individuals who care more about the sum of the whole than the isolated efforts that produce it.Make no mistake, they (we) think the “whole” is a bigger deal than any of our readers could ever care, but the effort, for that reason, is unmatched by any organization I’ve ever been a part of. Much of the Herald is made up of extremely gifted, hard-working students who should be getting 4.0s, but because of their time spent in the Gorham Street office, can’t realistically reach that figure.From editors to designers, writers to advertisers, the paper doesn’t print if one piece of the nightly assembly line doesn’t fulfill his or her duty. That’s yet to happen during my three-semester stint in the office, but I’ve heard stories of staying until 4 a.m., only to make three morning classes and the daily news meeting twelve hours later.I’ve met countless kids whom I never would have envisioned befriending if it weren’t for the Herald, some of whom have become lifelong friends, all of whom I feel privileged to have worked with.Take my colleague Tyler Mason for example. He doubles me in terms of Herald hard work, all the while playing trumpet in the UW band.“How the hell do you do it?” I’ve asked.Aside from a shrug, he’s never had an answer of the verbal variety.I want to thank not only those who have put up with my sarcasm and frustration in the office, but those who have helped me along the way, most notably my fans. And by fans I mean parents and grandparents who have sent me feedback since day one, urging me to follow my dreams, treating me as if my stories could be substituted for Reilly’s.Guess what, I’ve reread most of them. They aren’t.My non-Herald friends can’t seem to understand why I spend so much time working for a student newspaper. Sometimes I’m not sure either.I’m not going to miss the 4:30 section head meetings, waiting for late stories to come in, writing headlines so a “w” can’t fit at the end, revamping the page because a photo was facing the wrong way or rewriting stories simply because they were unfit for print.But never again will I be able to work among politics aficionados in the midst of the most exciting presidential election in world history, make fun of The Daily Cardinal with people who care, play flag football as if it were Super Bowl XLII or have a World Series-esque champagne party after the final work night of each semester.Has it been tedious? Time-consuming? Rewarding? Worth it?All of the above.Yeah, I think I’m going to miss this place.Derek is a junior majoring in economics. He will be studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic next semester, but if future Herald sports editors allow it, hopefully he’ll continue writing during his senior year. Anything else? Derek can be reached at dzetlin@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

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Wisconsin can’t get offense going in Saturday letdown

first_imgDULUTH, Minn. — While the Wisconsin men’s hockey team shacked up at the Sheraton in downtown Duluth for the weekend, the Badgers probably spent more time getting intimately familiar with the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center’s penalty box.UW went on the penalty kill a single-game season-high 10 times in Saturday’s loss. After giving up seven power play chances to Minnesota-Duluth the night before, the 17 total opponent’s power plays were also the most Wisconsin has given up in a series this season.Playing down a man for almost 20 minutes Saturday resulted in Wisconsin being shut out for the first time this season, leaving UMD the only WCHA team that hasn’t been shutout.“We just never got any flow,” Eaves said. “Because we were going to the penalty box, we weren’t able to use our depth and roll our four lines.“It’s about rhythm. Offense is about rhythm,” he said later. “You talk to football coaches, they want their quarterback and line and their running backs to get into rhythm and we just never got that rhythm.”Even the five power plays UW got Saturday provided no boost, as the Badgers went scoreless and looked out of sync on all their man advantages.The lack of power play success and the constant penalties met early in the first period. Wisconsin got its first power play of the game on a roughing penalty to Mike Connolly at 13:53, only to see defenseman Brendan Smith get called for hooking 34 seconds later.The Badgers would see the tail end of a second period power play cut off as well, with defenseman Ryan McDonagh called for goaltender interference with six seconds left in a penalty to UMD’s David Grun. And with an opportunity to spend the last 1:10 of the game a man up, senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion went off with 18 seconds left in the game.“We felt like every time we got a little bit going, we ended up taking a penalty and it kind of killed the momentum,” senior tri-captain Ben Street said.On a positive note, the Badgers gave up just one power play goal in the 17 opportunities. UMD came into the series converting on a WCHA-best 24.2 percent of its man advantages and dropped to 22.5 percent after playing UW.In Friday’s game especially, the Wisconsin penalty kill looked dominant, giving up just three shots on goal and no goals in seven UMD power plays. The secret to UW’s success on the penalty kill seemed to stem from its aggressive forecheck.“They’re very skilled, but sometimes when you have pressure, you don’t have as much time, and sometimes you panic and make the wrong play,” Smith said. “We were fortunate to get on them right quick.”While the Badgers were, for the most part, able to replicate that success on the PK the next night, it came at the expense of the offense.Wisconsin entered Saturday’s game with a golden opportunity to get a win and sit alone in second place in the WCHA. Instead, the Badgers will head back to Madison wondering what could have been had they not spent 17:44 of game time in the penalty box.“I think this will be a true lesson for our guys,” McDonagh said. “We’ve been close at times, it’s almost cost us games — here it might have. We’ve got to make sure we’re not doing that, especially down the stretch.”Friday’s nifty playWith all that time off during winter break, Wisconsin had some extra minutes to work on some more peculiar plays. That work paid off when winger John Mitchell got the Badgers on the board midway through their game against Minnesota-Duluth Friday.While on the power play, UW freshman forward Craig Smith skated behind the UMD goal. In a move that surprised everyone — Mitchell included — Smith knocked a bank pass off the bottom bar of the net to the big 6-foot-5-inch forward, who buried the puck to tie the game at one.“I saw I was open, I thought [Smith] was just going to pass it blade to blade,” Mitchell said. “I was ready for it, it kind of was in my skates, I was able to kick it to my stick and make the play.”The added element of surprise was crucial on a night where most of the Badgers’ shots would be blocked in front or saved. According to Mitchell, it was a chance for something the team has practiced repeatedly to make an impact in a game.“We’ve actually started it quite a lot this year. We’d go out on our own… `over break we didn’t have school obviously,” Mitchell said. “We’d go out and practice little plays like that to ourselves, just in tight traffic — kind of things like that — and today it worked.”“It’s an indirect play. It’s one of those tidbits that we work on,” Eaves said. “You hope that your kids have the poise and confidence in the game to try something like that and they did tonight.”But how often does a play like that work flawlessly?“Well, it’s the first one we’ve seen all year,” Eaves said with a laugh.last_img
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IHOC : Syracuse allows 3 goals in 2 minutes to seal loss on Senior Day

first_imgTwo minutes made all the difference. The short on-ice span that separated Syracuse from a season-defining win on senior day and another bitter loss left the Orange wondering when bounces were eventually going to go its way.With Syracuse up by a goal, the Orange was playing with energy and had the momentum. But in a two-minute window, it dropped off and disappeared. Robert Morris scored three times in 99 seconds and from there Syracuse struggled to get back in the game.‘For us to try to get back into it, it just makes it tough,’ SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. ‘It’s just mentally defeating. It’s tiring.’And though Flanagan liked how his team didn’t pack it in, the Orange (9-18-3, 0-5-3 CHA) didn’t see the result it wanted, losing 5-2 to Robert Morris (16-8-2, 5-2-1) in the final home game of the season at Tennity Ice Pavilion in front of 341 fans Saturday. SU lost 4-3 to the Colonials on Friday night in the series opener. A few mental lapses and costly mistakes manifested into easy opportunities for the Colonials to sweep the Orange in the conference matchup.Four-year seniors — Megan Skelly, Taylor Metcalfe, Lisa Mullan and Stephanie Jones — were honored before the game in an emotional ceremony. Those heavy emotions carried onto the ice and gave Syracuse an additional boost on the ice.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHolly Carrie-Mattimoe put SU out in front with a quick strike in the first period. Slipping by a lethargic Robert Morris defense, Mattimoe glided from the near side of the ice and went top shelf on Colonials goaltender Kristen DiCiocco, who was slow to react.With what Mattimoe called a little bit of luck, the Orange showed that bundled energy from the ceremony translated into its early play and lead.‘We were all excited, all pumped for the seniors, and we really wanted to get that win for them,’ Carrie-Mattimoe said.But that desire couldn’t outweigh the mistakes Syracuse made following its early edge.After Jacquie Greco was sent to the penalty box for interference, Robert Morris capitalized.Robert Morris began to send a flurry of shots on the cage on the power-play opportunity. The Colonials then finally broke through when Rebecca Vint redirected a long pass from teammate Brianna Delaney into the back of the net with 48 seconds left in the first period.Then things began to unravel for Syracuse. Just 28 seconds later, the Colonials’ Dayna Newsom fired a shot through Kallie Billadeau’s legs to give Robert Morris a one-goal lead.‘It’s very deflating, the one goal all right,’ Flanagan said. ‘But the second goal was tough.’If the second goal was tough, the third goal was devastating.And it came 51 seconds into the second period when Robert Morris executed a two-on-one to perfection. Kelsey Thomas sent a centering feed to Thea Imbrogno, who deked out Billadeau out for a two-goal edge.By that point, all the energy Syracuse had displayed at the start of game had left the building, and by the third goal the only noise was coming from the Colonials’ bench.And once again, for the most part, the Orange could only point to itself for the breakdown on ice.‘Once one happened we just kind, were kind of scrambling out there, and they just got the other two,’ freshman Nicole Ferrara said. ‘We just need to keep our cool next time.’Ferrara and the SU squad eventually regained their composure and made things interesting when Ferrara collected a loose puck in front of the cage and shot it into an exposed net to make it 3-2.The goal gave Syracuse some life, and Metcalfe said she thought an Orange comeback was within the realm of possibility. But it ultimately wasn’t meant to be.Robert Morris netted two goals late for additional insurance. On a day the Orange wanted to send the seniors out with a win, it instead left SU players searching for answers to its ongoing problems, especially how to avoid critical letdowns.‘I don’t know. I think it’s been happening a lot this season,’ Ferrara said. ‘We still really haven’t figured it out.’dgproppe@syr.edu Published on February 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

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‘The new Temple’: Coming off a 9-4 season and bowl victory, the Owls are looking to prove they’re here to stay in their second go-around in the Big East

first_img Published on August 30, 2012 at 3:38 am Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ Atop a silver ladder, Derek Dennis and Morkeith Brown took turns conducting the Temple Diamond Marching Band at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M. His teammates sang along to the school fight song.They were celebrating their victory in the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Owls’ first bowl win since 1979.Eighty-one days later, Temple celebrated its return to the Big East. The conference announced the Owls would begin Big East play in football this fall with their other sports joining in 2013.“It’s a tremendous natural step that we needed to have the opportunity to take, and we’ve taken it,” said head coach Steve Addazio. “Now we’ve got to go about the business of building it.”Today’s Temple is nearly unrecognizable compared with its first run in the Big East from 1991-2004. The Owls won just 30 games during that stretch and were eventually forced to leave the Bowl Championship Series conference due to lack of attendance and investment in the program. But the team enters the Big East this season coming off three straight winning seasons and the bowl victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith state-of-the-art facilities and a foundation of success, the Owls are expected to compete with their conference opponents this time around. Though the preseason Big East media poll ranked Addazio’s team last, Temple is a far cry from the perennial doormat it was for 14 seasons.“This isn’t their first barbecue, so to speak,” Connecticut head coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “You better be prepared to play Temple because Temple is going to play hard. They’re going to be well-coached, and they’re going to be capable of winning games.”But when Bobby Wallace took over as Temple’s head coach in 1998, he saw why the program had struggled mightily for much of the decade. On campus, the team practiced without a fully modernized facility.The field behind McGonigle Hall doubled as stomping grounds for local kids. One player nearly collided with a child on a bicycle while running down a punt on Wallace’s first practice. Wallace recalled seeing neighborhood kids shred his practice field while playing pickup football games on rainy Sundays.The Edberg-Olson football complex across campus was completed in 2000. Wallace said it helped to calm down the circus-like atmosphere of Temple’s practices, but the program and its facilities still lagged behind their Big East counterparts.In 2005, a relieved Wallace walked off the turf at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. A 0-11 season and his career at Temple were complete.“I was thinking about moving back to the South,” said Wallace, who went 19-71 in seven seasons.Wallace’s fate was partially sealed in January 2001 when the Big East voted to end Temple’s membership in 2004. The decision crippled recruiting efforts and the entire program. Wallace called it a “kiss of death.”“We probably were the worst program in Division I-A,” said Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw. “Not just on the field, attendance, performance, but academically and the kind of disciplinary issues there, we probably were dead last.”For two years, more than 90 percent of Wallace’s recruits were junior college players. Most high school seniors were off limits.The reliance on junior college recruits meant the team’s talent had two fewer years to develop chemistry. Those recruits, while talented, often came with personal baggage that made them hard to coach, Wallace said.“I rather would’ve just gotten voted out right away because it made it difficult to recruit when you couldn’t tell a young man and his parents whether we would have football or what level we’d be playing at in three years,” Wallace said.Wallace and Bradshaw fought to keep the program’s Division I-A status. The university considered downgrading to Division I-AA or even ending the football program at one point.Seven years after leaving the Big East, Temple football is thriving. Facilities are now a selling point to recruits already drawn in by the team’s recent success.Former Owls offensive lineman Dan Klecko, who played seven seasons in the NFL, checked out the team’s new facilities on a visit back to the school this year. Bradshaw said Klecko told him he had never seen a nicer weight room in his professional career.The players Temple has brought should also give the program high-level talent for years to come. Scout.com ranked the 2012 incoming freshman class the 55th-best recruiting class in the country.Addazio is looking to use the combination of resources and talent to build on a 9-4 season in 2011.His image can be seen in this year’s team. He emphasizes to his players energy and physical play.“The fundamental starting point for our program is, No. 1, we have a group of players that respect the game,” Addazio said. “They understand it’s a privilege, not a right, and every day they’re going to take the football field, and they’re going to compete.”The philosophy is a holdover from his predecessor, Al Golden, who led the Owls to a 17-8 record from 2009-10.After Wallace’s resignation, Golden interviewed for the Temple job Nov. 6. Bradshaw had already interviewed several potential replacements. They planned on meeting 10-15 more candidates.Fifteen minutes into the interview, Golden all but ended Temple’s search. By that time, Bradshaw’s yellow legal pad read, “This is our man.” One month after his interview in a Charlottesville, Va., hotel room, Golden was introduced as the new head coach.Golden went on to lead Temple to a share of the MAC East division title and the team’s first bowl game in 30 years.“Al came in to captain the ship over rough waters and he did — miraculously, according to some, and extraordinary, according to even people who aren’t given to hyperbole,” Bradshaw said.Golden’s work made Addazio’s job easier, too. Now, with a bowl victory and his team’s jump to the Big East, the head coach said his program has taken the next step.Yet Addazio refuses to let his players forget what the program went through. He brought in former players to tell stories of Temple’s struggles and motivate its current squad.“We’re the new Temple,” quarterback Chris Coyer. “We like to play hard. We’re tough, and we’re going to do the best we can, and we’re going to give everybody what they want.” Comments Related Stories Hidden wounds: After a slew of unpublicized injuries derailed Syracuse last year, the program makes adjustments to stay healthy in 2012Back on the warpath: Florida State poised to return to championship discussion behind swarming defenseMultiple fronts: Ashton Broyld gives Syracuse a new offensive weapon who can attack defenses from a variety of positionsIn the clear: Marcus Sales enters the 2012 season refocused and rededicated to football following his season-long suspensionNo rush: Without a clear-cut starter after preseason camp, Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone will weigh his options at running back during the seasoncenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Coleman dresses, misses 2nd straight game with left leg contusion

first_imgSyracuse (14-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) center DaJuan Coleman did not play in the Orange’s 49-44 win against Miami (8-6, 0-2) on Saturday.Coleman, who has now missed two straight games with a left leg contusion, was on the bench in his uniform. But even though he dressed, SU head coach Jim Boeheim said he was not excepting to play him.“He was feeling better, but I really didn’t want to,” Boeheim said. “We’re going to give him another day or two. See how he feels. He’s better, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”Jerami Grant started again at the wing and Rakeem Christmas slid into the middle of the 2-3 zone. Coleman did participate in pregame warm-ups, appearing to favor his right leg slightly, and wore a sleeve on his left knee.On Friday, SU Athletics spokesman Pete Moore said the injury is around the knee area — the same knee that Coleman underwent surgery for on Jan. 29, 2013 that caused him to miss eight games. However, Moore said that the team does not believe the two injuries are related. The sophomore center said he dropped 10-to-15 pounds before the start of the season in hopes of gaining speed and limiting the chance of re-injury.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textColeman’s contusion was first announced by Boeheim after the sophomore center played just six minutes and missed the entire second half in SU’s 78-62 win over then-No. 8 Villanova last Saturday. He then sat on the sideline in a grey sweatsuit for the Orange’s 70-48 victory against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday. Comments Published on January 4, 2014 at 8:23 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Rollison garnering NFL scouts’ attention at Texas A&M-Commerce, 4th school in 6 years

first_imgTyrik Rollison has attended four schools in the past six years.In that time, he’s dealt with the flu, a broken wrist, a broken ankle and faced a one-game suspension due to academics. He’s also had four daughters, who he has looked to for motivation throughout the last two years of his tumultuous college career.“I know Ty’s dream when he came through high school wasn’t to be the starting quarterback at Texas A&M-Commerce,” Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Colby Carthel said.But Rollison is now a 23-year old starter for the Lions (2-1, 1-0 Lone Star Conference), and he’s put up video game-like statistics this year. In his team’s 98-20 season-opening victory over East Texas Baptist University, Rollison was 25-for-32, throwing for 546 yards and six touchdowns. He’s emerged as a leader helping to transform the Division II program and is garnering attention from NFL scouts, six of which were at his first game of the season.“It’s been a long journey, but I don’t regret anything that happened,” Rollison said. “I’m here for a reason.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRollison was ranked as the 11th-best quarterback in his class by Scout.com and attended Auburn out of high school. He led Sulphur Springs (Texas) High School to its only state championship in 2008 and planned to play for the Tigers in 2009, but got the flu during training camp. He missed practice time and then redshirted.And that was just the beginning.Rollison was suspended by Auburn for the 2010 Outback Bowl due to academics. He was expected to compete for the starting job the next year but transferred to Sam Houston State to be closer to home, and current Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton led Auburn to a national title.After receiving a medical redshirt at Sam Houston State, he transferred to Tyler Junior College and played his freshman and sophomore seasons there. In 2012, he was named a National Junior College Athletic Association honorable mention All-American.He then had two more years of eligibility and chose Texas A&M-Commerce and took a risk on a school that only had two wins in its prior two seasons — joining the program at the same time that Carthel did.“It was just ‘Hey, we’re going to be here, we’re going to be working hard, we’re going to recruit good players,’” Carthel said of his pitch to Rollison. “Come be the guy that makes it happen for us.”Carthel first saw Rollison play when Sulphur Springs played Wichita Falls Rider (Texas) High School on ESPN2 in 2008 and tracked his career ever since. When Carthel took over as head coach, he knew his team needed a quarterback and Rollison needed a school. Rollison was sold on Carthel’s proposed high-powered offense and the proximity to Sulphur Springs.When future teammates learned Rollison would be transferring in, they researched him. Wide receiver Vernon Johnson watched videos of Rollison on Hudl.com and knew his new quarterback would be pretty good.Rollison is making good on Johnson’s prediction.“He slips some passes in some holes that I’m just like I don’t know how he does it,” Johnson said.This year, he’s back as a senior with one final season of a turbulent career.Regardless of his past, Rollison still possesses the exceptional skills that made him a U.S. Army All-American in high school. He still drops 70-yard passes right on the money, slides in the pocket effortlessly and guides teammates with poise and conviction.Said Rollison of his journey: “I would have to say as far as it affecting me playing ball, I don’t think it has. I just go out there and do what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 23, 2014 at 12:20 am Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img read more

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