FB : Cooper: Dominant Orange victory shows Big East title within reach

first_img Published on October 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: mcooperj@syr.edu | @mark_cooperjr Everyone expected a blowout. One team — Syracuse — was presumed to be vastly inferior in all three phases. Fans likely made other plans during the fourth quarter because it would be no contest by then.West Virginia was supposed to be the team to score 49 points and Syracuse was supposed to score 23.But some bizarre, inverted version of that scenario took place instead — all in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN. The Orange displayed a juggernaut offense, a tenacious defense and a dynamic special teams unit that dismantled the Mountaineers, to come out on the winning end of a 49-23 rout.‘They completely dominated us on all three sides,’ West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said. ‘There won’t be any finger-pointing. This was a team loss. We have to give Syracuse credit for having more energy and being more excited to play.’This came out of nowhere. After a three-point win over lowly Tulane, whose head coach resigned last week, Syracuse destroyed the No. 11 team in the nation Friday, breaking the Mountaineers’ will. The Orange looked like the team that was unanimously picked to win the Big East back in August, not West Virginia. Syracuse played like the team that could represent the Big East this January in the Bowl Championship Series.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThere’s now a new aura surrounding this team. SU could very well be ranked by the time it plays another game in the Carrier Dome (Nov. 11 vs. South Florida). No longer is Syracuse considered to be so lucky for having a winning record. The Orange lost to Rutgers, but it now feels like SU must be the better team. Rutgers couldn’t do that to West Virginia.The saying goes: You are what your record says you are. And pretty or not, Syracuse is a 5-2 team. And Friday was pretty.‘I’m very excited. We stuck together as a whole unit, offense, defense, special teams,’ safety Phillip Thomas said.Now, in the next two weeks, Syracuse will probably be favored to win road games at Louisville and Connecticut. UConn was just on the other side of a West Virginia blowout, getting shredded 43-16 on Oct. 8.Syracuse was another UConn. The result was going to be the same Friday.But when WVU quarterback Geno Smith tried to duplicate that performance Friday, the Orange defense gave him fits. None more prominent than when the Mountaineers tried to score before the half to cut into a 21-9 deficit. He threw into triple coverage in the end zone, and Orange safety Jeremi Wilkes came away with a pick.Later, after taking a hit on the last play of the half, Smith sat on the ground as everyone ran into the tunnel at halftime, one of the last ones to head to the locker room as he walked slowly off the field.‘Me, personally, I saw a little change in his game and in his eyes,’ defensive tackle Deon Goggins said. ‘So we did what we planned to do.’A month ago, Syracuse couldn’t rattle Matt Barkley as he threw five touchdowns on a poor SU secondary. But the bye week has reinvigorated and improved the health of Syracuse, who at 1-1 in the Big East can still make a run for the conference title.And five winnable games remain on the schedule: Louisville and UConn, then South Florida, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.It’s not exactly murderers’ row. The Cardinals and Huskies have inconsistent quarterback play. USF is 0-3 in the conference. Cincinnati’s at the top of the Big East but was obliterated by a 3-4 Tennessee team. Pittsburgh’s offense is an utter disaster.Syracuse has problems, too. But none of those five teams have put together as complete a performance as SU’s on Friday.A BCS bowl, whether it’s Orange, Sugar or Fiesta, is out in the distance but creeping closer.Marrone didn’t say anything outrageous after the game. He actually didn’t say much at all, deflecting credit for the win and in some ways deflecting the importance of the win itself.But string together a couple of more wins over teams the Orange should beat, and the next time Marrone’s at the podium in the Dome, after a Friday-night win over South Florida, it will be hard for him to keep calm over what would be an 8-2 Syracuse team.‘I think we were much closer to get those three phases,’ Orange head coach Doug Marrone said. ‘ … We’ll go back and look at it, and I’m sure there are a lot of things that we need to improve on as we go forward in this season, but it’s always easier to do that after a win.’Mark Cooper is an asst. sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at mcooperj@syr.edu or on Twitter at @M_Coops_Cuse. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Wisconsin sweeps Illinois to extend winning streak to five

first_imgIt was a relatively frustrating first half of the season for the Wisconsin softball team, but the Badgers finally look to be hitting their stride.Illinois (18-18, 2-10 Big Ten) came to Madison over the weekend and, after sweeping the Fighting Illini in a three-game series, Wisconsin (22-15, 6-5) has extended its winning streak to five games.The Badgers set the tone right from the get-go Friday in their first game with the Fighting Illini this season.The score remained 0-0 for the first five innings of the game. Finally, in the bottom of the fifth, Wisconsin broke the scoreless tie. Senior Stephanie Peace led things off with a double down the left field line, making her way around the bases on a string of fielder’s choices, and eventually crossing home plate for the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice to Illinois pitcher, Brandi Needham.Not long after, senior Mary Massei singled to bring in teammate Ashley Van Zeeland to build a 2-0 lead.Any momentary relief the Badgers experienced with their two-run lead was extinguished the next inning, when the Illini responded with a pair of runs of its own in the top of the sixth.Illinois senior Alex Booker singled up the middle after teammate Remeny Perez led off with a hit by pitch. The second and third hitters went on to score the two runs of the inning, Perez batted in on a fielder’s choice and Booker stealing home right after.The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh, when Wisconsin junior Maria Van Abel stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. Van Abel came up with the walk-off single to third, allowing Chloe Miller to cross home and give Wisconsin the 3-2 win in the first game of the series.After a short intermission the teams took the field for the second game of the evening, one that Wisconsin third baseman Michelle Mueller decided she would take into her own hands.Wisconsin hit the ground running as Mueller homered over the center field fence in the first inning, batting in teammate Mary Massei who had reached on an error, giving Wisconsin the early 2-0 lead. But she was only just getting started.After a second hitless inning for Illinois, Mueller knocked another one out of the park, this time to right center, batting Massei and Peace around the bases for another three RBIs and putting the score at 5-0.The Fighting Illini finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, putting up three runs on three hits.The outfield backed up as Mueller approached the batter’s box for the third time in the fourth inning, but it didn’t matter as the junior infielder sent a third pitch sailing over center field wall, adding three more RBIs for Wisconsin.The sixth inning brought UW two more runs, as Van Abel and Massei scored on Illinois errors, putting the final score of the night at 10-3, eight of which belonged Mueller.Mueller, currently batting .385 (third highest on the team) has now racked up eight home runs for the 2014 season, along with more than 40 RBIs (team best).If the last game had belonged to Mueller, then the third game of the Wisconsin-Illinois series was due to the effort of UW pitcher Cassandra Darrah, who tallied up 10 strikeouts over the six innings she threw.After Darrah struck out two batters in the top of the first, Massei and Peace led things off with a double to left and single, respectively. Mueller batted Massei in on a ground out for her ninth RBI of the weekend. Miller stepped up right after and singled to right field, batting in Peace from third base and making the score 2-0.Illinois responded in the top of the second when catcher Jenna Mychko put one over the left field fence, and again in the third when Perez gained an RBI off a double.  Darrah shut down the Illini after the third inning, though, going on to throw seven more strikeouts over the next four innings.Wisconsin put up the last run of the day in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Van Zeeland picked up an RBI off a single, to bring the final score to 3-2 and giving Wisconsin its fifth straight win.The Badgers will look to continue their hot streak against in-state rival Green Bay (21-8) in a double-header Wednesday.last_img read more

NFL free agency rumors: Patriots working out kickers after Stephen Gostkowski struggles

first_img Jerry Rice believes Larry Fitzgerald could pass him on receptions list “Stephen Gostkowski’s an All-Pro in this league. I always count on him to deliver,” Brady said earlier this week. “I mean, it doesn’t always go our way. You know, he’s working through some things, we’re working through some things on offense but I’d say our kicking game in general ⁠— the punt team, the kickoff team, punt-return team, all those phases ⁠— we got a punt blocked for a touchdown, so those phases are real positives for us.”The Patriots signed Gostkowski, 35, to a two-year, $8.5 million deal in April. New England (4-0) will face the Redskins (0-4) Sunday, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. ET. Archie Manning says grandson is better than Eli, Peyton Related News The Patriots may be looking to add a free-agent kicker amid Stephen Gostkowski’s recent struggles.ESPN reported Wednesday the workouts scheduled for Wednesday are “consistent with their due-diligence approach at all positions to keep emergency lists updated,” adding the timing of the workouts makes sense because of Gostkowski’s performance lately. Derek Carr on Vontaze Burfict’s season-long ban: ‘I think that’s a little excessive’ The Patriots are working out some free-agent kickers today, which is consistent with their due-diligence approach at all positions to keep emergency lists updated. Veteran Stephen Gostkowski has missed four P.A.T.s this year, which adds a layer of context to the kicker workouts.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 2, 2019 While the Patriots could just be taking precautionary measures, the report comes after Gostkowski missed four extra points and a field goal over the last three weeks. He’s made 7 of 8 field goals this season with his only miss coming from 48 yards.Veteran quarterback Tom Brady defended his teammate after New England’s 16-10 victory over the Bills on Sunday.last_img read more

WHOPPING €18M GRANTED FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS IN CO DONEGAL

first_imgA whopping €18,636,662 has been pencilled in for road improvements in Donegal in 2015.The cash injection has been welcomed by Fine Gael TD for Donegal South West, Dinny McGinley.The cash is to be provided for national road improvement and maintenance works in Donegal next year. “Our national road network is a key asset as our economy moves towards recovery and growth. Preserving it will significantly assist and drive economic activity.“€18,636,662 in funding has been made available for improvement and maintenance works in Donegal. This will ensure that the standard of our national road network is preserved and will help the ongoing efforts to improve safety, reduce congestion and increase economic output.“This funding is for national roads. Regional and local road allocations for 2015 will be announced in January.”Minister Joe McHugh also welcomed the announcement. “I welcome the announcement from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohue, that the National Roads Authority (NRA) will be allocating a total of €18,636,662 for Donegal County Council. This figure includes €4,530,000 under National Primary Improvements; €8,405,000 under the National Secondary improvement; and almost €4,500,000 under both National Primary and Secondary Improvements, with over €500,000 in Maintenance works.“The NRA’s 2015 National Road Allocations, which will provide a total of €184.8 million in funding, will benefit local authorities and communities in Donegal and across the country. Our national road network is an essential part of developing this country’s recovery. This funding is paramount for an area like Donegal, where access to the rest of the country and improvements of existing infrastructure will benefit both people and businesses. This funding will be used for improvement and maintenance works on the existing network and also towards the progression of a number of projects through the design, planning, land acquisition and construction phases.“Earlier this month, the NRA provided details of their three year minor works programme which will be launched next year and the funding announced today will go towards progressing some of these schemes, such as the €4 million towards the N15 Blackburn Bridge Realignment Scheme in Donegal.”WHOPPING €18M GRANTED FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS IN CO DONEGAL was last modified: December 19th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more