Archive Page 2

02
Dec
10

Loss To Vikings Puts Redskins in Precarious Position

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins just made their road to the playoffs a lot more difficult and treacherous when they lost at home to the previously 3-7 Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. Even with Adrian Peterson sidelined for much of the game, the Vikings beat up the Redskins by dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Redskins, who were already previously banged up heading into the contest, allowed 137 yards to Peterson and Toby Gerhart combined, while only gaining 29 yards rushing themselves. Donovan McNabb was sacked four times and pressured throughout the contest.

Key Play:

Down 17-13 with 7:15 left in the game, Redskins Punt Returner Brandon Banks had an electrifying 77-yard punt return to put the Redskins up 20-17. However, rookie Linebacker Perry Riley was called for an illegal block in the back that nullified Banks’ return. I don’t question the call at all; it was a clear penalty, but it was away from the play and Banks had already passed the defender Riley hit. Just a dumb mistake by a rookie that cost the Redskins the game. Washington would go on to stall the next possession, and the Vikings ran the rest of the clock out. Simply put, if Riley doesn’t try to light someone up and look good the Redskins win the game.

This loss truly stings for the Redskins. Four of their last five opponents currently hold winning records and are fighting for playoff position. The Skins will likely have to go 5-0 or 4-1 in these games in order to make the playoffs, saying that this would be a stretch would be an understatement. But Washington still has two games against the New York Giants and a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two teams that they are chasing right now. There is no better way to catch up to these teams by beating them head-to-head, but the Redskins will need a better performance than this in order to win against those opponents.

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29
Nov
10

From 2-10 to 8-4: A Tribute To The 2010 Maryland Seniors

Torrey Smith hauls in the third of his four touchdown receptions against the Wolfpack.

By Ben Linton

With a 38 to 31 win over North Carolina State, the Maryland Terrapins finished a terrific season, in which they turned their win total around by six games and became bowl eligible. A lot of Maryland’s success this season can be attributed to the play of it’s Seniors, who took the field at Byrd Stadium for one final time on Saturday. Often times when you hear coaches talk about their group of seniors, they always say, “They have overcome so much adversity in their time here.” I feel like that statement is too cliche and used to much in situations when it is not needed. This is not one of those cases.

As a college football player, overcoming adversity usually happens following a loss. But when you lose 10 games in one season, the stress just mounts and can be hard to handle. What this group gave Maryland this year was just a chance, a chance to play in the ACC Title Game. Although the Terps didn’t make these dreams come true with a loss last week, just the fact that they were in the conversation is truly amazing and gratifying to these group of student-athletes. Maryland has increased their win total by five games so far this season, and have already clinched a bowl-berth. Tomorrow they will play for each other, for pride, and for a better bowl. Here’s a look at some of the seniors that have made success this season possible:

Adrian Cannon- Wide Reciever

Cannon made an impact as a sophomore in his first career start in the Humanitarian Bowl, where he caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Chris Turner en route to a Terps victory. Last year as a junior, he hauled in 44 passes for 468 and 4 touchdowns. In his final season in College Park, Cannon has 36 receptions, 324 yards, and one touchdown. At 6’2, 204 lbs., Cannon is a physical receiver with good hands and is hard to bring down. His signature play will be a screen pass where he overpowers the corner with a stiff arm and runs for a first down. He will be missed.

Adrian Moten- Linebacker


Moten made the play of the year for the Terps in the first game of the season vs. Navy. With Navy at Maryland’s goal line, Moten leaped over the line and sacked Ricky Dobbs, forcing a fumble that Maryland would recover. He looked like superman on that play, and has made many other superb athletic plays this year for the Terps. He will end his career with 200 tackles, 2 fumbles forced, and 6 interceptions (4 this season.) He has great potential to become an NFL player, and with hard work he can get there.

Antwine Perez- Safety

Perez really broke out in his senior campaign making big plays and big hits as at the safety position for Don Brown’s defense. In 2009, he posed 34 tackles in a reserve role. He played all 12 games this year as a starter, and made the most of it, collecting 61 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and a sack. He will not go unnoticed in this year’s NFL draft and will be able to find himself a spot on an NFL roster next year.

Da’Rel Scott- Running Back

After the great years of having Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore in the backfield for the Terps, Scott knew coming in that he had some big shoes to fill. What Scott had that previous Maryland tailbacks did not was breakaway speed. Scott is probably the fastest running back Maryland has had since Bruce Perry, and his speed killed in 2008 when he had all All-ACC season, running for 1,133 yards with 8 touchdowns as a sophomore. Scott has battled injuries and split time with other Maryland running backs since, but has still had a great career as a Terp. He finishes his career with 2,201 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Alex Wujciak- Linebacker

If there is any player on the Maryland team that personifies this year’s defense, its Alex Wujciak. A two-time All-ACC selection, Wujciak has been high in the charts in tackles the past three seasons, and is one of the best playmakers at linebacker in the college game. He is a sure tackler with surprising speed for his size, and has four career interceptions, two going for touchdowns. He will be greatly missed next year in the middle of the defense, and it has been a pleasure to watch him make plays for the Terps.

Other notable seniors include: P/K Travis Baltz, DL Drew Gloster, WR Emani Lee-Odai, OL Paul Pinegar, WR La’Quan Williams

Thank you for a wonderful season and some great memories, Seniors.

25
Nov
10

Redskins Limp Out Of Tennessee With a Win

 

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins, who were already banged up heading into Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, overcame eight more key injuries to escape the Titans 19-16 in Overtime. After missing a 47-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have won the game, Kicker Graham Gano redeemed himself with a 48-yard game winner in overtime to give the Skins a win. Had the game gone any longer, the Redskins entire offensive line may have been injured, because they were dropping like flies at LP Field.

Heading into Sunday’s contest, the Redskins were already down two key players in the secondary, LaRon Landry (achilles) and Carlos Rogers (hamstring). This was not a good sign for the Redskins, whose 31st ranked pass defense had to rely on Reed Doughty and Kevin Barnes to somehow contain Randy Moss. Surprisingly, the Redskins did not do a good job, but a great job, as Moss was held without a catch and the Titans only racked up 222 passing yards.

The running back situation was also a concern when Clinton Portis went down with a groin injury. With Ryan Torain out and Chad Simpson injuring himself in warmups, the Redskins were left with only Keiland Williams, who handled the rushing duties, going for 68 yards on 23 carries.

There were a few bright spots in this game, however.

  • The Redskins defense, who gave up 59 points and 592 yards to the Philadelphia Eagles a week earlier, stifled the Titans offense, only giving up 373 yards and did not allow a touchdown (the Titans scored on a punt return.)
  • Remember all that talk about Donovan McNabb running the two-minute offense? Well, with 1:37 remaining McNabb beautifully manuevered the Redskins into field goal range to win the game. Unfortunately, Gano missed the kick, but it was nice to see McNabb prove his doubters and possibly even his coaches wrong. He had one of his best performances of the season, throwing for 376 yards with 1 td and 1 int.
  • The Redskins came into the game last in the NFL in 3rd down conversions at 22%, and were 0 for 10 against the Eagles on Monday Night. But the Skins were very effecient on third down against the Titans, converting 8 of 16 plays for a 50% conversion rate.

The Redskins may not have won this game as convincingly as they should have, but when was the last time we’ve seen that? I’m sure they will be satisfied with benefiting from the Titans’ self destruction with the whole Vince Young-Jeff Fisher controversy. With the win the Redskins improve to 5-5 on the year and are on the cusp of the playoff conversation. The Skins are currently 8th in the NFC standings, but with a win next week against the Minnesota Vikings (3-7), they will find themselves in the middle of the playoff hunt. Funny for a team that was so thoroughly embarrassed just a week ago.

23
Nov
10

Florida State Ends Maryland’s ACC Championship Hopes

By Ben Linton

Heading into the final two games of the 2010 season, the Maryland Terrapins needed to beat Florida State and North Carolina State at home in order to claim their first ACC Atlantic Title and a trip to Charlotte. The Terps would face off against the Seminoles in a Blackout, supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. Florida State’s starting Quarterback Christian Ponder had fluid drained from his elbow earlier in the week, but FSU would overcome all these obstacles to beat the Terps 30-16 on Saturday Night.

The game had two ties and five lead changes, but in the end Maryland’s inability to capitalize in the redzone hurt their chances. Maryland had to settle for three field goals in the redzone instead of scoring touchdowns, a difference that can be enormous in close games like this one. With 30 seconds remaining, Maryland QB Danny O’Brien was intercepted with the Terps trailing 23-16 to seal the team’s fate. The Terps were plagued by four turnovers, their highest total of the season.

With the loss, Maryland drops to 7-4 on the season, with one more game against the NC State Wolfpack to go. The Terps have already solidified a bowl berth, but will not play for the ACC Title. Maryland can increase their opportunity of a better bowl game with a win over NC State on Senior Day, and truly earn their first marquee win of the season. Although the Terps are 7-4, they have not defeated a ranked opponent and have only defeated one opponent (Navy) that currently holds a winning record. With a loss to NC State, Maryland may find themselves playing in a low-caliber bowl, which would not be satisfying for a team that has increased their win total by five games this year.

 

23
Nov
10

Ravens Claw Panthers

Ray Lewis and the D celebrate Ray Ray's pick 6

By Jesse Jones

Coming off a heart-breaking loss, the Baltimore Ravens traveled to Carolina to face the 1-8 Panthers. The Panthers were down to their fourth-string quarterback, Brian St. Pierre, and their third string running back, Mike Goodson. Enough said.

The Ravens started the game to a great start, with a 56-yard touchdown bomb from Flacco to TJ Houshmandzadeh on Baltimore’s second offensive play of the game. Baltimore would add a field goal to close out the first quarter with a 10-0 lead.

Carolina would add a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter before the Ravens increased their lead 17-3 heading into half, thanks to a Ray Rice touchdown.

In the beginning of the third quarter, the Ravens increased their lead to 20-3, before giving up a Carolina field goal a few minutes later. After three, the Ravens held a comfortable 20-6 lead.

However, the Panthers scored an 88-yard touchdown from Brian St. Pierre to David Gettis to cut the lead to a touchdown. This is when the defense stepped up. After a field goal that increased the Ravens’ lead to 23-13, Ed Reed intercepted St. Pierre and lateraled the ball to Dawan Landry, who ran the ball into the end zone to give the Ravens a 30-13 lead. The very next play, the same thing occurred. Ray Lewis grabbed his 30th career interception and ran it to the house to give the Ravens a 37-13 lead, the score they would win by. Ray Lewis is now the second player, along with Rodney Harrison, to have atleast 30 career sacks and 30 career interceptions.

The win kept the Ravens atop the AFC North at 7-3 and still remain second in the AFC. Baltimore’s run defense was shaky, giving up 120 yards to Goodson, but they stepped it up and sealed the game like the Ravens of-old. Joe Flacco had another very good day, going 24-33 for 301 yards and 1 touchdown, with a rating of 110.8.

Baltimore host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, who are a surprising 7-3. After that, the Steelers come to town for a Sunday night showdown. In order to improve to 9-3, Baltimore needs to tighten up the run defense and limit fumbles (6 in the past 2 games, 4 lost).

23
Nov
10

Maryland Basketball Update

By Ben Linton

After finishing the first couple warm-up games without a blemish (although one was too close for comfort) the Maryland Basketball team headed to New York City for the 2K Sports Classic. In the first game, the Terps took on the Number 4 Pittsburgh Panthers in Madison Square Garden. It was a tough matchup for the Terps, whose young guards had to go against two experienced veterans in Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs. The Panthers also had size inside to neutralize Maryland’s Jordan Williams, as the Panthers would out-rebound the Terps 59-28. Maryland shot only 14 of 23 from the free throw line, which ended up being their demise in a nine-point loss at 79-70. Cliff Tucker led the team with 17 points, while Jordan Williams scored 14 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Maryland would then face Number 16 Illinois in the Consolation game.

In game two of the 2K classic, Illinois used some good three-point shooting (10 for 19) to top the Terps 80-76. The Maryland defense was a bit shaky in this game, allowing a bunch of open shots to some capable shooters. The Terps were led by Freshman Terrell Stoglin with 17 points, and Jordan Williams (15 pts 13 reb) and Dino Gregory (10 pts 10 reb) both recorded double-doubles. With both losses, the Terps dropped to 3-2 on the year.

We learned a lot about this year’s team in the two games in Madison Square Garden. Although the Terps didn’t win any games in the tournament, they played well enough to win each one. They could have folded when they fell into some large defecits, (42-29 vs. Pitt, 69-57 vs. Illinois) but mounted comebacks in both instances. Free throw shooting and Three-point shooting have been a problem so far this year, but with time both of these will improve. We learned that Jordan Williams will be Maryland’s go-to-guy this season; not many teams in the ACC will be able to handle him inside. If the Terps can find more production around Williams, particularly from Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosely, the Terps will be a tough team to beat night in and night out. Stable point guard play will also be a key, whether it be from Senior Adrian Bowie, or Freshman Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin. Although the Terps left New York without any wins, they left with confidence that they will be a good team that will compete this season.

15
Nov
10

Ravens Come Back, Only To Lose

By Jesse Jones

Sorry for the late post, but it was my birthday weekend so I was quite busy.

Last Thursday the Baltimore Ravens faced off in Atlanta against the Falcons for the season’s first Thursday night football game.  It was the first time the first two quarterbacks drafted in the 2008 draft took the field against one another.

After a scoreless first quarter, Atlanta scored a touchdown thrown by Matt Ryan to Jason Snelling and a field goal and took a 10-0 lead into the half.  The Falcons added another field goal before Baltimore scored it’s first touchdown of the game from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin to cut the deficit to 13-7.  The Falcons started off the fourth quarter with a Roddy White touchdown grab, increasing their lead to 20-7.

This is where things get interesting.

Baltimore responded with two touchdowns, both thrown by Flacco to Mason and Heap, to take a 21-20 lead with 65 seconds remaining.  However, the game was not over.  Matt Ryan pulled out his college nickname, Matty Ice (yeah, sorry ACC fans), and orchestrated a game-winning touchdown drive in 40 seconds.  The final touchdown was a 33-yard pass to Roddy White, who pushed Josh Wilson to the ground before the pass to get open but was not called for interference.  The result was a wide open run to victory.  Baltimore would lose the game 26-21 after a failed 2-point conversion.

Many fans will be quick to say the controversial no-call was the reason the Ravens lost the game. And it does not help that Roddy White was quoted saying, “It was one-on-one coverage with one guy. But he was kind of flat-footed, and he tried to grab me, so I just pushed him down”.  But I will not.  The Falcons still would have had a chance to get into field goal range.  The reason the Ravens lost was because they simply could not stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons on third down.  Ryan went 32-50 for 316 yards and three touchdowns, and Atlanta converted 12 of 20 third downs.

Joe Flacco had another very good game, as he went 22-34 for 215 yards and three touchdowns, but also had one interception.  Ray Rice would only rush the ball 12 times for 59 yards, a 4.9 average (should have ran him more in the first half).

Baltimore is now 6-3, but still first in the AFC North thanks the Steelers getting blown out at home by the Patriots.  The team travels to Carolina this week before coming home to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next weekend.  Atlanta is now 7-2 and first in the NFC.




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