October 17, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Six games into the college football season, Penn State coach James Franklin is still talking about things that need to be fixed. No team is perfect, but the issues confronting the Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) aren't encouraging this deep into the season. Saddled with a vulnerable offensive line, halfhearted commitment to the running game and an offense that has been a far cry from consistent, the Penn State defense has carried this team. With exception to its Sept.
October 17, 2014 |
ABOUT THIS time a year ago, there were at least a few Temple folks wondering if Matt Rhule was the right guy to coach the Owls' football team. And definitely many more than a few who were questioning Rhule's choice of making well-traveled veteran Phil Snow his defensive coordinator. But that's what can happen when you lose your first six and opponents keep converting long passes at the end of a lot of those games to erase whatever good had come before. "My oldest boy said, 'Dad, do you read message boards?
October 11, 2014 |
In those fleeting moments when Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich and backup Michael Felton can catch up with each other on the sideline during games, the two exchange information that they know will benefit both. "It's key," said Matakevich, who leads the Owls' voracious defense with 26 tackles. "He's watching me, and I'm watching him. We tell each other what we see and what we need to do. " It's the type of conversation that many defensive starters for Temple - looking to improve to 4-1 for just the third time since 1979 - are having much more regularly this season than last.
October 10, 2014 |
RAHEEM BROCK (Dobbins Tech) and Dan Klecko were teammates on the defensive line at Temple for a couple of seasons at the turn of the century, and then again with an Indianapolis Colts team in 2006 that won the Super Bowl. So now maybe it's only right that they're part of the six-person class being inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Fame, a group that also includes the late football coach Ray Morrison (1940-48). They'll be introduced - along with field hockey's Michelle Murawski (1997-2000)
October 6, 2014 |
Quentin Christian tossed the football into the sky, leaped, and kicked out his legs. The senior's interception in the end zone clinched Glen Mills' double-overtime 18-12 victory at Chester on Saturday afternoon in Del-Val League action. The Battling Bulls defense had been granted a second chance when Chester's game-tying touchdown was called back for offensive pass interference. The second chance, Christian said, was a blessing. And he made the most of it. The 5-foot-9, 162-pounder closely guarded the Chester receiver, snatched the pass, and soaked it in. The win was overwhelming, he said.
October 5, 2014 |
Albie Crosby stomped his right heel into the dirt, and a cloud of dust rose from the ground. The Imhotep Charter football coach gave his whistle a few quick blasts. Practice was set to begin, and the dust, which seems to haze over the team's practices, had arrived. The Public League's top team practices in the outfield of a West Oak Lane baseball field, a short walk from the school. The Lonnie Young Recreation Center field does not have goalposts. The team practices kicks by launching balls over the high fence down the third-base line.
September 26, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - The first thing Penn State coach James Franklin does when evaluating an opponent is to try and find that one guy, that one defensive player who can wreck a game. Be it a defensive lineman, linebacker, cornerback or safety, who can change the complexity of a game? That's going to be quite the challenge for Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. With a stable of defensive playmakers from the front four to the safeties over the top, the Nittany Lions' defense has turned heads through four games, leading the team to an undefeated mark.
September 22, 2014 |
The football struck a Roman Catholic defender's hand, ricocheted into the air, and hung over Washington's field on Saturday afternoon for what seemed an eternity. Cahillites coach Joe McCourt watched from the sideline, hoping the fourth-quarter play did not somehow turn into an Archbishop Ryan gain. Tom Stevens ran underneath the ball as it dropped toward the turf. "I hope I don't drop this," the Roman linebacker thought. Stevens grasped the ball and sprinted all alone with the interception for a 35-yard touchdown that sealed visiting Roman's 24-16 win. When the 6-foot-1 junior reached the end zone, he appeared to begin to dive across the goal line before stopping midstride.
September 19, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Behind the defensive line are the linebackers, and if an offensive playmaker gets by the second level, the linebackers, of course, can lean on defensive backs. But if a ball carrier gets past the secondary? See ya. "We're the last line of defense," Penn State cornerbacks coach Terry Smith said. "Our mistakes are touchdowns. " Thankfully for Smith and the Nittany Lions secondary, that final wall before the end zone has held firm so far, and it needs to remain solid this weekend against a quietly potent Massachusetts offense.
September 17, 2014 |
INDIANAPOLIS - It is important to note, at this juncture, that the Eagles very much are a work in progress. They have a quarterback with less than a full season's worth of starts. They are inexperienced on the defensive line. They rebuilt their receiving corps. They addressed the porous defensive secondary, but they could not upgrade it overwhelmingly. They lost three of their top six offensive linemen to injury or suspension, and the offensive line was their best unit.