September 7, 2014 |
Conestoga's Tim Miller hopped into Martin Dorsey's white SUV a few hours before the kickoff of a 21-14 win over visiting Ridley on Friday night. The two Conestoga offensive players drove together, as they do practically everywhere, for the 10-minute trip to the school's stadium. They told each other to be patient. Let Ridley stack the defensive line, Dorsey said, and the passing game will develop. No one will be able to call it a fluke, Miller said, when they beat Ridley for the second straight year.
September 5, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Ohio State's defensive line, now coached by former Penn State coach Larry Johnson, is stocked with future NFL talent. Michigan State's stifling unit is headlined by preseason All-America defensive end Shilique Calhoun. But after taking in the opening week of college football, the preseason talk of premier front fours might have unjustly left a Big Ten unit out of the conversation. "I would say that people overlook us," Penn State defensive tackle Austin Johnson said.
September 3, 2014 |
Akron coach Terry Bowden sounded like a guy whose team is going to have its hands full Saturday against Penn State and quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Seemingly, all he has is hope. "You've just got to hope you can slow [Hackenberg] down," Bowden said Monday on the Mid-American Conference coaches' call. "You hope he doesn't make the really big plays. You hope that you can get a little [bit] of pressure at times. You hope that you can make him go the length of the field by not turning the ball over.
August 31, 2014 |
NASHVILLE - A big rig with Jersey plates sat outside Vanderbilt Stadium, out on Natchez Trace. When college football teams go on the road, they take their program with them. Logistics are fine-tuned, contingencies planned for. When the rains came Thursday evening, Temple was ready. "We have a lightning plan that's in place. We bring all the food from the hotel in case we ever hit lightning," Temple football coach Matt Rhule was saying later, early Friday morning. There was no forecast, however, for what happened here.
August 30, 2014 |
In his 231 days as Penn State's head football coach, James Franklin has dazzled Nittany Lions football fans with his energy and enthusiasm, his ability to recruit, and his pleasant manner when he's been around them. Now, finally, those fans get to see him coach a football game. The James Franklin Era officially begins Saturday - in Ireland of all places - when the Lions take on Central Florida at the Croke Park Classic in Dublin. Reportedly, hundreds have crossed the Atlantic to see the debut in person.
August 30, 2014 |
NASHVILLE - Before the kickoff, a driving thunderstorm roared in and strategically-timed lightning bolts kept delaying the start of the season for the Temple Owls Thursday night at Vanderbilt. The stadium had to be cleared several times, players banished to the locker room. At almost 11 o'clock Eastern time, officially 92 minutes late, the opener began. None of it bothered Temple, none of it mattered. Never mind that the Owls were two-touchdown underdogs. They embarrassed Vanderbilt, 37-7.
August 26, 2014 |
Brandon Bair has a side business selling used cars. The Eagles defensive linemen started by finding a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado and identifying an opportunity where others saw junk. He made $700. So Bair could probably relate to the Eagles taking a 29-year-old defensive lineman who has never played in a regular-season game and was discarded by two teams, and turning him into a reserve lineman after one year on the practice squad. The 53-man roster will not be set until Saturday, and the Eagles will have difficult decisions to make on the defensive line.
August 20, 2014 |
The Eagles defense stayed on the field longer than any team in the NFL last season, and that's not just because of Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense and his indifference toward time of possession. It was also because the Eagles could not find a way off the field on third downs. Only eight teams in the NFL were worse on third downs than the Eagles, who allowed opponents to convert 40 percent of their attempts. The first two preseason games showed no sign of improvement. The Eagles are allowing opponents to convert on 62.5 percent of their third downs.
August 8, 2014 |
Taylor Hart and Beau Allen were selected on the third day of the NFL draft, when the odds of hitting on prospects are about as low as betting on the hard eight. But the Eagles loaded the dice and took defensive linemen they knew, and defensive linemen who knew their scheme. Training camp is only 10 practices old, and Friday's preseason opener at Chicago will be the first true test, but Hart and Allen already have drawn praise from teammates and coaches. That's not often the case for rookies taken in the fifth and seventh rounds.
August 5, 2014 |
CORTLAND, N.Y. - Karl Dunbar, who coaches the New York Jets' defensive linemen, described himself one day here last week as a "man of faith," and he said he draws on that faith when considering the future of his best player. That player is Muhammad Wilkerson, and Muhammad Wilkerson believes himself to be underpaid. He said as much to the New York Daily News last month ("Do I think I'm underpaid? Yeah. "), and it is difficult to argue with him. Since the Jets drafted him out of Temple in 2011, making him the Owls' only first-round pick over the last 28 years, Wilkerson has started 47 of a possible 48 regular-season games, made 114 tackles, collected 181/2 quarterback sacks - including 101/2 last season - forced six fumbles, defended nine passes, and become the most important and versatile player not merely on the Jets' defensive line, but on their entire defense.