November 21, 2015 |
The Penn State pass defense, which has been ranked near the top of the FBS rankings in yards allowed this season, will get a major test from Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock on Saturday in a senior day matchup against the 14th-ranked Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. But the leader of the defense, senior cocaptain Jordan Lucas, will be watching from the sidelines. The Nittany Lions' starting strong safety suffered a season-ending injury in the first half of the team's Nov. 7 loss to Northwestern.
November 8, 2015 |
GREG HARDY'S presence on the Dallas roster, after a 10-game league suspension was reduced to four games by an arbitrator, was already controversial. Now, the Eagles fly to Dallas on Saturday with Hardy suddenly overshadowing everything else involved in this Sunday night prime-time meeting of NFC East rivals. There was no media access to the Eagles on Friday, after the website Deadspin published graphic photos of the abuse inflicted by the defensive end on his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder.
November 3, 2015 |
St. Augustine Prep vs. Paul VI in the first round of the Non-Public 4 state tournament? Camden Catholic vs. Bishop Eustace in the first round of Non-Public 3? St. Joseph vs. Holy Spirit or Holy Cross in the first round of Non-Public 2? It would be like a mini-version of a South Jersey non-public football showcase, if things play out a certain way in the final week of action before the start of the state tournaments. A lot can happen this weekend, both directly, in terms of results on the field, and indirectly, in terms of residual points that always seem to play a huge role in tournament seeding.
November 2, 2015 |
SATURDAY night didn't have to turn into a perfect storm. Notre Dame, which hasn't played in Philadelphia since 1993, didn't have to sign a contract four years ago to play a three-game series with Temple. The game in South Philly didn't have to be this year. Or at this point on the schedule. Temple didn't have to get off to its first 7-0 start, or be ranked for the first time since 1979. The Owls didn't have to beat Penn State for the first time in 74 years. Or follow that with a win at American Athletic Conference favorite Cincinnati, where they again were a touchdown underdog.
October 28, 2015 |
Former Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said he used to see the Notre Dame athletic director or another administrator from the school at a game or an NCAA convention - or maybe he'd call them, just to bring up the subject of a football game. "Not really about Philadelphia, just about an away game - get the foot in the door," Bradshaw said over the phone Monday. "It meant a big guarantee, a national TV game, the prestige, just playing there is coveted. " No interest. "They really didn't return calls," Bradshaw said.
October 19, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Penn head coach Ray Priore had texted his old boss congratulations after Al Bagnoli had won his first Columbia game last weekend. A few days later, Priore realized his text hadn't gone through. Driving home from practice, Priore called Bagnoli. After laughing about that, they hung up . . . over an hour later. That's not the norm during the week two head coaches are facing each other, talking for 75 minutes three nights before the kickoff, but there was nothing completely normal about this week for these men. "I knew today would be crazy," Priore said of the call.
September 30, 2015 |
THE HISTORIC football rivalry between Army and Navy continues Dec. 12 at Lincoln Financial Field, but it won't be the only Philly-flavored matchup between the schools in 2015, as their soccer teams will face off 7 p.m. Friday in the Army-Navy Cup IV at PPL Park. Seventh-year Navy head coach Dave Brandt and the Midshipmen (4-4-1, 1-0 Patriot League) lead the Cup matchup with a 2-0-1 record. After the teams played to a scoreless tie in 2012, Navy won the next two meetings; both wins were 1-0, in the second overtime period, with the game-winning goal in the 107th minute each time.
September 25, 2015 |
THE MENTALITY of an NFL coach can be difficult for those of us not in the NFL to understand. This is particularly true for those of us who make our livings trafficking in the stories of other people's lives. Take, for example, Sunday's showdown between the 0-2 Eagles and the 2-0 Jets. The underlying human drama has such tremendous potential that you can close your eyes and see the HBO 24/7 special playing out in your mind. In one corner, the football genius, hired away from his throne at the University of Oregon to rescue a franchise in the hardest of times, a fast-talking, fast-acting national headline, the entire sport watching his every move to see what he will think of next.
September 19, 2015 |
Kiko Alonso joked with tight end Zach Ertz that he has some of the best hands on the Eagles. Ertz didn't believe Alonso. The Eagles have wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs who can catch the ball. A linebacker does not usually surpass them. Then Alonso made a one-handed interception while falling backward to prevent a touchdown in the Eagles' loss on Monday, and Ertz needed to reconsider. "He goes out and makes a play like that," Ertz said, "and it's hard to ignore.
September 4, 2015 |
NEW YORK - After one inning Wednesday night at CitiField, the MLB.com website promoted the game between the Phillies and New York Mets as a confrontation between a couple of aces. They were wrong on both counts and that is a major problem facing the Phillies not only now but also in the future. Yes, Aaron Nola is the titular staff ace of the Phillies, but only because he is followed by three fellow rookies and a veteran with an earned run average pushing five per game. Put Nola in the Mets' organization and he might still be pitching at the triple-A level, which in no way is meant as a knock at his ability or what he could become.