Thursday, October 30, 2014

Previewing the Navy - Notre Dame Game

Navy and Notre Dame square off for the 88th consecutive year this Saturday at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.  The game kicks off at 8:00 on CBS.  The Irish hold a 74-12-1 (.856) edge in the series. Notre Dame has won 47 of the last 50 meetings. Notre Dame and Navy have met every year since 1927, playing 54 times at neutral sites and 33 times at Notre Dame Stadium.

Navy - 

Saturday’s game is believed to be the first time Navy has played a game in prime time on an over-the-air network (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox).


Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk and Notre Dame Director of Athletics and Vice President Jack Swarbrick announced last fall that Navy’s football series with Notre Dame, which is the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in college football, has been extended to 2026, which will be the centennial year for the series.

The Irish and Mids will meet in South Bend on odd years, while on even years the game will be Navy’s home game, customarily played at regional NFL venues.

The Navy offense has scored 30 or more points four times this year and the Mids have won all four of those contests. Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 35-9 (.795) when scoring 30 or more points per game.

The Navy defense has allowed less than 30 points three times this year and the Mids have won each of those games. Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 47-12 (.797) when the Mids hold the opposition to under 30 points. 

The Navy defense has allowed just five first-quarter touchdowns in the last 21 games.

The defense gave up a first quarter touchdown to Notre Dame in South Bend and to South Alabama in Annapolis in 2013 and a TD to Rutgers at home and two touchdowns to Air Force in Colorado Springs this season.

Navy junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds scored three touchdowns against San Jose State. It is the 10th time in his career he has scored three or more touchdowns in a game. The NCAA record is 11 set by Montee Ball of Wisconsin (2009-12).

Reynolds has now scored 52 career touchdowns.  That is the fifth most touchdowns in NCAA history by a quarterback.  Reynolds trails Eric Crouch (Nebraska, 1998-01), 59; Collin Kaepernick (Nevada, 2007-10), 59; Tim Tebow (Florida, 2006-09), 57; and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2009-12), 56.  The 52 career touchdowns by Reynolds are also the 22nd most in NCAA history by a player at any position.  The record is 77 by Montee Ball of Wisconsin.

Notre Dame - 

Despite having already played Ohio State, there is little doubt that Notre Dame is the best team the Mids will see this year. The Irish, ranked sixth in the Associated Press poll and seventh in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, enter Saturday’s contest with a 6-1 record including victories over Rice (48-17), Michigan (31-0), Purdue (30-14), Syracuse (31-15), Stanford (17-14) and North Carolina (50-43). Notre Dame’s only loss was a heartbreaker at Florida State, 31-27.

The Irish are led by their sensational quarterback Everett Golson, who is a surefire Heisman Trophy candidate. Golson has completed 166 of his 268 pass attempts for 1,996 yards (ranked 18th nationally in passing yds/gm, averaging 285.1 yds/gm) with 19 touchdowns (ranked 18th) and six interceptions. Golson is ranked seventh in the country in points responsible for per game (20.0), 13th in total offense per game (319.3) and 15th in completions per game (23.7).

Golson has a host of weapons at wide receiver led by Will Fuller (43 catches for 583 yards and eight touchdowns, tied for sixth in the country) and Corey Robinson (27 catches for 359 yards and four touchdowns). Robinson is the son of former Navy basketball great David Robinson.

The Irish also possess a potent running attack led by Tarean Folston (81-383, 2 TDs) and Golson (69-239, 4 TDs).

Notre Dame features an attacking defense led by linebackers Joe Schmidt and Jaylon Smith. Schmidt leads the Irish in tackles with 57 stops, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Smith leads the team with 6.5 tackles for a loss and is second with 53 tackles. The Irish are ranked 12th in the country in rushing defense, giving up just 102.7 yards per contest, and 14th in scoring defense, giving up 19.1 points per game.  Option-minded Navy leads the nation in rushing offense at 352.3 yards per game.

Kyle Brindza handles both the kicking and punting duties. He is 10-14 on field goals and is averaging 41.7 yards per punt. 

Notre Dame looks to rebound from its first loss of the season, a 31-27 setback at No. 2 Florida State on Oct. 18. The Irish are 10-5 following a loss under Brian Kelly. Notre Dame also has the benefit of a bye week. Kelly's teams are 16-2 in his career following a bye week.

Notre Dame has not had to punt in five of its last nine meetings with Navy.

QB Everett Golson has thrown for 31 career TDs, tying him with former Washington Redskin Joe Theismann for seventh in school history.







Monday, October 27, 2014

Reynolds and Bertrand named FBS Independent Players of the Week

FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION INDEPENDENT PLAYERS OF THE WEEK NAMED

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, Navy safety Kwazel Bertrand and BYU punter Scott Arellano have been named FBS Independent Players of the Week, for games played through Saturday, Oct. 25. Reynolds is recognized on Offense, Bertrand is honored on Defense, and Arellano is cited on Special Teams. It is the fifth career honor for Reynolds, the third for Arellano and the second for Bertrand.

 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

 

Navy QB Keenan Reynolds

A junior from Antioch, Tenn., Reynolds rushed for a career-high 251 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, while completing four of his seven pass attempts for 56 yards, in Navy's 41-31 home win over San Jose State.  With his first touchdown run of the day, Reynolds also broke the school record for career touchdowns, previously held by Ricky Dobbs, with 49. Reynolds now has 52 career touchdowns for the Midshipmen. In his last two games against San Jose State, Reynolds has carried the ball 75 times for 491 yards and 10 touchdowns, while completing eight of his 13 pass attempts for 102 yards and a touchdown.

 

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

 

Navy S Kwazel Bertrand

A junior from Antioch, Tenn., Bertrand recorded seven tackles (all solo takedowns) and his first career interception in Navy's 41-31 victory over San Jose State.  Bertand's first career pick came in the first quarter at the Navy two-yard line, thwarting an early Spartan scoring opportunity.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

 

BYU P Scott Arellano

A senior from Santa Ynez, Calif., Arellano averaged 48.4 yards on eight punts, including a career-long boot of 76 yards, in BYU’s 55-30 loss at Boise State. Arellano recorded three punts of 50-plus yards (76, 56, 53), giving him 15 such kicks this season; he placed two punts inside the Boise State 20-yard line, his 13th and 14th kicks downed inside the 20.

 

# # #

 

The FBS Independent Players of the Week are selected by members of a nationwide media panel, which includes equal representation from each of the independent institutions’ coverage markets.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - October 26-November 1


This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -


1952 Bowman Ralph Kiner
October 27

1922      Ralph Kiner, former Pirates outfielder and NY Mets sportscaster is born.


October 30

1963      Sandy Koufax, who unanimously won the Cy Young Award six days ago, is also named the National League's MVP. The Dodger legend out points Pirates' infielder Dick Groat, 237-190.

1991      Mark Sauer becomes the CEO of the Pittsburgh Pirates.









Saturday, October 25, 2014

Previewing San Jose State at Navy

Today's match-up between San Jose State and Navy will be played in Annapolis and will kickoff at 1:00 PM.  Today is Homecoming for the Midshipmen.

San Jose State comes into today's game with a 3-3 record, most recently defeating Wyoming in OT, 27-20.

Navy enters today's game 3-4 needing three more wins to become bowl eligible and playing in the Poinsettia Bowl.  Navy, coming off a bye week, knocked off VMI 51-14 two weeks ago.

Navy won last year's game in San Jose, 58-52 in triple overtime.  Keenan Reynolds rushed for 240 yards on 36 carries and seven touchdowns, including the game winner in the third overtime.

San Jose State comes into this game ranked 12th nationally in total defense, giving up 313 yards per game.  They are ranked number one in pass defense, yielding just 94.5 yards per game.

Navy has fourteen players from the state of California.  The two most notable players include Paul Quessenberry and Nick Sloan.

Navy has turned the ball over 12 times this season in just seven games after turning the ball over only 10 times last year in 13 games.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - October 19-25

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

October 19
1965 Harry Walker

1964      Harry Walker is named as the skipper of the Pirates replacing Danny Murtaugh, who will return to the field as an interim manager when his successor is fired during the 1967 season. During his two-plus years in the Pittsburgh dugout, 'the Hat' compiles a respectable 224-184 (.549) record, but is let go after his team plays .500 ball after competing for the National League flag the previous two seasons.


October 23

1960 Danny Murtaugh
1958      The Associated Press names Danny Murtaugh as its major league manager of year. In his first full year in the Pirates' dugout, the team improves by 22 games, 14 games over .500, finishing in second place, eight games behind Milwaukee.

2000      Although lacking big league managerial experience, Pirates' hitting coach Lloyd McClendon is named as the team's manager replacing recently-fired Gene Lamont.


October 25

1955      Branch Rickey steps down as the Pirates' general manager and will be replaced by Joe L. Brown. During the Rickey's five-year tenure, Pittsburgh will endure three 100-loss seasons.