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


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.




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.




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.



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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - October 12-18

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

October 12

1911      Honus Wagner closes out the season with a .334 average, good enough to earn the "Flying Dutchman" his National League record eighth, and final, batting title.

October 13

1903      In Game 8 of the series, the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox) defeat the Pirates, 3-0 to take baseball's first ever world championship, 5 games to 3. In the 95-minute contest, Bill Dinneen gets the win over Pittsburgh's Deacon Phillippe in front of a Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds crowd of 7,455 fans.

1961 Topps
1960      In Game Seven of the World Series at Forbes Field, Bill Mazeroski leads off the bottom of the ninth with the most dramatic home run in Series history, a blast over the left field wall, breaking a 9-9 tie with the Yankees and bringing Pittsburgh its third World Championship.

1971      In the first World Series night game ever played, the Pirates defeat the Orioles at Three Rivers Stadium, 4-3. Roberto Clemente's three hits contribute to the Bucs overcoming the Birds' three-run first inning.  Milt May drives in the winning run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.

October 14

1909      Pirates beat Tigers, 5-4, forces first full 7 game World Series.

1952      The Reds obtain outfielder Gus Bell from the Pirates in exchange for Cal Abrams, Gail Henley and Joe Rossi. The newest Cincinnati flychaser, considered one of general manager Gabe Paul's best acquisitions for the team, will become a fan favorite and will hit .288 during his nine-year tenure in the Queen City.

1992      In Game 7 of the NLCS, Francisco Cabrera's ninth inning, two-out pinch hit single tallies two runs giving the Braves a stunning comeback victory, 3-2 over the Pirates. The backup catcher had only three hits during the regular season.

October 15

1892     On the last day the season, Cincinnati pitcher Charles 'Bumpus' Jones, in his first major league start, no-hits Pittsburgh. This will turn out to be the latest date in the season that a no hitter is ever thrown in the major league.

1925      The Pirates become the first team to win a World Series after being down three games to one when the Bucs beat Washington and Walter Johnson in Game 7, 9-7. Kiki Cuyler's bases-loaded double with two outs in the eighth inning proves to be the difference.

October 16
1910 E91C American Caramel Hans Wagner

1909      In a World Series showdown between two of baseball's premier players - Honus Wagner vs. Ty Cobb - the Pirates down the hometown Detroit Tigers, 8-0, in Game Seven to become World Champions for the first time. The real star of the Series, though, is rookie pitcher Babe Adams, who notches three victories (also games 1 and 5), including the decisive seventh game shutout.

1949      Brooklyn does not renew Branch Rickey's contract as president of the Dodgers. Rickey will join the Pirates as the team's executive vice president and general manager, with his son, Branch Jr., assuming the post of Pittsburgh's vice president and farm system director.

October 17

1971      Behind Steve Blass’s complete-game four-hitter, the Pirates beat Mike Cuellar and the heavily favored Orioles to capture their fourth world championship in franchise history. Immediately after the Game 7 victory, rookie hurler Bruce Kison and his champagne-soaked best man Bob Moose are whisked away from Memorial Stadium by helicopter to a waiting Lear Jet to attend the 21-year old’s 6:30 pm wedding in Pittsburgh, in which the groom will arrive 33 minutes late.

1971      Steve Blass hurls a four-hitter and Roberto Clemente homers off Baltimore's Mike Cuellar as the Pirates win Game Seven of the World Series, 2-1, at Baltimore, earning Pittsburgh its fourth World Championship.  Clemente has hit safely in all seven games of the series, a feat he also accomplished in 1960 against the Yankees, to extend his consecutive Fall Classic hitting streak to 14 contests.

1979 Willie Stargell
1979      At Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, Jimmy Carter throws the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Pirates' 4-1 defeat of the Orioles in Game 7 of the Fall Classic. It is the only time the Commander-in-Chief will perform the pre-game ritual during his presidency.

1979      In Game 7, Willie Stargell goes 3-for 4, including his third home run in the Series, propelling the Pirates to a 4-1 victory over the Orioles. The Bucs overcame a three games-to-one deficit to win their fifth World Championship in franchise history.  Stargell is named Series MVP after the Pirates erase a three-games-to-one deficit and ground the Orioles.

1991      The Atlanta Braves beat Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-0 to win the NL pennant in 7 games.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - October 5-11

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

October 5

1887 Old Judge Pud Galvin
1888      At Swampoodle Grounds in Washington, D.C., James Francis Galvin of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys becomes baseball's first pitcher to record his 300th victory when he defeats the hometown Senators, 5-1. The 31-year old 'Pud', a workhorse who will win 20 games 10 of the 14 seasons he plays in the big leagues, will end his career with 361 victories.

1960      At Forbes Field, Roger Maris becomes the seventh major leaguer to homer in first World Series at-bat. The right fielder's first-inning round-tripper off Vernon Law gets the Yankees off to a good start, but the Pirates will win Game 1 of the Fall Classic, 6-4.

October 6

1903      A crowd of 18,801 fills Exposition Park as the Pirates defeat the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox), 4-2, in the first World Series game played in Pittsburgh. Boston, however, later emerges as the Series winner, overcoming a three-games-to-one deficit to win the best-of-nine competition, five games to three.

October 8

1973 Danny Murtaugh Sports Illustrated
1917      Danny Murtaugh, Pittsburgh Pirates player and manager is born.

1927      The 1927 Yankees and their famous "Murderer's Row" lineup featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, considered one of the best teams in baseball history, live up to their reputation as they beat the Pirates, 4-3, to sweep the World Series in four games.

1927      In the bottom of the ninth inning of a tied Game 4 of the World Series between the Pirates and Yankees, Johnny Miljus loads the bases with no out, but gets Lou Gehrig to strike out swinging and strikes out Bob Meusel looking. Facing Tony Lazzeri with two outs and an 0-1 count, the Pittsburgh hurler throws a wild pitch and Earle Combs races home with the winning run to give the Bronx Bombers the sweep and their second world championship.

1940      With the Reds' 2-1 victory over the Tigers in Game 7 of the Fall Classic, Bill McKechnie becomes the first manager to win a World Series with two different teams. The 'Deacon' also piloted the Pirates to a World Championship beating Washington in seven games in the 1925 Fall Classic.

October 9
1976 Bob Moose

1909      Ty Cobb's steal of home is the highlight of the Tigers' 7-2 victory over the Pirates, that knots the World Series at one game apiece. The 'Georgia Peach' swipes home plate 54 times during his career, a major league record.

1958      In Game 7, the Yankees beat the defending World champion Braves in Milwaukee's County Stadium, 6-2, for their eighteenth title, the club's seventh in the past decade. The Bronx Bombers become only the second team, the first being the 1925 Pirates, to come back from a 3–1 deficit to win a best-of-seven Fall Classic.

1976      While on his way home from his party, Pirates reliever Bob Moose is killed on his birthday in an automobile accident in Martin's Ferry, Ohio. The 29-year old’s death occurs two days shy of the four-year mark of the date he threw the infamous wild pitch giving Cincinnati a walk-off victory in the fifth and deciding game of the NLCS.

October 11

T206 Honus Wagner
1909      At Bennett Park, Honus Wagner becomes the first player to steal three bases in a World Series contest. The Pirates third baseman's thievery enables Pittsburgh to beat Detroit, 8-6, in Game 3 of the Fall Classic.

1972      In the fifth and deciding game of the NLCS at Riverfront Stadium, George Foster scores the winning run from third base in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch thrown by Bob Moose giving the Reds a dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory over the Pirates. Earlier in the inning, Johnny Bench hit a home run off Dave Giusti to tie the score.

1992      After participating in a game against the Dolphins in Miami, NFL Falcons' cornerback Deion Sanders flies to Pittsburgh hoping to become the first athlete to play in two professional leagues in the same day. The traveling outfielder, however, will not be in the lineup for the Braves' 7-1 loss in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium that evening.

2005      The Pirates hire former Dodger skipper Jim Tracy as the team’s manager to replace recently-fired Lloyd McClendon. It is the first time in nearly two decades Pittsburgh has looked outside the organization to select its field boss.