Saturday, December 11, 2010

Navy 31 - Army 17

Navy won a hard-fought battle over the Black Knights of Army on Saturday, 31-17. Gee Gee Green completed the scoring for Navy in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard TD run and Malcolm Brown caught his second TD pass of the night (45 yards) from Trent Steelman to set the final. Navy completes the regular season 9-3 and Army falls to 6-6. Army will face SMU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and Navy will take on San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Navy 24 - Army 10

Alex Carlton kicked a 42-yard field goal to cap off 12-play, 47-yard drive that took 6:44. Army trails Navy 24-10 with 8:08 remaining the third quarter.

Navy 24 - Army 7

Wyatt Middleton returned an Army fumble 98-yards to give Navy the 24-7 lead over Army with 1:03 in the half. It was the longest fumble return in Navy history.

Touchdown Army

Trent Steelman completed a 5-yard TD pass to Malcolm Brown to cut Navy's lead to 17-7. The touchdown was the first for Army since the 2006 game.

Navy 17 - Army 0

Ricky Dobbs completed his second TD pass of the afternoon, a 32-yarder to Brandon Turner to give Navy a 17-0 lead over Army early in the second quarter.

Navy 10 - Army 0

Ricky Dobbs completed a 77-yard pass for a TD to John Howell - the longest in Army-Navy history. 10-0 Navy with 8:44 remaining.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Navy 21 - Arkansas St. 13

Brian Davis kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to move Arkansas State to within 8 points of Navy 21-13.

Navy 21 - Arkansas St. 10

Arkansas State QB Ryan Aplin scored from eight yards out to cut Navy's lead to 21-10.

Navy 21 - Arkansas St. 3

Navy answered Arkansas State's scoring drive on their next play from scrimmage. Dobbs hit Greg Jones for an 85-yard TD pass, tied for 3rd longest in school history. Navy leads 21-3 with 12:33 left in the half.

Navy 14 - Arkansas St. 3

Brian Davis kicked a 31-yard FG with 12:51 remaining in the second quarter to cut Navy's lead to 14-3.

Navy 14 - Arkansas St. 0

Ricky Dobbs scored his 46th career rushing TD from the one-yard line to give Navy the 14-0 lead with 7:34 in the first quarter. The TD moves Dobbs to number 8 all-time in rushing TDs for a quarterback.

Wyatt Middleton recovered an Arkansas St. fumble on their first offensive play to give Navy the ball at the Red Wolves' 12-yard line.

Navy 7 - Arkansas St. 0

John Howell took a pitch from Ricky Dobbs off the right side and dragged a defender into the end zone to give Navy a 7-0 lead with 9:19 remaining in the first quarter. The TD capped off a 11-play, 76-yard drive that took 5:41 off the clock.

Arkansas State at Navy today at 3:30

Navy is a 13 point favorite over the Red Wolves on Senior Day at Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. We'll have live updates throughout the game this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pitt on Top in the Mediocre Big East

Garrett Dodson

Mid-Atlantic Sports

The Big East has struggled in their non-conference games against BCS conference schools. Their record against BCS conference schools is 2-11. The wins included West Virginia’s victory against Maryland, and Connecticut’s victory against Vanderbilt. Through the first three games in conference play, one team has emerged out of the mediocrity, and that is Pitt. So far, Pitt has dominated league outscoring their opponents 106-38. With four games remaining, they have a two game lead over West Virginia and defending champion Cincinnati. They have one game leads over Syracuse and Rutgers, who they have already beaten. Can Dave Wannestadt keep his troops focused during the final four games of the season and win their first outright Big East title?

Why has Pitt been dominant in league play? First of the all, the competition has something to do with it. But Pitt’s quarterback, Tino Sunseri has become more consistent and comfortable running the Pitt offense. One thing that was lacking early in the season was the big play. Lately, Sunseri has hit his receivers for long scoring touchdowns. The running game has been more productive due to the big play threat of Sunseri to Baldwin. Early in the season, teams were stacking the box, forcing the Panthers to throw. Since the passing game has matured as the season has progressed, the offensive line has been able to open holes for Ray Graham and Dion Lewis. The defense has been pretty consistent since the Miami debacle early in the season. They get a big boost with the return of all American defensive end Greg Romeus. Greg has missed the early portion of the season due to having back surgery. He plans to return to the lineup for the November 11th contest at Connecticut.

Pitt looks poised to make a run at their first outright Big East title. Only a late season meltdown will prevent them from representing the Big East in a BCS bowl game. Pitt should be heavily favored at Connecticut and South Florida. But games against West Virginia and Cincinnati will be challenging. If Pitt continues to improve, they will rise to the top conference and represent the Big East in possibly a match up with the Big 12 champ in the Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl has the last selection of the BCS bowls and will likely get the Big East champ by default.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Navy 35 - Notre Dame 17

The Mids knocked off the Irish by 18 at the Meadowlands, giving them their third win over Notre Dame in four years.

Navy 35 - Notre Dame 10

Ricky Dobbs punched in his third rushing TD of the game to give the Mids a 35-10 over the Irish. The TD is 43rd of Dobbs' career which ties him for 10th all-time in the NCAA in rushing TDs for a QB. He's tied with former Navy QB Chris McCoy. He's also tied for first with McCoy in all-time rushing TDs at Navy.

Navy 28 - Notre Dame 10

Ricky Dobbs scored on a nine-yard TD run, his 42 career rushing TD. It ties him for 11th on the NCAA the All-time Rushing TD list for QBs with Bo Morgan from Air Force. The TD capped off a 7-play, 77-yard drive. The key play of the drive was a 40-yard pass from Dobbs to Greg Jones to the Notre Dame nine yard line.

Navy 21 - Notre Dame 10

Slot back Gee Gee Greene ran the ball in from 9-yards with 14 seconds remaining the half to give Navy a 21 -10 lead over the Irish.

Notre Dame turnover

De'Von Richardson picked off Dayne Crist at the Notre Dame 30 yard line with less than two minutes in the half.

Navy 14 - Notre Dame 10

16-yard touchdown pass from Dayne Crist to TJ Jones to cap off a 13-play, 72-yard drive for the Irish. With 6:07 left in the second quarter, it's Navy 14-Notre Dame 10.

Navy 14 - Notre Dame 3

Ricky Dobbs runs the ball in from three yards out and Jon Teague kicked his second PAT to give Navy a 14-3 lead over Notre Dame. Dobbs' rushing touchdown was the 41st of his career which ties him for 12th all time in the NCAA for QBs.

Mids Appear to Have Notre Dame's Number with a 35-17 Win

By Trevor Replogle
Mid-Atlantic Sports

Navy came into this afternoon's game against Notre Dame with a lot of confidence. They had won their past two games and had knocked off the Irish two of the past three years. It didn't take very long for that confidence to increase.

On Notre Dame's opening drive, the Navy defense stepped up and held the Irish on a fourth-and-goal from inside the one yard line. Navy then proceeded to drive the ball 99 yards on 6 plays to give the Midshipmen a 7-0 lead.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was very disappointed with the result.

"We outman them by 70 pounds on average up front. If you can't get a foot on the one-half yard line, you get what you deserve."
Alexander Teich led the offense on their opening drive with two career bests - a 54-yard rush and a 31-yard, one-handed reception for the TD. That would be a sign for how the afternoon would go for Teich - and Notre Dame.

Teich's production from the fullback spot (26 carries and 210 yards) kept the Irish on their heels and opened the door for quarterback, Ricky Dobbs to continue to move up the NCAA's list of all-time rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks.

Teich, who started the season as a backup to Vince Murray, became the first Navy fullback to ever rush for over 200 yards. The offense as a team amassed 367 yards rushing, the most by any Navy team in the Notre Dame series.

Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo was pleased with Teich's performance.

"I'm very proud of him. He typifies our team. He lost out on the starting job last year and he didn't sulk or complain. He accepted his role and was a cheerleader for (starter) Vince Murray. When you run like he did today, the guys up front are doing their jobs."

With the Notre Dame defense primed to stop Teich, Dobbs was able to rush for 92 yards on 20 carries and found the endzone three times. Dobbs is now tied for 10th on the NCAA's all-time rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks, tied with former Navy QB Chris McCoy.

Although the Navy offense performed as efficiently and scored the most points that they had all season, coach Buddy Green's Navy defense was just as impressive. The defensive played a bend-but-don't-break style and matched Notre Dame's speed throughout the afternoon.

De'Von Richardson and Kwesi Mitchell were both able to pick off Irish QB Dayne Crist and both turnovers led to touchdowns by Navy.

Kelly was obviously not happy with his team in the redzone.

"Navy did what they need to do. There were bend but don't break and they when they got in short field they kept us out of the endzone. When we got close we couldn't get it in the endzone."

Niumatalolo felt that this was Navy's most complete performance of the season.

"We knew that in order to compete against Notre Dame, we had to play at a high level. We couldn't play like how we've played in other games this year and have a chance to compete. Like I said, I'm just proud of our young men for the way they played. No doubt, the most complete game of the year for our football team."

Navy improved their record to 5-2 while Notre Dame fell to 4-4. The Mids return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium next Saturday when they host Duke. Notre Dame will play host to Tulsa next weekend in South Bend.

Photos by Travis Replogle

Navy 7 - Notre Dame 3

Notre Dame's David Ruffer kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:05 left in the first quarter to cap off a 10-play drive to cut Navy's lead to 7-3. Ruffer is 18-18 on field goals in his career.

Navy 7 - Notre Dame 0

Ricky Dobbs just completed a 31-yard screen pass to Alexander Teich to give Navy the 7-0 lead over Notre Dame with 6:05 remaining remaining in the first quarter. Teich had his career long rush (54 yards) and reception (31 yards) on the 6-play, 99-yard drive.

Navy vs. Notre Dame

We'll be updating all afternoon from the New Meadowlands on the Navy - Notre Dame game. Notre Dame received the opening kickoff and were stopped on a fourth down goal line stand. Alexander Teich just rambled 54 yards to get out of the shadows of their own goal posts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ultimate 2010 College Football Road Trip: Week 4

Trevor Replogle, Mid-Atlantic Sports

We've completed one-fifth of our Ultimate College Football Road Trip.

During our first three contests we've seen two outstanding games and the No. 1 team in the county in Alabama (see results below).

Last week we traveled to Athens, GA, where we saw a barnburner between Georgia and Arkansas. Ryan Mallett threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Greg Childs with just 15 seconds left in the game to give the Razorbacks a thrilling 31-24 win over their SEC rivals.

Mallett finished the game with 380 yards passing and three touchdowns and etched his name on the Heisman Trophy candidate list.

This week we stay in the SEC, where No. 12 South Carolina (3-0) visits No. 17 Auburn (3-0). Both teams have tons of talent, and both have struggled against lesser opponents. Last week South Carolina struggled against Furman (38-19) and didn't put the game away until late in the fourth quarter. Auburn edged Mississippi State by three points two weeks ago and had to wait till overtime to knock off Clemson 27-24.

South Carolina is led by freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore has rushed for over 300 yards this season and is averaging nearly five yards per carry. Auburn will have to slow him down to stay in the game.

The Tigers are led by junior QB Cameron Newton. Newton leads the team in both rushing and passing yards (309, 525). Newton also has one reception on the year.

Last week's SEC matchup was outstanding, and this game has that same potential. Tune in to ESPN at 7:45 to see this week's game of the week.

Other key games this week:

No. 19 Miami at Pittsburgh: Thursday at 7:30, ESPN

Former Big East rivals will battle it out in the 'Burgh. There will be no love lost between these two teams.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 10 Arkansas: 3:30 CBS

Ryan Mallett and the high-flying Razorbacks will host the top team in the land. This will be Alabama's toughest game of the season so far.

No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State: 8:00 ABC

Boise State will look to make another positive impression nationally when it hosts Oregon State on the smurf turf. This is a must win game for the Broncos if they have any hopes for a BCS title game.

No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU: 9:00 ESPN2

Two Top 25 teams will battle it out in the Bayou when the Big East visits the SEC. Two potent offenses should make this a great game.

Past results:

Week 1: Boise State 33, Virginia Tech 30

Week 2: Alabama 24, Penn State 3

Week 3: Arkansas 31, Georgia 24

Friday, September 17, 2010

Will Pitt Avoid A Pitfall?

By Garrett Dodson

The early portion of the 2010 season has presented many challenges to the Pitt football team. So far, they lost potential 1st round draft pick Greg Romeus, who is sidelined for the majority of the season with a back injury. The offensive line has struggled, replacing three starters. Dion Lewis is averaging 2.5 yards per rush. Conservative play calling has been an issue, knowing they had a chance to beat Utah in regulation. Instead, they settled for a tie, and eventually lost in overtime. The schedule over the next three weeks is not favorable with Miami and Notre Dame with Florida International sandwiched in between. With the current struggles, going into conference play at 2-3 is very likely. Going 3-2 is a slim possibility. But having a record of 4-1 entering into Big East conference play is very unlikely, unless there are drastic improvements. Here are my suggestions on the improvements.

1) Be aggressive and play to win. Pick you spots and take chances down field with Jon Baldwin. When Pitt fell behind at Utah, they began looking for Baldwin more often and converted successfully.

2) With the struggles on the offensive line, use the shot gun formation like the first couple of series against New Hampshire. Instead of running Dion up the middle, utilize the screen and short passing plays. Having Ray Graham healthy will help, having good speed to get around the corner. Dion is a tackle to tackle type running back, but the struggles with the interior line have hampered him.

3) Having a Greg Romeus go down with an injury is not always a bad thing. It gives guys like Brandon Lindsey and Shane Hayle an opportunity to shine. Lindsey had two sacks in lasts week’s game against New Hampshire.

Can Pitt avoid a pitfall, or go into conference play with losing record? Or will they rise up and face the challenges. Adversity, challenges, and resistance will either do two things. It will defeat you, or it can empower and motivate you to overcome. The outcome is a choice and not luck or chance.

Weeks 1 and 2 of the Football Season

By Jori Houck
Student Writer

I'm pretty surprised at the first few weeks of football. Some games were predictable, some so-so and some downright painful to watch.

I'll start with HS football. I'm set up with my own seat in the NB press box, so I get to make my true sports reporting debut. I didn't get as many notes as I wanted because it was a big game for NB vs. Glendale and everyone from the local media was there in the box and it was quite crowded and only my first game of the season, so I tried taking some mental notes, but I had a hard time remembering them so I'll just give my opinions on the game. I promise I'll have some good notes for next week.

The game was highly anticipated and was a matchup of a couple of the top teams in the ICC. NB started out with a great drive and would've been stalled if not for a costly Glendale penalty. NB scored on the drive I believe. Glendale wasn't fazed though and quickly fired out a pass and outran the NB defenders to make the score 7-6 after missing the extra point.

The Panther running game was very strong, trampling Glendale. The passing game wasn't really on display except for a few plays here and there, but they also showed their stuff. At one point I remember NB picking off what might've been a touchdown in the endzone right before halftime I think. As the game wore on, Glendale wore down due to the dominant Panther defense. At the very end of the game, Glendale QB Tyler Jenny rifled a pass to the endzone. It was surprisingly caught and made the final score of the game 28-18 and made NB 2-0 heading in to a Week 3 game with Everett. The Warriors shouldn't be a problem.

College football was pretty fun to watch. In Week 1, Boise beat VT, most other high profile teams played cupcakes, but UConn and Pitt played respectable opponents in Michigan and Utah. UConn was favored to beat UM, but the defense couldn't stop UM QB Denard Robinson and they lost 38-10. Pitt also lost but by a smaller point total. Utah won on a field goal to win 24-21.

Week 2 was muuuuch more fun. VT played FCS team James Madison. HOKIES WIN 72-0!!! Nope. James Madison handed VT a shocking loss, 21-16. Florida State was throttled by Oklahoma after many thought was a winnable game for FSU after a poor showing by OU vs. Utah State in Week 1. Ohio State forced Miami QB Jacory Harris into throwing 4 picks en route to a 34-26 win by OSU. West Virginia almost fell victim to in-state rival Marshall. UConn wiped out Texas Southern 62-3 to bounce back from the Michigan loss, and Michigan edged Notre Dame 28-24.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I Love (And Hate) Preseason Football

By Jori Houck
Student Writer

Preseason football: What comes to mind when you see that? The beginning of another great football season? Fall? Who cares? Well, all of these can pretty much describe my feelings towards preseason football.

Sure, we've been all dying for football season to start, and I'll be the first to admit I'll take preseason football over none at all, but something about it gives me a 'boring' vibe.

First, I'll explain why I love it... ROOKIES!!!! The preseason is a great time to see how your favorite college players are doing in the pros, or for that matter, just comparing them against other rookies. Most of the time, rookies aren't first-team offense or defense, so they won't play much during the season, barring an injury.

Second, it can be quite entertaining watching players compete for roster spots, even though starters are mostly decided already. Third, its great to see how the bottom-dwellers have improved (or gotten worse). You can see how the stars of the league react to new teams, players, coaches, etc. So you get my point.

Now, why I hate it. Injuries. Seems like someone always gets hurt in the preseason. This year's big injury was ElvisDumervil. The starters don't play much for safety reasons but it still should be a little more entertaining considering we've been starving for football all summer. When you do get a player that does play for more than a few series, they take them out right in the middle of a great drive or defensive possession. You think you'll get to see some action, then you get a stalled drive or a blown defensive stand.

Either way you view it, its still football!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Navy Outlasts Georgia Southern

Trevor Replogle
Mid-Atlantic Sports

Coming into Saturday afternoon’s contest with Georgia Southern, the Navy football team was ready to put last Monday’s 17-14 upset to Maryland behind them. What most people didn’t expect was that they would be in a dogfight against an FCS opponent like the Eagles.

Georgia Southern’s football team is led by new head coach Jeff Monken, a disciple of Paul Johnson and his option offense. Monken and his Eagles used that knowledge against Navy and took the game to the wire before falling 13-7 in front of 33,391 fans and a CBS College Sports television audience.

Georgia Southern won the coin toss, but in Navy fashion, deferred to the second half. Alexander Teich took the kickoff, found a seam, and returned the ball 55 yards to the Georgia Southern 36 yard line. Over the next 6:44, Navy proceeded to run 10 plays and gained only 35 yards and settled for an 18-yard FG by Joe Buckley on a 4th and goal from the 1 yard line.

Niumatalolo was asked whether he considered going for the TD after getting stuffed in a similar situation against Maryland that ended Navy’s chances at getting the win.

“I did consider it, but I wanted to have something positive come out of that opening drive,” said Niumatalolo.

Buckley connected on a 42 yarder to give Navy the 6-0 lead with 2:07 remaining in the first quarter.

With the Eagles gaining more confidence as the game went on, Georgia Southern attempted a fake punt on a fourth and five from their own 39. They direct snapped the ball to upman Tobi Akinniranye, but the play was busted up by John Howell after just a one yard gain.

Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs completed a twelve yard pass to Aaron Santiago and carried the ball 5 times and 18 yards including a one yard TD plunge to give the Mids a 13-0 lead.

Buddy Green’s defense held Georgia Southern’s option offense to just 2 first downs and 23 total yards in the first half.

Niumatalolo was also pleased with the defense’s performance.

“It was a great job by our defense. It wasn’t just the guys getting tackles, it was all who forced the ball to someone else.”

Similarly to Navy’s opening drive of the first half, Georgia Southern found success in the second. Laron Scott took the kickoff 49 yards into Navy territory and set up the offense to cut into Navy’s lead. Robert Brown and Jaybo Shaw were the workhorses of the drive. Brown carried five times for 24 yards and Shaw tossed a 17 yard touchdown drive to J.J. Wilcox to cut Navy’s lead to 6.

Neither team was able score and the game ended in Navy’s favor 13-7. Both teams records are even at 1-1.

Navy travels to Louisiana Tech next week and Georgia Southern travels to Coastal Carolina.

Navy 13 - Georgia Southern 7

Georgia Southern took the opening kickoff of the second half 49 yards to the Navy 49 yard line. In a very Navy-like manner, they held the ball for 5:52 and methodically moved the ball 49 yards on 10 plays capping off the drive with a 17 yard touchdown pass from Jaybo Shaw to J.J. Wilcox. Navy now leads 13-7 with 9:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Navy 13 - Georgia Southern 0

Navy capped off an 8-play, 40-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run by Ricky Dobbs to give Navy a 13-0 lead with 1:07 remaining in the first half.

With the TD, Dobbs has scored at least one rushing TD in each of his 15 starts for the Midshipmen. For his career Dobbs now has 37 rushing touchdowns, tieing former Texas QB Vince Young for 19th in the all-time NCAA rushing TDs for a QB.

Navy 6 - Georgia Southern 0

Billy Yarborough recovered a Georgia Southern fumble on the Eagle 25 yard line. The GS defense held Navy to 1 yard on 4 plays and Joe Buckley kicked a 42 yard field goal to give Navy a 6-0 lead with 2:07 remaining the first quarter.

Navy 3 - Georgia Southern 0

Navy's Alexander Teich took the opening kickoff to the Georgia Southern 36 yard line. Navy then ran 10 plays, gained 35 yards and took 6:44 off the clock before Joe Buckley kicked an eighteen yard field goal to give Navy the 3-0 lead.

Navy Gameday vs. Georgia Southern

It's a beautiful sunny day in Annapolis and a great day for football. That it's the ninth anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 makes it even more special to be seeing this game. The Mids have just arrived at the stadium and are prepared to take on the Eagles from Georgia Southern at 3:30.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tuani Added to Lombardi Award Watch List

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy junior defensive end Jabaree Tuani has been added to the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. Tuani joins teammate Jeff Battipaglia, who was placed on the initial list May 5.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The 41st Rotary Lombardi Award dinner will be held December 7-8, 2010, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

Tuani has played in all 27 contests in his first two years, garnering 22 starts. As a freshman, Tuani was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year by the head football coaches on the Eastern Seaboard. Tuani was selected over freshmen from Connecticut, West Virginia, Pitt, Rutgers, Penn State, West Virginia, Temple, Syracuse, Boston College, Buffalo and Army. He was named a Second-Team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Magazine as his 42 tackles were the second most by a Navy defensive lineman.

Tuani is coming off a sensational sophomore campaign that saw him start in 13 of Navy’s 14 contests. He finished the year with 54 tackles, turned in 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He broke up a pair of passes and picked off one, while forcing two fumbles and recovering one.

Navy kicks off the 2010 campaign on Monday, Sept. 6 against Maryland at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Tickets are still available for that game at or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY. Navy’s home opener is on Saturday, Sept. 11 against Georgia Southern. Season and single game tickets are still available as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can Pitt Meet High Expectations in 2010


By Garrett Dodson

Some Pitt fans can remember going into the 2003 season ranked #10 by the AP poll. This team had future hall of famer, Larry Fitzgerald on the roster. So, among the Pitt faithful, expectations were running high with the potential of winning the Big East title and going to a BCS bowl game. They lost a 35-31 contest early in the season to Toledo and eventually finished the season at a disappointing 8-5 record. The same kind of expectations is being heaped upon the 2010 squad to not only win the Big East, but finish in the top ten. Below is the top 15 for the 2010 preseason coaches’ poll.

#1 Alabama

#2 Texas

#3 Florida

#4 Texas

#5 Boise State

#6 Virginia Tech

#8 TCU

#9 Oklahoma

#10 Nebraska

#11 Iowa

#12 Oregon

#13 Wisconsin

#14 Penn State

#15 Pitt

Season Overview:

The 2010 Pitt squad returns 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense. The team returns Heisman trophy candidates Dion Lewis (RB) and Jon Baldwin (WR). On the defensive side, standout defensive ends Greg Romeous and Jabaal Sheard anchor the front four that led the nation in sacks a season ago. The non-conference schedule will be challenging with visits to Utah and Notre Dame, while hosting Miami at home. Even though Pitt was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Big East, they will face stiff competition against Connecticut, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Rutgers.


Even though Dion Lewis and Jon Baldwin will get most of the media attention, the success of redshirt sophomore Tino Sunseri will be a key to offense. After redshirting his freshman year, Tino gave last year’s starter Bill Stull plenty of competition in preseason training camp. Many will question his height (list at 6’ 2”, but more like 6’), but has a terrific arm and the ability to run if necessary. Tino was 10 of 17 for 114 yards with 2 TD’s last season in relief effort. The offense is loaded at the both the running back and wide receive positions, but have question marks at the interior of the offensive line. Both tackles, senior Jason Pinkston and junior Lucas Nix are looking to have outstanding years, but starting positions for the two guards and center positions are up for grabs. Senior walk-on Alex Karabin has a slight edge on Jack Lippert at the center position. And Chris Jacobson, Greg Gaskins, and Ryan Turnley will be competing for the guard positions. Pitt returns a rarity in college football these days, and that is a good blocking fullback. Junior Henry Hynoski, is not only an excellent blocker, but has good hands receiving. Mike Cruz seems to have solidified his position as starting tight end, which plays an integral part in Frank Cignetti’s offense. If the offensive line can protect Sunseri and open gaps for Lewis, this offense can be very lethal. It would not surprise me to see the Pitt offense score more than 30 points per game on many occasions.


The 2010 Pitt defense has the potential to be better than the 2009 squad, which led the nation in sacks (47). One of the reasons for optimism is the good depth that Dave Wannestadt has established through his successful recruiting efforts. T.J. Clemmings, Bryan Murphy, Aaron Donald, and Khaynin Mosely-Smith are four defensive ends/tackles to remember in the future. These freshmen are already pushing for second and third string positions early in training camp. Jabaal Sheard and Greg Romeous combined for 13 sacks last year at the defensive end position. Myles Caragein and Chas Alechxih look to fill in the void left by Mick Williams and Gus Mustakus at defensive tackle. The linebacking corps will be the fastest group coached under Dave Wannestadt. All of them run the forty yard dash around 4.5 seconds. Over the last several years, Pitt’s defense has been noted for having a good middle linebacker. Remember H.B. Blades, Scott McKillops, and Adam Gunn? Dan Mason looks to continue this streak of good linebackers. The one thing that sets Dan Mason apart from other linebackers is the head on his shoulders. He spends plenty of time in the film room. The secondary has been a weakness for Pitt over the last couple of years. But, Ricky Gary and Antwuan Reed look to strengthen the cornerback position. Dom DeCicco (6’4” 230 lbs) and Jarred Holley are valuable at the safety positions.

Special Teams:

Dan Hutchins has the role of both punter and kicker. He was 23 of 29 (79%) in field goals last season. Dan kicked the winning field goal during the Meinecke Car Care Bowl against North Carolina last season. Dan has spent his offseason working on adding distance to his kicking. He was very accurate within 40 yards, but kicks over 40 yards were the majority of his misses. Dan made a 48 yard field goal in their last scrimmage game; giving coaches the assurance that he can be counted on to hit the long ones.


1) The defense returns two outstanding defensive ends that will harass quarterbacks all season long.

2) There is good depth at the skilled positions. Ray Graham could start on most college football teams, but is a great compliment to Dion Lewis at running back. The wide receiver position is stacked deep with plenty of talent. With Jon Baldwin and Mike Shanahan as the starters, Cam Saddler, Greg Cross, and Devin Street can all provide the fire power needed to compliment a solid running game for the Panthers.

3) Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. He can make an average player a good one.

4) Offensive line coach Tony Wise. He is a former line coach of the Dallas Cowboys.


1) The offensive line must replace 3 out of 5 starters from last season. Also they must replace the tight end position which lost two players to the NFL.

2) The secondary has been a weakness over the last couple of years, giving up plenty of yardage through the air. Pitt blew two leads last year against N.C. State and Cincinnati by giving up points through the passing game.


Sept 2 at Utah

Sept 11 New Hampshire

Sept 23 Miami

Oct 2 Florida International

Oct 9 at Notre Dame

Oct 16 at Syracuse

Oct 23 Rutgers

Oct 30 Louisville

Nov 11 at Connecticut

Nov 20 at South Florida

Nov 26 West Virginia

Dec 4 at Cincinnati

Saturday, August 21, 2010



By Jeff Batzel

After a disappointing 2-10 campaign last fall, Ralph Friedgen has his work cut out for him in College Park. It would seem that the Terps have nowhere to go but up the ladder in the ACC standings. However, in the ACC media’s preseason poll, Maryland was solidly at the bottom of the Atlantic Division predictions. Friedgen’s task, ultimately, may not be as easy as it would appear.

The Terps wins in 2009 both came at home. Maryland beat I-AA James Madison in OT and squeaked by Clemson in their only ACC win. The Terps ranked 11th of 12 offensively in the ACC and last in scoring defense in the conference.


Backfield- Jamarr Robinson will head into this season, his first full season as the starter, as the

focal point of an offense that struggled to score in 2009. "I saw tremendous progress


in him this summer. I just think he's a lot more comfortable with his reads and his decision-making. The thing I really noticed, though, over the course of the summer and spring, is I think he's really become more of a leader,” commented Coach Friedgen. Robinson, who started two games late in the ’09 campaign, completed over 50% of his passing attempts for nearly 500 yards and adds a running dimension to the QB position. “ I'm very confident in our offense. I feel like we're going to do great things," Robinson said regarding turning the struggling offense (next to last in the ACC in ’09) around.

It helps that Robinson has two other outstanding skill position threats to help with a Terp turnaround. One of those, Senior Da’Rel Scott, will line up in the backfield with Robinson at the Running Back position. Scott ran for over 1,000 yards and was a first team ACC All-Star as a Sophomore but was hampered by injuries last fall. Scott still ran for 400+ yards and 5.0 yards per carry in a season where he was at less than 100%. Scott has reportedly improved his 40 time by nearly a tenth to a lightning fast 4.29 after running on the Terp track squad last spring. “I feel I have an additional burst that I did not have before,” Scott proclaimed.

Junior Davin Meggett, who filled in for Scott off and on in 2009 gives the Terps a second seasoned weapon in the running back stable. "We have always been a one-two punch. Da'Rel (Scott) and I have always worked well together and we don't look to change that this year,” Meggett said.

Receivers- Junior Torrey Smith, the Terps leading receiver from a year ago returns giving Maryland, and Robinson, the top-notch target they need to lead the receiving side of a quite possibly strong aerial attack. Smith was selected by the ACC media as a two position first team pre-season ACC player this year. Smith (81 receptions for 824 yards and 5 TD’s in ’09) was tabbed at WR and Special Teams for his Kickoff return ability. Smith averaged 25 yards per return and had 2 TD’s returning kickoffs in ’09. Adrianne Cannon, a senior who had 468 yards in 44 catches last year, will man the other WR spot. Big Devonte Campbell (6’2” 255) will get the nod at TE. Campbell, who started in 4 games last year, is just a Sophomore. Will Yeatman, a transfer from Notre Dame, is an unknown after having been out of football for 2 years, but could give the Terps another TE candidate.

Offensive Line- Here lies the biggest question mark, in this writers opinion, regarding the ability of the Maryland offense to produce this year. Maryland lost two starters including NFL draftee Phil Costa. Paul Pinegar, Gonnella and Dill are the returning starters and two others, Bennett Fulper and Lewis, earned starts last season. How far this group comes along may play a huge role in how much time Robinson has to throw to his stalwart receivers and whether Scott and Meggett become the one-two rushing punch that they are capable of. Pinegar will move to Center to replace Costa who is in the Cowboys training camp. Dill earned All ACC Freshman honors last year at Right Tackle. Gonnella will open the season at Left Guard. Pete White, a highly regarded redshirt Freshman, will back up Gonnella. Fulper and Lewis will apparently battle for the Right Guard position. Sophomore Justin Gilbert, a reserve in ’09, apparently won the Left Tackle job in the spring.

Offensive Outlook- Improvement, barring injuries, seems imminent. The only question is, how much improvement. If the Offensive line gells and Robinson becomes a commanding leader to go with his athleticism at quarterback, then the Terps could be dramatically improved on the offensive side of the ball this year.


Defensive Line- Sophomore Tackle AJ Francis is the lone holdover from the ’09 Defensive front four. Francis was an honorable mention Freshman All-American last year. Despite 3 other starters graduating, the Terps do return a plethora of players who rotated in at the Line positions last season. Junior Derek Drummond and Sophomores Zach Kerr and Carl Russell saw action in all 12 contests last year. Sophomore Joe Vellano, who was injured through most of ’09 had an outstanding spring and should earn a starting Tackle nod. Sophomores Justin Anderson and Isaiah Ross are battling, and may end up sharing, the strongside Defensive End job. Drummond will most likely earn the other DE spot.

Linebackers- The LB corp, led by Senior Alex Wujciak (6’3”, 255) will be the heart and soul of the Terp defense. Wujciak is on several post season “watch lists” and is a consensus pre-season


All ACC selection. Wujciak had 131 tackles last season and 133 in 2008. He heads a talented LB corps that also returns Adrian Moten and Demetrius Hartsfield. Moten is a Senior while Hartsfield is just a Sophomore and comes off a fine rookie season that saw him gain All ACC Freshman 1st team honors. “He may have had the best spring of any of the linebackers,” Friedgen said of Hartsfield. The Terps return their top three backups, most notably Will Pooler who had 43 tackles in a reserve role. Incoming true Freshman David Mackall

turned some heads in the spring and according to Friedgen, “We may have to find ways to get him in the game.” Mackall enrolled early at UM last January.

Secondary- The lone returnee is CB Cameron Chism. Chism led the team with 4 interceptions last season. Junior Tate and senior Antwine Perez should open the season as the No. 1 safeties. Trenton Hughes and Dexter McDougle will battle for, or share, the other CB spot.

Tate and Perez are experienced performers who combined to start five games last season. Both are good tacklers and have been significant contributors the last two seasons. This appears to be the biggest question mark, defensively for the Terps and it is not out of the question for a member of the Freshman class just recruited to have an opportunity for immediate playing time at safety.

Defensive Outlook- Although the Terps will be very strong at Linebacker and potentially better in the Defensive Line, their problem area appears to be the secondary. Will Defensive coordinator Don Brown figure a way to put enough pressure on opposing QB’s to keep the pressure off his inexperienced secondary? That could be the key on defense. Don’t underestimate Wujciak and Moten as leaders. It’s not out of the question that one of the biggest defensive turnarounds in ACC history could take place in College Park this year.


Sophomore Nick Ferrera was more than adequate last year, hitting on 18 of 25 field goals and a long of 50 yards. Ferrera is versatile enough that he handled some punting duties in a pinch also. Senior Travis Baltz returns this year after a Junior season plagued by injuries. Baltz averaged 40.7 yards per boot. Torrey Smith, one of the finest kickoff returners in the nation, gives the Terps “instant TD” potential. Smith averaged 25 yards per return and scored two TD’s on KO returns last season. The biggest job the staff has to do is improve the horrendous punt coverage that hampered the Terps in 2009.


If the Terps are to be successful this year, their offense must produce and their defense has to become at minimum, adequate. The best scenario for the Terps this year is that they find creative ways to put the ball in Torrey Smith’s hands, that Robinson gains confidence early in the season that carries him through and that the defense bends but doesn’t least not too often. Maryland has a tough opener at Baltimore on Labor Day against Navy. They will be an underdog, and deservedly so, in that game. A respectable performance win or lose is imperative as is 3 of 4 wins in their subsequent games when they host Morgan State, Florida International and Duke. A trip to West Virginia is also sandwiched inside that home stand.

A 3-2 record and 2 weeks to prepare for a trip to Death Valley to battle Clemson could put the Terps in a position to get six wins and become Bowl eligible. Besides beating Clemson for the second straight season, home game games versus Wake Forest, Florida State and NC State are all winnable and if things are going well the Terps should expect to win in a trip to Virginia on November 13.

Obviously things could go awry for the Terps also. They are young on both the offensive and defensive lines and their secondary is a huge questionmark. Even if the offense produces, they could get outscored in shootout style games. It’s doubtful the Terps won’t exceed their two wins of 2009, but 3-9 or 4-8 are not out of the question.

There is little doubt that Ralph Friedgen is on the hot seat this year. We feel he will come through and that his youth will mature quickly and that Don Brown’s defensive schemes will come together better than they did in ’09. We like the Terrapins to get wins over Morgan State, Florida Int’l, Duke, Wake Forest and NC State at home and on the road at Virginia to go 6-6. This will set up the Terps, and Friedgen, for a possible run at the ACC title in 2011.


Sept. 6 vs Navy (At Baltimore)


Sept. 18 At West Virginia

Sept. 25 Florida International

Oct. 2 Duke

Oct. 16 At Clemson

Oct. 23 At Boston College

Oct. 30 Wake Forest

Nov. 6 At Miami

Nov. 13 At Virginia

Nov. 20 Florida State

Nov. 27 N.C. State


Pictures courtesy