Friday, October 22, 2010

ACC Football Saturday

Saturday, Oct 23

DUKE @ VIRGINIA TECH (-26), Blacksburg, Va., 12:00 PM, TV: ACC Network (XM190/SIRIUS 212) – If the Hokies show up and do what they do well – run the ball and play good defense and special teams – there is nothing Duke can do about it. Kind of sad really…

MARYLAND @ BOSTON COLLEGE (-4), Chestnut Hill, Mass., 1:00 PM, (XM 191/SIRIUS 213) – The Eagles have a good defense (10th in the nation) and a crappy offense. The Terps can’t run, thus putting a great deal of pressure on their freshmen QB. Losing starting tackle Pete DeSouza in a campus scooter accident only makes this worse...(more below in "Links.")

GEORGIA TECH @ CLEMSON (-5.5), Clemson, S.C., 3:30 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN (XM 190/192)(SIRIUS 212/215) – Georgia Tech’s defense will have trouble with Clemson’s passing and running game while Clemson’s defense is getting better every week.

Eastern Michigan (Eagles, 22,974 students, Ypsilanti, MI) @ VIRGINIA (-24), Charlottesville, Va., 6:00 PM, TV: ESPN3.com (XM 191/SIRIUS 213) – The Eagles come to C’vill with one of the worst defenses in the country and they will make the struggling Wahoo offense and whomever plays QB look pretty good.

NORTH CAROLINA @ MIAMI (-6.5), Miami Gardens, Fla., 7:30 PM, TV: ESPN2 (XM 190/SIRIUS 212) – If UNC had all their defensive players there would be an upset in the making as the Canes are very turnover prone. That said, while they may no longer feature a handful of future #1 NFL draft picks, the Heels defense is still pretty good…Can T.J. Yates and offense score enough points to beat Miami again – the Heels and Davis have won the last three meetings.

2010 USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Preseason Coaches' Poll

While the ACC media believes the Hokies will have a better season than the Tar Heels, the coaches who vote in the USA Today/ESPN poll don’t agree just yet. That said, everybody has defending National Champion Duke in the top spot.

1. DUKE (35-5) Defending champ brings back standout forward Kyle Singler, guard Nolan Smith, and forwards Miles and Mason Plumlee. Two freshmen, guard Kyrie Irving and forward Josh Hairston, plus transfer Seth Curry could have big impacts. Opens: Nov. 14 vs. Princeton (Tigers, 7,567 students, Princeton, NJ) in CBE Classic.

2. Michigan State (28-9), 3. Kansas State (29-8), 4. Pittsburgh (25-9), 5. Ohio State (29-8), 6. Villanova (25-8), 7. Kansas (33-3), 8. Purdue (29-6)

9. NORTH CAROLINA (20-17) After a surprising subpar year that ended with an NIT runner-up finish, Tar Heels hope to bounce back behind highly regarded incoming freshmen Harrison Barnes, a forward, and guard Reggie Bullock along with returning forwards Tyler Zeller and John Henson, and guards Larry Drew II and Dexter Strickland. Forward Will Graves was dismissed from the team this month. Opens: Nov. 12 vs. Lipscomb (Bisons, 3,418 students, Nashville, TN).

10. Kentucky (35-3),11. Florida (21-13),12. Gonzaga (27-7),13. Syracuse (30-5), 14. Baylor (28-8),15. Missouri (23-11), 16. Illinois (21-15), 17. Washington (26-10), 18. Butler (33-5), 19. Memphis (24-10), 20. Tennessee (28-9), 21. Georgetown (23-11), 22. Temple (29-6),

23. VIRGINIA TECH (25-9) Guard Malcolm Delaney's decision to come back bolsters the Hokies' chances in the ACC and to get to the NCAAs. Experienced Tech also returns Fs Jeff Allen and Victor Davila, G Dorenzo Hudson and wing Terrell Bell. Opens: Nov. 12 vs. Campbell (Fighting Camels, 10,471 students, Buies Creek, NC).

24. Wisconsin (24-9), 25. Texas (24-10)

Others receiving votes: San Diego State (25-9) 73; Brigham Young (30-6) 55; West Virginia (31-7) 49; Minnesota (21-14) 41; FLORIDA STATE (22-10) 31; Unlv (25-9) 19; Wichita State (25-10) 13; Ucla (14-18) 12; Vanderbilt (24-9) 11; NORTH CAROLINA STATE (20-16) 10; Georgia (14-17) 9; Richmond (26-9) 9; Xavier (26-9) 8; Mississippi State (24-12) 7; Utah State (27-8) 6; California (24-11) 5; Texas A&M (24-10) 5; Murray State (31-5) 4; New Mexico (30-5) 4; Louisville (20-13) 3; Arizona (16-15) 2; Dayton (25-12) 2; Marquette (22-12) 2; MARYLAND (24-9) 2; Saint Mary's (28-6) 2; Northwestern (20-14) 1.

For Sale: Michael Jordan’s Mercedes McLaren SLR

It can be yours for a mere $429,000 and change…The speedometer goes to 220 mph and it even comes with its own jumper cables. Should a $429,000 Mercedes NEED jumper cables?

For that kind of money shouldn’t white lab coated technicians with thick German accents and even thicker glasses just magically appear anytime something goes wrong with this mechanical wonder?

To buy it, or for more details, click here.


Former Terp Williams Giving Back To Native Country

Minnesota Viking’s safety Madieu Williams has to be the only NFL player from the African nation of Sierra Leone. When he was nine-years-old, his mother, a nurse, would take him on her rounds through hospital wards in the West African nation that is among the poorest in the world.

There, he learned the importance, the necessity of giving. The Williams were poor, themselves—they lived in a ramshackle, two-story building that seemed forever in danger of collapse—but Madieu’s mother gave to others whatever she could.
It was a lesson her son never forgot.

After immigrating to the U.S., Williams began his collegiate career at Towson State before transferring to Maryland as a walk-on player. He was a full-time starter for the Terps in his final 2 seasons, starting 27 games and helping the Terps rise in the polls. Williams’ Maryland teams went 21-6 in his tenure and outscored West Virginia (41-7) and Tennessee (30-3) by a combined 71-10 in the Gator Bowl and Peach Bowl respectively.

He’s been in the NFL since 2004, and he is active in community service through the Madieu Williams Foundation. Recently he built a school and has been leading educational and medical missions to his native country.

This morning the Today show profiled Williams and his efforts. To see it, click here.

Farvegate: Can We Move On Already?

Mr. and Mrs. Favre
We are way tired of Brett Favre on so many levels, but while surfing for Pictures of the Day our crack research team pointed out something that may not be a coincidence regarding the aging retired, not-retired, retired, not-retired, retired, INTERCEPTION!!, not-retired, retired, not-retired, INTERCEPTION!!, retired, not-retired, retired, not-retired INTERCEPTION!! apparently philandering quarterback, his wife and the woman who rejected his unwanted advances and electronic phone photos of his privates (or what we now call his “Tweenis.”)

Yes, they do, in fact, bear a resemblance.

Jen Steger
Does that give him any cover?

Honey, I thought she was you…Really, I did. Seriously. 





Wellllllll…No.

Mid-Term Elections: Butch Davis Still A Viable Candidate

According to a new survey released by a Raleigh-based Democratic polling firm, Public Policy Polling, 41 percent of voters describing themselves as UNC fans approve of the job Davis is doing as coach, while 20 percent disapprove. In addition, only 14 percent of the Tar Heel fan base polled thinks Davis should be fired, while 57 percent think he should keep his job. Of those polled who described themselves as “hardcore” fans, only 9% of them supported replacing Davis, while 68% said he should remain as coach.

Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling's director, described the poll’s plus- or minus-7.8 percent margin-of-error ratio as high, but said he is confident in the poll’s findings because the numbers were so lopsided.

“I thought it [the opinions on Davis] would be a lot more divided,” Jensen said. “What it tells me is that most of the anti-Davis sentiment is not coming from Carolina fans. The biggest takeaway is that within the UNC fan base, there is a lot of support for him.”

Public Policy Polling conducts monthly polls on political issues, but also adds other questions about Andy Griffith, athletics and other topics. This poll was conducted before the Heels beat Virginia in C'ville last weekend for the first time since 1981.

Things That Make You Go…

Hmmm…

The headline could read like this:

Former Seminole Could Be (Hurri)Caned In Singapore (And Fed To Gators) 


Where do we begin. OK, with the irony. A Seminole getting caned…as in Hurri-caned. That’s rich, Jerry!

The story goes like this: A former Florida State University football player is facing possible caning in Singapore after he overstayed his visa.

Kamari Charlton (right)  was in Singapore while his wife was receiving medical care for pregnancy complications. His attorney told a news agency that the now 37-year-old was arrested on September 1 when he attempted to leave the city-state 169 days after his 90-day pass expired.

Staying past the 90 days on your visa is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and at least three cane strokes. When caned, people are strapped to a wooden frame and lashed across the bare bottom with a long rattan stick.

If he's found guilty, Charlton would be the first American caned since Michael Fay was punished in 1994 for spray-painting graffiti on 18 cars. Fay, who was a high-school student at the time of the vandalism, received four swats with a half-inch rattan cane.

Singapore boasts one of the lowest violent crime rates and highest standards of living in the world, but human-rights groups often criticize the government for severe punishments, such as a mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers. Singapore also reiterated a ban on the sale of chewing gum and announced a crackdown on littering this year.

Charlton also had some issues when he was at The University of Criminal Football at Tallahassee (know to most folks as Florida State), was a reserve tight end from 1992-96.  He was arrested in May 1994 on felony rape and simple assault charges while at FSU.

According to the Tallahassee police at the time, Charlton was accused by a former girlfriend of grabbing her by the throat and raping her. He was suspended by then-coach Bobby Bowden and was dismissed from school for the 1994-95 season. He was later acquitted of all charges and was reinstated to the team for the 1995-96 season. In 1998, he was arrested for battery in Tallahassee and served community service.

Charlton, was born in the Bahamas and owns a construction company there.

ACC Football Links

Cutcliffe with Alabama's Nick Saban
Via Heather Dinich at ESPN.com's ACC Blog:

David Cutcliffe’s take on quarterback Sean Renfree and the outside influences: "He knows who to listen to -- [Duke assistant] Kurt Roper, his daddy and me. The rest of ya, the hell with ya."

North Carolina true freshman offensive lineman James Hurst will get one of his biggest challenges of the season on Saturday against Miami's Olivier Vernon.

Forget the past, Georgia Tech and Clemson. It's a new season.

It's about time John Blake surrendered. Make a public statement. Apologize. Apologize to Butch Davis and his players, apologize to North Carolina fans and apologize to your lawyers for making them take the heat for you.

Individually, Miami has some players on offense who are having outstanding seasons. Collectively? They're still not producing the results they want to see -- namely points.

When it comes to hiring coaches, Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson and Clemson's Dabo Swinney are reminders not to get too caught up in labels.

BC offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill is in a tough spot having to start from scratch with a new quarterback two years in a row.
Hokie Danny Coale

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher is even happier with his team now than he was after it stomped on Miami.

UVA walk-on Trevor Grywatch sacrificed a bit of himself to help save another.

Do you snore? If so, Virginia Tech fans kindly ask that you stay away from Dyrell Roberts and Danny Coale at their team hotels on the eve of games.

If Duke is going to have any chance at stopping Virginia Tech's potent offense, the Blue Devils will need to have their defense as close to full strength as possible.

Georgia Tech kicker Scott Blair waos 6-for-6 on field goals against Clemson in two games last year. He's ready for another close one.

Overall, Clemson has been average this year. You can't spell Clemson without a C, right?

Maryland's starting right tackle suffered two broken legs in a scooter accident.
Pete DeSouza

 Virginia running back Keith Payne will continue to get opportunities as long as he continues to earn them from Mike London.

Virginia Tech wide receiver Danny Coale's game has fluctuated like the stock market -- and he knows both.

Yes, Miami coach Randy Shannon is tired of losing to Butch Davis.UNC's mess started in a place the former Miami coach used to tell his players to avoid -- Miami Beach.

Davis at least appears to have the support of his fans.

UNC tailback Ryan Houston is still waiting to find out if he'll redshirt.

BC defensive back Jim Noel has earned another start.

Pictures of the Day

HIGH FLYING BIRDS. The Oregon Ducks, known for ugly unis and piling up yards and points, put on a display last night to confirm their top ranking.  Here, LaMichael James runs the ball against the UCLA Bruins on October 21, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Thomas threw for a career-high 308 yards and three touchdowns while James, the nation’s top rusher, finished with 123 yards and two TDs. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
GETTING READY FOR THE BIG GAME. A possibly gay Wallace Wade stadium employee cleans the seats in preparation for Saturday’s Duke v. Virginia Tech football game. The row of seats directly behind the Rainbow Duster is reserved for UNC fans who like to come to Durham to see the Blue Devils lose. Just kidding.

Actually, the Devils travel to Blacksburg on Saturday and this is part of the main grandstand at Formula One's Korean Grand Prix circuit in Yeongam. After three years of work, a $275 million investment and frantic last-minute building work, all the seats still don’t match. (Photo by Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
EVIDENTLY, IT’S REALLY REALLY SUNNY IN ARIZONA (AT NIGHT?) Washington Nationals prospect, Bryce Harper #34 playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions walks out onto the field during the AZ Fall League game against the Mesa Solar Sox at Scottsdale Stadium on October 20, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Harper got a little carried away with the eye black. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Media Picks Duke In Pre-Season Basketball Poll

Once again, ignoring the geniuses over at T.A.H. Worldwide Media LLC, the rest of the wags that cover the ACC picked Duke to again win the conference.

Duke received 61 of a possible 62 first-place votes in the annual preseason poll, which was released this afternoon at the ACC's operation basketball event. North Carolina, which was picked third overall in the poll, received the other first-place vote while Virginia Tech was picked No. 2, and N.C. State was No. 4.

The media also selected Duke's Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, N.C. State's Tracy Smith and Florida State's Chris Singleton to the preseason All-ACC team.

Singler was picked as the Player of the Year, and North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes was voted Rookie of the Year.

Here is the complete voting, with first-place votes in parentheses: 1. Duke (61) 743; 2. Virginia Tech 632; 3. North Carolina (1) 622; 4. N.C. State 526; 5. Florida State 496; 6. Maryland 432; 7. Clemson 335; 8. Miami 305; 9. Georgia Tech 274; 10. Boston College 173; 11. Virginia 164; 12. Wake Forest 134.

Midnight Madness…

…struck around ACC country last Friday as fans start the count down to the beginning of the ACC basketball season.
Duke's championship banner.

Coach K and his boys.

Ol' Roy busts a move.

The UNC mascot and UNC grad ESPN's Stuart Scott.


Gary Williams coaches two-year-old Corey Dixon, the son of Juan Dixon.

The Terps get their groove on...

The Wolpack get thier groove on...

ACC Injury Report: Big Cheese Swofford Out

ACC commissioner John Swofford is not attending today's ACC basketball media day because of hip-replacement surgery in Greensboro, the league announced.

The league said it would have an update on Swofford's surgery on Thursday.

Things That Make You Go…

Hmmm…

Evidently, the Indianapolis Police have trouble taking “yes” for an answer. Seriously, how many times does the half-dressed soaking wet football player have to tell them at midnight that “I am drunk.” Really, how many times?

Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee was arrested for public intoxication Wednesday after police said he took a pre-dawn swim in a city canal and told them "I am drunk" as he tried to explain why he was sopping wet.

Police arrested McAfee about 5 a.m. in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, known for its nightlife. Officers say the 23-year-old, second-year player from West Virginia had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for driving in Indiana.

Before the arrest, McAfee posted this on Twitter: "Bye week bye week bye week. Time to get some ish done. Happy Tuesday Party people."

Officers asked McAfee if he had been swimming in the canal and he said "I am not sure," according to a police report.

They asked him how he got wet and he said it had been raining, then told officers that his shirt was "in the water."

The cops then asked McAfee how much he had to drink.

"A lot cause I am drunk," McAfee said.

Now, if we were in charge, the investigation would end right there. File it under “self-explanatory, backed up by confession.”

Back in Morgantown, they must be so proud.

Injury Updates: UVA's Zeglinski Out Eight Weeks, UNC's Zack Pianalto Out For Season

If Sammy Zeglinski's rehabilitation goes well, Virginia coach Tony Bennett said, he could be back for most or all of the Cavaliers' ACC schedule.

Zeglinski had surgery Tuesday to fix cartilage on his left knee, according to a school news release. He is out approximately eight weeks.

"We were really young with him," Bennett said. "And now we're extremely young without him."

Zeglinski, a junior, averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds a game last season.

Over in Chapel Hill, UNC tight end Zack Pianalto is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured right fibula.

With 2:35 left in the second quarter, Pianalto caught a 7-yard pass from quarterback T.J. Yates, then was tackled by two Cavaliers. The pop by cornerback Chase Minnifield earned a 15-yard personal foul penalty for Virginia, and Pianalto hopped off the field – and then to the locker room -- on one leg.

Done.
 

ACC Football Links

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is one of the best. When your name is in the same sentence as Bear Bryant, it's hard to argue.

Here's a great story on Georgia Tech's Julian Burnett, whose strength comes from within.

Guys, we're in the wrong business. I could use a $900 monthly car allowance, how about you? Heck, I could use two cars ...

It's time for Clemson's passing game to let loose.

Last year, Maryland won its ACC opener and then lost the rest. The Terps are hoping to avoid the same fate this season.

Duke quarterback Sean Renfree is trying to reverse his fortunes after what was the toughest performance in his first season as starter.

Miami safety Latwan Anderson has left the football team and likely won't return.

One word describes UNC quarterback T.J. Yates this year: underrated.

Criticism is par for the course for Miami head coaches.

FSU quarterback Christian Ponder says he'll be 100 percent healthy in time for NC State.

Virginia's lack of production in the red zone is something that has to be addressed.

Wolfpack Latest To Lose Tweets

Forward Tracy Smith confirmed Wednesday that all of the team’s Twitter accounts – including his – have been deleted, after a team meeting with coach Sidney Lowe last week.

“People were just going on there…and not being careful about what they said,’’ Smith said at today's ACC Operation Basketball media session.

He added that no one seemed to be overly upset about the decision, and the players are allowed to keep other social media accounts (such as Facebook) as long as they are careful.

Over in Chapel Hill, they call that a violation of the players rights under the First Amendment.

Quote Of The Day

“As of now, people don’t fear Duke and UNC any more. I know we don’t, as a team. My freshman year when I came in and we played at UNC, I was looking around because I’d never played in that type of atmosphere against that type of team. When we played them in the ACC Tournament and we stuck with them, I never thought about it the same way.”

-- Virginia Tech senior guard, and player-of-the-year candidate, Malcom Delaney Wednesday at ACC basketball media day.

Pictures of the Day

YEAH, BUT HE CAN WATCH BASEBALL. Just couldn’t play it all that well. Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan sits in the stands during Game Four of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 19, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America)
TAKING FLIGHT. Daryl Jacob riding Diamond Brook (L) leap the second last fence to win The Best Mate Beginners' Steeple Chase at Exeter racecourse on October 19, 2010 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
 I AM NOT A WITCH.  Thus prompting T.A.H. Pop Culture Editor Young A.T. to quip "but, I am a sorceress." (Photo by Amy Petty/T.A.H. Worldwide Media)
THE NEXT JOHN HINKLEY, JR.? Grim LeRogue (can that really be his name?) is restrained by New York Police after running onto the field in Game Three of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. According reports, LeRogue is obsessed with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's relationship with actress Cameron Diaz.
 AT LEAST HE’S NOT ON A HIGH WIRE. Our main man Casey Stoner of Australia rides the #27 Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati during practice for the Australian MotoGP, which is round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on October 16, 2010 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac)
TOUCHDOWN? FIELD GOAL? What do they call this play? We don’t know, but we think it’s suspicious that actor John Malkovich is playing rugby using the alias of Joe Simpson for the London Wasps.  Here he can clearly be seen diving for a score the opening try during the Heineken Cup match between the Wasps and Glasgow Warriors at Adam Park on October 17, 2010 in High Wycombe, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images Europe)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ACC's Players of the Week

Dwight Jones
Here are the ACC's Players of the Week, as announced by the league office in Greensboro, N.C.:

OFFENSIVE BACK – Dwight Jones, North Carolina, WR, Jr., 6-5, 210, Burlington, N.C. (Cummings/Hargrave M.A.) Jones had seven receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns (all career highs) in Carolina’s 44-10 victory at Virginia. It was the Tar Heels’ first win at UVA since 1981. Jones, who had 119 receiving yards in the first quarter, had touchdown catches of 81 and 20 yards. He also had a 54-yard reception to the 1-yard line, which led to another TD. Jones’ 198 yards receiving rank as the fifth-highest single-game total in school history.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Brandon Washington, Miami, G, So., 6-4, 330, Miami, Fla. (Northwestern/Milford Academy) Washington anchored a Miami offense that recorded a season-best 448 yards and did not allow a sack in a 28-13 win at Duke. As the Hurricanes’ starting right guard, Washington graded out at 97 percent while recording seven pancake blocks against the Blue Devils.

Da’Quan Bowers
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson, DE, Jr., 6-4, 275, Bamberg, S.C. (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) Bowers recorded a career high three sacks and four total tackles for loss in Clemson’s 31-7 win over Maryland. All three of Bowers’ sacks were on third-down plays and forced punts. They led to 30 yards in losses. He became the first Clemson player to record three sacks in a game since 2001. Bowers now leads the nation in sacks with nine and in tackles for loss with 15.5. Bowers finished the game with six total tackles, as Clemson held Maryland to just seven points, the fewest for the Clemson defense against an ACC opponent since last year’s 38-3 win over Wake Forest. Bowers was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards website.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Vaughn Telemaque, Miami, S, So., 6-2, 207, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly) Telemaque had two interceptions to lead a Miami defense that forced five interceptions and two fumbles in a 28-13 win over Duke. Telemaque also had six tackles for the UM defense, which is tied for second nationally in turnovers gained among BCS schools. It is the ninth time this season that an ACC player has claimed multiple interceptions in a single game.

Andre Ellington
SPECIALIST – Andre Ellington, Clemson, RB, r-So., 5-10, 190, Moncks Corner, S.C. (Berkeley) Ellington had an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that was a key to Clemson’s 31-7 win over Maryland. Maryland had just taken a 7-3, lead and Ellington’s return brought the Tigers back to the lead at 10-7. Clemson never trailed the rest of the game. Ellington had a career high 122 yards on two kickoff returns. He was named national Kick Returner of the Week by the College Football Performances Awards website.

ROOKIE – Josh Harris, Wake Forest, RB, r-Fr., 5-10, 205, Duncanville, Texas (Duncanville) Harris, making his first career start, carried 20 times for 241 yards and two touchdowns in Wake Forest’s 52-21 loss at Virginia Tech. Harris’ 241 yards rushing are the most ever allowed by Virginia Tech, surpassing the 239 by Temple’s Paul Palmer in 1986. Harris was the first Deacon since 2005 to rush for over 200 yards in a game. His 241 yards were the second-most ever by a freshman at Wake Forest.

Clemson Retires C.J. Spiller’s Number

Buffalo Bills rookie C.J. Spiller got one more ovation at Death Valley when Clemson retired his No. 28 jersey last Saturday.

Spiller was the 2009 ACC player of the year while setting 32 school records, and Tigers coach Dabo Swinney made sure it didn't take long to permanently honor those achievements.

"It's a great honor. It's a humbling experience," said Spiller, who joins Banks McFadden (No. 66) from the late 1930s and quarterback Steve Fuller (No. 4) from the late 1970s as the only football players with their numbers retired.

"It feels good. I feel like I've been away from home for a long time," Spiller said. "It makes me feel good to see all the support and love I have here."

Spiller, carrying 4-year-old daughter Shania in his arms and grinning broadly, led the team on its "Tiger Walk" through the parking lot to Memorial Stadium. Two hours later, Spiller joined the team for its traditional run past Howard's Rock and down the hill to start the game.

The highlight came at halftime when Spiller was honored with his framed No. 28 jersey as the fans stood, cheered and screamed "C-J!" Spiller waved his hands in thanks, then donated $100,000 to his former school -- he signed a five-year contract with Buffalo worth up to $37 million.

Spiller gained 1,212 yards with 12 TDs rushing, and also caught 36 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns. Spiller finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting and was the only player in the country last season with a touchdown in every game he played.

(Photos by Rex Brown)

Dear Mr. Snyder

First up, thanks for another interesting and entertaining game. At the risk of repeating myself, this is definitely BETTER, more competitive and much more fun than last year’s 4-12 CLUNKER of a season.

Now, let the COMPLAINING begin.

First off, we now FULLY understand why folks in Denver and in Philly either love or hate Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb. We also FULLY understand how some of those folks might both love and hate them during the SAME GAME!

McNabb is such a SIGNIFICANT upgrade over Jason Campbell it feels dirty to complain. McNabb is big, strong, smart and mobile. What he isn’t is ACCURATE. This is particularly noticeable when 300 lbs. defensive tackles are HANGING off his arms. So, that’s not really his fault. However, he has to get some of the HEAT, along with Coach Dad’s kid Coach Kyle,  for some bad play-calling-executing-decision making on fourth downs.

Both last week and this week, the Redskins faced fourth down and short and fourth and ten – both times they threw the ball 40 YARD in the air. Incomplete. It’s a matter of statistical probability. We will assume that Coach Kyle called the plays, but McNabb has to look off the improbable completion in favor of the FIRST DOWN. Now Coach Shan defended this trend this week with the old cliché “you TAKE what the defense gives you.”

Really? Never mind the Packers, but the Colts play the Tampa two deep defense which seals off deep routes and allows lots of completions UNDERNEATH. Surely, they switched it up on fourth and ten, but the Skins have enough weapons to make that play and keep possession (they only needed a field goal to tie) as opposed to going for the home run big play. Incomplete. GAME OVER.

The other – and, YES, this is really NIT PICKING, was an important third and one in the second half. Coach Kyle gets all the BLAME on this one. Sweep pitch to Ryan Torain. Really? A sweep pitch against a speed defense you’ve been running all over inside. Most NFL games are decided by a few plays. You can’t GIVE UP a critical possession with a dumb call. You CAN’T. Torain runs over people, let him do his THING. Don’t try to outrun a pro-Bowl DEFENSIVE END and Olympic sprinting Linebackers. Bad call. Dumb call. ZORN-ESQUE call, to put a fine point on it. Punt.

Which brings us to the defense and a lot of folks are UNHAPPY, but I’m not one of them. Yeah, Jim Haslett’s defenses are WEIRD and the thought that you might outsmart Peyton Manning was a DUMB one. Every time the Skins threw some wacky formation at the Colt’s star QB he figured a way to exploit it (see Joseph Addai's LONGEST run of his NFL life when Manning noticed that there were only two Redskins on that SIDE of the field.) YEAH that’s IT, we’ll OUTSMART Peyton Manning…Well...NO!

They are in LAST place in terms of yardage allowed, but they hit HARD and create TURNOVERS and that gives any team a CHANCE to win games. Lord knows, if they could CATCH…but…alas…they CAN’T.

That brings us to Coach Shan and Albert Hayensworth and how sitting back and letting your football people make all the personnel decisions this year must really SUCK. For once, you would have earned a STANDING OVATION at Fed Ex Field if you had pulled a Jerry Jones and called down to the coach and screamed SUIT UP FAT ALBERT and put him in the DAMN GAME!

Shanahan was obviously piqued that Hayensworth LALLYGAGGED on the way home from attending his half-brother’s funeral and he claims all the defensive scheming and game planning was complete…

Hey, we know Haslett’s schemes are WEIRD, but when you are playing nickel and dime packages the majority of the game you aren’t gonna CONVINCE anybody that you can’t use another PASS RUSHER.  Manning gets sacked ONCE and throws for 400+ yards and you don't NEED Haynesworth?  A PASS RUSHER? Seriously?

We have since heard local wags say part of the reason the Skins didn’t activate Hayensworth is that he DIDN’T work out (does he ever?) while he was away and that he wasn’t in good enough shape to get OFF the field during the Colt’s offensive no-huddle Blitzkrieg. That’s absurd. A 500 lbs. man in a wheelbarrow can get 25 yards to the sidelines in under ten seconds no matter how FAT or TIRED he is.

Deactivating Haynesworth was Shanahan being egotistical and stubborn and it hurt his team’s chances to WIN a game against what everybody perceived to be a SUPERIOR opponent. He’s made his point with Haynesworth, his team GETS IT, he doesn’t need to reinforce it with a unit that is LAST in the NFL…LAST. (We paid $40 million for you, but you can’t help the WORST defense in the NFL…Huh?)

Oh well, on to Chicago where the Skins defense will show marked IMPROVEMENT while INTERCEPTING Jay Cutler FIVE times…Hey, miracles DO HAPPEN.

Sincerely,

Your Loyal Fan

P.S. In fairness we compliment Mike Sellers on some more nifty plays – CATCHES, runs and blocks. Apparently his “Hands of Stone” have either softened up or migrated back to Carlos Rogers’ house where they BELONG.

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