Saturday, January 1, 2011

Florida State Knocks Off South Carolina, ACC Bowl Record 4-3

Taiwan Easterling
FLORIDA STATE 26, South Carolina (Gamecocks, 29,597 students, Columbia, SC) 17 – E. J. Manuel threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to stop a South Carolina rally and lead Florida State to a victory over the turnover-plagued Gamecocks in the Chick-fil-A (Peach) Bowl.

Chris Thompson ran for 147 yards and a touchdown and Dustin Hopkins kicked four field goals for the No. 23 Seminoles (10-4), who reached 10 wins for the first time since 2003.

Manuel took over for senior quarterback Christian Ponder, who left early in the second quarter with a concussion. No. 19 South Carolina lost running back Marcus Lattimore when he was hit hard on the Gamecocks' first drive.

South Carolina (9-5), which was seeking its first 10-win season since 1984, committed five turnovers. Stephen Garcia threw three first-half interceptions and Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery lost fumbles to leave the Gamecocks trailing 16-3 in the third quarter.

Garcia recovered to lead two long touchdown drives that trimmed Florida State's lead to 19-17 before Manuel answered with the 7-yard scoring pass to Taiwan Easterling.

Florida State cornerback Greg Reid, whose hits caused the fumbles by Lattimore and Jeffery, deflected a fourth-down pass by Garcia with 3:23 remaining.

Chris Thompson
Garcia completed 19 of 34 passes for 243 yards and also scored on a nifty play in the third. On a third-down play from the Florida State 3, Garcia threw a screen pass to Ace Sanders, who threw back across the field to Garcia alone in the right side of the end zone.

The Seminoles answered with Hopkins' fourth field goal, from 45 yards, to push the lead to nine.

Garcia responded by leading a 79-yard drive, capped by Brian Maddox's 7-yard TD run that made it 19-17. Garcia helped set up the score with a 29-yard pass to Jeffery.

To read more, click here.

Canes Can’t Stop Golden Domers

Michael Floyd
Notre Dame (Fighting Irish, 11,733 students, South Bend, IN) 33, MIAMI 17 – the Freshman Tommy Rees passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns to Michael Floyd as Notre Dame beat Miami 33-17 in the Sun Bowl on Friday, making Brian Kelly the first Fighting Irish coach to win a bowl game in his first season.

Notre Dame (8-5) reached the end zone on three of its first four possessions. Rees tossed TD passes of 3 and 34 yards to Floyd and Cierre Wood broke free on a 34-yard scoring run before David Ruffer added field goals from 40, 50 and 19 yards.

The Canes trailed 30-3 going into the fourth quarter, completing a season in which their coach was fired with an ugly loss.

Stephen Morris and Tommy Rees
Notre Dame's 30th bowl appearance was a New Year's Eve fiesta in El Paso, a predominantly Roman Catholic city on the Mexican border that embraced the Irish with huge cheers from the first glimpse of a golden helmet coming from the locker rooms.

Rees hardly looked like a freshman, completing 15 of 29 attempts without an interception. His performance marked the first time a first-year starting quarterback at Notre Dame won a bowl game.

Floyd had a big day, too, with six catches for 109 yards receiving, and his numbers would have been even better if he'd brought in what would have been two more TD catches.

Miami scored twice in the fourth quarter when Stephen Morris threw a 6-yard TD pass to Leonard Hankerson and a 42-yard scoring play to Tommy Streeter, but it was too late by then.

Clemson’s Rally Comes Up One Yard Short


Dartania Bogan
 South Florida (Bulls, 9,355 students, Tampa, FL) 31, CLEMSON 26 – Clemson executed a perfect onside kick, scored a T.D. and missed recovering the second and final onside attmept by one yard.

B.J. Daniels threw two touchdowns passes and ran for a third and South Florida finished coach Skip Holtz's first season with a victory over Clemson on Friday in the Meineke Bowl.


Mo Plancher also ran for a score for the Bulls (8-5), who took control after Tigers quarterback Kyle Parker left at halftime with broken ribs. South Florida secured its fifth straight eight-win season and earned its first bowl win over a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying league.

Parker's final football game before embarking on a baseball career ended abruptly when broke ribs when tackled near the goal line at the end of the second quarter.

Backup Tajh Boyd was picked off by JaQuez Jenkins on the first play of the fourth. His 48-yard return set up Daniels' 8-yard TD run to make it 31-13 and gave the Tigers (6-7) their first losing season in 11 years.

After a slow start, the Bulls finished with wins in five of their last seven games and gave the beleaguered Big East a 3-1 bowl record.

New Year’s Eve Hoops

GEORGIA TECH 87, Mercer (Bears, 5,500 students, Macon, GA) 78 – Sophomore Glen Rice Jr. scored a career-high 24 points and Iman Shumpert added all of his 15 points in the second half to lead Georgia Tech to a come-from-behind win over Mercer on Friday.

Freshmen Jason Morris and Kammeon Holsey each added a career-high 13 points for the Yellow Jackets (7-5).

nkins on the first play of the fourth. His 48-yard return set up Daniels' 8-yard TD run to make it 31-13 and gave the Tigers (6-7) their first losing season in 11 years.

After a slow start, the Bulls finished with wins in five of their last seven games and gave the beleaguered Big East a 3-1 bowl record.
Jeff Smith led Mercer (3-10) with 23 points. The Bears, who have lost seven of eight, also got 16 points from Brian Mills.

Pictures of the Day

HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INTERCEPT JACORY HARRIS? Fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hold up a sign during play against the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Bowl on December 30, 2010 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

JOHN CLARK’S BOYS CELBRATE. Head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles sideline reacts after getting a first down in the final seconds of their 26-17 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
THE "YOU CANT’T SALUTE THE CROWD" BOWL. The first football game palyed in Yankee Stadium was marred by a stupid call against Kansas State. Travis Tannahill #80 of the Kansas State Wildcats misses a catch in the endzone against the Syracuse Orange during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30, 2010 in New York, New York. Syracuse won. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Tar Heels Win Road Bowl Game in Double OT, ACC Bowl Record Now 3-1

Casey Barth kicked a 23-yard field goal in the second overtime to send North Carolina past Tennessee 30-27 in a Music City Bowl that will be remembered much more for the crazy finish of regulation than how it ended Thursday night. In the end, there was plenty of crazy to go around.
Barth kicked a 39-yard field goal after officials reviewed what had been the final play of the game and decided to penalize the Tar Heels (8-5) for having "more than 11 men" on the field. The Big Ten officiating crew also announced T.J. Yates had spiked the ball with 1 second left. That allowed Barth to run out and kick the field goal that tied it at 20.

The chaotic series of plays, as well as the game as a whole, seemed perfectly emblematic of the Tar Heel’s entire season that started with such high expectations only to get bogged down by injuries, suspensions and players being declared ineligible by You-Know-Who In Indianapolis (formerly Kansas).

It got very interesting in the fourth quarter when Tennessee scored the go ahead touchdown in front of the orange clad partisan crowd of 69,143. Freshman QB Tyler Bray hit Justin Hunter with an 8-yard pass with just 5:16 left giving the Vols a 20-17 lead. Then it all started to unravel when UNC’s Donte Paige-Moss blocked Daniel Lincoln's extra point leaving the margin at three.

Carolina took the kickoff and launched a mini-drive only to be stifled on 4th and 20 when senior QB T.J. Yates his favorite receiver in the numbers with a 21-yard strike. Problem, was the normally reliable Dwight Jones dropped the pass and the Heels had to punt.

UNC burned their two time outs while stopping Tennessee’s next drive and regained possession at their won 20-yard line with to play. On first down, Yates hit Todd Harrelson for a 28-yard gain up the sideline. A Tennessee defensive back Janzen Jackson launched himself missile-like at Harrelson drawing a 15-yard penalty for a net gain of 43 yards. The play was reviewed to see if Harrelson’s acrobatic catch was legit, and the replay evidence was insufficient to overturn the completion call made on the field.

A pass and a run later, the Tar Heels were set to ground the ball, and bring in the field goal team for the tying attempt. It sounds relatively simple, but chaos ensued.

Yates got the team to the line and spiked the ball as a portion of the field goal team raced onto the field…Oops. The clock ticked to zero and head referee Dennis Lipski waved his arms. "Time has run out. The game is over," he announced. Head coaches Derek Dooley and Butch Davis shook hands at midfield. Tennessee players rushed the field while the partisan Volunteer crowd celebrated a 26th bowl victory.

But, not so fast. After a booth review, it was determined (correctly) that Yates had spiked the ball with one second remaining. Barth trotted out and nailed the 38 yarder to send the game to overtime.

The Vols and their faithful were not happy. Bottle and cups flew on the field and one Tennessee player threw his helmet. That drew another penalty flag for unsportsmanlike conduct which meant UNC would start the first overtime at the 12.5 yard line as opposed to the 25. They scored in four plays to take a 27-20 lead. Advantage, Tar Heels.

Now, all the men clad in sky blue had to do was stop the Vols from scoring a touchdown. They did not. Bray threw a perfect pass to Luke Stocker for the 25-yard TD on the very next play. This time, the extra point was good.

Tied at 27, the Tar Heels opted to play defense to start the second OT. Bray quickly completed a pass for one yard, but on second and nine he decided to throw the ball directly to UNC linebacker Quan Sturdivant, and Sturdivant, an All-ACC first teamer in 2009, decided to catch it.

North Carolina then set up the game winning field goal when what Draughn (their lone remaining uninjured, unsuspeneded, still eligible) tailback ripped off a sixteen yard gain.

Tennessee (6-7) was stunned at the sudden switch that cost the Vols an apparent bowl victory to cap Derek Dooley's first season. It was the second time this season that Tennessee has lost a game because of too many men on the field. The Vols lost to LSU on Oct. 2 when they got caught having too many defenders, giving the Tigers another chance to pull out a 16-14 win.

The winning field goal sparked a North Carolina celebration which marked an amazing end to a crazy season while a couple of Vols slumped to the field in disbelief.

The Case For Bowl Games

We have long been advocates of a Division 1 college football playoff, but we believe there is a place in the world for bowl games and last night’s Music City Bowl proves our point.
It’s unlikely either UNC at 7-5 or Tennessee would be part of a 16 or 32 team playoff and even more unlikely that they would ever face one another in a ceded tournament. So why not let the top teams be in a playoff and let the rest enjoy the bowl season and give us thrillers like last night’s overtime thriller?

ESPN’s Bob Davies hit the nail on the head when he said something like this: Anybody who watched this game would never say there are too many bowl games.

Let the big boys bang heads in a Big Football Dance, and then let the UNCs and Tennessees of the world entertain us with exciting college football on a random Thursday night in late December…

You know, kind of like the N.I.T., but better.

Casey Barth, The King of Chapel Hill

Yesterday, Chapel Hill was in mourning after Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski passed Dean Smith in total wins.

The gloom didn’t last long, as North Carolina’s kicker Casey Barth gave the Tar Heel faithful reason to take the party back out into Franklin Street after making two key field goals during UNC’s double overtime win in the Music City Bowl.

Barth is the brother of former UNC kicker Connor Barth who now kicks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The older Barth holds the record for most field goals made – 54, and consecutive kicks made – 19.

The younger Barth, a junior, is closing in on some records of his own. He was a 2010 Groza Award Candidate and 2009 Second-Team All-ACC. Barth tied the single-season school record with 21 field goals in 2009.

For now, he’s a hero who made two big kicks in the most exciting and entertaining bowl game of the season.

“This is what we work for all the time, this moment,” Barth said. “I’m so happy we could do this for our seniors. There was more pressure on the (tying) kick than the (game-winner) in overtime because I wasn’t sure what was going on. But I knew I had them both. It was just a matter of kicking them straight.”

New Year’s Eve Eve ACC Hoops

VIRGINIA TECH 64, USC Upstate (Spartans, 4,569 students, Spartansburg, SC) 53 – Malcolm Delaney scored 17 points and Virginia Tech pulled away in the second half and beat USC-Upstate Thursday, the Hokies’ fourth straight victory.

Jeff Allen added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Hokies (8-4), playing their second game since losing two more players for the season because of injuries. The Hokies announced on Dec. 23 that No. 2 scorer Dorenzo Hudson and reserve big man Cadarian Raines would miss the rest of the season, joining forwards Allan Chaney and J.T. Thompson on the sidelines.

Torrey Craig scored 12 to lead the Spartans (2-10). USC-Upstate led for most of the first half after a 20-7 run gave them a 20-14 lead, but the Hokies pulled even on Erick Green’s layup with 2:17 left before halftime and never trailed again. Green scored 12 for Virginia Tech.

MIAMI 94, Pepperdine (Wave, 3,962 students, Malibu, CA) 59 – Malcolm Grant scored 22 points to lead Miami to a 94-59 victory over Pepperdine on Thursday night.

Miami (11-3) never trailed as Grant hit three early 3-pointers to help the Hurricanes build a 27-13 lead with 8:43 remaining in the first half.

The Waves (5-11) reduced the margin with a 10-2 run in the next 4:05. Keion Bell’s two free throws capped the spurt and cut Miami’s lead to 29-23 with 4:38 left.

Iowa State (Cyclones, 28,682 students, Ames, IA) 60, VIRGINIA 47 – Jamie Vanderbeken made five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 24 points Thursday night, leading Iowa State to a victory at struggling Virginia.

The Cyclones (12-2) won their sixth in a row, in part because the 6-foot-11 Vanderbeken burned the Wahoos repeatedly from outside, hitting 5 of 8 3-point shots. It helped that the Cavaliers couldn't make anything. They missed 21 of their first 24 and finished 20 for 62.

Scott Christopherson added 14 points and Melvin Ejim 10 for the Cyclones.

K.T. Harrell led Virginia (8-5) with nine points.

Pictures of the Day

AND THIS WAS BEFORE THE GAME EVEN STARTED. UNC's Shaun Draughn (20) takes a knee to say a prayer before the Tar Heels' game with Tennessee on Thursday December 30, 2010, during the Music City Bowl at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. Draughn was named the the Bowl's MVP, after rushing for 160 yards and one touchdown. (Photo by Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST.  UNC defender Deunta Williams broke his leg in the first quarter upping the number to 36 Tar Heels who have missed games due to injury, suspension or eligibity issues. (Photo by Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
NINETY. Stanford guard Jeanette Pohlen (23) celebrates with teammates after Stanford defeated Connecticut 71-59 in an NCAA college basketball game in Stanford, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. Pohlen scored 31 points while halting UConn’s 90 game winning streak. (AP Photo)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Mr. Anderson:

Here's part of your problem...Do any of these loyal Terp fans look like they would ever, EVER watch a game from a luxury suite? Ever?

Well...No.

These are REAL fans.

FRIDGE fans. They remember the dark days...




  Nice eye.

T.A.H. To MD AD Kevin Anderson: You Suck


Kevin Anderson

As SNL’s Seth and Amy were fond of saying: Really?

Really, Kevin Anderson, after years of experience at the sports powerhouse Army you march into College Park and toss under the Terrapin bus the coach who brought you out of what the Wikipedia entry on Maryland Terrapin Football describes as “The Dark Years.” Really?

Then you guarantee the head coach his job in 2011 only to jerk it out from under him two weeks later. Is that how things were done in West Point? Really?

Then yesterday, while Terrapin Nation was saying goodbye to their beloved Fridge you bring in Mike Leach to tour the campus at College Park…

Different word: Unbelievable.

The Washington Post’s Mike Wise used “classless” to describe that move, and that seems a good place to start as we lack both the skills and vocabulary to put such a b.s. move in the proper perspective.

Jeez.

What morons sat in the meeting and said: “Hey, let’s bring Leach into tour campus during the Military Bowl. Nobody will notice.” “Yeah!!!!! That’s a great idea and the appropriate thing to do under the circumstances.”

Who said that, and what idiot agreed to it? Well…we don’t know who suggested the amazingly unproffessional and insensitive idea, but we’re quite sure who signed off on it and made it happen. (That would be you.)

Gandalf
And then lightning struck and Gandalf the wizard got off his white horse and turned College Park into South Beach. Miraculously, the economy rebounded and the typically fickle Maryland fans started buying up unsold luxury boxes and flocking to the stadium in record numbers. At that very moment, recruits (both local and otherwies) who used to turn up thier collective noses at MD's urban surroundings suddenly were promising to attend U of Terps in massively talented D-1 droves! Woo hoo!

Problems solved.

Nice, Anderson, NICE!

Unbelievable.

To read Wise’s column, click here.

Put The Fridge Out On The Porch, This Party Is Really Over

MARYLAND 51, East Carolina (Pirates, 20,974 students, Greenville, NC)20 – AP - Ralph Friedgen soaked in the chants and fought back a few more tears. He gave a parting gift to his alma mater—the highest point total Maryland has ever posted in a bowl game—then followed it with a parting shot at the administration that fired him.

Already the ACC coach of the year, already the engineer of the second-biggest regular season turnaround in the country, Friedgen ended his 10-year run with the Terrapins on Wednesday with an impressive victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.

“It’s been real surreal,” Friedgen said. “To be honest with you, I’m a little bit overwhelmed by it. I really had no idea that people even thought that much of me.”

Patrolling the Maryland sideline one last time, holding his customary playsheet and wearing a white cap with the word “Terps” in red, Friedgen wound up a 9-4 season and a 75-50 Maryland decade that includes a 5-2 record in bowl games. Fans held up signs and banners proclaiming “Thanks Ralph” and chanted his name through much of the second half. He got the customary ice-bucket bath from his players with 2 1/2 minutes left in the game.

“If you have to go out,” Friedgen said, “this is the best way to do it.”

To read more, click here.

For more from the Washington Post, click here.
For more from the Baltimore Sun, click here.

Quote of the Day

"I have three daughters and 120 sons. I am going to miss these kids."

– Former Maryland Terrapin head coach Ralph Friedgen.

Coach K Passes Dean Smith, Sets Sights On Mentor, Chapel Hill In Mourning

#1 DUKE 108, UNCG (Spartans, 18,502 students, Greensboro, NC) 62 – Mike Krzyzewski claimed his 880th career victory Wednesday night in No. 1 Duke’s 108-62 rout of North Carolina-Greensboro. That moved him past rival Dean Smith into second place on the men’s all-time wins list
Now, only one coach has more than Duke’s Hall of Famer—Knight, who coached him at Army on the way to 902 wins. One fan in the stands held a sign that said: “You’re next, Bobby.”

“I don’t want to take any of that too seriously, but rather say, ‘I’m one of the guys who’s won a lot of games,”’ Krzyzewski said. “To share a spotlight with Dean and (Knight), that’s a great honor.”

When the buzzer sounded, Krzyzewski hugged UNC Greensboro coach—and former assistant—Mike Dement before making his way across the court for a television interview. Coach K waved to the Duke fans who helped pack the 23,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum.

“When I walked out and saw it was a full house, and so many Duke fans, I did take a moment to reflect back to when I first got to North Carolina and there weren’t very many Duke shirts,” Krzyzewski said.

Kyle Singler scored 27 points and Nolan Smith had 22 of his season-high 26 points in the first half for the Blue Devils (12-0), who shrugged off an eight-day break and shot a season-best 60.9 percent, scored 42 points off 23 turnovers and hit the 100-point mark for the second time.

“We knew it was a big deal, but to be honest, we didn’t really know how big the deal really is,” Singler said. “It’s just kind of crazy that you’re going through the time where you’re getting coached by Coach K and I guess you don’t really realize it until it’s all over. Just a really special thing to experience with him.”

The reigning national champions won their 22nd straight, pushing Krzyzewski past the man who coached the Tar Heels for 36 seasons before retiring in 1997 as the winningest coach in Division I history. Knight then passed Smith and retired nearly three years ago.

To read more in the Raleigh News & Observer, click here.

Things That Make You Go…

Click on image for a closer look
Hmmm…

Yahoo! Sports Disrespects Coach K and Dean Smith

Evidently…according to the geniuses at Yahoo! Sports, all kinds of things were more important than Duke coach Mike Kryzfgx2ski passing Dean Smith in all-time college basketball wins last night. The feat, which helped define the greatest rivalry in college basketball and leaves Coach K just 22 wins short of Bobby Knight’s 902, wasn’t worthy of a headline on either the main page or the College Basketball page.

Here are today’s college basketball headlines according to Yahoo!

*Irish top No. 9 Hoyas in Big East opener
*No. 23 Illini win Big Ten opener at Iowa
*No. 3 Kansas wins 66th straight at home
*No. 19 Central Florida improves to 12-0
*Arkansas suspends F Powell
*No. 24 Vandy tops Marquette on late hoop
*Richmond ends 17-game skid to Wake
*Red Storm top WVU to begin Big East play

So, how about “No. 1 Dukes propels coach to second most wins of ALL TIME.”

Well…No.

Click on image for a closer look
The story was on page 2 behind a headline that said “Selby Finally Shows Human Side.” Thank heavens for that!

Oh…and no photos. NONE. Not a single one.

Hmmm.

Wednesday ACC Basketball

Jordan Williams
Richmond (Spiders, 4,250n students, Richmond, VA) 90, WAKE FOREST 74

CLEMSON 71, East Carolina (Pirates, 20,974 students, Greenville, NC) 59

Rhode Island (Rams, 19,095 students, Kingston, RI) 67, BOSTON COLLEGE 65

MARYLAND 85, North Florida (Osprey, 16,509 students, Jacksonville, FL) 62

To read more, click here.

ACC Basketball Players of the Week

Malcolm Grant
Miami’s Malcolm Grant has been named the ACC Player of the Week, while N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie was selected the ACC Rookie of the Week following their outstanding performances this past week.

Grant averaged 19.0 points and 2.3 assists per game to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-0 record at the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic last week. The Brooklyn, N.Y., junior shot 52 percent from the field (13-of-25), 50 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-12) and 92.6 percent from the line (25-of-27), and has hit 49 of his last 52 free throws (94.2) since Dec. 4.

In N.C. State's lone game last week, Leslie finished with 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds in the Pack's 72-70 win over Delaware State Wednesday. For the sixth straight game, Leslie led the Pack in rebounding. The Holly Springs, N.C., native also handed out a career-best four assists in his 34 minutes of action.

Either Mike Leach, Kevin Anderson Or Their Relatives Read T.A.H.

Kevin Andeson (left)
Yesterday we received a comment about our Kevin Plank story and we post all comments that aren’t obscene – no matter how wacky.

So, from our old friend Anonymous we got this: Mike leach possess incredible integrity and would be a superb choice for any D-1 school interested in winning with INTEGRITY.

First, we called the Craig James’ household and left a message asking if they were trying to “punk” T.A.H. Oddly enough, we never heard back. Guess they were having some family time in the shed.

Then we figured it was Leach, Anderson, a relative or a staffer.

Then we remembered – SARCASM!!!

Oh yeah, sarcasm, that explains it!

OK, Craig James, you got us!  Good one.

Butch Davis To Hold Afternoon Press Conference

Sources in Chapel Hill tell T.A.H. that UNC head coach Butch Davis will be holding a brief press conference this afternoon prior to the 6:40 pm kickoff of the Music City Bowl that pits Davis’ Tar Heels against Tennessee.

The gist of Davis’ remarks will be that no additional North Carolina football players will be injured or suspended and/or declared ineligible by the University or the Suits in Indianapolis (formerly Kansas).

Greg Little #8 and Marvin Austin #9 among a long list of others, will not be in attendance. No. 7, whoever he is, is eligible...we think.

The Heels are a one point favorite.

Not that there is anything wrong with that…

Pictures of the Day

THE HARDWARE. Linebacker Adrian Moten and Terps coach Ralph Friedgen hold up Maryland's Military Bowl trophy. (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)
A SIGN OF THE TIMES. A young fan holds a sign acknowledging Coach K’s milestone. (Photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
MATH WIZ. A couple of Duke grads (?) (a Redskin hat, really?) offer up some complicated math to explain the magnitude of Coach K’s accomplishment. (Photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
NOT COOL. And Duke fans often wonder whey they aren’t liked.  Here’s a great example of winning sans class.  Nice, Duke fan, NICE! (Photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
AHHH, GOOD CLEAN HATE. Some Tar Heel fans holding up signs with an opposing point of view. (Photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Maryland 51, East Carolina 20, ACC Bowl Record at 2-1

Senior linebacker Adrian Moten and Terps coach Ralph Friedgen celebrate Maryland's 51-20 win over East Carolina in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

More later.
 
(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

Quotes of the Day

These gems come from Mike Wise’s article in today’s Washington Post. To read the column, click here.

On the situation in general:

"I've always been very loyal to Maryland," Friedgen said. "But it doesn't feel like they've been very loyal to me.”

On the rumors that Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank is playing a role in his dismissal:

"If they are involved, I'm pretty disappointed in it. I consider Kevin a friend. I was behind him from the beginning. Made one of his first commercials. So, yeah, I'd be disappointed."

(Friedgen has exchanged messages with Plank but has yet to speak with him.)

On the guy who officially axed him, Kevin Anderson, the former athletic director at Army who was named Maryland A.D. in September:

"Basically he's telling me he doesn't think I can do the job, but what has he done? The guy's been here a couple months, I don't know if he understands our culture, what we're about. Maryland is a different situation than a lot of schools. Every kid is not going to Maryland from around here.”

Asked if any university officials have stopped by this week to either offer condolences or congratulations:

"Haven't seen a one."

Fridgegate: Is Kevin Plank The Man Behind The Curtain?

Here’s how the rumor goes: Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is the man behind the curtain when it comes to the University of Maryland firing Ralph Friedgen and pursuing former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

Plank attended Maryland in the early '90s and joined the football team as a walk-on, ultimately becoming a special teams captain. Plank wasn't the best player on the team, but he was a fan favorite, which is a great way to build allegiance to a program.

Under Armour was born while Plank was still a Terp. He was tired of having to change his t-shirts during practice when they were soaked with sweat. After he graduated in '96, he eventually found a material that would wick the sweat away from the body, and could withstand hours of intense activity.

It worked and Under Armour is a huge success. It has become a major part of the athletic-wear market dominated by Nike and Reebok, and in the process Plank has become very wealthy and diversified. (He has purchased the historic Sagamore Farm in Maryland and his filly Shared Account won a $1 million Breeders Cup race back in November.)

Every Maryland team wears Under Armour at this point, and Plank is a very influential voice from the UM Board of Trustees. It's very similar to the relationship Oregon athletics has with Nike. In all likelihood, you, loyal reader, have an Under Armour garment in your wardrobe.

So the rumors say it’s Plank who is wielding his resources and influence to steer his favorite football program. His involvement in this process usually is a one-line mention in Fridge and/or Leach related stories.

Leach’s former squad, Texas Tech, also wears Under Armour. Prevailing opinion is that Mike Leach would be a Kevin Plank hire. Or, at the very least, that Maryland is a much more attractive opportunity for Leach given its ties to Plank. Either way, Plank is arguably the single biggest grape on the vine when it comes to rumors about Ralph’s departure and Leach’s possible hiring.

According to University officials, buying out Ralph’s contract will strap the Athletic Department financially (Jeez, ANOTHER reason not to do it), so if they plan on hiring a “name” coach (read that “expensive”), some boosters with deep pockets will need to play a major role.

Maybe the Terps plan on seeing an Under Armour(ed) truck parked outside Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium sometime in the near future…?

N.C. State Wins Champs Sports Bowl, Evens ACC Bowl Record At 1-1

If Russell Wilson decides to forgo an early departure to play professional baseball, there is simply no telling how good N.C. State might be next football season.

Wilson put on a “Vickian” show last night with his arms and his legs while throwing for 275 yards and two touchdowns to lead N.C. State past No. 22 West Virginia 23-7.

Now comes decision time for Wilson.

“I want to be a starting quarterback in the NFL one day,” Wilson said. “And I want to be a starting second baseman in Major League Baseball one day.”

Wilson also had 41 yards rushing, Josh Czajkowski made three field goals and the Wolfpack (9-4) won nine games for the first time since 2002.

Geno Smith had 196 yards passing and an injured Noel Devine ran for 50 yards for the Mountaineers (9-4), whose five second-half turnovers ended any hopes of a cheerful send-off for some of Bill Stewart’s staff.

Wilson, who earned the bowl’s MVP honor, may very well have played his last football game for the Wolfpack but hasn’t set a schedule on when he will make his final decision. He spent much of the summer playing second base in the Colorado Rockies’ minor-league system, and his career in baseball has always seemed more promising.

Wilson was 28 for 45, had no interceptions and shredded a West Virginia defense that had been solid. It was the most points that the Mountaineers—who had never given up more than 21—allowed all season.

“We’ve got to try to persuade him to come back,” running back James Washington said.

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Tuesday ACC Hoops

Leslie McDonald
NORTH CAROLINA 78, Rutgers (Scarlet Knights, 38,902 students, Piscataway, NJ) 55 – Leslie McDonald scored 14 points to lead a balanced North Carolina offense in a win over Rutgers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“We haven’t had any practices since the day before the William and Mary game,” Williams said. “We were coming in (to New York) on Sunday and practicing here Sunday night, but flights were canceled. We did have a shootaround but had only 10 out of 16 players.”

North Carolina, like most schools, almost never arrives at an out-of-state game on the day of the contest. The Tar Heels (9-4) were forced to change their plans after a blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow on the ground in New York.

It didn’t seem to matter as they began the game with a 14-2 run and never looked back – hitting 11 of 23 three-pointers.

Justin Watts added 10 points for the Heels, who have won five of their past six games.

“Key to the game is a lot of guys came off the bench and we outscored them 38-13,” Williams said.

Jonathan Mitchell scored 20 points for the Scarlet Knights (9-3), who had their six-game winning streak end.

Rutgers scored the first five points of the second half before North Carolina answered with seven straight to put the game away.

Javier Gonzalez

N.C. STATE 82, Alabama A&M (Bulldogs, 5,000 students, Normal, AL) 51 – Scott Wood scored 18 points to help North Carolina State beat Alabama A&M on Tuesday afternoon.

Freshman Ryan Harrow added 14 points for the Wolfpack (8-4), who have won four of five games. Fellow rookie C.J. Leslie also scored 14 to go with 11 rebounds, three blocks and four steals.

Casey Cantey scored 14 points for the Bulldogs (3-6), who lost their fourth straight. Alabama A&M shot 32 percent and missed all 15 of its 3-point tries.

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