Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Troy
Posted on: December 20, 2010 11:11 am
Edited on: December 20, 2010 11:18 am
 

NIU's Matukewicz needs a permanent mic

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Thanks to the lopsided nature of the three games, there weren't too many instant stars born on the first Saturday of bowl competition: BYU quarterback-of-the-future Jake Heaps, maybe, future NFL receiver Jerrel Jernigan of Troy, the Trojans' bearded punter-slash-internet sensation Will Goggans. And from the coaching ranks, there was Northern Illinois interim head coach Tom Matukewicz, A.K.A. "Coach Tuke," who led the Huskies to a dominating victory over Fresno State in the absence of Jerry Kill, off to take over at Minnesota.

But what Humanitarian Bowl viewers are most likely to remember about Matukewicz isn't the win so much as his bold-yet-witty sideline interviews, delivered directly into the camera for maximum impact. When asked about his (successful) decision to ice Fresno kicker Kevin Goessling just before halftime, "Coach Tuke" responded that he just wanted the game to last a little bit longer.

His postgame interviews showed his one day as college football's leading quote machine wasn't done there, though. A sampling :

"He meant everything to us," quarterback Chandler Harnish said. "I loved how the team came together, how he rallied the troops."

Matukewicz's reply: "Just for that, you're getting double Chick-fil-A tonight."
When he walked into the postgame news conference, he told the media, "You all need to get comfortable, because when I get back to DeKalb, I'm no longer the head coach. So I'm going to milk this thing out."
On celebrating the bowl win: "I'm going to find out how much gas is in that jet because I'm not going to land it. We're just going to circle around and celebrate."
"You know what I said at halftime to the guys?" Matukewicz said. "I said, 'If you haven't had fun, that's your fault. You can't slap the smile off me.' "
As he himself pointed out, Matukewicz won't be delivering his zingers on a full-time basis just yet; he's staying in DeKalb for the time being as part of new Huskie head man Dave Doeren's staff. But if the comfort he showed in the head position this weekend -- both coaching his football team and in front of the press --is any indication, it won't be too long until we see him in charge of his own program somewhere.

And if there's got any more quotes where Saturday's came from, we'll all be better for it once he is.



Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:18 am
 

Bowl Grades: New Orleans Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Final score: Troy 48, Ohio 21

Troy

Offense: How good was the Troy offense? QB Corey Robinson was 21-27 for 262 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Um, that was at the half. Troy led at the break 38-7, and scored on every possession until the fourth quarter. Jerrel Jernigan and Tebiarus Gill combined for all five of Troy's touchdowns, and eventually combined for 144 yards from scrimmage. The Trojans would eventually register 602 yards from scrimmage, even after the reserves found their way onto the field. This is an easier A than Geology 101. Grade: A+

Defense: The Trojans did give up 21 points, but allowed only 99 yards on 30 rushes and four first downs on 12 third down conversion attempts. Ohio's offense was mostly stifled while the game was in any semblance of doubt. An interception by Jimmy Anderson in Troy territory set the tone for the game, and the Trojans never looked back. Grade: B

Coaching: Larry Blankeny put his team in a position to win by playing to his team's strengths. The Trojan offense is fast-paced and designed to highlight Robinson's accuracy, and the playcalling put the ball in Jernigan's hands in a variety of ways; Jernigan's first touchdown came out of a keeper from the Wildcat formation, and Jernigan would finish with three rushes on the day. Blankeny had his team fired up for the game, and the difference in effort was readily apparent throughout the first half -- at which point the game was pretty well decided. Grade: A

Ohio

Offense: The Ohio offense features a two-headed attack at quarterback; Boo Jackson is the better passer, while Phil Bates is the more athletic ball-carrier. Bates, in fact, threw one pass for the entire game; it was the Anderson interception on Ohio's second play from scrimmage mentioned earlier. So while Jackson threw for over 200 yards and three touchdowns, almost none of it came in a first half that saw precisely one possession achieve a first down. Grade: D

Defense: The Bobcats did not play defense. Grade: INCOMPLETE

Coaching: What Frank Solich was thinking by staying conservative in the first half, even as Troy was running the Bobcats out of the Superdome, is beyond us. During the first two plays of each of the Bobcats' first half possessions, the Bobcats ran on 10 of 13 plays (the final drive of the half was one play long); those 10 rushes resulted in 10 yards and no first downs. Sure, the passing was 1-3 for six yards and an interception, but the message from Solich was clear: he had a formula, and he was sticking to it. It was a very ill-advised message to send, as it put Ohio out of any position to win. Grade: F

Final Grade

It would be unfair to give a failing grade to a game that featured such a well-functioning offense in the first three quarters AND a surprise giant manbeard courtesy of punter Will Goggans (above) in the fourth. There were aspects of the game that were fun to watch, even though the endgame drama had been sucked out of the Superdome by the end of the Trojans' fourth possession. Jerrel Jernigan is going to get a chance to succeed in the NFL, and we hope he makes the most of it; embarrassing the Ohio defense isn't exactly difficult to do, but he was the most athletic player on the field all the same, and some of the moves he made in stride were Sunday-worthy. It's just a shame that between the television audience and the laughably sparse Superdome crowd, probably under 100,000 people actually got to watch him. Still, this game was as anti-climactic as the first two, so we must grade sternly so as to send a message to the rest of the bowls: this will not do. Grade: D-

Posted on: December 19, 2010 12:16 am
Edited on: December 19, 2010 4:11 am
 

PHOTOS: Troy's punter has greatest beard ever

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Let's face it, it takes a "special" kind of person to stay watching a game like the New Orleans Bowl -- a 48-21 thumping by Troy over Ohio -- a couple minutes before midnight on the last Saturday before Christmas. Yet those who stayed with the game were rewarded when Troy punter Will Goggans finally got his shot at uncorking a punt in the fourth quarter (Troy had scored on every single possession before then). Goggans' punt was downed at the 1-yard line, which was cool to see in and of itself, but HOLY HOLY HOLY THAT BEARD:

According to announcers, Goggans has been growing the beard for the entire year in preparation for his role in a play as Santa Claus. Well, that's as good a reason as any to grow a beard. They also mentioned that Goggans would be shaving the beard in a few days after the play is done, and perhaps the women in his life would prefer he do so, but we must strenuously disagree with that decision. That's the finest beard in college football. He makes Adrian Clayborn look like an 8th grader with a crustache. May the beard live forever.


Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:04 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: New Orleans Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

Why You Should Watch: As opposed to other early bowls, where teams occasionally enter the bowl feeling as though they did not reach their expectations on the season, the R and L Carriers New Orleans Bowl carries immense weight to both teams involved. Troy, making their third New Orleans Bowl appearance in the last five years, will be looking to finish the season strong after clinching a share of the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Ohio has yet to capture their first bowl win, and will be making their fifth postseason attempt in the Superdome. Last season, the Bobcats fell 21-17 to Marshall in the Little Caeser's Pizza Bowl. This will be the first time in school history the team has been to bowl games in back-to-back years. Much of that can be credited to a familiar face on the Ohio sideline: head coach Frank Solich. Solich, of Nebraska football fame. So even if you are failing to find a reason to fall in love with the matchup, it is at least worth a watch for the "Where are they now?" factor.

Keys To Victory for Troy: Troy will be able to create offensive opportunities with their high-powered spread scheme, but with 15 interceptions on the season, freshman quarterback Corey Robinson can be a liability for the Trojans. The responsibility will fall on their rushing game to keep the Ohio secondary honest. The three-man attack of DuJuan Harris, Shawn Southward, and Chris Anderson will try and utilize seams opened by the spread attack to balance the offense. That will hopefully leave dangerous slot receiver Jerrel Jernigan an opportunity to get the ball in open field - where he has the best chance to hurt the Bearcats.

Keys To Victory for Ohio: Ohio ranks just outside the top 10 nationally with 17 interceptions on the season, and that secondary will be looking to take advantage of the interception-prone Robinson. Additionally, the offensive line will need to provide quarterback Boo Jackson with protection against Troy's front four. If the Trojans line can penetrate into the backfield and disrupt the timing of Jackson's reads, they will be masking their greatest weakness: the run. The Bobcats have utilize a lot of different rushers out of the Pistol formation, and if they can keep Troy on their heels they can dictate the pace of the game. Jackson has shown the ability to manage games well, but he cannot be counted on to play catch up with the deep ball. Ohio needs to avoid an early deficit to keep the game close.

The New Orleans Bowl is like: A surprisingly good appetizer. Sure, you ordered the artichoke dip because you nothing on the menu jumped out at you and you figured "why not?" The night cap on the first day of the bowl season may seem like it has a "why not" feel. But then once you dig in you find it to be surprisingly pleasing, so much that you wonder why you ever imagined skipping the course at all. Troy and Ohio both have plenty of reason to be fired up to finish their season in the Superdome, and they match up well enough to promise a close game. Many of the athletes on these teams may have been just one or two notches away from big-time football, don't think that running onto the field in New Orleans won't have that fell for them.

Posted on: December 3, 2010 5:44 pm
 

No bowl game for the Sun Devils

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following an exciting double-overtime victory over in-state rival Arizona on Thursday night, Arizona State finished the regular season with a record of 6-6, and hoped that it wouldn't be the last game the team played this season.  While six wins is enough to make a team bowl eligible, two of Arizona State's wins came against FCS schools, which didn't leave the Sun Devils with enough wins against the FBS to qualify.

So they appealed to the NCAA in hopes that they'd get a shot to go bowling this season, and pick up some extra practices.  Well, some one once told me to hope in one hand, and something else I'm not allowed to type here in the other.  Guess which hand the NCAA chose!


I'll admit, I did find this decision to be a little bit of a surprise.  I figured that the NCAA would allow Arizona State to go bowling because I thought that a six-win Arizona State team would be more attractive team for a bowl game than a six-win Troy team.

Apparently not.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 11:42 pm
 

What I Learned from the SEC (Nov. 20)

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

1. South Carolina learned its lesson. The last time Carolina won a game as big as last week's SEC East-clinching victory over Florida , they had downed No. 1 Alabama before going out the following week and laying their biggest egg of the season against Kentucky . Now, sure, the Gamecocks got a lot of help early on from a Troy team that for some reason played like a nervous team with lots to lose rather than the massive underdog with nothing to lose they were. But the previously-hapless Gamecock secondary held a statistically potent Trojan passing attack entirely in check, the Marcus Lattimore -led offense ruthlessly punished every Troy mistake, and by halftime it was already 56-7, 'Cocks . Not only did Carolina avoid the letdown, but they looked ready to give Auburn all they want and more when the SEC championship game rolls around in two weeks.

2. It's time to put the defense-first image of the SEC to bed for good. Maybe the SEC really is home to better athletes, maybe they really do hire better coaches, maybe they take defense more seriously than some other conferences ... but none of that, even if true, is making a lick of difference on the field at the moment. This week gave us only four games between SEC teams and FBS competition, and those four games produced 268 total points (in regulation) and as average score of 42-25. And that 's with Tennessee and Vanderbilt battling to a low-fi 24-10 Volunteer win, and the conference's best offense and ninth-ranked defense at Auburn taking the week off.

You get the point: very few teams in this league are playing defense. When even the consensus best unit in the league -- LSU's entered the weekend No. 1 in total defense at 274 yards per-game -- is getting gashed for 36 points and 420 yards at home against the conference's No. 5 offense, the SEC's image as a collection of grind-it-out attacks and impregnable defenses is officially as current as Bob Dole . If SEC fans want to argue their conference is superior, fine. If they want to argue their conference is superior because of the SEC's brand of defense, they need to acquire a clue.

3. LSU should be an underdog going to Arkansas. Full kudos to Les Miles for exorcising his clock management demons , but it's the Hogs who appear to be playing the better football at the moment after surviving what might have been Mississippi State 's best performance of the season on the road in Starkville while the previously stout LSU defense was busy getting gashed by the up-and-down Rebels. If Masoli and Co. can do that in Baton Rouge, what can Ryan Mallett and the suddenly scorching-hot Knile Davis do in Fayetteville?

(And while we're playing the transitive property game, the latest compelling evidence of how much stronger the West is than the East? The Razorbacks went to the East champion three weeks ago and rolled to an easy win. Then they went to the fifth-place team in the West tonight and were fortunate to escape with a double-overtime win.)

4. This Tyler Bray kid might just be one worth watching. Not that you'd expect it from his taste in tattoos , but the skinny kid from California has taken to SEC football like a duck to some very forgiving water. No, the pass defenses of South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt aren't the most intimidating the conference has to offer. But after another productive outing in Nashville (16-of-27, 232 yards, 8.6 yards-per-attempt, 2 touchdowns), Bray has collected some seriously impressive numbers in his last three league performances: 43-of-76 (57 percent completion rate), 714 yards (9.4 YPA), 7 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions.

And he's a true freshman. If Derek Dooley can keep his head on straight and his brittle-looking body remains intact, Bray should be one of the SEC's best in due time ... and maybe as soon as 2011. (As for 2010,the Vols are one win against Kentucky away from scraping their way to a bowl berth. Not bad considering they stood at 2-6 not so long ago.)


Posted on: October 23, 2010 10:39 pm
 

What I learned from the non-BCS (Oct. 23)

J. Darin Darst

1. Can we please just give the Mountain West an automatic bid to the BCS instead of the Big East? Please, I beg you. Utah and TCU are easily deserving of BCS bids and I would even say Air Force is better than any team in the Big East too. One team I learned we shouldn't forget about is BYU. Most of us have written the Cougars off, but this team finally looks like its putting things together and might shape the BCS bid for the Mountain West as they have to play Utah in the final game of the season. How much would BYU fans enjoy knocking Utah off one last time before the Utes bolt to the Pac-10, knocking them out of the BCS bowl picture. They don't call it the Holy War for nothing.

2. Circle your calendars for a showdown next weekend of the two best teams in Conference USA next weekend -- East Carolina at UCF. The Pirates have won three in a row and are averaging 38 points per game over that stretch. Meanwhile, UCF has the conferences best defense, which has allowed only 11.6 points over its three-game winning streak. The winner of this game should decide the East Divison in the conference and will be the favorite to win the C-USA crown and that Liberty Bowl berth. It's going to be a great matchup in Orlando. What a weekend you could plan -- watch UCF take on East Carolina and after the game head on over to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights.

3. How good is this Hawaii team? Utah State was supposed to be a sleeper team and hung with Oklahoma, but all Hawaii did was blast them 45-7. Bryant Moniz ... has anybody else outside of Hawaii heard of this guy? He only leads the nation in passing yards and finished Saturday with another 389 yards. The biggest question we all want to know is, can the Warriors (6-2) give Boise State a game? We are going to find out soon enough -- at Boise on Nov. 6.

4. Who is the Sun Belt's second-best team? Since the conference has two bowl bids this year, somebody has to grab that second spot, right? Louisiana-Lafayette looked like it might finally grab a bowl bid, but ended up losing at home to Western Kentucky 54-21. The Hilltoppers hadn't won a game in close to three years. Maybe its Arkansas State? The Red Wolves are now 3-2 in the conference and played Troy really close (Lost 35-28). Big game for Arkansas State on Nov. 2 as it takes on Middle Tennessee. FIU was off this week, but it is 2-0 in Sun Belt play. Will somebody please step up in the coming weeks!

5. Miami (Ohio) isn't all that great and the fade is beginning. Sure the RedHawks were 3-0 in the conference, but just lost to Ohio, a key game in the East Division. They now have three of their final four games on the road, including next week at Buffalo. I'm not sure they are going to be able to win the division. Ohio and Temple are much better teams and with the conference only getting three bowl bids, Miami (Ohio) is most likely going to be left out. Meanwhile, Northern Illinois is making a HUGE statement in the West as it has now won five in a row. Get ready for the game on Nov. 9 against Toledo, which will likely decide who reaches the MAC title game.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:11 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 2:06 pm
 

Midseason Report: Rest of Non-BCS

The Midseason Report separates the contenders from the pretenders in each conference race, and in the some of the smaller conferences, it's anybody's conference crown. Here's what's happened so far and what might happen down the stretch.

MOUNTAIN WEST

The MWC crown is almost certain to come down to one game: TCU (7-0, 3-0) at Utah (6-0, 3-0) on Nov. 6. Neither the Horned Frogs nor the Utes have broken a sweat in conference play to date (the Frogs have gone three weeks without even allowing a touchdown), and with nonconference challenges like Oregon State, Pitt, Baylor, and Iowa State all collectively behind them, chances are good both teams will go into their showdown undefeated, ranked in the top 10, and ready for a mega-hyped, winner-take-all matchup for the conference title.

And if a handful of the BCS conference powers above them in the BCS standings drop games between now and then, the stakes could be even higher than that.

The only team with a realistic shot of upsetting the MWC Game of the Century apple cart is Air Force (5-2, 3-1), which will travel to TCU this week and host the Utes Oct. 30. The Falcons came within a whisker of collecting a huge scalp at Oklahoma and have the inside track on the Commander in Chief's Trophy after ousting Navy, but their 27-25 loss last Saturday at San Diego State (4-2, 1-1) means they'll likely have to sweep the TCU/Utah pairing to take the conference title. Good luck with that, Falcons.

And hey, speaking of the Aztecs, Brady Hoke 's impressive salvage job has SDSU all of six points (and two questionable calls, one each at Missouri and BYU ) away from a perfect 6-0 record. As is, they'll likely have to settle for playing spoiler against the two league powers and their first bowl berth since 1998.

The less said about the other five teams in the league -- and their combined 7-22 overall record -- the better.

C-USA

We are in for quite a race in the East with East Carolina (4-2, 3-0), UCF (4-2, 2-0) and Southern Miss (5-2, 2-1). East Carolina already beat Southern Miss but plays at UCF on Oct. 30. The Golden Knights will host Southern Miss on Nov. 13.

 UCF might be the best of the trio with a defense ranked as one of the best in the nation. The Knights have been led by defensive end Bruce Miller (seven tackles for a loss) and cornerback Josh Robinson (eight breakups). The offense has come along despite not having starting running back Brynn Harvey. Freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey has done well this season, rushing for 310 yards, while throwing for 669.

East Carolina has one of the best passing offenses with former Boston College quarterback Dominique Davis (16 TDs, nine INTs). The Pirates can pass with anybody, but the biggest problem right now is the defense. East Carolina's defense is ranked 111th in the nation and has given up 40 or more points in four of the six games.

Southern Miss will need to beat UCF and get some help after losing 44-43 to East Carolina a few weeks ago, but this is still a pretty good team. Austin Davis is having a good season (1,480 yards), but top receiver DeAndre Brown has been struggling with a leg injury all season. The Golden Eagles need him to have a shot to win the conference crown. The defense is once again strong against the run with LBs Korey Williams and Ronnie Thornton leading the way.

In the West, SMU is in the driver's seat with Houston, UTEP and Tulsa all giving chase. The Mustangs lost some tough out-of-conference games against Texas Tech and TCU, but is still undefeated in conference play. It should be no surprise that SMU has been able to pass and put up points. Kyle Padron is doing very well with 1,818 yards passing and 19 TDs. Aldrick Robinson has become Padron's favorite receiver with 580 yards receiving. SMU faces Houston this weekend and at UTEP on Nov. 6. It already beat Tulsa 21-18 on Oct. 9.

WAC

Make no mistake about it, Boise State is in total control of the WAC. It went undefeated through the conference last season as is expected to cruise through this year. Kellen Moore is once against having a fantastic season with 16 touchdown passes with only one interception. Also to nobody's surprise, Boise State ranks in the top 5 in both offense and defense, including having the No. 1 rush defense in the nation. The only games that could spell trouble for the Broncos are vs. Hawaii on Nov. 6 and at Nevada on Nov. 26.

Hawaii's passing attack and Nevada's pistol offense can be tough to defend, but it would be a major shock if Boise State lost either of those games.

MAC

This conference is wide open, but looks like it's going to come down to Northern Illinois (5-2, 3-0) or Toledo (4-3, 3-0) in the West and a trio of teams in the East.

 Miami (Ohio) has been the biggest surprise of the conference, sitting on top of the East with a 3-0 record and 4-3 overall. The RedHawks still have their toughest competition left with Ohio (Oct. 23), at Temple (Nov. 23) still on the schedule. It's also pretty amazing since Miami (Ohio) has one of the worst rushing games in the nation, gaining just 69.7 yards per game (112th). I'm not sure this team can win the East, but we'll have to keep an eye on them.

Ohio stumbled against Marshall, but has won three in a row and can take a big step toward the East title with a win over Miami (Ohio) this weekend. It would have to play at Temple on Nov. 16. Boo Jackson is doing pretty well back at quarterback with 913 yards passing and nine TDs. The defense has done a solid job, being led by Donovan Fletcher who leads the team with 42 tackles and five interceptions.

Everybody's favorite Temple is right in the thick of the race and gets to host Ohio and Miami (Ohio) later this season. If I had to pick a team to win the conference, I would pick the Owls. The passing game needs to get better, but the rushing attack has been just fine. When Bernard Pierce is healthy, he gives the Owls a huge boost over every team in the conference. And when Pierce is out, Matt Brown has stepped right in just fine.

Out West, Northern Illinois has been using a strong rushing attack, led by Chad Spann (753 yards, eight TDs) and quarterback Chandler Harnish (457, 6.4 avg) to improve to 3-0 in the conference and 5-2 overall. It will host Toledo on Nov. 9 in what will probably decide the division. Toledo's offense hasn't been all that great this year, but does have one of the top wide receivers in Eric Page (54 catches, 580 yards). Archie Donald has been fantastic at linebacker, recording 72 tackles, which ranks 18th in the nation.

Sun Belt

The conference is Troy's to lose ... again. Middle Tennessee was supposed to contend, but the Trojans did away with them 42-13. Louisiana-Lafayette put up a fight, but Troy beat them 31-24. So who's left? Keep your eye on Florida International . The Golden Panthers are 2-0 in the conference and hung with Rutgers and Texas A&M earlier in the season. That game is at Troy on Nov. 13.

Troy hasn't missed a beat with freshman quarterback Corey Robinson . He has thrown for 1,740 yards and 12 touchdowns, while RB DuJuan Harris (300 yards rushing) and Jerrel Jernigan (501 yards receiving) have also done a nice job. FIU also has a good receiving core with Greg Ellingson and T.Y. Hilton . Anthony Gaitor is one of the best defensive backs in the conference and could be a factor in their game next month.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com