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Monday, October 28, 2013

File Profile: Vernon Davis

            
                                                                        Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
                                   



Name: Vernon Davis

Height: 6ft 3in.

Weight: 250 lbs

College: Maryland

College Career Stats- 83 receptions 1,371 receiving yards , 9 touchdowns

2006 NFL Draft- Selected Round 1 Number 6 Overall Pick

40 Time: 4.38

Bench Press: 480lbs. (Max), 33 Reps (225lbs)

Squat: 685lbs.  

Vertical & Jumping:  42 inches

NFL Stats as of Week 8 of 2013 Season: 374 receptions, 4,869 receiving yards, 47 TD's


     Vernon Davis is without a doubt one of the best Tight Ends (TE) in the today! One of the many things that allows Davis to standout from other TE's is that he is a physical specimen and workout warrior! All of Davis' hard work off the field has translated into on the field success for him.

     Davis' 4.38 40 speed allows hims to blaze past lineman with his size and strength allowing him to bulldoze his way over opposing defensive backs in the secondary!

     For as big of a man Davis is, he displays soft hands and is good in the open field, making sure he secures the ball before turning up field after a catch. Davis also displays finesse with smooth and precise route running whether it is underneath the secondary or utilizing himself as a downfield threat!

    
     In addition to his stellar receiving game, Davis also provides solid protection with his size and strength matching up well against any Defensive End and Linebacker that creates mismatches allowing the offense to execute plays and be productive.

     Whether as a receiver or an extra blocker, opposing defenses will definitely key in on Vernon Davis due to his versatility and ability to create mismatches because of it. Make no mistake about it, Davis is one of the best Tight Ends in the game today, and perhaps when all is said and done, will be one of the greatest ever to play the game!


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Penn State's 63-14 Loss To Ohio State Is Hard To Swallow, But Easy To Digest

                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Jamie Sabau

     Last night was one of the worse games in the history of Penn State football.  The Nittany Lions entered a hostile environment at the "Horseshoe" to face the #4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.  Ohio State received the ball first and scored in just 2 minutes and 17 seconds. The Buckeyes never looked back and would ultimately blowout the Nittany Lions by a score of 63-14!

     After falling behind 7-0, the Nittany Lions received the ball and where driving the ball down the field and looked to come away with some points on the board. At the Ohio State 12 on 3rd Down, Christian Hackenberg threw the ball into the endzone but would end up getting intercepted by Corey Brown. Penn State's defense momentarily held its own and forced the Buckeyes to a 3 and out despite the turnover. However, Penn State could not doing anything with the ball and were forced to punt. Ohio State would go 88 yards in 4 minutes and 27 seconds to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead.

     On Penn State's very next possession, Hackenberg would again be picked off, this time by C.J. Barnett. Unlike from the previous turnover the Buckeyes created, they would generate points off it and finishing it off with a 6 yd TD. run by Braxton Miller to give the Buckeyes a 21-0 advantage.

     After a 3 and out, Ohio State received the ball once again and drove down for another touchdown to make it 28-0 in favor of the Buckeyes. Penn State would finally get on the board when Hackenberg connected with Wide Receiver Brandon Felder for a touchdown. Before the Nittany Lions could have any hopes of crawling back into this game, the Buckeyes scored twice before the half and lead 42-7 going into the break.

     A Zach Zwinak fumbled resulted in another Ohio State touchdown, taking just two plays to capitalize off the turnover. Ohio State would score another two times to make the score 63-7. Penn State had one final bright spot of the night when backup Quarterback Tyler Ferguson connected with Allen Robinson for a 65 yd TD Pass. Ohio State would go on to defeat the Nittany Lions by the same exact score Penn State had defeated the Buckeyes by back in 1994 when they were lead by Kerry Collins and Ki-Jana Carter)

     I wrote a blog two weeks ago show tweets of my frustration with Penn State during the Michigan game. (Which you can read by clicking here http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2013/10/to-penn-state-football-players-and-fans.html  ) This time around was completely different. The players already felt embarrassed and vulnerable. The players really need our support right now, and to remind themselves tomorrow is another day. Penn State can learn a lot about themselves from this defeat and eventually return the favor to other teams, including Ohio State as well!  I want to leave Penn State players and fans with a quote from someone that many past alums not only considered a coach on the field, but a coach in life as well. And hopefully it will allow the players to keep their heads held high and maintain their pride!

     “You're never as good as you think you are when you win; and you're never as bad as you feel when you lose.”- Joe Paterno
                                                    



                

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Same Mistakes Will Once Again Doom The Pittsburgh Penguins

                          What will it take for the Pittsburgh Penguins to fix the mistakes that have been plaguing the team's performance for the past couple of seasons?

    The Penguins squandered away another game Friday night against the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh had 3-2 lead 16 seconds after the Islanders tied the game at 2-2.  Just 53 seconds later, the Penguins allowed the Islanders to tie the game once again because of failure to clear the puck out of their own end. Rookie Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is now 0-2 and let a couple of soft goals get by in the Pens defeat at the hand of the Islanders. Pittsburgh's other kyrptonite continues to be poor production on the man advantage. In the past two games the Penguins have gone 0 for 13 on the Powerplay, and with the star caliber players Pittsburgh has, their is no excuse for it! 

     Pittsburgh's lack of production on the Powerplay and poor efforts to clear the puck out of their own end will only result in the same disappointment despite the high expectations. If history repeats itself, the Penguins may need a change. Whether it is a coaching change, new approach in their game, or finding a tough stay at home defenseman by the trade deadline, Pittsburgh needs to make a change, and fast, or else!

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Boston Red Sox vs St. Louis Cardinals World Series Rematch From 2004, How I Remember The Red Soxs Historic Run To Its First Title In 86 Years!


                                 
                                                                               Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images


     In 2003 The Boston Red Sox lost in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) against hated rival New York Yankees when Aaron Boone (or "Aaron F'in Boone" as Red Sox fans knew him as) hit a series winning walk-off home run (HR) off of Tim Wakefield to send the Yankees to the World Series. Boston had an early 4-0 lead after four innings. In the 8th inning, Boston squandered a 5-2 lead as New York scored three runs to tie the game up at 5-5. Pedro Martinez had been brilliant all night up to the point, but began to show signs of fatigue. Then General Manager (GM) Grady Little made what ended up being a costly decision, one that is still talked about till this day, to keep Martinez in the game. This move is more or less what inspired a coaching change at the end of the season, as the Red Sox would replace Little with Terry Francona. Not even being a fan of the Red Sox, I was completely ticked off that they blew their lead because I wanted to see history be made. Instead, "The Curse of the Bambino" came into effect once again as Boston would still have 1918 (the last time the Red Sox had won a World Series) haunting them in their dreams.


     The 2004 ALCS saw a rematch between the Red Sox and Yankees, only this time it appeared that the Red Sox would not even make a series out of it this time around. New York won the first three games to take a commanding 3 games to 0 lead in the ALCS. I (as well as many others) thought, "well looks like the curse will live on". Yankees Closer, Mariano Rivera, who was practically money throughout his entire career, came into relief in the 8th inning in hopes to effectively shutdown any rally attempt by the Red Sox. Rivera escaped the 8th unscathed and the Red Sox were down to their final three outs. Rivera would give up a hit to Kevin Millar in the Bottom of the 9th, and the Red Sox would bring in Dave Roberts to pinch run in what is arguably looked at the turning point of the whole series! Roberts stole second on Rivera's first pitch to the next batter to put himself into scoring position. Bill Mueller would single off of Rivera, allowing Roberts to score and tie the game at 4-4. Two innings later, David Ortiz would hit a walk off HR for a 6-4 Red Sox victory and kept Boston's hopes alive for another night. Much of the nation still figured the series was already over and that the Yankees would wrap things up, if not in Game 5, then definitely by Game 6. Game 5 displayed a little "deja vu". David Ortiz would once again come up with the game winning hit, and Boston would survive and force the series back to New York with the Yankees up 3 games to 2.

     Back in New York, the Yankees looked to put any talk of a Boston comeback to rest. The storyline heading into Game 6 was Curt Schilling pitching with an injured ankle. Despite the injury, in which Schilling's ankle would actually begin to bleed through his socks, still managed to produce a solid pitching performance going seven innings strong. Boston entered the 8th inning with a 4-1 lead. The Yankees had cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the inning, and momentarily appeared to bring themselves within one run after a ground ball from Alex Rodriguez, in which he slapped the ball out of Boston's pitcher Bronson Arroyo's hands. Red Sox manager Francona would argue that Rodriguez interfered on the play, and the umpires would call Rodriguez out and order Derek Jeter back to 1st Base. The Red Sox would hold down the fort and finish the inning without allowing any further damage, and would hold on in the 9th to force a decisive Game 7 with a chance at becoming the first team in Major League Baseball history to win a series after being down 3-0! Schilling's ankle and Rodriguez's slap were talked about from the sports media all the way down to my fellow high school peers and teachers! Game 7 had so many implications, ranging from a berth in the World Series, to breaking a curse, and history being made all rolled into one!

  With a Game 7 to be played, the Yankees knew they had their backs against the wall but hoped that home field advantage would give them the edge they needed. Boston opened up the scoring in Game 7 when series hero and MVP David Ortiz, hit a 2 run HR in the 1st. Johnny Damon would hit a Grand Slam in the 2nd and expand the lead to 6-0! I remember being in complete awe and satisfied with the outcome thus far by running up and down the hall in excitement! Entering the Bottom of the 7th with the Red Sox up 8-1, Francona called in Pedro Martinez in for relief. Yankees fans were hoping a repeat of last year in which Martinez blew a three run lead that allowed New York to comeback and win. Things got off to a shaky start for Martinez, giving up two runs to cut the lead to five and a chorus of "Who's Your Daddy" chants by Yankees fans began to erupt ( Martinez awkwardly referred to the Yankees as "My Daddy" in a press conference during the ALCS). I got anxious and began thinking about the curse, Martinez's blowing the lead in last years Game 7, but as soon as my anxiety began, Martinez quickly settled down and would not allow another run the rest of the inning. Boston would get those two runs back by scoring once in the 8th and 9th innings. I stayed up for the entire game and would not go to bed until I saw that the Red Sox hadwon and go on to play in the World Series. At 12:01 A.M. October 21, 2004, Red Sox 2nd Baseman Pokey Reese fielded a ground ball and threw to 1st Baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out and the Red Sox completed the impossible by coming back from a 3 games to 0 deficit to win the series in 7 games! What made it sweeter was seeing them do it against their much hated rival New York Yankees.


     As expected, the following day in school the talk was about the Red Sox and their historic comeback. Students were in the Library on the computers watching highlights of Game 7, and it was talked about in each class I had that day!" My best friend who was a Yankees fan, really did not say much, but I knew the lack of words said it all for not only him, but all New York fans. In one of my classes, a teacher, who was a Yankees fan, showed her frustration and even let out a loud "Damn". She quickly apologized but then followed up by saying "well its the Boston Red Sox, so I kind of have to be that way." One of my teachers even quizzed our class by asking "Okay even though the Red Sox won, is the curse over yet?" I knew that if a small town of Hughesville was giving it's undivided attention to the Red Sox, the entire nation would have their eyes glued to their televisions in the upcoming nights of during the week!


     The Red Sox would be facing the National League Champions St. Louis Cardinals. Game 1 saw both offenses explode for a total of 20 runs setting a record for the highest scoring opening game of a World Series. Boston would open up with a 4-0 lead after the bottom of the 1st, thanks in part to David Ortiz's 3 run HR. St. Louis would cut the lead in half after 2 1/2 innings, but Boston would get three runs in the bottom half of the 3rd to expand their lead to five. St. Louis would get those three runs back in the top half of the 4th. Heading into the bottom of the 8th with the scored tied 9-9, Mark Bellhorn would break open the tie with a two run HR to give Boston the lead and the Red Sox would hold on in the top of the 9th to secure the victory and take a 1 game to 0 lead in the series.

     Boston would win Game 2 with a strong outing from starting pitcher Curt Schilling, pitching six innings, giving up just one run, four hits, and registered four strikeouts. Heading to St. Louis with a 2 games to 0 lead, Boston looked to close out and sweep the series. Boston would shutdown the St.Louis offense in Game 3 with effective pitching and a strong defense. The Red Sox bats, while not as hot as the first two game, still came up with timely hitting and scoring. Manny Rameriz hit a solo HR in the first and brought in another run with a single in the fifth as Boston would go on to win 4-1 and take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Red Sox continued to be the talk of the town. Almost every conversation I had at school throughout the week involved the Red Sox and their miracle comeback against the Yankees and magical ride thus far. One question that came to my mind was if Yankee fans would be more upset if the Red Sox won the world series than blowing a 3-0 series lead over Boston in the ALCS. Whatever the answer was, Boston was a team hell bent on a mission since Game 5 of the ALCS, and it did not matter who it was that would try to stand in their way!


     I made a commitment to watch Game 4 in hopes the Red Sox would win, just in case the Red Sox would go on another long drought without a World Series (which the wait for another Red Sox title ended up only being another 3 years) that way I could tell my grand kids that I saw Boston win a World Series! Just like in Game 3, Boston got off to a quick 1-0 lead off a HR, this time by Johnny Damon. Boston would add two more runs for insurance for a 3-0 lead. I remember sitting in my bed, anxiously watching for history to be made as the Red Sox were just three outs away from winning their first World Series in 86 years! Albert Pujols led off with a base hit for the Cardinals, but Keith Foulke rebounded quickly and caused Scott Rolen to fly out, and followed that up with a strikeout to Jim Edmonds. Being just one out away, I could just feel it! I and over 28 million others across the nation knew we were about to experience something special (Unless you were a Yankees or Cardinals fan of course). With a 1-0 count, Foulke delivered a pitch across the plate that Edgar Renteria swung at, and grounded the ball back to the pitcher's mound
                           
  Back to Foulke, Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: The Boston Red Sox are World Champions!
                                   - Joe Buck

     For not even being a Boston Red Sox fan, you would have thought I was one! I was just so tickled and excited to see the Red Sox win the World Series and experience history be made! Classmates were taking it all in the next day along with the rest of the nation as "The Curse of The Bambino" was no more and 1918 was finally just a thing of the past. About a year and a half later when I saw my 5th Grade teacher again, who was a Red Sox fan (who I mentioned in a previous blog of mine regarding my fandom of the Cleveland Indians, which you can read here! http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-truth-of-how-i-became-cleveland.html) I asked him what he was doing as he watched the Red Sox win the World Series just a little over a year prior at that point. I remember him telling me how he could not watch it, at least not directly, but had the game on the television and would listen to it from around the corner of the room where the T.V. stood and he would pop in and out between at bats. That alone, at least for me, represented what it was like for a Boston fan to experience their beloved Red Sox finally overcome the demons from years past by making fantasy, or what could have been, into reality once and for all! Even the casual baseball fan knew that they were witnessing something special. Now nine years later, the Red Sox and Cardinals meet up in a rematch with a World Series title once again at stake, and while many will tune in to watch, it will not have the same atmosphere around it like it did in 2004!






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Monday, October 14, 2013

To Penn State Football Players and Fans, I Am Sorry!



     In life there are times when we get so emotionally invested into something, that we let them get the best of us and say things we do not really mean. Whether it be between a spouse, family, or friends, one time or another it happens. Same can also translate over in the sports world. This past weekend Penn State won in what many are already calling an instant classic when they defeated unbeaten #18 ranked Michigan Wolverines.  As always, I took to Twitter and tweeted throughout the games, praising Penn State whenever something positive happened. Beginning with the second half my attitude began to shift and negativity began to surface. I feel I was unjustly harsh with some of my tweets and that is why I am going to share them with you so I can bash and critique all of my knee jerk reactions from the game. Plus I will give an explanation to what happened when I wrote each of these tweets. So without further ado, lets look at my tweets and brutally attack them like I brutally attacked Penn State!


     Penn State just scored on a touchdown(TD) pass from Christian Hackenberg to Brandon Felder. It only took three plays on Michigan's ensuing drive to respond with a touchdown pass of its own. I still had the horrible taste in my mouth when Indiana put up 44 points on us the previous week and I wondered if we were in store to repeat that performance against a high scoring Michigan team.

    
     Yeah okay, like I would be able to do a much better job than Bill O'Brien as a head coach! This tweet was after Penn State decided to go for it on 4th and short midway through the 1st quarter. Hackenberg attempted a Quarterback (QB) Sneak but was stuffed behind the line of scrimmage and turned the ball over on downs on their OWN 33! (Okay so maybe I did have a right to question BOB's call there, but luckily forced a 3 & Out on Michigan's ensuing drive)

    
     This is actually something that many Penn Stater's will agree on as the Nittany Lions have had constant struggle of converting on 3rd down throughout the first six games thus far.


    
     As great as a QB Christian Hackenberg is, there have been times where he has had the opportunity to tuck the ball and run for positive yards, and yet decides to throw in hopes for a huge gain. Again this is not really one of my worse tweets. In fact, this is probably fair criticism. Hold on though folks, it begins to take a nasty turn!

    

     Penn State lead at halftime 21-10 and would receive the ball to start the 2nd half. On the first play from scrimmage, Zach Zwinak fumbled the ball and Michigan scooped it up and returned it for a TD. Quickly cutting the lead to four in just 10 seconds. Penn State continued to struggle and Michigan reclaimed the lead for the second time of the game. Though one could consider it to be a choke job, there was still an entire quarter of football to be played!

    
     Wow! Was that really necessarily? Yes Penn State had just given up another TD to Michigan to make the score 34-24 in favor of the Wolverines. Because of the sequence of events, my lack of support was really beginning to show as I was already giving up on them.

    

    Yeah I really do need to watch my language! Especially because young kids could see this! Michigan was a team that averaged 38 points a game entering this matchup. (Michigan would ultimately surpassing their average finishing with 40 points, thanks though to 4 overtimes OT)


     Man was I truly an asshole! I am ashamed that I even wrote this! Considering all of the unjustly things that have happened to this team in the past year, I can not believe I had the nerve to say something like this! Also, what the fuck is up with putting the word "team" in quotation marks? Is that suppose to be a jab that this group of players lack what a team makes? To myself I say "fuck off!"

    
      Yes, Hackenberg did make mistakes. To single him out like this though was unfair to him. Add another point for me to the Jackass counter!


      
     

     Oh look, it is me continuing to be a complete "fucktard" and an irrational scumbag!


    

      Okay, so their special teams at times is shaky, but by now I was already shitting all over Happy Valley with my pessimism.

     I briefly stopped tweeting as Penn State had one last chance to send the game into OT. Hackenberg led Penn State 80 yards in just 23 seconds for a TD. Allen Robinson made a huge catch at the 1yd. line and Hackenberg would punch it in. I think the tweet above was in regards to the ensuing kickoff the gave Michigan great field position that allowed them a shot a winning the game in regulation. Fortunately Michigan placekicker Brendan Gibbons, came up short on a 52 yd. field goal (FG) attempt as time expired.

     I was glued to the television and completely away from Twitter. When Sam Ficken missed his FG attempt in the 1st OT, I figured it was all but over and knew Gibbons would make good on his mishap at the end of regulation. Michigan ran conservative plays to set up an easy kick for Gibbons. I felt a knot in my stomach and could not believe this was how it was going to end....BUT IT DIDN'T! Penn State Special Teams blocked Gibbons FG and survived to force a 2nd OT! Both teams would exchange FG's in the 2nd OT, making the score 37-37.

     Like in the 1st OT session, Penn State received the ball first in the 3rd OT. On their first play from scrimmage, Penn State drew up an end around for Allen Robinson and had daylight ahead of him. Robinson however could not secure the ball and coughed it up and Michigan recovered. Though I did not take to Twitter, I did say "I fucking hate Allen Robinson". Michigan would get the ball all the way down to the Penn State 16 yd. line and set up a FG attempt for Brendan Gibbons that was straight on right between the hashes. No way he was going to miss a third opportunity. It was only a 33 yd. attempt, and Gibbons was automatic heading into this contest. So I sat there prepared to accept defeat when all of a sudden....GIBBONS HOOKED IT LEFT! PENN STATE SURVIVED AGAIN!

     Now entering a 4th OT, both teams were gassed. Michigan would receive the ball first and settle for a FG attempt. Gibbons would this time connect on the attempt to give the Wolverines a 40-37 lead with Penn State receiving another attempt to either tie the game and send it to a 5th OT or win it. Penn State faced a decision on 4th & 1 and instead of kicking the tying FG, Bill O'Brien decided to go for it. Bill Belton converted, but not without working hard first to get a fresh set of downs and keep Penn State's chances of winning the game alive. A few plays later, Hackenberg stepped up in the pocket and threw to Robinson in the end zone and though he did not catch it, he was able to draw the flag for defensive pass interference. With a 1st & Goal set up at the 2 yd. line, Bill Belton accepted a handoff and ran to the outside for a Penn State touchdown! I was screaming up in down with joy. Let us not forget though, I gave up on this team, but they themselves never quit. here was my final tweet after the game had concluded

    
  To the Penn State Football players, fans, alumni, students, I am sorry for what I wrote and tweeted on Twitter. I have and will always love Penn State no matter what! As stated in the tweet above I equated everything I said as if I were a child (I certainly acted like one!) who tells their mom or dad that they hate them because they are mad at them. Even though they do not actually mean it. Sometimes I say these things because I want the best for someone or something because I get so emotionally invested and get carried away at times (obviously!) I can not promise Penn State players, fans, alumni, students, etc, that I will not say something stupid again. What I can promise though is that I will always support you through thick and thin! (and to be fair to myself I still had faith even down 10 late in the game, I just did not show it because of frustration and bitterness) We though as a Penn State family always need to have "Success With Honor" and because "We Are Penn State!"


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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Penn State Defeats Unbeaten Michigan In Wild 4 Overtime Instant Classic!


     Penn State entered the game coming off arguably one of the teams more disappointing losses in recent memory when they suffered their very first loss at the hands of Indiana for the first time in school history last week in Bloomington. Michigan received the ball first and Penn State's defense forced a quick three and out. Penn State's first possession saw Quarterback Christian Hackenberg throw an interception. On the third play from scrimmage for Michigan following the turnover, QB Devin Gardner was picked off by Jordan Lucas, which helped set up a Christian Hackenberg touchdown(TD) pass to Brandon Felder to give the Nittany Lions a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

    Devin Gardner would redeem himself on Michigan's third play of the following position when he connected with Devin Funchess for a 59 yd TD Pass and quickly tie the game back up at 7-7. Michigan Placekicker Brendan Gibbons, who was 4 for 5 on the season, added a field goal to give the Wolverines a 10-7 lead after the first. Anthony Zettel, who has really stepped up as late for the Penn State defense, picked off Gardner at the beginning of the 2nd quarter to give the Nittany Lions the ball. On the very next play, Hackenberg went across the middle for a 20 yard hookup with Jesse James as Penn State reclaimed the lead 14-10 after a 2nd turnover(via interception) by Michigan QB Devin Gardner.

     Penn State's defense continued to apply pressure and limit the Wolverine offense and on their next offensive possession. The Nittany Lions took 10 plays for 61 yards and a TD when Hackenberg again hooked up with Felder to give Penn State a 21-10 lead, one which they would take heading into the half, and on top of the received the ball first in the second half. Penn State looked to be in control of their own fate.

     Just as it looked as if Penn State was getting ready to put this game out of reach, Running Back Zach Zwinak coughed up the ball that allowed Michigan defender James Ross III to scoop up the ball and score a TD for the Wolverines, quickly cutting the lead down to four in a second half that was only 10 seconds old. Placekickers Gibbons and Ficken traded field goals that made it a score of 24-20 in Penn State's favor.

     Michigan found another gear once again and drove the ball down the field in 9 plays for 73 yards in under four minutes, giving the Wolverines a 27-24 lead, their first since midway through the first. The Wolverines outscored the Nittany Lions 17-3 in the third quarter. Penn State had a chance to tie the game early in the fourth, but a bad snap caused Sam Ficken to miss, despite having the distance, the scored remained 27-24 in favor of Michigan.

     The Wolverines appeared to put the dagger in the hearts of the Nittany Lions after Ficken's missed field goal. Devin Gardner found Devin Funchess for a 2nd time for a 37 Yd. Td pass to extend the Wolverines lead to 10 with a 34-24 lead with just a little over half of the 4th quarter remaining.

     Penn State drove down the field again, and would have to settle for a Sam Ficken field goal, despite getting down inside the redzone at the Michigan 18. Ficken's kick cut the lead to a touchdown at 34-27. Michigan would get the ball and essentially burn the clock, taking off 5 minutes and 45 seconds, leaving Penn State with only 50 seconds to work with after a later punt by the Wolverines. The climax to this entire game came in those last 50 seconds!

     Penn State received the ball at its own 20 and had one more shot at sending this game into overtime. Penn State, thanks in part to two crucial reception by Allen Robinson, in which the first was originally ruled incomplete but was overturned and a hell of a catch that was downed at the Michigan 1 yard line! However, with 27 seconds remaining, the Wolverines had a good return on the kickoff and set up shop at their own 35 yd line. The Wolverines moved it 30 yards to give placekicker a 52 yard attempt to win the game in regulation. Gibbons, who had been consistent, kick fell just short and forced the game into over time after both team squander comfortable leads to one another, and the drama was only just beginning!

     Michigan won the coin toss and elected to defer and Penn State received the ball first. The Nittany Lions could not do much with it and only moved the ball two yards. Ficken came in to give Penn State the lead but shockingly missed it. This would allow the Wolverines only needing a Field Goal to win the game. Devin Gardner and company and took a conservative approach and set up between the hash marks for Gibbons. Penn State showed that a victory against the Nittany Lions would not come up easy as a blocked FG forced a 2nd overtime. Gibbons and Ficken would exchange field goals in the 3rd OT, which both of them making it to make it a 37-37 game. Penn State received the ball to start the 3rd OT and on an end around, Allen Robinson lost control of the ball and a Michigan defensive covered the ball, looking to essentially secure the ball for Michigan and allow Gibbons one more chance to redeem himself. Michigan got to the Penn State 16 and looked to be primed to finally give the Wolverines a win. As Lee Corso would say "Not so fast my friend" Gibbons hooked  the 33 yard attempt to the left, add to the already chaotic night and atmosphere to the game as well.

     In the 4th OT, Gibbons finally connected with a 40yd. Field Goal to give the Wolverines a 40-37 lead and needed a stop to persevere a win for Michigan. On Penn State's possession, Bill Belton did a decent job on the ground game and made a pivotal 4th down conversion to keep the Penn State drive alive. Christian Hackenberg found Allen Robinson in the end zone but had defenders hold and jumping all over his back which resulted in a penalty on Michigan and PSU ball at the Wolverines 2 yd line. Very next play, Belton ran to the outside and jogged into the end zone to give the Nittany Lions the upset win over 5-0 #18 ranked Michigan!

    



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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Will Derrick Rose Lead The Chicago Bulls To A NBA Tittle This Season?

                                                                                    (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

   Derrick Rose is already turning heads once again with dominating performances in the Chicago Bulls first two preseason games

     You could literally hear a pin drop on April 28, 2012 in all of Chicago! Derrick Rose was in the process of making a play when he fell and landed awkwardly, causing him to tear his ACL in his left knee in the first game of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Time as we know it, froze(at least in all of Chicago) as Bulls fans were realizing the very worse was happening. Despite winning the game, Chicago would go on to be eliminated in six games in their first round match up with the Philadelphia 76ers.

     Rose would undergo surgery and miss the entire 2012-13 season. Without question, the severity of the injury was very serious. Some critics(including myself, as you can see in this serious yet humorous video to the right ) were skeptic of Rose continuing to sit out even after he had been medically cleared by doctors at the end of January to resume playing once again. Rose cited that he was not coming back until he felt "110%" (1.) Chicago would finished the 2012-13 season with a 45-37 record and defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round in seven games before ultimately being eliminated by eventual champions Miami Heat in five games the following round.

     Due to Rose being medically cleared, but refusing to return to the court despite the fact, his leaderships skills were also questioned and led some to believe he let his team down then they needed him most. Already without Rose, Chicago's lineup was banged up with Kirk Hinrich missing time with a nagging knee injury and Luol Deng dealt with a potentially life threatening illness with Spinal Tap complications.


     Despite the criticism, Rose may have wanted to come back when the team could start on a fresh slate. Perhaps also Rose saw this as an opportunity to fine tune his game as he has claimed he worked on improving his jump shot(2.) and reportedly increased his vertical jump by five inches since injuring his ACL.(3.) Already into a young preseason, Rose has perhaps showcased why he wanted to make sure he is 110% by displaying awesome performances in the Bulls first two preseason games.
 With a healthy Rose, the Bulls will again be frontrunners to contend for an NBA title. Rose is already back to his MVP form, perhaps even sooner than most would have thought. If Rose can continue to improve upon his performance and game play, others around him will as well! As long as he can do this, do not be surprised to see the Chicago Bulls raising trophies over their heads when all is said and done by the end of the 2013-14 season!





sources:
          (1.) http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/bulls/2013/02/12/derrick-rose-knee-injury-return-chicago-bulls/1912521/

           (2.) http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1794024-derrick-rose-describes-where-hes-improved-his-game-since-his-injury

           (3.) http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1801159-derrick-rose-says-vertical-leap-increased-by-five-inches-to-42-since-acl-injury

Image sources: http://www.nanaimodailynews.com/sports/hockey/derrick-rose-returns-in-exhibition-opener-scores-13-points-to-help-bulls-beat-pacers-1.650271


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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lack of Preperation and Gameplan Causes Problems For Penn State As Indiana Beats Nittany Lions For First Time In School History

                           Indiana used its fast paced offense in its dismantling of Penn State

     Never in the history of Penn State Football have the Nittany Lions lost to the Indiana Hoosiers (IU). That has all changed after the Hoosiers dominating performance against the Nittany Lions today with its high tempo offense. Indiana produced 486 yards of total offense and shockingly had over double the amount of rushing yards as Penn State(PSU) did!(150-70).  Penn State's offensive play calling had a hand in the matter as Christian Hackenberg attempted 55 passes, and while he put up good numbers ( 30-55, 340 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT) Penn State could not establish any momentum as they continued to go through the air, which lead to short possessions and even a few three and outs. It would not be hard to argue though that the only reason Hackenberg had decent numbers was due to another incredible performance by PSU Wide Receiver Allen Robinson, who hauled in 12 catches for 173 yards and 2 TD's and was accountable for two of Hackenberg's Touchdown(TD) passes.

     Penn State only ever led once during the entire game when it took a 14-13 lead after Robinson's second TD grab, a lead that would last for only 82 seconds as Indiana's Tevin Coleman would score a TD on a 44 yd. run and Tre Robinson successfully completed the two point conversion to give Indiana a 21-14 lead. Penn State would cut the lead down to four after a Sam Ficken FG, but Indiana's offense would answer right back when Tre Robinson capped off an 11 play 75 yard drive with a 2 yd. TD run and expanded the Hoosiers lead to 11. Minutes later, IU Quarterback Nate Sudfeld(who finished the day 23 of 38, 321 yards 2 TD 1INT) found Kofi Hughes in the air for a 36 yd. TD hookup. On the ensuing kickoff, Penn State fumbled the ball which Indiana recovered inside the PSU 10. Tre Robinson would put the final nail in the coffin, scoring a TD on the first play off the turnover to give the Hoosiers a 42-17 lead. After giving up a late TD pass, the Hoosiers forced a safety and Penn State suffered its first loss at the hands of Indiana for the first time ever in the programs history by a final of 44-24.

     Bill O'Brien and the Penn State coaching stuff will have to answer many critics due to questionable playcalling. Indiana's run defense ranked 117th in the nation, yet O'Brien continued to call for Hackenberg to go through the air. On defense, Penn State's secondary is non-existent and did not apply much pressure or coverage to the IU receiving corps. If Penn State cannot address these problems quickly, it will be in for a long Big Ten schedule!

Notes:
-Penn State won the time of possession ( 35:11- 24:49)

- Indiana had more offensive yards (486-410)

- Penn State hosts Michigan next week, while Indiana travels to Michigan State


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Madden Curse, What About a Heisman Curse?



     I am not really that much of a superstitious person, though I may have "pre-game rituals". NFL players that have graced their presence on the cover of that Madden video games series, have coincidentally fallen to what is known as "The Madden Curse". The likes of Mike Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, and many others who would appear on the latest edition of Madden, would all either see a drop in production in their performance on the field, season ending injuries, or off the field issues that interfered with their football career. Ostensibly, appearing on the cover of Madden was/is suppose to be an honor, but instead appeared to be a sign of a bad omen. As eye popping as this alleged "Madden Curse" is, one thing I have always taken notice to is something equally intriguing on the college level, and that is the winner of the Heisman Trophy (awarded annually to the person deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football). A majority of the Heisman Trophy winners have never been able to transport and duplicate their success on the college level into the NFL! Let us take a look at the most recent Heisman Trophy winners and how they fared in the NFL.
(If they were even lucky enough to get there)


     1999. Ron Dayne Running Back -Wisconsin

     During his four seasons at Wisconsin, Running Back Ron Dayne amassed 6,397 yards to set the NCAA record for most rushing yards in a collegiate career, a record that stands to this day. Dayne would find the end zone 71 times on the ground in those four years and won the 1999 Doak Walker (College Football's Top Running Back) and the Maxwell Awards (College Football Player of the Year) along with the Heisman. When Ron Dayne was drafted by the New York Giants in the 2000 NFL Draft, he was expected to provide a combination of (his) power with starting Running Back Tiki Barber's speed. Dayne however would see limited playing time over the course of his career. A lack of commitment to lose weight was one of the reasons Dayne received limited carries and would end up being released after the 2004 season. Perhaps the "highlight" of his pro career came in 2005 when he won the "CBS All Iron Award." His performance in a 2005 match up against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day would help lead the Broncos to victory with a rushing Touchdown (TD) and 98 yards, including a 55 yard run that helped set up the game winning field goal for Denver. Dayne was never consistent and eventually retired from the NFL after the 2007 season, finishing his pro career with 3,722 rushing yards and 28 TD's in 8 seasons.


     2000. Chris Weinke Quarterback -Florida State

     Before attending Florida State University, Chris Weinke was pursuing a professional baseball career, but ultimately decided to take his talents onto the gridiron. Weinke was already 25 years old when he first arrived on campus in 1997. He made an immediate impact by his sophomore year, and lead the Seminoles to three straight national championship appearances (1-2 record). In four years, Weinke passed for 9,839 yards with 79 TD's through the air and won the Davey O'Brien Award (Nation's Top Quarterback) in 2000 along with the Heisman Trophy. The Carolina Panthers selected Weinke in the 4th Round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Weinke, a 28 year old rookie would be the the Panthers starting QB that season, unfortunately it was a disaster as the Panthers finished with record of 1-15. After the season, Weinke would become the backup QB and would only end up winning one more game, which was in 2005 vs Detroit Lions, when he came in relief after starting QB Jack Delhomme went down with an injury. Weinke would remain as a career back up QB, and retired after the 2007 season, finishing with a career win loss record of 2-18 and 15 TD's 26 INT's to go with his 3,904 passing yards.





     2001. Eric Crouch Quarterback- Nebraska

     Despite being a QB, Eric Crouch was known for his legs and speed more so than his arm and passing, and the numbers speak for themself! Crouch passed for 4,481 yards and 29 TD's through the air, but his speed and ground attack while running the option created problems for opposing defenses as evident by his 3,434 rushing yards and 59 rushing TD's! Despite his offensive numbers in college, and speed (running a 4.47 40), Crouch was deemed to small for a quarterback by many NFL teams (standing maybe 6ft tall with a bump on his head). Crouch was drafted by the St. Louis Rams as they still saw value in him as a potential Wide Receiver (WR). Crouch however never played a down in the NFL due to an injury and his reluctance to play any position other than QB.


      2002. Carson Palmer Quarterback- USC

     With some success in the NFL, Carson Palmer, ironically had minimal success until his senior season when he led the USC Trojans to an 11-2 record and an Orange Bowl win over the Iowa Hawkeyes. For his performance, Palmer was named the MVP of the Orange Bowl to go along with his Heisman Trophy award a few weeks prior. Palmer finished his collegiate career with a whopping 11,668 Passing yards and 72 TD's through the air. ( Palmer also had 9 Rushing TD's )
Palmer would be the number 1 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals, and though he did not play a down his Rookie Season, Palmer was able to take the time and study the game from the sidelines. By his 3rd season, Palmer lead the Bengals to their first winning season in 15 years with a 11-5 record en route to a division title all the while leading the league in TD passes with 32. Unfortunately Palmer has not had any success beyond the regular season and has only appeared in the playoffs twice(0-2 record).
(NFL Career Stats prior to beginning of 2013 NFL Season- 2 Time Pro Bowler, 29,465 passing yards 189 TD's 130 INT's  7 Rushing TD's, 54-67 Win-Loss Record)


     2003. Jason White Quarterback- Oklahoma

     During his time in Oklahoma, Jason White led the Sooners to two appearances in the National Championship Game. Though unsuccessful both times, White had a remarkable career, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2003, and came back his senior year as a finalist. White won the 2004 Maxwell Award his senior season and finished his career at Oklahoma with 7,922 Passing yards and 81 TD passes. (As well as 2 Rushing TD's). White had devastating knee injuries that he sustained during his college career, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and had reconstructive knee surgery. Because of the poor conditions of his knees, Oklahoma had to run plays from the shotgun as they could not rely on White to scramble from the pocket. White went undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft, and though he had tryouts with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, he never played a single down in the NFL and "retired" due to the damage in his knees.


   2004. Matt Leinart Quarterback- USC

     The heir to Carson Palmer's throne, Matt Leinart, picked up where Palmer left off with the USC Trojans. During Leinart's tenure, he led the Trojans to two national championships (1 split- taking the AP in 2004 and 1 outright in 2005, until it was vacated due to Reggie Bush receiving improper benefits) and compiled a record of 37-2 as a starter, throwing for 10,693 yards and a school record 99 TD Passes. Leinart was also the recipient of the 2004 Walter Camp Award (Collegiate American Football Player of the Year). Leinart entered the 2006 NFL Draft as a highly touted prospect. Though not having one of the strongest arms, Leinart was considered a complete quarterback with a 6ft 5in stature to go with his 230lb. frame. Leinart was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 10th overall pick, and was projected to be the franchise quarterback in due time while essentially being mentored by starting veteran Kurt Warner. Leinart would have relatively minor success during his time with the Cardinals as he never really materialized into the quarterback they anticipated, thanks in part to two season ending injuries in his first two years. Even after Warner's abrupt retirement, Leinart remained as a back up for Arizona as the team gave veteran Derek Anderson the starting spot. Leinart continued to fall on the depth chart, and was released by the Cardinals prior to the start of the 2010 NFL season. The Texans would sign Leinart to be Matt Schaub's backup in Houston (though he did not play at all during the 2010 season). In 2011, when Schaub went down with an injury, Leinart was called upon to the starting role. Unfortunately, Leinart would fracture his collarbone, immediately ending his season. Houston released Leinart that offseason. After brief stints with the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, Leinart is currently a free agent.
(NFL Stats Prior to 2013 Season- 4,065 passing yards, 15 TD's 21 INT's, 8-10 Win-Loss Record)


     2005. Reggie Bush Running Back- USC

     What can't you say about Reggie Bush? He did it all with his versatility. He could run, return and even throw the ball and always made an impact whenever he was on the field! Bush finished his career at USC with 6,551 All Purpose Yards (APY) (3,169 Rushing, 1,522 Receiving, 1,522 Kickoff Return, 559 Punt Return) and won the 2005 Doak Walker and Walter Camp Awards  Despite Bush's on field success at USC, his off field issues in which he received improper benefits, cost him his Heisman Trophy (voluntarily returning it in 2012) and USC had to vacate their 2005 National Championship and were hit with 2 year sanctions as a result of Bush's actions. Reggie Bush was selected 2nd overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.(with whom he won a Super Bowl with in 2010)  With success though, came hardship as Bush has dealt with nagging knee injuries. A partially torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in 2007. Sprained  medial collateral ligament (MCL) in same knee in 2008. In 2010, Bush suffered a broken bone in his right leg, causing him to miss eight games in his final season in New Orleans. Miami Dolphins signed Bush prior to the 2011 season and revived his career a bit as he finally surpassed the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the first time. Bush has since signed with the Detroit Lions, and though he has been productive, nagging knee injuries have limited his ability to perform.
(NFL Stats Prior to 2013 Season- 4,162 Rushing Yards 29 TD's, 2,730 Receiving Yards 15 TD's, 772 Punt Return Yards, 4TD's.

   2006. Troy Smith Quarterback- Ohio State

      Troy Smith did not come to Ohio State originally as a Quarterback. Smith won the starting job in 2005 and led the Buckeyes to a share of the Big Ten Championship and a victory in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. Smith and the Buckeyes entered the following season as favorites to win the National Championship, and did not fail to live up to they hype as they coasted through the regular season with a 12-0 perfect record and a spot in the National Championship game. For Smith's efforts (2006 stats: 2,507 passing yards 30 TD's.) would with his Heisman , be honored with the prestigious Archie Griffin(College Football's MVP for entire season) Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp Awards. Even with these accolades, Smith was too small for a quarterback by NFL Standards and would not get selected until the 5th Round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Smith was projected to compete for the starting spot at the beginning of the 2008 season, but came down with an illness (Lemierre's Syndrome) and Rookie Joe Flacco took over, and would go on to eventually be the full time starter at the beginning of the 2009 season. Smith was eventually let go after the season, and had a brief stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 and has not been in the NFL since. Today, Smith is in the Canadian Football League (CFL) after signing a 2 year contract with the Montreal Alouettes
(NFL Stats 8 Touchdowns 5 Interceptions 1,734 passing yards)


   2007. Tim Tebow Quarterback- Florida

     Perhaps the most decorated college football player off all time, 2007 Heisman winner Tim Tebow, is the inspiration for this list! Tebow was a highly touted prospect coming out of high school and during his time at Florida he re-wrote a lot of the NCAA history books by shattering many records! (5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28 University of Florida statistical records). During his four years at Florida he compiled a total of 12,232 yards of offense(9,285 Passing 2,947 Rushing) and a total of 145 TD's(88 Passing 57 Rushing). Tebow was the recipient of the Maxwell (twice, 1 of only 2 players to do so) Davey O'Brien, and Manning Award (best college quarterback) amongst many other accolades. Tebow helped guide the Gators to two national championships in four years. Tebow was a proven winner who is a coach's dream player, however his lack of a strong throwing arm had many NFL scouts question his ability to play quarterback at the next level. Tebow was surprisingly drafted in the 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. In 2011, the Broncos, despite an 8-8 record, captured the AFC West Division Title. Denver won its Wild Card Round playoff game against Pittsburgh after Tebow threw an 80 yard TD Pass to Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas to win in overtime. Denver would be eliminated the following week and despite Tebow's success, the Broncos traded him in the offseason to the New York Jets and barely saw any playing time with them during the 2012 season. After the conclusion of that season, Tebow was let go by the Jets and then was cut by the New England Patriots after their final 2013 preseason game. Tebow who is currently a Free Agent, still has admiration's of one day being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Some say the Jacksonville Jaguars(his hometown team) would be a possible fit for him. It may be a little early to label Tebow as a bust and to have fallen to an alleged "Heisman Curse", but comparing his college career to that of his pro, is like comparing apples to oranges.
(NFL Stats prior to start of 2013 season: 8-6 regular season record(1-1 playoffs) 2,422 Passing yards 17 TD's, 989 Rushing yards 12 TD's in three seasons)

     2008. Sam Bradford Quarterback-Oklahoma

     To be fair, Sam Bradford, to date has had a very (statistically) productive career in the NFL. Coming off from the previous season in which Bradford led the Oklahoma Sooners to an appearance in the National Championship Game during his Heisman Campaign. Three games into the new season, Bradford suffered a serious shoulder injury (in which he took a couple weeks off, came back, and re-injured it) that caused him to have season ending surgery. Bradford would undergo surgery and announced that he would forgo his Senior season and declare himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft. The St.Louis Rams would select Bradford number 1 overall and as I mentioned, has had a very productive career statistic wise. Hell, Bradford won the 2010 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, so where does a possible "Heisman Curse" come into play for Bradford? Well as a team, the Rams have had not any luck, even with Bradford as starting quarterback, St.Louis has posted a record of 15-26-1(prior to start of 2013 season). Speaking of "Luck", Andrew Luck, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts (who was the Heisman Runner-Up in 2011) posted a 11-5 record in his rookie season(when it seemed the Colts were going to be in a rebuilding mode considering they parted ways with Peyton Manning in the off-season) and passed for over 4,000 yards and 23 TD's in his first season. While it may also be a little early to claim that Bradford has fallen to the "Heisman Curse" and that there is still time for him to do a 180 with his team's success, he could very well fade into abject obscurity.

UPDATE: Sam Bradford tore his ACL in Week 7 of the 2013 NFL Season.

     2009. Mark Ingram Running Back- Alabama

      Mark Ingram's success in the backfield is one of the main reasons the Alabama Crimson Tide would have success in the 2009-10 season. Totaling 1,992 yards of  offense (1,658 rushing, 334 receiving) along with 20 TD's (17 rushing, 3 receiving) Ingram led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season(14-0) en-route to a National Championship. Ingram did not have as much success the following year, registering only 1,157 yards from scrimmage (875 passing, 282 rushing) and 14 TD's (13 Rushing, 1 Receiving). Despite his slip in production, Ingram was still projected as a 1st round pick for the NFL Draft, and thus he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2011 Draft. The New Orleans Saints would select Ingram where he is being utilized in a three man backfield alongside Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. Ingram has an important role in the Saints system, but that is all Ingram will be is a "role player" rather than a star running back. I guess that could explain the current rumors of Ingram wanting out of New Orleans as he may (and needs) a change of scenery and new system in order to become a premiere running back in the NFL.

     2010. Cam Newton Quarterback- Auburn

     Out of all the players on the list, Cam Newton may very well disprove any indication of a "Heisman Curse", at least for his sake. Newton, who led the Auburn Tigers to a National Championship in 2011, has already done tremendous things in his young NFL career. To start, Newton is the only Rookie Quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in a game, and in the process, broke Peyton Manning's rookie record. Newton was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl that season. The Carolina Panthers had selected Newton with the 1st overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Like any team with a high draft pick (barring trades) many are usually in a rebuilding mode. Can Cam Newton put to rest a possible "Heisman Curse" and make the Panthers a contender along with his individual success? Or will Newton run into bad luck, via an injury or a slide in production, that will keep the Panthers from winning?

College Stats (Auburn- 1 year) 4,327 total yards of offense (2,854 passing 1,473 rushing) 51 total TD's (30 passing, 20 rushing, 1 receiving)

Pro Stats(Prior to start of 2013 season) 13-19 (win/loss record as starting QB) 9,367 total yards of offense ( 7,920 Passing, 1,447 Rushing) 40 TD's 29 INT's. 22 Rushing TD's

     2011. Robert Griffin III Quarterback- Baylor

     To be honest, I did not really hear too much about Robert Griffin (RGIII) until his Heisman campaign. In Griffin's Sophomore season, he tore his ACL and had to take a redshirt. In 2011, Griffin led the Baylor Bears to one of their most successful football seasons to date, going 10-3 on the year with RGIII leading the way with 4,992 total yards (4,293 Passing, 699 Rushing) and 47 TD's (37 Passing, 10 Rushing) in the process. Griffin would go on to be selected by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft where he quickly found success as he compiled a 9-6 record as a starter and lead the Redskins to a playoff appearance as well as being named as 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and selected to the Pro Bowl. The "Madden Curse" though reared its ugly head as Griffin would injure his knee towards the end of the season, and would re-aggravate it in the Wild Card Playoff Game against the Seattle Seahawks which required surgery in the off-season to fix the ligaments in his LCL and ACL.

College Stats- 12,620 yards offense (10,366 Passing 2,254 Rushing) 111 Touchdowns (78 Passing 33 Rushing)

Pro Stats- (Prior to start of 2013 season) 9-6 record, 3,200 Passing Yards 20 TD's  815 Rushing Yards 7 TD's

     2012. Johnny "Football" Manziel Quarterback- Texas A&M

     Johnny Manziel made history when he won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 when he became the first player to ever win the award as a Freshman! Manziel put himself in the national spotlight after he led the Texas A&M Aggies to an upset victory over the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Manziel finished the season with 5,116 yards of total offense (3,706 Passing Yards, 1,410 Rushing Yards) and 47 TD's (26 Passing, 21 Rushing). Ever since winning the award, Manziel has essentially become the poster child for NCAA Football. Though it seems as if the attention Manziel has received in the media has made an equally strong impact like his performance on the field. In the early summer of 2013, Manziel was being kicked out of frat parties, and eventually came under more serious scrutiny when it was reported he sold his autograph for profit. Manziel received (what many would hardly call as punishment) a suspension of missing the first half of the Aggies first game of the 2013 season. Manziel would come in and dominate the second half by throwing for three TD passes. It did not come without controversy though when Manziel made a gesture with his fingers to insinuate being paid money and another in which he displayed himself signing an autograph. Many were critical of Manziel's actions, including former Chicago Bears Linebacker, Brian Urlacher, who stated that he (Manziel) "acted like a punk in that game." Yes, Manziel has all the talent in the world, but perhaps the "Heisman Curse" is already taking effect to Manziel before he even has a chance at the next level due to his antics both on and off the field.

     Is this all just a mere coincidence, or is there perhaps a "Heisman Curse"? Some say the Heisman does not even go to the best football player, instead it goes to (usually) the best player on the best team. In whatever the case is, recent history shows that Heisman Trophy winners have not had much success beyond the college level.

     I would like to give a special thanks to John Ziegler and my sister with editing this particular blog!

Sources:
Ron Dayne-  http://www.uwbadgers.com/ron_dayne/Ron_Dayne_Bio.pdf
               http://www.nfl.com/player/rondayne/2504254/profile
               http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=251124006

Chris Weinke- http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/weinke_chris00.html
                        http://www.nfl.com/player/chrisweinke/2504686/profile
                       

Eric Crouch-   http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=323895

Carson Palmer- http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/palmer_carson00.html
                          http://www.nfl.com/player/carsonpalmer/2505245/profile
                         
Jason White- http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jason-white-1.html

Matt Leinart- http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/leinart_matt00.html
                      http://www.nfl.com/player/mattleinart/2506878/profile

Reggie Bush- http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/bush_reggie00.html
                       http://www.nfl.com/player/reggiebush/2506874/profile

Troy Smith-  http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/troy-smith-1.html
                     http://www.nfl.com/player/troysmith/2507222/careerstats

Tim Tebow- http://www.gatorzone.com/football/bios.php?year=2009&player_id=93
                     http://www.nfl.com/player/timtebow/497135/profile

Sam Bradford- http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/sam-bradford-1.html
                         http://www.nfl.com/player/sambradford/497095/profile

Mark Ingram- http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/ingram_mark00.html
                       http://www.nfl.com/player/markingram/2495466/profile

Cam Newton- http://www.auburntigers.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/newton_cameron00.html
                       http://www.nfl.com/player/camnewton/2495455/profile

Robert Griffin III- http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/griffiniii_robert00.html
                              http://www.nfl.com/player/robertgriffiniii/2533033/profile

Johnny Manziel- http://www.aggieathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27300&ATCLID=205236136


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