UW readies for Alvarez’s final home game

first_imgDespite losing the opportunity to claim outright first place in the Big Ten last week, the Wisconsin football team (8-2 overall, 5-2 Big Ten) will attempt to complete its second consecutive undefeated season at Camp Randall as the Badgers take on the rival Iowa Hawkeyes. Although it is a long shot, Wisconsin can still earn a share of the Big Ten title with a win if Penn State and Ohio State lose their Big Ten finales.Saturday will be a challenge for the Badgers, as Iowa has found itself in must-win situation. With a 5-4 overall record, the Hawkeyes need two more wins to qualify for a bowl game.Iowa has always proved a difficult challenge for Barry Alvarez’s squad. After previously beating Iowa five consecutive times from 1997-2001, the Badgers have dropped their last three contests to the Hawkeyes, including last year’s painful loss in Iowa City that saw the Badgers fumble away their chances at a Big Ten conference title.Standout quarterback Drew Tate leads the Hawkeyes. So far this season, the junior has completed more than 63 percent of his passes and thrown 13 touchdowns on the year. Most impressively, Tate has compiled a gaudy 148.1 passer efficiency rating. The bulk of Tate’s passes have been in the direction of Clinton Solomon, who has hauled in six of Tate’s touchdown passes and has gained over 550 yards receiving.To go along with Iowa’s offensive, the Hawkeyes also have an impressive defense, which ranks third against the rush and fifth overall in the conference. The strong point of Iowa’s defense is their linebackers. Led by seniors Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge, who are second and third in the Big Ten in tackles respectively, Iowa is holding opponents to under twenty points per game on average.”They’re a very good [football team],” Barry Alvarez said. “They’re well-coached [and] their defense is always very good. They’re hard-nosed [and] play very sound. They don’t beat themselves, much the way we’ve tried to build our program. I think if you go back and listen to the things [Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz] said when he took over that program, he wanted to build the program much like we did and pattern it after the things we did here.Saturday’s game also marks Senior Day for the Badgers. Sixteen seniors will be honored before the game, including fullback Matt Bernstein, tight end Owen Daniels, center Donovan Raiola, linebacker Dontez Sanders, and wide receivers Brandon White, Jonathan Orr and Brandon Williams.This senior class has been the core of Wisconsin success over the past four seasons as they are one of only three other senior classes to have participated in four bowl games. Additionally, they have helped set a Wisconsin modern-era record for the most consecutive home wins, which currently stands at 11.None other than Brandon Williams has been looking forward to this day for the past three years.”This is something that you have been thinking about for three years,” Williams said. “You have been watching the last three classes go out and seen how things have played out for them and you just always want the best to happen for you. This is going to be very exciting — all the families come, everyone gets to walk out on the field — it’s going to be real exciting.”This game also marks the last home game for head coach Barry Alvarez. Ironically, Alvarez will end the home portion his twenty-six year college coaching career against the team he began his collegiate coaching career with. Alvarez was an assistant coach under legendary Iowa coach Hayden Frye from 1979 to 1986.When Barry Alvarez took over as coach in 1990, Wisconsin had only recorded 17 winning seasons since 1950 and only qualified for six bowls games in their 103-year history. For the past 16 seasons, Alvarez has accumulated 116 wins, which ranks eighth all-time in the Big Ten, and has taken Wisconsin to 10 bowl games, including three Rose Bowl victories. More importantly, Barry Alvarez rejuvenated Badger football. For Coach Alvarez, it has been an emotional journey from the beginning.”I thought someday we could be very competitive,” Alvarez said. “The first thing, I think if you go back and look at the things we talked about, I wanted to build a foundation, teach guys how to work. I didn’t want to cut any corners, didn’t want any quick fixes. I wanted to build a good solid foundation, teach the guys how to play, how to play the game, how it’s supposed to be, how you have to win in this game. You have to stop from losing before you can win. I wanted to do all those things. … I still am at peace with my decision [to step down]. I’m really pleased that we had this type of year, that you can go out like this and enjoy the year and enjoy the players and they can have some success and have a little fun along the way.”last_img read more

Trevor Cooney snaps 0-for-11 slump from deep in strong 2nd half against Cornell

first_imgAfter missing all four of his 3-point attempts in the first half, Trevor Cooney’s shooting drought ran to 0-for-11 from deep. He hadn’t connected from long range since the 17:13 mark of the first half of Syracuse’s loss to St. John’s on Sunday. His last miss of the first half on Saturday was a desperation heave at the end of the shot clock, and a microcosm of his recent struggles.Then, just 58 seconds into the second half, Cooney snapped out of the slump.“You just keep taking the good ones and I took good 3s today,” Cooney said. “… We just have to put ourselves in the right situation, avoid those tough ones, and work it around and try and get a good one.”The fifth-year senior finished with 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting, and the three makes were far more encouraging than his marginal dent on the box score. He went 3-for-3 from deep in the last 20 minutes, and all three makes came in a 6:15 span as the Orange (8-3) pulled away from Cornell (5-5) for a 67-46 win.“Trevor was a big defibrillator boost in that second half,” SU interim coach Mike Hopkins said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCooney’s opportunities came as Cornell aggressively double-teamed point guard Michael Gbinije. The Big Red also packed into the paint to limit Gbinije’s opportunities to pass inside, and Cooney only took advantage after scoring a single point in the first half.All three of his 3s were assisted, further proving that he’s more effective in catch-and-shoot situations then when he creates space for himself off the dribble. Gbinije said it’s important for Syracuse to get Cooney going in transition, where there’s space on the perimeter and opportunities to attack the paint.That worked against an inferior Cornell team and, with Atlantic Coast Conference play now two games away, the Orange would greatly benefit if Cooney’s flash of efficiency trickles into the future.“When his shots are going in we’re definitely a better team,” Gbinije said. “He did a good job of spotting up in transition and we just found him when he was open.” Comments Published on December 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Daytona 500 2019: ‘Big One’ destroys many front runners with 10 laps remaining

first_img Daytona 500 2019: Wild crash ends on pit road, dooms Jimmie Johnson’s chances “I just barely hooked him, and it wrecked a lot of cars,” Menard said. “That was my bad.”The crash was dramatic even by restrictor-plate crash images, with cars piling up in a shower of sparks and twisted sheet metal.The big one!! #nascar #Daytona #DAYTONA500 #DaytonaDay @rickwinkelman pic.twitter.com/54cuEmEDUN— Meindert Acda (@MeindertAcdaF1) February 17, 2019 WELP pic.twitter.com/09xqeRkCkC— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 17, 2019No one was injured in the incident, which involved 18 cars.”Just a racing deal,” DiBenedetto told Fox. “Nothing intentional there.” Related News The inevitable happened with 10 laps remaining in regulation in the Daytona 500 Sunday, with a huge crash that took out numerous front runners.The incident began when Paul Menard, who was drafting behind Matt DiBenedetto, got him sideways. DiBenedetto, running fourth, then collected Menard, and the two drivers blocked much of the track, collecting many cars that had run extremely well all day.last_img read more