First ACC season presents tough tests highlighted by Florida State, Clemson, winnable games

first_imgPenn State, Saturday Aug. 31* Carrier DomeSyracuse faces Penn State for the first time since 2009, when the Nittany Lions topped the Orange 28-7. PSU is coming off of an 8-4 season, despite the heavy sanctions placed on the team in light of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. The Orange has faced the Nittany Lions more than any other team in program history, playing 70 times since 1922 and every season since then until 1990, after SU joined the Big East and PSU went to the Big Ten.*In MetLife StadiumNorthwestern, Saturday Sept. 7 Carrier DomeThe Wildcats dropped the Orange to a season-opening loss last season, despite a 482-yard, 4-touchdown performance from Ryan Nassib. It was the 10th meeting between SU and NU and evened the all-time series, dating back to 1940, at 5-5. Head coach Scott Shafer’s team looks to retake the all-time advantage facing quarterback Kain Colter, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for one in last year’s game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWagner, Saturday Sept. 14 Carrier DomeWagner head coach and athletic director Walt Hameline initiated the scheduling of this matchup, according to The Staten Island Advance. The Seahawks are a Football Championship Subdivision team, and played their first Football Bowl Subdivision opponent last season when Wagner lost 7-3 to Florida Atlantic from the Sun Belt Conference.Questions remain whether this game will count toward Syracuse’s bowl eligibility. Deputy director of athletics and scheduler Herman Frazier told Syracuse.com that Wagner confirmed the game would. The NCAA allows one FCS game to count toward bowl eligibility each year, as long as the school gives 90 percent of its allotted 63 scholarshipsduring a “rolling two-year period.” Wagner, though, only offers 40 scholarships. Last year’s Florida Atlantic contest never became relevant, as FAU finished 3-9.Tulane, Saturday Sept. 21 Carrier DomeSyracuse and Tulane last met Oct. 8, 2011, in front of 23,188 in the Superdome. The Orange won 37-34 as Ross Krautman kicked the game-winning 21-yard field goal as time expired. Antwon Bailey rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. It was the first time an SU team had played in the Superdome since Carmelo Anthony’s Orangemen won the national championship there on April 7, 2003. The Green Wave finished 2-10 last season.Clemson, Saturday, Oct. 5 Carrier DomeSyracuse’s Atlantic Coast Conference opening game should be one of its toughest, and certainly its hardest, in the Dome. In each of the past two seasons, the Orange has knocked off a top-15 team in the Dome, but those have come later in the season. SU will likely have a startling welcome as it goes against the Tigers, who have been the ACC’s most consistent program in recent seasons, and returns All-American quarterback Tajh Boyd and star wide receiver Sammy Watkins.North Carolina State, Saturday, Oct. 12, Raleigh, N.C.Syracuse makes its first trip to the heart of ACC country as it travels to Raleigh, N.C., for the first of several winnable league tilts on the road. Both teams leaned on the strength of their veteran quarterbacks – Mike Glennon for North Carolina State and Ryan Nassib for the Orange – but their departures leave big shoes to fill. This game, like so many on SU’s schedule, will come down to how quickly the inexperienced quarterbacks can develop.Georgia Tech, Saturday, Oct. 19, Atlanta, Ga.Syracuse’s second ACC road trip takes the Orange down to Atlanta, where it will get its first of potentially many opportunities against Georgia Tech’s vaunted triple-option attack. Though the Yellow Jackets had a pedestrian 7-7 season, they still took home the ACC Coastal Division championship after a 6-6 regular season before losing to Florida State in the conference championship game. The trip to GT is yet another winnable game for the new-look SU squad.Wake Forest, Saturday, Nov. 2 Carrier DomeSyracuse returns to the Dome after two weeks away to face another mediocre ACC foe in Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons failed to qualify for a bowl game last season, and their only two ACC wins came against doormats Virginia and Boston College. The Orange comes into this one off of a bye week and kicks off a grueling stretch of five games in November that takes the Orange to the end of the season.Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 9, College Park, Md.Syracuse starts its final third of the season with a trip to Maryland. The Terrapins went 4-8 last season and only 2-6 in conference play. They also lost their final six games of the season. Due to a rash of injuries, Maryland had no stability at the quarterback position. Five different players went under center during the season, and Maryland hit rock bottom when linebacker Shawn Petty moved to quarterback. Much like Syracuse, the Terrapins will have a quarterback competition starting with spring football practice. Maryland finished the 2012 season last in the ACC in total offense. With the Terps coming off of a bad season and having plenty of question marks heading into 2013, there’s no question this could be a good game for the Orange, despite playing on the road.Florida State, Saturday, Nov. 16, Tallahassee, Fla.When Syracuse travels down to Tallahassee, Fla., it’ll be in for one of its toughest games of the season. Florida State is a perennial power in the ACC. The Seminoles finished last season ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. They were first in the ACC in scoring defense and third in scoring offense. Florida State ended the year with a 12-2 record and went 7-1 in the ACC, capped with a win over Northern Illinois in the Discover Orange Bowl. FSU will have a new quarterback after EJ Manuel, who averaged 242.3 yards per game in 2012, graduated and is moving on to the NFL. Even still, the Seminoles are poised to be one of the top teams in the ACC in 2013. This is going to be a very challenging game for Syracuse.Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 23 Carrier DomeSyracuse knows Pittsburgh well. The two announced their departures from the Big East together, and are heading to the ACC for their inaugural seasons at the same time. The Orange beat the Panthers 14-13 in a Friday night game this past season. Pittsburgh finished last season 6-7, 3-4 in the Big East. The Panthers will have a new quarterback after Tino Sunseri graduated. This is a winnable game for the Orange, especially since it’s at home. Pittsburgh is not going into the ACC with the same momentum Syracuse is, so the Panthers could struggle in their first season in a competitive conference. While the Orange will also have a number of new starters on both sides of the ball, SU beat Pitt last year, knows the Panthers’ schemes and has the advantage of playing in the Dome.Boston College, Saturday, Nov. 30 Carrier DomeSyracuse closes out the regular season against former Big East foe Boston College. The Eagles had a miserable season last year — they finished 2-10 and went just 1-7 in the ACC. BC finished 11th in the ACC in scoring offense and ninth in scoring defense. The Eagles ranked near the bottom of the conference in almost every category. The season ended with the firing of head coach Frank Spaziani and the hiring of former Temple head coach Steve Addazio. Syracuse beat Addazio’s Owls 38-20 down in Philadelphia to close out this past regular season. Hosting a struggling Boston College team in the final game of the regular season is big for Syracuse, and with Pitt the week before, the Orange could finish the year 2-0. If Syracuse still needs one or two wins for bowl eligibility at this point, the Orange has a cushion the last two weeks of the season. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Syracuse announces inaugural ACC football schedulecenter_img Published on February 27, 2013 at 12:16 amlast_img read more

Kevin Roundtree knocks in game-winning run

first_imgUSC baseball coach Frank Cruz put it very simply. His team needed to do one thing better: execute.That’s exactly what they did last night against Pepperdine, rallying from a three-run deficit to come away with a 5-4 victory over the Waves (17-12).The winning run came in the seventh inning courtesy of some of the very execution Cruz was talking about. Senior centerfielder Garret Houts walked with one out, stole second base on a ball in the dirt, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a two-out single by senior catcher Kevin Roundtree.Coming up clutch · Senior catcher Kevin Roundtree won the game with his single in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Trojans have now won four of their last six games and sit at 17-9 overall. – Katherine Montgomery | Daily Trojan“Houts moving to second on that ball in the dirt was a big play in the game,” Cruz said. “That’s part of the execution we’re talking about —  reading the ball in the dirt.”Senior pitcher Martin Viramontes came in for the last two innings, allowing just one baserunner while recording his fourth save of the season for the Trojans (17-9).“Our pitching is showing us they’re gonna keep us in game,” Cruz said. “We have to give them enough runs.”The Trojans got on the board right away courtesy of some small ball. Houts and junior second baseman Adam Landecker led off the Trojan first with back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners, and Roundtree followed that up with an RBI ground out to second to put USC up 1-0.On the mound for the Trojans was Bobby Wheatley. Making his first career start, the sophomore pitcher dealt three perfect innings before bowing out.“Wheatley was incredible,” Cruz said. “The only reason we took him out is because we might have him start this Saturday and needed to save him.”Junior Matt Munson came on in the fourth and promptly gave up back-to-back singles to put runners at first and second. The next hitter knocked a slow roller to sophomore shortstop James Roberts, whose hurried throw was well wide of first. The error tied the game at one and put runners on second and third, still with no outs.The next hitter did the exact same thing, but this time Roberts thought better of hurrying a throw and held on to the ball, resulting in an infield single that put the Waves up 2-1. With runners at the corners, Munson induced a 4-6-3 double play, but that allowed a third Pepperdine run to score from third before finally getting out of the inning.Pepperdine put another run across in the fifth after another Trojan throwing error, but USC answered right back in the bottom of the inning.Senior designated hitter Brandon Garcia led off the inning with a leadoff double down the left field line, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Roberts followed that up with an RBI single that blooped just over the head of the second baseman to make it a 4-2 game. A sacrifice bunt moved Roberts to second, and then a walk, a flyout and another walk loaded the bases with two out for sophomore first baseman Jake Hernandez, who worked his way into the starting lineup over the weekend.Hernandez came through with a two-RBI single through the right side, igniting the crowd at Dedeaux Field and tying the game at four, setting the table for Roundtree’s eventual game-winner.“It was a big opportunity for us to score some runs,” Hernandez said. “I want people to have confidence in me so I’m just trying to do the best I can.”Garcia also emphasized the team’s need to execute down the stretch.“We’ve been trying to make execution more of a priority,” said Garcia. “We understand that puts pressure on the defense. We got a couple of hit-and-runs down today. We need to get our bunts down and continue on this process of executing.”The Trojans have a short week before they will need to execute all over again. The Bears come to Dedeaux for a Thursday through Saturday set to avoid playing on Easter.last_img read more

Ghana squad train for Nations Cup qualifier

first_imgGhana were in action on the training pitch on Tuesday morning, as they began preparations for their final round 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Malawi later this weekend.Kwesi Appiah’s squad met up in the morning and trained together at the Accra Sports Stadium for their first leg qualifying match against the Flames on Saturday afternoon.The squad was short by three from its initial number, 24, following the absence of Andre and Jordan Ayew and goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey. The trio are yet to join the group.Players at the opening training session on Tuesday morning:Goalkeepers: Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea), Fatau Dauda (AshantiGold)Defenders: Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Razak Nuhu (Stromgodset, Norway), Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), John Boye (Rennes, France), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumaila (Kotoko) Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Osasuna, Spain), Isaac Coffie (Chievo, Italy), Derek Boateng (Dnipro, Ukraine), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal), Solomon Asante (Berekum Chelsea)Strikers: Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Clottey (Berekum Chelsea), Abdul Majeed Warris (Hacken, Sweden), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE).last_img read more