Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sports Chowdah Update- Tiger Trap in ALCS; Hawk Heaven- Seattle Rallies Late Against Pats; New England FBS Schools 0 for October; Navy Thinks Big (East);

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
NFL- This one you can't blame on the replacement officials.

Unlike last week's home game against Denver, the first half of the Patriots road game against the Seahawks was a back-and-forth affair with a couple of lead changes before the Patriots went in front by a 17-10 score late in the first half and had a chance to break the game wide open after Seahawks punter Jon Ryan mishandled a snap deep in Seattle territory on 4th and 4, giving the Patriots the ball back on the Seahawks own 24 yard line with 40 seconds to go. Brady got the Patriots down to the Seattle 3, but couldn't punch it it in. However, with two seconds to go and before New England could bring Gostkowski out for the FG attempt, the [full time] referees huddled and decided that Brady was guilty of an intentional grounding penalty with less than 6 seconds remaining. This included a 10 second runoff of the clock, meaning there would be no FG attempt and Seattle dodged a HUGE bullet.

At the time, any New England fan worth their salt was wondering exactly how the penalty at the end of the first half would come back to haunt them as the teams headed into the locker room with the Patriots up 17-10.

As it turns out, we wouldn't have to wait very long to find out. Seattle's defense would hold the Patriots to two Gostkowski FG's, giving the Pats the 23-10 lead.

With less than 10 minutes to go in the 4th, Seattle quickly got themselves back in the game thanks to WR Golden Tate's 51 yard run on the following posession plus a 15 yard penalty against New England tacked on to the end of the run, followed by converting 4th and 3 thanks to a 10 yard TD pass from QB Russel Wilson to WR Braylon Edwards to cut into New England's lead by a score of 23-17.

The Seahawks would get the ball back with 2:38 to go with a good field position thanks to a 25 yard Leon Washington punt return and on 1st and 10 from mid-field, Wilson connected with WR Sidney Rice for a 46 yard catch and run to give the Seahawks a 24-23 lead- and the dire warning from myself and others at the end of the first half loomed large as the Patriots got the ball back with 1:08 left, but weren't able to do anything with it, going 4 and out deep in their own territory and turning over the ball with rougly 50 seconds to got. From there, Seattle got the ball back and simply took a knee to run out the clock.

Former Patriots head coach Pete Carroll gets a measure of revenge against his former team as the Seahawks won on Sunday by a 24-23 final.

Brady went 36-58 and had 395 yards along with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions while Seattle's Russel Wilson went 16-27 with 293 yards and 3 TDs, so those of you who had Wilson on your fantasy team (and didn't bench him) were in for a pleasant surprise. This is New England's second loss to an NFC West team by less than two points in the closing minutes of a game- all three of New England's losse have been by a margin on one or two points so far.

Seattle goes on to play the San Francisco 49ers on the NFL Network's Thursday night game while New England hosts the Jets in Foxbourough on this Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM ET and the game will be televised on CBS.

The loss puts the entire AFC East in the unusual position of having every team hold a 3-3 record. This actually puts the Patriots in 2nd place behind the Jets. Sunday's game is sure to break the deadlock one way or the other.

OTHER NFL NEWS- Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis is expected to miss the remainder of the season with an injury to his triceps in his right arm. This is Lewis' third stint on the DL in ten seasons. Lewis turns 38 next spring, and the season-ending injury has cast some doubt on his future in Baltimore.

The Ravens will face the Houston Texans this Sunday- the Texans are coming off of their first loss of the season, leaving the Atlanta Falcons as the NFL's only undefeated team so far this season.

DENVER BRONCOS- Monday Night's game between the Broncos and San Diego Chargers gave Patriots fans reason to think that their team was fortunate to be 3-3 after fending off a 2nd half Denver rally in hindsight.

Despite an atrocious 1st half in which the Chargers jumped out to a 24-0 lead, the Broncos staged a remarkable comeback in the second half in which the defense not only kept the Chargers off the scoreboard, but ran up 35 unanswered points for the 35-24 win. Like New England, the win gives Denver a 3-3 record.

NCAA FOOTBALL- Well, not quite 2 weeks into October and I'm going to make the bold prediction that none of the BCS schools in New England will be appearing in any bowl games this season.

The only reason the UMASS Minutemen didn't lose this weekend was because it was their bye week. Despite playing the undefeated Bobcats well in a 37-34 loss at 'home' [i.e. Foxbourough- NANESB!] in Week 5, the following week was a dramatically different story as the Minutemen were on the losing end of a 52-14 thumping in Kalamazoo.

This weekend, the Minutemen will take on the 4-3 Bowling Green Falcons at Gillette Stadium.

BOSTON COLLEGE- UMASS isn't the only FBS school in Massachusetts to have allowed 50 or more points against their last opponent.

Boston College had a tough road game in Tallahassee against 12th ranked Florida State and looked as though they would make a game of it on their opening posession as they took the football and marched down the field to the Seminoles 1 yard line before getting shut out of the end zone on 4th and goal. From there on out, it was all Noles all the time as they cruised to a 51-7 over Boston College.

The Eagles travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech- who currently sport a woeful 2-4 record- on Saturday at 3 PM ET.

UCONN- The Huskies- who are the only New England FBS school to have been above .500 this season- are on a 2-game skid after losing a week 6 matchup to Big East for, #22 Rutgers, by a 19-3 final. Last weekend, the Huskies blew a late lead against Temple after giving up a late TD to the Owls with 42 seconds left to tie up the game 14-14.

Connecticut got the ball first in OT but missed a chip shot FG. Temple got the ball back and made their FG attempt from the 29 yard line, giving them the 17-14 OT win.

This week, 3-4 UCONN travels to the Carrier Dome to take on the Syracuse Orangemen. This will likely be the last time the Huskies face Syracuse as the Orange are set to jump to the ACC beginning in 2013. Currently Navy sports a 3-3 record and faces Army each December during the Army-Navy game. This will likely continue once Navy football is integrated into the Big East.

NAVY- The US Naval Academy Midshipmen football program has reportedly agreed to start playing in the Big East conference starting in 2015. Navy has been playing football as an independent since 1879.

The move would leave the Army Black Knights as the only service academy that plays FBS football as an independent- the Air Force Academy Falcons have been playing in the Mountain West conference since the late 1990s.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
MLB- After nearly giving away Game 1 of the ALCS in the bottom of the 9th, the Detroit Tigers have taken a 3-0 series lead on the New York Yankees.

Tuesday night saw the series move to Detroit's Comerica Park and Tigers ace Justin Verlander on the mound. Verlander went through the first three innings without allowing a baserunner while he got some run support in the form of a line-drive solo homer from Delmon Young to make it 1-0. Detroit then added to their lead in the bottom of the 5th with an RBI double from Miguel Cabrera to make it 2-0.

Verlander would end up pitching 8⅓ innings before allowing a solo homer to Eduardo Nunez in the top of the 9th. Despite giving up 2-out back to back singles to Mark Teixera and Robinson Cano, reliever Phil Coke got ALDS hero Raul Ibanez to strike out to end the ballgame and give Detroit a commanding 3-0 lead in the ALCS.

The Yankees have been playing without team captain Derek Jeter since game 1 after he left Game 1 of the ALCS with a fractured ankle. The injury has left the Yankees without Jeter for the remainder of the season- this is the first time since the 1990s the Yankees have been in the postseason without Jeter, closer Mariano Rivera or catcher Jorge Posada.

Detroit took Game 1 of the ALCS in Yankee Stadium by a 6-4 final in 12 innings, despite blowing a save in the bottom of the 9th. On Sunday afternoon, Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez threw 7 shutout innings in Detroit's 3-0 win at Yankee Stadium.

Game 4 is set to take place on Wednesday night at Comerica Park, with CC Sabathia [15-6; 3.38 ERA] taking the mound for the Yanks while Max Scherzer [16-7; 3.74 ERA] will get the start for Detroit. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 ET and the game will be televised on TBS.

NATIONAL LEAGUE- The St Louis Cardinals have advanced to the ALCS in the most heart-ripping-out-iest manner possible after a deciding Game 5 in the nation's capital Saturday night.

After jumping out to an early 6-0 lead, the Nationals seemingly thwarted a Cardinals rally in the bottom of the 5th that cut the Nats lead in half. Even though a Daniel Descalso solo homer in the top of the 8th made it a 1-run game for the Cards, the Nats got a run back in the bottom of the 8th to make it a 7-5 Washington lead. However, the Washington bullpen imploded in the top of the 9th, allowing a leadoff double to Carlos Beltran before issuing two out walks to Yadier Molina and David Freese. Descalso then hit a 2-RBI single to tie the contest up at 7-7 and suck the air out of Nationals Ballpark before Pete Kozma singled and drove in two more runs, giving them a 9-7 lead.

The Nationals were unable to get any kind of offense going in the bottom of the 9th and the Cardinals rally punched their ticket to the NLCS where they faced off against San Francisco.

After splitting the first two games at San Francisco, the series moves to St Louis Wednesday afternoon. Game 3 gets underway at 1:07 ET Wednesday afternoon and will be televised on FOX.

BC's Katty Workman has garnered ACC Freshman of the Week honors no less than three times this season. John Quackenbos/ BC Athletics Photo

NCAA VOLLEYBALL- After a successful road trip to North Carolina earlier this month where Boston College beat Wake Forest and swept the Duke Blue Devils, the Lady Eagles had a brief flirtation with .500 before falling back to a game under .500 after getting swept in three sets by #12-ranked Florida State and a hard-fought loss against the Miami Hurricanes on Chestnut Hill this weekend. Courtney Castle and Katty Workman both had double-doubles in the 5 set loss to Miami and finished up the match with more kills, assists and digs than the Hurricanes. Currently, the Eagles sport a 10-11 record, going 4-5 against ACC opponents.

This upcoming weekend will see BC Volleyball return to the Tarheel state for matches against the North Carolina Tarheels and NC State Spartans.

On Monday, the ACC named outside hitter Katty Workman and NC State middle blocker Alesha Wilson ACC volleyball players of the week.

ELSEWHERE IN NCAA VOLLEYBALL- Across town and in the Colonial conference, the Northeastern Huskies women's volleyball team is on a tear having won nine in a row, including six against CAA opponents. This upcoming weekend, the Huskies will face Delaware and current CAA leader Towson- whose volleyball team has won 12 consecutive games, and also sports a 6-0 record in the Colonial conference.

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