Category Archives: Independents and Mountain West

Profiles

The first piece I’m linking to is written by Lou Somogyi for Blue and Gold Illustrated about a little-known record now held by Notre Dame receiver TJ Jones. It’s not a typical profile in that it doesn’t see Jones through a story. Instead, it just focuses on his stats and the context of their importance. But I chose it because I thought it was a different way to do a profile on your beat, something other than the typical “from hero to zero” idea.

I chose a more standard profile by the Fresno Bee’s Bryant-Jon Anteola, this one about Fresno State’s freshman Jamal Ellis. It’s very typical in that it is the story of a player growing up on the field, but it stands out to me because Anteola uses game action in the text, which is something I guess I hadn’t considered doing before. He describes what Ellis did against San Diego State on a very deep level and how he improved for the game against Nevada.

Profiles

This article is on Notre Dame Senior, TJ Jones. I really liked this article about him and the breakdown of his profile because although he is now a senior at Notre Dame, they speak of his high school achievements as well as his personal life. I think they really captured the highlights of his career throughout his life.

The other article I found was on Boise State Senior quarter-back, Kellen Moore. I really liked this article because it talks about all of his accomplishments throughout his career but also a lot of the focus is aimed towards his future in football in the NFL. I really enjoyed the breakdown or analysis on Moore because it gave the readers background and insight into the kind of person Moore is, off the football field as well.

Fresno State has challenges ahead before landing its first “big-time” bowl appearance

Even with a schedule that doesn’t feature marquee teams, it won’t be easy for Fresno State to keep itself in the running for a high-profile BCS bowl.

After being ranked No. 17 in the initial BCS standings, the Bulldogs are in a prime position to reach their first “big-time bowl” in school history.

Of the 24 bowl games Fresno State has appeared in, its highest profile one was the 2005 Liberty Bowl. This year, with six games left and only one of them against a team that is currently over .500 (Wyoming), the Bulldogs have reason to believe they can win out, especially considering the performance of teams that were expected to be in contention for the national title.

But with no games scheduled against ranked opponents, Fresno State will have to continue to dominate defensively against teams that rush for more yards than the Bulldogs do. The Bulldogs have allowed opponents to gain 1078 yards rushing. Up next for them is San Diego State, which has gained 1133 yards on carries. After riding a three-game losing streak to open the season, the Aztecs were able to rebound for three straight wins, evening out their record at 3-3.

If the Bulldogs pull off a win this Saturday against San Diego State, they will be 7-0 for the first time since 1991. Head coach Tim DeRutyer told Robert Kuwada of the Fresno Bee that the Aztecs’ momentum would still be challenging because it’s a road game, “which is always tough.”

“Most non-BCS schools, one loss is going to knock you out, and our guys know that,” he said.

When they face Wyoming in three weeks, they’ll be up against a team that has so far carried for 1419 yards and passed for 2112.

And since their lead running back Marteze Waller (408 yards in 75 carries and four touchdowns) won’t be getting much action after spraining his right foot against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas last week, the Bulldogs will have to find a way to keep going offensively. They’re currently averaging 45.8 points per game and allowing 30.2.

It’s a good thing the Bulldogs have senior quarterback Derek Carr to fall back on. He’s passed for 23 touchdowns (second to Sean Mannion of Oregon State) and is sixth overall in passing yards (2276).

Boise State suffers huge loss despite crucial win

The Boise State Broncos pulled off a crucial 34-17 win against the Nevada Wolf Pack this past Saturday at home in Boise, ID. However, the win did not come without a cost. Boise State’s quarterback Joe Southwick left the game with a broken ankle in the first quarter. After losing him, the Broncos had to rely on their backup quarterback Grant Hedrick and their defense to overcome an early Nevada lead.

Nevada opened with a 3-0 lead on a 33-yard field goal by Brent Zuzo and headed into halftime leading 17-7. Despite the early deficit and loss of Southwick, the Broncos were finally able to pull away in the third with their defense and 557 yards of total offense. However, though Hedrick and the team were able to conquer the play by Nevada, there is no doubt that the Broncos will miss Southwick.

Southwick has a raw QB Rating of 82.4 and is 149-206 this season for 1,589 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the game against Utah State, he was 30-44 for 335 yards. The initial ruling following his ankle injury was that he would be out for the remainder of the season. However, head coach Chris Peterson claims that it is possible for Southwick to return this season.

With an injury like this, athletes can expect to be out for at least 9-12 weeks, so it could be wishing thinking that Southwick really will return. Whether he returns or not, Hedrick and co. will have to step up big time in his absence to continue the team’s hot season.

The Nevada game definitely showed promise, as Hedrick and running back Jay Ajayi accounted for 337 yards alone. With Southwick gone, it will be interesting to see how the remainder of the Broncos’ season will play out.

Bahamas Bowl 2014

Football in a tropical destination! What could be better? In 2014, the Bahamas Bowl will be introduced into the bowl line up. This will be the only bowl game held outside of the United States.

The Bahamas Bowl will be played at a stadium that can be stretched to hold up to 30,000 people but normally only holds 15,000. The five commissioners, from conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, the Sunbelt Conference, and a representative from the American Athletic Conference were present on Monday October 14 for the public announcement.

In particular, for the Mountain West Conference, this is a big deal. Bowl games are always fun and exciting because the teams that go to these various bowls get the opportunity to play all over in stadiums foreign to them against teams that they rarely play in the regular season. Each team that makes it to a bowl game realizes what a treat it is to travel and enjoy the different experience. Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky says, “As we have learned with our other bowls, student-athletes, coaches and fans get excited about a great destination. It’s hard to imagine a better destination than this wonderful country for a bowl game.” We are thankful for the support of The Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Lea Miller in providing not only a great venue, but a fantastic opportunity to showcase the hard work and dedication of our teams.”

For conferences like Mountain West, this bowl is a big deal because these teams get the chance to play for one more thing, a bowl game in the Bahamas. Fans love to travel to these bowl games and cheer on their teams and what better place for a bowl game than the Bahamas?

Notre Dame second-day story

I enjoyed this story on the Notre Dame ESPN blog about Tommy Rees because it shows why Rees is important to Notre Dame’s offense. I like how the story is written in a snarky/sarcastic way and made everyone who doubted Rees regret what they’ve said about him. Notre Dame’s offense was brutal in the game against USC, and I like that Matt Fortuna showed that Rees is a major reason why and how the fans should be more appreciative of him.

Second Day Story: Notre Dame defeats USC 14-0

I really liked this second day story because Brian Hamilton really captured the full story of what happened in the game and also what the game meant to Notre Dame. The title alone is a great title because although Notre Dame won 14-10 against USC, the “hang on” part emphasizes how the game went. Throughout this second day story, Hamilton, of the Chicago Tribune, recaps the game in a way that makes the reader feel as if they were there watching.