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SPT’s Spencer Davies got the chance to talk to current Browns DL Billy Winn about the first round of the Browns draft:
Talking about Danny Shelton
Talking about Cameron Erving
Talking about Johnny Manziel and his progress
Spencer’s exclusive interview with Earnest Byner (talks Browns draft, impact players this season, Johnny Manziel and team expectations)
By Jacob Allen
Hopes are high in the state capital this year, and not just for the Buckeyes. Last season, coming off only their second playoff year, the Blue Jackets fell nine points short of the postseason. They did, however, finish the season by winning twelve out of their last thirteen games, and they hope to ride that momentum into this season.
Adding a boost to those hopes is the addition of left wing Brandon Saad, who was acquired in a trade over the offseason from the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Saad, only 22, has already won two championships with the Blackhawks. The team also signed rugged center Gregory Campbell, who won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011. These two are expected to provide some much needed playoff experience for a team that has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
Last season Saad, a native of Pittsburgh, scored 23 goals and added 29 assists while playing with all-star talent in Chicago. But don’t expect a large drop-off, as he is expected to play with 2015 All-Stars Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno. Each player had career years last year while playing with each other for the majority of the season. Johansen collected 26 goals with a career high 71 points, while Foligno, who was named team captain over the summer, had a career high in goals with 31 and points with 73. Columbus hopes that adding Saad to an already great line could make it one of the best in the league.
Let’s not forget the rest of the team, however. Two wingers that each scored over twenty goals last year in Scott Hartnell and Cam Atkinson could flank solid two-way center Brandon Dubinsky on the team’s second line. The Jackets also have some good young talent among the bottom-six forwards, with 22-year-old Swedish center Alexander Wennberg, 22-year-old power forward Boone Jenner, and gritty 25-year-old Matt Calvert all capable of scoring at any time. Veteran forwards Jared Boll, Rene Bourque, David Clarkson, and Campbell will round out the forward group and should make an impact physically while providing occasional offense.
Defense is considered to be the weak spot of the team, but still has the pieces to contend provided they stay healthy. Ryan Murray, the former second overall pick, played in only twelve games for the team last year, and he may be their best defenseman. David Savard and Jack Johnson look to provide some offense to the blue line again this year. Savard scored 11 goals while adding 25 assists while Johnson had 8 goals and 40 points last season, and both scored 3 times while on the power play. 32-year-old Fedor Tyutin is the elder and leader of the defense, and he is vital on the penalty kill. The group will be rounded out by three 25-year-olds, in Kevin Connauton, Cody Goloubef, and Dalton Prout.
Finally, you can’t talk about the Columbus Blue Jackets without mentioning Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky, entering his fourth year with the team, has been instrumental in turning around a franchise that was mediocre for the first decade of its existence. Last season he went 30-17-3 while recording two shutouts. He has won thirty games in each of the past two seasons, and won 21 in 2013 in only 38 games. He has constantly been at the top of the leader boards in goals-against average as well as save percentage since joining the team, and may be their most valuable player. Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney went 12-14-2 last season, and can provide solid help when needed, but he can’t replace Bobrovsky.
This season this very young Blue Jackets squad needs many things to go their way. Mostly they need to stay healthy, as they led the league in man games lost last season with 502, which was a team record. They can’t afford this again, especially to crucial players like Bobrovsky, Murray, Jenner, and Dubinsky, each of whom missed significant time last season. They need the defense to play above themselves and secondary scoring from the third and fourth lines. If they could do these things you can expect to see the Columbus Blue Jackets have their best season of all-time.
By Rocco Nuosci
Once again for the third time this season, an overcast sky with buckets of rain fell over InfoCision Stadium as the Zips of U of A took on the Ohio Bobcats. The Zips entered the game looking to break a streak of seven straight losses against the Bobcats dating back to 2007. Unfortunately on this day, the Bobcats once again proved to be too much for the Zips to handle as they emerged victorious by a final of 14-12. My own team MVP for the day definitely goes to Robert Stein who was 4-4 on field goal attempts on the day as the Zips struggled all day trying to finish drives and put the ball in the end zone. Quarterback Thomas Woodson once again played the whole game and he did not play as well as Akron fans have seen him play. Finishing just 18-38 for 231 yards and an interception, Woodson was unable to lead his offense into the end zone for 6. Another big factor was the lack of Conor Hundley as a force. The big running back went for a mere 66 yards on 18 attempts. Receiver Imani Davis shined today, hauling in 5 receptions for 94 yards including an incredible back shoulder catch for 42 yards in the middle of the second quarter that had the crowd “oohing and ahhing”. Unfortunately, the Bobcat defense stepped up when it needed to and shut down the Zips offense when it mattered most. The Zips had their last chance to get it done late in the fourth quarter. A Thomas Woodson one yard keeper followed by an 8 yard sack proved too much for the Zips to overcome. A nice pass to Andrew Pratt on 3rd and long kept the Zips alive, but a failed 4th down attempt to Pratt was all the Bobcats needed to seal the victory. The Zips bench was furious looking for a flag on the Bobcat defender, but to no avail. With the loss, the Zips are now 0-1 in MAC play and will be back in action next Saturday when they travel up north to take on Eastern Michigan at 3:00.
By Jacob Allen
The Akron Zips football team will look to begin conference play on a good note when they take on the Ohio University Bobcats on Saturday in the annual homecoming game.
The Zips come in at 2-2 following back-to-back wins over Savannah State and Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bobcats, meanwhile, are 3-1 after a tough loss to Minnesota. It will be the first of eight conference games for each team.
Akron’s offense has been a big factor in the previous two wins, thanks in large part to the emergence of sophomore quarterback Thomas Woodson. After not throwing a pass in the first two games against Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, Woodson has thrown for 445 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions while completing fifty percent of his passes. Woodson has also run the ball 22 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
The Zips are only passing for 181 yards per game, which is second to last in the MAC. Only Kent State has thrown for fewer yards in the conference. However, Akron does rank fourth in the MAC in rushing yards per game with 174.
The only Zip with more rushing yards than Woodson is senior running back Conor Hundley. Hundley has 51 carries over four games for 299 yards and four touchdowns. Donnell Alexander has also provided a spark for the offense rushing for 159 yards on 30 carries.
Also make sure to keep an eye on receiver Jerome Lane, who has caught seven passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns. Senior Imani Davis will also seek attention from the Bobcat’s secondary.
Keeping the ball off the turf will be a big factor also for the Zips, as Ohio has recovered six fumbles this season, which is more than any team in the country.
The Bobcats come in to this matchup flying high offensively. Ohio ranks third in the MAC in rushing with 175 yards per game and sixth in passing with 244 yards per contest.
Ohio is led by Lincoln, Nebraska native Derrius Vick at quarterback. Through four games Vick has completed 51 of his 75 passes for 742 yards with 6 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Finding a way to slow down the senior signal caller will be vital for an Akron victory.
The Zips will also need to find a way to stop the Bobcats two-headed monster at running back. Both Daz’mond Patterson and A.J. Ouellette have rushed for over 200 yards and have combined for 5 scores.
Ohio also has several pass catchers to look out for, as Sebastian Smith and Brendan Cope has each eclipsed over 200 yards, and Keith Heitzman, Papi White, and Jordan Reid each have reached the century mark in receiving.
These two MAC rivals will face off Saturday at 2 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium- Summa Field.
Last night at E.J. Thomas Hall, poet Lemon Andersen introduced a follow up to “Rubber City Soul”, a poem he wrote for Nike for LeBron James.
Andersen’s work as a poet has been featured many times on HBO’s Def Poetry and has appeared in such movies as The Soloist (2009), directed by Joe Wright and starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx. He has shot four movies with Spike Lee, including Sucker Free City (2004), She Hate Me (2004), Inside Man (2006) (appearing opposite Denzel Washington and Clive Owen), and Miracle at St. Anna (2008).
To see the video click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ-xf1v_SD0
J.K. Rowling has blessed her fans, known as “Potterheads” with a new Harry Potter story as she redesigns and reboots her fan website, pottermore.com. When users come to the new site, they will be greeted by a story on the origins of the Potter family. Those that are hoping for one more Harry Potter book may be thinking of this as a preview to something J.K. Rowling might be planning for the future!
Photo Source: sawgrassapartments
By Matt Sullivan
OFFENSE: If there was one thing the Browns were supposed to do this year, it was to be able to run the ball. All off season we were told how great their offense line was and that a great run game would be a staple of the Browns success. Unfortunately, the Browns leading rushers last week were the two quarterbacks. As long as the Browns struggle to run the ball, they will struggle to win. If the Browns can get the running game going, we could see a successful day from Johnny Manziel , who’s full week of preparation should help him as long as he remembers to hold on to the ball this week.
DEFENSE: The biggest disappointment last Sunday was the Browns defense. For a team that says they are one of the best in the league, they certainly didn’t show it. Joe Haden was constantly torched, the run defense was abysmal and they couldn’t stop back up QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on key third downs. All that led to an embarrassing loss to the Jets. If the defense doesn’t wake up this week it could mean disaster again. If they are truly elite then it is time for them to make Titans QB Marcus Mariotta look like the rookie he is.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Last week didn’t show too many big play special team plays. Other than a 48 yd extra point and Andy Lee booming his usual punts, it was a pretty normal game. If the Browns can get some points from special teams it could be pivotal in helping their young QB secure his first win.
PREDICTION: Browns win 24-13 because a win from the Manziel-led Browns would certainly start the city of Cleveland’s favorite season, QB controversy season.
By Rocco Nuosci
A gloomy afternoon in Akron, Ohio, saw the hometown Zips get off to a rough start against the Savannah State Tigers. The Zips, despite the weather, managed to jumpstart the offense and find a way to put up 52 points against the Tigers as the Zips ruled the day and the scoreboard, coming out victorious by a final of 52-9 and finally putting a dent in that win column.
Coming in, the Zips were ranked 38th in the country in run defense and today did nothing but display their ability to stop the ground attack. Savannah State put up a mere 74 rushing yards against the tough Akron defense. Tiger running back Richard Williams II was held to just 11 yards on 6 carries, and the rest of the offense seemed almost non-existent.
The Zips, however, simply did what they pleased on the ground all day long. The 291 yard rushing effort was led by none other than senior running back Conor Hundley who ran for 120 yards including one touchdown on just 11 carries, good for 10.9 yards per carry average. His day was capped by a 32 yard touchdown run that looked almost effortless for the powerful back.
The Zips also continued to overcome quarterback issues all day. Kyle Pohl was inactive due to injury, so the nod was once again given to Pitt transfer Tra’Von Chapman who made his third start of his Akron career. After an early 53 yard strike to Anthony Young, Chapman began to really struggle, finishing his day 6-13 with 128 yards through the air along with a touchdown and an interception.
Around the 10 minute mark in the second quarter, the offense was handed to sophomore Thomas Woodson who did not disappoint. Woodson picked apart the Tiger defense both with his arm and legs, as he made the Akron crowd “ooh” and “ahh” all day. His best moment of the game came right before halftime, as he threw an absolute 33 yard dime to senior receiver Imani Davis (who caught 3 passes for 50 yards) for a touchdown right before the half. Woodson finished the day 12-20 for 207 yards along with a touchdown and an interception, leaving many Akron fans wondering if he deserves the starting nod from this point on.
The Zips travel to Louisiana next Saturday to take on the Rajun’ Cajuns of LA Lafayette at 7:00. This has been a very competitive game in the past, but for now, the Zips should enjoy putting up their first W of the season today, and a very stylish W at that.
Side Notes: Secondary man DeAndre Scott picked off an errant Tiger pass, good for his second interception of the year.
By Jake Allen
This Saturday the Zips will look to pick up their first win of the season as they take on the Savannah State Tigers.
Following losses to No. 16 ranked Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, things look to get easier with Savannah State, an FCS school from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Tigers lost their first matchup of the season two weeks ago to Colorado State, 65-13.
The Zips will be looking to jumpstart their offense, which has combined for just 151 yards passing along with 185 yards rushing through two weeks. Quarterback play will be a large focus for Akron, as neither Kyle Pohl (9-25, 122 yards) or Tra’Von Chapman (4-22, 29 yards) have been able to put the ball into the end zone.
During last week’s game against Pittsburgh, Kyle Pohl was injured and is questionable to play, so sophomore Thomas Woodson could take some snaps under center. He has yet to throw a pass this season, but he threw for 806 yards and 5 touchdowns last season.
In fact, only Conor Hundley has crossed the goal line in the first two games, as he easily leads the team in rushing with 95 yards on 19 carries with the one score.
Defensively, the Zips have had success stopping the run, as they rank 38th out of the 127 FBS schools in rush defense, allowing only 113.5 yards per contest. In contrast, the pass defense could use a lift, as they sit at number 107 by allowing 309.5 yards over two games.
Akron could be getting some help, however, as the Tigers are expected to start freshman David Handler at quarterback. The 6’5” Culver City, California native would be making his first collegiate start. He did, however, get some playing time during the Colorado State game, completing three out of eight passes for eighteen yards.
Looking to take the load off of the young quarterback will be junior running back Richard Williams, who gained 85 yards on 13 attempts with a touchdown in his first game. The running game could again be important for each team as heavy rain is once again a part of the forecast.
Game time will be at 12 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium.
Exciting news Dolls! Your Queen has launched a new website! kimkardashianwest.com is stocked FULL of exclusive content, beauty and style tips and an even closer look into her family life. She has pictures of her outfits including where she got them from and their prices. In short, if you’re not “ballin'” you will not be able to afford any of them! Mrs. West has said she will be adding even more exclusive content as time goes by! The new season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians starts this Sunday!
By Matt Sullivan
Offense: It’s no secret that the Browns lack the offensive skill players needed to win in the NFL, however, that didn’t seem to stop them from winning 7 of their first 11 games last year and for a brief moment having sole possession of first place in the brutal AFC North. That was last year though, and for the 23rd time since 1999, the Browns will be starting a new quarterback. This time around it will be Josh McCown who just came off a dismal 1-10 record as the starter for the Buccaneers last year and now has to face a Jets defense that was tied for sixth in sacks a season ago with 45. If the Browns want to escape New York with a win they will need a steady hand at QB from McCown and big day from running backs Isiah Crowell and rookie Duke Johnson, if not then it could be a feeding frenzy for the talented front seven of the Jets.
Defense: It’s put up or shut up time for the Browns on the defensive side of the ball this year. The last three season we have seen the Browns defense be on the verge of being one of the NFL’s best and now this year is the year they need to take the next step to becoming elite. After returning 9 starters from a defense that ranked 11th last year, there is no reason the Browns shouldn’t be able to shut down journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and the lackluster Jets offense. Look for the key matchup to be Browns rookie nose tackle Danny Shelton going up against Pro Bow center Nick Mangold of the Jets. If Shelton can plug the middle and stop the run this could make New York one dimensional and force Fitzpatrick to beat them.
Special Teams: Special teams could be a huge factor for the Browns this year. With WR Travis Benjamin looking like his former self in the preseason returning punts, it could give the Browns a much needed boost for the offense. Add that to the great field position you hope to gain from punter Andy Lee and all of a sudden the Browns could be winning the field positon battle all game long. Special teams will be essential to the Browns success not only on this Sunday but all year as well.
Prediction: I can’t imagine this being a very high scoring game, but I think the Browns defense make one or two more plays than the Jets defense. I’ll take Cleveland 17-13.