Spring Game: What is it good for?

first_imgSpring Game not good indication of team’s progress in offseasonSpring games for a college football program typicallygenerate a lot of hype from fan bases as loyal football gurus get their firstlook at their team since the bowl season or even earlier. The same goes for theWisconsin Spring Game which is set to be played Saturday at Camp Randall. While the game will give the Grateful Red a chance to see their beloved Badgersfor the first time since Gary Andersen has taken the reins, take what you seewith a grain of salt.First off, several key players on both sides of the ball, like Chris Borland, Dezmen Southward, Jared Abbrederis, James White and manymore, will not be playing Saturday in order to get more rest. So, while the gamewill give valuable experience to players competing for a job in Andersen’s newoffensive and defensive systems, fans and coaches will not be able to accuratelydetermine a player’s ability to play against the best a team has to offer. If Isee Joel Stave or Curt Phillips complete a 50-yard bomb for a touchdown, I’llbe impressed,  but I’ll still know the pass was completed withoutWisconsin’s best secondary player, Southward, on the field.Another reason the Spring gameperformances should not be over-heralded is the new format Andersen has put inplace for this weekend’s game. Andersen has decided to deviate from the usual Spring game approach and has come up with a unique scoring system that givesboth the offense and defense opportunities to score on several nontraditionalscoring plays like getting a first down or turnover. I think this format is agood way for Andersen to be able to rest his star players and stillkeep the fans intrigued, but I want to see the No. 1 offense take on the No. 1defense in a traditional game of football before I am ready to make judgmentson any player’s merit. You have to believe if the teams are trying to get pointsin ways other than scoring a touchdown or field goal, it will affect the waythe players approach the game.Spring Game offers more than meets the eyeSo what? The Badgers may be missing some of their most critical contributors in order to avoid injury, but there is still plenty to see at Saturday’s Spring Game. For one, every single one of the quarterbacks will be participating, and with the plans at quarterback still largely hidden up head coach Gary Anderson’s sleeve, the chance to see all of them in action will be a great opportunity to see what each has to offer in the position come next fall. Furthermore, while the game is being carried out in scrimmage format, each of the scenarios are designed to replicate real game situations. In fact, the first 30 minutes of the Spring Game will be played with all of the same clock and time constraints as a regular game. At the very least, the time constraints and pressure put on the coaches and players will show how well they are able to handle tough situations – an important, sometimes even critical, aspect of the game, especially in a competitive conference like the Big Ten. The pressure of these simulated scenarios may cast an even more important shadow as to the talents, or lack thereof, of the coaching staff, which up until this point has had little opportunity to prove itself to Wisconsin fans.And while the number of fans in attendance may only total close to 10,000 this Saturday, the game provides a valuable first step toward the regular season and the chaos that can be Camp Randall during football season. So if you’re curious about Wisconsin’s chances at a fourth-straight Rose Bowl appearance, meandering over to the stadium to watch the Spring Game might just give you more insight than you think.last_img read more

Syracuse defeats RIT, 3-1, for 3rd-straight win

first_img Published on February 8, 2020 at 12:33 am Contact Will: wrhentsc@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ A minute and a half into the second period, Savannah Rennie took the puck from behind the RIT net with teammate Anonda Hoppner close behind. Rennie wrapped the puck into the left pad of Tiger goalie Terra Lanteigne, and as the puck bounced off Hoppner found the puck at the top of the crease and buried it, going between the legs of Lanteigne. Thirteen minutes later, Brynn Koocher, Amanda Backebo and Kristen Siermachesky were all crashing the net on an Orange odd-man rush. Koocher put the shot on goal, while Backebo and Siermachesky crashed the net. With three bodies in front of the RIT crease, the puck pinballed between different legs and sticks before Koocher found it again and roofed it, giving Syracuse  (10-16-1, 8-4-1 College Hockey America) its second goal, all it needed to topple to RIT (9-16-2, 2-11), 3-1, on Friday evening. Both of those goals were opportunistic ones that the Orange needed to capitalize on. An ugly goal counts just as much as a “pretty” one, head coach Paul Flanagan said.“We have to be that team that’s just getting an ugly one,” Flanagan said after a practice this past Tuesday. “If you’re in front you screen the goalie and it hits you in the elbow and goes in or you get your stick on it or whatever, you bury that rebound.”While Syracuse’s offense was peppering shots on net, its defense shut down RIT’s offense in front of Ady Cohen. At the end of the first period, Syracuse had 23 shots on net. RIT would end the game with 24.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse defenders also stepped in the path of 10 Tiger blasts, preventing them from ever getting to Cohen, who was on track for her third shutout of the season, until a slap-shot through traffic off the stick of RIT defender Taylor Baker found twine with 90 seconds left in the game. “Yeah, it was definitely one of those weird ones where you know,” Cohen said. “They had the man up so a lot of traffic in front of the net and they just kept hacking at it and you lose sight of the puck.”Early in the third Jessica DiGirolamo wired the puck from her own defensive zone to Rennie, making a fast break towards the RIT net. Taking the tape-to-tape pass, Rennie skated the puck to the top of the circle, turned her body and snipped the puck over the right shoulder of Lanteigne. In a game highlighted by the Orange’s dependence on ugly goals, Rennie may have scored the seasons prettiest. The fast pace of Syracuse’s game also led to a highly physical contest. Players had to shove or bump opposition out of the way if they wanted to get to a rebound, gain possession or have a clear line of sight for a tip. The excess physical play turned into power play opportunities for both sides. With a minute left in the second, Logan Hicks was battling for possession behind the Orange goal when she lowered the shoulders and bodied an RIT skater into the boards at the corner. The referee’s arm quickly shot up, and Hicks was penalized for body checking. Seven minutes into the third period, Madison Beishuizen skated the puck up the left boards of the Syracuse zone, trying to clear out her team. Tiger defender Justine Larkin skated up to Beishuizen’s side and pushed her into the boards, causing Beishuizen to tumble to the ice awkwardly. The refs blew the play dead, and reviewed the play, seeing if it warranted a game misconduct. Although Larkin stayed in the game, the play resulted in a five-minute major penalty. Hoppner said after the game that RIT is an especially physical, and gritty team, so Syracuse understood the importance of out-hustling them and being aggressive on loose pucks. “I think today coming in our focus was honestly just outwork them on every part of the ice, said Hoppner. “We used our strength and our speed and I think that that’s why we’re so successful today.” Commentslast_img read more

Arsenal landing Welbeck is a huge coup, claims Wilshere

first_img1 Arsenal and England team-mates Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere England midfielder Jack Wilshere says Arsenal have pulled off a coup by landing Danny Welbeck from Premier League rivals Manchester United.The Three Lions striker switched clubs last week for £16m and impressed when he came on as a late substitute in the drab 1-0 win over Norway on Wednesday.Olivier Giroud has been ruled out until January with an ankle injury and Webeck has been brought in as cover for the short-term and to lead the line for the Gunners in the future.“Danny has got great enthusiasm,” Wilshere said. “He is a willing runner and tracks back.“He’s fantastic on the ball and great athlete. He’s a great addition for Arsenal and I hope he’s great for England as well.”last_img read more