Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Iowa vs Buckeyes Game is Huge - Troy Smith to Start Again - College Basketball 24 Hr Marathon - Bucks vs Gators at 6:00
Huge Game for Both Teams Saturday in Iowa
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A whole season of hope and expectation rides on eighth-ranked Ohio State's game at No. 21 Iowa on Saturday.
The Buckeyes know that all those offseason workouts, the grueling two-a-days in the heat of August, the close calls and the big wins will be for naught if they lose to the Hawkeyes. A defeat would most likely mean an end to Ohio State's five-year run as Big Ten champion and maybe even a trip to a second-tier bowl game.
Win, however, and they will be just a victory against rival Michigan away from a sixth straight shared or outright conference title, plus they'll still be in the mix for a Bowl Championship Series bowl bid.
They don't expect it to be easy.
"We have a huge challenge having to play at Iowa," wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. "Iowa is a team that has made its reputation as a tough team. Whether or not they're coming off a loss, I'm sure they've had this game circled on their schedule."
Adding to the intrigue is Iowa's 21-17 loss at Northwestern on Saturday. The Hawkeyes (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) are on the outside looking in on the conference race, with Michigan State, Ohio State (9-1, 5-1) and Wisconsin all tied for first place.
"The Big Ten race, obviously we're out of that," quarterback Ricky Stanzi, an Ohio native, said after the defeat. "I don't know. We've just got to go on to the next game."
The Buckeyes know how the Hawkeyes feel. They went to Wisconsin last month and fell behind 21-0 early, drew close and then ended up losing 31-18. They say they learned a lot from that loss — and the experience helped them transform a 14-3 halftime deficit Saturday against Penn State into a 38-14 win.
"We've been there before with Wisconsin and we didn't get the outcome we wanted," defensive lineman Dexter Larimore said. "Since then we have assessed how we can come back and really applied it (against Penn State). We picked it up and got the game rolling in our favor."
Ohio State hasn't been a powerhouse on the road, struggling at Illinois before losing at Camp Randall. They won at Minnesota not long after head coach Tim Brewster was fired.
"Going on the road for a big game like this, it helps that we have an older team," Sanzenbacher said. "I hope we react differently than we did at Wisconsin. All that could have gone wrong did at Wisconsin. But that will help us prepare for this situation."
The Buckeyes expect the Hawkeyes to be desperate.
"It'll be a dogfight," quarterback Terrelle Pryor said. "We went to overtime last year."
The 2009 game pitted two teams tied for first in the Big Ten. Once again Iowa was coming off a loss to Northwestern, which had ended the Hawkeyes' perfect season. They also lost Stanzi to an ankle injury in that game, so freshman James Vandenberg got his first career start.
After a slow start, he led the Hawkeyes to three second-half touchdowns, tying the game at 24 with a 10-yard pass to Marvin McNutt with 2:42 left.
The Buckeyes won in overtime on sub Devin Barclay's 39-yard field goal.
The victory clinched a share of the Big Ten title and sent Ohio State to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 13 years.
The Buckeyes have almost always played well at Kinnick Stadium, winning six of their last seven there. The only setback in that string is Iowa's 33-7 victory in 2004. They've only played at Iowa once since then, winning 38-17 four years ago.
Kinnick is a tough enough place to play without facing a team that risks so much.
"We hoped they'd win (last week)," Pryor said.
The game would have been important regardless. Except now neither team can afford another slip or they'll be all but an afterthought for the rest of the season.
The solution is simple for the Hawkeyes.
"We'll go back to work and see what we can do about bouncing back," coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Troy Smith earns another start for 49ers in Week 11
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0 during the Troy Smith era, and coach Mike Singletary isn't about to mess with a good thing.
Singletary said Monday that Smith will remain the team's starting quarterback this week against Tampa Bay even though Alex Smith is healthy and cleared to play for the first time since separating his left shoulder Oct. 24
It wasn't a very difficult decision. Troy Smith has directed the 49ers to their first winning streak of the season after having one of the most prolific games by a San Francisco quarterback in the past six years.
Troy Smith passed for a career-high 356 yards Sunday to spark a 23-20 overtime victory against the St. Louis Rams, guiding the 49ers on a dramatic touchdown drive in the final minutes of regulation to keep San Francisco's postseason hopes alive.
"He's had a big part in us winning these last two games, and you want to keep that going and see how much is there," Singletary said. "Our team understands that I'm going to go with the guy that is winning right now, the guy that has the hot hand and has made the difference in the past two weeks."
Troy Smith has made a big difference since leapfrogging veteran backup David Carr to take over as the starter during San Francisco's Oct. 31 game against Denver in London. Smith had been San Francisco's No. 3 quarterback to that point and had rarely even taken any snaps with the offense in practice since joining the 49ers in September.
But he led a comeback 24-16 victory over the Broncos, then played a starring role against the Rams as the 49ers improved to 3-6 and remained two games out of first place in the weak NFC West.
Smith passed for more yards in a game than any San Francisco quarterback since 2004.
Smith had at least 60 yards passing to five different receivers, the first time that has ever happened in franchise history. And he produced in the clutch, completing passes on third and 32 and fourth and 18 during a 76-yard touchdown drive that put San Francisco ahead 20-17 with 2:10 to play in regulation.
"Hopefully, the guys see that as a quarterback I'll be there for them for four quarters until we get a win," Smith said. "You want to give guys the chance to showcase their talents and abilities. We're going to attack it the same way we always do, and I'm going to continue to prepare and do the things I need to do to win."
Singletary recently said that Alex Smith would likely still be the team's starter when healthy. But Troy Smith has clearly been an upgrade over Alex, who had a 75.0 passer rating and nine interceptions while going 1-6 in his seven starts. Troy Smith hasn't committed a turnover in his two starts while throwing for 552 yards and compiling a 116.6 passer rating.
Alex Smith took his latest setback in stride. His six-year career with the 49ers has been plagued by turmoil, inconsistency and injuries since he was the No. 1 overall selection of the 2005 NFL draft.
"It's frustrating, but I wasn't surprised by it," Alex Smith said. "He's done a great job the past two weeks and we've won, so I was ready for anything. I'm going to prepare like I always have. When my number gets called, I'll be ready for this team."
NOTES: OT Joe Staley will miss four to six weeks after suffering a fractured left fibula against the Rams. Singletary said the 49ers will not place Staley, the team's starter at left tackle, on injured reserve with the hope he can return at the end of the season for a possible playoff run. ... Swing lineman Adam Snyder and OT Barry Sims are the top candidates to replace Staley. Snyder started at right guard Sunday but left the game with a right shoulder injury and did not return. Snyder had a MRI exam and his shoulder was heavily bandaged in the locker room Monday, but Singletary expects him to be available to play against Tampa Bay.
2010-11 College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Schedule for ESPN family of networks (all times ET)
Time Matchup Network
Midnight Miami at Memphis ESPN/ESPN3.com
2 a.m. St. John's at St. Mary's ESPN/ESPN3.com
4 a.m. Central Michigan at Hawaii ESPN/ESPN3.com
6 a.m. Stony Brook at Monmouth ESPN/ESPN3.com
8 a.m. Robert Morris at Kent State ESPN/ESPN3.com
10 a.m. Northeastern at So. Illinois ESPN/ESPN3.com
Noon Oral Roberts at Tulsa ESPN/ESPN3.com
2 p.m. La Salle at Baylor ESPN/ESPN3.com
4 p.m. Virginia Tech at Kansas State ESPN/ESPN3.com
5:30 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off: Marist at Villanova ESPNU
6 p.m. Ohio State at Florida ESPN/ESPN3.com
6 p.m. State Farm Women’s Tip-Off Classic: Baylor at Connecticut ESPN2/ESPN3.com
7 p.m. Legends Classic: Detroit at Syracuse ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic: Miami (Ohio) at Duke ESPNU
7:30 p.m. St. Joseph's at Penn St. ESPN3.com
8 p.m. Butler at Louisville ESPN/ESPN3.com
8 p.m. North Dakota at Wisconsin ESPN3.com
9:30 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off: Belmont at Tennessee ESPNU
10 p.m. South Carolina at Michigan St. ESPN/ESPN3.com
11 p.m. O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic: San Diego State at Gonzaga ESPN2/ESPN3.com
11:30 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off: Nevada or Pacific at UCLA ESPNU
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