It's nice to look forward to two weeks of positive thoughts. I have some ideas for features over the next few days, it's mostly a matter of finding the time to work on them. Let's hope the team came out of Heinz relatively healthy.
Ray Rice is on a roll.
Rookie running back Ray Rice had a career-best day, gaining 155 yards of total offense with a team-high 64 rushing yards on eight carries, a team-high three receptions for 37 yards and 54 kickoff return yards on two returns.
He had five first downs in the second quarter, finishing with six for the game. His elusiveness in the open field made Raiders linebackers lose their footing.
The second-round draft pick and former Rutgers star had a touchdown nullified due to a penalty, and gained 19 yards on an option pitch from quarterback Troy Smith.
"When your number is called, you want to make a play, but you don’t want to force it," Rice said. "I made a few plays and went one-on-one with a couple of guys and made them miss. That’s what you have to do as a player."
For the season, Rice has 15 receptions for 166 yards to rank second on the team behind wide receiver Derrick Mason.
"The new thing for me is catching it," Rice said. "Whatever I can do now to help my team, that’s what I’m trying to do."
What I really don't get is this supposed quote from Pitt beatwriter Paul Zeise, in response to a question submitted by a Rutgers fan regarding one of his columns that slammed Rutgers football as mediocre. Maybe, but there's a place for candor, and a place for not coming off as a sore loser. No one will ever take 2006 away from RU. As up and down as the rest of the past few years have been, they're still undeniably progress.
I wasn't sure about mentioning this today, but from the context of the thread, it doesn't appear that the remarks were made in confidence. Maybe Zeise thought that the questioner was just trying to rub it in, maybe it was out of character, or maybe this is a stupid issue that no one should care about. Besides the debate over whether his opinion is correct, it just seems like a weird thing for a beatwriter to say though.
Darnell Stapleton actually played fairly well for the Steelers on Sunday. Pitt's offensive tackles were very shaky though, and the Steelers made a critical error in not turning to Stapleton as their replacement long snapper late in the game. Well, maybe. He was a great center at Rutgers, but he didn't long snap, and Gregg Doyel said he wouldn't have done well.
Their first choice was starting guard Darnell Stapleton. I watched him warm up, and it was even more gruesome than watching Warren go down. Stapleton's first sideline snap was so wide, it was caught by kicker Jeff Reed -- lined up three yards to the side and behind holder Mitch Berger. Stapleton's second snap rolled to Berger. Didn't bounce -- rolled.
There was no third snap.
Eric Foster (and Gary Brackett) and the Colts are up tonight.
The future of the annual Governor's Bowl is in doubt.
Geno Auriemma was the only Big East WBB coach to rank Louisville ahead of Rutgers, but he has the gall and hypocrisy to complain about one of his players not being selected unanimously to the preseason all-conference team.