It’s another Monday morning, so it looks like it’s time to recap the weekend. Anything worth talking about happen? Holy crap what a weekend. NFL, Joe Paterno, ACC action… it’s all after the jump.
We will start with the NFL, as we have the past few weeks. First up was the AFC Championship Game, between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, much of this game was missed by yours truly, as family duties always come first for me. This quote from Tom Brady sums up his day, however:
Well, I sucked pretty bad today, but our defense saved us,
Joe Flacco, on the other hand, had a pretty good day, except for the ending. Dude had 22 completions on 36 pass attempts, 306 yards and two touchdowns. His lone INT did not matter, as Brady threw it right back to the Ravens. Flacco had his team in position to send the game to overtime, but Billy Cundiff’s kick sailed wide left as the clock hit all zeros.
The night cap was terrific. The San Francisco 49ers played host to the New York Giants in a rain soaked affair that saw both defenses play great, while both offenses did just enough to keep their teams in the game. One might question the Giants’ decision to throw the ball 58 times in the rain, but when you consider that they ran the ball 26 times for a total of 85 yards it is understandable. Besides, Eli Manning did complete 32 of those passes for 316 yards, two touchdowns and zero INTs.
A David Akers kick with 5:39 left on the clock in the 4th quarter tied the game at 17 points apiece, but both teams had a chance to win it in regulation and could not move the ball at all. Then overtime came, and the Giants received the kickoff. It was the same story in OT, as the Giants could not move the ball on their opening possession, and then the 49ers’ Kyle Williams fumbled for the second time on the day, and gave the ball to the Giants in field goal range. A Lawrence Tynes kick later the game was over, and the Giants were moving on to face the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
With a week off of NFL action, we will wait to pick a winner in the Super Bowl until next week.
Other sad news that hit yesterday was the passing of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno. Reports first surfaced on Saturday, as CBS Sports mistakenly retweeted an erroneous tweet claiming he had passed. On Sunday it came to fruition, and at the age of 84 Joe Paterno succumbed to lung cancer.
While it saddens me to see JoePa goe, at least now he will not have to continue to see his name dragged through the mud over the Jerry Sandusky scandal. While he should not be given a pass on his actions, or lack of them in those regards, it does not strike me as the time to talk about Sandusky, but rather the time to talk about the good that JoePa did. Unfortunately, not a lot of media members feel the same way, as your own WRALSportsFan tweeted that “Fired Penn State coach dead at 85″. Of course, they could not get through a single sentence without the words “child sex abuse scandal”. They were not alone in this, as even the NYTimes obituary mentioned it in the first paragraph.
Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that Paterno gets a pass on the Sandusky stuff, I am just saying that the man deserves a little bit more respect than he has gotten the past few days.
On to the ACC. Georgia Tech showed a lot of heart coming back from a 15 point halftime deficit only to lose by two lousy points to Clemson. Wake Forest traveled up to Chestnut Hill and laid the wood on Boston College, beating them by 15.
Maryland told the NCAA selection committee not to bother looking at them, as they lost to Temple at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Not that Temple is not a good team. They are a good team. Just ask Duke. Maryland can not lose games like this, and by 13 points at that, if they entertain post-season aspirations. Unless those aspirations have three characters and not four.
Florida State walked into Cameron Indoor Stadium, and walked out with a buzzer beating win. In what proved to be a very exciting game, FSU scored 50 second half points to overcome a six point half time deficit and beat the Blue Devils by three. The big shot was hit by Michael Snaer, who also banked in a three at the end of the first half to beat the buzzer. Austin Rivers scored to tie the game at 73 with 4.9 seconds to go, and the Seminoles in-bounded, pushed the ball up court, and then found Snaer wide open for the game winner.
Sunday saw two games, only one of which was I able to catch. That, of course, was the NC State/Miami tilt down in Coral Gables. In a game that really was not as close as the final score, and in a game that saw the Pack get outrebounded, DeShawn Painter came off the bench and poured in 18 points and pulled down seven boards. Scott Wood also played well, as he scored 21 points on 5-9 shooting from the floor. Four of Woods’ made baskets came from behind the arc, and he also went 7-7 from the free throw line to break JJ Redick’s all-time ACC consecutive free throw mark. CJ Williams’ status was uncertain for this one, but the Senior guard got the start and looked healthy as he added 10 points for the Pack.
For the Hurricanes it was not Reggie Johnson leading the way, but rather Kenny Kadji. Kadji garnered 20 points and 11 boards, to go with Johnson’s 12 points. Miami tried to make a game of it, and made Pack fans uncomfortable in the final five minutes of the game, with Kadji slamming it home to pull within four points with 1:44 left on the clock. Wood put the nail in the coffin on this one, with his two free throws setting the final margin.
The final game of the weekend was a rivalry tilt, with Virginia Tech traveling to Charlottesville to face UVA. The 15th ranked Cavaliers only mustered 45 points in this one, which unfortunately for them was two less than Tech managed. So the Hokies finally won their first ACC game, and are now tied with GA Tech at the bottom of the scrap heap at 1 – 4 in the league.
Who is in first place in the ACC, you ask? We are sitting at a three way tie for first between Duke, Florida State, and (wait for it…) NC State. North Carolina, who did not play this weekend, is sitting one win behind at 3 – 1 headed into this weeks showdown with the Wolfpack.