Levy tackles struggles, punishes opponents

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoIn the world of the controlled violence that is football,the goal of a linebacker is simple: Punish the ball carrier and anyone who getsin the way. It takes a special breed of player to succeed at this gruelingposition, someone who relishes every opportunity for contact and exhibitsunrivaled toughness. Wisconsin’s linebacking corps — Jonathan Casillas, DeAndreLevy and Elijah Hodge — have no difficulty meeting those requirements. Theythrive in such situations. But at least to start the season, that wasn’t the case.After an impressive defensive showcase last year, theBadgers defense, specifically the linebackers, were highly acclaimed headinginto the 2007 season. Jonathan Casillas was named to the preseason watch listfor the Chuck Bednarik award, given annually to the top defender in collegefootball. DeAndre Levy had an impressive campaign in 2006, in which he startedall 13 games and led the team with six sacks. Elijah Hodge, brother of GreenBay Packers linebacker Abdul Hodge, emerged as a special-teams ace and madesignificant contributions as a backup middle linebacker.Unfortunately, the Badgers defense failed to live up to thehigh expectations set forth this year by football pundits and coaches. Blownassignments, missed tackles and a throng of injuries plagued the entire unit. “We all had our share of injuries during camp, and itcarried over into the season and limited our productivity,” Casillas said. The breaking point for the defense came after abysmalperformances against Big Ten rivals Illinois and Penn State. Over the two-gamestretch, the defense allowed an average of 29 points and surrendered more than 800yards. “It was frustrating,” Levy said. “Even the games we won, itfelt like we lost.”Of all the players on defense, none took more heat thisseason than Levy. He did not live up to his role as a hard-hitting presence onthe field and saw a steep drop in his production, both statistically andfundamentally. Often caught out of position, Levy had trouble sheddingblockers, and his tackling and angles of pursuit left much to be desired. After the embarrassing loss to Illinois, Levy called himselfout for failing to play to his ability. “I was fed up. I had enough of being passive and takingpunishment all season defensively,” Levy said. “As a unit, we weren’t playingwell, and individually I felt like I wasn’t doing as much as I could do. I feltlike something had to be done.”Fueled by criticism and personal letdowns, Levy took thepractice field with a new sense of urgency. “I started attacking practice the next few weeks with adifferent mentality,” Levy said. “I tried to go out and put more into[practice], and I knew I’d get more out of it.” Results from the last few weeks indicate that Levy’sintensity and hard work in practice have paid off. His transformation has been startling. The player who onceseemed unfit for the rough-and-tumble role of a linebacker has shown a nastymean streak on the field. Not only was Levy making the tackles he once missed,but he began dishing out punishment with new zeal and ferocity. His defining game could not have come at a better time.After some deep soul-searching, Levy took it upon himself to personallydismantle Indiana’s high-powered offense. During the homecoming game, fans hadtrouble recognizing the blur of red and white that flew across the fieldattacking anything that resembled a Hoosier. That “blur” was Levy, whose defensiveshowcase was a huge factor in the Badgers’ 30 point drubbing of Indiana.Levy, who had arguably his best performance as a Badger,notched eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a passbreakup. Later that week, he was recognized as the Big Ten Defensive Player ofthe Week, the first accolade of his college career.”It felt good,” Levy said. “It kind of surprised me, becauseI didn’t realize that my game was that good.” It is clear from the resurgence of hard-nosed football inrecent weeks that the linebackers have taken it upon themselves to transformthe defense into the feared unit of the past. “Basically, the three linebackers started stepping up,”Casillas said. “Once we started making plays and committed to getting our headson right, it kind of got the ball rolling and it carried over from game togame.””We always had the chemistry,” Hodge added. “It’s just thefact that we are playing fast and playing to our abilities. Right now we arehealthy, and we are all flying around.”last_img read more

3 things Dino Babers said on the ACC teleconference: Wilson to start for Coleman at DE, SU’s DBs, feeding Etta-Tawo

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 12, 2016 at 12:21 pm Contact Chris: cjlibona@syr.edu | @ChrisLibonati Syracuse (2-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) will face No. 17 Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0) for the first time since 2003, when the then-No. 4 Hokies dismantled the Orange, 51-7. The two teams will face each other in the Carrier Dome and kick off at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. Syracuse head coach Dino Babers spoke on the ACC teleconference Wednesday.Here are three things he said.Kendall Coleman is out for the first half against Virginia Tech; De’Jon Wilson to startIn what Babers called a “bang-bang” play Monday at his weekly press conference, Syracuse defensive end Kendall Coleman hit Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford high after the latter had thrown the ball. After an in-game review, Coleman was called for targeting. The penalty carries a one-half suspension, which will be enforced in SU’s game against Virginia Tech. Babers said earlier this week that the hit would be reviewed, but he was told that in the ACC the hits are only reviewed in-game and the call on the field can’t be changed.De’Jon Wilson is set to start in Coleman’s place Saturday, Babers said. In limited action this season, Wilson has just half a sack, which came in the first half against Notre Dame, and three tackles. Coleman has yet to record a sack but has been one of SU’s key defensive linemen. He’s tied for the lead among defensive linemen with 18 tackles.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU is thin on the defensive line. Josh Black appeared to tweak his ankle against Wake Forest. If Black can’t go, redshirt freshman Jake Pickard and freshman Kenneth Ruff could see more playing time throughout SU’s matchup with Virginia Tech. Earlier in the season, defensive tackle Chris Slayton had played at defensive end. An injury to Kayton Samuels bumped Slayton back inside, but Samuels is now healthy. SU could compensate for its injuries by moving Slayton back to defensive end.SU’s secondary has been ‘decimated’ by injuriesSyracuse lost starting cornerback Juwan Dowels and starting safety Antwan Cordy early in the season, and SU’s defensive backfield has struggled to fully replace the two since. It also lost Kielan Whitner for a short time because of an injury. The Orange ranks 106th in the country in passing yards allowed per game (273.5). Syracuse was torched through the air by Louisville for 431 yards and Notre Dame for 471 yards.Rodney Williams, Daivon Ellison and Whitner have all played safety for Syracuse. Ellison has been the best of the three, and is one of SU’s best tacklers in the open field. After not getting much playing time in the Orange’s first two games, Ellison has 37 tackles, good for third on the team.“We’ve got people rolling in and out of the lineup back there, and it’s hard to be extremely consistent,” Babers said. “Outside of Corey Winfield, I’m not sure we’ve been consistent at any of the other three spots back there.”The Orange will face one of the nation’s most efficient passing attacks in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Virginia Tech’s offense is 11th in the nation in passing efficiency.He’ll go to Amba Etta-Tawo as much as possible Babers said Etta-Tawo’s early season success has drawn in NFL teams already. Because he won’t have Etta-Tawo, who is a graduate transfer, next season, Babers said he wants to maximize him for the next six or seven games.“The way I look at it is somebody is going to be taking advantage of him next year,” Babers said. “I’ve only got seven games left. I’ll try to use him as much as I can.”In Syracuse’s matchup against Wake Forest, SU hardly threw Etta-Tawo’s way. In the first half, the offense was hampered by remnants from Hurricane Matthew, but the weather cleared up in the second half. Etta-Tawo finished the game with just four catches for 36 yards, both season lows. He still leads the country in receiving yards, however, at 876 yards, 16 more than Louisiana Tech’s Trent Taylor.SU’s offensive line struggled to pick up Wake Forest’s blitzes, another reason Eric Dungey couldn’t throw to his best receiver. The blitzes shortened his time in the pocket and didn’t let Etta-Tawo get far enough down the field. Commentslast_img read more

Tyreek Hill’s full argument with fiancee aired by Kansas City radio station

first_imgA Kansas City radio station aired Tuesday the full 11-minute audio of an argument between Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and his girlfriend.The audio, aired by 610 AM KCSP, contained comments made by both Hill and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, during an argument in an airport earlier this year. Much of the audio from that incident had already been aired by a Kansas City TV station in April. Hill: “No, we’re going to handle both of these issues right now, while it’s on my chest. Because (expletive) is still hurt over that, bro.”According to Yahoo Sports, both the NFL and the Chiefs have heard the full recording of the argument. Hill had previously sent a four-page letter to the NFL denying allegations made in the recording, and Hill apologized for the “b—” slur.Hill has not been fined by the Chiefs or the NFL, and there is currently no criminal investigation into the incident involving the couple’s son. According to the Kansas City Star, the previously unreleased audio that aired Tuesday involved the couple arguing about a 2014 incident between the two. Hill pleaded guilty to domestic abuse at the time and was dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team.”That 2014 (expletive), that’s old,” Hill said. “That’s a lie too. On me, that’s a lie.”Espinal: “But you sitting here calling me a b— and everything else —”Hill: “But that’s what you is, bro. You (expletive) ruined my life. You lied on me in 2014.”Espinal: “How did I lie about  —”Hill: “I didn’t touch you in 2014. And put that on everything I love, bro. That’s the real truth.”Hill is banned from the team’s training facility as the Kansas Department of Children and Families investigates possible child abuse, battery or neglect stemming from an incident in March in which the couple’s 3-year-old son suffered a broken arm. A source told Yahoo Sports in late June the agency is still looking into the matter. The NFL initially said it would wait for the agency to finish before the league would begin investigating, but Hill and his legal team met with league investigators June 26.Yahoo Sports reports that eight-hour meeting was “positive” for Hill and the Chiefs hope to have him back for the start of training camp.The radio station played the portion of audio that already aired in April, before Hill and Espinal returned to the 2014 incident.Hill: “That makes me really mad, bro. You ruined my life in 2015, bro. And if you want to rewind that night, we can rewind that night, too. You was in my house, and did I pick you up and slam you? Hell no. I picked you up and put you out my door and after that you left. And on my son, you did that, bro. And then when we were in the courtroom, you want to sit up there and (expletive) cry on the stand, ‘He hit me. He hit me’ Man, come on, bro.”Espinal: “Then where did the bruises come from, Tyreek?”Hill: “Did I hit you?”Espinal: “Where did the bruises come from?”Hill: “Did I hit you though?”Espinal: “I’m asking you, where did the bruises come from?”Hill: “Did I hit you? Did I hit you though? Did I hit you? Tell the truth. Tell me the truth in my eyes right now.”Espinal: “No, you’re not thinking about what had happened. We’re not thinking about that. Right now the issue is (name bleeped).”last_img read more

Torpedo is Organizing a Swimming and Water Polo Show ‘Torpedomanija’

first_imgThe water polo club Torpedo is organizing a New Year’s water polo and swimming show called ‘Torpedomanija’ on Saturday at the Olympic Pool in Otoka.At the show, all members of VK Torpedo will be presented, as well as the coaching staff. A swimming competition for students of swimming and a competition for cadet and junior categories of the club will be held.‘’With the New Year’s water polo show, VK Torpedo wishes to mark the end of the competition season where all members were successful, and won three silver and two bronze medals at local and international water polo tournaments. The aim of the show is to popularize water polo in Canton Sarajevo and in B &H’’, said the President of VK Torpedo Damir Neimarlija.The New Year’s water polo show starts at 19:00, and entrance is free.(Source: Fena)last_img read more