Syracuse notches first shutout in conference play since 1996

first_imgEntering Syracuse’s 12:30 p.m. kickoff with Wake Forest, freshman defensive end Isaiah Johnson had two career total tackles. He’d only appeared in three games, most recently against Tulane on Sept. 21. Forty-two days ago.But two hours later, he made the biggest play of the game.With Wake Forest facing a 2nd-and-7 at its own 41-yard line with less than seven minutes left in the second quarter, Johnson split the Demon Deacons’ right guard and right tackle before batting Tanner Price’s pass backward into the air.As the football flipped slowly toward the ground, Johnson laid his 6-foot-4, 270-pound frame out across the Carrier Dome turf and made the grab.“I didn’t think I was going to catch it,” Johnson said as a huge smile spread across his face. “I was a little stunned when I caught it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe interception set Syracuse up for its second third-quarter touchdown as the Orange (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) defense went on to shut out Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4) in its 13-0 victory in front of 38,550 on Saturday. It capitalized on Michael Campanaro’s injury and came away with its first goose egg in conference play since shutting out Rutgers in 1996 — when Johnson was 2 years old.Syracuse turned to exclusively three-down linemen packages with one defensive tackle: John Raymon, out for the year, and another, Eric Crume, a game-time decision.This allowed the Orange to start rising freshman linebacker Marqez Hodge and focus on taking away the Demon Deacons’ short passing game.Wake Forest never even reached the red zone.“We practiced that all week,” Johnson said. “We was ready for it. We wasn’t going to let them get the win. We just came out there and worked harder than them.”Ultimately, SU’s game plan wasn’t as tested as the coaching staff expected.Crume, who defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough said didn’t practice on Wednesday, played.And Campanaro, the leading receiver in Wake Forest school history and for whom SU spent two full weeks preparing, missed almost the entire game.He left after Jeremi Wilkes tackled him on a third-down crossing route to halt Wake Forest’s opening drive. He was later diagnosed with a broken collarbone.“That was a go-to guy and we took him out of the game,” linebacker Cameron Lynch said.Lynch said the game plan was to have defensive back Wayne Morgan shadow Campanaro in the slot and receive help from the boundary linebacker on that side.Instead, the SU defense was faced with Sherman Ragland III, who entered the game with just five catches on the season.Price struggled to find his secondary targets as the SU front provided consistent pressure – chasing him out of the pocket six times – and the secondary made no sizable mistakes.The Demon Deacons managed just two first downs in the first quarter and were 2-of-10 on third-down conversions at halftime.They had more penalty yardage – 50 – than rushing yardage — 33.“Being an old defensive guy, I found that game to be extremely sexy in the first half,” SU head coach Scott Shafer joked. “It’s about execution, or lack thereof, and we had that going on both sides.“But when you have a lack of execution on the offensive side of the ball, you probably have pretty doggone good execution on the other side.”Until that point, the Orange offense was equally putrid. But Johnson’s interception, coupled with a lengthy touchdown drive to start the third quarter, shifted the momentum entirely in Syracuse’s favor.Jay Bromley stopped the Demon Deacons’ next drive, forcing WFU tailback Dominque Gibson to fumble.Lynch stormed through the Wake Forest line on its next drive to send Price tumbling backward on a throwaway.“We knew what our game plan was and we just executed it well,” Lynch said.On its second-to-last drive, Wake Forest finally moved the ball: A 9-yard run by Price and 23-yard completion to Ragland brought the Demon Deacons to the SU 45 with 4:36 left.After one Price incompletion, Bromley burst through the line again and wrapped him up as he threw the ball away. Price was called for intentional grounding.On the ensuing 3rd-and-25, Bromley squelched Wake Forest’s final hopes, pummeling Price into the ground once more.With the victory, the SU defense proved that its 56-point embarrassment two weeks ago is in the past. With four games left, three seem winnable. The Orange only needs to win two.Said Johnson: “We want to go bowlin’.” Comments Published on November 2, 2013 at 7:53 pm Contact Stephen: | @Stephen_Bailey1 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Men’s Hockey: Badgers swept by Minnesota in final border battle of regular season

first_imgAs soon as the puck dropped in front of an almost entirely sold-out crowd at the Kohl Center Friday night, the Badgers (10-15-1, 5-12-1-1 Big Ten) came out hot. They managed to score two goals relatively early in the game and earned a 2–1 lead through the first seven minutes of the second period. Juniors Ty Pelton-Bryce and Tarek Baker each tallied a goal, with juniors Linus Weissbach and Sean Dhooghe on the assist. After ending the first period tied at one and playing the majority of the second period tied at two, the Badgers always had the edge on the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-10-4, 7-5-4-3) in total shots — finishing the game with a 31–27 advantage. Men’s Hockey: New year calls for fresh startEntering the 2019-20 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey season, a lot of optimism surrounded the team. A collection of veteran Read…Towards the end of the second period, Minnesota took advantage of a couple Badger missteps — scoring two more goals — and headed into the second intermission up 4–2. These two goals were just the start of the Minnesota attack, as they continued to score without any life from the Badgers offense. Minnesota scored the final five goals in the match, winning the game by a final score of 6–2.Daniel Lebedeff had 18 saves in net for the Badgers before being benched and replaced by Jack Berry after the Gophers went up 4–2. After this first game, the Gophers were rolling. Having won three games in a row and going 5-1 in their last six games, they carried great momentum into Saturday’s matchup. Not looking to slow down, the Gophers headed into Saturday night’s game on fire.Recording his eighth career multi-point game with a first period goal and an assist to teammate Ty Emberson, Cole Caufield was the main contributor to the Badgers offense. The rest of the squad struggled throughout the contest to match his offensive production.Men’s Hockey: Sitting down with star freshman Alex TurcotteThe University of Wisconsin men’s ice hockey team (7-10-1, 2-7-1-1 Big Ten) is having a rough go at the dish Read…Caufield’s game-tying goal in the first period served as the only spark for the Badgers in Saturday’s game, as they did not score again until late in the third period. At that point, they were already down three goals and stood little chance of mounting a meaningful comeback. Lebedeff remained on the bench for the second game of the series. Berry started in net for the Badgers and saved 21 shots, yielding an 84% save rate.Next, the Badgers will face another Big Ten rival on the road. The University of Michigan Wolverines (11-12-3, 6-8-2-1) await the Badgers in what should be another chance for them to come back after losing three straight games and six of their last eight.Men’s Hockey: Inconsistencies continue to plague Wisconsin against MinnesotaThe No. 19 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (6-7-1, 1-4-1-1 Big Ten) struggled immensely against the University of Minnesota Read…It is one of their last chances to try and turn around what began as a highly promising season. Puck drop is at 5 p.m. Friday night and 6:30 p.m. Saturday night. Friday’s game will also be televised on the Big Ten Network.last_img read more