Astronaut Gene Cernan passed away at age 82 yesterday. He was the last man to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.
(St. Petersburg, FL) Nelson Adams blocked Nick Dowd’s potential game winning field goal with 5 seconds left in the game lifting the Bulldogs to a dramatic 17-16 comeback win over Miami (OH) in the St. Petersburg Bowl Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
The Red Hawks muzzled the Bulldogs offense for most of the game by slowing the pace and keeping Mississippi State out of their usual quick paced rhythm. Miami (OH) drove down the field on their opening possession but had to settle for an 18-yard field goal by Nick Dowd. Miami (OH) led 3-0 after the first quarter.
Quarterback Gus Ragland, completed a 6 yard touchdown pass to James Gardner midway through the second quarter to extend the Red Hawks lead to 9-0 after a blocked extra point. A sign of things to come at the end of the game.
Mississippi State (6-7) finally got on the board with :22 seconds left in the half when Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald bulldogged his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to pull his team within 9-7 at the midway break.
Gus Ragland led Miami (OH) (6-7) on an 8 play, 85-yard scoring drive early in the third quarter capping it off with a short, one-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Smith to make it 16-7.
The Bulldogs responded when QB Nick Fitzgerald broke to the outside and rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown pulling Mississippi State to within 16-14 with 4:15 left in the 3rd.
Early in the 4th quarter after Fitzgerald ran the ball 26 yards to the Miami (OH) 38. A hit to the head penalty by Deondre Daniels added an additional 15 yards setting up Westin Graves 36 yard field goal, which would prove to be the game winner.
Both starting quarterbacks were named game MVP’s. Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald completed 13 of 26 passes for 126 yards and ran the ball 18 times for 142 yards. Red Hawks quarterback Gus Ragland went 21-29 for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 INT and rushed for 51 yards on 17 carries.
Both teams combined for 768 total yards, 4th highest in St. Pete Bowl history.
Post game comments from both head coaches are below:
Miami (OH) dropped their first six games of the season and then won six straight to become bowl eligible.
Today’s game was broadcast on ESPN with Dave LaMont, Rene Ingoglia and Chris Doering and on ESPN Radio.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and St. Petersburg resident Mike Alstott is the Honorary Game Chairman for this year’s St. Pete Bowl. He also took part in the opening coin toss.
38 current players in the NFL have played in the 8 previous St. Petersburg Bowls including Latavius Murray (Oakland Raiders), Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars), T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) and Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons). In all, 133 players in the St. Pete Bowl have been drafted by NFL teams.
Mississippi State is the first SEC team to play in the St. Pete Bowl. Miami (OH) is the third MAC team to take part, the others Ball State in 2012 and Ohio in 2013.
Uniform shuffle: Miami University wore the visitor uniforms of red helmets, white jerseys and red pants. Mississippi State wore the home uniforms of all maroon helmets, jerseys and pants.
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(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls extended their American Athletic Conference winning streak to six straight wins with a 38-22 victory over the East Carolina University Pirates Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Marlon Mack rushed for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns and Quarterback Quinton Flowers ran for 115 yards and threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Bulls offense.
“It wasn’t pretty”, said Bulls Head Coach Willie Taggart, “but I’m happy with the win”. Taggart’s high-powered offense racked up 556 yards, including 306 on the ground as USF (5-1, 2-0) remained unbeaten in conference play.
ECU (2-4, 0-2) took the early 3-0 lead on their opening possession with a 40-yard field goal by Davis Plowman at 5:29 of the first quarter.
After a stalled first drive, USF scored the second time they had the ball when Quinton Flowers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to D’Ernest Johnson, capping off a 45-yard in 5:11 to go ahead 7-3.
Both teams traded field goals early in the second quarter. Eric Nadelman booted a 26-yard field goal for USF and Davis Plowman connected on a 49-yarder to pull the Pirates within 10-6.
Marlon Mack had his longest run of the season, 63 yards to the ECU 6-yard line, but fumbled on the next play and the Pirates recovered. ECU drove the ball downfield and Davis Plowman clanked it off the right goal post on a 42-yard field goal attempt.
The Bulls mounted one of their patented quick scoring drives in less than two minutes, when Quinton Flowers hit D’Ernest Johnson for his second touchdown pass of the game from the 11-yard line giving the Bulls a 17-6 lead at the half.
Marlon Mack scored on a one-yard plunge early in the third quarter to extend the Bulls lead to 24-6.
ECU replaced starting quarterback Philip Nelson with sophomore Gardner Minshew (21-33 220 yards, 1 TD) who gave the Pirates offense a boost with a 1-yard touchdown toss to Zay Jones to make it 24-13. Jones was the leading receiver for the Pirates with 145 yards on 18 catches.
Davis Plowman made it a one-possession game (24-16) with a 31-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter. Then after USF went 3 and out and punted, the Pirates drove 69 yards and scored on James Summers 3-yard touchdown run. Summers finished with 114 yards on 18 carries. The 2-point conversion was no good. USF led 24-22 with 6:58 remaining in the game.
Quinton Flowers ended any hopes of an ECU comeback with his third touchdown pass of the game, a 62-yard strike to Rodney Adams over the middle to extend the Bulls lead to 31-22.
Marlon Mack added one more score to the books on a 9-yard run lifting the Bulls to their fifth win of the season.
USF will host UConn next Saturday (October 15) at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7PM.
Today’s victory extends the Bulls AAC Conference win streak to six straight, the longest in Bulls football history.
USF holds a 5-1 all-time record over East Carolina. The Bulls defeated the Pirates 22-17 last season in Greenville, NC.
USF defeated ECU in the 2006 PapaJohns.com bowl.
Including today’s win over ECU, the Bulls have scored at least 35 points in ten consecutive games. The Bulls rushed for more than 200 yards against ECU to extend that streak to 11 games.
The Bulls are first in the AAC and fifth in the nation in scoring averaging 45.8 points per game.
Last week against Cincinnati, Marlon Mack had his 15th 100-yard game and became USF’s all-time leading rusher with 2755 yards in just 28 games. Today’s game marked his 16th straight 100- yard game.
Today’s game was telecast nationally on ESPNews.
Uniform shuffle: USF wore green jerseys with gold numbers, white pants and metallic gold helmets today.
Lee Roy Selmon family members served as honorary captains at today’s game.
Today was Homecoming for USF Bulls alumni.
Next week: The Bulls are home to play UConn in another AAC conference game. Kickoff scheduled for 7PM.
(Sarasota, FL) The Orioles today announced their 2016 Grapefruit League schedule, which opens Tuesday, March 1, with an away game in Lake Buena Vista, FL against the Atlanta Braves. The Orioles will open their home schedule the following day, Wednesday, March 2, with a 1:05 p.m. game against the Braves at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. The Grapefruit League season will conclude with the club’s home-finale on Thursday, March 31, against the Braves. The 2016 season marks the seventh consecutive Spring Training season for the Orioles in Sarasota, and the sixth at renovated Ed Smith Stadium.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Ed Smith Stadium for camp on Thursday, February 18, with their first workout set for the following day. Position players are scheduled to report on Wednesday, February 23, with the first full-squad workout slated for Thursday, February 24. Fans are invited to watch the team’s workouts on the back fields at the complex each day. There is no charge to attend, and free parking is available.
Baltimore will face eight different opponents during their 16-game home Grapefruit League campaign. The Orioles will host the Minnesota Twins and the Braves three times each and the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Pittsburgh Pirates twice each. The Orioles will also square off against the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies once each at Ed Smith Stadium.
Additionally, the Orioles will play 16 games on the road during the Spring Training season. The team will make three trips to play the Twins; two trips to play the Rays, Blue Jays, Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, and Pirates; and one trip to play the Braves.
Single game tickets for all 16 games at Ed Smith Stadium will go on sale January 23, 2016. Fans interested in Season Plans, or those wishing to receive additional Spring Training ticket information, may call the Orioles Spring Training office in Sarasota at 941-893-6300. Fans interested in additional information on suite rentals or pre-game party facilities should call 941-893-6317. Additional information on Orioles Spring Training is available at www.orioles.com/spring.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES 2016 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
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(Bradenton, FL) Legal thriller novelist John Grisham will headline the Manatee Library Foundation’s marquee fundraiser a January, 2016 event at State College of Florida’s Neel Performing Arts Center.
Stephen King, last year’s Foundation speaker, will also be a part of the event and will interview Grisham on stage. The event, “Book-Ends: An Evening with Two Literary Giants” will be held Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Organizers are hoping to sell out the 832-seat venue and to raise $175,000 for the Library System.
Foundation President Jane Plitt, Manatee County Library Services Manager Ava Ehde, State Rep. Jim Boyd, honorary event co-chair and Stephanie Goforth, President of Northern Trust’s West Florida region made the announcement today during a noon press conference at Central Library.
“The Library Foundation Inc. is thrilled that these world famous authors are sharing their time and prestige to help us fund literacy programs through the Manatee County Public Library system., addressing a critical community need,” said Foundation president Jane Plitt.
“We’ve hit another grand slam,” said Rep. Jim Boyd, the event’s honorary chair. “It’s going to be an outstanding event.
Northern Trust Bank is the event’s presenting sponsor. Susan Wilcox is the Foundation’s event chair.
Sponsorship packages from $7,500 (reception sponsor) to $300 (patron) are available online or by calling (941) 216-8746. If tickets are still available on Oct. 15, the public may purchase tickets for $150 apiece. Thirty State College of Florida students will attend the event compliments of the Anne and Eugene Beckstein Charitable Trust.
Last year’s “An Evening with Stephen King” raised more than $100,000 to benefit Manatee County Public Library System. That money went toward the purchase of a new integrated library system (ILS) in Manatee libraries that launches Oct. 1. The new system will give patrons a new, modern way of accessing library materials.
“This is a huge literary event and we continue to be awestruck it’s happening here,” said Manatee County Library Services Manager Ava Ehde. “We are grateful to these impressive and prolific authors as well as Rep. Boyd, the growing list of sponsors and the Library Foundation for their support of our Manatee Libraries.”
The Foundation will also give away a ticket to the King event to the winner of a Flash Fiction contest challenging amateur writers to submit a 250-word piece of fiction or poetry inspired by a photo posted on the new 805lit.org site.
One winner will be announced in January. (If a minor wins the contest, he or she will be awarded two tickets for guardian accompaniment.)
Grisham’s books have sold more than 275 million copies worldwide. His most popular titles include The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Client and The Pelican Brief. A new title, The Rogue Lawyer, will be released in October.
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