Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Boston College

first_imgSyracuse (3-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) heads on the road again to travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to face Boston College (3-3, 0-3) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Orange is coming off a big 31-17 upset win over then-No.17 Virginia Tech that earned the team national recognition. The Eagles had a bye last week but were most recently blown out by No. 4 Clemson.A win would put either team in prime position to get to six wins and go bowling. But Boston College is looking for its first ACC win in its last 12 tries, spanning this and last season. The last ACC team BC beat was Syracuse on Nov. 29, 2014Here’s what you need to know about the matchup:All-Time Series: Syracuse leads, 30-19.Last time they played: These two teams met in the final game of the 2015 season and the last game for Scott Shafer as head coach of the Orange. It took a 35-yard field goal from Cole Murphy as time expired, but SU pulled out a 20-17 win, snapping an eight-game losing streak. Shafer was lifted into the air and carried around the field by his players.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Boston College report: The Eagles are powered by their strong defense. BC gives up just 253 yards of offense per game, which is good for fourth in the nation, and just 149.7 passing yards, also fourth. Harold Landry, who averages just a little more than one sack per game, leads its defensive line. He’s forced four fumbles through six games this year — one of the best marks in the country.Quarterback Patrick Towles, a graduate transfer from Kentucky where he started for two years and threw for more than 5,000 yards, leads Boston College’s offense. The Eagles haven’t thrown the ball particularly well this year with just 160 yards through the air each game. Jon Hilliman, who is 6-feet tall and 220 pounds, will shoulder the brunt of the load on the ground.How Syracuse beats BC: Repeat last week. The Orange has a little big of a bigger margin for error, but it needs the offense to put up points against a highly ranked defense again and it needs the defense to not suffer a let down after its best game of the year. With Boston College’s lackluster offense, SU’s defense should fair well. It’ll come down to the ACC’s top-ranked passing offense and its top-ranked passing defense.Stat to Know:11 — Boston College has lost 11 ACC games in a row. Its last ACC win came against Syracuse in 2014.Player to Watch: Harold Landry, No. 7The defensive end will be tasked with disrupting Eric Dungey and Syracuse’s offense. He has the ability to get around the edge with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss on the year. His ability to strip the ball from players could be game-changing if he’s able to force a key turnover. Comments Published on October 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm Contact Jon: | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Heisler: Unforgettable tribute to Kobe’s unforgettable life

first_imgThe world moved past mourning Kobe and Gianna Bryant last week to celebrating their lives … hard as it always will be, their premature end.Nevertheless, last week’s memorial, “A Celebration of Life,” it was in title and in fact. A month after the terrible crash, it was the most moving event ever associated with the NBA, or any league.Whatever happens this season, nothing will be as remembered as this moment.Invited by Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother, Vanessa Bryant, star attendees came from everywhere on their own dime … Beyonce (who sang two songs before the TV coverage began and insisted that photographers not take pictures of her) … Diana Taurasi, the WNBA star whom Kobe used to call The White Mamba (or, as emcee Jimmy Kimmel put it, “In the greatest honor of all, he nicknamed her after himself”) … Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Bill Russell, Scottie Pippen, Dwyane Wade, Jayson Tatum, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan. “Kobe said, ‘I know, but there’s an M-E in there in that (super unprintable).”“I went back and told Rick and Big Shot Bob, ‘Just get the rebound. He’s not passing.’”The 20,0000 in Staples Center almost fell out of their seats en masse. TV cameras caught Magic Johnson laughing uproariously and Jerry West talking in the ear of his son, Ryan.Sports stars are often being forgiven for everything on sports pages because they’re “a complex person.” Kobe really was complex, but his old friends paid him the rare compliment of remembering him in life, not as a plaster saint, but a real person.Indeed, Kobe was nothing short of obsessive and his career nothing short of a quest, talking of a “destiny” … which he said he realized at 5.As romantic as he was zealous, he got his frame of reference from movies, as when he went around wishing people “strength and honor” like the Roman legionnaires after seeing “Gladiator.”His went from Lakers fan fave as a teen … to Beyonce-level diva who dared to feud with Shaq and was scorned throughout the league … to the player whom friend and foe admired most, “the Jordan of our generation,” as Giannis Antetokounmpo put it.After eight seasons of Shaq vs. Kobe, the Lakers traded O’Neal in the summer of 2004, knowing they otherwise would lose Kobe as a free agent to the Clippers.Players around the league sided with the gregarious O’Neal. Feeling the weight of expectations, Kobe jumped all over Seattle’s Ray Allen in the exhibition opener.Offended, Allen spit disdain, noting, “In about a year or two, he’ll be calling out to Jerry Buss that ‘We need some help in here, or trade me.’“And we’ll all be saying, ‘I told you so.’”And so Kobe would, demanding a trade. Determined to rewrite his narrative, he branded himself “The Black Mamba,” which he got from the Quentin Tarantino film, “Kill Bill: Volume 2” … revealing it on a Dime Magazine cover showing him caressing an ominous-looking snake curled around his hand.In a first-person piece inside, he lamented, “I have been an outcast my entire life … made to feel like there was something wrong with wanting to win so badly and wanting to become the best at what you do.”Few cared. Even Lakers fans were skeptical, protesting on behalf of Magic and West when team broadcaster Joel Meyers called Kobe the greatest Laker.Things warmed up after their 2009-2010 titles. Kobe became noticeably happier, with he and Vanessa reconciling after she filed for divorce.He looked even happier in retirement, apart from winning an Academy Award.In the aftermath of this event, heavyweight media were trying to deal with Kobe’s complexity, as in The New Yorker’s piece (“Anger, Love, and the Evolving Legacy of Kobe Bryant.”)Controversial as he remains with #Metoo allusions to his 2003 sexual assault arrest, he’s now remembered for something bigger than himself, known on social media as #girldad, connecting his life to a far wider audience of moms, dads and daughters, with the grief at his passing like that for global icons such as Princess Diana and John Lennon.He started coaching 13-year-old Gigi’s team. Being Kobe, he called UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma, the 11-time national champion … for whom Gianna had, of course, decided she would play.“And how ironic that he would talk to me about coaching,” marveled Auriemma at Monday’s ceremony.“The uncoachable one wants to talk about coaching. Probably the most uncoachable player in the NBA during his career wants to know about coaching. …“He said, ‘I’m coaching my daughter’s team. … What kind of defensive drills should I do?’“I say, ’Kobe, they’re 13 years old. I think you ought to just say, ’Hey, you know, see the kid with the ball? Try not to let her go by you.’”As if realizing how hard it would be to knock Jordan off his pedestal, Kobe had long since begun ducking comparisons, saying he just wanted to be himself.That turned out to be as much as he ever dreamed, with his name a definition:Kobe (KOH-bee), noun – NBA icon never to be matched or forgotten. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHouston’s James Harden and Russell Westbrook attended … on a game day … then flew home (and beat the Knicks) … as did Phoenix’s Devin Booker, who flew to Utah afterward (where his Suns won by 20 points).Michael Jordan, who makes few public appearances, flew cross country to speak, looking more human than he ever had with tears streaming down his cheeks awash as he talked about his “annoying little brother.”Michael had been Kobe’s guiding star … as flabbergasted as the predatory Jordan was by this phenom who wanted to knock him off his pedestal … but thought he wouldn’t mind being pestered for tips on how to do it.Shaquille O’Neal, who had tears running down his cheeks on TNT’s studio show the day after the terrible crash, told of teammates Rick Fox and Robert Horry asking him to stop Kobe from shooting so much.“I said I would talk to him,” Shaq said. “I told him, ‘Kobe. There’s no I in team.’last_img read more