Tag:Georgia Tech
Posted on: January 6, 2010 1:18 am
Edited on: January 6, 2010 8:06 am

Stanzi's return makes offense go

It's amazing to think what could have been for the Hawkeyes.

While Iowa was celebrating another dominating defensive performance in the win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, one couldn't help but wonder if Iowa would be proclaiming a share of the national title if quarterback Ricky Stanzi never got hurt.

The junior injured his ankle in the first half against Northwestern and missed the final two games of the regular season. Iowa ended up losing to the Wildcats 17-10 after leading 10-0 in the first quarter and dropped a heartbreaker to Ohio State in overtime.

Ricky Stanzi throws two touchdowns in the Orange Bowl.If Stanzi was in the lineup, Iowa might have beaten both those teams, won the Big Ten, played in the Rose Bowl and had an undefeated season.

"That's not something we are worried about right now," said Stanzi. "We wanted to win this game and we were able to do that."

But it didn't take an genius to see that Stanzi and the Iowa offense were a different team against Georgia Tech.

Stanzi led the team down the field with ease, throwing two touchdowns in the first quarter. The passing game opened up the running game, allowing Iowa to rush for 172 yards, including 113 by Brandon Wegher.

Without Stanzi, Iowa scored just 36 points in 12 quarters (including one overtime period) and beat lowly Minnesota 12-0 in the regular-season finale. It didn't have a 100-yard rusher in those three games and backup quarterback James Vandenberg completed only 48 percent of his passes with four interceptions.

Stanzi's return at the Orange Bowl gave the offense the jolt it needed to complement one of the best defenses in the nation.

"He's the guy you hate to miss, but if he's not there, you have to play without him," said wide receiver Marvin McNutt. "He's our leader and our Tom Brady. We want him out there."

Pretty high praise for a guy who still ended up with 14 interceptions this season. But that's the kind of respect the rest of the team has for their quarterback.

"He is such a good competitor, good leader and every time he is on the field he is going to do well," said linebacker Pat Angerer.

Iowa couldn't have asked for a better start with Stanzi opening the game 8-for-8 passing. Once the Hawkeyes put up 14 points, the defense knew their job just became a lot easier.

"It was huge," added linebacker A.J. Edds. "Especially with this kind of offense, we knew if we get them down a little bit and get them in a hole, it would give us a good chance."

Stanzi gave Iowa more than a good chance and with him healthy all season, the Hawkeyes would have had a better chance to post its first undefeated season since 1922.

Posted on: October 20, 2008 12:25 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2008 12:32 pm

CBSSports.com 120 -- Best in ACC?

Will the best team in the ACC please step up?

Florida State? Maryland? Georgia Tech?

What about a team nobody thought would be fighting for the conference title this year -- Boston College.

After losing quarterback Matt Ryan to the NFL, along with the departures of running back Andre Callender and L.V. Whitworth, cornerback DeJuan Tribble, safety Jamie Silva and offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Eagles.

But the Eagles are sitting at 5-1, ranked No. 23 in this week's CBSSports.com 120, and now have their sights set on the ACC Championship.

"They believe now," said Boston College Jeff Jagodzinski after the victory over Virginia Tech. "They believe they can do it. As a team, we can -- if we play that way. It's going to take all 11 guys in the unit to do it. I'm real proud, very proud, of this football team. That was a big win for us and for our program."

Chris Crane has done a nice job stepping in for Ryan to guide the offense, but the real leaders are on defense.

The Eagles are ranked fourth in the nation, allowing only 251 yards per game. They are also ranked fifth against the pass and are giving up just 13 points per game.

Junior linebacker Mark Herzlich leads the team with 54 tackles, including two interceptions. Defensive tackle B.J. Raji leads with four sacks, while safety Paul Anderson has three interceptions. Brian Toal, who has been an important part of the defense with 42 tackles and two sacks, is now out for the season with a broken leg.

Toal's injury definitely will be hard to replace, but the Eagles will move forward.

"Just like when Alex Albright went down and we had to have Austin Giles go in, Tex (Francois) is going to have to go in and take Toal's spot," said Jagodzinski. "That's part of the game. It's unfortunate because he was playing really good football for us."

If it weren't for a breakdown in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech, the Eagles could be undefeated.  Despite keeping the Yellow Jackets contained for most of the game, RB Jonathan Dwyer broke a 43-yard run in the fourth for a 19-16 victory.

"The problem with this team is, if you miss your assignment on one play, it could go to the house," Herzlich said. "That's what happened."  

Boston College's quest for the ACC title won't be an easy one as the Eagles play at North Carolina this week, followed by road trips to Florida State and Wake Forest later in the year. And if they do make it that far, the Eagles might have to face Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech in the title game again.

The Eagles weren't the only ones to jump into the Top 25 of the CBSSports.com 120 poll this week as TCU flew all the way from No. 33 to No. 15 after beating BYU. Minnesota and Northwestern also made the poll, coming in at No. 24 and No. 25.


... Cincinnati, which sits at 5-1 and still is in prime position to win the Big East Conference, is just outside the Top 25 at No. 28.

... Maryland, the Jekyll and Hyde of college football, moved up from No. 46 to No. 30 after beating Wake Forest.

... Arizona had another impressive victory, beating California 42-27 to move up from No. 52 to No. 35.

... The highest-ranked team with a losing record is Wisconsin at 3-4. The Badgers fell to No. 54 after losing to Iowa.


Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com