Friday, September 28, 2012

Ready to go

#bhfootball manatee will receive Canes side of stands packed lot of southeast fans also

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Taggart defends Dowling, questions rule. Williams says hit unavoidable

Western Kentucky head football coach Willie Taggart said safety Jon Dowling did not intend to hurt anyone on the helmet to helmet hit he made in last week's game against Southern Mississippi receiver Tyre Bracken.
Taggart questions rule
Dowling was ejected after the play and according to Sun Belt Conference rules, an injected player must sit out the next game. The league rejected an appeal WKU made on behalf of the former Southeast High standout.

“It is a new rule the league is implementing and Jon fell victim to it. He did not try to do anything maliciously,” said Taggart, the former Manatee High quarterback great. “Jon did not try to go helmet to helmet and there is no way to stop guys who are trying to do their best and playing hard. The league needs to look at this rule because there are a lot of kids who play hard and are not trying to hurt anyone. You can’t expect them to change overnight.

“Unfortunately the ruling is in. I didn’t expect it to be overturned on the appeal. We’ve just got to learn from it and move on.”
It means the Hilltoppers will face Sun Belt Conference defending champion Arkansas State without their best defensive back.  Dowling is tied for the national lead in FBS with two others for the most interceptions.

It also means he will be back with the scout team this week after playing all of last season with the scout when he was forced to sit out after transferring from Florida.

Tyrone Williams, a former Green Bay Packer defensive back who played for Manatee, said the head to head collision was basically unavoidable because Bracken is 5-8 and Dowling is 6-3.
“Dowling is tall and the receiver is short and the defender goes down to make a hit and this is going to happen. You could tell he did not mean to do it,” Williams said

Taggart said he was not surprised that former Manatee High standout Leon Allen turned his best game last week. The true freshman running back ran for a career high 132 yards in the Hilltoppers 42-17 victory over Southern Mississippi.

“Leon showed in training camp what he could do and last week against Kentucky we didn’t play him enough,” Taggart said. “He is a very strong, powerful runner and keeps his feet moving. He has been everything we thought he would be and is very fundamentally sound.”

Ben Axon, another former Manatee High standout, had his best collegiate game at the Division I level with 31 yards on six carries.

Axon did not play football last year and joined the WKU football team late this summer. Taggart said he is still working out the kinks and trying to get back into football shape.

“Ben has been helping us quite a bit on special teams and was able to get some carries. The more he plays, the better he will become,” Taggart said. “He understands we are not giving anybody anything. We have guys who have been here long before Ben was here. He is working work and has been on the kickoff and punt return teams.”



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Parcells takes Schiano side on kneel-down hit

Former Giants coach take Schiano's side
Kneel-Gate, Schiano-Gate; whatever you want to call it seems to have eternal life and just won’t go away.
The decision by Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano to go for the ball when Giants quarterback Eli Manning took a knee with his team leading 41-34 and five seconds left last Sunday has created a sea of controversy.

Schiano probably wants it to die, but then again he is picking up some nice support. 
The latest to take his side his legendary coach Bill Parcells, one of the most respected people in the business, who led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles.

Parcells took Schiano’s side on Sirius radios saying Giants head coach Tom Coughlin should’ve called the Bucs head coach during the week and talked about the play instead of berating him in front of a stadium full of fans and a large television audience.
Also giving the Bucs coach a boost is Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who face the Bucs Sunday. The outspoken Jones says the kneel-down ought to be outlawed and a penalty thrown at the team that tries to do it.

“Lamar Hunt tried several times to introduce a rule to have it voted on that you couldn’t knee down, you had to run a play,” Jones told the Dallas Morning News. “Unless you were going to try to advance the ball, then you got a penalty and the time didn’t run off the clock. It’s not a good play.”

Taggart says have patience with Ben Axon and Leon Allen

Ben Axon working his way back
Manatee County football fans are happy Western Kentucky under Canes legend Willie Taggart pulled off the upset over Kentucky last week. But they surely want to know what’s going on with former Manatee High running backs Leon Allen and Ben Axon.

The horse for the Hilltoppers in the Kentucky game was Antonio Andrews. He got most of the running load against Kentucky with 34 carries for 128 yards while Allen had six carries for 20 yards.

Taggart says to be patient, particularly in the case of Axon, who joined the team during the summer and did not play last season.

“Ben has to work his way up, but he is doing a great job on special teams,” Taggart said. “I think it’s a little bit everything with him. He hasn’t played for a while, he has to get in football shape and he has to learn a new system. He has also never played at this level before.

“That was too many carries for Andrews, but it was one of those games where he was feeling it and we kept giving it to him. He was in a zone. Allen probably should’ve had more carries.”  

Taggart also lauded the play of linebacker Terran Williams (Southeast High) and Braden River High product Willie McNeal, who caught a touchdown pass.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

USF tries to end Thursday night horrors tonight against Rutgers

USF has never won a Thursday night game since its program was launched in 1997.
The Thursday night winless streak began in 2007 against tonight's opponent Rutgers so it seems it would be only fitting if the Bulls could end it agianst the Scarlet Knights.
USF is 0-8 on Thursday nights.
That '07 loss was the most devistating. USF was undefeated and ranked second in the country when they went up to New Jersey that night and lost 30-27 in an ESPN nationally televised game.
So there would be a lot of reasons to celebreate a victory by the Bulls in tonight's Big East Confrence opener for both teams.
Oct. 18h Rutgers 27-30
Oct. 2nd Pittsburgh 21-26
Oct 30th Cincinnati 10-24
Oct 15th Cincinnati 17-34
Nov. 12th Rutgers 0-31
Oct. 14th W. Va. 6-20
Sept. 29th Pittsburgh 17-44
Dec. 1st W. Va. 27-30



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie shows his style

For Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie maybe it’s all in the attire.

The Philadelphia Eagles defensive back had a great game Sunday, but it’s hard to determine if he made a bigger splash before the game.
As shown in a photo captured by the EaglesInsider the Lakewood Ranch product came to the game dressed in a pink suit with pink eyeglass rims.


Maybe that’s all he needed.
The cornerback got two picks off Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, had four pass deflections and recorded a tackle. He has already doubled his interception total from last year, which was (you guessed it) zero.

DRC also had a career low 28 tackles for Philadelphia last year perhaps because the Eagles had him covering the slot. Now he is on the outside where he can use his size and speed.  In his three seasons at Arizona before joining the Eagles last year, DRC had 13 interceptions and 136 tackles with eight sacks.

DRC had quite a pre-season. First he was fined for an illegal hit that had many raving about his new toughness and then he injured his shoulder against New England.

On both picks, DRC used his 6-2 size, speed and jumping ability to snag the passes. But you gotta believe that pre-game attire got him going.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Taggart deserves a pass: What would Joe have said??

Our beloved Willie Taggart has found himself in a little hot water, but does he really deserve it?
His Western Kentucky football team is playing Kentucky Saturday and Taggart got upset because he saw so many students on his campus wearing Kentucky apparel.

Taggart tweeted, “They probably couldn’t get into UK.”

The former Manatee High great later apologized and said he was just miffed because WKU students who wear UK apparel are not showing allegiance to his school.

Feeling here is Taggart deserves a pass. He runs a clean program and has given a lot of kids who were headed for trouble a chance.

But here is a better question:

What would Joe Kinnan say if he saw a bunch of students wearing Southeast apparel during game week against the Seminoles?

Could we safely assume whatever he said would make Taggart’s comments seem rather mundane?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mistral Raymond's status as starter for Vikings might still undecided

With the season opener less than three days away, it’s still unclear whether Mistral Raymond will be the starting safety for the Minnesota Vikings.

The USF/Palmetto product seemed to have the job locked up, but unexpectedly experienced back problems that forced him to miss the Vikings last two pre-season games.

Mistral Raymond breaks up pass against Packers
Raymond had been battling Jamarca Stanford for the position. Stanford started 15 games of last year, but Raymond reportedly out-performed him during the off season. The other safety position figures to go to rookie first round draft choice Harrison Smith from Notre Dame.

“I didn’t know what was going on. It’s a weird deal. It just came out of nowhere. It came and then went back to normal like I never experienced before,” Raymond said about his injury.

It’s been reported that the Vikings coaching staff wants Raymond in the starting lineup this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But back injuries (mostly spasms in his case) have a way of lingering and resurfacing without notice and the staff is being very careful.

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has taken a diplomatic view of the situation saying there is a chance Raymond will start but not clarifying things beyond that.

Raymond returned to practice this week but says he hasn’t been told anything about who the starter will be Sunday. He stressed it won’t change his work habits.

“We want to see Mistral go through some things, with all the time that he missed toward the end,” Frazier told the media on Wednesday. “Let us take a look at some things the next couple of days and we’ll make a decision as the week goes on. But we have confidence in the both of them, and we’ll make the right decision.”






Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Taggart says Ben Axon ready to go against top ranked 'Bama

Coach Taggart says Axon ready to go
Nothing has ever come easy for Ben Axon
The talented running back from Manatee High missed Western Kentucky's season opener because of a concussion, said Hilltoppers head coach Willie Taggart.

Taggart, another Manatee great, said Axon has been cleared to play this Saturday. That would normally be good news, but WKU is at Alabama, the defending national champions and current number one rated team in the country.

It's not that Axon is afraid of any competition. But it would've been nice if he had a tune-up game. Last week the Hilltoppers steamed rolled Austin Peay in their 2012 opener.

By the way, Albama has been listed as a 40-point favorite by most entities that delve in the business of college football prognosticating.

Axon will likely share he running load with another Manatee graduate, freshman Leon Allen, who made his college debut against Austin Peay with a team leading 93 yards rushing on 13 carries. It was a great game for a true freshman, but everyone knows running against Austin Peay is not the same as toting the ball against 'Bama.

WKU is Axon's fourth college since he walked through the gradution line at Manatee in 2009. He has overcome a lot of obstacles and says he is ready to go.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Muschamp makes it official: Jeff Driskel Florida's starter at QB

Will Muschamp made official what most of us already knew.

The Florida head football coach said Jeff Driskel would be the Gators starting quarterback at his Monday press conference.

It wasn’t a surprise to anyone who watched Florida’s 27-14 Victory over Bowling Green last Saturday.

After Driskel and Jacoby Brissett split most of the first half, Driskel played the entire second half.

Driskel took 20 snaps in the first half and Brissett was under center for 11 snaps.

In playing Driskel the entire second half, Muschamp said he needed a more mobile quarterback in the lineup .

Well if he feels that way against Bowling Green you can imagine what he fears when the Gators start their SEC schedule, which happens to be this weekend at Texas A&M.

Driskel didn’t overwhelm anyone against Bowling Green and the two quarterbacks threw only 21 combined passes.

 “I just feel that Jeff with his legs gives us some different variables in our offense that can help us as we move forward,” Muschamp said. “It’ll be Jeff’s game to play. I told Jeff, I don’t want you looking over your shoulder, but you need to play well.

 "I have confidence in both guys. (We) can win with both guys. I just felt like at this time it's good to move forward with naming one guy and go with it."

As expected, Brissett was not happy with the decision and Muschamp said he respected those feelings.

“I’ve said it before and I will say it again, we can win with both guys,” Muschamp said. “He (Brissett) is one snap away. Jacoby needs to continue what he is doing.”



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Leon Allen and Jon Dowling make sparkling debut for WKU

Willie Taggart likes what he sees
Playing in his first collegiate game, former Manatee High standout  Leon Allen ran for a team high 93 yards on 13 carries to spark Western Kentucky to a 49-10 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday.

Allen was one of a multitude of Manatee County players who stood out for the Hilltoppers and their head coach Willie Taggart, another former Manatee High star.

Southeast product Jon Dowling lived up to his hype which had Taggart calling him an All-American talent with an interception. The safety was second on the team with seven tackles (4 unassisted) and had one kickoff return for 20 yards.

Another Southeast grad,  Boe Brand, caught three passes for 55 yards, including a 13 yard touchdown reception. Braden River grad Willie McNeal caught a 21 yard scoring strike and had two catches for 23 yards.