Military Bowl preview: Navy defense vs. Pitt offense


Military Bowl preview: Navy defense vs. Pitt offense

You know about Keenan Reynolds, but Pitt's offense boasts a playmaker of its own. Here's a preview of the matchup between Navy's defense and Pitt's offense.

Navy defense national rankings: 25th in scoring defense (21.3 points allowed per game), 32nd in rushing defense (138.42 yards allowed per game), 9th in passing defense (173.8 yards allowed per game), 43rd in total defense (367.4 yards allowed per game)

Pitt offense national rankings: 69th in scoring offense (28.3 points per game), 47th in rushing offense (185.92 yards per game), 95th in passing offense (195.1 yards per game), 77th in total offense (381 yards per game)

Pitt entered the season with two of the biggest playmakers in the ACC. Unfortunately running back James Conner was lost to the Panthers in the first game of the season and his health has taken a tragic turn as he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. While prospects for a recovery are good, he obviously has more important things to worry about than a bowl game and he will not be available, though he will be in attendance.

RELATED: Military Bowl preview: Navy offense vs. Pitt defense

That means junior receiver Tyler Boyd will be the focal point of Pitt's offense, as he has been for much of the season.

Pitt averages fewer than 200 passing yards per game with Boyd as their main target. His 85 catches this season are more than the next five receivers on the team combined. Quarterback Nathan Peterman has proven to be dependable for the Panthers though unspectacular. Having a talent like Boyd certainly helps.

Freshman running back Qadree Ollison has started in Conner's place this season and is fourth in the ACC in rush attempts (204) and rushing yards (1,048). He is a bruising running back who is more likely to run over defenders than out run them, but he has also shown remarkable shiftiness and cutting ability in his first season.

Pitt is not a dominant offense in any aspect, but the Panthers have found success by being versatile. When they struggle to pass, they find success on the ground. When they can't run, they air the ball out and allow Boyd to take over.

No player on Navy's defense particularly stands out. Instead, their defense has been stout thanks to a complete team effort as is typical of military academies which often lack superstar talent. It will require a team effort in order to shutdown Boyd while not opening the defense up to big runs from Ollison. The Midshipmen have been very good at slowing down opponents' rush attack this season which makes defending Boyd key to a Navy victory.

Like Navy, Pitt has not shown much ability to run away on the scoreboard as they have scored 40 or more points only twice this season, one of which came against an FCS opponent. Chances are, this one is going to be close.

For tickets to the 2015 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, click here!

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Durkin makes news official, comments on latest assistant coach hire

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats


Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.


Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.


The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.


Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.