Stanford, Wisconsin set to meet in 99th Rose Bowl


Stanford, Wisconsin set to meet in 99th Rose Bowl

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Wisconsin believes its third straight trip to the Rose Bowl could be the charm. Stanford is hoping for another victory in its charmed run through the Bowl Championship Series.

The unranked Badgers (8-5) and the No. 8 Cardinal (11-2) will meet in the 99th edition of the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, the bowl formally announced Sunday night.

Arroyo Seco will be filled with fans wearing red and white when two schools with virtually identical colors play a rematch of the 2000 Rose Bowl, won 17-9 by Wisconsin with Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Ron Dayne.

That loss was Stanford's most recent trip to the Granddaddy of Them All, while the Badgers lost the last two Rose Bowls to TCU and Oregon.

Although this matchup was highly unlikely just a few weeks ago, both teams' coaches already seem certain that a collision between two big, powerful teams who disdain most of college football's newfangled trickery could be a real throwback - with a perfect showcase in this tradition-soaked bowl.

``We've talked about how we admire how each other plays,'' Stanford coach David Shaw said. ``This is probably going to be the first team for the both of us that's almost like a mirror image. I think our guys are going to see things they go against in training camp. There's going to be a little bit of a chess match as we go into this thing, but it's going to be exciting to see something familiar on film.''

Stanford is in its third consecutive BCS bowl, a nearly unimaginable feat just six seasons ago when coach Jim Harbaugh took over the long-struggling program at a school with lofty academic standards and a fan base dwarfed by the conference's big-name football schools.

``This has been our goal all along, throughout the year, through our highs and lows,'' Shaw said. ``I think we're going to have an exciting game. I think you're going to hear a lot of mutual respect. I think we admire how each other plays.''

Wisconsin is no stranger to surprising occurrences after this weekend. The Badgers seemed highly unlikely to make their third straight Rose Bowl after a series of narrow losses, but they stunned Nebraska 70-31 on Saturday in the Big Ten title game to earn yet another sun-splashed break from the Wisconsin winter for their hearty fan base.

``We played our way into it with a win this week, and we're very excited to return to Pasadena and have the opportunity to play against a great opponent,'' Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. ``It's a matchup I knew our kids were instantly excited about in the locker room last night.''

Harbaugh and quarterback Andrew Luck led Stanford's turnaround over the past four years, but those two NFL-bound leaders never managed what Shaw and freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan did in the past month by winning the conference title and getting the Cardinal back to Pasadena.

After beating No. 1 Oregon 17-14 in an overtime thriller two weeks ago, Stanford beat UCLA twice in seven days, clinching the Rose Bowl berth with another nail-biter at Stanford Stadium on Friday night.

Stanford hasn't won the Rose Bowl since the Indians - as the Cardinal were known until 1972 - earned back-to-back victories following the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Quarterback Jim Plunkett led the first win to cap his Heisman Trophy season.

The Badgers finished third in their division, but capitalized on their chance to play for the title with Ohio State and Penn State ineligible for postseason play. After routing the Cornhuskers, the Badgers became the first five-loss team ever to reach the Rose Bowl - and just the second Big Ten team to play in three straight Rose Bowls, joining Michigan in the late 1970s.

``I think this year, because of the trials and tribulations we've been through as a team, it's just been a really popular team with our fans because of the way we've played,'' Bielema said. ``I think we'll give (the fans) a really good reason to travel.''

Wisconsin wasn't as mediocre as its 7-5 regular-season record indicated, however. Those five losses were by a combined 19 points, including three overtime defeats - and the Badgers left little doubt they're the best bowl-eligible team in the Big Ten with their demolition of Nebraska, the odds-on favorite to return to the stadium where the Huskers lost to UCLA back in September.

Star tailback Montee Ball is among the Badgers who will be playing in their third Rose Bowl. He rushed for 132 yards against TCU and 164 against Oregon, but Wisconsin lost a 21-19 nail-biter to the Horned Frogs before the Ducks shredded their defense for 621 yards in last year's 45-38 victory - the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played.

``We've just got to play better,'' Bielema said. ``There's no doubt we played two very good football teams that were able to beat us in games that came down the wire on that field.''

Stanford's entire renaissance has been leading to this trip down the California coast, ever since Harbaugh took over a moribund program in 2007 and immediately engineered one of the biggest upsets in college football history, beating No. 2 Southern California as a 41-point underdog.

Harbaugh and Shaw, his offensive coordinator, finally put together a winning season in 2009 to earn the Cardinal's first bowl appearance since 2001. Stanford then went 12-1 and beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl in 2010 before Harbaugh's departure to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cardinal didn't miss a beat when Shaw took over, with Luck leading them to an 11-2 season ending with an overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. Stanford bounced back from early losses to Washington and Notre Dame this season with a spectacular finish, including that suffocating defensive performance against the previously dominant Ducks - on Oregon's home field, no less.

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 


Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 



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