Redskins

Struggling Purdue, Iowa hook up in Iowa City

Struggling Purdue, Iowa hook up in Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Purdue is trying to win for its embattled coach.

Iowa is vying to curb a tailspin that's threatening to keep it out of a bowl game.

Neither the Boilermakers nor the Hawkeyes figured there would be so much at stake for a game that means so little in the Big Ten standings.

Purdue (3-6, 0-5) and Iowa (4-5, 2-3) have combined to lose eight straight league games heading into Saturday's showdown in Iowa City. The Boilers have fallen apart after a 3-1 start that included a narrow loss at national title contender Notre Dame.

The Hawkeyes have dropped their last three games, including a 24-21 defeat at Indiana that gave the Hoosiers their first back-to-back league victories in five years.

``We've had some ugly losses, and that's tough as far as your momentum goes for your team and your season,'' said Purdue coach Danny Hope, whose job status has been questioned in the wake of a disappointing season. ``There's been some struggles, and they have been a result of injuries and not performing as well and losing some confidence.''

Both teams can likely kiss bowl hopes goodbye with a loss on Saturday.

Though neither team looks like a solid pick to even reach six wins, the Hawkeyes appear to be in shape to at least make a respectable run at it.

Iowa's struggles on offense have been well documented. Quarterback James Vandenberg is having a miserable senior year with just four TD passes, and emerging running back Mark Weisman has essentially been shelved with injuries for three weeks after a stellar four-game stretch.

The Hawkeyes are near the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive statistic and they haven't topped 21 points in more than a month.

``We've got to get in better synch. We've got to execute better in the critical situations, especially. But it's a team thing. We win as a team typically and lose as a team,'' Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. ``We're not quite there.''

Luckily for the Hawkeyes, Purdue isn't quite anywhere on defense.

The Boilermakers haven't been able to stop anyone, save for a decent performance in an overtime loss at Ohio State three weeks ago.

Purdue is allowing a staggering 264 yards rushing a game and is second-worst behind Illinois with 37.8 points allowed per game in the Big Ten.

As one might expect, losing has taken its toll on the Boilermakers - a team that even Ferentz thought could emerge as a sleeper in 2012.

``We are pressed to win. We're hungry to win, and the expectations are high, and sometimes you can be too pressed to win. There's a real difference between ... intense and tense,'' Hope said. ``But again, I don't apologize for trying to be the best. I think it would be beneath us if we did.''

Iowa's defense has also taken a step back in the past three weeks.

The Hawkeyes have allowed 38, 28 and 24 points during their current losing streak. Though those aren't necessarily terrible numbers, they've been too much for Iowa's woeful offense to overcome.

``We've got to stick together as a group. We're going through some adversity now,'' Vandenberg said. ``It's just different thins breaking down at different times.''

Perhaps this is the week the Hawkeyes put it all together for the first time since pounding Minnesota in their Big Ten opener. It's also seems just as likely that Purdue can take advantage of a stumbling Iowa team and gain back some of the confidence the Boilermakers have lost over the past five weeks.

Both teams are certainly capable of living up to their preseason expectations for at least one afternoon - especially with so much desperation in play on both sides.

``There are a lot of dynamics that happen during the course of the season internally and all that type of thing. But all you have to do is go back to that Ohio State tape,'' Ferentz said. ``They've got a lot of guys that can make plays and hurt you.''

Quick Links

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

scherffvideo102918.jpg
USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Anthony Santander has a huge outing in blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox

usatsi_13075192.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Anthony Santander has a huge outing in blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox

Check out the latest news and notes on the Baltimore Orioles

Player Updates:

Even in a loss, the night belonged to OF Anthony Santander who went 4-for-5 with a homer, triple and two runs scored. Santander tripled and scored during the Orioles' five-run rally in the third inning. He then tagged Rick Porcello for a solo shot in the fifth that pulled the Orioles to within 10 runs at 16-6. It was the first four-hit game of the young outfielder's career. 

SP Thomas Eshelman had a rough day on the mound giving up nine runs (five earned) on six hits over 3 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander also issued three walks while striking out three. He struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark in this one, giving up home runs to Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts before departing in the fourth. 

Due to Pedro Severino's illness, the Orioles optioned C Austin Wynns to Triple-A Norfolk. He has played in 16 games for the O's this year with a .233 batting average, zero homers and three RBI in 47 plate appearances.

Injuries:

C Pedro Severino: Illness, Day-to-day

SP Dylan Bundy: Knee, 10-day Injured List

RP Josh Rogers: Elbow, 10-day Injured List

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-day Injured List

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-day Injured List

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-day Injured List

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-day Injured List

Coming Up:

Sunday 7/21: Orioles vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Monday 7/22: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Chase Field

Tuesday 7/23: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Chase Field

Source: Rotoworld

MORE ORIOLES NEWS: