Browns sign kicker

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 4:38 PM


            HAMILTON, CANADA - JULY 26: Brett Maher #3 of the Ottawa Redblacks kicks off to start the game during CFL game action against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on July 26, 2014 at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, CANADA - JULY 26: Brett Maher #3 of the Ottawa Redblacks kicks off to start the game during CFL game action against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on July 26, 2014 at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns on Monday signed kicker Brett Maher.

Originally signed as an undrafted college free by the New York Jets in 2013, Maher is officially entering his first NFL season. The University of Nebraska product also has spent time on the Dallas Cowboys roster.

Maher spent the last three seasons playing in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Redblacks and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Last season for Hamilton, he connected on 41 of 50 field goal attempts and scored 161 points.

Browns kicker Cody Parkey, who was 20 of 25 on field goal attempts and 20 of 21 on extra points last season, has one year left on his contract.

Michigan football vs. Penn State: 3 keys, predictions

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:20 AM

Michigan plays Penn State at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. The No. 19 Wolverines  (5-1, 2-1) need a win to strengthen its spot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and even to vault it back into the top 10. The Wolverines defeated Indiana 27-20 in overtime last weekend, and look for a signature win this season, against the No. 2 Nittany Lions (6-0, 3-0).

Here are three keys to the game and predictions from Land of 10 Michigan writers Rachel Lenzi and Kevin Goheen.

1. No turnovers

The Wolverines fulfilled this goal in its win last weekend at Indiana, and needs to continue that goal of having zero turnovers in each game. Easier said than done, right? The Wolverines average two turnovers a game; at the halfway point of the year, Michigan has lost six fumbles and its quarterbacks have been intercepted six times. Michigan has a turnover margin of minus-3, 11th in the Big Ten. Penn State is the exact opposite. The Nittany Lions have a turnover margin of plus-12 and are tied with Wisconsin with a league-leading nine interceptions.

2. Score red-zone touchdowns

Michigan has scored a conference-low six red-zone touchdowns this season, including only one against Indiana: Karan Higdon’s 12-yard run in the second quarter. The Wolverines held the ball for more than six minutes on each of its opening drives against Michigan State and Indiana, but both drives ended with field goals on plays from the 11-yard-line against Michigan State and the 22-yard line against Indiana. The Wolverines cannot afford to leave points on the table, especially against Big Ten East Division opponents.

3. Win on third down

That means capitalizing on third down, on both sides of the ball. The Wolverines finished 2 for 13 on third-down offensive plays at Indiana, and is 29 for 92 (31.5 percent) on third down this season, which is second-to-last in the Big Ten. Michigan’s opponents, meanwhile, are a scant 18 for 88 (20.5 percent) on third-down; the Wolverines lead the Big Ten in that statistical category.

Predictions

Rachel Lenzi: Penn State 23, Michigan 17

Kevin Goheen: Penn State 26, Michigan 20

QB Matt Corral talks 81-0 win, visit from Florida OC Doug Nussmeier

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Quarterback Matt Corral put on a show Friday for Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

With his future position coach looking on, Corral led Long Beach Poly to an 81-0 win over Jordan. He threw for 320 yards and 5 touchdowns on 10-of-13 passing in one half of play.

In the video interview below, Corral discusses his performance, Nussmeier’s visit and Richard Gouraige’s commitment.

The best College GameDay signs from Week 8 at Penn State

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

Happy Valley is the site of ESPN College GameDay for the huge matchup between No. 19 Michigan and No. 2 Penn State.

As you’d expect, fans of the defending Big Ten champion Nittany Lions are going after Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh.

Here are the best signs on display from University Park, Pa.:

ESPN: Marcell Ateman’s emergence ‘really cranked this Oklahoma State passing offense up’

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:59 AM

The Texas Longhorns secondary will have its hands full on Saturday, to say the least.

With an FBS-leading Oklahoma State offense (610.7 YPG) coming to Austin, much of the defensive focus will be centered around the Pokes dynamic quarterback-receiver duo of Mason Rudolph and James Washington, and rightfully so. Rudolph leads the nation in passing yards per game (394.7), while his star wide out ranks No. 2 nationally with 882 receiving yards.

But as ESPN’s Jake Trotter noted during a Saturday morning segment on SportsCenter, it’s the added dimension that is Marcell Ateman who’s helped lift this Oklahoma State offense to mind-boggling heights.

“Everybody knew about James Washington, the All-American, coming into the season, but the emergence and Marcell Ateman on the other side has really cranked this Oklahoma State passing offense up to another level,” Trotter said.

With opposing defenses now tasked with slowing not just Washington, but Ateman, as well, the success in doing so has been minimal.

After combining for 354 yards and 2 touchdowns in Oklahoma State’s record-setting display in a 59-16 win over Baylor, in which the Pokes poured on 747 yards of total offense, Washington and Ateman became the first duo in Big 12 history to each record four-straight 100-yard games. They’re also the first to accomplish that feat among the entire FBS ranks since 1996.

As far as Atman’s personal prowess is concerned, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior ranks second on the team with 29 receptions for 568 yards. He’s on pace to concluded the regular season with career-high efforts of 58 receptions for 1,136 yards, which would be nearly 400 more yards than his 2016 production (766).

Ateman and the Cowboys will be tested today, though.

On the road in Austin, The Cowboys potent passing attack will square off with a Texas defense that ranks No. 19 in efficiency and a secondary headlined by rising stars in Holton Hill and DeShon Elliott.

Which of these two strengths gets the upper hand inside Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium should have a substantial say in which shade of orange finds itself going back to the drawing board by Sunday morning.

Oklahoma State and Texas will kick off at 11:00 a.m. CT on ABC.