Hartsock and Pendleton, Week 7 football on Facebook Live

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

            Hartsock and Pendleton.
Hartsock and Pendleton.

The boys are back, talking high school football.

»WEEK 6: Here’s what we had to say last week

Follow Mike Hartsock, Sports Director for WHIO News Center 7, and Cox Media Group Ohio (Dayton Daily News) staff sports writer Marc Pendleton, on Facebook Live at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

We’ll address Week 6 results and Week 7 games.

Join us and post your questions at Mike’s Facebook page.

»COMPUTER RANKINGS: This week’s OHSAA release

»WEEK 7: High school football schedule

»RELATED: Top 7 all-time, Dayton-area football players

»NEVER TOO LATE: For Belmont senior to get defensive

Jim Larranaga: Miami five-star freshman Lonnie Walker is ‘close to 100 percent’

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 4:19 PM

Miami coach Jim Larranaga offered an encouraging update on the team’s prized freshman addition.

Five-star standout Lonnie Walker, who tore the meniscus in his right knee during a July practice but had a successful surgery, should be ‘close to 100 percent’ for the Hurricanes’ season opener on Nov. 10 vs. Gardner Webb.

In a report from Palm Beach Post reporter Matt Porter, Larranaga said all that’s left for Walker is to regain his stamina.

“He can do everything,” Larranaga said.  “He’s just not in great shape yet.”

Walker has been selected as one of 20 players on the watch list for the Jerry West Award, which is given to the nation’s best at the position.

Walker was a McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic All-American.

Miami coach Jim Larrañaga raved about Walker’s potential in a 247Sports story by Mike Bakas.

“Lonnie Walker IV is the highest-ranked player who has ever signed at the University of Miami. At 6’5, he is a dynamic athlete with long-range shooting ability,” coach Larrañaga said. “He has got acrobatic lay-ups, and for those fans who got to know and love [rising sophomore] Bruce Brown, we have another one just like him. A happy, go-lucky, smiley and energetic athlete who fans will adopt very, very quickly.”

Walker is projected by NBA scouts to be a potential first round pick in the 2018 draft.

Ford Frick Award nominees include two with Cincinnati Reds connection

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 4:19 PM

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan stands next to his statue. LOT TAN / STAFF
Hall of Famer Joe Morgan stands next to his statue. LOT TAN / STAFF

A pair of voices from the Cincinnati Reds’ past are up for the Ford C. Frick Award. 

The 2018 version of the award, which recognizes excellence in baseball broadcasting, will go to Joe Morgan, Al Michaels, Buddy Balttner, Joe Buck, Bob Costas, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale or Pee Wee Reese. 

Morgan was a Hall of Fame second baseman for the Reds and is currently a special advisor for the club. 

He spent 21 seasons as an analyst for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball and also worked for NBC and ABC. 

Michaels is currently the play-by-play man for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, but he was the voice of the Reds on the radio from 1971-73. 

He was replaced by Marty Brennaman, who won the Frick Award in 2000. 

Former Reds broadcasters Red Barber and Russ Hodges are also among the winners of the award. 

Paul Finebaum: Dan Mullen would be good candidate for Tennessee

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 4:18 PM

Can you picture Dan Mullen at Tennessee? Apparently, Paul Finebaum can.

On Monday, the noted SEC Network analyst dropped an interesting quote about the Mississippi State coach when discussing Tennessee’s situation. Of course, Butch Jones is facing massive heat as the Volunteers’ coach. If Tennessee were to move on from Jones, Finebaum likes Mullen as a possible candidate.

Certainly, all this is dependent on Tennessee moving past Jones soon. But Mullen’s name has been floated for jobs before. At this point, wouldn’t it be a surprise if he actually left Starkville?

No doubt, Mullen has been good for Mississippi State. He’s 66-44 as the Bulldogs’ coach, and he has been praised for his ability to mold quarterbacks. He has guided Mississippi State to a 5-2 record this season with a big test against Texas A&M coming Saturday.

We’ll see what happens at Tennessee, but it seems unlikely that Mullen would leave Starkville for Knoxville.

The Virginia Tech-Duke matchup has become a closely contested football rivalry

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 4:14 PM

Longtime ACC football fans cherish conference rivalry games like Miami vs. Florida State because they attract national attention for the entire week leading up to the kickoff, but those same individuals better not sleep on the Virginia Tech-Duke matchup. The last four games in the series have been decided by three points or less, with the road team winning each encounter.

“It’s going to be a tough, hard-fought football game and we’ll need to have a great week of practice to prepare,” Fuente said to Roanoke Times reporter Andy Bitter.

Fuente was on the brink of losing his first meeting against the Blue Devils as VT coach last season, but his special teams came through with a go-ahead 75-yard touchdown score after a blocked field goal attempt that gave the Hokies a tightly-contested 24-21 road win. More importantly, the victory gave Virginia Tech a firm hold of the ACC Coastal Division.

This year, Duke has been woefully inconsistent offensively, as the lack of a consistent passing game has largely contributed to the team’s current four game conference losing streak. The Blue Devils defense is an active unit that creates chaos in the opponent’s backfield. They’re fourth in the ACC (334.4 yards) in total yards given up by a defense, and lead the conference in tackles (66) for loss this season. Fuente understands the challenge ahead for his offense this weekend.

“They’ve continued to improve athletically through recruiting,” Fuente said of Duke’s defense, “They do some great things schematically. They’re able to play some man coverage and get down and play tight coverage and competitive coverage. I think they’ve gradually improved in terms of athleticism. I’m not exactly positive how they’ve evolved schematically, but they’re a fine unit.”

Duke (4-4, 1-4 in the ACC)  travels to Virginia Tech (6-1, 2-1 in the ACC)  on October 28, with kickoff scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET.

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