Related Stories SELF-DESTRUCTION: Flurry of 2nd-half turnovers, mistakes by Syracuse lead to frustrating loss to RutgersAfter disappointing loss, time for players to take blameKrautman’s woes continue in loss to Rutgers; Thomas returns to field after taking bit hit Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm Contact Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org | @chris_iseman PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Jawan Jamison wore the target.On a Rutgers offense that’s been uninspiring this season, the Scarlet Knights running back has the ability to singlehandedly tilt the game in his team’s favor. Against Syracuse, he was mostly a nonfactor, as he could only muster 64 yards.The Orange’s defense did almost everything it needed to do, but it did not matter. Despite giving the offense more than enough chances, members of the unit took on a team-first attitude. They maintained they were not frustrated that that their efforts were mostly negated by Syracuse’s costly turnovers. In a game where SU’s defense was not flawless, but stout nonetheless, the Orange (2-4, 1-1 Big East) never took advantage and handed the Scarlet Knights (6-0, 2-0) a 23-15 win at High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday.“Whatever the team needed, that’s what we’re going to do,” linebacker Siriki Diabate said. “If the team needs us to be out there the whole game, we’re going to be out there the whole game. We’ve got to make a stop. We’ve got to find a way to win.”Syracuse’s defense was on the field about four minutes longer than Rutgers’. It seemed much longer. Though the unit made mistakes, its performance should have been enough for SU.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRutgers quarterback Gary Nova was held to 157 passing yards. Jamison, the Big East’s rushing leader at 112.5 yards per game, had run for at least 100 yards in each game this season, and seven of the last eight dating back to last year. But the Scarlet Knights finished with only 85 rushing yards on Saturday.Shut him down, and suddenly the door to a win opens wider. Or at least that was how it was supposed to be.On Rutgers’ first play of the game, quarterback Gary Nova handed off to Jamison. The running back rushed for no gain. The next play, Jamison earned two yards. He could not get anything going as the Syracuse defense executed its plan of attack.“That’s just who we are as a defense. We stop the run first and we earn the right to rush the passer,” defensive tackle Deon Goggins said. “That’s a goal of ours, stop the run, especially these backs coming in, rushing for a hundred and something every game.”Even when it was not stopping Jamison, the defense repeatedly gave SU opportunities to score.With Rutgers leading 17-7 at the end of the third quarter, the Orange could still come back. A couple of well-played drives could have swung the momentum. SU’s defense forced a Scarlet Knights’ three-and-out as Rutgers back-up tailback Savon Huggins ran for a total of 2 yards during the series.Syracuse could start chipping away from the opening seconds of the final quarter thanks to a well-played series by its defense. Except Steve Rene, back to take the punt, dropped the ball.RU recovered, and the Orange defense was right back out on the field.“I thought our defense did a very nice job during the game,” head coach Doug Marrone said. “The whole course of the game, despite being put in some very difficult situations.”Syracuse forced Rutgers into a situation it hasn’t dealt with this season. An offense that’s already lackluster lost its brightest hope each time Jamison was stuffed for a short gain.In the Scarlet Knights’ previous two Big East games, against South Florida and Connecticut, he ran for 151 and 110 yards, respectively.On Saturday, Jamison’s unspectacular numbers blended into the stat sheet.RU had to abandon its running game and resort to the air. Wide receiver Brandon Coleman finished with 104 yards, but one of his six catches was for 43 yards. Goggins said he was surprised Rutgers started passing so much so early. He only expected that if Syracuse was winning, he said.Goggins said to compensate for SU’s offensive mistakes, the defense needs to force more turnovers. Still, Goggins and his unit should not have needed anything extra on Saturday.They found an answer few other teams have in taking Jamison out of the game. But it was not enough.“It was a good thing on the stat sheet,” Goggins said. “But it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t come together as a team and win.” Comments
Though he missed less than two months, Peralta recalled the journey as emotionally draining.“I was two days away from surgery, then everything started turning back around,” he said. “I told people to start praying for me, and I think that’s what helped. God was the one who got me out of surgery and got me to start playing.”If Peralta needed surgery to relieve the pressure on his nerve, he said it would have ended his season and possibly his career.Back in April when he was healthy, Peralta was effective. He did not allow a run in seven appearances and collected three saves in Kenley Jansen’s absence.When healthy, Peralta can regularly hit 89-90 mph on the radar gun, something he did in his final week of rehab at Triple-A. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Peralta adds “a different look” to the current mix of relievers: “A little more like J.P. (Howell), a guy that’s going to change speeds, a guy with experience pitching in big games, capable of pitching to the middle of the order.”Peralta appeared in 297 games from 2011-15 — almost 75 games per season. To get back to feeling 100 percent, Peralta said he might need to pitch with similar frequency.“Pitch four days in a row, rest two days, pitch three days in a row — that was always my best outing because I was pitching consistently,” he said.Bullpen shuffleTo make room for Peralta on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned right-handed reliever Matt West to Triple-A Oklahoma City. They also recalled left-handed pitcher Ian Thomas from Triple-A, swapping spots with left-hander Daniel Coulombe.Thomas had been starting recently at Oklahoma City but is expected to serve as a long reliever in the majors. Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias, who had struggled recently, are expected to remain in the rotation and start Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the Cubs.The Dodgers couldn’t officially bring up Thomas until about 10 minutes before Monday’s game because his flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago was delayed due to inclement weather.Ethier’s job safeCarl Crawford continues to make progress in his rehab from a strained oblique muscle, Mattingly said, but the manager offered no assurance that Crawford will be the Dodgers’ starting left fielder once he returns.“I haven’t thought about where (Crawford) fits in,” Mattingly said. “Andre’s kind of taken that spot.”Ethier, who was not in the starting lineup Monday against a left-handed starter, entered the week batting .275 with a .353 on-base percentage. His .487 slugging percentage was higher than any he’s posted in a full season since 2010.Crawford was the starting left fielder before he got hurt on April 27. The Dodgers used a platoon of Scott Van Slyke and Alex Guerrero in left field at first. When Yasiel Puig returned from the disabled list earlier this month, Ethier shifted from right field to left and has been the everyday starter since.“It’s not Carl’s fault he got hurt,” Mattingly said. “He had to work his way in. You never know who the odd man out is. … We may platoon a couple spots in the outfield.” CHICAGO >> At one point this year, it occurred to Dodgers pitcher Joel Peralta that he might never play again.“It still does,” he said, “considering my age.”For now the 39-year-old is counting his blessings. Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs was Peralta’s first on the active roster since April 26. The compressed nerve in his neck that was affecting his right triceps hasn’t been an issue for weeks, and Peralta said he is close to 100 percent. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
DES MOINES — The forecast calls for plenty of snow to fly over the next few days, but thousands of Iowans will be thinking of sunny, summer days ahead as they attend one of the biggest one-day bicycling shows in the Midwest.The Iowa Bike Expo is Saturday in Des Moines. Organizer Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says the free event is for everyone who’s into pedal power. “You’re going to see bikes, gear, destinations and events,” Wyatt says. “Really, people come there shopping for their summer. If you want to check out what the latest trail is, if you want to check out what the bike shops have as far as new gear to offer, this is the event for you.”If you’re shopping for a new bike, whether it’s a traditional two-wheel road bike, recumbent, tandem or electric, Wyatt says there will easily be hundreds of options. “There’s a bike demo area,” Wyatt says. “We’ve got four or five vendors who will let you take a bike over and give it a short ride, right in front of the events center on the floor, so that’ll be pretty cool.”There will be educational seminars to help riders get in touch with bike advocacy, a legal workshop, and new product launches at the event. While Iowa has hundreds of miles of paved trails, the expo features representatives from a host of “destination” bike rides in other states, including Minnesota and Kentucky.“There’s a lot of interest in the Iowa bicycling community,” Wyatt says. “Certainly, they see it as economic development that they can import to their states. We know that we’ve got to continue to develop that economic impact on bicycling here in Iowa.”The Iowa Bike Expo is free and runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.