Crumbs: A wild Friday for BGSU athleticsWritten by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time again to sift through the futon and share what is found between the cushions, in a feature within a feature affectionately titled “Futon Report Crumbs.” Today, I found a silver lining, a sports bar anomoly, and Bruce Gradkowski.
Michigan and Ohio State had their day over the weekend, but how often does UT or BG get to showcase their full repertoire of revenue sports? On Friday night, the Falcons football team beat Akron 36-20 on ESPNU. Meanwhile, in Iowa, their basketball team was getting shelled by the Hawkeyes 68-46 on the Big Ten Network. And the hockey team, once rumored to be dropped by the school, upset Michigan 4-2.
Never mind Saturday’s results, including the Wolverines hockey team exacting revenge on the Falcons in Lucas County Arena with a 4-1 win. Or the women’s basketball team losing to Marist. Because these paragraphs were about Friday. Wonderful, magical Friday.
3-POINT BRIGHT SPOT — The UT basketball team also had their fair share of exposure. Even though what was exposed most was their youth, a couple of major schools also caught a glimpse of redshirt freshman guard Stephen Albrecht. He totaled 19 points against Cincinnati and led the team with 20 at Michigan State, but he also sank five 3-point baskets in each game. His 18 points per game is by far the best on his own roster, and his 4.3 treys per game puts him at sixth in the nation in this extremely early season.
REMEMBER HIM? — When we last left Bruce Gradkowski, we saw him floundering with the Cleveland Browns last year, starting the final game, a 31-0 loss to Pittsburgh, because Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson, and even Ken Dorsey were all out with injuries. (Or maybe they took the easy way out.) The former UT quarterback is making the MAC lineage of signal callers proud yet again, now that the Oakland Raiders tabbed him the starter over former No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell. Gradkowski led his team to a ridiculously shocking 20-17 upset over the AFC North-leading Bengals, going 17-for-34 for 183 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception that occurred primarily because he was hit as he threw.
From everything San Francisco Chronicle writer Scott Ostler says about him, the Raiders appear to be — at least for now — moving forward with Gradkowski as their starter. He’ll even start on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps that’ll give Northwest Ohioans something to watch, especially if the Lions game is blacked out.
BRASS ONES — Last Friday night at a more-than-half-full sports bar in Saline, Mich., just outside of Ann Arbor, I saw a table of Ohio State fans clad in full scarlet and gray apparel. With a sea of maize in every other booth, all the tables adjacent to the Buckeyes supporters were vacant. At first I wondered why these fans would be so daring as to advance into enemy territory dressed like that. Then I saw the Buckeyes run for 251 yards against the Wolverines the following day.
My question was answered. Taking a page out of the Rich Rodriguez defensive playbook, the Michigan fans simply couldn’t stop them from entering the premises.