The Five Best Rookie Running Backs In New York Jets History



The New York Jets have had a roller coaster history in professional football that has included the highest of highs and some pretty long lows too. Along the way, some great players have suited up in the green and white. Who have been the franchise’s best rookie running backs though?

#5 – 1981 – Freeman McNeil
Longtime Jets running back Freeman McNeil got his start as a rookie in 1981 for the team. That season saw him get 137 carries for 623 yards and two touchdown though he would start just six games.

#4 – 2006 – Leon Washington
Leon Washington saw time catching balls out of the backfield and playing on special teams, but he also found the time during his rookie season to carry the ball 151 times for 650 yards and four touchdowns.

#3 – 1976 – Clark Gaines
In 1976, a 22 year old Clark Gaines rushed the ball 157 times for 724 yards and three touchdowns.

#2 – 1971 – John Riggins
Though he would become much more famous for his exploits in a Washington Redskins uniform, John Riggins got his start for the Jets in 1971 where as a rookie he started every game and carried the ball 180 times for 769 yards and one touchdown.

#1 – 1964 – Matt Snell
In the early days of the New York Jets, a star player was needed and Matt Snell was that guy. He came on in 1964 as a rookie and carried the ball 215 times for 948 yards and five touchdowns.

Five Things You May Not Know About Dak Prescott



Dak Prescott came out of Mississippi State, drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. During the preseason of his rookie year he was looked at as the third string quarterback, at best. Then a leg injury to second string quarterback Kellen Moore and a back injury to starter Tony Romo put him in the enviable spot of being the starting quarterback for America’s Team. He made the most of it too. Here is a look at five things you may not know about Dak Prescott.

Cowboy Rookie QB Touchdown Passes

Dak Prescott is the 16th quarterback in Dallas Cowboys history to throw a touchdown pass for the team during his rookie year. The first 15 were:

Don Meredith
Jerry Rhome
Craig Morton
Roger Staubach
Clint Longley
Danny White
Reggie Collier
Kevin Sweeney
Troy Aikman
Steve Walsh
Clint Stoerner
Quincy Carter
Chad Hutchinson
Drew Henson
Stephen McGee

Another Impressive Rookie

Dak Prescott went to Haughton High School in Haughton, Louisiana. Another impressive NFL rookie who came from that same high school was running back Joe Delaney. Delaney was a rookie with the Chiefs in 1981 and, like Prescott, was named to the Pro Bowl in his first season in the league.

Two Time College Bowl MVP

In college at Mississippi State, Dak Prescott was named the MVP of both the Liberty Bowl in 2013 and Belk Bowl in 2015.

First 300 Yard Game

The first time Dak Prescott would throw for 300 or more yards in a game came in the 9th game of his rookie season on November 13, 2016 in a win over the Steelers. That game saw him complete 22 of 32 passes for 319 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.

The First To Repeat TD Receptions

The first NFL player Dak Prescott would throw more than one TD pass to in his career was Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley who caught the fourth TD pass of Prescott’s career in a win over the Bengals and then the fifth the next week in a win over the Packers.

Eight Pitt Panthers Quarterbacks Have Been Taken In The NFL Draft



The Pitt Panthers are a highly accomplished college football team that has sent more than its fair share of players on to the NFL. Quarterback is the highest profile position in the sport though. How many NFL quarterbacks have been taken in the draft out of the University of Pittsburgh?

Pete Neft – 1956 – Steelers – 23rd Round

Corny Salvaterra – 1957 – Steelers – 17th Round

Ken Lucas – 1966 – Steelers – 18th Round

Matt Cavanaugh – 1978 – Patriots – 2nd Round

Rick Trocano – 1981 – Steelers – 11th Round

Dan Marino – 1983 – Dolphins – 1st Round

Alex Van Pelt – 1993 – Steelers – 8th Round

Tom Savage – 2014 – Texans – 4th Round

Of note:

-Five of the eight Pitt Panthers quarterbacks selected in the NFL Draft, including the first three ever, were all taken by the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers.

A Dozen Fun Facts About The Sun Bowl



Here is a look at some interesting info and fun facts about the Sun Bowl.

-The Sun Bowl has been played at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso since 1963. It previously was played at Jones Stadium from 1935 to 1937 and Kidd Field from 1938 to 1962, both of which were also located in El Paso.

-The most points ever scored by one team in the Sun Bowl is 56 and came in the 2007 version of the game when the University of Oregon beat South Florida 56-21.

-The Sun Bowl started in 1935 which makes it tied with the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl as the second oldest college football bowl games in the United States.

-Through 2011, the school with the most wins in Sun Bowl history is the Univeristy of Texas-El Paso (UTEP). UTEP also plays its home games at Sun Bowl Stadium too.

-The 2008 Sun Bowl established a record for the lowest amount of points scored in the game when Oregon State University defeated the University of Pittsburgh by the score of 3-0.

-Some of the great players who have won the MVP Award of the Sun Bowl and gone on to make a name for themselves in the National Football League include Charley Johnson, Jim Kiick, Johnny “Lam” Jones, Paul Skansi, Cornelius Bennett, Thurman Thomas, Priest Holmes, Chad Hutchinson, Kyle Orton, Matt Moore, and Jonathan Stewart.

-The Sun Bowl also awards a Most Valuable Lineman Award and some of the notable names to have won that over the years are Matt Blair, Doug Martin, Steve Alvord, Derrick Thomas, Blake Brockermeyer, Shaun Phillips, and Gerald McCoy.

-Through 2011, Texas Tech holds the record for the most Sun Bowl appearances with nine. Unfortunately their record in those nine Sun Bowls is just 1-8.

-The very first Sun Bowl ever featured an El Paso All Stars team defeating a team from Ranger, Texas by the score of 25-21.

-The most points scored in a losing effort in Sun Bowl history is 38. This first happened in 2005 when UCLA defeated Northwester 50-38. It happened for the second time the very next year when Oregon State defeated Missouri 39-38.

-The very first tie game ending in the game came just two years into the bowl’s run as the 1936 Sun Bowl ended with both Hardin-Simmons and New Mexico State scoring 14 points.

-The 1940 Sun Bowl featured Arizona State against Catholic University. The final score was 0-0.

Five Things You May Not Know About Russell Wilson



Russell Wilson is still a young NFL star but with all his accomplishments he seems like a seasoned veteran. Here is a look at five fun facts about this one of a kind quarterback.

Top Ten Seahawks Rusher

Through five NFL seasons, and as of 2016, Russell Wilson ranks 8th in career rushing yards for the Seahawks. The seven men ranking ahead of him include Shaun Alexander, Chris Warren, Curt Warner, Marshawn Lynch, John L. Williams, Ricky Watters, and Sherman Smith. He has more career rushing yards for the team than names like Maurice Morris, Dan Doornink, Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, Lamar Smith, David Sims, and Derrick Fenner.

Jersey Number 3

Russell Wilson wears jersey number 3 for the Seahawks. The last Seahawks player to wear that number prior to him was kicker Josh Brown who wore it from 2003 to 2007.

Success In The Desert

The first team Russell Wilson would throw 15 or more career touchdown passes against was the Arizona Cardinals.

30+ Completions

The first time Russell Wilson would complete 30 or more passes in one game came in a loss to the Rams on September 13, 2015 on the road. That day saw him complete 32 of 41 passes for 251 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

The First Sacker

The first time Russell Wilson was sacked in the NFL was in the first game of his career, a loss to the Cardinals. The first player to sack him was Paris Lenon who dropped him for a five yard loss. He would be sacked three times during that very first game.

Looking Back At Ezekiel Elliott’s First NFL Game



Ezekiel Elliot was extremely successful at Ohio State where he put up back to back 1800+ yard seasons in 2014 and 2015. The running back was then drafted fourth overall by the Dallas Cowboys and all eyes were on him. How did he do in his first NFL regular season game?

Game 1 of the NFL season for the Cowboys was a home game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 11th, 2016. There were just under 93,000 people on hand to see a Cowboys team that featured two prominent rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott got into game action early as he received the hand off on the very first play of the game. He ran off right tackle for a one yard game before being tackled by Nat Berhe of the Giants. He carried the ball seven times on that first drive of his career, with his longest gain being five yards, before the Cowboys went up 3-0 on the strength of a Dan Bailey 23 yard field goal.

The Cowboys would lose the game that day 20-19 and start the season 0-1. Elliott would finish the day with 20 carries for 51 yards and one touchdown. His longest gain was for eight yards. He also caught one pass for a one yard gain.

Ezekiel Elliott went on to put up one of the best rookie rushing performances ever over the course of his first season in the league. But it all started with that 51 yard effort in an opening season loss to the New York Giants.

The Five Best Jacksonville Jaguars Rookie Running Backs Ever



Here we take a look at the best rookie seasons turned in by a Jacksonville Jaguars running back. No surprise that the number one spot is held by one of the franchise’s all time greats.

The five best Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running backs ever.

#5 – 2001 – Elvis Joseph
2001 saw rookie Elvis Joseph come in on a part time basis, starting in just three games, and rush the ball 68 times for 294 yards and no touchdowns.

#4 – 1995 – James Stewart
The Jaguars first year in pro football was 1995 and that year rookie running back James Stewart would carry the ball 137 times for 525 yards and two touchdowns.

#3 – 2015 – T.J. Yeldon
2015 saw rookie T.J. Yeldon get 12 starts at running back for Jacksonville and rush for a total of 740 yards. This was the third highest total for a rookie that year, behind Todd Gurley of the Rams and Thomas Rawls of the Seahawks.

#2 – 2006 – Maurice Jones-Drew
The little man, Maurice Jones Drew, barely missed a 1000 yard season during his rookie year in 2006 when he carried the ball 166 times for 941 yards and 13 touchdowns.

#1 – 1998 – Fred Taylor
Fred Taylor was the ninth overall pick in the draft in 1998 and went on to pay off big time. During his rookie season, he carried the ball 264 times for 1,223 yards, and 14 touchdowns.

Interesting Note:
If this list hadn’t been isolated to just running backs, the number five spot on the list of top rookie rushing performances for the Jaguars would be held by quarterback Blake Bortles and his 2014 total of 419 yards.

28 Fun Facts About The Rose Bowl



The Rose Bowl is one of the most looked forward to bowl games of the college football season. It also has one of the most impressive histories too. So many great players have played there over the years. Here is a look at some fun facts about the Granddaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl.

-The Rose Bowl is the oldest bowl game in college football. It has been played every year since 1916. The first Rose Bowl though was actually played in 1902.

-The original home stadium for the Rose Bowl in both the 1902 game as well as the games played from 1916 to 1922 was Tournament Park.

-The Rose Bowl Game was originally known as the Tournament East-West Football Game before changing to its more famous name.

-The first tie game in Rose Bowl history came in 1922 when California played Washington & Jefferson to a final score of 0-0. The second time game in Rose Bowl history came just two years later when Washington and Navy played to a 14-14 final.

-Neil Snow of the Michigan Wolverines scored five rushing touchdowns in that first ever Rose Bowl in 1902. No player since has ever equaled or surpassed that accomplishment.

-Four of the first five Rose Bowl games were shutouts. Michigan won the first one 49-0 over Stanford. Washington State won the second one 14-0 over Brown. Oregon won the third one 14-0 over Pennsylvania. Great Lakes US Navy won the fifth one 17-0 over Mare Island.

-The Rose Bowl Game is played in the stadium that shares its name, the Rose Bowl, and has been every year since 1923 except for once.

-In 1942, the Rose Bowl was relocated to the east coast due to the recent attack on Pearl Harbor and the fear that the game could be an easy target with high casualties. The game was played at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on the campus of Duke University.

-Only three teams have played in multiple Rose Bowls and come away undefeated. Nebraska, Duke, and Tennessee are all 2-0 in the big game.

-The first corporate sponsor of the Rose Bowl was AT&T from 1999 to 2002. It has since been sponsored by Sony/Playstation 2, Citi, and Vizio.

-Due to America’s involvement in World War I and most colleges having a shortage of players, the 1918 and 1919 Rose Bowls were contested by teams from military bases. The 1918 Rose Bowl was won by the Mare Island USMC team over the Camp Lewis Army team. 1919 saw the Great Lakes US Navy team defeat the Mare Island team.

-The first Rose Bowl in 1902 was won by the score of 49-0 by the University of Michigan over Stanford University.

-The MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl was none other than George Halas who would later achieve fame as the longtime owner and head coach of the Chicago Bears.

-When the game became re-established in 1916, the first game was won by the State College of Washington (now Washington State University) over Brown University.

-The most points scored in a losing effort in the Rose Bowl came in 2006. That year’s game saw Texas defeat USC 41-38.

-Elmer Layden was the MVP of the 1925 Rose Bowl. He would later serve as the commissioner of the NFL from 1941 to 1946.

-While for many years the Rose Bowl featured the champion of the Big 10 vs. the champion of the Pac 10, the two conferences also had a no repeat rule. This meant that if a team had appeared in the Rose Bowl the previous year then they could not appear in it for a second time in a row.

-Schools that have lost consecutive Rose Bowls include Stanford in (1934, 1935), California (1949, 1950, 1951), Ohio State (1975, 1976), Michigan (1977, 1978, 1979), USC (1988, 1989), and Michigan again (2004, 2005).

-The 1952 Rose Bowl was the first bowl game to be nationally televised.

-Johnny Mack Brown was the MVP of the 1926 Rose Bowl and would go on to appear in more than 160 movies, for a time thought by many to be one of the better B Western actors in Hollywoood.

-USC has won back to back Rose Bowls four times. They won in 1932 and 1933, 1939 and 1940, 1944 and 1945, and then in 1979 and 1980. They have actually won three consecutive Rose Bowls one time also as they came out victorious in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

-USC and Michigan have met in the Rose Bowl eight times as of 2011. This is the most head to head meetings in this game of any pair of schools.

-The 49 points scored by Michigan in the first ever Rose Bowl in 1902 is also the most points ever scored in the game. It has been equaled twice though. First by Michigan once again in 1948 in a shutout over USC. Then USC scored 49 points in 2008 on their way to defeating Illinois.

-The last school to have been a member of the original Big 10 or Pac 10 and not qualify for an appearance in the Rose Bowl is the University of Arizona.

-From 1902 through 1953, the first 50 years of the Rose Bowl’s existence, there were 18 shutouts. From 1954 through 2011, well over 50 years, there was only one shutout. This came in 1982 when the University of Washington defeated the University of Iowa by the score of 28-0.

-No school has appeared in the Rose Bowl more often than USC who has played in the big game an amazing 33 times.

-As of 2011, USC has won the Rose Bowl 24 times. No other school has won it more than eight.

-Many players have won the MVP Award for the Rose Bowl and gone on to have successful careers in professional football including Ernie Nevers, Charley Trippi, O.J. Simpson, Jim Plunkett, Sam Cunningham, Pat Haden, Warren Moon, Charles White, Butch Woolfolk, Don Rogers, Jack Del Rio, Mark Brunell, Steve Emtman, Tyrone Wheatley, Keyshawn Johnson, Brian Griese, Ron Dayne, Vince Young, Mark Sanchez, and Andy Dalton.

-Nine players have played in the Rose Bowl and then come back to participate in it as a head coach. They are Bret Bielema of Iowa, Terry Donahue of UCLA, Bump Elliott of Michigan, Pete Elliott of Michigan, Jess Hill of USC, Rick Neuheisel of UCLA, John Robinson of Oregon, Bob Stoops of Iowa, and Chuck Taylor of Stanford.

-Rick Neuheisel is the only person to win the MVP of the Rose Bowl and then return to the game as a head coach.

-Seven head coaches have actually brought more than one team to the Rose Bowl: Hugo Bezdek (Oregon, Mare Island, Penn State), John Cooper (Arizona State, Ohio State), Bill Dietz (Washington State, Mare Island), Pete Elliott (California, Illinois), Robert Folwell (Pennsylvania, Navy), Tommy Prothro (Oregon State, UCLA), and Wallace Wade (Alabama, Duke).

10 Fun Facts About The Long Forgotten Pelican Bowl



The Pelican Bowl was not around very long but for those who remember it or want to know a little bit more about here are some fun facts and interesting info.

-The Pelican Bowl was set up to have the champion from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play against the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champion.

-There were only three Pelican Bowls played; 1972, 1974, and 1975.

-Grambling University not only won the first Pelican Bowl ever, but they did so by the score of 56-6 over North Carolina Central.

-Grambling would go on to win the second Pelican Bowl ever played too, this time by the score of 28-7 over South Carolina State.

-South Carolina State would become the first and only school to lose both multiple as well as consecutive Pelican Bowls when they fell 15-12 to Southern University in the 1975 game.

-The first Pelican Bowl was supposed to be held on the campus of Southern University. It was relocated due to campus unrest following an on campus shooting. It ended up being played at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. This was the same stadium that hosted the 1942 Rose Bowl when it had been relocated from California following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

-The second Pelican Bowl would be played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

-The third and final Pelican Bowl was played indoors in the Louisiana Superdome.

-Though the Pelican Bowl was not seen again, the idea did not fully die out as the Heritage Bowl was established in 1991 and it too featured the MEAC and SWAC champions playing against each other.

-Doug Williams would lead Grambling to their second Pelican Bowl title in 1974, winning the MVP Award for the game in the process. He would go on to have a long career in the NFL, also play in the USFL, and even return to be the head coach of Grambling later in his career.

16 Little Known Fun Facts About The Sugar Bowl



The Sugar Bowl is one of those college bowl games that really is something special, thanks in large part to its place in history and some of the great things that have happened during the game. Here is a nice little list featuring some fun facts about the Sugar Bowl.

-Along with the Sun Bowl and the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl is tied as the second oldest bowl game behind the Rose Bowl.

-The first Sugar Bowl was played on January 1st, 1935. Tulane beat Temple that day by the score of 20-14.

-One of the most interesting final scores in Sugar Bowl history came in the second one ever played. In 1936, TCU defeated LSU by the score of 3-2.

-Mississippi actually had five Sugar Bowl appearances over a span of seven years. They won the game in 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963, and then lost the Sugar Bowl in 1964.

-The first school to have back to back victories in the Sugar Bowl was Santa Clara which won in 1937 and 1938. Other schools that have gone on to post back to back victories in the game include Oklahoma in 1949 and 1950, Georgia Tech in 1953 and 1954, Mississippi in 1960 and 1961, Oklahoma again in 1972.

-Alabama is the only team to have ever won three consecutive Sugar Bowl contests. They beat Ohio State in 1978, Penn State in 1979, and Arkansas in 1980.

-The University of Oklahoma is technically credited with two Sugar Bowl victories in one year. They defeated Auburn 40-22 on January 1st, 1972. Then the next year’s game was moved to New Year’s Eve and they defeated Penn State 14-0 on December 31st, 1972.

-Teams who have lost back to back Sugar Bowl contests include Tulsa in 1943 and 1944, Arkansas in 1962 and 1963, and Georgia in 1982 and 1983.

-LSU has a proud football history but they were the first and so far only team to ever lose three straight Sugar Bowls. They lost the 1936, 1937, and 1938 games which were also the second, third, and fourth Sugar Bowls in history.

-Through 2011, two teams are tied for most appearances in the Sugar Bowl with 13. They are Alabama who has gone 8-5 and LSU who has gone 6-7.

-The Sugar Bowl is played yearly in the Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana. Before being played there, it was originally played at Tulane Stadium from 1934 to 1974.

-2006 saw the Sugar Bowl relocated to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta due to damages done to the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina.

-Some of the great players who have won the MVP Award of the Sugar Bowl and gone on to make a name for themselves in professional football include Bobby Layne, Billy Cannon, Ken Stabler, Archie Manning, Richard Todd, Matt Cavanaugh, Jeff Rutledge, Herschel Walker, Dan Marino, Bo Jackson, Jerome Bettis, Warrick Dunn, David Boston, Peter Warrick, Jason Campbell, and Tim Tebow.

-The MVP Award of the Sugar Bowl was won by two men at the position of quarterback who would go on to make names for themselves as head coaches at a number of different levels, Pepper Rodgers in 1954 and Steve Spurrier in 1966.

-The 1967 Sugar Bowl would have featured a very strong Army team had the Pentagon not decided that a bowl game appearance by an armed forces team would not be appropriate during a time of war.

-The only tie game in Sugar Bowl history came in 1988 when Syracuse and Auburn played to a 16-16 final score.