Shafer discusses freshman running back Philips’ involvement on special teams, offense

first_img Published on September 25, 2014 at 11:51 am Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb Although Syracuse’s offense only gave Ervin Philips the ball once against Maryland, it didn’t mean he wasn’t involved.“You didn’t see the ball in his hands a bunch last week,” head coach Scott Shafer said at his Thursday morning press conference, “but he actually played a lot of football in the kicking game as well — not just in the returns, but in coverage teams.”Philips returned six kickoffs for Syracuse against the Terrapins, topping out his longest return at 26 yards but bringing his last two kickoff returns to just the 11-yard line.His one touch on offense in SU’s 34-20 loss to the Terrapins on Saturday was a 6-yard loss on a screen pass that never materialized. Still, Shafer said, the freshman running back quietly contributed on special teams.“So really, Erv actually played a lot of snaps and did a lot of good things for us,” Shafer said. “A lot of them were those unsung-hero types of things, like coming down and forcing contain on certain situations in the kicking game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShafer said Syracuse will look to utilize Philips more on offense if the opportunity presents itself, although the “pecking order” is still something of which the SU coaches are mindful. As impressive as Philips was at Central Michigan on Sept. 13, he is still outside the top four on the Orange’s depth chart at running back heading into Saturday’s showdown with No. 8 Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium at 8 p.m.The head coach likened Philips to Michael Turner — who, before becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber NFL running back, was at Northern Illinois when Shafer was its defensive coordinator. Turner also was on kickoff coverage teams and did “a lot of the things that nobody heard about,” Shafer said.If the head coach’s comparison is any indication, Philips’ usefulness in the background could pay off when it’s his turn in the spotlight.“If we have great players, we need to play them in all areas and then look at the whole body of work,” Shafer said. “I’ve been really pleased with his growth. I think the sky is the limit down the road for Erv.“That’s part of the process.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Women’s Tennis: Badgers halt seven-game skid in time for end of season

first_imgThis weekend the Wisconsin Women’s Tennis Team was matched up with the University of Iowa and finally stole a “w.” The team was hoping for a victory to finish out this season after suffering through a seven-match losing streak.Pulling off this win allowed the Badgers to finish the season on a high note. This win came at a 4–1 margin over Iowa, who are 2–9 in the Big Ten and 10–14 overall. The Badger’s record for the season is 3–8 in the Big Ten and 9–14 overall.Wisconsin was off to a good start by winning the doubles point, which is one of the two victories necessary for forming an upset. Wisconsin’s No. 1 doubles pair, junior Sara Castellano and freshman Lexi Keberle defeated the No. 63 duo in the nation 6–3, gaining Wisconsin’s first point in the match.Softball: Badgers finish off Boilermakers at home Sunday to win seriesThe University of Wisconsin Softball Team (22–17, 6–6 Big Ten) played host to Purdue (13–34, 4–10 Big Ten) in a Read…The No. 2 doubles slot, consisting of sophomore Melissa Pick and freshman MaryAnn Rompf, also snatched a victory, by defeating their opponents 6–2.In the singles competition, Iowa was able to even up the match 1–1, defeating freshman MaryAnn Rompf 6–1, 6–4. However, the Badgers luckily bounced back thanks to the victories of Castellano, Pick and sophomore Michelle Linden, which ultimately resulted in the Badgers gaining back four points.Pick secured the first victory, defeating Iowa’s Adorabol Huckleby 6–0, 6–2. Michelle Linden immediately followed with another victory winning in straight sets. She quickly defeated her opponent sophomore Adrienne Jensen 6–3, 6–1. To close out the season, Castellano pulled out a victory 7–6, 6–1 against Iowa’s Zoe Douglas.Reflecting on this season overall, it is clear that the Badgers most definitely have some work to do in order to be more successful next year.last_img read more