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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Rob Ryan states his case

By Marla Published: December 31, 2010

Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said he expect to get at least one interview to be a head coach, whether or not he's retained by president Mike Holmgren.

Ryan made a case for his defense Friday, coming to his weekly press conference with a one-page list of its accomplishments. He said it was compiled by video assistant Mike O'Connor, who is about to move into the scouting department.

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Pryor, 4 more juniors promised to return

By Marla Published: December 30, 2010

According to Cleveland.com, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the other five players suspended for the start of next season promised to return to the Buckeyes in 2011 in order to be allowed to play in Tuesday's Sugar Bowl.

At a press conference in New Orleans, OSU coach Jim Tressel said the NCAA would have forced the six to sit out the game against Arkansas if they had not vowed to play for the Buckeyes next season.

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Is Brady's string more impressive than Kosar's?

By Marla Published: December 29, 2010

In Sunday's victory at Buffalo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady surpassed former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar's NFL record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception.

Ironically, both men played for coach Bill Belichick when the mark was set. 

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Questions Holmgren must ponder

By Marla Published: December 28, 2010

Over the Christmas holiday, I was surprised by chats with friends who are Browns fans. They were overwhelmingly supportive of bringing back coach Eric Mangini, largely for the sake of continuity. While they concede that they're frustrated with the offense and believe coordinator Brian Daboll must go, they are sick of the revolving door of coaches and general managers since the Browns returned in 1999.

But for president Mike Holmgren, several questions would have to be resolved in his mind before he would give Mangini another season. Here are a few:

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Browns offense improves at snail's pace

By Marla Published: December 27, 2010

Since it's taken him nearly two full seasons to show what he can offer the Browns' offense, Browns receiver Brian Robiskie was not about to come out with guns blazing after Sunday's 20-10 home loss to Baltimore. 

But a comment from Robiskie showed how slowly the Browns' offense has developed in its second year under coach Eric Mangini and coordinator Brian Daboll.

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What will Pryor do next?

By Marla Published: December 23, 2010

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has much to ponder about his future in the wake of Thursday's NCAA suspension of Pryor and four teammates for the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits.

Pryor said earlier this season he will return in 2011. But he could have reneged on that promise even if he hadn't gotten caught for selling his 2008 Big Ten championship ring, a 2009 Fiesta Bowl sportsmanship award and his 2008 Gold Pants for beating Michigan, which netted him $2,500.

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Bob Feller: What a memory

By Marla Published: December 22, 2010

Last week's passing of legendary Indians Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller awakened 20-year-old memories of Indians fantasy camp for Don Kase of Silver Lake.

Kase, 85, a Cleveland West Tech graduate who is still a practicing CPA in Akron, was 64 when he made the trip to fantasy camp in 1990. He said he got to know Feller pretty well. But the conversation that stood out came at the water fountain when they started talking about the 12 one-hitters Feller threw.

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Hiring Hazell a coup for Kent State

By Marla Published: December 21, 2010

Darrell Hazell was going to be a head coach sooner rather than later. Luring Ohio State's assistant head coach to Kent State was a major coup for the Golden Flashes.

Hazell, 46, brings instant credibility to the KSU program. He's spent seven years learning under OSU coach Jim Tressel, who launched his career in the Mid-American Conference as an assistant at Akron, where he was a graduate assistant in 1975 and the receivers and running backs coach in 1976-78. Tressel gave Hazell his blessing.

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Mangini defends McCoy

By Marla Published: December 19, 2010

There were times in Sunday's 19-17 loss at Cincinnati that Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy might have reminded fans of Tim Couch in his first year in 1999. Especially when McCoy was sacked four times.

But coach Eric Mangini didn't think McCoy was going through the stage where he was being too careful not to throw an interception and holding the ball too long. He's been sacked 19 times in six games.

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McCoy's post-game comments

By Marla Published: December 19, 2010

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after Sunday's 19-17 loss in Cincinnati.

Can you explain what was going on at the end of the first half?

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T.O. in hot water again

By Marla Published: December 15, 2010

Bengals receiver Terrell Owens is likely playing his final three games in Cincinnati after criticizing coaches and ownership during his television show with Chad Ochocinco Tuesday night on the Versus network.

On the "T.Ocho Show,'' Ochocinco asked Owens why he thinks the Bengals are 2-11. Owens, 37, signed by Cincinnati to a one-year contract on July 29, let loose.

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Porter credits UA fans

By Marla Published: December 13, 2010

Akron coach Caleb Porter thought it was fitting that sophomore Scott Caldwell's game-winning goal in Sunday's 1-0 College Cup victory over Louisville came at the same end of the field where the AK-Rowdies stand at home.

"Our Rowdies were great,'' Porter said Sunday. "They always are. We appreciate all the Akron people, all the alums and students. It was a big help.

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College Cup honorees

By Marla Published: December 12, 2010

2010 NCAA MEN'S COLLEGE CUP

All-Tournament Team

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Zips win 1-0

By Marla Published: December 12, 2010

Sophomore midfielder Scott Caldwell scored the only goal of the game in the 79th minute to give the Akron Zips a 1-0 victory over Louisville and the school's first team national championship Sunday at UC Santa Barbara Harder Stadium.

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Zips, Cards 0-0 at halftime

By Marla Published: December 12, 2010

Ampaipitakwong honored

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

Akron midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong received the Lowe's Senior Class Award before Friday night's NCAA semifinal victory over Michigan at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Field.

Chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men's soccer coaches, the award honors a player for achievement in the community, classroom, competition and character.

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Sarkodie's the man for Michigan

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.: Kofi Sarkodie is definitely the man for Michigan.

After recording a hat trick against the Wolverines on Oct. 19, Akron's junior defender scored the game-winner in the 74th minute Friday night, giving the Zips a 2-1 College Cup victory and sending them into Sunday's national championship game.

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Zips win 2-1

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

Zips take 2-1 lead

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

Kofi Sarkodie gave the Akron Zips a 2-1 lead on Michigan with a goal in the 74th minute of the College Cup semfinals.

On a play coming off a dead ball free kick, Sarkodie drilled home a ball from Michael Nanchoff.

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Akron outshoots Michigan in first half

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

Akron had a 14-4 edge in shots, but the score was tied 1-1 at halftime of Friday night's NCAA men's soccer Division I College Cup semifinal.

Michael Nanchoff and Darlington Nagbe led the Zips with three shots each, while Darren Mattocks, Scott Caldwell and Perry Kitchen had two each. Kitchen scored the Zips goal.

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Sarkodie yellow-carded

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

Akron junior defender Kofi Sarkodie received a yellow card in the 41st minute for knocking down Michigan's freshman midfielder Fabio Pereira. The College Cup match was tied 1-1 at the time.

Sarkodie scored three goals in Akron's 7-1 victory over Michigan on Oct. 19.

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Kitchen ties the score 1-1

By Marla Published: December 11, 2010

Akron freshman midfielder Perry Kitchen's long goal in the 33rd minute tied the game with Michigan 1-1 in Friday's second semifinal of the College Cup.

Kitchen's long ball was at least 30 yards, his shot coming from the 'V' in Louisville painted on the field.

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Michigan fans dissing Akron

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

At the 31:45 in the first half of Friday's night's College Cup semifinal between Michigan and Akron, a chant broke out from the Wolverines section of the stands: "You're from Akron."

Michigan definitely has the most vocal contingent of the four teams represented.

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Lolla downplays possible game with Akron

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

Former University of Akron coach Ken Lolla, now coach of the No. 1-seeded Louisville Cardinals, downplayed a chance to face the Zips in Sunday's College Cup final.

Lolla spent 13 seasons at Akron before taking over Louisville in 2006. His best finish with the Zips was an Elite Eight NCAA appearance in 2005. Akron hired Caleb Porter as his replacement.

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Michigan scores in 2nd minute

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

Michigan took a 1-0 lead on the University of Akron in the second minute of Friday night's College Cup semfinal when senior forward Justin Meram pushed forward a ball from freshman Soony Saad.

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Louisville beats UNC 2-1

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

Freshman forward Aaron Horton's goal in the 89th minute gave Louisville a stunning 2-1 men's soccer victory over North Carolina in the first semifinal game of the NCAA Division I College Cup Friday night.

The teams looked to be settling for overtime until the bang-bang play by Horton, off an assist from sophomore midfielder Ryan Smith.

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Louisville, UNC 1-1

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

No. 1 Louisville took a 1-0 lead over North Carolina in the 58th minute of Friday's first semifinal in the Division I men's soccer College Cup.

Junior defender Austin Berry (a product of Cincinnati Summit Country Day) scored off an assist by freshman midfielder Dylan Mares. Fans of the host team UC Santa Barbara, tossed torillas on the field, in keeping with tradition after every goal in their games.

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Louisville, UNC scoreless at halftime

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

Top-seeded Louisville and fourth-seeded North Carolina battled to an 0-0 tie in the first half of Friday's first semifinal match of the NCAA Division I College Cup at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium.

North Carolina had five shots to Louisville's four.

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UCSB coach predicts Akron title

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

UC Santa Barbara men's soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg predicted an NCAA title for the University of Akron Zips in an interview that aired on a Santa Barabara television station Thursday night.

Vom Steeg forecast victories for North Carolina (over Louisville) and Akron (over Michigan) tonight and predicted Akron would win the championship and avenge its loss to Virginia in the 2009 College Cup final.

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What Michigan is saying before match vs. UA

By Marla Published: December 10, 2010

Here's what Michigan coach Steve Burns and players were saying before Friday night's NCAA College Cup men's soccer semifinal match against the University of Akron.

Coach Steve Burns –We’re extremely excited to be in Southern California and next to the ocean. Its’ nice weather, and I think our players are very loose, and this team has performed at a high level when we’re loose, and I see that with the guys right now, and we expect them to carry that in to Friday’s game.”

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Mangini plans to call McDaniels

By Marla Published: December 8, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini worked with Josh McDaniels as assistants with the New England Patriots from 2001-05. When McDaniels joined the Patriots in 2001, he helped Mangini coach the defensive backs.

Mangini said he felt for McDaniels, who was fired as Denver Broncos coach on Monday.

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Browns' 2 Christmas gifts

By Marla Published: December 6, 2010

While Mike Adams' interception off a deflected pass with 54 seconds remaining was a lucky break in the Browns' 13-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins Sunday, it wasn't the only one they received.

They were just as fortunate that rookie cornerback Nolan Carroll dropped an interception of a Jake Delhomme pass intended for tight end Ben Watson with 1:44 remaining that could have been returned for a touchdown. At the least, the Dolphins would have taken over inside the Browns' 40.

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Agony and ecstacy for Dawson

By Marla Published: December 5, 2010

Browns kicker Phil Dawson experienced the same agony that Carolina's John Kasay felt a week ago when his 42-yard game-winning field goal hit the left upright as time expired.

With 7:12 left in the third quarter of Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium, Dawson's 47-yard field goal attempt that would have broken a 3-3 tie hit the same upright.

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Game shows LeBron right to leave

By Marla Published: December 3, 2010

LeBron James again refused to apologize for his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers following the Miami Heat's 118-90 blowout of the Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena.

Perhaps that was because the game only affirmed he made the right choice to depart.

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Cavs post-game comments

By Marla Published: December 3, 2010

Here's what was said by the Cavs after a 118-90 loss to the Miami Heat Thursday night.

MO WILLIAMS

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Mo, Boobie speak to fans

By Marla Published: December 2, 2010

Cavs players Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson encouraged fans to get loud at tonight's showdown with LeBron James and the Miami Heat. But they hope sanity prevails.

"They should be the No. 1 fans in the whole league like they have ever since I've been here,'' Williams said. "I think they're going to be extra hostile, which I understand. I think we should just keep it safe. Go back to the 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.' We should follow that. Though words hurt a little bit, try to keep the sticks and stones away.''

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Mo fires the first shot

By Marla Published: December 2, 2010

There's no doubt in my mind that Cavs guard Mo Williams coming out after Thursday morning's shootaround wearing a Boston Red Sox warmup jacket was the day's first act of gamemanship with LeBron James.

When asked if he picked out the jacket on purpose, Williams gave a strange excuse.

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Cleveland's reputation on line Thursday

By Marla Published: December 1, 2010

LeBron  James' return Thursday night with the Miami Heat puts Cleveland in the national and international spotlight for the first time since James left the Cavaliers in July.

 But even TNT analyst Charles Barkley worries about the volatile situation he and his crew are walking into. The hatred and backlash directed at James since his nationally televised "Decision'' could be a powder keg that will need only a tiny spark.

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