Monday, September 26, 2011

Texas Pitcher Nathan Thornhill Looks Toward Omaha

“Pitching in the college world series was a dream come true,” Nathan Thornhill, right-handed pitcher for the Texas Longhorns, said. "I can remember watching those games as a kid, hoping I would be there on day. So actually being there was amazing.”

Thornhill finished his freshman year with an outstanding 1.89 ERA in 38 innings pitched, winning three games with no losses. Such strong play from a freshman pitcher comes to Texas just about as often as snow does, but if you can throw heat like Thornhill can, you’re bound to make batters ice cold on the plate.

“My freshman year was more than anyone could ask for,” Thornhill said. “I made a lot of great friends, plus I had a blast playing baseball.”

Fresh out of Cedar Park High School, Thornhill joined the Longhorns as an All-State batter and pitcher, as well as the District 14-5A Most Valuable Player in both baseball and as a quarterback in football. With all of these accolades, its safe to say the expectations placed on Thornhill were high, but his poise in pressure situations helped him maintain composure throughout his first year in Division I baseball.

“Going from high school baseball to college baseball was difficult in some areas but simple in others,” Thornhill said.  “One difficulty I found was that everyone is good and the hitters will make you pay for your mistakes. One thing that remained the same was you still have to throw strikes and you will be effective.”
In his first start, Thornhill faced and retired 15 batters, pitching five perfect innings and striking out four batters. As the season progressed, he continued dominating anyone who stepped up to the plate. Thornhill went on to strike out 38 batters, while walking just six in a dream season for any freshman. Even with all of his accomplishments, Thornhill still believes he’s got a lot to work on.

“Things I need to do in order to improve are holding runners, and to work on making good pitches with my off speed,” Thornhill said.

In order to make the right adjustments, you need the right coaching. With over 1,800 wins and five College World Series Championships, it’s safe to say Augie Garrido is the right guy.

“Playing under Coach Garrido is a treat,” Thornhill said. “He is a legend and knows so much about the game of baseball. Whenever he is speaking, you want to listen because you know what he is saying is valuable.”

Garrido teaches a lot of things and a lot of things very well, and aside from the art of pitching and batting (and what the prestigious teachers of the University of Texas taught) Thornhill has discovered a few things on his own.

“I learned not to take anything for granted,” Thornhill said. “ Last year went by so fast and I only have so many more years of college baseball.”

Time does indeed fly – especially when you’re winning – so senior year may be here in a flash for Thornhill and the Texas Longhorns. However, that’s a ways down the road, and the kid from Cedar Park has his eyes fixed on his one and only goal for the next season.

“Get back to Omaha and come home with the big trophy.”

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Top 25 College Football Rankings

My Top 25 after yesterday's games:

1. Oklahoma 3-0

2. LSU 4-0

3. Alabama 4-0

4. Wisconsin 4-0

5. Boise State 3-0

6. Oklahoma State 4-0

7. Oregon 3-1

8. Stanford 3-0

9. Nebraska 4-0

10. Florida 4-0

11. South Carolina 4-0

12. Virginia Tech 4-0

13. Clemson 4-0

14. Texas 3-0

15. Baylor 3-0

16. Georgia Tech 4-0

17. TCU 3-1

18. Michigan 4-0

19. Florida State 2-2

20. South Florida 4-0

21. Texas A&M 2-1

22. Kansas State 3-0

23. Arkansas 3-1

24. Arizona State 3-1

25. Notre Dame 2-2

TMD's Top Players of the Day

Missed today's games? These three guys out-shined their competition. Broyles led the Sooners to a 38-28 victory after trailing Mizzou early, Weeden completed an astounding 47 passes to lift the Cowboys over the Aggies, and Robert Griffin III completed 88% of his passes while totaling six touchdowns in a rout of Rice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NFL Week 2: The Sunday of Underacheiving (Except Tom Brady)

Week 2 of the 2011 NFL season has come and gone, and boy was it fun. The Bills and Lions asserted themselves as decent teams, winning both of their games to move their records to 2-0. Tom Brady threw for 500 again, and Cam Newton proved to fans everywhere that Week One was no fluke. Check out the recap below for more stunning headlines.

Giants 28, Rams 16

Although they got the win, the Giants played awfully and if Vick is ready to play next week, we might see a demolition of New York's finest out in Philly.

Falcons 35, Eagles 31

In his emotional return to Atlanta, Michael Vick played extremely well-until he was rammed into his own offensive lineman, spat up blood, and received his first concussion of the year. On the flipside, Matt Ryan showed that he has poise in pressure situations with his excellent fourth quarter play.

Patriots 35, Chargers 21

Well, we all knew Tom Brady was the best quarterback in the NFL. So... it didn't make sense for him to go out and throw for another 500 yards. We get it, Tom. You're really good. You don't have to keep proving yourself by picking apart defenses and looking bored doing it.

Texans 23, Dolphins 13

Guess what? The Texans are going to win the AFC South this season. Guess what else? Reggie Bush is just as likely to throw for 100 yards in a single game as he is to rush for 100 yards.

Broncos 24, Bengals 22

Andy Dalton played better than Kyle Orton, but Denver was able to get the W.

Cowboys 27, 49ers, 24

The 'Boys were trailing the whole game to one of the worst teams in the league, but pathetic secondary play from San Fran literally handed Dallas a much needed victory.

Redskins 22, Cardinals 21

Both Kevin Kolb and Rex Grossman have quietly put up some solid numbers - maybe these teams won't be as bad as everyone thinks they'll be this year.

Steelers 24, Seahawks 0

Under no circumstance should any team go scoreless. Pete Carroll may have been a legend in Southern Cal, but he's going to need to step his game up if he wants to keep his job in Seattle.

Jets 32, Jaguars 3

You know you have QB issues when Mark Sanchez throws for more than three times what your quarterback did. Maybe its time for Jacksonville to give Gabbert the nod. 59 yards through the air is NOT acceptable, Luke McCown.

Saints 30, Bears 13

Drew Brees made it look easy, Jay Cutler made it look like rocket science. Any questions?

Buccaneers 24, Vikings 20

Donvan McNabb isn't doing much for the Vikes. Adrian Peterson had a great game, but Josh Freeman took care of business in a late comeback win.

Browns 27, Colts 19

The only colt that played well was McCoy. The former Texas QB threw for over 200 yards and a touchdown, giving Cleveland a boost in this surprising victory. P.S. As long as Kerry Collins is under center, Indy will play like a high school girls flag football team.

Lions 48, Chiefs 3

The only playmaker for KC is out for the season, so that leaves an overrated quarterback and slightly below average running backs. The result? A beatdown from one of the more impressive teams of the season thus far.

Bills 38, Raiders 35

You may look at this score and think, "It's just like a Wyoming vs UNC Greensboro. Both teams are wretched but since they are playing each other they can score a lot." Well, in part, that's true, but the Bills are 2-0 and that was the Raiders first lost. Don't overlook them just yet.

Packers 30, Panthers 23

Cam had a nice game, but it doesn't really matter when your opponent has Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Ryan Grant, James Starks, Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, Randall Cobb...ect., on the offensive side of the ball.

Titans 26, Ravens 13

This is the conversation between Joe Flacco and Ray Rice prior to the start of this game.

Joe: Man, I'm so glad we have a bye this week.
Ray: I thought we're playing Tennessee?
Joe: Hahaha, no. All we have to do is get the ball in field goal range one time, and then we can chill the rest of the game.
Ray: Okay, I guess I can give 5% effort today.
Joe: WHOA calm down! That seems a little high! Try 0.5% - trust me, we're fine.
Ray: Sounds good bro.

And THAT's why the Titans won this game.

Thanks for reading everyone, and remember, whether you think you can or can't, you're usually right. Until next time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NFL Week One Recap

After all of the anticpiation and hype, we've finally finished week one of the 2011-2012 NFL season. In case you missed anything, here's a quick recap of the week's results.

Jets 27, Cowboys 24

The 'Boys were in control throughout, but late mistakes from Tony Romo proved detrimental as Rex Ryan's Jets stole a victory in NYC.

Redskins 28, Giants 14

Rex Grossman played surprisingly well, but then again the Giants are missing almost half of their starters on defense.

49ers 33, Seahawks 17

Neither Alex Smith nor Frank Gore had a touchdown in this matchup, but the 9ers found a way to put up 33 points in an impressive victory in the Bay.

Chargers 24, Vikings 17

When your starting quarterback throws for just 39 yards, you're probably going to lose the game. This was the case for Minnesota, as Donovan McNabb completed just seven passes in a poor effort.

Cardinals 28, Panthers 21

I don't know what's harder to believe - that Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in his rookie debut, or that the Panthers lost despite his performance.

Texans 34, Colts 7

Indy's worst loss since 2007 was caused by the absence of Peyton Manning. Kerry Collins didn't seem to have a handle on the offense, and the Texans, without Arian Foster playing, won big.

Ravens 35, Steelers 7

It's rare that either of these two teams wins big, but Joe Flacco and the Ravens steamrolled the Steelers defense in a shocking victory.

Lions 27, Buccaneers 20

The Bucs running game, or lack thereof, was the catalyst of the game. Was it a lack of talent at running back, or Detroit's new "Steel Curtain" defensive line?

Eagles 31, Rams 13

An awful day for St. Louis, and not just because they lost to Michael Vick's high powered offense. Both Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson were injured in the game, which is a scary thought for the Rams offense.

Bengals 27, Browns 17

Cedric Benson went off for 121 yards and a TD, while the star on the cover of Madden 12 ran for just 57 yards and no scores. Is the Curse in effect?

Bills 41, Cheifs 7

Show me someone who called this, and I'll show you a compulsive liar. Ryan Fitzpatrick exploded for 4 touchdowns while the KC running game was nowhere to be found.

Bears 30, Falcons 12

It's tough to win at Soldier Field, even with one of the most talented offenses in the league. Jay Cutler had a nice game and Chicago is pleased with the way things are looking.

Jaguars 16, Titans 14

Luke McCown was 17-24 with 175 yards and no touchdowns. Hey Jags fans, don't be worried. He's been nothing if not consistent, and if he can keep up that average play, MJD should take you to the Wild Card round.

Packers 42, Saints 34

It was an electrifying game with both quarterbacks playing up to their full potential. All eyes were on GB rookie receiver/kick returner Randall Cobb, who caught a touchdown pass and also returned a kick 108 yards for a TD.

Patriots 38, Dolphins 24

Tom Brady threw for a career-high 517 yards, but the Dolphins kept this one close for a while. Chad Henne looked good, passing for over 400 yards, so Miami isn't in too much trouble.

Raiders 23, Broncos 20

Darren McFadden had a strong performance and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 63 yard field goal. Other than that, not much excitement as the Raiders pick up their first win of the season.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget, whether you think you can or can't, you're usually right. Until next time!