Win over Cal keeps Wolfpack unbeaten, bolsters enthusiasm

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Chris Ault’s Nevada football team has played big games on national television before. But for the Wolfpack head coach, the team’s game Friday against California was a little different. There was, in Ault’s mind, just one word to describe it. ‘I think having a chance to play a Pac-10 team with the caliber of Cal and playing well against them and finding a way to win — it’s special,’ he said. ‘I think it sets your program up for great success in the areas that we recruit. And certainly it sends a message out that we’re not a bad ball club.’ And the rest of the country heard that message loud and clear as Nevada (3-0) ran away from Cal for a 52-31 triumph in front of its home crowd Friday. The win marked a 180-degree turnaround from last year’s 0-3 start and has the enthusiasm surrounding the program skyrocketing. And for senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more scores against the Golden Bears, the victory represents much more than the national spotlight it has attracted. It signifies a newfound cohesion within the team this year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘I think this is the first time since I’ve been here that this team is really a team,’ Kaepernick said. ‘We’ve really jelled. Our offense is supporting our defense. Our defense is supporting our offense. Our special teams fit in there perfectly. Just all around, we’ve really come together.’ Part of that coming together has been the improvement on defense. The unit was allowing more than 28 points per game and over 400 yards of total offense last season. Through those 13 games in 2009, Nevada forced just 18 turnovers. Ault did acknowledge the unit gave up a lot of yardage to Cal, but added they were overmatched on that side of the ball. What he was most pleased with was the Wolfpack’s ability to make plays in short yardage situations and three key interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The unit is still giving up about the same amount of yardage as last year, but the scoring average is down to just over 20 points per game. In addition, the defense has already forced six turnovers through the first three games. And Ault gives much of that credit toward his players and first-year defensive coordinator Andy Buh. ‘We did some things that we hadn’t done before in terms of what we stunted with our front, how our secondary covered,’ Ault said. ‘Cal did move the ball on us — that’s an exceptional offense. But we weren’t on the sidelines wondering how to stop them, what we were going to do. We played our game.’ And as the defense has gotten better, the offense has also shown improvement. Last year, the Wolfpack became the first college football team to have three different players rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season, but still suffered to a 0-3 start. This season, the ground game is still there, but Ault has added a new dimension to the Nevada attack through Kaepernick’s arm. The Wolfpack is averaging nearly 100 more yards per game through the air this year than it was in 2009. ‘I’m really pleased with it,’ Ault said of Nevada’s aerial game. ‘We’re throwing the ball well. We were well prepared to throw it more against Cal. … I feel really good about our passing game and very comfortable with what Kap (Kaepernick) is doing and how he’s doing it.’ This week in a poll by The Associated Press, Nevada jumped up to the No. 27 spot. With the team’s first road game at Brigham Young coming this Saturday, the players are trying to focus on the road ahead and not get too caught up in the spotlight. But running back Vai Taua, one of those three 1,000-yard rushers from a year ago, said it is hard to ignore at times. ‘We try not to pay attention to that stuff, take it one week at a time,’ he said. ‘But it’s definitely something that’s boosting confidence.’ Kaepernick has seen the changes that have brought about this confidence. This is not the same Nevada team that started last season 0-3. This is not the Nevada that got smacked 45-10 by Southern Methodist in the Hawaii Bowl a year ago. This is a team coming off something special and building toward something more. ‘I think this team’s really come together and jelled,’ Kaepernick said. ‘Last year it was, ‘All right, you have your offense. You have your defense.’ This year everyone’s supporting everyone. Everyone’s playing together. And I think you notice the energy that this team has now compared when we played this time last year. ‘For most of us, we just want to keep it rolling, want to keep it going, and we want to keep this winning streak alive.’ Big man on campus Mark Ingram Junior Running Back Alabama Last week’s stats: 9 carries, 151 yards, 2 touchdowns Any doubts about Ingram’s health were subdued in the Crimson Tide’s 62-13 win over Duke last Saturday. The Heisman Trophy winner from a year ago scampered 48 yards the first time he touched the football en route to an impressive showing in his first action this year. It was Ingram’s first time in action this year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which caused him to miss the Tide’s first two games. But that knee looked fine Saturday, as the junior sliced through the Blue Devils defense. He averaged 16.8 yards per carry and became the first running back ever from a BCS school to surpass the 150-yard mark in a game on less than 10 carries. Team of the week No. 6 Nebraska Last week’s result: W, 56-21 @ Washington With other Big 12 schools struggling to overpower some of their early-season opponents, Nebraska may have established itself as the team to beat in the conference Saturday. Washington quarterback Jake Locker, projected by many as the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft, threw for only 71 yards on just 4-for-20 passing against the suffocating Cornhuskers defense. On the offensive end, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez led the attack and may have put himself into the Heisman discussion. He threw for 150 yards and a score and ran for 137 yards and three more touchdowns to power the Cornhuskers to the blowout win. zjbrown@syr.edu Published on September 21, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more

Qatar stadium designed by Zaha Hadid built ‘by end of year’

first_img0Shares0000The Al-Wakrah Stadium, which looks impressive in promotional images, should be completed this year, Qatari officials say © Qatar 2022 committee/AFP/FileDOHA, Qatar, Feb 6 – The Qatar World Cup venue designed by celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid will be finished by the end of 2018, officials responsible for the project said Tuesday.The 40,000 capacity, $575 million Al-Wakrah Stadium is expected to be one of two further 2022 venues completed this year. Building work on the 60,000 Al-Bayt stadium is also expected to be completed by December.If so, it will mean Qatar — which has said it is spending almost $500 million a week on World Cup-related projects — will have built almost half of its proposed eight venues with four years still to go to the tournament.The Khalifa International Stadium, also the venue for the 2019 World Athletics Championships, was completed last year.“We will be finishing hopefully by the end of this year and then ready to use,” Thani Al-Zarraa, Al-Wakrah’s project manager told AFP.One of the major tasks ahead is to fit the stadium’s distinctive retractable roof — meant to resemble the sails of a traditional dhow fishing boat — comprised of some 1,400 pieces, which will be shipped to Qatar from Italy.Once completed, 2022 World Cup officials will trial the stadium with “test matches” including potential international friendlies, said Zarraa.He said the design would also make it “one of the loudest stadiums” in 2022.“All the ambience and cheering will hit the roof and come back into the stadium,” he said.Al-Wakrah, some 15 kilometres south of the capital Doha, will be used during the World Cup for games up to and including quarter-finals.After the World Cup, the capacity will be reduced to 20,000.It was one of Hadid’s last major designs before her death in March 2016, aged 65.Major works by Hadid include the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Bergisel ski jump and the aquatics centre at the 2012 London Olympics.Zarraa said the stadium would “be one of her (Hadid’s) legacies”.The project has not been without controversy.Qatar has come under intense pressure for its human rights record and treatment of its huge migrant labour force, numbering some two million, since winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup.Hadid took successful legal action when it was claimed she had no concern for the plight of labourers in Qatar helping build Al-Wakrah.She also had to defend claims that the stadium’s design was offensive and resembled female genitalia.Baghdad-born Hadid called such criticism “embarrassing”.Qatar is building eight stadiums for the World Cup, although FIFA has yet to decide on a final number of venues and could instruct the gas-rich Gulf state to build a ninth.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more