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Browns will have their hands full trying to protect Colt McCoy today: “The Ravens lead the NFL with 28 sacks – nine of them against the 49ers’ Alex Smith on Thanksgiving night. They are well-rested and hungry for more. The Ravens are 8-3 and tied for first with Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Ravens have to beat the Browns to keep pace.
McCoy has been sacked 26 times and has been hit 64 times in 11 games. Four teams have given up more quarterback hits, but each of those teams have played at least two quarterbacks this season.
McCoy has started every game in his second season with the Browns and so far has lived to line up with the first team in the next practice. One Monday he had both knees wrapped. His right shoulder was pummeled in the Jacksonville game Nov. 20. Last week he left the locker room with a sore right elbow after banging it on a player’s helmet while scrambling on the third play of the game in Cincinnati.
McCoy has to make it through the next five games to become the first Browns quarterback since Tim Couch in 2001 to go wire to wire as the starter. Four days after playing the Ravens he has to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh.” [OBR]
St. Ignatius wins another state title, 34-13 over Pickerington Central: “After jumping out to a 20-0 lead, the Wildcats stumbled briefly and Pick Central, playing in its second state championship game, climbed to within striking distance with a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter.
The second half belonged to the Wildcats and their defense, which bent but never snapped. Led by the steady play of senior linebacker Zack Ryan, senior safety Mike Svetina and a secondary that held the Tigers to 87 passing yards in the second half, the Cats shut the door.
With a 20-13 lead, St. Ignatius’ fortunes took a major turn when it forced a fumble on the fourth play of the third quarter and junior Zach Baker recovered at the Pick Central 28. Senior Tim McVey, who led all ball carriers with 115 hard-earned yards on 24 carries, scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard plunge six plays later.
The score was set up with quarterback Eric Williams’ 18-yard pass to Conor Hennessey along the Ignatius sideline and a scintillating run of 12 yards by McVey, who broke several tackles to get the ball to the 2.
The Wildcats (13-2) sealed the game when they snuffed a Pick Central drive midway through the fourth quarter.” [The Plain Dealer / Tim Rogers]
Ravens Ed Reed compares Peyton Hillis to Mike Alstott: “Baltimore safety Ed Reed was asked a few questions about the Browns in a recent press conference. Here is what he had to say about Browns running back Peyton Hillis and his physical running style:
“He’s a power runner. It reminds me of Tampa Bay when they had [Mike] Alstott back there. He kind of looks the same. That’s what you’re going to get with Peyton. He’s a helluva back. I know he’s got some contract stuff that he’s trying to work out and it’s difficult playing under those circumstances. He has to be able to weed out the difference and play ball.
I know he’s been hurt with the hamstring and that’s tough on a big guy like that. That definitely slows him down. He looks like he’s 100 percent now after watching him in the Cincinnati game. We know we have a task with tackling that guy. He’s a hassle, but we’re definitely prepared for the task.” [Dawgs By Nature / Chris Pokorny]
Kentucky’s 73-72 win over North Carolina was loaded with NBA talent: “For Kidd-Gilchrist, it was the 6-foot-7 freshman’s most impressive offensive game yet at UK. He had 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and attacked the middle of North Carolina’s defense at will. He’s a brutal match-up for opponents when he takes the ball off of the bounce from the wing.
As for Jones, well, you know what to expect. He did everything from hit jumpers to deliver a nasty dunk on a nice back-to-the-basket move against John Henson and Tyler Zeller. The duo also combined for 18 rebounds. Basically, it was two future NBA lottery picks playing up to that billing at the same time. That’s damn near un-guardable for anyone.” [The Dagger / Ryan Greene]
On Cavs preseason schedule if you missed it…a home and away with Detroit and Wine and Gold Game at the Q. [Stepien Rules]