UCLA freshman Troy Terry has been a key player for the Ducks, nearly averaging a double-double in his first year and leading them to 24 wins. His story is one of perseverance after overcoming an injury that threatened his entire senior season at Bishop O’Dowd High School.
Over the phone, Troy Terry’s smile can be heard.
On a chilly mid-November day, the Anaheim Ducks forward had just arrived home following a post-practice Christmas shopping trip with his fiancée, Dani (at least by Southern California standards). Terry’s voice has a lively tone to it, and his audible grin reflects this.
It’s a fantastic day to be him — and a fantastic season to be him.
In the previous month, Terry has emerged as one of the NHL’s breakout performers. And, to tell you the truth, he thinks it’s been a long time coming.
Terry was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL draft by Anaheim, but it took him until his fourth season to reach his full potential. He started the season with a 16-game point streak, the second-longest in the NHL after Connor McDavid’s. Terry has already achieved career highs in goals (12) and points (22) in just 17 games, and is now ranked in the top five in the league in both categories.
Since Corey Perry scored in 19 consecutive games from October 21 to December 1, 2009, Terry’s current streak is the longest by a Ducks player. Only Perry and Teemu Selanne (17 games in 1998-99) have had longer streaks in franchise history than Terry.
Terry has made significant progress, and the Ducks have made significant progress as well. Anaheim has gone 7-1-0 in their last eight games since November 1, giving them one of the best records in the NHL.
On their own, the numbers seem to be impressive. Terry perceives the fulfillment of a long-awaited potential via them.
Terry recently told ESPN, “I absolutely wouldn’t have believed you if you told me the numbers I’d have right now and the point streak.” “I haven’t developed as swiftly as I would have wanted in my job. In the first 10 games of a season, I don’t remember ever having [more than] one point. It was getting to the point where people were saying things like, “Perhaps I’m not the player everyone thought me to be.” I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, and I’ve got a lot to prove. For me, it’s been a long and winding trip.”
It’s taken a long time for this to happen.
Terry, 24, was unaffected by the expectations that come with being a highly rated draft prospect. He generated the hype that followed him to the NHL.
After his heroics for Team USA in the 2017 World Junior Championship, the Denver native’s fame began to grow. Throughout the tournament, Terry played mostly as a fourth-line grinder, but in the semifinal round against Russia, he scored three consecutive shootout goals, including the game-winner. Terry helped the United States upset Canada in the gold medal game by scoring the game-winning shootout goal.
As a sophomore at the University of Denver, Terry was named to the All-Tournament team after helping the Pioneers win their eighth NCAA championship.
Terry was motivated to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, representing Team USA. Terry, then a college junior, took advantage of the NHL’s unwillingness to send players that year, finishing second on the team in scoring (5).
He came home to sign a three-year, entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks, and he scored 115 points in 11 games with the Broncos. Terry made his NHL debut with the Ducks on March 27, 2018, and played in two games before the season concluded.
Terry made the Anaheim Ducks out of training camp for the 2018-19 season, but he still had a long way to go. He only lasted six games in the NHL before being sent to the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls for the first time. Terry spent the next two seasons bouncing from league to league along the I-5, never settling into one.
“I had incredibly high expectations coming out of college, and it was tough,” Terry confesses today. “It was a rough road for me, whether it was getting moved to San Diego or playing well but not delivering. It has surely been challenging.”
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“When I was playing well, Ryan would tell me that I seemed to have a flow to my game,” Terry remembers. “And when I wasn’t, I was on the verge of trying to do everything right. I appeared choppy and as if I was overthinking everything, and I was losing my individuality. He used to say, ‘Relax and just flow, flow, flow.’ I’m not sure why it has had the most influence on me, but it has something to do with not trying to think about everything at once and instead playing naturally.”
Dallas Eakins can attest to the strategy’s efficacy. Before joining Anaheim in 2019, Eakins was the head coach of the San Diego Chargers for four seasons. When Eakins was originally assigned to the Gulls, he approached Terry on the ice for a chat. It was the beginning of many conversations on how to communicate Terry’s talents to experts.
“He didn’t have a lot of confidence the first time he arrived to San Diego,” Eakins adds. “Regardless, he’s always got the skill. Before he departed, you’d only see him dominate three or four games in a row. And I think Troy has made the decision to choose the route of confidence. It is going to take some time. Every player is distinct; they are not a collection of computers, but rather human beings.”
It is not by coincidence that good prospects develop into great players. This is shown by Miller’s recommendation to Terry. Terry has lately been partnered with seasoned linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Adam Henrique, and Anaheim still has a few eager teachers.
That wasn’t by coincidence; Eakins recognizes the significance of linkages like this in Terry’s growth.
“Troy [was] successful in college, and he drew a lot of attention in the World Junior competition,” Eakins added. “‘I’m going to rip everything up,’ Troy thinks as he walks in. After that, it’s like, “Wowza. “Then he’s traded to the American League, where he’s been beaten up a little. These teenagers have such lofty goals for themselves. Troy’s current situation is that he sits in the dressing room with Ryan and Adam, and none of them says anything.”
Consider Terry to be a sponge.
“You listen to Ryan Getzlaf when he says anything,” he said.
‘He teaches me how to be a better person,’ says the speaker.
Terry mulls about his answer for quite some time. He aims to be Getzlaf’s deserving successor.
Terry’s Ducks linemate is more than just a linemate. Terry’s mentor and carrier of tough facts has been Getzlaf.
“He’s meant a lot to me in more ways than just as a hockey player. He’s become one of my closest friends “Terry said. “We’ve become close over the years, despite the fact that I haven’t always lived up to my hockey potential. When I make a play that I shouldn’t be making, he’ll be the first to tell me. With me, he is pretty blunt and constantly tells me what I should and should not do. He gives me advice on how to develop.”
Getzlaf explored free agency briefly last summer before committing to a one-year agreement with the only NHL team he’s ever known.
If Getzlaf had left, Terry may not be having as good a season as he is. Getzlaf, on the other hand, would not go along with it.
Establishing a contact with Terry has benefited Getzlaf’s personal rebirth. This season, he has 19 points in 18 games, compared to 17 points in 48 games previous year. Earlier this month, Getzlaf became the first player in Ducks history to reach 1,000 points.
Terry was riding shotgun with Getzlaf on the game-winning play, picking up an assist of his own.
“Going through this year with him and seeing how successful we’ve both been has been really significant for me,” Terry continued. “I realize he’s been around for a while and has seen a lot, but it’s been a lot of fun for me. And I think he’s really enjoyed his return to hockey.”
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When Shaw arrived in Denver the following season, he could see Terry’s obvious talent. The teenager need structure and an understanding of how to manage his body. Every summer, Terry returned to work with Shaw and a group of local skaters, and the two formed a deep friendship that has lasted to this day.
Shaw remarked, “I think he came in about 160 pounds his freshman year.” “Then, this summer, he started at 180-182 pounds and gained eight to ten pounds, bringing him to just under 190 pounds. Over the last five or six years, he’s spent a lot of time focusing on his physical development and refining his dietary habits and work ethic. By the time he left this summer, he was one of the strongest pound-for-pound athletes we had, even among NHL players. He’s really powerful and explosive.”
Terry was dissatisfied last summer and sought Shaw’s assistance. In 48 games in 2020-21, he only scored seven goals and added 20 points. After three seasons as a pro, Terry has failed to reach the heights he had hoped for. It was time to head back to work.
Terry admits, “I had an issue with consistency.” “I’ve always wanted to enhance my strength and have been motivated to do so. I believed I had the ability to make an impact in this league, but I needed to improve my strength first. More time was spent in the gym than on the rink for me. I had to learn to shoot pucks off the pass to become a goal scorer, which I achieved by just working out and one-timing pucks from different angles.”
To help Terry increase strength without sacrificing speed and agility, Shaw emphasized velocity-based training, such as resisted sled pushes, loaded jumping, and lateral force production exercises. Terry would only skate for 30-40 minutes a few times per week and then spend up to 90 minutes with Shaw five times per week. The results, at least thus far, speak for themselves.
Shaw remarked, “Troy went into every day with a competitive attitude.” “He made sure he lifted more weight or moved it faster than the rest of the group if there was a lift. And everything was clear. His sense of humour and the amount of energy he exudes indicate that he likes his profession. He had a lot of fun with the surroundings and attacking this offseason.”
So, where do we go from here?
Terry was fully aware that he would be asked the question at some time.
Given how well he’s begun the season, has he contemplated returning to Team USA’s Olympic squad, this time among other NHL players?
Terry said after another serious pause, “It’s definitely something I’ve pondered.” “However, I feel that a huge part of our team’s success, as well as my own, is due to the fact that I’ve been taking things one game at a time. Having goals is unquestionably good, and reaching the [Olympic] team would be incredible. I won’t lie to you and say I wouldn’t be absolutely honored or that it wouldn’t be fantastic. It would be an incredible honor if I could keep doing what I’m doing and make the squad.”
Terry participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea for the United States. Will he be a member of the Olympic squad in Beijing in 2022? Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Eakins has a mantra for the Ducks this year: Win today. He also underlines that ego is only a roadblock to progress. Terry seems to be really invested in both concepts. He’d rather follow Getzlaf’s advice than admit that he was inspired by Anaheim’s freshman class. There are lessons to be learnt anywhere.
“We have a guy like [rookie] Trevor Zegras who absolutely exudes confidence,” Terry continued. “That is shown in his performance. I’m almost envious of him. He acts as though he knows he’ll make his moves and try new things because of the way he conducts himself. That’s something I’d expected would take a long time to do.”
Terry isn’t the only one who has had a rocky start in his profession. If anything, adversity has heightened the importance of his debut this season. All eyes will be on Terry as he tries to keep his point streak alive. There is some pressure, but it is not as intense as it has been in the past. Terry has given up his desire to be someone else.
It’s sufficient to be Troy Terry.
“Seeing this child ride a roller coaster up and down and then seeing how he’s started the season here is a lot of pleasure,” Eakins said. “Will Troy be able to maintain this level of performance? I’m not certain. Perhaps he’ll continue to improve. Perhaps he’ll meet a roadblock along the way. And that’ll be OK, too. If that happens, he’ll park it and be ready the next day. It’s as simple as that.”
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The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs beat the FCS’ Charleston Southern by a score of 56-7. Meanwhile, Ohio State handled Michigan State, a top-10 team, like an FCS club, winning by the same score.
Week 12 of the college football season saw Heisman Trophy winners, startling upsets, and incredible plays, setting the framework for an explosive rivalry week ahead.
Our correspondents provide background for the preceding week.
With Oregon’s heartbreaking 38-7 loss to Utah, the Pac-12’s chances of having a national champion were all but shattered. Chris Gardner/Getty Images
The Pac-12 has again again failed to deliver.
For the sixth year in a row, the so-called Conference of Champions will be denied not just the title, but also the opportunity to have one of its teams play in a championship game. Utah exposed an Oregon team that had struggled to seem dominant in previous weeks, and the conference’s last opportunity for a playoff place departed in an unceremonious way. So, where do we go from here?
Though Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said that the Ducks still have a lot to play for, the obvious disappointment underscores a harsh reality: the Pac-12 is still not competitive with the top teams in the country, despite how well the Ducks have recruited and played in recent years. What was once considered depth has deteriorated into mediocrity across the board in recent years. Teams with a.500 record continue to defeat each other not because they are all terrific, but because none of them are.
In recent years, Oregon has been without a doubt the best team in the conference, but its true potential has yet to be realized. That’s why, after Pete Carroll’s departure, all eyes will be on USC this summer, which will have its sixth head coach (interim or full-time).
Due to its location, player name, image and likeness possibilities, history, and name brand, USC still has unrivaled potential in contrast to its league peers. It can and should be a recruiting force capable of equipping a team capable of beating SEC and Big Ten powerhouses around the country, not just in California. To say the least, realizing that potential has been challenging, but the Trojans might shock their program and the league if they make the right pick. It’s safe to say that they’re both in dire need of each other.
Sure, the quickest path to a playoff spot for Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is to push for the long-awaited expansion of the playoff system, which seems to be nearing completion. A change in structure, on the other hand, can only move the argument rather than fix the problem. The conference’s problem will no longer be making the playoffs; it will be winning them. Uggetti, Paolo (Paolo Uggetti)
Would an Alabama team with two losses have a better CFP résumé than Cincinnati’s undefeated AAC title? Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama isn’t a foregone conclusion when it comes to making the playoffs.
The broad view on the current state of the College Football Playoff seems to be that Georgia is in. Alabama is going to get accepted. The winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game advances to the next round. The last slot might go to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, or Notre Dame, depending on how the final games go.
It makes sense, given the committee’s rankings over the previous four weeks, but there’s one big red elephant in the room that we’re not talking about enough: Alabama.
Are we certain that the Crimson Tide will make the playoffs?
This isn’t intended to be a harsh judgment of Alabama. Men don’t mock Nick Saban and then live to tell about it. Doubting the Tide is a recipe for disaster. However, this isn’t about assessing Tuscaloosa’s genuine potential. It’s all about preparing for the next round of the playoffs.
Alabama’s résumé, first and foremost, is excellent (convincing wins over Ole Miss and Mississippi State, both ranked, as well as Miami, Tennessee and Arkansas). However, that record includes a loss to a Texas A&M team in chaos (and unranked) at the time, and the season still features three defeats. Five of A&M’s six games this season had seen the Aggies score fewer than 22 points, but they scored 41 against Alabama, their second-highest total against an FBS opponent. Then there’s Alabama’s humiliating win over Florida, which looks even worse in retrospect. It was a lucky escape from an LSU team that had given up hope for the season.
Alabama came within a hair of losing against Arkansas on Saturday, with only Bryce Young’s heroics, a Heisman contender, preserving the Tide. There have been games this season when the Tide’s defense has struggled, when the O-line has looked wobbly, and when the running backs have had limited opportunity to roam — all of which are typical of any team’s season. In a state like Alabama, it’s really unique.
This isn’t intended to tarnish the Crimson Tide’s reputation. It’s only fair, however, if we’re going to pick on Cincinnati.
However, there is a larger impediment in the way: the future. There’s the Iron Bowl, which seems to be a certain result for Alabama, but strange things have happened in previous editions of this game. Then there’s the SEC championship game, when a clash with No. 1 Georgia might easily result in Alabama’s second loss.
In the College Football Playoff, there has never been a two-loss team. Is Alabama a solid bet for becoming the first state to do so?
On the one hand, one might argue that Georgia’s loss isn’t a major setback. It’s something that all of us do. However, we’d previously established that Alabama couldn’t beat Georgia, so why should we give the Tide another chance?
What if the race for the last playoff berth comes down to 13-0 Cincinnati vs. 11-2 Alabama? Yes, strength of schedule matters, but would the committee ignore an undefeated Bearcats team in favor of a Tide team with two losses?
Of course, Alabama may still easily overcome Auburn and surprise Georgia in Atlanta in two weeks, and all of this will be for nothing. Doubt Alabama at your own peril once again.
If the playoff picture clears up, Alabama’s spot may not be as certain as it seems at first sight, and if the Tide are in the thick of that final debate, it might end up being the committee’s most difficult question to answer. ‘David Hale’ is a fictional character.
Arkansas’ Treylon Burks has eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The best wide receivers in the 2022 draft put up enormous numbers.
Rookie wide receivers may have an immediate impact in their first year in the NFL. Consider the case of Ja’Marr Chase, a former LSU star. On Saturday, many potential first-round wideouts in the 2022 NFL draft class put on a show that placed them ahead of the pack.
Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks had one of his hardest tasks of the season when he entered Bryant-Denny Stadium to face the Alabama secondary. In a seven-point loss, Burks proved to be a high-end threat. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver finished with eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns, including a 66-yard touchdown run.
On the opposite side of the field, Alabama’s Jameson Williams put forth another spectacular effort. He blossomed with more opportunities after transferring from Ohio State. He recorded eight receptions for 190 yards and three touchdowns, making him the first player in school history with four 75-yard touchdown catches in a single season.
Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, the Ohio State duo that topped Williams’ depth chart before to his promotion to Alabama, both excelled in a top-10 matchup against Michigan State. With 140 yards on seven catches and two touchdowns, Olave led all receivers in receiving yards and touchdowns. With seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns, Wilson was not far behind. With brilliant sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the dynamic duo has established themselves as the most dangerous corps in the nation.
Overall, the 2022 wide receiver class seems to have a promising future. NFL teams in need of new perimeter weapons will be in luck, as the incoming class of prospects is plenty of potential. Jordan Reid is a writer.
Matt Corral has 3,100 yards passing, 552 yards rushing, and 29 total touchdowns this season. Matt Bush works for USA TODAY as a sports writer.
The Egg Bowl is the SEC’s marquee rivalry game this year.
The Iron Bowl is a thing of the past. The Egg Bowl will be the SEC rivalry game to watch this week, with Auburn on a three-game losing streak after its loss to South Carolina, and Alabama a strong favorite.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better quarterback duel than Matt Corral of Ole Miss and Will Rogers of Mississippi State. They’ve combined for 63 touchdowns this season.
Rogers, on the other hand, is not a well-known brand, despite the fact that Corral has been there for a long time. Two years ago, he was still playing high school football in Brandon, Mississippi. He was an obscure three-star prospect with scholarship offers from Troy and Tulane, according to big-time college football standards.
After an up-and-down first season in 2020, Rogers has emerged as one of the most productive quarterbacks in the country. He set school records for throwing yards and touchdowns in a single season in last Saturday’s win against Tennessee State, which were previously held by Dak Prescott, probably the best player in program history.
Rogers, who became the first Mississippi State quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season, said he had idolized Prescott since elementary school and “never really expected” being in the same company as him.
Mike Leach, his coach, remarked, “I’m not really astonished.”
The reason for this is because mastering the Air Raid offense, like many other young athletes, takes time. Faster processing and consistency are the results of more repeats.
Rogers has progressively improved, as has the offense as a whole, setting up a possible shootout against Lane Kiffin’s high-powered Ole Miss team on Saturday. Makai Polk tied Fred Ross for the most receptions this season with 88, while Austin Williams broke another school record against Tennessee State by scoring three touchdowns in a single game.
During the first six games of the season, State averaged 24.7 points per game, ranking 12th out of 14 SEC teams.
However, in its previous five games, it has averaged 40.4 points per game, which ranks third in the conference after Georgia and Alabama. The comment of Alex Scarborough
Aidan Hutchinson and the Wolverines’ biggest obstacle in Week 13 will be stopping C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes. Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Michigan and Ohio State have a long-standing rivalry.
We’ve all wondered if Ohio State and Michigan were about to face off for a spot in the Big Ten championship game and a berth in the College Football Playoff.
There’s no need for any more informed assumptions. It is currently taking place.
For the first time since 2016, when No. 2 Ohio State upset No. 3 Michigan 30-27 in double OT, both teams are ranked in the top five. The debate about whether Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was short on a fourth-down run that led to the game-winning score is still fresh in the minds of Michigan fans.
It’s been a long time since any side has won in this rivalry, and it’s also been a long time since Michigan has won. Eight of the past 16 games have been won by Ohio State, including 15 of the last 16. Jim Harbaugh is 0-5 against Ohio State, and the Wolverines will have to do a lot to stop Ohio State’s offense.
C.J. Stroud is coming off a game in which he passed for 393 yards and six touchdowns in the first half alone against Michigan State. Stroud only threw three interceptions on the day, and if he hadn’t been benched for the backups, he might have passed for 600 yards.
To say the Ohio State offense is clicking right now is an understatement. In four games this season, Stroud has five passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which is tied for the most by any FBS quarterback in the previous 20 years.
Smith-Njigba, Wilson, and Olave, his receivers, are the first Big Ten trio to have 100 receiving yards in multiple games in the previous 25 years.
The game against Michigan State was supposed to be considerably closer, but it ended up being the biggest margin of victory between two top-seven teams since No. 1 Army destroyed No. 6 Penn 61-0 in 1945.
As a result of the blowout, Ohio State coach Ryan Day noted that his focus quickly switched to Michigan.
“We’ve got a big game coming up just around the corner – everything is riding on this,” Day said. “I hadn’t even completed half of the game before I began to consider it. The Wolverines are the focus of all eyes.”
Michigan’s offense has been been excellent, but maybe more importantly for this game, the defense hasn’t allowed more than 18 points in its past three games. The Wolverines’ defense surrenders the eighth-most pass yards per game and the tenth-most total yards per game.
The secondary will have to play its best game of the season to stop Ohio State’s passing attack. Michigan just defeated Maryland, limiting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to 178 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
“Everything that was planned, built for, all of the energy that has been put in since early 2021, January, February, all of the things that the guys and coaches have done has put us in this position,” Harbaugh said. “We wanted to be in that position, and we intend to remain in it. We’d want to take all of the marbles home with us. As a consequence, we’ve arrived at our desired destination. For the greater part of a year, we’ve been preparing for this, and now we’re finally bringing it all together this week to play for it all.” VanHaaren, Tom (Tom VanHaaren)
Jordan Addison and Pitt have qualified for the ACC championship game, where they will face Wake Forest, NC State, and Clemson. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
Pitt is the man for the job (in the Coastal)
At the outset of the season, no one could have expected that Pitt would be the first team to clinch a spot in the ACC championship game. Nothing about this season, on the other hand, has followed an expected pattern.
One of them is Brad Pitt.
Following a 44-41 loss against Western Michigan, many believed it was the same ol’ Pitt, which was made worse by the circumstances —