Posted on Leave a comment

4 things to watch in the AFC wild card race and Bills-Dolphins this weekend

content_img

It all comes down to the final weekend for the Bills. They’ve got a bona fide shot to end their 17-season playoff drought with their first meaningful final regular season game in 13 years.

Here are some things to keep an eye on this weekend as the Bills head south to play the Dolphins:

The NFL’s flex col has advised James Maddison to snub Manchester United for Liverpool or Manchester City.Nicol believes the Leicester City star could stagnate his career at Old Trafford, in a similar vein to Paul Pogba.The Reds legendary defender told ESPN FC: “Undscheduling policy set it up so all four games that impact the AFC Wild Card chase kick off at 4:25 pm Sunday. So, Bills fans will be busy tracking all four games at once. If they all go Buffalo’s way (all of them don’t have to) here are some reasons why. Remember Buffalo needs to win and a Baltimore loss or a Tennessee loss and a Los Angeles Chargers loss.

They just did two weeks ago in Orchard Park. The Dolphins have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Tyrod Taylor has had his best games against Miami. Cincinnati may want to “win it for Marvin” if indeed it is Marvin Lewis’ last game as head coach. In his last three games in Baltimore, Andy Dalton has averaged 322 yards passing per game, with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. WR A.J. Green has played four games in his career at Baltimore and has a total of 579 receiving yards with 4 touchdowns.

Jacksonville has the third ranked defense in the NFL. The Jaguars are looking for revenge after losing to Tennessee earlier this season. Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles owns the Titans – he has thrown 9 TDs and 1 INT in his last three games at Tennessee, and averaged 332 yards per game.

The Raiders have won 4 of their last 5 against the Chargers. Raiders Coach Jack Del Rio is 6-3 lifetime against the Chargers. “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch ran for 95 yards last week against the Eagles and the Chargers are dead last in the NFL in rush defense.

**

You hear the cliché “coming up big” a lot in the hockey world. With the magnitude of the game in Miami Sunday, there are a couple of Bills who can be serious difference makers in the season finale:

 has had a strong finish to the regular season, averaging 84 rushing yards per game in the Bills last five. He’s got three touchdowns in those five games, two of them against Miami a couple of weeks ago. McCoy has a knack for making Dolphin defenders (and others) miss in space and he seems to have a personal grudge with Miami LB Kiko Alonso who he was traded for three years ago.

has been a difference maker in his five career games against the Dolphins. He’s won three of those five, and he’s completed 65-percent of his passes in those matchups. Taylor has 9 TD passes and 0 INTs against the Dolphins over the years, and he’s run for two touchdowns also.

will need to “bring his lunch pail” Sunday when he lines up across from Miami’s dominant DT Ndamukong Suh. It should be a familiar feeling—he just went to battle two weeks ago in Buffalo and Ducasse held his own. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo was singing Ducasse’s praises after the Miami win but it won’t be any easier this weekend. Suh can take over a game with his sheer strength and unnatural quickness. It won’t be entirely on Ducasse’s shoulders, but he’ll play a big role in how much room Shady has to run and how much time Taylor has to throw.

The Bills will finish ahead of Miami and the Jets in the AFC Eden Hazard.The Mirror says Hazard is on his way to Real Madrid after the Spanish giants agreed an initial £88million deal with Chelsea .In a stunning piece of business for a player out of contract in a years’ time, the Blues could rake in as much East this year. They’ve locked up second place in the division for the second time in four years. They’re this year’s first runner-up in the division the Patriots seemingly own.

But Buffalo has a chance to finish the division with a 3-3 record with a win on Sunday. And they get their final crack at beating a division rival in the second match-up of the year. They lost previous rematches this year to the Jets and the Patriots.

**

Right before kickoff Sunday, look at the field at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. It could look a little worn out.

At 8 pm Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes play Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock. That game should end around 11:30pm, and 17 hours later, the Bills and the Dolphins will be right back on the grass field, hoping the college teams haven’t tornt not freeze against Fiorentina.The Grifone go head-to-head with the Viola, who could also still be relegated, but need to get a better result than Empoli manage away to Inter Milan to stay up. Prandelli said, “It’s marvellous to see and feeling th it up too much.

The Dolphins have recently installed Platinum TE natural grass on the field at home, but they’ve had some issues with it in the past.

Dolphins radio color commentator Joe Rose, a former Miami tight end, says if it doesn’t rain Saturday night the field should be OK. Should be.

“This is the sixth different field we’ve put down,” Rose told earlier this week.

“We’re fine as long as we don’t get any rain the night before, when the big guys from Wisconsin and the big guys from the Miami Hurricanes are out there. Quick turnaround–we’ve had some of those games when it’s been rough.”

The weather forecast calls for clear skies with only a 10-percent chance of rain Saturday night and Sunday in Miami. And that’s good, according to Rose.

“It has been a struggle for the Dolphins trying to get the right turf that can handle back to back games when it’s raining,” he says.

Posted on Leave a comment

Bills sign WR Roberson, release DT Ross

content_img

ORCHARD PARK, NY – The Buffalo Bills today announced that the team has signed WR Cordell Roberson to the team’s Practice Squad and released DT Jay Ross from the 53-man roster.

Roberson entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Cleveland, was releasedottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen insists local criticism isn’t affecting Denmark’s players.There’s been claims the national team’s players are fed up with the reporting.But Eriksen says: “There is no frustration on our part. We are the ones who prior to the regular season and spent a portion of the year on the Practice Squad of Carolina before joining the Bills. The 6-foot-4, 205 pound product finished his career at Stephen F. Austin University (2009-12) as the school’s all-time leader ino Fernandes over his imminent move to Manchester United.The Sporting CP captain’s transfer to United is set to be confirmed today.After defeat to United last night, Bern Kenny is enjoying his football at Schalke.On a season-long loan, Kenny has struck a good rapport with the S04 support.Kenny said, “I really appreciate the fans, their level of support for both the team and me personally is really fantastic.“I feardo was asked about his Portugal teammate and said: “I am very happy for him bec receptions (221), receiving yards (3,191) and touchdown catches (39).

The Bills have one spot open on the active roster.

Posted on Leave a comment

Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Shkodran Mustafi deal no closer as Gunners join race for Jose Fonte

content_img

data-js=”article-body” data-insert-mobile-adslot>

What sense that makes to Barcelona, Mathieu or – most importantly here – Arsenal, is yet to be established. In summary: we wait on developments with Shkodran Mustafi.

 The £12m man told German newspaper Die Welt: "Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester City and Liverpool. All those clubs got in touch with me about a move. 

“I didn’t speak with Liverpool managhave shifted shirt sponsors from Puma to Adidas.And Gunners stars Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been pictured wearing the new kit.The design is inspired from the 1986 kit.Aubameyang and Lacazette with the new Arsenal kit for er Jurgen Klopp but I had a phone conversation with Arsene Wenger, who spoke French to me.

“Yet I chose Leipzig as they have great potential and I didn’t yet want to join a big Champions League club.

Ambitious stuff.

While Valencia continue to hold the Gunners to ransom over this blog’s standout star Shkodran Mustafi, 32-year-old Fonte is said to be "keen" on a move to Old Trafford, but Jose Mourinho would have to sell before he can buy.

£10m would be enough to seal the deal for Arsenal if they wanted to steal a march, but is Fonte a long-term proposition for a club famously unaccommodating to their over-30s?

As the Gunners continue to haggle over the price for Mustafi, Soriano – who played with the German at Sampdoria – had this short lament to spice things up:

 

The circle of life. 

"It breaks my heart to say but I can’t recall the last time an Arsenal fan really looked forward to the start of the season," Wright wrote in his column in the Sun.

"Yes, we all know these days it is about profits and balance sheets. But that cannot be at the total exclusion of everything else.

"Speculate to accumulate? There is not a great deal of the former at Arsenal. And unless they are prepared to do so, you really do fear the worst.&quotngland U21 side.The 19-year-old started in Euro2021 qualifying wins over Slovenia and Austria this week.”Really pleased, Austria were a good side and to get that assist early on was really good for me, and the team were excellent for the rest of the ;

German-born Turkish international Toprak, 27, has been with Leverkusen for six estions about his old club.Los Blancos are enduring a horrid spell at the moment, but the ex-Spain coach was keen to talk about anything other than their predicament.”I neither owe nor wish Real Madrid any bother,” he said, refusing to comment on theyears and would be considerable gamble to thrust into a Premier League title race.

Kjaer, however – no stranger to English transfer rumours in his career – has plied his trade in Seria A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga before arriving in Turkey. Still just 27, he could be an ideal alternative should the Mustafi deal run aground before the deadline.

Ampadu’s father Kwame currently works as a youth coach at Arsenal and would play a pivotal role in sealing the deal.

"The biggest compliment I can give him is that he plays like a 35-year-old,’ Exeter boss Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon about the teenager, who is eligible to play for England, Ireland and Ghana.

Calciomercato

Reports over the weekend claimed that Arsenal had seen a £13.8m bid rejected by the Turin club for the Gabon international, but it seems that Watford have blown them out of the water with a £17.3m offer.

Posted on Leave a comment

San Diego State vs. Fresno State odds: 2019 college football picks, best predictions from expert who’s 5-0

content_img

The can take control of their division in the Mountain West Conference on Friday night when they battle the . The Bulldogs (4-5, 2-3 in Mountain West) sit in fourth place in the West behind San Diego State (7-2, 4-2), and (both 6-4, 3-3), but Fresno State already has beaten Hawaii and plays Nevada next week. The Bulldogs remain in control of their own destiny. Meanwhile, the Aztecs can inch closer to the division title with a win over Fresno. They are 1-8 against the spread in their last nine home games, and kickoff is at 9:30 p.m. ET. The Aztecs are favored by one in the latest San Diego State vs. Fresno State odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 42.5, down two from the opener. Before making any Fresno State vs. San Diego State picks of your own, you need to see who SportsLine’s Mike Tierney is picking.

No one knows football like Tierney. The veteran sportswriter, whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, has covered of all levels for decades. And that expertise has been evident since he joined SportsLine in 2017. Since the start of the 2017 season, he has gone 136-114 with his against the spread picks in college football. Last season was his best, going 59-46. 

In addition, he is a perfen of the influence of former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.After a disastrous spell at Monaco in which he was sacked in under three months Henry is now in charge of MLS side Montral Impact.Speaking to the Daily Mail, Henry explained that Wenger helpect 5-0 with his last five against the spread involving Fresno State. Anyone who has followed him is way up. Now, he has analyzed San Diego State vs. Fresno State from every possible angle and locked in another confident against the spread pick. . 

Tierney knows that San Diego State has a playmaker in the secondary in . The senior cornerback has five interceptions this season, tied for thee his Manchester United teammates defeat Tottenham last night.The injured midfielder was in attendance at Old Trafford as his side beat Tottenham 2-1 in the Premier League.Marcus Rashford was the matchwinner for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, scoring b second-most in the FBS. He also is tied for second in passes defended per game (1.88). By virtue of his play, he has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the best defensive back in college football. 

In addition, Tierney has factored in that San Diego State has been excellent on defense this year. Through nine games, the Aztecs have held every opponent below its season point and total offense averages. They rank eighth in the country in both scoring defense (14.4 points per game) and total defense (277.1 yards per game).

But just because the Aztecs may have the edge on paper does not guarantee they will cover the San Diego Stxis Claude-Maurice from Lorient.The Geordies join Arsenal, West Ham and Sevilla in the hunt for the Ligue 2 man, says the Arsenal-Alexis-Claude-Maurice-Lorient” target=”_blank”>Daily Star.Claude-Maurice scored 14 goals in 16 Ligue 2 appearances last ate vs. Fresno State spread on Friday.

The Bulldogs have scored at least 30 points in four straight games. Only seven other teams in the country have a longer streak of scoring 30 points than Fresno State. Much of the success can be attributed to an improved rushing attack, as over the last four games, the Bulldogs have averaged 223.5 rushing yards per game (6.3 per carry) and scored 18 touchdowns.

In addition, Fresno State has enjoyed recent success against the Aztecs. The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings between the teams by a combined score of 50-17. The last time these teams met in San Diego, in 2017, Fresno State whipped the Aztecs, 27-3. 

We can tell you Tierney is leaning over, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He’s found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard on Friday. He’s sharing what it is, and who to back, only at SportsLine. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Boston College vs. Kansas odds, predictions: 2019 college football picks from model on 18-6 run

content_img

It’s the Big 12 against the ACC on Friday night as the head east to face the . The nationally televised non-conference matchup kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Boston College (2-0) rolled to a 35-28 opening week win over . Meanwhile, Kansas (1-1) is coming off an eye-opening 12-7 loss to , but improvement is expected under new head coach Les Miles, who guided to a national title in 2007. Against the spread, the Eagles are 20-point favorites in the current Boston College vs. Kansas odds, down from an open of 21, with the over-under set at 51. These teams have never met and each had to replace more than half its starting lineup to begin the season, so before locking in any Kansas vs. Boston College picks and predictions, you need to see the results from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model simulates every FBS game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. Over the past four years, this proprietary computer model has generated a jaw-dropping $4,530 profit for $100 bettors on its top-rated spread picks. 

The model enters Week 3 of the 2019 college football season on a blistering 18-6 run on its top-rated picks. It also called (+158) straight-up upset of and was all over (+23) against No. 10 in a game the Black Knights pushed to overtime and covered with a ton of room to spare. Anybody who has been following it is way up. 

Now, it has set its sights on Boston College vs. Kansas. We can tell you the model is leaning under, but it also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. That pick is available over at SportsLine. 

The model knows quarterback and the Eagles have lit up oppadrid.Okdiario says Real president Florentino Perez sees Kane as a replacement for veteran Karim Benzema.Florentino has long been a big fan of Kane and pushed hard for the striker last season.Just last Friday, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino recogniseosing defenses so far, scoring 35 and 45 points in their two victories. And he’s not afraid to go downfield, averaging a whopping 19 yards per completion. He faces an inexperienced Kansas defense that is breaking in a new 3-4 scheme. Last season, Kansas gave up at least 48 points three times.

Boston College had its best season at home in a while last year, going 5-2. Kansas, meanwhile, has won just one road game since 2009 and covered the spread only 16 times in its last 53 road games. The Jayhawks have lost 18 of their last 22 road openers.

But just because the Eagles are humming and favored Friday doesn’t mean they’ll cover the Boston College vs. Kansas spread.

Kansas’ offense remains a work in progress, though the run game got it done on Saturday against Coastal Carolina. Pooka Williams, who last year rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns, gained 99 yards, while added 82. On Friday, the model says the pair will combine for 130 yards on the ground and over five senal job.Guardiola said he would not object to Arteta taking the Arsenal manager’s job should the Gunners decide to turn to their former player to succeed Unai Emery, who was dismissed on Friday morning.”I said many times with my players, staff, theyards per carry.

The Jayhawks’ defense has been a strengr factor.Arsenal are the visitors to Old Trafford on Monday night.And Fowler wrote for the Mirror: “The fear factor has been leaking away from Old ­Trafford for several years now – but now it has ­vanished entirely.”That is a huge problem for Oleth so far, allowing just 12 points per game and a scant 151 yards passing per game. B.C. likes to throw the ball, but its quarterback has completed only 57 percent of his passes.

Posted on Leave a comment

National championship: Projections favor Alabama, Clemson over Georgia, Ohio State and UCF

content_img

The College Football Playoff is getting , and it’s the third time in the playoff era that these twh former manager Jose Mourinho.Mata was sold by Mourinho when the pair were at Chelsea, only for them to be reunited at Old Trafford two years later.In the latest extract from his new book, Suddenly a Footballer, Mata recalls his reunion with Mourinho teams will be meeting in the national championship. With No. 1 besting No. 4 and No. 2 handling No. 3  in the semifinals, these two programs are head and shoulders above everyone else right now. 

But what would it look like if this season’s national championship, played on Monday, Jan. 7, was different? What if , or — the three teams that at least had an argument to make the final four — wound up in the title game against either the Crimson Tide or Tigers? 

According to our simulations from SportsLine data analyst Stephen Oh, the upcoming national championship would still go chalk if it involved either Alabama or Clemson. Below is a table for all six possible matchups with accompanying win percentages and average scores. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to suspend a little disbelief here because we’re going straight to the title game; we’re not recreating the entire playoff field. These are numbers in a vacuum and should treated as such. 

MatchupWin percentageAvg. slham have signed Cardiff City striker Bobby Decordova-Reid on a season-long loan.Reid last played in the Championship in 2017/18 when he netted 19 league goals and was named in the PFA Team of the Year.The former Bristol City man last played in the Ccore

Alabama

81

32

Georgia

19

19

MatchupWin percentageAvg. core

Alabama

83

35

Ohio State

17

19

MatchupWin percentageAvg. score

Alabama

89

38

UCF

11

18

MatchupWin percentageAvg.Tottenham star Christian Eriksen is in doubt for Saturday’s clash with Watford.The Dane will be assessed prior to kick-off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.Eriksen picked up a dead leg on international duty.Spurs are looking for just a second victory in seven matches in all competitions. score

Clemson

59

25

Georgia

41

22

MatchupWin percentageAvg. score

Clemson

61

27

Ohio State

39

22

MatchupWin percentageAvg. score

Clemson

67

29

UCF

33

21

As you can see, Alabama would still be sizable favorites against the three different opponents. Then again, Alabama would be a double-digit favorite against most teams in (for the record, Las Vegas books have the Tide as a 6.5-point favorite against the Tigers). Either way, Alabama would be projected to win at least 81 percent of the time in all three matchups with average scores ranging from 13 points against Georgia — the Tide needed a thrilling comeback to beat the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game 35-28 — to 20 points against UCF. 

Conversely, the Clemson projections run a little closer, which is to be expected. A Clemson-Georgia matchup would be the closest of all with an average point differential of only a field goal. However, a matchup with Ohio State or UCF still projects to end in single digits with the Tigers never winning more than 67 percent of the time. 

These are simulations, though, and Clemson just easily covered against Notre Dame, while Oklahoma kicked down the back door in its semifinal against Alabama. It would certainly be fun to get some different matchups in the championship game down the road, and if college football eventually expands to an eight-team playoff, maybe that’ll happen. 

Posted on Leave a comment

USC vs. Texas score: Longhorns dominate No. 22 Trojans with impressive second half

content_img

needed a big win to get some heat off of coach Tom for granted in the Champions League.The Reds begin their defence of the title with a tricky game against the talented Italian outfit.And Klopp knows that if his side are not at their best, Napoli will be happy to pounce on any weaknesses.The last timHerman’s back. And a big win — the 900th in the illustrious history of the program — the Longhorns got in the form of a 37-14 beatdown of the No. 22 . 

The final score didn’t reflect how tight things were for the first half. USC jumped out to a 14-3 lead after the first quarter but the Longhorns responded by chipping away at the lead and taking a 16-14 halftime advantage. 

That’s when the floodgates opened. After scoring on its first offensive possession of the third quarter, Texas took a 50-yard blocked punt back for a touchdown to go up 30-13. Texas capped off the 21-point third quarter with a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback . 

It wasn’t a perfect performance by Texas. Play-calling continld has explained the thought process behind his incredible crosses.The 22-year-old registered his 12th assist of the season in Monday’s win over West Ham United when he set-up Sadio Mane to tap home the winner.Asked whether he seeks out a teammate wiues to be a puzzle for this offense. A lot of Ehlinger’s passes were difficult throws downfield when there was space in the more intermediate part of the field. The running game only began asserting itself later as USC wore down, too. But it’s a win for Herman, and he needed one in the worst way. 

It doesn’t matter a ton that USC has a lot of questions. The special teams were bad — the Trojans had shanked punts, a roughing the kicker penalty and the aforementioned blocked punt — and the offense had no ground game with just six yards rushing. That doesn’t help freshman quarterback , making just his second career road start. USC is now 1-2 and certainly doesn’t look like a team ready to compete for a Pac-12 championship. 

Herman will take it, though. Afn attacker Anthony Knockaert.The Sun says the Cottagers have made contact with Brighton and while a formal offer has yet to be made, a £15million fee has been discussed.Knockaert will be tempted to drop down a division by the prospect of a hefty incter a horrid start to the season with a loss to and a tighter-than-necessary game with , Texas needed something good. There’s no rest for the weary, though, with coming to Austin next. USC gets on a short week. The Trojans have also lost back-to-back games by double digits. 

CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, highlights and analysis from USC vs. Texas. If you are unable to view the live updates below, .  

Thanks for stopping by.

Posted on Leave a comment

Five reasons you should be watching college football in Week 2

content_img

Week 1 of the college football season was paraded as its best ever. It only makes sense that the follow-up week is downright dreadful. You know, law of averages and all that.

But I’m here to tell you that while has never loved you back, rarely has it ever fully disappointed, either.

Sure, Week 2 doesn’t look promising at a glance. Troy vs. Clemson? UTEP vs. Texas? Nicholls State vs. Georgia? There are dozens more of those types of games. No thanks.

Despite all that, however, there are reasons to watch on Saturday. We’ve compiled five of them, hoping to restore your faith in what this beautiful and crazy sport can do.

In fact, there’s a good one potentially between Arkansas and TCU in Fort Worth (7 p.m. ET). Both teams struggled in Week 1. The Razorbacks needed a late rally to upend Louisiana Tech 21-20 while the Frogs needed a late surge to put away South Dakota state 59-41. Certainly, both teams must play better this week or the outcome won’t be as friendly. Still, this is a fun clash of styles between Arkansas’ ground-and-pound vs. TCU’s spread. Neither team is a stranger to quirky endings, either.

Sometimes, the crappiest weeks on paper end up producing the wildest finishes.I can’t tell you which game this is going to be, bno Ronaldo has thanked Juventus fans after a successful first season in ItalyRonaldo won the Scudetto with Juve and set several personal records after joining from Real Madrid last year.He posted to social media: “What an unforgettable season!” wrout I am confident it’s going to happen. That’s basic odds-making. Last year, Week 2 actually produced a number of unexpectedly close games, including Auburn’s 27-20 overtime victory over Jacksonville State. And it was two years ago when Virginia Tech went into Columbus and shocked Ohio State 35-21.

There’s no trend capable of predicting where the next upset or near-upset will occur. You’re just going to have to tune in to find out because it’s going to happen to some team. Just hope it’s not yours.

Tennessee-Virginia Tech (7 p.m. ET) should young fullback Brandon Williams plays like a South American.Williams, 19, only made his United bow against Rochdale in the League Cup on September 25 but is poised to make his full Premier League debut against Brighton since Ashley Young is suspende pique your interest anyway, but the fact that this thing is being played in Bristol Motor Speedway is Vaudeville-esque. We’ve had football games in baseball stadiums and overseas, but this is tops as far as off-the-wall venues go. Put another way, holding a game a week early in Australia is now the second-most interesting thing college football has scheduled this year.

There are so many questions involved with this. What will the sight lines be like? Will people even know what’s going on? Even if the speedway is packed, will there be crowd noise? Just look at this…

Final Fours held at indoor football stadiums think this is absurd.

The first hope is that the game itself lives up to the hype, but you should tune in just to see what a football game in the middle of an arena looks like.

We are here for all the goodness that is #Pac12AfterDark. The late-night specialty has a knack for producing outcomes dabbling in the obscure and outrageously hilarious. You like 500 yards passing? You got 500 yards passing. Want 17 points in Carlo Ancelotti gives them an advantage.“I am convinced that we have an advantage compared to the teams that have hired new Coaches,” Insigne told Gazzetta dello Sport.“This is a squad that has been working together for five or six years, we chathe final two minutes? They’re yours.

Late-night kickoffs in Week 2 are excellent. Texas Tech at Arizona State (10 p.m. ET) could hit 100 total points… by the third quarter. Washington State at Boise State (10:15 p.m. ET) is mixing Mike Leach and, well, Boise State. Expect at least two trick plays and probably a failed two-point conversion that’s taken back by the defense for a score. Someone’s going to pass for 400 yards in this game and still lose. Meanwhile, Cal at San Diego State (10:30 p.m. ET) is a good opportunity to see one of the more underrated players in the country, Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphery, who will be going up against a Cal defense that allowed 6.53 yards per rush… against Hawaii.

Plus Cal quarterback Davis Webb’s headshot!

As you can see, the games kick off within 30 minutes of each other. The potential for absurd endings within a close proximity of one another is high. And before you gripe about 2:30 a.m. game endings, remember that Week 1 also near the witching hour.

Conference realignment has been one of the worst things to happen to college football. That is the truth and I will die on the hill saying so, because no other shift in the sport has taken away so many great rivalries. Thankfully, some of those long-standing games will be restored on Saturday. The heated rivalries to watch are…

This game used to matter in college football back when Pennsylvania, not the Southeast, was one of the premier college football settings. These teams last played in 2000 and Penn State holds the overall series lead at 50-42-4.

The Holy War is intense. perhaps more so than people realize nationally. Conference realignment is an especially touchy subject here with Utah now among the Power Fives while BYU hopes desperately it receives an invite to join the Big 12. Utah beat BYU 35-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl last season.

Posted on Leave a comment

CBS Sports 2015-16 All-Bowl team: ACC edges SEC with most players

content_img

The ratings were down for the New Year’s Six. There were too many blowouts and too many games overall, but the bowl season still left us with some spectacular individual performances.

Here are the 27 best players from an (overall) entertaining bowl season: the 2015-16 CBS Sports All-Bowl team.

It makes sense that the two conferences with teams in the Playoff National Championship (ACC, SEC) placed the most players on the team with seven for the ACC and six for the SEC.

So let’s get to it. (And yes, we’re counting the CFP National Championship as a bowl game for these purposes.)

There’s a reason Watson’s name was trending alongside Vince Young’s during the title game. Watson turned in a VY-esque performance with 478 yards of total offense. That was a national title game record since the start of the BCS era (1998). If not for special teams busts, Watson may have led the Tigers to the title. He gets another chance in 2016.

Remember him? We had Fournette winning the Heisman Trophy halfway through the season. He ended up leading the nation in rushing, going for 212 yards and four touchdowns against Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl. Can’t wait to see what will certainly be his final college season in ’16.

Coach Art Briles is onto another innovation. Missing his top two quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, he ran the ball. And he ran and he ran again. Jefferson was one of five players to line up in the Wildcat, rushing for 299 yards and three touchdowns against North Carolina.

In a blowout loss to LSU in the Texas Bowl, Grant caught 10 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Grant led the Big 12 with 90 catches and had 254 for his career.

aff to quit for Manchester United.Chopra has been left frustrated and disappointed by the way owner Mike Ashley is managing the club.And he told the Evening Chronicle: “I would go. What is keeping him at Newcastle United? They have no ambition.”At le Justin Fuente inherits quite a weapon. Ford, a sophomore, went for career highs in catches (12) and yards (227) in the Independence Bowl win against Tulsa.

Going into the playoff, Howard had largely been ignored as a weapon. Against Michigan State and Clemson, he caught eight passes for 267 yards, scoring two touchdowns — his first in two years. Howard had 44 percent of his season output in the playoff. Not bad. Even better? Howard, a junior, is staying in school.

The performance by the Outland Trophy winner in the Rose Bowl win over Iowa . “We want Bama!”? Dude, perhaps you should have played them.

The Eagles’ highest-graded O-lineman from the GoDaddy Bowl. The 295-pound Kwon helped spring quarterback Favian Upshaw for 199 yards and four touchdowns vs. Bowling Green. The Eagles’ 58 points were a bowl high.

The Bears’ All-America tackle had five knockdown blocks and graded out at 91 percent in the decimation of North Carolina (645 rushing yards).

LT started the season in trouble with the NCAA. He ended it with a Big Guy touchdown against Oklahoma State. That clinches his spot on the all-bowl team.

In the TaxSlayer Bowl, the Bulldogs’ for more kids to make their breakthrough this season.Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have all been given their chances in the early stages of this season and they have rewarded that faith. Andreas Christensen, who established himself inleft tackle held national sack leader Carl Nassib without a tackle in Georgia’s 24-17 win over Penn State.

In only 59 snaps, the Cougars defensive end had a sack, three hurries and eight tackles on running plays. According to ProFootballFocus, the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder had his highest grade of the season against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Rose Bowl defensive MVP with 10 tackles, 3.5 for a loss. In the last two games of his career, the All-Pac 12 performer had 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

A big reason why the Vols are favored to win the SEC East in 2016. In a blowout win over Northwestern, Barnett had eight tackles, a forced fumble and a sack.

Three sacks and 8.5 TFLs vs. Alabama. Along with Shaq Lawson, practically unstoppable in the natty.

The former bad boy at TCU had eight tackles, three sacks and two PBUs against Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl. The eight tackles tied a career high.

In arguably the most dominating defensive performance of the bowl season, the Broncos destroyed Northern Illinois 55-7 in the Poinsettia Bowl, holding the Huskies to all of 33 yards. Gray, a senior, had seven tackles, forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles.

The former national defensive player of the year went out with 15 tackles, 3.5 tackles and two sacks against New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl.

After quarterback Gary Ward Jr., Jackson, a cornerback, might have been Tom Herman’s best player. In the Peach Bowl against Florida State, Jackson made 10 tackles, had two interceptions and broke up two passes.

The Noles’ safety may have had the most dominant bowl game by a defensive back. Houston got most of the attention for upsetting FSU. But don’t blame James. He made 14 tackles, including a TFL, had a sack and knocked down a pass.

Yes, there two Cougars in the all-bowl defensive backfield. Stewart picked off two passes and recovered a fumble — a school-record 10th of his career — againh to take.Tielemans has been a substitute for four of the club’s last eight Premier League matches, including their most recent two outings, against Norwich and Aston Villa.“It is true that, personally, I have played less,” Tielemans told Sport/Foost the Noles.

Matched up with Notre Dame star Will Fuller, the Buckeyes’ corner allowed him only five catches for 32 yards. Apple also made five tackles to become the Fiesta Bowl defensive MVP.

A 66 percent career kicker (not great) and the guy who will forever be known as the beginning of the Kick Six (missed 60-yard field goal against Auburn), Griffith perfectly executed one of the most audacious trick plays of the BCS era. His onside kick against Clemson landed perfectly in the arms of Marlon Humphrey, turning the, uh, Tide in the fourth quarter of a tie game.

It’s tough to beat Tom Hackett of Utah’s 50 yards per punt average and 21-yard fake punt run, but Teasdall did. He booted a long punt of 57 in the title game and .

Derrick Henry’s tailback caddy broke open the CFP National Championship with a 95-yard fourth-quarter kickoff return for a touchdown against Clemson. A living, breathing example of why it’s worth it to use top-tier players on special teams.

In a wild Independence Bowl, the talented sophomore corner returned four punts for 132 yards, including a 67-yarder for a touchdown against Tulsa.

Obviously, the Heisman runner-up could be at running back, returner or even receiver. But in his Rose Bowl-record performance, he rushed for 172 yards and surpassed 2,000 for the season. The only other player to do that (Derrick Henry) won the Heisman.

Posted on Leave a comment

Inside College Football: Could Virginia Tech upset Ohio State … again?

content_img

Urban Meyer sat in his office last spring still not able to get the Virginia Tech game out of his mind.

The only blemish on the Buckeyes’ season came in a Week 2 clunker at home against the Hokies. It’s the way that loss unfolded that stuck with Meyer.

“Bear Zero,” he said, describing the Hokies’ defensive scheme that day. “You can’t run against it. Now we practice it every third practice.”

You can’t do a lot of things against The Bear. The defense, which is also known as the 46, was made famous by Buddy Ryan during the Bears’ 1985 run. The idea is to stack the box, load up the defensive line and confuse the quarterback.

The perfect storm that day formed over Ohio Stadium. Ohio State’s offensive line was still jelling. J.T. Barrett was making his second start at quarterback. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster was determined to keep the Buckeyes frping Wilfried Zaha in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.Wilder was asked aboutZaha’s complaints that he had been singled-out for special treatment by some of his team.”It’s still a contact sport,” Wilder said.”Players are still allowed to make conom their double-team blocks on run plays. In the process, he put his corners on an island — man-to-man.

The risk-reward approach worked. Ohio State was held to a season-low 108 rushing yards. Barrett threw three interceptions. The Bear was used on 54 of 74 snaps.

“Bud was the only one who was really successful against what they did last year,” said Mike Kuchar, founder and senior research manager of X&O Labs, a football analytics company.

“Inexperienced quarterback. The timing was right for it. You can’t doubt Bud Foster. He always seems to find a way.”

Kuchar’s inside look at The Bear is reason enough to put Ohio State-Virginia Tech at the front of the line of most likely upsets in Week 1. Not saying it will absolutely happen, but the stars are aligning.

Ohio State is missing four suspended starters. Receiver Noah Brown is out of the season. Going to Lane Stadium at night in the season opener cannot be underestimated.

Foster, entering his 29th season, is ready. Kuchar is a friend. His website provides in-depth subscription-based information to coaches. He was invited by Foster to Virginia Tech this year to . His detailed breakdown resulting from that visit might as well be a warning for the Buckeyes on Labor Day night.

“It was one of the more in-depth things I’ve done,” said Kuchar, a 14-year coaching veteran. “I know it’s over the head of a lot of football watchers, but I wanted to make sure we provided our coaches with the best content.”

Why, then, wouldn’t Foster use the same scheme next week? Sure, the Bucks are stronger, more experienced. They’ve got game film on the Hokies, too. But you would have to figure Foster keep running some form of the Bear until the Bucks figure it out.

“I can’t speak for [Foster], but it would make sense as a coach,” Kuchar said. “His players understand the system. Bud’s a 46 defense kind of guy.”

Jim Harbaugh’s return to college is overshadowing the actual game. Has anyone considered the Wolverines might actually win? The Wolverines are a 5½-point underdog playing at altitude on opening night. Utah has a 1,500-yard rusher in Devontae Booker, but questions surround quarterback Travis Wilson. Veteran Jake Rudock, an Iowa transfer, might have the upper hand here.

Playing Jerry Kill is like gargling with glass. It’s tough, annoying and painful. Monster tailback David Cobb is gone, but the Gophers will establish a rushing game — or die trying. Minnesota won at Michigan, at Nebraska and played Ohio State off its feet last season. Kill will drag the more-talented Frogs into a street fight. Definitely take the 14-and-a-half.

The bet here is that Bobby Petrino has got something for the Tigers. There’s a lingering quarterback battle between three guys at Louisville, plus a controversial linebacker. Transfer Devonte Fields — former Big 12 defensive player of the year — will have to be accounted for. Ps tough first months at Anfield.Fabinho admits he found it difficult at times.”Overall I think my first season at Liverpool was good,” he said.”In my first season I knew there would be a learning and settling-in period. I went through this.”It didn’tetrino is 10-0 in his openers with an average winning margin of 23 points. So there’s that.

There are conflicted emotions in Huskerland. Fans are excited over the Mike Riley debut. They’re nervous about a more-than-capable BYU. Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill is missing tailback Jamaal Williams, who is sitting out 2015 due to a rules violation. after a season-ending injury. Nebraska is missing lethal returner De’Mornay Pierson-El. The Huskers have lost one nonconference September home game since 2008. They are a 6- to 8-point favorite in this one. It could go either way.

What to make of Jake Coker as he enters his final season? The one-time blue-chipper is in danger of not only losing his third quarterback battle, but getting scant duty as a backup. Entering 2015, Coker has thrown 100 career passes at two schools (five career touchdowns). He was beaten out by the emerging Jameis Winston at Florida State. Imported to Alabama essentially to take over for A.J. McCarron, he was beaten out last season by fifth-year senior Blake Sims.

On Monday, Nick Saban ahead of the Wisconsin game that had Coker on the same line with redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman and redshirt sophomore Alec Morris. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for Coker. His entire story is in one sense a cautionary recruiting tale, but also a mystery.

It’s one thing to be beaten out by a future Heisman Trophy winner. But if Coker doesn’t win the job this season — Saban has hinted he’ll play two quarterbacks — Coker will have been beaten out by a former tailback (Sims) and a group of contenders who have yet to throw a pass in game action.

On the other end of the Coker spectrum? Cal’s Jared Goff. The junior goes into the season  as the best underclassman quarterback prospect in the draft. One issue: Goff has played only two seasons with six wins in 24 career starts. While such projections aren’t rare — Marcus Mariota had similar hype after two seasons — Goff is different. He hasn’t sniffed a bowl game.

“I want to leave a legacy of winning at Cal,” Goff said. “We have to win; I have to win.”

Goff’s 7,481 yards are the most ever by a Pac-12 quarterback through his first two seasons. While Goff woul unaffected by title pressure.The Reds are still unbeaten domestically this season.”The pressure gets bigger, but that comes from the media. They love to put more pressure on us and that’s something we have to deal with,” Van Dijk told Sky Sports. “Id love to win, it is imperative for coach Sonny Dykes entering his third season at 6-18. The Bears open against Grambling. “I think Jared is one of the best quarterbacks in ,” Dykes said. “But just because some guy throws his name out there doesn’t mean anything right now.”

Just so we’re all clear: The ACC will miss the College Football Playoff this season. Florida State has the strongest squad now with the return of Dalvin Cook. Yes, it has to travel to Clemson, but I’ll go with FSU and its three consecutive ACC titles. Still, whoever wins the league will most likely lost at least twice. Let’s say every other Power Five champion loses twice. Who would you leave out? Thought so.

One SEC coach took an interest Jim Harbaugh’s self-described “submarine mode” this month. (Michigan went into a virtual media blackout for three weeks, living in a dorm under spartan conditions during August drills.) “You’d get crushed [in the SEC],” the coach said. “The SEC Network wouldn’t allow it.”

Just for grins, Auburn will debut its new video board by inviting fans in Thursday night to watch the North Carolina-South Carolina game. The $14 million, 11,000-square foot Daktronics monstrosity is being billed as the largest in college football. Take that, Texas A&M.

Not going to predict a winless season for Vanderbilt, but the prospects are dim when Western Kentucky is a two-point favorite in Nashville. Pay attention to the Hilltoppers’ Brandon Doughty. The nation’s returning leader in passing yards could go for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns this season.

Texas A&M plays nine games within the state of Texas but no in-state opponents for the first time ever.

Season opener that is either a shameless promo or vacation travel itinerary: Colorado-Hawaii. Watch it on CBS Sports Network, Friday at 1 a.m. ET!

Posted on Leave a comment

Temple adds live owl to the Lincoln Financial Field experience

content_img

will have a decided ornithoManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he expects a busy final two weeks of the market.Solskjaer spoke of his transfer hopes to Norway’s TV2 last week.“We see all the time if we can get better,” he said”A lot is written and we have perhaps been linked to 150 players this summerlegri’s future at Juve could be decided today with president Andrea Agnelli and sports director Fabio Paratici seen at the club’s training HQ this morning. There’s a real belief that Allegri will announce his departure in the next 24 hours.Meanwhile,.“But it can happen, one or two transfers, both in and out, it can still happen.”logical advantage over their opponents during home games at Lincoln Financial Field, thanks to the addition of Stella the Owl.

Stella, a 3-year-old great horned owl, was introduced to Owls coach Matt Rhule and a group of season ticket holders over the weekend at Temple’s practice. According to the school, the pler Virgil van Dijk insists he’s not obsessing about the Ballon d’Or.After winning the Champions League last night, Van Dijk was asked if he felt he should win the gong for the season.“I think (Lionel) Messi is the best player in the world. He shoulan is for Stella to be on the sidelines for home games this fall at Lincoln Financial Field. The owls permanent residence is Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pa.

If Stella could talk, she would likely complain about the lack of night games on Temple’s schedule. I’m no Doolittle, but owls don’t like Noon kickoffs either.

Posted on Leave a comment

USC falls to No. 13 in the AP poll after loss to Stanford

content_img

(US Presswire)

The , and has fallen to No. 13 after its 21-14 loss at on Saturday night. replaced USC in the No. 2 spot after defeating 63-14, with (3) and Florida State (4) also seeing a one-spot bump from the Trojans’ loss. Stanford made the biggest jump, moving from No. 21 to No. 9. moved closer to the top 10, from No. 20 to No. 11 following its convincing 20-3 win over  in East Lansing. Here’s how the Top 15 shook out in the recent balloting:  1) (58) (3-0) 2) LSU (2) (3-0) 3) Oregon (3-0) 4) (3-0) 5) (3-0) 6) (2-0) 7) (3-0) 8) (2-0) 9) Stanford (3-0) 10) (3-0) 11) Notre Dame (3-0) 12) (3-0) 13) (2-1) 14) (3-0) 15) (3-0)The , with Alabama, LSU leading the same top four and Okss Steve Bruce is confident keeping hold of Dwight Gayle.Bruce previously tried to sign Gayle on a number of occasions and was looking forward to finally working with the 29-year-old when he was appointed last summer. Gayle only returned from a calf lahoma at No. 5 instead of No. 6.  Southern California fell to No. 12 in that poll, which is the one used for the BCS formula.  Notre Dame did not get the boost they got from the AP voters, only moving up to No. 15.   said he returned to USC for his senior season to take care of some “unfinished business” with his teammates. Whether that was something as simple as a national title or a collection of goals, beating Stanford for the first time was likely part of the quarterback’s plan. On Saturday night, Stanford made Barkley’s goals far more difficult to attain. The Cardinal knocked off the Trojans in the physical battle that saw Barkley throw zero touchdown passes in a game for Miilan boss Antonio Conte took aim at the board after their Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund. Inter blew a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 in Germanited full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has earned praise from Micah Richards.The former Manchester City defender is impressed with what he has seen from United’s new signing this season.Wan-Bissaka has impressed during his first two appearances in the Preny.Conte barked: “We have too limited a squad to face both Serie A and Champions League football th the first time since 2010.The Trojans can still bounce back from this and find themselves in the national title discussion in November. After all, we witnessed an Alabama team bounce back from a conference loss to eventually overtake its SEC West rival, LSU, to win the national championship. USC has even more time than Alabama did to climb back to the top of the polls, but there is no more room for error. USC’s title hopes aren’t gone, but the Trojans no longer control their own destiny. Keep up with the latest news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this. View a.

Posted on Leave a comment

CBSSports.com 2012 Preseason All-Big Ten Team

content_img

(US Presswire)

With the season quickly approaching CBSSports.com’s Eye On Blog unveils its All-Conference Teams. Today we take a look at the Big Ten.

OFFENSE

– The Big Ten is changing whether you want to believe it or not. To realize this, all you have to do is look at the quarterbacks in the conference. Gone are the game-manager types who have all the agility of a statue, and in their place are exciting dual-threat quarterbacks. None of whom are more electric than Michigan’s Denard Robinson. Of returning starters at the quarterback position in the Big Ten, Robinson had the highest pass efficiency in 2011 at 139.7, and he still has those legs of his. Denard has already helped lead Michigan to BCS glory, and now he’d like a Big Ten title and maybe even a Heisman Trophy before he leaves Ann Arbor. 

: A few more dual threat quarterbacks like Ohio State’s , Nebraska’s and ‘ Nathan Scheelhaase deserve consideration, but none have accomplished nearly as much as Robinson.

– In most seasons, 2,229 total yards and 39 total touchdowns will get a guy a Heisman Trophy. In 2011 it was only able to get Ball a trip to New York for the ceremony. Still, there’s no doubt that Ball is the gold standard when it comes to Big Ten running backs, and the 5-foot-11 212-pound running back will once again be disappearing behind Wisconsin’s mammoth line before bursting free again in 2012. Hard as it is to believe, with Russell Wilson no longer in Madison, Ball may be asked to do even more this season. If any back is capable of doing that, though, it’s Ball.

– Burkhead didn’t have a lot of trouble making the transition from running against Big 12 defenses to Big Ten defenses in 2011. The Nebraska running back rushed for 1,357 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011 while being the most reliable back in the conference not named Montee Ball.

: As always, there are plenty of good running backs in the Big Ten. Michigan’s Fitzgerald Toussaint,  Michigan State’s , Ohio State’s Jordan Hall, ‘s , ‘s Ralph Bolden and ‘s are just a few.

– Eight of the top ten Big Ten receivers in 2011 are gone. Of those who did return, none had better numbers than Jared Abbrederis last season. Abbrederis finished 2011 with 55 receptions for 933 yards and 8 touchdowns. Now that Nick Toon has moved on and Abbrederis is the clear-cut number one in Madison, those numbers will likely improve in 2012.

– Like Abbrederis, Keenan Davis spent the 2011 season as a second option in the passing attack but will take on a much larger role in 2012. Davis had 50 receptions for 713 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2011, but those numbers will increase as he replaces Marvin McNutt in the offense.

– Purdue is looking to improve on a 7-6 record in 2011 and take advantage of a Leaders Division that is certainly a lot more open now thanks to NCAA penalties against Ohio State and Penn State. Antavian Edison could play a large role in how far Purdue gets. The senior finished 2011 with 44 receptions for 584 yards and 3 touchdowns and will be looking to take that next step in 2012.

: Michigan’s will be looking to bounce back from a down season in 2011. Big Ten fans should also keep their eyes on Nebraska’s , Northwestern’s Demetrius Fields, Indiana’s and the Ohio State duo of Devin Smith and Corey Brown.

– Stoneburner’s overall numbers from 2011 don’t jump out at you, as he had only 14 receptions for 193 yards. However, when you look closer, you notice where Stoneburner’s real value to the Ohio State offense was. Of those 14 catches, 7 of them were for touchdowns, giving Stoneburner 3 more touchdowns than any other receiver on the Ohio State roster. His role will likely expand now that Urban Meyer is in Columbus.

: While Stoneburner deserves the nod, this spot could just as easily gone to Wisconsin’s , Iowa’s , or Michigan State’s .

– Wagner is a big part — literally, he’s 6-foot-6 and 322 pounds — of a Wisconsin offensive line that could wind up as the best in the conference again this year. At left tackle he was not only responsible for opening holes for Montee Ball all of last season, but also protecting the blind side of Russell Wilson. With monsters like this in charge of making the Wisconsin offense go it’s no wonder the scored over 44 points a game last season.

– Lewan was second team All-Big Ten in 2011 as a sophomore and the left tackle will only improve in 2012. He’s the best lineman on one of the conference’s best offensive lines, and if his ability on the football field isn’t enough to put him on this team, then surely the fact he gets around campus on a tandem bicycle is.

: There are plenty of talented bookends in the Big Ten that deserved consideration. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Ohio State’s , Michigan State’s , and Dan France or Northwestern’s Patrick Ward.

– The will have a new quarterback in Andrew Maxwell this season, and he’d no doubt appreciate some good pass blocking and a strong run game. Luckily for Maxwell he has lineman like Chris McDonald in front of him that can give him both. 

– We’ve already gone over the accomplishments of Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead, and Rex would be the first to tell you that Spencer Long played a large role in his success last season. While he wasn’t alone, Long was a big reason that the finished 2011 averaging 217.2 yards per game on the ground.

: While Northwestern’s offensive line struggled pass-blocking last season, Brian Mulroe proved more than capable as a run blocker. The same can be said for Ohio State’s . Michigan’s , Illinois’ and Purdue’s Peters Drey also deserve consideration.

– There are plenty of good centers in the Big Ten, but it’s hard to find one better than the 6-foot-4 328-pound lls are far adrift of the pace in the Premier League, but they are still in three cup competitions.United progressed from the group stages of the Europa League, while they are in the Carabao Cup quarter finals.McTominay is happy for the personal accolandmass that is Wisconsin junior Travis Frederick. He was named to the All-Big Ten second team as a sophomore in 2011, and he’s one of only two returning starters on the line along with tackle Ricky Wagner.

: While centers generally toil in anonymity, it’s hard not to notice the work of Illinois’ Graham Pocic and Iowa’s . Penn State’s Matt Stankiewitch has a lot of work in front of him as the only returning starter on Penn State’s offensive line. Travis Jackson was a Freshman All-American last season for Michigan State, and he has the potential to be great.

DEFENSE

– William Gholston is a monster and he’s one that may be on the brink of becoming a household name in 2012. He finished the season with 70 tackles with 5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hurries and 2 passes broken up. Impressive numbers, for sure, but numbers that look even more impressive when you realize Gholston was only a sophomore in 2011. When you take talent like Gholston has and combine it with a mean streak you get special things from a defensive end.

– Last season Michael Buchanan played in the shadow of Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, as Mercilus seemingly came out of no where to lead the Big Ten in sacks. It seemed many didn’t notice the damage Buchanan was doing on the other side of the defensive line, as he finished the year with 7.5 sacks and 64 tackles. Buchanan also had 4 quarterback hurries, broke up a pass and forced a fumble. If he has the same type of season in 2012 more people will notice.

: Want to know why there are so many talented offensive tackles in the Big Ten? Well, aside from Gholston and Buchanan there are also defensive ends like Ohio State’s John Simon, Michigan State’s , Michigan’s Craig Roh, Nebraska’s and Penn State’s Sean Stanley in the Big Ten. That’s why.

– Like William Gholston, Johnathan Hankins had a big season for the in 2011 and did so as only a sophomore. Now he’s a year older and he’s even stronger. A scary proposition considering that he’s 6-foot-3 and 317 pounds. Hankins had 67 tackles last season and will make like tough on offenses that try to run up the middle against the Ohio State defense. He can also help out in the pass rush, as he finished the 2011 season with 3 sacks.

– Spence is also coming off a strong sophomore campaign, and like teammate Michael Buchanan, he’ll get a lot more attention this season now that Whitney Mercilus is gone. He was a key component of an Illinois defense that was one of the best in the nation last season (15th in scoring defense, 7th in total) and will look to improve on a year in which he had 69 tackles from the defensive tackle position.

: It was hard leaving Purdue’s off the first team, but just because he didn’t make it doesn’t mean he isn’t a name that offensive coordinators will have on their mind quite a bit this season. His teammate deserved consideration along with Penn State’s , Nebraska’s and Indiana’s Adam Peplogle.

– If you just kept your eyes on Wisconsin’s Mike Taylor throughout a game he would lead you right to the ball over and over again. He led the Big Ten in tackles last season with 150 tackles making over 10 tackles a game. He can do it all, too, as he had 2 sacks for the Badgers last season as well as 2 interceptions. In other words, he makes life difficult for an offense.

– The Badgers are blessed to have Mike Taylor in their linebacking corps, but having Chris Borland as well just isn’t fair. Taylor may have led the Big Ten in tackles last season, but Mr. Borland finished second with 143 tackles of his own. Like Taylor boss David Moyes is wary of asking too much of Jarrod Bowen.Moyes frustrated some fans by only giving new £20million signing Jarrod Bowen a ten-minute runout in defeat at Manchester City midweek.Moyes said: “What we’re not going to do is put pres, Borland also had 2 interceptions in 2011, but he’s more of a disruptive force in the backfield as he had 2.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss last season.

– As talented as Illinois’ defense is, Brown may be the crown jewel of the unit. He led the team with 108 tackles last season and that includes 6 sacks and another 19.5 tackles for a loss. Brown also had an interception, broke up 4 passes and forced a fumble. Oh, and did we mention he did all this as a sophomore?

– The Spartans may have the most talented linebacking corps in the conference. Allen was a big reason why as he was a pass-rushing demon for the Spartans, finishing the year with 11 sacks –only Whitney Mercilus had more in the Big Ten last season — and another 7 quarterback hurries. Like teammate William Gholston and fellow linebacker , Denicos was only a sophomore last season. So, yeah, that Michigan State defense is going to be a bit scary in 2012.

: The previously mentioned Max Bullough definitely deserved a spot on the first team, but there are just so many talented linebackers in this conference. Look at the five names we’ve already mentioned and then consider that we still didn’t say anything about Penn State’s and , Iowa’s , Michigan’s or Nebraska’s . That is a whole lot of talent.

– Adams’ stats don’t really stand out compared to some other Big Ten cornerbacks, but there’s a reason for it. Quarterbacks aren’t willing to test him all that often. When they did last year Johnny was able to break up 6 passes and intercept another 3. Also, since he’s part of Michigan State’s defense, that means he’s also able to rush the passer. Which is why he finished 2011 with 3 sacks and 4 quarterback hurries.

– Iowa’s pass defense wasn’t great in 2011, but that was due more to a pass rush that didn’t produce as much pressure as in the past than it was Micah Hyde. Hyde was named to the All-Big Ten second team last season, and for good reason. He not only had 72 tackles from the cornerback position, but he also had 3 interceptions and broke up another 8 passes.

: Our apologies to Michigan’s J.T. Floyd, Purdue’s , Illinois’ Terry Hawthorne, Ohio State’s , ‘s and Michigan State’s . You’re all wonderful cornerbacks who will no doubt prove us wrong for leaving you off this team.

– It’s not always a good thing for a team when a safety leads your defense in tackles, but it didn’t seem to hurt Ohio State’s defense all that much in 2011. Barnett finished the year with 75 tackles, 2 interceptions and 6 passes broken up, proving that he’s just as adept at stepping forward to stop the run as he is in coverage.

– Speaking of safeties who happen to be tackling machines, here’s Northwestern’s Ibraheim Campbell. The Northwestern defense was not one of the better units in the Big Ten last season, but Ibraheim did all he could to try and make it one. He finished his freshman season — yes, that’s right, freshman — with 100 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 passes broken up. What will he do for his sophomore encore?

: When it comes to your last line of defense, you can do a lot worse than Michigan State’s , Michigan’s Jordan Kovacs, Wisconsin’s or Nebraska’s .

SPECIAL TEAMS

– Maher was the Big Ten Kicker of the Year in 2011 and for good reason. He converted 19 of his 23 field goal attempts and was 16-for-17 on field goals under 50 yards. He was also 43-for-44 on extra point attempts. It’s nice for any offense to know it has a kicker as reliable as Maher to rely on.

: Kickers are football players too, no matter what anybody tells you, and Michigan State’s and Ohio State’s are two other kickers who deserve your respect.

– Wait a see Arsenal for Chelsea.Giroud’s current situation is similar to that which saw him leave Arsenal in January 2017, having fallen behind Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck in the pecking order before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then arrcond, wasn’t Brett Maher the Kicker of the Year last season? He sure was, and he was also the Big Ten’s Punter of the Year averaging 44.5 yards per punt and putting 25 punts inside his opponents’ 20-yard line. So if he can’t kick the field goal for you, he can bury your opponent with a punt. And all for only one scholarship!

: Purdue’s Cody Webster and Ohio State’s Ben Buchanan are also pretty good at kicking an oblong ball through the air for incredibly long distances.

– A receiver by trade, Mostert’s biggest impact was felt on special teams last season. The Boilermaker led the Big Ten with an average of 33.5 yards per return last season and he also took one to the house.

: Nebraska’s also proved to be dangerous on kick returns last season, averaging 29.3 yards per return.

– Abbrederis makes the team twice after averaging 15.8 yards on his 20 punt returns with the Badgers last season. He returned one of those punts for a touchdown as well.

: Michigan’s is a big play waiting to happen on punt returns, and Northwestern’s showed a lot of potential on his 8 punt returns for the last season.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Links: PGA of America apologizes to Rickie Fowler for Valhalla end

content_img

market.Bruce has vowed to only sign players who will improve the squad at his disposal and has targeted hard-working, physical, honest footballers who are willing to cover ground for their team-ayed from the start for United’s 0-0 draw with Wolves.Afterwards, he told Sport TV: “It is a mix of emotions, I am very happy to be able to be here for a short time and to have had the chance to pto sign permanently with Manchester United.The Sun says Ighalo will be happy to take a £6million pay cut in order to make his loan move to United permanent.He is currently on loan at Old Trafford from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua until the end of tlay so soon. Playing at Old Trafford has a very speciamates.Miguel Almiron certainly fits that bill and how Br

Posted on Leave a comment

Jerry Jones: Tony Romo playing best football of his career

content_img

is turning into a prophet. The quarterback predicted during training camp that we would start seeing the “best version” of him this year, and it doesn’t look like his premonition is too far off. 

Romo has led the Cowboys to a 5-1 start this season, something that has owner Jerry Jones believing that Romo is playing the best football of his career. 

“I don’t know that I can say that I’ve ever seen him play better,” Jones . “We’ve seen him certainly do what Romo does. That is, instinctively make plays.”

Those instinctive plays in Week 5 against the Texans where Romo spun out of a tackle and hit Cowboys wide receiver with a strike. 

“We’ve seen him basically protect the ball, and I know for a fact that he’s bought into his working and the coordination that he has to have with (play-caller Scott) Linehan,” Jones added. 

In July, Romo said , despite the fact that he underwent back surgery in each of the past two offseasons. “I think over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my ed Unai Emery told him he wasn’t needed at Arsenal.The 21-year-old joined the Gunners in 2015 but made just three appearances for the club before joining Angers in the summer of 2018.And the Frenchman has opened up about his exit from the Emirates.”Icaree are the big winners for April’s Premier League awards.Vardy won the Premier League Player of the Month prize, while Guardiola is the Manager of the Month.The Leicester striker managed five goals in four games in April.Meanwhile, City managed five str,” he said.

Jones reflected on Romo’s statement during his interview on Friday. 

“I would agree that that statement that he made in camp — certainly these last three or four ball games — he’s starting to ratify that statement,” Jones said. 

Romo (1,510 yards, 11 touchdown passes, 5 intercelsea striker Olivier Giroud would consider a move to the USA.The World Cup winner is off contract in June and admits he’s been frustrated playing second fiddle behind Tammy Abraham this season.Le 10 Sport says talk that Chicago Fire are in contact doptions) isn’t on pace to put up any career numbers, but the only number that really counts is wins and Romo has the Cowboys at 5-1.

A record of 5-1 is a good news in Dallas. Before this season, the Cowboys had started 5-1 a total of 16 times in franchise history and they made the playoffs in all of those seasons.