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College Football Week Seven: Winners and Losers

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Week seven was one word, weird. Yes, there were comebacks and breakthrough performances. But there were also some upsets. Here are my winners and losers:

Winners:

  1. LSU Tigers: Wide receiver D.J. returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown. Clutch defensive plays and kicker Connor Culp’s two field goals helped LSU hold off the Auburn Tigers 27-23. If you can figure LSU out, please let me know.
  2. California Golden Bears: Quarterback Ross Bowers threw for a touchdown and had a rushing touchdown. The defense had nine sacks and caused seven turnovers including five interceptions as the Bears dominated the Washington State Cougars 37-3. Great win for Cal and first year head coach Justin Wilcox.
  3. Syracuse Orange: Quarterback Eric Dungey threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Kicker Cole Murphy’s go-ahead 30-yard field goal helped the Orange stun the Clemson Tigers 27-24. It’s Orange’s first win against the number two team in the country in 13 tries, what a win for them and coach Dino Babers.
  4. West Virginia Mountaineers: Quarterback Will Grier threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns including the go-ahead to tight end David Sills with just over 3:30 minutes left as West Virginia came back to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders 46-35.
  5. Texas A&M Aggies: Quarterback Kellen Mond rushed for a touchdown. Kicker Daniel LaCamera had four field goals as the Aggies tamed the Florida Gators 19-17, keeping head coach Kevin Sumlin off the hot seat.
  6. Virginia Cavaliers: Quarterback Kurt Benkert threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns as the Cavaliers defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 20-14. The Cavs are quietly 5-1, their best start since 2007.
  7. North Texas Mean Green: Quarterback Mason Fine’s 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rico Bussey Jr. in the final seconds capped off a 98-yard drive as they defeated the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 29-26.

Losers:

  1. Clemson Tigers: Losing key guys to injury, and the defense’s inability to slow down Syracuse’s offense cost the Tigers in their shocking loss. The defending champs aren’t out of the playoff picture by any stretch. The good news, they get two weeks off to heal up before their next game against Georgia Tech.
  2. Washington State Cougars: Turnovers and quarterback Luke Falk being sacked nine times were the Cougars’ undoing in their loss to California. It’s going to be a tough hill to climb for the Cougars to get back in the playoff hunt.
  3. Auburn Tigers: Questionable play-calling on offense cost Auburn as they couldn’t put away LSU.
  4. Washington Huskies: The Huskies just couldn’t get their offense going in their loss to Arizona State. The Huskies aren’t out of the playoff picture either but they can’t afford another loss.
  5. Texas Tech Red Raiders: Missed field goals came back to bite the Red Raiders in their loss to West Virginia.
  6. San Diego State Aztecs: The Aztecs were only 5 for 16 on third downs and the defense not being able to get off the field cost the Aztecs in their loss to the Boise State Broncos 31-14. This puts a damper on the Aztecs’ hopes for a New Year’s Six Bowl berth.
  7. Tennessee Volunteers: The Vols were stopped on the goal line in the closing seconds, losing a heartbreaker to the South Carolina Gamecocks 15-9. Sending coach Butch Jones’ job security in upheaval.

Storylines Going Into Week Eight:

Memphis meets Houston. Oklahoma State travels to Texas. Iowa State battles Texas Tech. Louisville plays Florida State. Can Syracuse upset Miami?

Michigan State is on upset alert as they host Indiana. UCF will try to keep their New Year’s Six bowl hopes alive at Navy. Oklahoma goes to Kansas State.

Auburn will try to rebound against Arkansas. USC goes to Notre Dame in their annual meeting. Michigan will try to slow down Sequon Barkley and Penn State.

 

NCAA Football

Ex-Oregon Duck Doug Brenner Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, University for $11.5 Million

Anthony DiMoro

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Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Oregon, former Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart, and former Ducks’ strength coach Irele Oderinde, for $11.5 million in alleged damages, according to The Oregonian’s James Crepea.

Per the report:

“Brenner’s attorneys allege the University of Oregon was negligent for failing to prohibit, regulate or supervise the workouts, which they describe as ‘physical punishment regimens.’ The lawsuit also alleges that Taggart and Oderinde, both now at Florida State, were negligent in imposing and carrying out the workouts, and that the NCAA has failed to regulate such practices by coaches of its member institutions.”

Brenner was hospitalized last year, January 2017, with “rhabdomyolysis and subsequent injuries” after a series of intense offseason workouts, and is seeking damages for the medical bills he accrued due to the workouts, along with the “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury, a shortening of his life span by upwards of 10 years, increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain, [and premature death] and an impaired opportunity to play football in college and thereafter.”

The report goes on to say that offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, but neither player has been named as being a part of the lawsuit.

Taggart is now the head coach, and Oderinde is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Florida State Seminoles.

One of the lawyers representing Brenner, Mark McDougal, said the following about the workouts referred to in the lawsuit:

“The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions. A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts. These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce regulations that outlaw these practices.”

 

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MLB

Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games

Anthony DiMoro

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Hurricane Florence could threaten a number of games scheduled this week as the major storm system continues to threaten the United States Eastern Coast.

According to USA Today Sports, here are the games that could be impacted by the pending storm:

NFL

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

College football

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Campbell at Coastal Carolina, 2:00 (rescheduled from Saturday)

Thursday, Sept. 13

Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30

Saturday, Sept. 15 

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15
No. 13 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30
East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 12:20
No. 15 West Virginia at North Carolina State, 3:30
No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina, 12:00
Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
Colorado State at Florida, 4:00
Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

MLB

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Miami at N.Y. Mets, 4:10, Game 2 TBA
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Washington at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Thursday, Sept. 13

Chicago Cubs at Washington*, 4:05
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Friday, Sept. 14

Chic. White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 7:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 7:10
Washington at Atlanta*, 7:35

Saturday, Sept. 15

Washington at Atlanta*, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 4:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 4:05
Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05

Sunday, Sept. 16

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 1:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 1:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 1:35
Washington at Atlanta*, 1:35

*- games with playoff implications

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Carolina League: Potomac (Va.) at Buies Creek (N.C.), 1:05

Thursday, Sept. 13
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.). 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.) 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 15
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 6:35
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

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NCAA Football

Braylon Edwards Apologizes for University of Miami Tweets, Stand by his Stance

Anthony DiMoro

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Former NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who currently works for the Big Ten Network, has been suspended by the Big Ten Network for tweets he made on Saturday night after the Wolverines lost 24-17 to Notre Dame.3

Edwards, a former All-America wide receiver at the University of Michigan, heavily criticized Wolverines’ offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, calling him “weak,” and called Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson “scared.”

Edwards played wide receiver for Michigan from 2001 to 2004, and then was drafted to the NFL.

Edwards then went on to target the Michigan team as a whole, tweeting  “f—ing Michigan offense so predictable … Michigan football is sadly one thing … Trash.”

Edwards was criticized by Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday for his tweets and then was officially suspended indefinitely by the Big Ten Network.

“Effective as of Sunday, Sept. 2, Braylon Edwards has been suspended indefinitely from his role at the Big Ten Network due to a violation of the network’s social media guidelines”, the Big Ten Network wrote in a since deleted tweet, according to Chris Vannini of The Athletic.

“No. 1, first of all, it’s not true. It’s not factual,” Harbaugh said of the comments. “There’s nobody in our program who thinks those things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he describes. On the other level, I was disappointed a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of two of our players. That’s disappointing.

“We’ll handle things within the program,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all we control.”

“And, I would say, if somebody wants to attack the character of anybody on the ballclub, then come after me. I don’t think it’s right. It’s not true. And nobody in the program thinks that about any player on our team. Just so you know that’s not coming from anybody inside the program.”

While Edwards admits that his tweets were “excessive”, he stands by his criticism of the Wolverines, and says that he plans to reach out to Ruiz and Patterson through his brother, Berkley Edwards, who is a running back for Michigan.

Edwards added that former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr “called me out in the media” and he realizes now he shouldn’t have done the same to Ruiz and Patterson.

“I admit I was excessive and emotional and inebriated. Mix those together. But the focus of my tweets remains intact. I stand by that. I was over-excessive Saturday night at 10:29, but I don’t back down on my overall stance as an alum and a fan. I’ve always defended Michigan. Even this year, I was high on Michigan,” Edwards said according to the Detroit News.

“I’m a man. We make mistakes. I’m sorry. I should not have gone that way. I still agree with the overall message — what do we do now (as a program)? But I apologize — shouldn’t name individual players. They’re still kids. That’s what I apologize for,” Edwards told the media outlet.

Now that there is Legal sports betting in the USA it will be interesting to see what happens when Edwards returns. Some sportsbooks have started taking wagers on whether or not he will keep his job in the end and for how long.

For now, Edwards has a lot of time to sit at home and reflect before his return to the Big Ten Network.

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