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NCAA Football

Pac 12 North Preview

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We go west next, as one team who features a Heisman candidate and has been a staple in this division will get a challenge from a rival, here’s my breakdown of the Pac 12 North.

Stanford Cardinal

Palo Alto’s our first top, where the Cardinal have won at least a share of the division title four out of the five years in head coach David Shaw’s tenure. Preseason All-American and Heisman favorite running back Christian McCaffrey set the NCAA single-season record for all-purpose yards last season. Michael Rector and tight end Dalton Schultz lead a capable receiving corps to help take the pressure off McCaffrey. Ryan Burns will be the new signal caller as three-year starter Kevin Hogan has graduated.

Preseason all-Pac 12 defensive lineman Solomon Thomas can play either end or tackle but the coaches want him to rush the passer. Cornerback Alijah Holder and nickel back Quentin Meeks also lead a defense where there’s a solid mix of youth and veteran players.

They host Kansas State, USC and Washington State They have a tough road schedule as they must go to UCLA, Washington, Notre Dame, Arizona, Oregon and California.

Washington Huskies

There’s buzz in Seattle where some are picking the Huskies to win the division. Head coach Chris Peterson is putting his stamp on the program. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning started 12 of the 13 games as a true freshman last year. Myles Gaston rushed for over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman and did that only playing in six games last season. Versatile wide receiver John Ross missed all of last year due to a knee injury, but when healthy, he’s one of the best in the conference.

Last season, the Huskies’ defense finished at or near the top of the conference in multiple categories, and this was with mostly freshmen and sophomores. Preseason all-American free safety Bubba Baker and cornerback Sidney Jones lead a quick and disruptive secondary. Nose tackle Elijah Qualls’ leads a powerful group up front.

They host Stanford, USC and Arizona State. They must face Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Washington State and California on the road.

Oregon Ducks

To Eugene we go next, where the Ducks just missed having double digit wins for the eighth straight year. No worries, Ducks fans, they may be able to challenge in the division. For the second season in a row, the Ducks might be starting a FCS graduate transfer, Dakota Prukop. He rushed for over 1,700 yards and 24 touchdowns while at Montana State. Preseason all-American running back Royce Freeman doesn’t seem to get the same pub as Fournette, Cook, and McCaffrey, but he does have a chance to pass 5,000 career rushing yards. Darren Carrington and Charles Nelson (who’s switching to wide receiver after playing safety last season) lead a dynamic corps.

New defensive coordinator Brady Hoke is switching the Ducks to a 4-3, and he wants them to be more aggressive. Though no more Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, defensive end T.J. Daniel and tackle Henry Mondeaux have the speed to play under the new scheme. While the secondary must rebound after allowing more than 300 passing yards a game last season.

They host Washington, Arizona State and Stanford. They must go to Nebraska, Washington State, California, USC and Utah.

The Rest of the Pac 12 North

In Pullman, a few people are saying that the Washington State Cougars could be a dark horse in the division. Quarterback Luke Falk threw for 38 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, he could push for a Heisman campaign. Preseason all-Pac 12 receiver Gabe Marks lead a terrific corps that’s perfect for head coach Mike Leach’s offense. Despite key departures on defense, safety Shalom Luani, linebacker Peyton Pelluer, and cornerback Darrien Molton must make stops if the Cougars want to challenge in the division.

To Berkley, where the California Golden Bears have a new quarterback to replace Jared Goff. A lot of you, Big 12 fans remember the name Davis Webb, well in less than three months, he went from a new graduate transfer at Cal to new starting quarterback and captain.. He’ll have to work with a new group of talented but young receivers. Tre Watson and Khalifani Muhammad lead a speedy backfield. Tackle James Looney, cornerback Darius Allensworth and end Davante Wilson lead the way on defense.

Finally in Corvallis, the Oregon State Beavers will try to improve from their two win total last season. The Beavers finished at or near the bottom nationally in multiple offensive categories last season. Running back Ryan Nall, receiver Victor Bolden and cornerback Dwayne Williams lead an intriguing group of playmakers that just might make the Beavers better this season.

That’s it for the North, next we’ll talk about the Pac 12 South.

 

NCAA Basketball

Louisiana Tech Sports Facilities Damaged by Tornado

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A deadly tornado, which has been linked to the death of at least 5 people across two states, damaged several sports facilities located on the campus of Louisiana Tech, according to ESPN.

While no injuries have been reported among the students at the school, two people were killed when the storm ripped through Ruston, Louisiana and caused a tree to fall onto their home.

The school is closed on Thursday and Friday, and the following images were shared on Twitter by the Athletic’s Department, showcasing some of the damage.

National Weather Service hydrologist C. S. Ross said that the deadly tornado cut a track over 130 miles from eastern Texas to near the Louisiana-Arkansas border.

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NCAA Football

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

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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

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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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