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NCAA Football

Pac 12 South Preview

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Staying west as we continue our preview where this division could come down to two crosstown rivals. Here’s the Pac 12 South:

UCLA Bruins

We start in Los Angeles, where preseason All-American and Heisman candidate Josh Rosen threw for 23 touchdowns as a true freshman last season. The Bruins move to a traditional pro-style offense to play more to Rosen’s strengths. There’s depth in the backfield with Soso Jamabo and Nate Starks. They must rebuild their receiving corps as four of the top five receivers from last year have departed.

Preseason All-American defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes returns from a torn ACL, he should be a force in the interior. Linebackers Jaylon Brown, who was the team’s leading tackler, and Deon Hollins will help out up front. Cornerbacks Marcus Rios and Fabian Moreau, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, lead a secondary that led the conference in pass defense last season.

They host Stanford, Arizona, Utah and USC. They must go Texas A&M, BYU, Arizona State, Washington State, and California.

USC Trojans

We stay in L.A. as we go crosstown where Clay Helton takes over at the helm as head coach. Max Browne will start at quarterback. Helton has talent and experience on offense including All-American wide receiver JuJu Smith- Schuster. Justin Davis and Ronald Jones are one of the best backfield tandems in the nation.

Clancy Pendergast returns to Southern Cal as defensive coordinator. Preseason All-American linebacker Cameron Smith, preseason all-Pac 12 lineman Rasheem Green and tackle Kenny Biglow lead a potentially explosive defense. Preseason all-Pac 12 cornerback Adoree Jackson is not only one of the best corners in the conference but expect to be used at wide receiver as well.

The Trojans have a tough schedule, they start the season against Alabama in Arlington. They must face Stanford, Utah, Arizona, Washington and UCLA on the road. They play Arizona State, Cal and Notre Dame at home.

Utah Utes

Next up Salt Lake City, where one team that can make it a three team race in the division is the Utah Utes. Travis Wilson has graduated, so head coach Kyle Whittingham could do the co-starter route at quarterback with junior college transfer Troy Williams and freshman Tyler Huntley. Devontae Booker’s in the NFL now, but preseason all-Pac 12 running back Joe Williams proved to be a productive replacement in Booker’s absence last season. The Utes will have a veteran offensive line led by preseason all-Pac 12 right tackle J.J Dielman.

The defense could be one of the best in the Pac 12. Preseason All-American tackle Lowell Lotulelei leads a front seven that led the conference in rush defense last season. Preseason all-Pac 12 safety Marcus Williams leads a secondary that caught 22 interceptions last year.

They host BYU, USC, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon. They face California and Arizona State on the road.

The Rest of the Pac 12

In Tempe, the Arizona State Sun Devils will try to rebound from a very disappointing 6-7 2015 season. They lose seven starters including quarterback Mike Bercovici and wide receiver D.J. Foster. The one thing that the Sun Devils do have a lot of—running backs including the tandem of preseason all-Pac 12s Demario Richard, who became the 19th back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards, and Kalen Ballage. Wide receivers Tim White and Cameron Smith lead a capable corps. Despite finishing at the top in quarterback sacks and tackles for a loss, the defense still gave up an average of little over 33 points a game last season. Still, guys like preseason all-Pac 12 defensive end JoJo Wicker has all-conference talent and is just a sophomore. Tackle Tashon Smallwood brings a veteran presence and safety Kareem Orr led the conference in interceptions.

Meanwhile in Tucson, there’s a lot of uncertainty with head coach Rich Rodriguez’s Arizona Wildcats. Both quarterback Anu Solomon and preseason all-Pac 12 running back Nick Wilson have struggled with injuries. Preseason all-Pac 12 receiver Samajie Grant and Trey Griffey lead a veteran but unproven corps. Preseason all-Pac 12 linebacker Paul Magloire and tackle Sani Fuimaono will be playing under a new defensive scheme. Also, the Wildcats will be playing with heavy hearts after the sudden passing of center Nick Hemmila last month.

Finally in Boulder, where the Colorado Buffaloes will try to improve, if at the very least a little. After losing out on graduate transfer Davis Webb, who went to Cal, and Sefo Liufau still recovering from a Lisfranc injury, the Buffs need a quarterback. Head coach Mike MacIntyre must rely on underclassmen and junior college transfers on offense. They do have a veteran defense led by lineman Josh Tupou, linebacker Derek McCartney and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie.

That’s it for the Pac 12 South, next I’ll give some non-power 5 teams to watch.

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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NCAA Football

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

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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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